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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc Degree Programme in Creative Sustainability | 2015
Thesis number: 14148
Creating a market for a more sustainable alternative: entomophagy businesses in Europe
Author: Telfser, Katharina
Title: Creating a market for a more sustainable alternative: entomophagy businesses in Europe
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: MSc Degree Programme in Creative Sustainability
Index terms: johtaminen; management; kestävä kehitys; sustainable development; ekologia; ecology; markkinat; markets; market entry; market entry; ruoka; food; elintarvikkeet; food stuffs; Eurooppa; Europe
Pages: 101
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14148.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1755925)
Key terms: entomophagy, edible insects, market creation, sustainability, business model, legitimacy, novel food, alternative protein source, Europe
Given the great potential of insects as a more environmental friendly protein source that can contribute to food security, it is interesting to investigate the penetration of entomophagy in Europe. European countries are strongly influencing global food policies and an increased acceptance of insects as food could have major impacts globally.

This thesis is looking at the role of businesses providing insect food products in creating a market for entomophagy in Europe, investigating which actions and strategies are used for convincing different actors of the value and legitimacy of insects as a food source to open the way for a more sustainable alternative.

The research is based on an extensive case study with six sample companies from different European countries showing a variety of options for the commercialisation of edible insects in terms of product and product range, sales argument, used channels and selected customer segment. The data combines interviews with one company representative per case and information available on the company websites.

The research shows that businesses play an important role in the creation of markets for edible insect food products. They make insect food products available in Europe and actively engage in communication and outreach activities to promote entomophagy at large, combining information, education and exposure. Two major strategies can be revealed in the sample: processed products with invisible insect ingredients in everyday products are adapted to the local food culture and aim at decreasing psychological barriers and increasing convenience while whole insects or products with strong insect taste rely on the interest evoked by the insects themselves for convincing consumers. High quality and professionalism are crucial and collaboration with experts in different fields is common in the sector. The sustainability aspect of edible insects plays an important role in motivating entrepreneurs to start insect food businesses while in business communication it is mainly used as an additional argument for legitimating insect food products.
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