Nutrigenomics is a new and promising development in nutritional science which aims to understand the fundamental molecular processes affected by foods. Despite general agreement on its promise for better understanding diet¿health relationships, less consensus exists among experts on the potential of spin-offs aimed at the consumer such as personalised nutrition. Research into consumer acceptance of such applications is scarce. The present study develops a set of key hypotheses on public acceptance of personalised nutrition and tests these in a representative sample of Dutch consumers. An innovative consumer research methodology is used in which consumers evaluate short films which are systematically varied scenarios for the future of personalised nutrition. Consumer evaluations of these films, which are pre-tested in a pilot study, allow a formal test of how consumer perceptions of personalised nutrition drive consumer acceptance and through which fundamental psychological processes these effects are mediated. Public acceptance is enhanced if consumers can make their genetic profile available free at their own choice, if the actual spin-off products provide a clearly recognisable advantage to the consumer, and are easy to implement into the daily routine. Consumers prefer communication on nutrigenomics and personalised nutrition by expert stakeholders to be univocal and aimed at building support with consumers and their direct environments for this intriguing new development. Additionally, an exploratory segmentation analysis indicated that people have different focal points in their preferences for alternative scenarios of personalised nutrition. The insights obtained from the present study provide guidance for the successful further development of nutrigenomics and its applications.
- human genome