Perception of oyster-based products by French consumers: the effect of processing and role of social representations

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Gervaise Debucquet et al., « Perception of oyster-based products by French consumers: the effect of processing and role of social representations », HAL-SHS : droit et gestion, ID : 10.1016/j.appet.2012.08.020


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Abstract En

The search for new markets in the seafood sector, associated with the question of the continuity of raw oyster consumption over generations can be an opportunity for processors to extend their ranges with oyster-based products. The twofold aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of processing and social representation on perception of oyster-based products by French consumers and to identify the best means of development in order to avoid possible failure in the market. Five products with different degrees of processing (cooked oysters in a half-shell, hot preparation for toast, potted oyster, oyster butter and oyster-based soup) were presented within focus groups and consumer tests, at home and in canteens with the staff of several companies in order to reach consumers with different ages and professional activities. The results showed that social representation had a strong impact and that behaviours were contrasted according to the initial profile of the consumer (traditional raw oyster consumers or non-consumers) and their age distribution (younger and older people). The degree of processing has to be adapted to each segment. It is suggested to develop early exposure to influence the food choices and preferences of the youngest consumers on a long-term basis.

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