Eating insects:Consumer acceptance of a culturally inappropriate food

Promotie

Eating insects: Consumer acceptance of a culturally inappropriate food

Promovendus G (Grace) Tan Hui Shan MSc
Promotor prof.dr.ir. JCM (Hans) van Trijp
Copromotor dr. MA (Markus) Stieger
dr.ir. ARH (Arnout) Fischer
Organisatie Wageningen University, Food Quality and Design
Datum

di 16 mei 2017 13:30 tot 15:00

Locatie Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
362
6703 BG Wageningen
0317-483592

Summary

While insects provide a source of high quality protein that can be more sustainably produced than conventional meats, the lack of consumer acceptance remains a major obstacle. This thesis investigated what determines the consumer acceptance of culturally unusual foods like insects, thereby revealing the complexities of introducing a new class of food that bears negative associations. Apart from addressing the psychological factors, the roles of culture, taste and the product characteristics in determining a food’s acceptability were explored. Findings showed that even though consumers may be curious to try and could quickly learn to appreciate the taste of a new food, it is much more difficult to overcome their deeply ingrained attitudes and to establish regular consumption of a culturally inappropriate food. In light of the findings of this thesis, the viability and potential impact of current efforts to encourage the eating of insects are critically questioned.