Dr Kyösti Pennanen is a Senior Scientist at VTT Ltd (Technical Research Centre of Finland) and holds a Docent position at University of Vaasa, School of Marketing and Communication. He has over 15 years of experience in consumer research related to food. He is passionate about understanding food consumption and integrating consumers’ voice with new food product and food technology development aimed at supporting healthy and sustainable life. Recently, he has been leading consumer research in projects dealing with consumer acceptance of food irradiation, 3D food printing, smart packaging labels, and sustainable food ingredients.
Effect of labelling food products with varying information about food irradiation and related benefits on consumer’s product acceptance
Food irradiation technologies offer undeniable benefits in relation to food safety and quality, but consumers might hold suspicions or even adverse associations with irradiated foods. This presentation introduces results of two independent consumer studies in which information in varying formulations about food irradiation was presented to Finnish, German and Spanish consumers (n=1200 in total) in a form of packaging label of fresh cultivated blueberries. Results of the studies show that consumer acceptance is higher when no explicit irradiation information is delivered to consumers. In addition, adding some explanatory benefit to justify food irradiation increases consumer acceptance. Overall, both studies suggest that consumer acceptance of irradiated foods can be improved through careful introduction of food irradiation information on product labels.