Adaptation of the food choice questionnaire using a design thinking approach and application to rice consumption by the major European consumers

Ana Castanho, Carla Brites, Célia Rocha, Ana Pinto Moura, Jorge C. Oliveira, Luís M. Cunha

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Portugal, the largest rice consumer in Europe, is witnessing an increase in imported rice, prompting a need to understand the underlying reasons for this rise. The Food Choice Questionnaire (FCQ) has been adapted to particular cases, however, the procedure isn't standardized. A method based on Design Thinking—a user-centred problem-solving approach—and the use of images in the association technique, was developed and presented to Portuguese rice consumers, comprised of three phases. In the Inspiration phase, the FCQ items and others retrieved from interviews were converted into images through an online survey. In the Ideation phase, eight Portuguese rice consumer consensus-groups performed card-sorting and word association exercises based on these images and an evoked context regarding rice. In the Implementation phase, the generated words were compared to the original FCQ items. The method was revealed to be valuable in adapting the FCQ in a structured manner that can be employed to other realities. The adapted FCQ consisted of 33 items (including 12 new) and was presented to 371 Portuguese rice consumers. An exploratory factorial analysis revealed six factors, where Sensory Appeal, followed by Convenience, and Health & Nutrition were the most relevant. A cluster analysis based on consumption patterns, when compared to the rice choice determinants, revealed three consumer groups: “Nationals” – mainly consumed Portuguese rice, “Varied” – consumed different rice types, and “Imported” – predominantly consumed Basmati rice. The findings indicate that the changes in lifestyle contribute to the preference for more convenient rice, regardless of price, aligning Portuguese consumer patterns with those of other European countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104951
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Consensus groups
  • Design thinking
  • Evoked context
  • Food choice questionnaire
  • Image-based tools
  • Rice consumption


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