Combining product attributes with recommendation and shopping location attributes to assess consumer preferences for insect-based food products

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Mohammed Hussen Alemu, Søren Bøye Olsen, Suzanne Elizabeth Vedel, Kennedy O. Pambo, Victor O. Owino

Because edible insects provide nutritional and environmental benefits, there is a focus on establishing and optimizing the insect production sector and developing the value chain. However, little is known about consumers' reactions to insects as food. This paper provides a first insight into consumers' preferences for termite-based food products (TBFPs) using data from a choice experiment survey in Kenya. A novel feature of this paper is that it investigates the combined effects of product-related and contextual attributes, as well as consumer attitudes on preferences for TBFPs. In addition, the paper focuses on the extent to which preferences may be affected depending on the meal formats, i.e. whether the termites are introduced either as whole insects or as a processed component in a typical daily meal. The results suggest that consumers prefer TBFPs with high nutritional value and especially when they are recommended by officials. Results further indicate that affirmative recommendations are particularly important for the processed TBFP, and consumers prefer to buy this type of product in kiosks or supermarkets than at local marketplaces. Despite a considerable degree of preference heterogeneity, most consumers react positively to whole as well as processed termites. Therefore, the introduction of TBFPs is likely to succeed regardless of whether the termites are processed or not, although introducing the processed product may require further information and quality assurances to alleviate perceived food risks.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Pages (from-to)45-57
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • The Faculty of Science - Consumers’ attitudes, Contextual attributes, Choice experiments, Edible insects, Meal formats, Recommendation, Termite-based food products

ID: 164855927