Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Consumer acceptance and willingness-to-pay for insect-based foods: The role of proximity of insects in the food chain

Giotis, Thomas and Drichoutis, Andreas C. (2020): Consumer acceptance and willingness-to-pay for insect-based foods: The role of proximity of insects in the food chain.

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Abstract

Over the last few years, the interest on alternative protein sources, such as edible insects, has been growing rapidly. However, Western consumers' acceptance of insects as a food source is very low, mainly due to unfamiliarity with insect-based food. We investigate consumers' attitude and behavior and estimate their willingness to pay (WTP) a premium for three products that vary on a between-subjects basis, the proximity of insects in the food chain. The data were collected through an online questionnaire of 451 consumers in Greece and WTP was elicited using the Contingent Valuation (CV) method. Our results show that the majority of Greek consumers are not willing to pay a premium for an insect-based energy bar and cookie; on the contrary, they would require a discount to acquire such products. On the other hand, consumer acceptance is higher for a gilt-head bream that is fed with insect-based feed. Consumers with positive WTP are on average willing to pay a premium of 15.8%, 17% and 31.8% for the energy bar, cookie and gilt-head bream, respectively, while consumers that are not WTP a premium would require discounts of 43.8%, 42.4% and 30.7%, respectively.

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