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Exploring consumers’ perceptions of plant-based eggs using concept mapping and semantic network analysis

Rondoni, A., Grebitus, C., Millan, E. ORCID: and Asioli, D. ORCID: (2021) Exploring consumers’ perceptions of plant-based eggs using concept mapping and semantic network analysis. Food Quality and Preference, 94. 104327. ISSN 0950-3293

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2021.104327


Plant-based eggs offer a healthy, animal-free, and more environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional eggs. Given the novelty of these products, it is vital to understand consumers’ perceptions before their market launch. Perception is based on product associations stored in consumers’ memory as semantic networks. In this study we used the graphic procedure concept mapping to elicit associations of 180 consumers from the UK and Italy to explore perceptions of three types of plant-based eggs, namely liquid, powder, and egg-shaped. Concept mapping also allowed to investigate the relevance that these associations have for the consumers. Results show more complex associations among participants in the UK than Italy for all three types of plant-based eggs. ‘Price’ is the most frequently mentioned association by consumers in both countries. In terms of relevance, participants evaluated ‘healthy’, ‘animal welfare’ and ‘sustainability’ as the most important and positive attributes of plant-based eggs. Furthermore, the semantic network analysis showed that the health benefits of plant-based eggs is quickly activated in consumers’ mind and should therefore be emphasized when marketing these products. ‘Use’ of plant-based eggs, e.g., baking, is also a key association, particularly in the UK for the egg-shaped version. However, ‘use’ was generally lower rated, suggesting that the limited applications of this product (only hard-boiled) may be perceived negatively. These findings provide insights into the psychology of consumers’ acceptance of plant-based eggs and have important implications for designing successful marketing strategies for promoting plant-based eggs.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Economic and Social Sciences Division > Food Economics and Marketing (FEM)
ID Code:99128
Uncontrolled Keywords:Consumers’ associations; Concept mapping; Relevance measure; Plant-based food alternative

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