Three projects focus on the acceptance
of Novel Protein Foods by the consumer:
Combining long-term and
short-term influences on food choice: The case of meat
This project examines
long-term and short-term influences on food choice with a particular
reference to the question how current food choices in north-western Europe
are shaped by long-term changes in attitude towards the animal origin of
meat. The analysis aims to specify whether these changes may become
substantial enough to get an impact on the consumption of meat and to
contribute to a food system that is more sustainable. Knowledge from a wide
range of disciplines (i.e. psychology, sociology, anthropology, history) is
used to present a cascade-like framework that sorts insights on influences
on behaviour into a logical order.
The framework combines perceptual and
rational processes internal to the person with social, organizational, and
distal processes (i.e. long-term causes). The framework shows that the
various influences on behaviour have their own pace and that these
differences in pace are particularly relevant for the proper diagnosis of
present influences and for the design of an intervention. The framework also
makes clear that the effectiveness of interventions will increase if all the
influences on a particular behaviour point in the same direction. The main
argument is that gaining more insight into socio-cultural changes and their
linkages with food choice criteria might contribute to the pursuit of a
system that is more sustainable.
For more information
please contact Joop de Boer
Substitution of meat by
NPFs: investigating factors in consumer choice
In this projects the factors
are studied that can convince consumers to substitute meat with NPFs from a
marketing perspective. Consumption
of Novel Protein Foods instead of meat would be beneficial to the
environment. This will only occur if consumers accept these products. Using
several studies, we explored different factors in acceptance of current meat
A consumer survey was performed in the U.K. (N=235, mature meat substitute
market) and in the Netherlands (N=318, developing market). Respondents were
classified into three categories with respect to usage of meat substitutes:
non users, light/medium users and heavy users. Non users had a higher
tendency to avoid new foods (e.g. more food neophobic) than light/medium
users. Heavy users paid more attention to "ecological
welfare", "political values", and "natural content" in their daily
choice for foods. Meat substitutes were scored negatively for "familiarity" and
"luxury" aspects by non users and light/medium
users, but were perceived as "ethical" and better for "weight control". Non users and light/medium users preferred a product
that is similar to meat in terms of texture, taste, smell and appearance!
important factors are the sensory perception of foods (relating to sensory
properties) and the physiological effects of foods (relating to satiating
pilot study (N=22) was performed to investigate the evaluation of 6 meat
substitutes and a meat product after actual tasting. The meat substitute
product with the highest mean scores for overall similarity to meat was also
the most preferred meat substitute product.
In another consumption experiment (N=28) investigating the satiating
properties of 4 meat substitute and 2 meat products, it was apparent that
meat substitutes with higher protein levels (63g/kJ) where more satiating.
studies suggest that an interest in ethical aspects, not health, explains
current acceptance of meat substitutes. When targeting on non users or
light/medium users, more attention should be given to luxury aspects,
satiating properties and meat-like sensory properties. Furthermore, the
tendency to choose familiar foods should also be considered.
For more information please contact
Sensory characteristics to
entice consumers to eat NPFsThese
data suggest that many consumers like meat substitutes that resemble meat,
which implies a challenge for product developers!
This project aims to answer
the question what the sensory characteristics are that consumers wish for in
an NPF. Sensory
properties are an important factor for the acceptance of foods. It is
therefore of crucial importance to reveal consumers' sensory expectations
and preferences in the early stages of product development.
order to make new meat substitute that consumers will indeed use instead of
meat, we need more information about what these products should look and
taste like. This project includes several studies about consumers'
opinions, expectations, and acceptance of meat substitutes and sensory
description of these products.
chose to focus on "meat substitute-ingredients" (for example to replace
minced meat or pieces of chicken). The acceptance of meat substitute
ingredients is influenced by the context of the dish in which
they are eaten. If the use of an ingredient is appropriate in a dish, it is
probably better accepted by consumers than an "inappropriate"
survey was carried out to reveal in what dishes consumers find the use of
meat substitutes appropriate and what sensory properties are wanted for meat
substitutes. The questionnaire consisted of appropriateness and liking
questions accompanied by photographs of different dishes with meat substitutes.
251 Dutch consumers completed the questionnaire. One of the most striking
results was that most consumers wanted "traditional" combinations of
meat substitutes and dishes (for example "minced meat substitutes" with
spaghetti and tomato sauce or "pieces" with rice and curry sauce).
Consumers indicated also that a "meat-like flavour" and a brown colour
were positive product properties for meat substitutes.
second study describes the preliminary results of a consumer study in which
consumers tasted meat substitutes in a dish, and rated their liking and the
appropriateness of the use of meat substitutes in different dishes.
The last study is the description of 12 meat substitutes by a trained
sensory panel with Quantitative Descriptive Analysis.
For more information
please contact Hanneke
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