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The use of smart biosensors during a food safety incident: Consumers’ cognitive-behavioural responses and willingness to pay

Nocella, G. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9625-6315, Wu, J. and Cerroni, S. (2022) The use of smart biosensors during a food safety incident: Consumers’ cognitive-behavioural responses and willingness to pay. International Journal of Consumer Studies. ISSN 1470-6423

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/ijcs.12833

Abstract/Summary

Intelligent and active packaging could allow consumers to control cognitive reactions linked to the risk of consuming food products contaminated by microbiological pathogens and thus mitigating negative consequences of food safety incidents. However, despite advances in technology, consumers’ reactions and willingness to pay for active and intelligent packaging in the absence and presence of food safety incidents remain somewhat unexplored. To fill such a gap this study incorporates protection motivation theory (PMT) within a contingent valuation survey conducted in the UK to explore consumers’ behavioural responses to risk communication in the absence and presence of a food safety incident. These responses were moderated by the possibility of buying hypothetical meat products marketed with biosensors informing consumers of the presence of bacteria post-purchase. A singular approach was developed to identify the following four behavioural responses of the PMT’s cognitive mediating process: no response, fear, low response and danger control. Results indicate that the theoretical components of PMT play a different role in the absence and presence of food safety incidents. Respondents who receive risk information are willing to pay more than other participants to adopt precautionary behaviour and that purchasing behaviour varied across these four cognitive-behavioural responses. Governmental institutions, the food industry and retailers should consider working together to reassure consumers by investing in technology that may help consumers to mitigate fear during a food safety incident, but also to develop appropriate risk communication strategies that should focus more on the cognitive-behavioural outcomes analysed in this study.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Agri-Food Economics & Marketing
ID Code:105395
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell

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