Research on alternative proteins is currently increasing to improve food security and sustainability but it is essential to understand consumers’ perception and expectations to promote the success of future foods. This study compared attitudes towards seaweed, insects and jellyfish, investigating the role of individual variables and proposing a new approach focused on their potential gastronomic use. Using a survey, the willingness to try (WTT) seaweed, insects and jellyfish, willingness to introduce them into the diet (WTD), perception of the impact of consuming them on health and the environment, attitude towards their consumption in different gastronomic modalities, personality traits and socio-demographic characteristics were collected from 1043 Italians. The results showed a significant effect of the product on the perceived positive impact of consumption on health (seaweed > insects > jellyfish) and the environment (jellyfish > seaweed and insects) and on WTT and WTD (seaweed > jellyfish > insects). Indications on forms of consumption, food preparations, ingredients in processed foods and food pairings more suitable for different consumer segments were obtained. The gastronomic index (GI) developed in the present study was negatively correlated with age and food neophobia and positively correlated with the perceived impact of consumption on health and WTD. The perceived impact of consumption on the environment and previous tasting experience were positively correlated with GI only for seaweed and insects. Overall, this work provides both a new methodological approach focusing on the gastronomic perspective and insights useful for the future development of seaweed/insect/jellyfish products able to meet the expectations of consumers seeking alternative protein foods.

Consumers' attitudes towards sustainable alternative protein sources: Comparing seaweed, insects and jellyfish in Italy

Palmieri N;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Research on alternative proteins is currently increasing to improve food security and sustainability but it is essential to understand consumers’ perception and expectations to promote the success of future foods. This study compared attitudes towards seaweed, insects and jellyfish, investigating the role of individual variables and proposing a new approach focused on their potential gastronomic use. Using a survey, the willingness to try (WTT) seaweed, insects and jellyfish, willingness to introduce them into the diet (WTD), perception of the impact of consuming them on health and the environment, attitude towards their consumption in different gastronomic modalities, personality traits and socio-demographic characteristics were collected from 1043 Italians. The results showed a significant effect of the product on the perceived positive impact of consumption on health (seaweed > insects > jellyfish) and the environment (jellyfish > seaweed and insects) and on WTT and WTD (seaweed > jellyfish > insects). Indications on forms of consumption, food preparations, ingredients in processed foods and food pairings more suitable for different consumer segments were obtained. The gastronomic index (GI) developed in the present study was negatively correlated with age and food neophobia and positively correlated with the perceived impact of consumption on health and WTD. The perceived impact of consumption on the environment and previous tasting experience were positively correlated with GI only for seaweed and insects. Overall, this work provides both a new methodological approach focusing on the gastronomic perspective and insights useful for the future development of seaweed/insect/jellyfish products able to meet the expectations of consumers seeking alternative protein foods.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11367/128194
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