A literature review of consumer research on edible insects: recent evidence and new vistas from 2019 studies

Dagevos, H.


A large number of consumer studies on edible insects in Western countries have been published in 2019. A total of 33 studies are brought together in this article that provides an overview of current findings and signals further developments in today’s scholarly attention in the field of human consumption of insects. To outline this body of knowledge, this literature review presents established threads of research about: (1) Westerners’ unfamiliarity with; and (2) fear of eating insects; or (3) consumer reactions to processed or unprocessed insect food products. In addition, new avenues of study in entomophagy research are identified. Present-day studies open up new vistas by: (1) taking different consumer segments and food styles into account; (2) starting to examine the role of emotions and affective factors; and (3) employing a research design that includes multiple insect food products to explore consumer responses to various product options. Studies from 2019 also show that sustainability and circularity gains of insects are in their nascent stage as far as consumer studies are concerned.