This paper analysed the factors influencing the acceptance of functional foods (FFs) of three distinct groups of young Italian consumers. We implemented an ordered probit model based on data collected in a field survey carried out in southern Italy in 2008. The results showed that different sources of information and knowledge (e.g. the internet, newspapers and universities), judgements and motivations (e.g. taste and health effects credibility) are key elements in the acceptance of FFs. This implies the need to identify highly differentiated communication and marketing strategies for both public agencies and private firms in order to promote FF consumption.


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