PhD Project

Assessment of consumer attitudes and motivation to consume foods from edible insects: The case of cricket-flour buns

Pambo Kennedy OtienoMr. Pambo Kennedy Otieno
MSc. Agricultural and Applied Economics
University of Nairobi

Kennedy graduated with a Master of Science degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. His training was on Agricultural and Applied Economics, with a bias towards agricultural marketing & political economy of agricultural policy.

PhD Thesis abstract

Studies suggest that insect-based foods can be a potential remedy to the identified nutrition challenges, particularly as a sustainable source of protein. This study investigated households’ intentions, attitudes and motivations to consume insect-based foods. It employed data collected from 432 rural-households drawn from western and eastern regions of Kenya to assess consumer behaviour with respect to foods from edible insect (FFEI). The study employed theory of planned behaviour (TPB) to predict intentions of the surveyed households to consume FFEI. The study also determined the sensory appropriateness of cricket-based buns (example of FFEI) using just-about right (JAR) scales, and then assessed the motivations to consume FFEI. Finally, the study analyzed the roles of differentiated information on sensory evaluations and consumer motivations in addition to the level of product involvement and emotions that consuming cricket-based buns evoke.

Results showed that i) households from western region, where edible insects are more familiar and widely eaten, have higher intentions to consume FFEI; ii) evaluation of sensory appropriateness is significantly influenced by the information provided; iii) cricket-based buns evoke more positive emotions in consumers; and, iv) participants are motivated to consume cricket-based buns to achieve four life goals (values) namely, good health, long life, happiness and being (food) secure. This study therefore demonstrates the market potential for processed products from edible insects (such as cricket-flour buns), and also reveals that the perceived negative sensory features of FFEI are likely to be a barrier to consumer acceptance. The barriers could be removed (hedged) by providing balanced and targeted marketing information. The study also demonstrates that campaigns meant to promote consumption of FFEI should incorporate ‘real’ products (e.g., cricket-flour buns) are incorporated as exhibits for the participants to see, touch and taste.


Dr. Julius Okello, Dr. Benson Aten’g & Dr. Robert. M. Mbeche.