Preferences for sunflower oil produced conventionally, produced with nanotechnology or genetically modified in the Araucanía Region of Chile
In light of the increasing use of nanotechnology in food production, consumer acceptance of sunflower oil produced with nanotechnology or from genetically modified (GM) plants and the conventionally produced raw materials available in Temuco (Araucanía Region, Chile), market segments were differentiated with respect to their acceptance of nanotechnology and characterized according to their sociodemographic characteristics and food neophobia level. To achieve this aim, a survey was administered to 400 people. Using a conjoint analysis, the brand (33.6%) and production system (32.6%) were determined to be more important than the price (19.2%) and health certification (14.6%); national brands, produced conventionally with a health certification seal and sold at the lowest price, were preferred. A hierarchical cluster analysis identified three main segments. The largest (45.5%) preferred oil made with nanotechnology. The second (29.75%) preferred conventional oil and oil made with nanotechnology. The third (20.75%) preferred conventional oil and rejected oils made with nanotechnology and GM. The segments differed significantly according to marital status and according to the score on the food neophobia scale. Approximately 75% of the sample had a positive response to the oil produced with nanotechnology, and this positive response was related to the food neophobia score.