The aquaculture industry is currently faced with the major challenge of finding alternative protein sources for feeding aquatic species. The goal is to mitigate the environmental impact of conventional feed production in order to satisfy the demand of consumers for sustainable and environmentally friendly food. Fishmeal and fish oil have been the predominant substrates used in the fish farming industry to date, but insects are now emerging as promising feed substitutes. However, the feeding of insects to fish continues to be perceived as unconventional by consumers, although only few studies have actually explored European consumers' attitudes towards animal food products fed with insects. This study aimed to fill this gap by investigating consumer behaviors towards the consumption of fish fillets obtained from fish fed an insect-based feed. The overall goal was to understand the interconnection between sociodemographic variables, namely levels of knowledge, food neophobia, and food consumption sustainability, and attitudes towards feed quality, climate change, shopping sustainability, and the sustainability of insect-based feed. To this end, an online survey was conducted on 303 Italian consumers aged 18–78 years (52.4% men). The analysis of the dataset was conducted by modelling the independent categorical variables with their attitudes towards the four topics studied by Multiple Linear Regression, after having established their effects using the Pearson Chi-Square test and one-way ANOVA. Our results demonstrate that sociodemographic variables, such as gender and age, are strongly correlated with attitudes towards climate change, while diet is associated with attitudes towards shopping sustainability. The measured level of food consumption sustainability correlates with both attitudes. At the same time, a high level of knowledge correlates with a strong attitude towards the sustainability of insect-based feed. Overall, we conclude that providing specific groups of consumers with meaningful information related to the use of insect-based feed in aquaculture will increase the likelihood of their accepting this innovation. Our study also offers insights that can help identify categories of consumers who could be more interested in choosing products from insect-fed animals

Roccatello, R.; Endrizzi, I.; Aprea, E.; Dabbou, S. (2024). Insect-based feed in aquaculture: a consumer attitudes study. AQUACULTURE, 582: 740512. doi: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2023.740512 handle: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/84056

Insect-based feed in aquaculture: a consumer attitudes study

Endrizzi, I.
;
2024-01-01

Abstract

The aquaculture industry is currently faced with the major challenge of finding alternative protein sources for feeding aquatic species. The goal is to mitigate the environmental impact of conventional feed production in order to satisfy the demand of consumers for sustainable and environmentally friendly food. Fishmeal and fish oil have been the predominant substrates used in the fish farming industry to date, but insects are now emerging as promising feed substitutes. However, the feeding of insects to fish continues to be perceived as unconventional by consumers, although only few studies have actually explored European consumers' attitudes towards animal food products fed with insects. This study aimed to fill this gap by investigating consumer behaviors towards the consumption of fish fillets obtained from fish fed an insect-based feed. The overall goal was to understand the interconnection between sociodemographic variables, namely levels of knowledge, food neophobia, and food consumption sustainability, and attitudes towards feed quality, climate change, shopping sustainability, and the sustainability of insect-based feed. To this end, an online survey was conducted on 303 Italian consumers aged 18–78 years (52.4% men). The analysis of the dataset was conducted by modelling the independent categorical variables with their attitudes towards the four topics studied by Multiple Linear Regression, after having established their effects using the Pearson Chi-Square test and one-way ANOVA. Our results demonstrate that sociodemographic variables, such as gender and age, are strongly correlated with attitudes towards climate change, while diet is associated with attitudes towards shopping sustainability. The measured level of food consumption sustainability correlates with both attitudes. At the same time, a high level of knowledge correlates with a strong attitude towards the sustainability of insect-based feed. Overall, we conclude that providing specific groups of consumers with meaningful information related to the use of insect-based feed in aquaculture will increase the likelihood of their accepting this innovation. Our study also offers insights that can help identify categories of consumers who could be more interested in choosing products from insect-fed animals
Insect-based feed
Sustainability
Attitudes
Consumer behavior
Settore AGR/15 - SCIENZE E TECNOLOGIE ALIMENTARI
2024
Roccatello, R.; Endrizzi, I.; Aprea, E.; Dabbou, S. (2024). Insect-based feed in aquaculture: a consumer attitudes study. AQUACULTURE, 582: 740512. doi: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2023.740512 handle: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/84056
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