Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Effects of nutrition and sustainability claims on attention and choice : An eye-tracking study in the context of a choice experiment using granola bar concepts
    Loo, Ellen J. Van; Grebitus, Carola ; Verbeke, Wim - \ 2020
    Food Quality and Preference (2020). - ISSN 0950-3293
    Claims - Eye-tracking - Labeling - Nutrition - Sustainability - Visual attention

    This research utilizes eye-tracking measures to quantify the visual attention paid to claims for nutrition and sustainability on food concepts. It analyzes whether and to what extent the attention to voluntary nutrition and sustainability claims affects choices. A choice experiment was designed using granola bar concepts where each alternative was described by four attributes for claims related to sustainability, genetic modification, sweetener content, antioxidant content, and price. During the choice experiment, the visit duration was measured using an eye-tracking device as proxy for visual attention. Findings show that sweetener content and genetic modification claims were attended to the most, followed by sustainability claims, antioxidant content claims and price. Results indicate that visual attention to nutrition and sustainability claims affects product choice. More visual attention is associated with a higher choice likelihood. Insights from this study can inform future research on attention and choice in particular with regards to healthy and sustainable food choices. Managerial findings related to the claims tested can be used by practitioners to efficiently and effectively promote the choice of healthy and sustainable food products.

    Farmers’ willingness to adopt late blight-resistant genetically modified potatoes
    Steur, Hans De; Loo, Ellen J. Van; Maes, Jasmien ; Gheysen, Godelieve ; Verbeke, Wim - \ 2019
    Agronomy 9 (2019)6. - ISSN 2073-4395
    Adoption - Attitude - Belgium - Farmer - Genetic modification - GM - Potato

    The commercialization of genetically modified (GM) crops remains highly contested in the European Union (EU). While research has mainly focused on public and consumer opinions, few studies have investigated farmers’ reactions towards such crops. This study aims to determine farmers’ willingness to adopt a late blight-resistant (LBR) GM potato cultivar (Bintje) in Flanders, Belgium (n = 384). The findings demonstrate that more than half (54.7%) of the farmers have the intention to adopt this GM potato if it becomes available. Farmers’ willingness to adopt is mainly influenced by ethical concerns about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) (negative) and perceived economic benefits of LBR GM potatoes (positive). Knowledge about GM technology decreases the likelihood of being indifferent, as compared to being willing to adopt or being opposed. As such, efforts to improve knowledge alone would not be considered an effective strategy to improve adoption rates among farmers. Socio-economic concerns about GMOs, environmental benefit perceptions of LBR GM potatoes, and socio-demographic and farm variables were not significant as potential determinants of farmers’ likelihood to adopt this GM potato. Our findings lend support to a potentially favorable climate to introduce this GM potato in Flanders, Belgium, an EU region where opt-out measures to restrict cultivation of approved GM crops were not taken.

    Nitrogen fertilising products based on manure and organic residues : supporting literature of the SYSTEMIC factsheets
    Ehlert, Phillip ; Sigjurnak, Ivona ; Meers, Erik ; Verbeke, Marieke ; Adani, Fabrizio ; Zilio, Massimo ; Tambone, Fulvia ; Schoumans, Oscar - \ 2019
    Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Rapport / Wageningen Environmental Research ) - 93
    The EU H2020 project SYSTEMIC has taken up the challenge to recover nutrients from animal manure and biowaste. Biowaste, like animal manure, sewage sludge and food and feed waste, forms the most abundant waste stream in Europe and hence the most prominent potential resource for the production of biogas and the recovery and reuse of mineral nutrients like phosphorus (P), nitrogen (N) and potassium (K). The application of nutrient recovery from waste is hindered by regulatory requirements amongst others the Nitrates Directive 91/676/EEG. This report gives an overview of the agronomic and environmental performance of nitrogen fertilising products made from manure. These products are ammonium sulphate and ammonium nitrate from air scrubbers and ammonia strippers, mineral concentrates produced by reverse osmosis, condensated ammonia water from capturing ammonia and liquid digestate produced by separation of digestate. For each fertilising product the state of the art of information on the technology, characteristics, composition, agronomic effectivity and risk assessment on contaminants, pathogens and other components is given. The information is condensed to a factsheet. These factsheets are also found at the website of the SYSTEMIC product (https://systemicproject.eu/downloads/).
    Comparing Serial, and Choice Task Stated and Inferred Attribute Non-Attendance Methods in Food Choice Experiments
    Caputo, Vincenzina ; Loo, Ellen J. Van; Scarpa, Riccardo ; Nayga, Rodolfo M. ; Verbeke, Wim - \ 2018
    Journal of Agricultural Economics 69 (2018)1. - ISSN 0021-857X - p. 35 - 57.
    Attribute non-attendance - choice experiments - choice task stated attribute non-attendance - inferred attribute non-attendance - serial stated attribute non-attendance - sustainable food labels

    A number of choice experiment (CE) studies have shown that survey respondents employ heuristics such as attribute non-attendance (ANA) while evaluating food products. This paper addresses a set of related methodological questions using empirical consumer data from a CE on poultry meat with sustainability labels. First, it assesses whether there are differences in terms of marginal willingness to pay estimates between the two most common ways of collecting stated ANA (serial and choice task level). Second, it validates the self-reported ANA behaviour across both approaches. Third, it explores the concordance of stated methods with that of the inferred method. Results show that WTP estimates from serial-level data differ from those from choice task-level data. Also, self-reported measures on choice task ANA are found to be more congruent with model estimates than those for serial ANA, as well as with inferred ANA.

    Consumer valuation of quality rice attributes in a developing economy: Evidence from a choice experiment in Vietnam
    My, Nguyen H.D. ; Loo, Ellen J. Van; Rutsaert, Pieter ; Tuan, Tran Huu ; Verbeke, Wim - \ 2018
    British Food Journal 120 (2018)5. - ISSN 0007-070X - p. 1059 - 1072.
    Consumer - IPM - Organic - Rice - Sustainability - WTP

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate consumers’ willingness to pay for quality rice attributes in urban areas in the South of Vietnam, including organic and integrated pest management (IPM) as sustainable production methods, and claim about health benefits and fair farmer prices. Design/methodology/approach: Cross-sectional data were collected in 2015 using a survey including a choice experiment (CE) (n=500). Generalized mixed logit models were estimated. Findings: Vietnamese consumers are willing to pay a premium of 82 percent for organic rice, and 45 percent for rice produced using IPM, compared to conventionally produced rice. They are also willing to pay a premium of 95 percent for rice claiming to be rich in vitamins and other nutrients, and 50 percent for rice that guarantees a fair price to rice farmers. Research limitations/implications: A hypothetical CE was employed. Future research using revealed preference methods is suggested. Originality/value: This study makes a significant contribution to the limited existing literature on consumers’ valuation of quality rice attributes in the context of developing countries such as Vietnam. The study shows that rice, that is, sustainably produced using organic or IPM methods provides a promising avenue for rice producers. This study highlights that there is an added value for rice with credence attributes in relation to sustainable production methods, health benefits, and fair farmer prices in a developing country.

    Using eye tracking to account for attribute non-attendance in choice experiments
    Loo, Ellen J. Van; Nayga, Rodolfo M. ; Campbell, Danny ; Seo, Han Seok ; Verbeke, Wim - \ 2018
    European Review of Agricultural Economics 45 (2018)3. - ISSN 0165-1587 - p. 333 - 365.
    Attribute non-attendance - Decision-making - Eye tracking - Food choice - Sustainability labelling

    This study uses eye-tracking measures to account for attribute non-attendance (ANA) in choice experiments. Using the case of sustainability labelling on coffee, we demonstrate various approaches to account for ANA based on the fixation count cut-offs, definitions for detecting ignored attributes, and methods for modelling ANA. Some of the sustainability attributes identified through eye-tracking measures as being ‘visually ignored’ were truly ignored, whereas in none of the tested approaches was price truly ignored. The adequacy of eye tracking as a visual ANA measure might thus depend on the type of attribute. Further, the study unveiled inconsistencies in identifying non-attenders using visual ANA and the coefficient of variation. Based on our results, we cannot conclude that eye tracking always adequately identifies ANA. However, we identified several major challenges that can assist in further optimising the use of eye tracking in the context of ANA.

    What is the value of sustainably-produced rice? Consumer evidence from experimental auctions in Vietnam
    My, Nguyen H.D. ; Demont, Matty ; Loo, Ellen J. Van; Guia, Annalyn de; Rutsaert, Pieter ; Tuan, Tran Huu ; Verbeke, Wim - \ 2018
    Food Policy 79 (2018). - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 283 - 296.
    BDM auction - GlobalG.A.P. - Rice - Sustainability - VietGAP - Vietnam

    Little is known about the value of sustainably-produced rice and incentive mechanisms for the adoption of sustainable production standards throughout rice value chains in Southeast Asia. This study tests the feasibility of a market-based incentive mechanism by eliciting consumers’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) for rice produced and labeled under a national sustainable production standard in the South of Vietnam through experimental auctions. Domestic consumers are willing to pay a 9% price premium for certified sustainably-produced rice. This premium gradually increases up to 33% when incremental levels of information on certification and traceability are provided. Consumers willing to pay premiums for sustainably-produced rice are more health-conscious, have better knowledge of and greater trust in food quality certification for rice, and tend to be more environmentally conscious and to read food labels before purchasing. Findings suggest that sustainable production labels for rice should be accompanied by supplementary information on certification and traceability to increase consumers’ awareness and appreciation of sustainably-produced rice. Promoting certified sustainably-produced rice hence crucially hinges on strengthening consumers’ knowledge of and trust in food quality certification. Communication strategies are recommended to focus on the environmental and health benefits of sustainably-produced rice.

    On the Measurement of Consumer Preferences and Food Choice Behavior: The Relation Between Visual Attention and Choices
    Loo, Ellen J. Van; Grebitus, Carola ; Nayga, Rodolfo M. ; Verbeke, Wim ; Roosen, Jutta - \ 2018
    Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 40 (2018)4. - ISSN 2040-5790 - p. 538 - 562.
    Choice - cues - eye tracking - information - labeling - visual attention

    When buying a product, consumers are confronted with a host of information presented to them. However, this information can only affect shoppers’

    UV-filters and musk fragrances in seafood commercialized in Europe Union: Occurrence, risk and exposure assessment
    Cunha, S.C. ; Trabalón, L. ; Jacobs, S. ; Castro, M. ; Fernandez-Tejedor, M. ; Granby, K. ; Verbeke, W. ; Kwadijk, C. ; Ferrari, F. ; Robbens, J. ; Sioen, I. ; Pocurull, E. ; Marques, A. ; Fernandes, J.O. ; Domingo, J.L. - \ 2018
    Environmental Research 161 (2018). - ISSN 0013-9351 - p. 399 - 408.
    fish - UV-filters - Musk fragrances - Occurrence - risk assessment - GC-MS/MS
    In the framework of the FP7 ECsafeSeafood project, 62 seafood samples commercialized in Europe Union from several representative species – mackerel, tuna, salmon, seabream, cod, monkfish, crab, shrimp, octopus, perch
    and plaice – were analysed for residues of 21 personal care products (PCPs), including 11 UV-filters (UV-Fs) and 10 musk fragrances (musks). PCPs analysis were performed by Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective Rugged, Safe (QuEChERS), combined with liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) or dispersive solid-phase extraction (dSPE), followed by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). The results showed the presence in a wide range of samples of nine out of eleven UV-Fs compounds analysed, namely 2-ethylhexyl salicylate (EHS), 2-
    ethylhexyl,4-methoxycinnamate (EHMC), 4-methylbenzylidenecamphor (4-MBC), benzophenone-1 (BP1), benzophenone- 3 (BP3), isoamyl-4-methoxycinnamate (IMC), 2,2′-dihydroxy-4,4′-dimethoxybenzophenone (DHMB), homosalate (HS), and octocrylene (OC), whereas galaxolide (HHCB), galaxolide lactone (HHCB-lactone), and tonalide (AHTN) were the most found musks. The potential risks to human health associated with the exposure to eight of the more prevalent PCPs – EHS, EHMC, 4-MBC, BP1, BP3, IMC, HHCB, and AHTN - through seafood
    consumption were assessed for consumers from five European countries (Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain). Results showed that the human exposure to UV-Fs and musks estimated from the concentration values
    found in seafood and the daily consumption of concerned seafood species, were far below toxicological reference values.
    Pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors in raw and cooked seafood from European market : Concentrations and human exposure levels
    Álvarez-Muñoz, Diana ; Rodríguez-Mozaz, Sara ; Jacobs, Silke ; Serra-Compte, Albert ; Cáceres, Nuria ; Sioen, Isabelle ; Verbeke, Wim ; Barbosa, Vera ; Ferrari, Federico ; Fernández-Tejedor, Margarita ; Cunha, Sara ; Granby, Kit ; Robbens, Johan ; Kotterman, Michiel ; Marques, Antonio ; Barceló, Damià - \ 2018
    Environment International 119 (2018). - ISSN 0160-4120 - p. 570 - 581.
    Cooking - Dietary exposure - Endocrine disruptors - Pharmaceuticals - Risk - Seafood

    Pharmaceuticals (PhACs) and endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) are chemicals of emerging concern that can accumulate in seafood sold in markets. These compounds may represent a risk to consumers through effects on the human reproductive system, metabolic disorders, pathogenesis of breast cancer or development of microbial resistance. Measuring their levels in highly consumed seafood is important to assess the potential risks to human health. Besides, the effect of cooking on contaminant levels is relevant to investigate. Therefore, the objectives of this research were to study the presence and levels of PhACs and EDCs in commercially available seafood in the European Union market, to investigate the effect of cooking on contaminant levels, and to evaluate the dietary exposure of humans to these compounds through seafood consumption. A sampling survey of seafood from 11 European countries was undertaken. Twelve highly consumed seafood types were analysed raw and cooked with 3 analytical methods (65 samples, 195 analysis). PhACs were mostly not detectable or below quantification limits in seafood whereas EDCs were a recurrent group of contaminants quantified in the majority of the samples. Besides, cooking by steaming significantly increased their levels in seafood from 2 to 46-fold increase. Based on occurrence and levels, bisphenol A, methylparaben and triclosan were selected for performing a human exposure assessment and health risk characterisation through seafood consumption. The results indicate that the Spanish population has the highest exposure to the selected EDCs through seafood consumption, although the exposure via seafood remained below the current toxicological reference values.

    Occurrence of cyclic imines in European commercial seafood and consumers risk assessment
    Rambla-Alegre, Maria ; Miles, Christopher O. ; Iglesia, Pablo de la; Fernandez-Tejedor, Margarita ; Jacobs, Silke ; Sioen, Isabelle ; Verbeke, Wim ; Samdal, Ingunn A. ; Sandvik, Morten ; Barbosa, Vera ; Tediosi, Alice ; Madorran, Eneko ; Granby, Kit ; Kotterman, Michiel ; Calis, Tanja ; Diogene, Jorge - \ 2018
    Environmental Research 161 (2018). - ISSN 0013-9351 - p. 392 - 398.
    Cyclic imines - Marine toxins - Mass spectrometry - Risk assessment - Shellfish
    Cyclic imines constitute a quite recently discovered group of marine biotoxins that act on neural receptors and that bioaccumulate in seafood. They are grouped together due to the imino group functioning as their common pharmacore, responsible for acute neurotoxicity in mice. Cyclic imines (CIs) have not been linked yet to human poisoning and are not regulated in the European Union (EU), although the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) requires more data to perform conclusive risk assessment for consumers. Several commercial samples of bivalves including raw and processed samples from eight countries (Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Ireland, Norway, The Netherlands and Denmark) were obtained over 2 years. Emerging cyclic imine concentrations in all the samples were analysed on a LC-3200QTRAP and LC-HRMS QExactive mass spectrometer. In shellfish, two CIs, pinnatoxin G (PnTX-G) and 13-desmethylspirolide C (SPX-1) were found at low concentrations (0.1–12 µg/kg PnTX-G and 26–66 µg/kg SPX-1), while gymnodimines and pteriatoxins were not detected in commercial (raw and processed) samples. In summary, SPX-1 (n: 47) and PnTX-G (n: 96) were detected in 9.4% and 4.2% of the samples, respectively, at concentrations higher than the limit of quantification (LOQ), and in 7.3% and 31.2% of the samples at concentrations lower than the LOQ (25 µg/kg for SPX-1 and 3 µg/kg for PnTX-G), respectively. For the detected cyclic imines, the average exposure and the 95th percentile were calculated. The results obtained indicate that it is unlikely that a potential health risk exists through the seafood diet for CIs in the EU. However, further information about CIs is necessary in order to perform a conclusive risk assessment.
    Healthy, sustainable and plant-based eating: Perceived (mis)match and involvement-based consumer segments as targets for future policy
    Loo, Ellen J. Van; Hoefkens, Christine ; Verbeke, Wim - \ 2017
    Food Policy 69 (2017). - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 46 - 57.
    Food policy - Healthy eating - Involvement - Plant-based diets - Sustainable eating

    Given the inseparable environmental and health impact of dietary habits, integrating health and sustainability goals has become a highly topical issue in policy development and communication to encourage consumers to adopt healthier and more sustainable diets. Increasing evidence indicates that it is possible to develop diets that are both environmentally sustainable and healthy, but their potential success largely depends on consumers’ willingness and ability to change their behavior. This study investigates consumer perceptions of the match, or mismatch, between healthy and sustainable diets, and gives insight into consumers’ motivation to eat healthily and sustainably, as measured by involvement. Data were collected in Spring 2014 through a cross-sectional quantitative online survey with samples representative for age, gender and region in four European Union (EU) countries (United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands) (n = 2783). The images of a healthy diet, a sustainable diet and a plant-based diet were found to be highly compatible based on a strongly observed match between European consumers’ perceptions of these concepts. Half of the participants were highly involved in healthy eating and one third in both healthy and sustainable eating. Informational food policy actions targeting both healthy and sustainable food consumption behavior are recommended to address issues relevant to the target segments, taking into account their levels of involvement. Increasing consumers’ motivation and involvement in health and sustainability emerges as a key trigger for increasing healthy and sustainable eating.

    Healthy, sustainable and plant-based eating : Perceived (mis)match and involvement-based consumer segments as targets for future policy
    Loo, Ellen J. Van; Hoefkens, Christine ; Verbeke, Wim - \ 2017
    Food Policy 69 (2017). - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 46 - 57.
    Food policy - Healthy eating - Involvement - Plant-based diets - Sustainable eating

    Given the inseparable environmental and health impact of dietary habits, integrating health and sustainability goals has become a highly topical issue in policy development and communication to encourage consumers to adopt healthier and more sustainable diets. Increasing evidence indicates that it is possible to develop diets that are both environmentally sustainable and healthy, but their potential success largely depends on consumers’ willingness and ability to change their behavior. This study investigates consumer perceptions of the match, or mismatch, between healthy and sustainable diets, and gives insight into consumers’ motivation to eat healthily and sustainably, as measured by involvement. Data were collected in Spring 2014 through a cross-sectional quantitative online survey with samples representative for age, gender and region in four European Union (EU) countries (United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands) (n = 2783). The images of a healthy diet, a sustainable diet and a plant-based diet were found to be highly compatible based on a strongly observed match between European consumers’ perceptions of these concepts. Half of the participants were highly involved in healthy eating and one third in both healthy and sustainable eating. Informational food policy actions targeting both healthy and sustainable food consumption behavior are recommended to address issues relevant to the target segments, taking into account their levels of involvement. Increasing consumers’ motivation and involvement in health and sustainability emerges as a key trigger for increasing healthy and sustainable eating.

    Consumers’ familiarity with and attitudes towards food quality certifications for rice and vegetables in Vietnam
    My, Nguyen H.D. ; Rutsaert, Pieter ; Loo, Ellen J. Van; Verbeke, Wim - \ 2017
    Food Control 82 (2017). - ISSN 0956-7135 - p. 74 - 82.
    Attitude - Certification - Consumer - Food - Quality - Rice - Safety - Vegetables - Vietnam

    This study investigates consumers’ attitudes towards, and familiarity with, food quality certification in selected urban areas in the South of Vietnam. Cross-sectional data were collected by means of a consumer survey (n = 500). Consumers’ awareness of food quality-related terms was relatively low. Less than half the participants claimed to understand the meaning of good agricultural practices (GAP), organic food and sustainability. Consumers’ familiarity with food quality certification (Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP), Global Good Agricultural Practices (GLOBALG.A.P.), organic, and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)) was also low. Familiarity with food quality certification was positively associated with general attitude and food choice motives, namely food safety concern, perceived importance of healthy eating, and perceived importance of environmental consequences relating to food purchase. Food safety concern and perceived importance of environmental consequences were positively associated with consumers’ attitudes towards safe vegetables, as well as high quality rice. Perceived importance of healthy eating was positively related to attitude towards high quality rice. Findings suggest that food safety aspects of safe vegetables and high quality rice should be emphasized during policy and marketing activities for food quality certification. Additionally, an increase in the perceived importance of environmental consequences relating to quality food purchase should be encouraged to enhance positive consumer attitudes towards quality food. Efforts to improve public awareness and knowledge of food quality certification and sustainable agricultural practices in developing countries such as Vietnam are highly recommended.

    Occurrence of halogenated flame retardants in commercial seafood species available in European markets
    Aznar-alemany, Òscar ; Trabalón, Laura ; Jacobs, Silke ; Barbosa, Vera Liane ; Tejedor, Margarita Fernández ; Granby, Kit ; Kwadijk, Christiaan ; Cunha, Sara C. ; Ferrari, Federico ; Vandermeersch, Griet ; Sioen, Isabelle ; Verbeke, Wim ; Vilavert, Lolita ; Domingo, José L. ; Eljarrat, Ethel ; Barceló, Damià - \ 2017
    Food and Chemical Toxicology 104 (2017). - ISSN 0278-6915 - p. 35 - 47.
    PBDEs (congeners 28, 47, 99, 100, 153, 154, 183, 209), HBCD (α, β, γ), emerging brominated flame retardants (PBEB, HBB and DBDPE), dechloranes (Dec 602, 603, 604, syn- and anti-DP), TBBPA, 2,4,6-TBP and MeO-PBDEs (8 congeners) were analysed in commercial seafood samples from European countries. Levels were similar to literature and above the environmental quality standards (EQS) limit of the Directive 2013/39/EU for PBDEs. Contaminants were found in 90.5% of the seafood samples at n. d.-356 ng/g lw (n. d.-41.1 ng/g ww). DBDPE was not detected and 2,4,6-TBP was detected only in mussels, but at levels comparable to those of PBDEs. Mussel and seabream were the most contaminated species and the Mediterranean Sea (FAO Fishing Area 37) was the most contaminated location. The risk assessment revealed that there was no health risk related to the exposure to brominated flame retardants via seafood consumption. However, a refined risk assessment for BDE-99 is of interest in the future. Moreover, the cooking process concentrated PBDEs and HBB
    Determinants of consumer intention to purchase animal-friendly milk
    Graaf, Sophie de; Loo, Ellen J. Van; Bijttebier, Jo ; Vanhonacker, Filiep ; Lauwers, Ludwig ; Tuyttens, Frank A.M. ; Verbeke, Wim - \ 2016
    Journal of Dairy Science 99 (2016)10. - ISSN 0022-0302 - p. 8304 - 8313.
    animal welfare - consumer - dairy produce - survey

    Concern about the welfare of production animals is growing among various stakeholders, including the general public. Citizens can influence the market for premium welfare products by expressing public concerns, and consumers—the actors who actually purchase products—can do so through their purchasing behavior. However, current market shares for premium welfare products are small in Europe. To better align purchase behavior with public and individuals’ concerns, insight is needed into determinants that influence the intention to purchase premium welfare products. A cross-sectional online survey of 787 Flemish milk consumers was conducted to investigate attitudes toward and intention to purchase animal-friendly milk. More than half of the sample (52.5%) expressed the intention to purchase animal-friendly milk. Linear regression modeling indicated that intention was positively influenced by (1) higher perceived product benefits from animal-friendly milk (milk with more health benefits and higher quality); (2) higher personal importance of extrinsic product attributes such as local production and country of origin; (3) higher personal importance of animal welfare; (4) a more natural living oriented attitude toward cows; and (5) a more positive general attitude toward milk. Intention was negatively influenced by (1) a stronger business-oriented attitude toward cows; and (2) by a higher personal importance attached to price. These insights in key components of purchase intention can assist producers, the dairy industry, and retailers to position and market animal-friendly milk.

    Market opportunities for animal-friendly milk in different consumer segments
    Graaf, Sophie de; Vanhonacker, Filiep ; Loo, Ellen J. Van; Bijttebier, Jo ; Lauwers, Ludwig ; Tuyttens, Frank A.M. ; Verbeke, Wim - \ 2016
    Sustainability 8 (2016)12. - ISSN 2071-1050
    Animal welfare - Consumers - Dairy cattle - Ethical consumption - Market segmentation - Milk - Survey

    Consumers have increasing, but highly variable, interest in sustainability attributes of food, including ethical aspects, such as animal welfare. We explored market opportunities for animal-friendly cow's milk based on segmentation (cluster) analysis. Flemish survey participants (n = 787) were clustered (n = 6) based on their intention to purchase (IP) animal-friendly milk, and their evaluation of cows' welfare state (EV). Three market opportunity segments were derived from clusters and labelled as "high", "moderate" and "limited". Only 8% of the participants belong to the "high market opportunities" segment, characterized by a high IP and a low EV. The "limited" segment (44%) indicated a neutral to low IP and a positive EV. The "moderate" segment (48%) had a moderately positive IP and positive/negative EV. Reported willingness to pay, interest in information about the state of animal welfare and importance of the product attribute "animal welfare" differed among segments and were strongly related to IP. Most promising selling propositions about animal-friendly milk were related to pasture access. The high degree of differentiation within the Flemish milk market reveals market opportunities for animal-friendly milk, but for an effective market share increase supply of animal-friendly products needs to get more aligned with the heterogeneous demand.

    Country Differences in the History of Use of Health Claims and Symbols
    Hieke, Sophie ; Kuljanic, Nera ; Fernandez, Laura ; Lähteenmäki, Liisa ; Stancu, Violeta ; Raats, Monique ; Egan, Bernadette ; Brown, Kerry ; Trijp, Hans van; Kleef, Ellen van; Herpen, Erica van; Gröppel-Klein, Andrea ; Leick, Stephanie ; Pfeifer, Katja ; Verbeke, Wim ; Hoefkens, Christine ; Smed, Sinne ; Jansen, Léon ; Laser-Reuterswärd, Anita ; Korošec, Živa ; Pravst, Igor ; Kušar, Anita ; Klopčič, Marija ; Pohar, Jure ; Gracia, Azucena ; Magistris, Tiziana ; Grunert, Klaus - \ 2016
    European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety 6 (2016)3. - ISSN 2347-5641 - p. 148 - 168.
    Health-related claims and symbols are intended as aids to help consumers make informed and healthier food choices but they can also stimulate the food industry to develop food that goes hand in hand with a healthier lifestyle. In order to better understand the role that health claims and symbols currently have and in the future potentially can have, the objective of the CLYMBOL project (“Role of health-related claims and symbols in consumer behaviour”, Grant no 311963) is to investigate consumers’ understanding of health claims and symbols, and how they affect purchasing and consumption [1].

    As part of this endeavour, it is important to understand the history of use of claims and symbols in Europe. What have consumers been exposed to and how were these health-related messages used and discussed among the public? In this study, we interviewed key stakeholders across Europe about how health claims have been regulated in their country, how health symbols have been and currently are being treated, what form of monitoring there is or should be and how both health claims and symbols have been debated in the public opinion. In 26 European Union (EU) Member States, opinions from 53 key informants from up to three different stakeholder groups were gathered: national food authorities, representatives of the food industry, and consumer organisations.

    While 14 Member States reported (at least partial) regulation of the use of health claims and/or symbols before the introduction of the EU Regulation (EC 1924/2006) on nutrition and health claims made on foods [2], mandatory reporting of use had only been in place in three EU Member States. A number of voluntary codes of practice for health claims and/or symbols (i.e. pre-approval or justification when challenged) was said to be in use in 15 Member States. There are only a few national databases on health claims and symbols available, the data for which is often incomplete. Only eight Member States reported having some form of database from which information about health claims and symbols could be extracted. The stakeholders interviewed expressed a strong interest in measuring the impact of health claims and symbols, particularly research into the effects on consumer behaviour (e.g. awareness and understanding, attitudes towards products carrying claims and symbols and purchase/consumption effects), public health (health outcomes and changes in national health status due to the introduction of claims and symbols on food products) and economic aspects including sales, return on investment and reputation measurements. Public debates were said to have evolved around the topics of consumer understanding of claims, acceptance as well as trust in the information presented but also the effects on vulnerable groups such as children and elderly consumers. Another field of debate was said to have been the question of the effectiveness of health claims and symbols. Lastly, stakeholders reported that public debates focussed mainly on the legislative aspects, i.e. how to apply the EU Regulation (No 1924/2006) with regards to wording issues, the evaluation process at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the status of various claims and the nutrient profile modelling to be introduced in Europe.
    Risk/Benefit Communication about Food—A Systematic Review of the Literature
    Frewer, L.J. ; Fischer, A.R.H. ; Brennan, M. ; Bánáti, D. ; Lion, R. ; Meertens, R.M. ; Rowe, G. ; Siegrist, M. ; Verbeke, W. ; Vereijken, C.M.J.L. - \ 2016
    Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 56 (2016)10. - ISSN 1040-8398 - p. 1728 - 1745.
    benefit communication - food hazard - food safety - risk communication - Risk perception - trust

    A systematic review relevant to the following research questions was conducted (1) the extent to which different theoretical frameworks have been applied to food risk/benefit communication and (2) the impact such food risk/benefit communication interventions have had on related risk/benefit attitudes and behaviors. Fifty four papers were identified. The analysis revealed that (primarily European or US) research interest has been relatively recent. Certain food issues were of greater interest to researchers than others, perhaps reflecting the occurrence of a crisis, or policy concern. Three broad themes relevant to the development of best practice in risk (benefit) communication were identified: the characteristics of the target population; the contents of the information; and the characteristics of the information sources. Within these themes, independent and dependent variables differed considerably. Overall, acute risk (benefit) communication will require advances in communication process whereas chronic communication needs to identify audience requirements. Both citizen's risk/benefit perceptions and (if relevant) related behaviors need to be taken into account, and recommendations for behavioral change need to be concrete and actionable. The application of theoretical frameworks to the study of risk (benefit) communication was infrequent, and developing predictive models of effective risk (benefit) communication may be contingent on improved theoretical perspectives.

    The role of health-related claims and symbols in consumer behaviour : The CLYMBOL project
    Hieke, Sophie ; Cascanette, Tamara ; Pravst, Igor ; Kaur, Asha ; Trijp, Hans Van; Verbeke, Wim ; Grunert, Klaus G. - \ 2016
    Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech 27 (2016)3. - ISSN 1722-6996 - p. 26 - 29.
    Consumer behaviour - Food choice - Food labelling - Health claims - Health symbols - Nutrition claims

    Health claims and symbols are a convenient tool when it comes to the marketing of foods and they should, in theory, support consumers in making informed food choices, ideally in choosing healthier food products. However, not much is known about their actual impact on consumer behaviour. CLYMBOL ("The Role of health-related CLaims and sYMBOLs in consumer behaviour") is an EU-funded project aiming to study how health claims and symbols influence consumer understanding, purchase and consumption behaviour. During a 4-year period, a wide range of research studies have been conducted across Europe, in order to analyse European consumer behaviour in the context of health claims and symbols. Results of the studies will provide a basis for recommendations for stakeholders such as policy makers, the food industry and consumer and patient organisations.

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