Consumer reactions to communication about innovative processing technologies in iNOBox
The objective of this study was to reveal the influence of information about products processed with innovative processing technology (IPT) on consumers. The focus was placed on consumer perception of various types of information about the products and how they can carry the benefits of consuming such products. Innovative food processing technologies are not in the top of mind of Norwegian consumers. Their low knowledge generates skepticism when they hear about them, in contrary to more acceptable conventional processing technologies. However, communicating benefits from the use of these new technologies has a powerful potential towards future differentiation strategies, depending on the technology and food category. Convenience related to specific food categories, potentially due to increased self-life could be used to increase acceptance of a shift towards these innovative technologies. Additionally, communicating about specific environmental benefits from the use of innovative food processing technologies could increase acceptance and willingness to pay for food as a whole. Balanced information about the justification of changes in food production and processing is a valuable tool for increasing consumer acceptance and the avoidance of emotional reactions at a later stage, when technologies are broadly available and potentially communicated in an overdramatized manner by the media.