The opportunity to use insects as protein sources for poultry has many environmental advantages, including animal welfare and health benefits, allowing the expression of their natural behaviour, reducing aggression, and supplying nutrients. However, there is limited research on consumer’s acceptance of farmed animals fed with insects.
In one of our recent study, published in the Journal of Insects as Food and Feed we investigated consumers’ attitude towards, intention to purchase, and willingness to pay (WTP) for meat obtained from a farmed duck fed on: (1) an insect-based meal; and (2) live insect diet. We conducted an online survey of 565 Italian meat consumers, including an information treatment regarding the sustainability and nutrition benefits of using insects as feed. Our results demonstrate that providing more information about the positive effects of using insects in feed production may motivate those more interested in environmental issues to purchase insect-fed duck meat products. Compared to the control group, the purchase intention of consumers in the treatment group is also affected by their attitude towards animal welfare. Their WTP for such products is directly affected by their previous entomophagy experience. Attitude and intention to purchase an insect-fed duck are the main predictors of consumers’ WTP for a duck fed with both insect-meal and live insects. This study provides insights for policymakers and the private sector. We suggest that increasing consumers’ awareness by communicating the positive environmental impact of the use of insects as feed can potentially differentiate meat products for consumers and influence their purchase preferences.
The link to the full article is available here.
I'd like to thank my co-authors Davide Menozzi and Cristina Mora from Department of Food and Drug, University of Parma, and Marta Gariglio, Laura Gasco, and Achille Schiavone from the University of Turin.