Consumers' beliefs, attitudes and intentions towards genetically modified foods, based on the 'perceived safety vs. benefits' perspective
It has been repeatedly claimed that the application of genetic engineering in the field of agricultural and food production is both beneficial and advantageous. However, biotechnology is developing in an environment where public concerns about food safety and environmental protection are steadily increasing. The present study aims at gaining an insight into Greek consumers' beliefs, attitudes and intentions towards genetically modified (GM) food products. The objectives of this study are summarized as follows (i) to provide evidence that consumer beliefs are built around the 'safety-benefits' axis, and (ii) to segment the Greek market in terms of consumer beliefs about GM food products and identify a number of clusters with clear-cut behavioural profiles. Although the overall attitude of Greek consumers towards GM food is negative, the research very interestingly concludes that there exists a market segment of substantial size, whose beliefs about GM food appears to be positive. This finding suggests that there is not a 'consensus' regarding the rejection of GM foods in the Greek market as one might have expected thus 'encouraging' the implementation of adequate marketing strategies to target this segment of 'early adopters' in the first place.