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Consumers' preferences for intrinsic and extrinsic product attributes of plant-based eggs: an exploratory study in the United Kingdom and Italy

Agnese Rondoni (School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Reading, UK)
Elena Millan (School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Reading, UK)
Daniele Asioli (School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Reading, UK)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 2 April 2021

Issue publication date: 22 October 2021

1367

Abstract

Purpose

Plant-based eggs have recently been developed to provide consumers with a healthier, animal-friendlier and more sustainable alternative to conventional eggs. The purpose of this paper is to investigate intrinsic and extrinsic attribute preferences for three prototypes of plant-based egg, namely the liquid, powder and egg-shaped.

Design/methodology/approach

Nine focus groups in the United Kingdom and nine in Italy were conducted, with a total of 180 participants. A thematic analysis of results was conducted.

Findings

In terms of intrinsic product attributes, consumers' preferences for colour, shape, taste, ingredients, nutrients, method of production and shelf-life for plant-based eggs were revealed. Regarding the extrinsic attributes, preferences for price, packaging, country of origin and product naming emerged. Similarities and differences between consumers from the two countries are also discussed. Differences in preferences also emerged between vegan and non-vegan consumers.

Research limitations/implications

This study adds to the existing knowledge on consumers' preferences for new plant-based food alternatives and identifies future quantitative approaches based on qualitative findings.

Practical implications

Results from this study can assist plant-based egg manufacturers in improving their products in line with consumers' expectations, which may help reducing risk of product failure.

Originality/value

This study is the first to investigate consumers' preferences, expectations and needs for new food products like plant-based eggs and provides information that can be practically applied by manufacturers, as well as suggestions for future research.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Transparent reporting: Pre-registration of the study is available at: https://aspredicted.org/blind.php?x=wi6ph3.

Citation

Rondoni, A., Millan, E. and Asioli, D. (2021), "Consumers' preferences for intrinsic and extrinsic product attributes of plant-based eggs: an exploratory study in the United Kingdom and Italy", British Food Journal, Vol. 123 No. 11, pp. 3704-3725. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-11-2020-1054

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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