Keywords: technological innovation, genetically modified food, consumer acceptance, consumer benefits, premium branding, Belgium
Consumers and new technologies: the case of GM food
Innovation in the food industry through the application of GM technology can only be successful if consumers accept it. However, for the moment, consumers are reluctant towards GM food. Therefore, a consumer survey comprising 800 personal interviews with Flemish consumers (Belgium) was conducted in the summer of 2000 to investigate the impact of different consumer benefits and (premium) branding on consumer acceptance (measured by purchase intention). Results suggest that the development of GM food products especially with health benefits but also with environmental or price benefits, and (premium) branding of GM food products may be two effective ways to improve consumer acceptance of GM food. GM food products with convenience benefits are less likely to be successful, particularly if they are not really novel, or animals enter into the matter.