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How can businesses reframe insects as food? : A case study of a restaurant in Berlin.

Yanagawa, Yuka (2023) How can businesses reframe insects as food? : A case study of a restaurant in Berlin.

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Abstract:Edible insects have been gaining attention as an alternative protein source. While the nutritional and environmental benefits of insects attract entrepreneurs including those in countries that do not consume insects historically, negative consumer attitudes play the role of a major obstacle for them. In the absence of empirical insights into what can convince consumers to eat insects in the literature on edible insects as well as insights as to how to recategorize what does not belong to the category of food for consumers in the literature on categorization, this paper examines the strategies to reframe insects as food by strategic recategorization in the context of non-insect-eating cultures by analyzing a case of a restaurant that serves insects in Berlin, Germany. Using the Gioia method, the grounded theory analysis of 13 interviews with both the restaurant’s business owners and customers as well as artifacts revealed that the strategies to recategorize insects consist of three elements: (1) shaking the mental model to reduce neophobia; (2) vertical pull to overcome negative image; (3) horizontal pull to overcome cultural irrelevance. Correspondingly, the developed model also suggests insects can be reframed as food when consumers eat insects with (1) autonomous motivation, and experience (2) a premium look and feel, as well as (3) a sense of familiarity from consuming insects. The findings highlight the significance of inducing both vertical and horizontal shifts. This contributes to the existing literature on edible insects, which has previously understated the cultural irrelevance by primarily focusing on the surmounting negative image of insects, particularly disgust. Additionally, the findings also enrich the literature on categorization by unveiling the strategies necessary for a horizontal status shift.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 71 sociology, 77 psychology, 85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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