Keywords: genetically modified food, consumer acceptance, consumer segments, communication policy
Consumer acceptance of GM food: a basis for segmentation
Not all consumers are opposed to GM food. Results from quantitative research in Belgium reveal five different consumer segments based on beliefs and attitudes towards GM (food): the Food Neophobics; Enthusiasts; Balancers; Cautious; Green Opponents. Only the Food Neophobics and the Green Opponents, who together make up about 50%, feel reluctant towards GM food. Consumer attitudes from the Balancers, the Cautious and the enthusiasts range from slightly positive to very positive. Each of these segments can be further characterised by: knowledge; general attitudes towards science technology, nature, food, health premium brands purchase intentions of generic and premium branded GM food products; information demand; socio-demographic characteristics such as age, gender and education. For effective communication about GM food, all these differences between the consumer segments must be taken into account. This asks for the development of a segmented communication policy.