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Lefrancq Fröjd, Joséphine, 2024. Waste or Want: Does processing have an effect on the desirability of upcycled food products? : a Swedish consumer acceptance study. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Department of Molecular Sciences



Food waste presents a significant obstacle to the food system’s transition to sustainability. With an ability to mitigate industrial food waste and its effects, the concept of upcycled food aims to safely adapt elements from the waste streams for human consumption by transforming them into ingredients to be used in novel ‘upcycled’ food products. Inherently therefore, all upcycled foods are processed to some extent. This thesis calls into question whether the degree of processing of (i) the upcycled food products and (ii) the upcycled ingredients themselves, have an effect on the consumer acceptance of upcycled foods. A survey constructed using contingent valuation method (CVM) was administered to 404 Swedish consumers online. Participants were first asked to choose between upcycled and conventional alternatives of hypothetical products (green juice, sourdough breads and vegan nuggets), then asked to elicit a willingness to pay (WTP) for the upcycled products relative to the conventional ones. Additional questions about food values and demographics were included to form a broader understanding of the sample. Results show that respondents had a higher relative WTP for less processed upcycled products, and a low relative WTP for highly processed upcycled products. The trend was not as clear for upcycled ingredients, where the only significant response showed that respondents were WTP less for more processed upcycled ingredients relative to conventional products. Results also reveal that respondents with a high valuation of environmental impacts are correlated with a higher relative WTP for upcycled foods. Participants valuing naturalness and safety in their food purchasing behaviour have a low relative WTP for upcycled foods. Finally, higher education, a younger age and being male were correlated to a greater acceptance of upcycled foods. Ultimately, upcycled foods are complex products, and whilst the degree of processing has an effect on acceptance, there are many important attributes in any one product, making it a challenge to select which aspects to communicate to the consumer for the largest consumer response.

Main title:Waste or Want: Does processing have an effect on the desirability of upcycled food products?
Subtitle:a Swedish consumer acceptance study
Authors:Lefrancq Fröjd, Joséphine
Supervisor:Edenbrandt, Anna Kristina
Examiner:Eriksson, Mattias
Series:Molecular Sciences
Volume/Sequential designation:2023:33
Year of Publication:2024
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM028 Sustainable Food Systems - Master's Programme, 120.0hp
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Molecular Sciences
Keywords:Upcycled foods, food processing, consumer acceptance, contingent valuation method, consumer behavior
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Deposited On:29 Jan 2024 11:33
Metadata Last Modified:30 Jan 2024 02:01

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