Exploring duckweed acceptability among Dutch consumers: The influence of meal context and information provision

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentationProfessional


The growing world population and increasing standards of living increase the demand for high quality protein for human consumption. Alternative protein sources are becoming more and more available on the market to meet with this demand. Due to the high protein content and quick growth potential, duckweed is considered a promising source of protein. However, little is known about Western consumers’ acceptability of duckweed as human food. This study
explored the acceptability of duckweed among Dutch consumers, and investigated the influence of meal context and information provision on duckweed acceptability.
Ten adults participated in a qualitative study, where duckweed was discussed. Respondents were generally positive towards duckweed as human food, although associations with turbid ponds did come up. They associated duckweed with the food category ‘vegetables’. So, meals where greens and vegetables are expected, were considered fitting meals for duckweed.
Subsequently, an online survey was executed with 669 consumers, using pictures of duckweed meals as stimuli. The survey showed that consumers showed a more positive deliberate evaluation of duckweed and were more likely to accept a meal with duckweed if duckweed was applied in a fitting meal. Providing nutritional and sustainability information increased deliberate
evaluation and acceptability for fitting meals, but an opposite effect was seen for non-fitting meals. Automatic evaluations positively influenced deliberate evaluation and acceptability, but did not differ between meal applications. The current study shows that if duckweed is applied in meal contexts that fit with consumer expectations, there is potential to introduce duckweed as
human food at a larger scale.

Keywords: protein source, duckweed, acceptability, survey
Period2 Sept 20185 Sept 2018
Event titleEurosense 2018: 8th European conference on sensory and consumer research
Event typeConference
LocationVerona, ItalyShow on map