ENTOMOPHAGY Understanding New Zealand Consumers’ Attitudes Toward Eating Insects
Ritger, Steph; Mirosa, Miranda; Mangan-Walker, Ella; Clarkson, Claudia
While the ecological, economic, and social benefits of entomophagy are well documented, adoption of this food source in many Western countries has been slow. Understanding consumers’ attitudes towards entomophagy is important in determining if and how edible insects will be accepted as a food product in the future. This research determined the dominant discourses that exist towards entomophagy in New Zealand. Q methodology, which provides both a technique and philosophical principles for studying individuals’ judgments, attitudes, and points of view about a topic, was used to identify dominant consumer discourses. The objective of the study was to describe representations of different dominant participant viewpoints. Thirty-four participants living in Dunedin sorted a set of statements about entomophagy. The comparison of sorts across participants in a factor analysis enabled the identification of statistically similar participant viewpoints, which were then interpreted using the rich qualitative data obtained in interviews after card-sorting. Five different discourses were identified: ‘Enthusiastic adventurers’, ‘Benefit seekers’, ‘Disgusted disavowals’, ‘Tolerable but restrained’, and ‘Secure resolute’. In addition to practical insights about how insects could be positioned in the marketplace, the identification of these discourses adds to a limited literature on entomophagy attitudes. Future research that measures the prevalence of these discourses via a nation-wide representative survey would allow researchers to determine who holds these viewpoints, which would have useful implications for developing an insect industry.
Publisher: The Australasian-Pacific Journal of Regional Food Studies
Keywords: Entomophagy; Insects; Discourses; Consumers
Research Type: Journal Article