Journal of Consumer Behaviour

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Acceptability of insects in animal feed: A survey of French consumers

Abstract Using insects as an alternative protein source is increasingly becoming part of the future food security equation. Westerners tend to be squeamish or phobic about insects; thus, before we can manage this kind of change in the human diet, we need to start by introducing this new protein source into the animal diet. This article investigates the French consumer acceptability of farmed trout fed insect meal instead of fish meal. From an online survey of 327 consumers, the present work set out to identify the determinants of acceptability and determine how information on the benefits of insect meal for fishery resources can change the acceptability. Our statistical analysis highlights three key factors shaping the acceptability of these novel insect‐fed products, namely, being informed, gender and food neophobia. Providing information on the negative effects of overfishing and on insect meal as a viable alternative to fishmeal in aquafeed can improve the acceptability of insects as fish feed. In all, 76% of informed participants would be ready to eat insect‐fed fish against only 64% of uninformed participants. Males appeared readier to eat insect‐fed fish, and the ‘Reluctants’ class, which represented 8% of our sample, was composed of 78% females. The ‘Fans’, which represented 41% of our sample, were more likely to be males and individuals with a lower than average food neophobia score.

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