Abstract for:Understanding adoption of food innovations: The case of insect-based products in the Netherlands

Edible insects have been promoted in the Netherlands since the late 1990s. Since insects are generally not regarded as food by Western consumers, it is intriguing if people will adopt such radical innovation. The current study aimed at gaining insight into the mechanisms driving insect-based food adoption, from consumer perspective. We performed a structured literature review based on the innovation of diffusion paradigm and Bass diffusion model, followed by system dynamics model development, which was used to study potential adoption of edible insect as foods. The diffusion process of insect-based food can proceed for many years before there are observable adopters, under currently reported practices in the Netherlands. To make everyone aware of this innovation, many decades are necessary, which can be quickened by increasing promotion activities and availability. Nevertheless, low likelihood to adopt such food remains a challenge towards full adoption, even with an improved sensory quality of products. Literature knowledge gaps and lack of data, especially on the clarity of adoption mechanisms, do not offer means to fully explore how to improve the diffusion outcome. System dynamics models have potential in designing new edible insects product strategies, as they facilitate decision-making and uncover  knowledge gaps and faulty assumptions.