The purpose of this paper is to explore the readiness of young Italian people to consume insects and the psychosocial determinants associated with edible insect consumption, in order to evaluate whether insect-based food could be an alternative food source.
An explorative study was conducted, using focus group interviews as the technique for data collection. In total, 32 consumers, aged 20-35 years took part in five focus group interviews.
Significant determinants comprised appearance, farming and sustainability. Participants’ willingness to eat insect-based food is dependent on the form in which the products are presented to them. Crustaceans were frequently mentioned as a comparison in terms of distaste. Lack of practice in preparation was a major barrier to consumption. To expand consumption participants suggested an active role for public health institutions. Even though with some uncertainty, there are some people prepared to consume insects.
Due to the restricted size of the sample survey, the findings are considered as exploratory research. Further investigation is required among other young adults in order to delineate promotional strategies.
There is a lack of information regarding the willingness to consume edible insects in Italy. Due to the restricted size of the sample survey, the findings are considered as exploratory research. Further investigation is required among other young adults in order to delineate promotional strategies.
Authors wish to thank the consumers who answered the questions honestly and participated with great enthusiasm.
Balzan, S., Fasolato, L., Maniero, S. and Novelli, E. (2016), "Edible insects and young adults in a north-east Italian city an exploratory study", British Food Journal, Vol. 118 No. 2, pp. 318-326. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-04-2015-0156Download as .RIS
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