Exploring consumers’ perceptions of plant-based eggs using concept mapping and semantic network analysis

Agnese Rondoni, Carola Grebitus, Elena Millan, Daniele Asioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Plant-based eggs offer a healthy, animal-free, and more environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional eggs. Given the novelty of these products, it is vital to understand consumers’ perceptions before their market launch. Perception is based on product associations stored in consumers’ memory as semantic networks. In this study we used the graphic procedure concept mapping to elicit associations of 180 consumers from the UK and Italy to explore perceptions of three types of plant-based eggs, namely liquid, powder, and egg-shaped. Concept mapping also allowed to investigate the relevance that these associations have for the consumers. Results show more complex associations among participants in the UK than Italy for all three types of plant-based eggs. ‘Price’ is the most frequently mentioned association by consumers in both countries. In terms of relevance, participants evaluated ‘healthy’, ‘animal welfare’ and ‘sustainability’ as the most important and positive attributes of plant-based eggs. Furthermore, the semantic network analysis showed that the health benefits of plant-based eggs is quickly activated in consumers’ mind and should therefore be emphasized when marketing these products. ‘Use’ of plant-based eggs, e.g., baking, is also a key association, particularly in the UK for the egg-shaped version. However, ‘use’ was generally lower rated, suggesting that the limited applications of this product (only hard-boiled) may be perceived negatively. These findings provide insights into the psychology of consumers’ acceptance of plant-based eggs and have important implications for designing successful marketing strategies for promoting plant-based eggs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104327
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Volume94
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Concept mapping
  • Consumers’ associations
  • Plant-based food alternative
  • Relevance measure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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