A conjoint study of Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish consumer preferences fro hard cheese
In general, Nordic consumers perceive foods that are processed in traditional ways as more healthy than novel foods including genetically modified and functional foods. But because the use of genetic modification in the production of pharmaceuticals is readily accepted, the food industry believes that genetically modified functional foods can be a potential wallbreaker for the use of GMOs in food production, that is: if European health claim legislation is deregulated as expected. This paper presents the preliminary results of a conjoint study of 750 Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish consumers' preferences for genetically modified and conventional cheese with different types of health benefits. Before implementing the conjoint task, two thirds of the respondents were asked to taste a cheese, which was supposedly genetically modified. The results showed homogeneity in preferences within as well as across countries. In general, the genetically modified cheese was rejected, but this was modified somewhat by health benefits and tasting experience.