Consortial BMBF-project „Holistic evaluation of alternative protein sources with special consideration of insects.“ (Pr:Ins - Holistic Evaluation)

This consortial project is part of the innovation space  „NewFoodSystems“


Duration of project

July 2022 - October 2025

Project partners

ifeu - Institute for Energy and Environmental Research Heidelberg gGmbH (Heidelberg)
Max Rubner-Institut Federal Research Institute for Nutrition and Food (Karlsruhe)
Südzucker AG (Mannheim)


The innovation space NewFoodSystems aims to develop innovative and sustainable systems for the supply of food and feed. For these systems and innovations to establish themselves successfully on the market, they must be sustainable and have a high potential for acceptance at the societal level. The consortial project "Pr:Ins - Holistic Evaluation" aims to develop a methodology on a conceptual level, which relates and combines the respective results of the assessments of sustainability, economic viability, consumer acceptance, quality, safety and legal requirements. Based on this, a comprehensive evaluation of the prospects for success of new products and processes can be made. The diverse analysis steps are carried out on the example of insect-based food and feed products and tested for their suitability for a holistic assessment. After completion of the project, the developed holistic evaluation concept, consisting of different individual evaluations, will be available to research and practice for further product and process innovations.

The University of Kassel is responsible for coordinating this consortial project and for leading the sub-project to investigate consumer acceptance for insect-based foods. Building on a comprehensive status quo analysis – consisting of literature review, expert interviews and global market analysis –, focus group discussions with consumers will be conducted to explore associations and potential barriers to purchase insect-based foods and to test the impact of existing communication materials. Insights from this exploratory phase will be used to evaluate and further develop existing communication concepts for insect-based foods that are provided by the practice partners. These adapted communication messages or product labels will be tested in an online survey of consumers to determine factors influencing their acceptance and willingness to pay for insect-based foods. Following further adjustments of the communication materials, sales tests will be carried out in retail outlets as well as in online stores, in which consumer acceptance and the effect of communication measures will be investigated under real purchase conditions. In addition, the effect of different framings on the acceptance of insect-based foods will also be analyzed by means of an in-store survey of consumers that will take place during the sales tests in retail outlets. These will be conducted in conjunction with a product tasting.

An important part of this consortial project is the close cooperation and coordination of the project steps with the practice partners as well as with the work of the other sub-projects on the evaluation of ecological sustainability as well as quality, safety and regulation. The intermediate and final results from the consumer acceptance analysis will be interlinked with findings from the other sub-projects to provide the most comprehensive and holistic evaluation of insect-based foods possible.


Puteri, B., Jahnke, B. and Zander, K. (2023): Booming the bugs: How can marketing help increase consumer acceptance of insect-based food in western countries? Appetite 187: 106594.