Consumer acceptance of edible insects and design interventions as adoption strategy
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonThe International Journal of Food Design. 2019, 4 (1), 39-62. 10.1386/ijfd.4.1.39_1
Edible insects are regarded as one of the most sustainable animal protein sources for human consumption, but for western people insects are a rather unusual food ingredient. In the media, however, insect consumption is gaining increasing attention and people are starting to acknowledge insects as a potential source of protein. The eating of insects, ‘entomophagy’, is bringing new insect food companies, ‘ento-preneurs’ to the market, yet current research is still insufficient and relatively fragmented to support the commercialization of insect-based food products. Therefore, more systematic research approaches are needed in this area. This review article introduces the benefits and challenges of insect-eating, discusses the factors that are known to influence consumer acceptance, and categorizes factors including adoption strategies into a framework that can be applied in future consumer studies on entomophagy. In addition, the article introduces three distinctive examples of design interventions to illustrate how design can contribute as a strategy to support the general adoption of insect foods by western consumers.