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Food Quality and Preference 54 (2016) 117127

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Effects of the degree of processing of insect ingredients in snacks on

expected emotional experiences and willingness to eat
Angelina Gmuer , Jeannette Nuessli Guth, Christina Hartmann, Michael Siegrist
ETH Zurich, Institute for Environmental Decisions, Consumer Behavior, Universitaetstrasse 22, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: This study explored willingness to eat and the negative and positive emotional expectations that people
Received 30 September 2015 from a Western country may have toward the consumption of insect snacks. The snacks, which were
Received in revised form 27 June 2016 presented as pictures in an online survey, differed in their degree of processing of the insect ingredient:
Accepted 1 July 2016
tortilla chips made of cricket flour (flour), tortilla chips containing deep-fried cricket bits (bits), a
Available online 2 July 2016
snack consisting of tortilla chips and deep-fried crickets (mix), and deep-fried crickets (crickets).
Swiss respondents (N = 428) made 39 emotional evaluations, rated willingness to eat and expected liking
of the presented products. Each participant evaluated the same non-insect-containing snack (within-
subjects design) and one of four insect-containing snacks (between-subjects design). Results showed that
Alternative protein source the insect snacks evoked various negative emotional expectations that went beyond expectations of dis-
Crickets gust. Positive emotional expectations were less expected to occur. Furthermore, expectations related to
Chips disgust/uneasiness, inertia/dissatisfaction, and positive emotional evaluations were significant predictors
of willingness to eat. The degree of processing of the insect ingredient partly influenced the ratings, with
the mix product being assessed more negatively than the flour or bits products. The cricket
product was rated more positive than expected.
The research indicates that in the development and marketing of insect food, efforts should be under-
taken not only to eliminate initial negative expectations of disgust and dissatisfaction but also to generate
positive emotional expectations. We suggest the marketing of snacks containing processed insect ingre-
dients will be more promising, and selling whole insects alone is more preferable to selling a mixed
snack. Regardless of the degree of processing of the insect ingredient, the results suggest that marketing
activities must contend with a large emotional barrier.
2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction Tan et al., 2015; van Huis et al., 2013) and a low willingness to eat
(WTE; Hartmann, Shi, Giusto, & Siegrist, 2015; Schsler, de Boer, &
The idea of insects as food is growing because it promises Boersema, 2012). Research on insect food has reported that more
several advantages for health, the environment, and peoples investigations on insect-containing products are needed to identify
livelihoods (van Huis et al., 2013). In several Western countries, those products that have a higher acceptance (Tan et al., 2015).
products that contain insects are considered novel, and Westerners The burgeoning research on emotional reactions to food has,
often respond to insects as food with disgust1 (Looy & Wood, 2006; however, revealed that assessing a large number of emotional
responses may be more informative than assessing acceptance alone
(King & Meiselman, 2010; Ng, Chaya, & Hort, 2013a; Spinelli, Masi,
Abbreviations: G-FEE-List, German Food-related Emotional Evaluation List; Dinnella, Zoboli, & Monteleone, 2014). In addition, researchers on
ANOVA, analysis of variance; MANOVA, multivariate analysis of variance; WTE, food-related emotions have emphasized the additional value of
willingness to eat. considering emotional assessments in new product development
Corresponding author at: ETH Zurich, Institute for Environmental Decisions,
and marketing (Jiang, King, & Prinyawiwatkul, 2014; King &
Consumer Behavior, Universitaetstrasse 22, CHN H75.3, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland.
E-mail addresses: (A. Gmuer), (J. Nuessli Meiselman, 2010). Because existing studies on insect food restricted
Guth), (C. Hartmann), (M. Siegrist). emotional assessments to a small number of emotions (e.g. Looy &
Because there are two meanings of the English term disgust (Disgust, 2015), note Wood, 2006), the present study thoroughly explored the emotional
that, in the present article, we use the term disgust/disgusted interchangeably with expectations that people from a Western country may have towards
sickened or grossed out rather than to signify a feeling of annoyance and anger.
0950-3293/ 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
118 A. Gmuer et al. / Food Quality and Preference 54 (2016) 117127

the consumption of insect snacks varying in the degree of processing tives to traditional market success predictors such as acceptance
of the insect ingredient. In addition, we explored the influence of (liking) ratings are needed (Thomson, 2010), research on insect
emotional expectations on WTE and compared the ratings of the food-related emotional experiences may be useful to guide product
insect snacks to a well-established snack to estimate market success. development.

1.1. Insects as human food and Western consumers reactions 1.2. Emotions in food research

The eating of insects is called entomophagy (van Huis et al., Research on emotions is relatively new in the sensory science
2013). Human entomophagy is practiced by an estimated 2 billion field. Although emotion research in general has a long history
people around the globe (van Huis et al., 2013), such as in Africa, (Kroeber-Riel, Weinberg, & Grppel-Klein, 2009), there is no con-
Asia, and America (Ramos-Elorduy, 1997; van Huis et al., 2013). sensus on the definition of the term emotion (Brandsttter,
Delicacies range from ants, bees, beetles, and butterflies to Schler, Puca, & Lozo, 2013; Kleinginna & Kleinginna, 1981;
grasshoppers and crickets (Ramos-Elorduy, 1997; Tan et al., Scherer, 2005). The applied emotion theory is one determinant
2015) and are prepared in various ways (Chen, Feng, & Chen, out of many that influences the characterization of an emotion
2009; Tan et al., 2015). Due to present and future challenges in (Coppin & Sander, 2016). In a recent overview, Coppin and
food sustainability, insects as food and feed have been discussed Sander (2016) describe three main theories of emotions. First, the
and promoted among scientists for several decades (Belluco basic emotion theory was especially developed from an evolution-
et al., 2013; Deroy, Reade, & Spence, 2015; Ramos-Elorduy, 1997; ary viewpoint and assumes that there exists a small number of
van Huis et al., 2013; Vane-Wright, 1991; Verkerk, Tramper, van basic emotions (Coppin & Sander, 2016). An emotion that is iden-
Trijp, & Martens, 2007; Yen, 2009). More recently, insects as food tified by several authors as a basic emotion is disgust (Ortony &
are also a common topic in the media.2 It is estimated that the glo- Turner, 1990). Basic emotions contribute to the survival and
bal population will increase to 9.1 billion by 2050. This population well-being of human beings (Matsumoto & Ekman, 2009). Accord-
increase will be accompanied by urbanization and rising incomes ing to Ekman (1994), emotions can be identified as basic if they
that require changes in the food supply, such as a massive increase exhibit several specific characteristics, including a brief duration
of an estimated 200 million tons in meat production (Food and or the presence in other primates (see also Coppin & Sander,
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2009). Therefore, 2016). Second, dimensional theories assume that feelings can be
interest in alternative protein sources such as insects (Verkerk represented by several underlying dimensions (Coppin & Sander,
et al., 2007) is high. However, Westerners regard eating insects as 2016). As a prominent example, Russell (1980) presented a bidi-
primitive behavior (Hartmann et al., 2015; Ramos-Elorduy, 1997; mensional model that proposes a circumplex organization of emo-
Vane-Wright, 1991), and the conscious consumption of insects as tions with two underlying dimensions. These dimensions were
part of a daily diet is not yet well established in Western societies named sleepiness/arousal and displeasure/pleasure (see also
(Deroy et al., 2015; Pascucci & de-Magistris, 2013; van Huis et al., Coppin & Sander, 2016). Appraisal theories assume that the evalu-
2013). ation of an event is required to evoke an emotion (Scherer, 2005)
Westerners reactions toward insect food and the factors that and that the number of emotions is not restricted to a small num-
influence such reactions have been probed within diverse disci- ber of basic emotions (Coppin & Sander, 2016). These three main
plines, especially in the last few years, revealing that Western con- theories have in common that they all agree on characterizing
sumers have a rather negative perception of insect products. emotions as a multicomponent phenomenon (Coppin & Sander,
Several authors have specifically explored Westerners assess- 2016). The multicomponent approach is widely accepted among
ments of insect products as a meat/protein substitute or in com- researchers (Scherer, 2005). According to Scherers (2005) descrip-
parison to their ratings for alternatives (de Boer, Schsler, & tion, an emotion is composed of the following elements: 1) cogni-
Boersema, 2013; Schsler et al., 2012; Vanhonacker, Van Loo, tive component (appraisal); 2) motivational component (action
Gellynck, & Verbeke, 2013; Verbeke, 2015). WTE insect- tendencies); 3) neurophysiological component (bodily symptoms);
containing products, either as meat substitutes or in general, was 4) motor expression component (facial and vocal expression); and
rather low (Hartmann et al., 2015; Vanhonacker et al., 2013; 5) subjective feeling component (emotional experience). Along
Verbeke, 2015). However, Westerners evaluations were shown to with the multicomponent nature of an emotion, emotions can be
be strongly dependent on the visibility of the insect ingredient assessed by various instruments of measurement that can be cate-
(Hartmann et al., 2015; Schsler et al., 2012; Tan et al., 2015). Com- gorized at a superordinate level as verbal or non-verbal assessment
pared to products that contain unprocessed, more visible insect tools (see Desmet, 2003, for a further reading).
ingredients (e.g., a snack made of deep-fried crickets), WTE and In sensory science, new knowledge has been generated in the
the reported attractiveness of insect products were higher if the last few years, especially through the use of food- and odor-
insect ingredient was highly processed and therefore less visible specific verbal instruments (Bhumiratana, Adhikari, & Chambers,
(e.g., cookies containing cricket flour; Hartmann et al., 2015; 2014; Chrea et al., 2009; Ferrarini et al., 2010; King & Meiselman,
Schsler et al., 2012). Further studies on different types of insect 2010; Ng et al., 2013a; Rousset, Deiss, Juillard, Schlich, & Droit-
products are necessary to identify those products that improve Volet, 2005; Spinelli et al., 2014; Thomson, Crocker, & Marketo,
acceptance amongst potentially new consumers (Tan et al., 2010) that contain a relatively large number of emotional terms
2015). Because the survival rate of general new products is small (for an overview, see Gmuer, Nuessli Guth, Runte, & Siegrist,
(Stewart-Knox & Mitchell, 2003; Thomson, 2010) and new alterna- 2015, Table 1). By presenting actual samples or food names, it
has been revealed that food and odor stimuli evoke differentiated
2 and multifaceted emotional states (e.g., Cardello et al., 2012;
E.g. BBC:
menu. Retrieved on 8 August 2015; Die Welt: Chrea et al., 2009; Gutjar et al., 2015b; King & Meiselman, 2010;
burg/article142797530/Heuschrecken-schmecken-nussig-Grillen-wie-Haehnchen. Ng et al., 2013a; Spinelli et al., 2014). The evoked emotional states
html. Retrieved on 8 August 2015; Financial Times: often had a relatively low (i.e., not above moderate) intensity
bc0e4526-ab8d-11e4-b05a-00144feab7de.html#slide0. Retrieved on 8 August 2015; (Cardello et al., 2012; Desmet & Schifferstein, 2008; King &
tur/Insekten-und-Wuermer-im-Supermarkt/story/15795619. Retrieved on 8 August
Meiselman, 2010; Ng et al., 2013a; Spinelli et al., 2014),
2015; The Sun: which may be explained by the fact that the contribution of
5955954/Insects-food-of-the-future.html. Retrieved on 8 August 2015. food-related emotions to life goals in Western cultures is usually
A. Gmuer et al. / Food Quality and Preference 54 (2016) 117127 119

relatively small (Schifferstein & Desmet, 2010). Although positive experiences that potential consumers may expect from consuming
food-related emotional states have a higher prevalence or intensity snacks that contain insects; ii) exploring the effect of degree of pro-
than those that are negative (Cardello et al., 2012; Desmet & cessing of the insect ingredient in snacks on expected emotional
Schifferstein, 2008; Ferrarini et al., 2010; Gmuer et al., 2015; experiences because recent research has shown that WTE insect
Gutjar et al., 2015b; King & Meiselman, 2010; Manzocco, food is dependent on the degree of processing of the insect ingredi-
Rumignani, & Lagazio, 2013; Ng et al., 2013a; Rousset et al., ent (Hartmann et al., 2015); iii) investigating the influence of pro-
2005), both product users and non-users inevitably experience duct type on emotional expectations by comparing evaluations of
negative emotions occasionally (King & Meiselman, 2010; novel, unfamiliar insect-containing food to an equivalent familiar,
Manzocco et al., 2013; Ng, Chaya, & Hort, 2013b; Spinelli, Masi, non-insect-containing food product (reference); and iv) exploring
Zoboli, Prescott, & Monteleone, 2015). One of these prominent neg- the relationship between emotional expectations and WTE insect
ative emotional experiences is disgust. Disgust is recognized as a food.
basic emotion by several emotion theorists (Kroeber-Riel et al., To achieve these objectives, the study was conducted in
2009; Ortony & Turner, 1990). From a food-related emotion per- Switzerland, where the permission of marketing insect food is a
spective, disgust can be defined as revulsion at the prospect of subject of debate during the current revision of food legislation.
(oral) incorporation of an offensive object [a contaminant] The emotional expectations were verbally assessed by using our
(Rozin & Fallon, 1987, p. 23). Even brief contact between an earlier developed German Food-related Emotional Evaluation List
accepted food product and a contaminant is often accompanied (G-FEE-List; Gmuer, 2015). This list was chosen for the following
by a radical decrease in the acceptance of the food product reasons: verbal measurement tools are frequently used in sensory
(Rozin & Fallon, 1987). This was demonstrated by Rozin and col- science and have already provided relevant insights on food-
leagues (Rozin, Millman, & Nemeroff, 1986), who showed that related emotional states; verbal tools allow the assessment of a rel-
there was a drastic decrease in the hedonic ratings of a juice after atively large number of terms (Desmet, 2003), and this was espe-
the juice had direct contact with a sterilized dead cockroach. cially recommended for the characterization of novel food
Because Western populations relate insects to health risks (Looy, (Meiselman, 2016); compared to other lexicons from the working
Dunkel, & Wood, 2014; Ruby, Rozin, & Chan, 2015) and contamina- field, the G-FEE-List was not designed in relation to a specific food
tion (Deroy et al., 2015), it is not surprising that potential con- product (cf. Chaya et al., 2015; Ferrarini et al., 2010; Ng et al.,
sumers respond with a negative feeling (Caparros Megido et al., 2013a; Spinelli et al., 2014); the list contains a substantial number
2014), such as disgust or fear (Desmet & Schifferstein, 2008; of negative expressions (cf. King & Meiselman, 2010). Negative
Looy & Wood, 2006; Pascucci et al., 2013; Rozin & Fallon, 1986; emotional experiences are expected to be relevant in the context
Tan et al., 2015), toward insect food. In a recent study, it has been of insect-containing food; and limitations related to a translation
shown that disgust is a good predictor of insect food acceptance step are avoided by using a German list. The G-FEE-List was devel-
(Ruby et al., 2015). oped by a new linguistic-based and systematic approach (Gmuer
However, acceptance ratings are not always an adequate predic- et al., 2015) that was followed-up by a similarity sorting task. This
tor of market success (King & Meiselman, 2010), and assessing a lar- resulted in 39 emotional evaluation terms, which encompass 14
ger number of emotional attributes in a food context was negative, 22 positive, and 3 neutral terms (Gmuer, 2015)3. Because
recommended to capture the full emotional profile of products there is no consensus on a definition of the term emotion
instead of assessing a smaller number of terms (Cardello et al., (Kleinginna & Kleinginna, 1981; Scherer, 2005), we do not claim that
2012; King & Meiselman, 2010), especially with novel food (King & the 39 expressions represent 39 distinct emotions but rather repre-
Meiselman, 2010; Meiselman, 2016). Research has shown that the sent terms that the Swiss use to describe their emotional states in a
information gained by assessing food-related emotions goes beyond food context, including moods, emotions, and feelings (cf. Gmuer
traditional hedonic measures such as acceptance data (King & et al., 2015). Within the scope of the present research, these emo-
Meiselman, 2010; Spinelli et al., 2014) or data on positive and nega- tional states are restricted to expected emotional experiences.
tive affect (Laros & Steenkamp, 2005). Emotional responses provided Throughout the manuscript, original German terms are indicated
explanations for observed liking patterns (Bhumiratana et al., 2014; in square brackets.
King & Meiselman, 2010; Spinelli et al., 2014, 2015) and differenti- Our hypotheses were that expected emotional experiences are
ated between products of the same product category. In some cases, not only restricted to disgust but also include other negative emo-
emotional responses differentiated between products even better tional states. Based on Hartmann et al.s (2015) findings, we further
than liking scores (Bhumiratana et al., 2014; King & Meiselman, hypothesized that the higher the processing degree of the insect
2010; Ng et al., 2013a). In addition to the results, which demon- ingredient (i.e., the less visible), the higher WTE and reported
strated the added value of emotion assessments compared to accep- intensities of positive emotional expectations and the lower the
tance ratings, food-related emotions contributed to the prediction of intensities of negative emotional expectations. Furthermore, it
food choice behavior (Gutjar et al., 2015a). Moreover, considering was assumed that the assessments would be more negative in
the assessment of food-related emotions during product develop- the case of an insect-containing product than that of a non-
ment of novel food was recommended (Jiang et al., 2014; King & insect-containing equivalent. Last, we expected negative emotional
Meiselman, 2010). It is well known that incorporating consumers expectations to have a negative impact on WTE and positive emo-
feedback into the product development process at an early stage is tional expectations to have a positive impact on WTE.
beneficial (Moskowitz, 1999). Therefore, we believe that assessing
peoples emotional expectations toward the consumption of insect 2. Methodology
food is important for guiding product development, especially in
countries where insect products are not sold on the market. To the 2.1. Sample
best of our knowledge, this has not been a subject of research thus
far. Subjects were recruited via the panel provider Respondi AG,
the Swiss citizen pool of which consists of approximately 20,000
1.3. Scope of the present work
Further information on the advantages of the approach, the included terms, and
The present research has the following four objectives: i) obtain- the classification of the expressions as negative, positive, or neutral is provided
ing a detailed picture of the negative and positive emotional in Gmuer et al. (2015) and Gmuer (2015).
120 A. Gmuer et al. / Food Quality and Preference 54 (2016) 117127

members (Respondi, 2014). Participants received a financial incen- rarely, never, but I have already tasted tortilla chips, and I
tive for completing the online survey. A gender quota was set (50% have never tasted tortilla chips) and general liking of tortilla chips
female), and only fully completed questionnaires were considered. (-3 = do not like at all; 3 = like extremely).
Fifteen cases of which the survey duration was equal to or less than Reference product. In the second module, all questions referred
half of the median of the total survey duration were excluded, as it to a picture of the reference tortilla chips (Fig. 1, product A). Partic-
was assumed that these subjects did not answer the questions seri- ipants indicated the following: 1) their WTE the snack on a
ously (Hartmann et al., 2015; Siegrist, Shi, Giusto, & Hartmann, 10-point scale (1 = do not agree at all; 10 = totally agree; Hartmann
2015). In addition, five subjects were eliminated because they indi- et al., 2015); 2) expected liking ( 3 = do not like at all; 3 = like
cated that their diet prevented them from eating insects (e.g., they extremely); and 3) how strongly they thought the 39 emotions or
were vegan). Furthermore, one participant noted that it was not feelings listed would be elicited by eating this snack (1 = not at
possible for him or her to rate feelings or emotions evoked by a all; 6 = extremely strongly). Expected liking and emotional
product if he or she did not have the opportunity to taste it. There- responses were introduced by the request to imagine that they
fore, this person was also excluded. The final 428 individuals were eating the illustrated snack. The emotional terms were taken
(50.9% female) had a mean age of 45.2 years (SD = 12.7, min = 20, from the G-FEE-List (Gmuer, 2015). It should be noted that the
max = 70 years). Educational attainment was distributed as fol- emotion disgust is represented by the terms sickened, grossed
lows: 5.8% compulsory education, 54.7% upper secondary school out. All terms were split into two word blocks, each with approxi-
education, 16.4% higher vocational education, and 22.9% college mately 20 expressions. The words were randomly presented in
or university education. One person reported having failed to com- each word block for each participant.
plete any education. The percentage of participants who were Insect consumption. The third module was introduced by the
native (Swiss-)German speakers was 94.6%. statement, In the last few months, eating insects and products
that contain processed insects has been frequently discussed in
2.2. Design and products the media and science. Therefore, the following questions refer to
insects or products that contain processed insects. This statement
Tortilla chips were chosen as the product and crickets as the was made to deter participants from thinking that the products
insect ingredient. In a within- subjects design, all participants were far-fetched inventions. To assess previous experience and
assessed non-insect-containing, regular tortilla chips (reference). familiarity with insect food, participants had to indicate the follow-
By applying a between-subjects design, participants were ran- ing: 1) whether they regularly eat insects or products that contain
domly but approximately equally allocated to one of four cricket- processed insects and 2) whether they have ever eaten insects or
containing products that differed in the degree of processing of products that contain processed insects. The answers were to be
the insect ingredient: tortilla chips made of cricket flour (flour, given in a binary response format of yes/no (cf. Hartmann
N = 108), tortilla chips containing deep-fried cricket bits (bits, et al., 2015).
N = 103), a snack consisting of tortilla chips and deep-fried crickets Insect-containing product. In the last module, one insect-
(mix, N = 109), and deep-fried crickets (crickets, N = 108). Each containing product was illustrated along with a product descrip-
product was presented to the participant as a picture (Fig. 1). For tion. Subjects answered the same questions as they had for the
the flour, bits, and mix conditions, an image of tortilla chips reference product. In the mix condition (Fig. 1, product D), partic-
that was similar to the reference product image was used and ipants were asked to rate the snack as a whole (i.e., the tortilla
altered according to the condition. For the snack consisting of tor- chips together with the deep-fried crickets). The pictures were
tilla chips that contain insect flour, the unaltered image was shown throughout the entire module.
shown. For the snack consisting of tortilla chips that contain
deep-fried cricket bits, black spots were added to the chips in 2.4. Statistical analysis
the picture. For the snack consisting of tortilla chips and deep-
fried crickets, whole crickets were added to the picture. For the IBM SPSS Statistics software (version 22) was used to run the
snack consisting of deep-fried crickets, a handful of whole crick- statistical analyses.
ets was shown. The wings and legs were less prominent in the pic- A two-way, split-plot multivariate analysis of variance (MAN-
ture because we assumed that their absence might increase WTE OVA) was performed with degree of processing as between factor
(cf. Tan et al., 2015). (four levels: flour, bits, mix, and crickets), the type of pro-
Cricket flour tortilla chips (Six Foods LLC., 2014) and whole duct (two levels: reference product versus insect product) as
(fried) crickets (Thailand Unique., 2015) are products that are sold within factor, and the 39 emotional evaluations as the dependents
by companies. The product, which consists of a mix of whole insect to investigate the effect of degree of processing and type of product
bodies and a familiar food product, was inspired by the Zweifels on expected emotional experiences. Because the multivariate anal-
Secret Chips product, which consists of potato chips and air-dried ysis revealed significant main effects and a significant two-way
tomato slices (Zweifel Pomy-Chips AG, n.d.). In addition, there are interaction, several follow-up tests were performed to further
companies, insect cookbooks, and restaurants where mix snacks specify the differences between the tested product types and
or other variants of mixed products are sold or proposed (Edible degree of processing. Univariate analyses of variances (ANOVAs)
Bug Shop, n.d.; Essento, n.d.; Grub Kitchen, n.d.; Muscle Food, with each emotional response as a dependent variable and degree
n.d.; Tan et al., 2015; van Huis, van Gurp, Dicke, & Takken- of processing as a between factor (levels: flour, bits, mix, and
Kaminker, 2014). To our knowledge, the bits product is a fictive crickets) were conducted to compare the emotional evaluations
product. among the four products that contained insects. Where significant
effects of degree of processing were found, Bonferroni tests
2.3. Procedure were run for pairwise comparisons. Bonferroni tests were also
conducted to compare the emotional evaluations between the
After providing demographic information (i.e., gender, age, products that contained insects and the corresponding reference
native tongue, and education level), participants completed the product.
following four question modules. In the same manner, two two-way, split-plot ANOVAs on WTE
Diet. Respondents answered questions regarding consumption and expected liking were conducted to test the effects of degree
frequency (daily, 46/week, 13/week, 13/month, of processing as between factor and product type as within factor.
A. Gmuer et al. / Food Quality and Preference 54 (2016) 117127 121



Fig. 1. Stimuli material used in the study: (A) reference, (B) flour, (C) bits, (D) mix, and (E) crickets products.

Because significant interaction and main effects occurred, Bonfer- factor structure. Before the linear regression analysis was con-
ronis pairwise comparisons were run again to examine the differ- ducted with WTE as the dependent variable and the three factors
ences between the different levels of product type and degree of as the independent variables, standardized factor scores were cal-
processing. Before the analysis of the liking ratings, scores were culated for each subject and factor by means of the statistical
recoded from a scale from 3 to +3 to a scale from 1 to 7. program.
Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to investi-
gate the relationship between emotional evaluations and WTE 3. Results
for each product that contained insects. Because of the problem
of multicollinearity, which was prominent among the emotional A minority of the sample (0.7%) reported eating tortilla chips
evaluations, a principal component analysis (PCA) with VARIMAX very often (46/week). Most of the participants (51.6%) reported
rotation was first conducted on the correlation matrix obtained eating tortilla chips rarely. The mean liking of the subjects who
from the emotional evaluation data of all four insect products. had previously eaten tortilla chips (N = 406) was 5.0 (SD = 1.5) on
The scree and loading plots suggested that a model with three fac- a 7-point scale. Six subjects (1.4%) were regular consumers of
tors was the most appropriate one for describing the underlying insects or products that contain processed insects, and 18.9% of

surprised4.5 cheery*
quiet** chipper*
charged content***
uneasy*** 4.0 exhilarated*
torpid 3.5 exuberant,excited*
tired 3.0 good**

strange*** 2.5 happy***

sickened,grossed out*** 2.0 impassioned**

irritated*** 1.5 invigorated,energetic

1.0 lusty*

greedy* motivated

dreadful*** outstanding,terrific**

dissatisfied overwrought

disappointed refreshed**
dazed relaxed**
boring solemn*
bad*** strengthened
well*** vital thankful

Fig. 2. Positive (aroused well), negative (bad uneasy), and neutral (charged surprised) emotional evaluations for the four products that contain insects: flour (blue,
N = 108), bits (black, N = 103), mix (green, N = 109), and crickets (red, N = 108). Terms were originally presented in German. Ratings were recorded on a 6-point
response scale (1 = not at all, 6 = extremely strong). Based on the results of the univariate ANOVA, , , and indicate significant effects of the degree of processing at p 6 0.05,
0.01, 0.001, respectively. For more details on Bonferronis pairwise comparisons between the products, see Table 1.
122 A. Gmuer et al. / Food Quality and Preference 54 (2016) 117127

the subjects reported having eaten insects or products that contain ucts were rated similarly and best, followed by the cricket and
processed insects in the past. the mix products. More specifically, the products that contained
the processed and therefore less visible insect ingredients (flour
3.1. Effects of degree of processing and product type on the expected and bits products) had lower negative emotional evaluation val-
emotional experiences ues and higher positive emotional evaluation values than the prod-
ucts that contained visible whole cricket bodies (mix and
MANOVA showed a significant main effect of product type (F cricket products). Although the participants expected that the
(39, 386) = 23.61, p < 0.001; Pillais Trace = 0.71), indicating that consumption of products containing insects would also evoke pos-
the emotional evaluation mean values of the reference products itive emotional experiences, the emotional evaluation means
were significantly different from those of the products that con- (N = 428) that had the highest values were negative experiences,
tained insects. MANOVA further showed a significant main effect including strange [merkwrdig], sickened, grossed out [angewidert],
of degree of processing (F(117, 1164) = 1.30, p = 0.022; Pillais irritated [irritiert], uneasy [unwohl], and dreadful [schrecklich]. The
Trace = 0.35), which was specified by a significant product univariate ANOVAs with degree of processing as between factor
type  degree of processing interaction (F(117, 1164) = 1.25, revealed significant differences in 7 negative evaluations, 12 posi-
p = 0.044; Pillais Trace = 0.34). The results indicated that the emo- tive evaluations, and 1 neutral evaluation (evaluations indicated by
tional evaluations differed between the different levels of the asterisks in Fig. 2 and shown in italics in Table 1). The pairwise
tested products. Fig. 2 shows the comparison of the four products comparisons between the products that contained insects (Table 1)
that contained insects and reveals that the flour and bits prod- further confirmed the distinction of two groups on the basis of the

Table 1
Mean scores and standard deviations (SD) of the 39 emotional evaluations for the flour (N = 108), bits (N = 103), mix (N = 109) and crickets (N = 108) products. The
extracted factors on the data of the four insect products are additionally depicted.
a,b c
G-FEE-List Flour Bits Mix Crickets Extracted Factors
German English (approx.) Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD 1 2 3
motiviert motivated 2.19 1.21 2.26 1.40 1.91 1.20 2.19 1.35 0.870
begeistert exuberant, excited 2.31 1.23 2.30 1.29 1.88 1.14 2.16 1.35 0.847
hervorragend outstanding, terrific 2.31A 1.26 2.36A 1.30 1.79B 1.05 2.01AB 1.29 0.844
energiegeladen invigorated, energetic 2.24 1.20 2.31 1.33 1.88 1.18 2.24 1.36 0.840
glcklich happy 2.31A 1.21 2.37A 1.30 1.77B 1.05 2.05AB 1.25 0.838
munter chipper 2.31AB 1.32 2.40A 1.22 1.89B 1.06 2.25AB 1.40 0.836
dankbar thankful 2.07 1.21 2.09 1.27 1.71 1.00 1.93 1.18 0.832
vital vital 2.19 1.24 2.24 1.21 1.84 1.07 2.13 1.33 0.824
wohl well 2.42A 1.33 2.47A 1.29 1.86B 1.10 2.17AB 1.24 0.816
vergngt cheery 2.38AB 1.31 2.47A 1.32 1.94B 1.19 2.27AB 1.51 0.814
angeregt aroused 2.25 1.32 2.34 1.35 2.01 1.20 2.37 1.38 0.813
gut good 2.44A 1.31 2.59A 1.30 1.95B 1.20 2.36AB 1.42 0.812
zufrieden content 2.39A 1.30 2.47A 1.33 1.82B 0.98 2.19AB 1.31 0.809
beschwingt exhilarated 1.95AB 1.05 2.28A 1.33 1.77B 0.98 2.03AB 1.29 0.805
erfrischt refreshed 2.06A 1.14 2.07A 1.19 1.61B 0.86 1.95AB 1.22 0.804
gestrkt strengthened 2.31 1.25 2.27 1.19 1.93 1.14 2.33 1.43 0.798
lustvoll lusty 2.06AB 1.24 2.21A 1.33 1.69B 0.96 2.00AB 1.35 0.791
entspannt relaxed 2.28A 1.20 2.39A 1.23 1.83B 1.03 2.20AB 1.35 0.778
feierlich solemn 1.94 1.13 1.96 1.15 1.59 0.90 1.78 1.13 0.764
berwltigt overwrought 2.15 1.18 2.24 1.32 2.06 1.29 2.13 1.37 0.757
feurig impassioned 2.28AB 1.32 2.40A 1.29 1.83C 1.08 1.96BC 1.20 0.750
einzigartig unique 2.63 1.41 3.05 1.80 2.61 1.68 2.87 1.78 0.629

ruhig quiet 2.42A 1.33 2.48A 1.32 1.88B 1.08 2.29AB 1.37 0.646
erregt charged 2.09 1.34 2.12 1.35 1.94 1.25 2.19 1.47 0.613
berrascht surprised 3.23 1.55 3.21 1.63 3.16 1.69 2.98 1.67 0.480

gierig greedy 1.82A 1.04 1.83A 1.07 1.43B 0.76 1.72AB 1.14 0.664
angewidert sickened, grossed out 2.97B 1.80 3.17B 1.77 4.27A 1.78 3.84A 1.84 0.789
unwohl uneasy 2.81C 1.77 3.29BC 1.73 4.02A 1.81 3.59AB 1.82 0.782
irritiert irritated 3.12B 1.76 3.31B 1.69 4.01A 1.80 3.49AB 1.68 0.766
schlecht bad 2.47C 1.57 2.96BC 1.78 3.72A 1.96 3.36AB 1.84 0.746
schrecklich dreadful 2.44C 1.60 2.95BC 1.76 3.81A 1.94 3.46AB 1.86 0.745
merkwrdig strange 3.21B 1.69 3.49B 1.70 4.20A 1.72 3.43B 1.78 0.714
unbefriedigt dissatisfied 2.49 1.56 2.64 1.64 2.89 1.91 2.54 1.65 0.438 0.601
benommen dazed 2.13 1.22 2.34 1.50 2.46 1.64 2.37 1.54 0.433 0.545
mde tired 1.93 1.07 1.91 1.15 1.77 1.15 1.94 1.22 0.786
langweilig boring 2.11 1.16 2.09 1.22 2.01 1.39 2.02 1.35 0.777
trge torpid 2.04 1.23 2.14 1.18 1.99 1.46 2.10 1.43 0.741
enttuscht disappointed 2.56 1.60 2.54 1.53 2.83 1.87 2.52 1.67 0.672
minderwertig inferior 2.03 1.36 2.20 1.35 2.45 1.77 2.17 1.46 0.632
Means with different letter codes in a row are significantly different based on Bonferronis pairwise comparisons.
Emotional evaluations were recorded on a 6-point rating scale (1 = not at all, 6 = extremely strong).
Terms printed in italics reached significance level at p 6 0.05 in the one-way ANOVA.
Only factor loadings that were larger than 0.4 are depicted.
A. Gmuer et al. / Food Quality and Preference 54 (2016) 117127 123

degree of processing, as was described in Fig. 2: The flour and representation of the diverging emotional evaluation profiles for
bits products did not significantly differ in any emotional evalu- the flour condition. Please note that the flour product was
ation. The same applies to the mix and cricket products with expected to be and was actually the most positively assessed
the exception that the mix product was perceived as significantly among the insect-containing products, except for the product con-
stranger [merkwrdiger]. The observed significant differences were taining insect bits. Therefore, the other pairwise comparisons
mostly found for the mix product that had lower positive emo- showed even larger discrepancies.
tional evaluation values and higher negative emotional evaluation
values than the flour and bits products. Relatively large signif- 3.2. Effects of degree of processing and product type on WTE and
icant differences were found in the negative evaluations bad expected liking
[schlecht], dreadful [schrecklich], sickened, grossed out [angewidert],
and uneasy [unwohl] and in the positive evaluations content [zufrie- The split-plot ANOVAs, which found similar results for WTE and
den] and well [wohl]. The former evaluations were the only nega- expected liking, revealed a main effect for product type (WTE: F(1,
tive evaluations that were also rated significantly higher for the 424) = 642.21, p < 0.001; expected liking: F(1, 424) = 514.09,
cricket product compared with the flour product. No signifi- p < 0.001), indicating significant differences in WTE and expected
cant differences were found in the positive emotional evaluations liking between the reference product and the products that
between the cricket and flour/bits products, with the excep- contained insects. The ANOVAs further revealed a significant main
tion of impassioned [feurig], indicating that the cricket product effect for degree of processing (WTE: F(3, 424) = 3.63, p = 0.013;
was not evaluated as negative, as expected. expected liking: F(3, 424) = 5.17, p = 0.002), which was again spec-
Among all emotional evaluations, the negative evaluations bad ified by a significant product type  degree of processing interac-
[schlecht], dreadful [schrecklich], and uneasy [unwohl] showed tion (WTE: F(3, 424) = 9.37, p < 0.001; expected liking: F(3, 424)
relatively large differences across all products that contained = 10.11, p < 0.001). Bonferronis pairwise comparisons showed sig-
insects and best discriminated between them (number of groups nificant differences between the different products that contained
discriminated, Table 1). insects (Table 2; WTE: all significant p 6 0.041; expected liking: all
Bonferronis pairwise comparisons between the two types of significant p 6 0.029). In accordance with the results for the emo-
products revealed that the products containing insects had signif- tional evaluations, the findings showed two groups of products,
icantly lower positive emotional evaluation values and signifi- flour/bits and mix/crickets, with the former group having
cantly higher negative emotional evaluation values. Large higher values. Within each group, WTE and expected liking did
significant differences (up to three scale points) were found for not significantly differ. However, the participants were signifi-
negative evaluations (e.g., irritated [irritiert], sickened, grossed out cantly less willing to eat the mix product (p < 0.001) and
[angewidert], strange [merkwrdig], uneasy [unwohl]) and positive expected that the mix product would be less liked (p < 0.001)
evaluations (e.g., content [zufrieden], lusty [lustvoll]). The difference than the flour and bits products.
in the emotional evaluation profiles was evident not only in In addition, within each condition, WTE and expected liking for
the magnitude of the intensity ratings but also in the markedly the reference product were significantly higher than those for the
different shapes of the profiles. The participants expected that insect-containing product (all p < 0.001).
the consumption of the reference product would evoke relatively
strong positive emotional experiences, including cheery [vergngt], 3.3. Influence of expected emotional experiences on WTE
content [zufrieden], good [gut], and lusty [lustvoll], compared with
the consumption of the insect products, which were expected to Before a linear regression analysis was conducted, the 39 emo-
elicit relatively strong negative experiences. Fig. 3 shows a tional evaluations were submitted to PCA across all four products

surprised*** 4.0 cheery***
quiet*** chipper***
charged content***
uneasy*** 3.5 exhilarated***
torpid exuberant, excited***
tired good***
strange*** happy***
sickened, grossed out*** impassioned***
irritated*** invigorated, energetic***
inferior* lusty***

greedy*** motivated***

dreadful*** outstanding, terrific***

dissatisfied*** overwrought*

disappointed*** refreshed***
dazed*** relaxed***
boring solemn***
bad*** strengthened***
vital*** uniquethankful***

Fig. 3. Comparison of the positive (aroused well), negative (bad uneasy), and neutral (charged surprised) emotional evaluations between cricket flour-containing tortilla
chips (dashed line) and the reference tortilla chips (solid line), N = 108. Terms were originally presented in German. Ratings were recorded on a 6-point response scale (1 = not
at all, 6 = extremely strong). , , and indicate significant differences at p 6 0.05, 0.01, and 0.001, respectively.
124 A. Gmuer et al. / Food Quality and Preference 54 (2016) 117127

Table 2 degree of processing of the insect ingredient, as well how these

Willingness to eat (WTE) and expected liking (EL) mean scores with standard emotional evaluation profiles may differ from those of a well-
deviations (SD) for the four insect-containing products.
established snack.
Dependent Flour Bits Mix Crickets The findings indicate that Swiss people expect a large number
variable (N = 108) (N = 103) (N = 109) (N = 108) of diverse negative emotional experiences evoked by consuming
Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD cricket-containing snacks. Compared with the general knowledge
WTEa 4.86AB 3.04 4.93A 3.42 3.20C 2.79 3.81BC 2.78 that Western people respond with disgust toward insect food
ELb 3.76A 1.75 3.61AB 1.76 2.55C 1.65 3.10BC 1.66 (Desmet & Schifferstein, 2008; Looy & Wood, 2006; Rozin &
Means with different letter codes in a row are significantly different (p 6 0.05)
Fallon, 1986; Tan et al., 2015), the results revealed that Western
based on Bonferronis pairwise comparisons. people may also expect to feel or be dissatisfied [unbefriedigt],
WTE was indicated on a 10-point response scale (Hartmann et al., 2015). irritated [irritiert], strange [merkwrdig], or uneasy [unwohl]. The
Expected liking was rated on a 7-point scale. findings are unsurprising because Western cultures often associate
insects with dirt, disease (Looy et al., 2014), or contamination
(Deroy et al., 2015). Positive emotional expectations were less
Table 3 expected to occur. These results are in line with those of
Linear regression analysis conducted on the data of each insect product with Schouteten et al. (2016), who conducted emotion research on
willingness to eat (WTE) as dependent variable and the three emotional factors as
independent variables.
insect burgers. Different from our study, that of Schouteten et al.
(2016) was conducted in a country where the marketing of insect
WTE Independent Variables B SE B b food has already been allowed for two years. The emotional pro-
Flour Constant 4.34 0.23 files of the products in the present and latter study are clearly dif-
1: Positive emotional evaluations 1.63** 0.21 0.53 ferent from those of familiar food products (either when tasted or
2: Disgust/uneasiness 1.38** 0.22 0.43
when consumers were presented with their food names), which
3: Inertia/dissatisfaction 0.90** 0.23 0.27
commonly have a high prevalence or intensity of positive emo-
Bits Constant 4.43 0.21
tional experiences (Cardello et al., 2012; Desmet & Schifferstein,
1: Positive emotional evaluations 2.17** 0.20 0.68
2: Disgust/uneasiness 1.64** 0.21 0.48 2008; Gutjar et al., 2015b; King, Meiselman, & Carr, 2010). The
3: Inertia/dissatisfaction 0.59* 0.22 0.16 comparison between the insect-flour containing snack and the
Mix Constant 4.04 0.18 familiar, non-insect containing equivalent snack (reference)
1: Positive emotional evaluations 1.93** 0.20 0.58 illustrated this discrepancy and makes us assume that insect
2: Disgust/uneasiness 1.20** 0.18 0.42 snacks are far from being on a par with well-established products.
3: Inertia/dissatisfaction 0.46* 0.16 0.17
This finding was confirmed by the WTE and excepted liking scores
Crickets Constant 3.86 0.19 of the insect-containing snacks, which were rated significantly
1: Positive emotional evaluations 1.52** 0.18 0.58
lower compared with the reference product. Although the two
2: Disgust/uneasiness 1.19** 0.21 0.39
3: Inertia/dissatisfaction 0.52* 0.17 0.21 presented images of the insect-flour containing snack and the
reference product looked highly similar, the simple description of
R2Flour = 0.52 (N = 108); R2Bits = 0.63 (N = 103); R2Mix = 0.62 (N = 109); R2Crickets = 0.54
a food as containing insects seems to negatively affect the
(N = 108).
p < 0.01.
perception of that product. This interpretation could be analogous
p < 0.001. to a heuristic judgment (Kahneman & Frederick, 2005; Stterlin &
Siegrist, 2015). Alternatively, the simple contact with a disgusting
because of the problem of multicollinearity among the emotional stimuli (contaminant) makes an initially accepted food unaccept-
evaluations. Together, the three extracted factors accounted for able (Rozin & Fallon, 1986, 1987). Overall, the comparison between
64.4% of the total variance. Factor 1 consists of 26 items, which the insect snack and the reference product makes us assume that
are mainly positive (explained variance: 45.4%; Cronbachs a: not only does a negative emotional barrier need to be overcome
0.97). Therefore, this factor can be interpreted as positive emotional in the future, but additional efforts also need to be made to
evaluations. Factor 2 includes six terms that are related to disgust/ improve positive emotional expectations and thus increase WTE.
uneasiness (explained variance: 14.5%; Cronbachs a: 0.92). Factor 3 This study revealed that WTE insect-containing snacks is signif-
includes seven items and can be interpreted as inertia/dissatisfac- icantly predicted by emotional expectations, which were repre-
tion (explained variance: 4.5%; Cronbachs a: 0.90). Table 1 depicts sented by three underlying emotional dimensions labeled as
the rotated component matrix, and Table 3 shows the results of the positive emotional evaluations, disgust/uneasiness, and inertia/dissat-
linear regression analysis for each insect-containing product. isfaction. By applying the benchmarks of effect sizes proposed by
All three emotional factors are predictors of the WTE the insect Cohen (1977), the effect sizes in the present study can be catego-
products. The generated models were significant (Fflour(3, 104) rized as large. For each tested product, increasing the expected
= 37.00, p < 0.001; Fbits(3, 99) = 56.10, p < 0.001; Fmix(3, 105) positive emotional experiences and decreasing the expected nega-
= 57.65, p < 0.001; Fcrickets(3, 104) = 39.96, p < 0.001) and explained tive emotional experiences would positively influence WTE. The
52%, 63%, 62%, and 54% of the variance in WTE the flour, bits, emotional evaluations that seem to have the strongest effect on
mix, and crickets products, respectively. Positive emotional WTE are positive. One possible explanation is that people usually
evaluations had a positive effect on WTE. More specifically, people choose to eat products that will have a positive emotional influ-
with more intense positive emotional expectations were more ence on them (Desmet & Schifferstein, 2008). The negative effect
willing to eat the products. However, expectations related to dis- related to disgust/uneasiness is in line with the knowledge that dis-
gust/uneasiness or inertia/dissatisfaction had a negative effect on gust plays an important role in food rejection (Rozin & Fallon,
WTE. 1987). Because consumers expectations are important in deciding
upon a possible purchase (Cardello & MacFie, 2007), the develop-
4. Discussion ment and marketing of insect food should undertake efforts not
only to eliminate initial expectations of disgust and dissatisfaction
This study gives insights into the expected emotional experi- but also to generate positive emotional expectations. However,
ences that people, who live in a country where insect food is not future research is needed to explore which product aspects of
marketed so far, may have toward insect snacks that vary in their insect food are related to lower negative expectations and higher
A. Gmuer et al. / Food Quality and Preference 54 (2016) 117127 125

positive emotional expectations. One possible factor might be to (1986) and Rozin and Fallon (1987), the combination of a disgust-
vary the degree of processing of the insect ingredient. ing stimulus can make an initially accepted stimuli unacceptable.
The results on the influence of the degree of processing did In addition, Tan et al. (2015) showed that Dutch people, who have
partly confirm our predictions that the higher was the degree of not eaten insects before, associated mealworm muffins with an
processing of the insect ingredient, the more positive were the rat- apple contaminated by a worm. Even Thai people, who were famil-
ings. Clearly against our assumption was that the ratings of the iar with the consumption of insects, were reminded by the
snack containing visible cricket bits did not significantly differ mealworm-muffin of a rotten food. The present study did not
from those of the snack made of cricket flour (invisible). Using explore the associations people have with the different insect
insect bits in products could be a good alternative presentation for- snacks, and we only included one mix product; therefore, by
mat to insect flour to familiarize potential Western consumers using other combinations of products (e.g., crickets in sushi, crick-
with insect food. Because the snack containing cricket bits looked ets on chocolate), further research is needed to test for associations
like tortilla chips containing herbs, the familiar appearance may and reasons why a mix product may be rated more negatively.
have contributed to the more positive evaluation of the bits The participants expected to feel or to be significantly more
product. In agreement with our hypotheses, the products contain- sickened, grossed out [angewidert], and bad [schlecht] when imagin-
ing the less visible, more processed insect ingredients (flour and ing eating crickets compared with eating the flour/bits product.
bits products) tended to be more positively evaluated than the The participants did not expect to be either significantly more irri-
products containing whole crickets (mix and crickets prod- tated [irritiert] or strange [merkwrdig], suggesting that after the
ucts). This result is in line with those of other studies (Hartmann disgust factor is decreased, the presentation of crickets as a snack
et al., 2015; Tan et al., 2015) in which the WTE scores were higher product would have comparable chances compared with that of
for familiar products with less visible insect ingredients than for the flour/bits product. Whether the same findings would be
products with whole, incorporated insect bodies. The more nega- generated if the participants have had the crickets and insect-
tive emotional ratings for the products containing whole insects flour chips right in front of them is questionable.
(mix and crickets products) were indicated not only by the sig- Certain limitations need to be mentioned. The G-FEE-List, which
nificantly higher scores for the prominent emotional expectation was not developed for any specific food category, lacked some
sickened, grossed out [angewidert] but also by the higher ratings emotional expressions that may have been important in the con-
for the emotional evaluations bad [schlecht], dreadful [schrecklich], text of insect food. Other studies have shown that people are curi-
and uneasy [unwohl]. The extremities and eyes of whole crickets ous, interested, or react with fear toward eating insects (Desmet &
are assumed to have contributed to the increased value of the eval- Schifferstein, 2008; Looy & Wood, 2006; Tan et al., 2015). These
uation sickened, grossed out [angewidert] of the mix and cricket expressions were not included in the G-FEE-List. The fact that
products because this may have reminded the people of the animal potentially important terms could be missing is a general limita-
origin of the product (referred to as animalness; Hartmann et al., tion of food product-unspecific lists (Spinelli et al., 2014). By con-
2015; Rozin & Fallon, 1987). Animalness was mentioned as a stim- trast, the terms tired [mde] and thankful [dankbar], which
ulus of disgust reactions (Rozin & Fallon, 1987). The more negative occurred in the G-FEE-List, did neither discriminate between the
evaluations for products that contained whole insects would be products that contained insects nor did they receive relatively high
quite challenging for insect food-producing industries that seek ratings in the present study. To save resources and avoid confusion
to expand their operations in countries where the sale of processed among the participants (cf. Jaeger, Cardello, & Schutz, 2013), future
insects is or will not be allowed. In Switzerland, where the present studies may modify the G-FEE-List by omitting expressions like
study was conducted, the current revision of the food law will tired [mde] and thankful [dankbar] and by adding specific expres-
probably allow for the sale of insect species but only in their (less sions related to fear or curiosity.
acceptable) recognizable form (Federal Food Safety and Veterinary A second limitation is that the participants only rated one out of
Office FSVO, 2015). We assume two possibilities: The insects could four insect products. A within-subject design would need to be
be presented in their whole form alone or could be mixed with a used to control for individual differences. For example, some
familiar product. Whole insects, either presented alone or in com- potential consumers might prefer whole insects over products that
bination with another product, are already seen in or sold by contain processed insect ingredients. Schsler et al. (2012) have
restaurants (e.g., Grub Kitchen, n.d.), insect cookbooks (e.g., van shown that participants who were adventurous tasters rated prod-
Huis et al., 2014), or insect food-selling industries (e.g. Edible ucts containing visible insects more positively. Further research
Bug Shop, n.d.; Thailand Unique, 2015). However, the present data could conduct a segmentation study to explore the different types
suggest that offering whole crickets would be more promising than of potential insect food consumers.
selling the mix snack. The latter product was more negatively A third limitation was that the participants were presented with
rated relative to the products flour and bits. Because the eval- photos. Asking people to indicate emotional experiences that may
uation strange was significantly higher for the mix product than be evoked by the consumption of a product they have never tasted
for the cricket product, one possible explanation may be that or even actually seen was bound to cause some difficulties. We
Swiss people found the idea of combining tortilla chips with crick- assume that the effect of degree of processing would be more pro-
ets unusual for food. Research (Tan et al., 2015) has shown that the nounced when the subjects have the insect products right in front
appropriateness of a preparation method plays an important factor of them and and/or can taste them. Recent results on insect food
in Westerners reaction to insect food. Further research is needed revealed that actual emotional experiences differ from expected
to explore whether Swiss people found the idea of combining the emotional experiences, with negative evaluations being less fre-
consumption of chips with another solid product, the idea of com- quent in the latter condition (Schouteten et al., 2016).
bining the consumption of particularly crickets and tortilla chips or Finally, the results may have been influenced by a priming
the idea of combining the consumption of crickets with another effect induced by the introductory information, which is in the
solid product odd. An argument against the first possibility is that last few months, eating insects and products that contain pro-
Zweifel Chips (Zweifel Pomy-Chips AG, n.d.) sells a product that is cessed insects has been frequently discussed in the media and
an accepted mix of chips and dried tomato pieces. An explanation science. However, information in the media and science is contro-
for the third possibility could be that a product consisting of whole versial. Before deciding to include a statement of this type, other
insects incorporated into a familiar product reminds potential con- researchers should investigate in advance the possible effect of
sumers of a contaminated product. According to Rozin and Fallon such a statement on the results.
126 A. Gmuer et al. / Food Quality and Preference 54 (2016) 117127

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