Understanding consumer attitudes on edible films and coatings: Focus group findings

Vicki Cheuk Hang Wan, Chow Ming Lee, Soo Yeum Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The application of edible films and coatings (EFCs) is one of the innovations of packaging technology aimed to improve food quality and to retain freshness of food. In order to maximize the potential of a new technology, it is important to consider consumer concerns and acceptance. Therefore, a focus group study was conducted to understand consumer attitudes, opinions and concerns toward EFCs. Furthermore, innovative applications of EFCs in different food systems were probed during the focus group discussions. Four independent focus groups (n = 27) were conducted with each group consisting of five to eight consumers who are frequent grocery shoppers. Consumers were concerned about the types of products that are coated, safety of the coating materials, sensory qualities of the resulting products, end benefits of EFCs and the cost of the food products packaged with EFCs. This research presents insights on the issues to address when commercializing EFC applications. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS This study demonstrates the effective utilization of qualitative consumer testing such as focus group when probing the consumer attitudes and acceptance toward novel food processing or packaging technologies, which include edible films and coatings (EFCs). The main findings from this study on EFCs shed light to the important steps to consider when commercializing EFCs, which are to evaluate sensory attributes of integrated coated products, to properly label ingredients of EFCs with a focus on marketing the natural ingredients added and to target marketing strategies to advertise direct consumer benefits of the resulting EFC products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-366
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Sensory Studies
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Sensory Systems

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