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Dr Vilma Xhakollari


Consumer Science, Food Marketing, Experimental Economics
Postdoctoral researcher working on the UKRI funded project Increasing UK Dietary Fibre - The Case for the Great White British Loaf

Areas of interest

My research goal is to study different techniques for improving people’s diet and understanding their preferences for different categories of food products, all of which have the aim of improving the human condition. I have experience in designing choice- experiments. In addition, in my research, I apply elements of social psychology. Finally, my engagement in other EU founded projects, to mention SMARTCHAIN and PRIZEFISH, and work outside academia, helped me understand that many solutions are possible only if seen from multidisciplinary perspective. 

Postgraduate supervision

I am happy to support undergrads and postgrads students interested in exploring human behaviour with a keen interest on functional food.


At the moment I teach “Research Methods For Horticultural Business” at Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna, Second cycle degree programme (LM) in International Horticultural Science. 

Research centres and groups

Prior to joining University of Reading I have been affiliated with the:

  • Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Alma Mater University of Bologna – Bologna, Italy (November 2015- October 2022)
  • Agro-Food Research and Technology Centre Of Aragon – Zaragoza, Spain (September 2014 – July 2015)

Research projects

Increasing UK Dietary Fibre - The Case for the Great White British Loaf

November 2022  – Present


SMART 3 : Smart Sensor X Smart Working X Smart Farm

January 2022 – October 2022


EIT FOOD RIS Inspire Summer Schools Programme, Targeted Nutrition                            

January 2021 – October 2022 


AGRIFOODBOOST: Boosting Excellence in Experimental Research for Agri-Food Economics and Management                   

October 2020 – October 2022 


Engage Albanian Diaspora to the Social and Economic Development of Albania      

October 2019 – December 2019


PRIZEFISH: Piloting of eco-innovative fishery supply-chains to market added-value Adriatic fish products

September 2019 – October 2021 


SMARTCHAIN: Towards Innovation - driven and smart solutions in short food supply chains (Italy)

November 2018 – August 2021


ICT and Robotics for Sustainable Agriculture, Variable Rate Operation for Orchards (Italy)

September 2016 – July 2017


The Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity. under WP2.1.2 (Italy)

January 2016 – June 2016


Fighting against obesity in Europe”: The role of health related-claim labels in food products (Spain) 

September 2014 – June 2015

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Agricultural, Environmental and Food Science and Technology/ Profile: Food Marketing – Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Alma Mater University Of Bologna – Bologna, Italy

                 - Thesis: “Adherence to gluten-free diet and preferences for gluten-free products”

  • Master of Science in Agri-food Marketing – Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza, CIHEAM – Zaragoza, Spain

                 - Micro thesis: "Non-celiac consumers profiling and willingness to pay for gluten-free products: the case of quadritos’ Dr. Schär"

                 - Final thesis: "The role of health-related claims on consumer behaviour in Spain", Cum Maxima Laude.

  • Unique cycle (BSc-MSc) in Agribusiness and Farm Management – Department of Economy and Agribusiness, Agricultural University of Tirana – Tirana, Albania

                 - Thesis: “Overview of the existing financial state of a software programming company and its product application on the agribusiness sector” 9/10

Selected publications

  • Wongprawmas Rungsaran, Xhakollari Vilma*, Spadoni Roberta, Rennerc Britta, Canavari Maurizio. “Effect of multimedia interventions on children’s fruit and vegetable consumption in a real-life setting”. Young Consumers Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.
  • Xhakollari, Vilma*; Canavari, Maurizio; Osman, Magda, Why people follow a gluten-free diet? An application of health behaviour models, «Appetite», 2021, 161, pp. 1 – 10.
  • Xhakollari, Vilma*; Canavari, Maurizio; Osman, Magda, “Factors affecting consumers' adherence to the gluten-free diet, a systematic review”, Trends In Food Science & Technology, vol 85, pp. 23 – 33,
  • Xhakollari, Vilma*; Canavari, Maurizio, “Celiac and non-celiac consumer's experiences when purchasing gluten-free products in Italy”, Economia Agro-Alimentare, 21, pp. 1 - 15


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