Consumer Acceptance and Willingness to Purchase Irradiated Foods in the United States

UDC 338.439.63:663/664-049.5(73)

Consumer Acceptance and Willingness  to Purchase Irradiated Foods in the United States

Julie A. Albrecht, Ph.D., R.D.*
Universityof Nebraska-Lincoln
Department ofNutrition andHealth Sciences
119 Ruth Leverton Hall
Lincoln, NE 68583-0807

irradiated meat, consumer acceptance, survey.

Julie A. Albrecht. Consumer Acceptance and Willingness to Purchase Irradiated Foods in the United States

Objective:To determine consumer acceptance of food irradiation and willingness to purchase irradiated foods, increase consumer knowledge of irradiatedfoods and determine theimpact ofan educational component on consumer attitudes byutilizingthe Targeting Outcomes of Programs (TOP) hierarchy.
Design: Consumers completed a sur vey consisting of food safety information and the acceptance and willingness to purchase irradiated meat. The educational component included a display explaining food irradiation and two brochureswere available.
Setting: The educational and research program was conducted in grocer y stores and a large communit y event on separate Saturdays Par ticipants: Two-hundred fi fty-one consumers participated in the initial survey and 77participated in the follow-up sur vey. Main Outcome Measure: Initial sur vey, follow-up sur vey and taste test sur vey.
Analysis: Frequency distribution, t-test, Chi Square and the Bonferroni formula procedures in SAS.
Results: Awareness of irradiated food products increased from 14% to 56% (p<0.05). Signifi cant differences (p < 0.05) were found among correct (85%) to incorrect (15%) answers in the knowledge sur vey. From the follow-up sur vey, a 14% (p < 0.05) increase of participants was either likely or ver y likely to purchase irradiated food if it was available at their supermarket. Also 83% agreed or strongly agreed that they were more comfortable purchasing andusing irradiatedmeat as compared to 63% from the initial survey. Conclusions and Implications: The educational program, based on Bennett=s Hierarchy for Targeting Outcomes of Programs, increased consumer acceptanceof irradiated meat.


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