3.1 Data collection

Collect people’s food habits through COMMUNITY MEALS

People involved:



3-4 hours

To gather qualitative data, such as food habits, there exists numerous possibilities. The most used method among experts is the focus group, but this is not the only option.

How can we collect people’s food habits in a relaxed and informal environment?

Community Lunch

Organising a Community Lunch would allow you to involve people in buying, cooking and eating food, and explore their food habits in an informal, but situated context. This is an excellent opportunity to gather testimonials from participants about the topic at stake. It's historically well-known that food brings people together. Having lunch with citizens creates the opportunity to talk and form dialogues among the participants while collecting insights on their lives, opinions, habits and experiences.

Discover the tool in action!

FoodMapping Community Lunch




Ideas for Change, PEMB, Red Cross Spain, AMB, Barcelona Mobile Foundation


A community lunch organised within the project FoodMapping in the city of Barcelona in which we wanted to map and assess food environments and habits using citizen science. The aim of the project was to find correlations between the food offer that is available at different neighbourhoods and the diets and purchase decisions of local residents. One of the ways to collect this information was to buy the ingredients for a lentils stew, and cook and eat the recipe together. In the preparation process, we could deep-dive into a conversation about participants' usual grocery shopping habits, their tastes and preferences, and the accessibility to the food.


To gain knowledge about the food habits and regular purchases of participants in an informal way.

To complement quantitative data on purchase habits (prices, products, distance to the shop).


Get the toolbox!

We share with you some of the tools that can be useful to carry out this activity.

Food Habits Conversation Canvas - to edit

Food Habits Conversation Canvas - ready to print