The International Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology Research (ICABR)


Consumer segments based on acceptance of GM food

Annelies Verdurme,
Xavier Gellynck,
Jacques Viaene
University of Ghent,

Consumer acceptance of GM food is investigated through quantitative market research, which comprises 800 face-to-face interviews with Belgian consumers who are responsible for purchase. The objective is to identify consumer segments related to acceptance of GM food. The analysis of the quantitative results yields 4 segments based on purchase intention and behaviour. Apart from differences in purchase intention and behaviour, the segments also show clear differences in knowledge, purchase channel, preferred product attributes, information needs, used and (dis)trusted information sources, and in socio-demographic data such as gender, age, marital status, education, residence and family situation. These differences bring along specific communication problems, and therefore have serious implications for the development of successful communication strategies about GM food. From a government’s point of view, the main objective of communication is to dispel any fallacies regarding GM food and to enable consumers to make an informed choice about it. Hereby, the identification of consumer segments based on acceptance of GM food can provide an insight into the existing fallacies regarding GM food and contribute to the development of an effective communication policy.

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