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Consumer perceptions of risk, benefit and risk management - Emerging themes in European research

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Consumer perceptions of risk, benefit and risk management - Emerging themes in European research Dr Lynn Frewer Professor, Food Safety and Consumer Behaviour – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Consumer perceptions of risk, benefit and risk management - Emerging themes in European research


1
Consumer perceptions of risk, benefit and risk
management - Emerging themes in European research
  • Dr Lynn Frewer
  • Professor, Food Safety and Consumer Behaviour

Lynn.Frewer_at_wur.nl www.mcb.wur.nl/UK/Staff/Faculty
/Frewer
2
Consumer perceptions of risk, benefit,
uncertainty and cost Contextualizing consumer
attitudes towards emerging (and converging)
technologies
3
Emerging societal issues in the Agri-food sector
  • Consumer Health
  • Food Safety
  • Food Quality
  • Sustainability

4
Emerging issues in the agri-food sector
  • Consumer health
  • Westernised countries face a pandemic
  • of obesity
  • Healthy foods
  • Optimal taste
  • Functional foods and ingredients
  • Food Safety
  • Consumers demand safe foods
  • Smart packaging
  • Microbial contamination
  • Pathogen detection
  • Optimal product quality (ripeness)?

5
Emerging societal issues in the agri-food sector
  • Tracking and tracing
  • Consumers want improved choice
  • Globalisation results in lengthening food chains
  • Introduction of allergens
  • Production processes (GMOs, organic production)
  • Food quality (country of origin)
  • Emerging food risks
  • Sustainability
  • Increasingly important societal issue
  • Efficient production
  • Reduced consumer wastage
  • Environmental protection

6
Risk (benefit) assessment and emerging societal
concerns
  • Human health?
  • Impact on the environment?
  • Ethical concerns (integrity of nature)?
  • Trust in risk analysis?
  • Consumer choice

7
The key questions that need to be asked
  • What is driving consumer perceptions of risk and
    benefit?
  • Who trusts whom to inform and regulate?
  • How does this relate to consumer confidence in
    the food chain and associated science base?
  • Are there cross-cultural, inter- and intra-
    individual differences in perceptions and
    information needs?
  • How do other consumer attitudes (ethics, wider
    value systems) relate to perceptions of risk and
    benefit?
  • How do the public react to information about
    risk/benefit uncertainty?
  • How do we understand risk/benefit variability
    across different population groups
  • What does this mean for consumer decision-making
    about health, wellbeing, and choice?

8
Risk Analysis Framework improving trust through
increased transparency?
Risk Management
Risk Assessment

(after WHO,1998)
9
Increased transparency raises more communication
needs?


10
Consumer risk perception
  • The psychology of risk perception drives public
    risk attitudes
  • An involuntary risk over which people have no
    control is more threatening than one people
    choose to take
  • Potentially catastrophic risks concern people
    most
  • Unnatural (technological) risks are more
    threatening than natural ones

11
What went wrong with commercialisation of
genetically modified foods? Are there
implications for other emerging technologies?
  • Consumer values such as concern about the
    integrity of nature, and trust in the regulatory
    system were an important part of societal and
    consumer acceptance
  • Developing communication about substantial
    equivalence did not address consumer concerns
  • Control over consumption of GM foods was
    important to European consumers, necessitating
    the labelling of GM foods and implementation of
    effective traceability systems
  • The negative public reaction to GM foods was less
    to do with risk, and more to do with consumer
    choice and provision of relevant information
  • Marketing issue, not an ideological issue (who
    wants what products and why?)
  • Opaque risk analysis systems and decision-making
    practices were not helpful in reassuring the
    public
  • The absence of 1st generation products with
    tangible and desirable consumer benefits

12
Emerging food technologies
  • Consumers make trade-offs between risk, benefit
    and cost (including ethical costs)
  • Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis
    related to specific perceptions of risk and
    benefit
  • New technologies consumer attitudes not
    starting from zero

13
A Risk-benefit Analysis Framework improving
trust through increased transparency?


14
Trust in regulatory institutions and risk-benefit
governance
  • People may not always have a view regarding
    different agri-food technology applications or
    food safety issues
  • Trust in regulatory institutions is important,
    particularly in the area of potentially
    controversial applications of emerging
    technologies

15
Building societal trust in food risk management
What needs to be communicated?
16
Structural model Food risk management quality
Proactive
Opaque
FRM quality
Sceptical
Trust in honesty
Trust in expertise
(?2(2420)8429, plt0.01 RMSEA0.07).
17
GM Apple
Female0, Male1 Non-patient0, Patient1
Gender
-0.13
Rejection Factors
0.23
-0.34
Environ- mental concerns
Acceptance implementation Genetic Modification
R2 0.08
r - 0.60
Health concerns
Benefits
0.50
R2 0.57
Allergic patient
Schenck, Fischer and Frewer submitted)
18
GM Birch
Female0, Male1 Non-patient0, Patient1
Gender
-0.16
Rejection Factors
Environ- mental concerns
0.17
-0.28
R2 0.06
Acceptance implementation Genetic Modification
r - 0.57
Health concerns
Benefits
0.11
R2 0.58
0.54
Allergic patient
0.18
R2 0.05
0.11
Schenck, Fischer and Frewer submitted)
19
Risks and Benefits
  • Perceptions of what constitutes a benefit
    important
  • Risk judgements based on
  • Severity
  • Availability
  • Consequences
  • Individual differences in health status influence
    peoples decisions

20
Emerging food technologies summary
  • Consumers make trade-offs between risk, benefit
    and cost (including ethical costs)
  • Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis
    related to specific perceptions of risk and
    benefit
  • New technologies consumer attitudes not
    starting from zero

21
Risk Analysis framework
22
Conclusions Consumer acceptance of agrifood
nanotechnology
  • Emphasis on risk-benefit analysis
  • assessment (health, environment , socio-economic
    and ethical impact)
  • Management (decision-making, stakeholder and
    citizen priorities)
  • Communication
  • Evaluation of consumer perceptions of benefit and
    risk
  • Risk-benefit tradeoffs
  • Individual difference in consumer decision-making
  • Bring together to develop best practice in
    risk-benefit communication

23
Thank you!Any Questions?
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