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Unraveling the dark kitchen: consumer perception, mapping and food safety profile

Grant number: 22/10468-9
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2023 - January 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Science
Principal Investigator:Diogo Thimoteo da Cunha
Grantee:Diogo Thimoteo da Cunha
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Aplicadas (FCA). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Limeira , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Elke Stedefeldt ; Jan Mei Soon ; Laís Mariano Zanin ; Malgorzata Z Wisniewska


The increase in meals eaten away from home and the significant increase in the use of food delivery apps have given rise to a new type of restaurant, the so-called dark kitchens, i.e. establishments that do not offer local service to the public, but only delivery services or take-out. In order to promote both food safety to protect consumers and the consolidation of new entrepreneurs in this innovative form of business, this study aims to map the dark kitchens in Campinas - SP, Limeira - SP and São Paulo - SP, evaluate a sample of these establishments in terms of hygienic-sanitary practises and understand consumer knowledge and perception of this new business model. To this end, an exploratory study will be conducted in four phases to learn more about dark kitchens and the perception of this business model. In the first phase, 600 Brazilians will be interviewed about their knowledge of the term "dark kitchen". In addition, 25 statements with answers on a Likert scale are evaluated on the following constructs: Willingness to Pay and Intention to Buy, Trust in Health Authorities, Trust in Food Delivery Application, Perceived Safety , Quality Control, Consumer Experience and Solidarity with the Food Sector. These data are analysed through structured equations modelling. In the second phase, the same questionnaire is used cross-culturally with over 900 consumers, 300 Brazilians, 300 British and 300 Polish. In the third phase, tracking and georeferencing technologies are used to identify and characterise dark kitchens in the three communities. Finally, 40 dark kitchens will also be visited where participant assessments will be conducted to understand good food handling practises and also the difficulties faced by entrepreneurs in these establishments. Field diaries will be made and analysed using Bardin's content analysis. It is expected that this study will learn about dark kitchens and provide an important diagnosis for business strategies, health surveillance and information technology. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
HAKIM, MARIANA PITON; LIBERA, VICTOR METHNER DELA; ZANETTA, LUIS D. 'AVOGLIO; STEDEFELDT, ELKE; ZANIN, LAIS MARIANO; SOON-SINCLAIR, JAN MEI; WISNEWSKA, MALGORZATA ZDZISLAWA; CUNHA, DIOGO THIMOTEO DA. Exploring dark kitchens in Brazilian urban centres: A study of delivery-only restaurants with food delivery apps. Food Research International, v. 170, p. 12-pg., . (22/10468-9)

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