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Attitudes and acceptance of South African urban consumers towards genetically modified white maize


  • Vermeulen, Hester
  • Kirsten, Johann F.
  • Doyer, Ockert T.
  • Schonfeldt, H.C.


The introduction of genetically modified (GM) food products to food markets around the world, has led to considerable controversy. In many cases consumer attitudes and perceptions of GM food products were revealed as fears, concern for, and avoidance of the new technology. The importance of GM foods in South Africa is increasing, even though the GM Food debate lags behind many other (often more developed) parts of the world. This paper investigates the knowledge, attitudes and acceptance of urban South African white-grain maize consumers regarding GM maize. Conjoint- and cluster analysis were used to develop clusters/market segments among the urban consumers of white maize. A range of additional questions was used to develop profiles of the identified market segments. These aspects covered demographics, GM knowledge aspects as well as GM attitude aspects. Four distinct clusters/market segments were identified with specific characteristics: "Anti-GM, Brand aware" cluster (35% of valid responses), "Brand unaware, Farmer sympathetic" cluster (20%), "GM consumer benefit, Brand aware" cluster (25%) and the "Brand aware, Pro-GM" cluster (20%). The most significant differences between the clusters were based on the consumers' attitudes towards GM food products.

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  • Vermeulen, Hester & Kirsten, Johann F. & Doyer, Ockert T. & Schonfeldt, H.C., 2005. "Attitudes and acceptance of South African urban consumers towards genetically modified white maize," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 44(1), March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:agreko:31714

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Green, Paul E & Srinivasan, V, 1978. " Conjoint Analysis in Consumer Research: Issues and Outlook," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 103-123, Se.
    2. Baker, Gregory A., 1999. "Consumer Preferences For Food Safety Attributes In Fresh Apples: Market Segments, Consumer Characteristics, And Marketing Opportunities," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 24(01), July.
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    1. repec:ura:ecregj:v:1:y:2018:i:1:p:216-226 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Dannenberg, Astrid, 2008. "Is it Who You Ask or How You Ask? Findings of a Meta-Analysis on Genetically Modified Food Valuation Studies," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-096, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Takeshima, Hiroyuki, 2011. "Distribution of welfare gains from GM cassava in Uganda across different population groups and market margins," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 6(1), March.
    4. Dannenberg, Astrid, 2009. "The dispersion and development of consumer preferences for genetically modified food -- A meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2182-2192, June.
    5. Adenle, Ademola A. & Morris, E. Jane & Parayil, Govindan, 2013. "Status of development, regulation and adoption of GM agriculture in Africa: Views and positions of stakeholder groups," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 159-166.
    6. Bett, Charles & Ouma, James Okuro & Groote, Hugo De, 2010. "Perspectives of gatekeepers in the Kenyan food industry towards genetically modified food," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 332-340, August.
    7. Klara Fischer & Camilla Eriksson, 2016. "Social Science Studies on European and African Agriculture Compared: Bringing Together Different Strands of Academic Debate on GM Crops," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(9), pages 1-17, August.

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