Consumer perception of plant-based proteins: The value of source transparency for alternative protein ingredients

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Consumers in the ‘clean label’ trend are increasingly interested in knowing the ingredients of their food. There is also an emerging demand for more and diverse protein products as well as a trend towards plant-based foods. Food manufacturers consider reformulation of the ingredient lists of their products or innovation of new food products answering to these trends. However, they need to know how consumers perceive new alternative ingredients, such as alternative proteins, and how the exchange of ingredients affects overall product and subjective quality perception. An experimental quantitative and qualitative survey study among 495 consumers in Denmark explored how consumer ingredient perception carries over to product perception as well as how differences in one protein ingredient affects attitude and subjective quality perception for plant-based products containing protein. Results confirm the favourable view on protein as an ingredient. Among consumers who have experience with or an interest in plant-based food, specifying the protein origin leads to more favourable perception of the product. Potato protein emerges as particularly favourable in a number of subjective quality dimension, is freely associated with starch and well understood as providing texture. Findings suggest food manufacturers can improve product perception among the target market when highlighting the precise protein type in the ingredient list. Potato protein can be a worthwhile alternative protein to use as it leads to favourable consumer perception.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Hydrocolloids
Volume96
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
ISSN0268-005X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

    Research areas

  • ACCEPTANCE, ATTITUDES, CONSUMPTION, FOOD-ADDITIVES, HEALTH, MECHANISMS, METHODOLOGIES, MOTIVES, SEGMENTATION, SUSTAINABILITY

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