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What do consumers think about food products treated with new technologies?

A survey among Norwegians gave important insight into consumer acceptance of these innovative processing technologies.

The main objective of this study was to reveal the influence of information about products processed with innovative processing technology (IPT) on consumers.

The main focus was placed on consumer perception of various types of information about the products and how they can lead to a synergic information transfer about the benefits of consuming such products. This new knowledge will be implemented in a decision-support tool that will help companies establish a trust building communication strategy, as part of the marketing strategy, to enhance reputation & consumer acceptance after the end of the iNOBox project.

Main conclusions

  • Innovative food processing technologies are not in the top of mind of Norwegian consumers.
  • Consumers’ low knowledge about IPTs generates some scepticism when they hear about them, in contrary to more acceptable conventional processing technologies.
  • Communicating benefits from the use of these new technologies has a powerful potential towards future differentiation strategies, depending on the technology and food category.
  • Convenience related to specific food categories, potentially due to increase self-life could be used to increase acceptance of a shift towards these innovative technologies.
  • Communicating about specific environmental benefits from the use of innovative food processing technologies could increase acceptance and willingness to pay for food as a whole.
  • Balanced information about the justification of changes in food production and processing is a valuable tool for increasing consumer acceptance and the avoidance of emotional reactions at a later stage, when technologies are broadly available and potentially communicated in an overdramatized manner by the media

Methods

This study followed a combination of methods in a consumer survey. The participants were organized in groups, following an experimental design, and after that, they responded to open ended emotive projections, emotive projections, open ended questions and classic survey questions. This approach as a whole has provided insights that secure implementation by companies in the real market.

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Contact persons

Themis Altintzoglou

Senior Scientist, Nofima
+47 476 54 471

Morten Heide

Scientist, Nofima
+47 908 49 530