Department of Management

Understanding Westerners' disgust for the eating of insects: The role of food neophobia and implicit associations

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  • Francesco La Barbera, University of Naples-Federico II, Italy
  • Fabio Verneaua, University of Naples-Federico II, Italy
  • Mario Amato, University of Napoli Federico II, Italy
  • Klaus G Grunert

The interest for the potential introduction of insects in the human diet is progressively increasing and several benefits for both human health and the environment have been hypothesised. However, especially in Western Countries, this trend could be jeopardized by the aversion that people show for insects as food. In the present paper, we study the impact of food neo-phobia and disgust on the intention to eat insect based food, and we look at how disgust is related to implicit attitude towards insects. Results show that both food neo-phobia and disgust make independent contributions to the intention to eat insects, and the explanatory power of disgust is considerably higher. Moreover, a significant effect of implicit attitude on disgust and an indirect effect of implicit attitude on intention mediated by disgust have been found. Implications for attempts to encourage people to incorporate insect-based foods into their diet are discussed, with special reference to the role of implicit association in determining the disgust reaction.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Volume64
Pages (from-to)120-125
Number of pages6
ISSN0950-3293
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • ATTITUDES, CONSUMPTION, Consumer behaviour, DETERMINANTS, Disgust, EXPLICIT, HUMANS, INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES, Implicit attitudes, Insects, MEAT, Neo-phobia, PREDICTIVE-VALIDITY, SENSORY-LIKING, WILLINGNESS

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