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Consumers' attitudes towards high pressure freezing of food

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Purpose ‐ When new processing technologies are introduced to the food domain, consumer acceptance is one of the key issues for their future success. The purpose of this paper is to study whether consumers are ready to accept a new high pressure freezing method for food processing when different benefits are attached to the processing method. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Consumer attitudes towards high pressure freezing were surveyed in The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Finland (n = 936). Findings ‐ Generally, attitudes towards high pressure freezing were neutral, even though the term was unfamiliar for most consumers. When given some information about high pressure freezing technology, consumers considered applying this method as appropriate, especially if it had advantageous consequences to the product. Processing method itself was considered less important than price or environmental impact when the relative importance of choice criteria was studied with conjoint analysis. Practical implications ‐ Not having to raise the price and possible environmental benefits seem to be the most crucial factors for promoting the acceptance of high pressure freezing as a new processing method in food processing. Originality/value ‐ The paper shows that advantages of high pressure freezing technology, like decreasing the probability of microbial spoilage or improving the quality of products, had the clearest influence on consumers' appropriateness ratings.
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Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Cross-cultural studies; Europe; Food technology; Frozen foods

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-10-02

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