Designing market-oriented beta-glucan enriched functional foods through conjoint analysis: evidence of differing consumer preferences

New product development (NPD) has a significant role to play in the rapidly evolving food supply chain where firms wish to utilise innovative novel ingredients to meet consumers’ increased needs for healthier foods. It is a knowledge intensive process where the generation of new ideas and concepts requires detailed knowledge of both products and consumers. Beta-glucan, a novel soluble fibre, is of major interest to global food firms for its ability to increase the functionality of food and beverage products through increasing the soluble fibre content. The determination of intrinsic and extrinsic product attributes that maximise consumer acceptance of beta-glucan enriched products is largely dependant on a market-oriented NPD process. This study utilised a Conjoint Analysis methodology to examine the tradeoffs consumers would make during the purchasing decision process for healthy beta-glucan enriched breads. Three hundred consumers rated twenty-two hypothetical products on a nine-point Likert scale according to their willingness to purchase. This research identified key attributes which determined consumers’ preferences for these enriched products and identified four viable consumer segments. Managing customer knowledge during the early stages of the NPD process can help firms overcome customer acceptance issues associated with innovative functional ingredients and encourage firms to respond to new market opportunities along the food supply chain.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2019-08-26

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