3rd year PhD presentation - Pernille Nørgaard Videbæk

Consumer adoption of novel food products: The special case of edible insects

2021.06.10 | Vibeke Vrang

Date Wed 11 Aug
Time 15:00 16:30
Location 2628-303, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University

On 11 August at 15:00, there will be a 3rd year PhD presentation by Pernille Nørgaard Videvæk entitled:

Consumer adoption of novel food products: The special case of edible insects  

Supervisors: Klaus Grunert & Jessica Aschemann-Witzel
Discussants: Susanne Pedersen & Anne Peschel

Research on sustainable consumer behaviour is growing. Especially our meat consumption is a topic of investigation in many Western societies, as we consume well above what is healthy and what is sustainable to produce. Alternative meat products have been suggested as a solution. These can be plant-based alternatives, but since many insects contain high levels of minerals and proteins, these have also been discussed as a substitute for meat. Edible insects are more sustainable to produce, with much less strain on the environment than other protein sources such as red meat. Given their sustainable advantages, they should be an obvious sustainable consumer choice, but often a barrier of disgust inhibits adoption of edible insects (also termed entomophagy) for Western consumers.

The main research question of the thesis is: How can Western consumers be convinced that adoption of edible insects is acceptable? Each paper has a slightly different view of the problem statement, but all contribute to this overall aim.

In the presentation, the three papers of the thesis are outlined. Paper 1 aims to understand the main factors that influence the intention to engage in entomophagy. This paper in large part follows previous entomophagy literature, in that it explores a range of established factors from the literature to test the strength of each of these in affecting the intention to eat insects. These factors furthermore makes it possible to segment the consumers, in an effort to find the segment most likely to adopt insects.

Paper 2 furthers the findings of paper 1. The overall aim of the second paper is to examine the possibility of manipulating the emotional response to entomophagy in order to change this seemingly default reaction of disgust towards eating insects.

Paper 3 tries to tackle the overall problem statement of the thesis in a slightly different way than the first two papers. Whereas the first two papers are working under the assumption that consumers will have to adopt edible insects, this third paper instead examines the role edible insects could have as a sustainability prime. The main aim of this study is to examine the possibility of using edible insects as a sustainability cue to prime the choice of other sustainable food products.

The theoretical and practical implications of the research will be discussed.

Everyone is welcome!

PhD Event