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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Bug Appétit: Manipulating the emotional response to entomophagy

Published: May 27, 2020


Pernille Videbaek, Department of Management, Aarhus University; Klaus Grunert, Aarhus University, MAPP Centre, Department of Management


Entomophagy; Communications; Appraisal


In order to reduce our CO2 footprint on Earth we will need to reduce our meat consumption, es-pecially in the Western world. Insects are promising as an alternative protein. However, consumer reactions to edible insects have mainly been one of disgust. The main objective of this research is to understand the emotional response to entomophagy and to what extent this emotional re-sponse can be manipulated based on different cognitive appraisals. A small experimental survey using vignettes showed, that when eating insects are congruent with ones goals or motives, com-pared to incongruent, significantly less disgust and significantly higher levels of positive emo-tions, such as excitement, joy, interest, and liking are felt. The results emphasise that the emo-tional response to insects does not have to be disgust, and marketers should align consumer goals and motives with the benefits of edible insects in order to elicit positive emotions and convince consumers to put insects on their plates.