Biofortification of food crops with iodine is a novel approach to preventing iodine deficiency in humans. The present study analyses the consumer target groups and the market potential of iodine-biofortified fruit and vegetables in Germany. For this purpose, an online survey of 1016 German fruit and vegetable consumers was conducted to investigate the acceptance of different product categories as well as relevant criteria for the market launch. The results show that iodine-biofortified fruit and vegetables are particularly attractive to consumers who purchase at farmers’ markets, organic food shops, and farm stores. Out of this group, 39% of consumers rate such iodine-rich foods as very appealing. They attach importance to food that naturally contains iodine and prefer produce from integrated domestic cultivation. With their focus on sustainability and naturalness, this group of consumers clearly differs from typical users of dietary supplements, who are primarily concerned with health benefits. However, overall about 85% of respondents would prefer biofortified fruits and vegetables to supplements to improve their iodine supply. The greatest market potential for iodine-biofortified fruit and vegetables is to be expected in supermarkets, as this is the preferred food shopping location for most consumers. A total of 28% of those who buy here rate the biofortified foods presented as very appealing. Nevertheless, a successful market launch requires that the benefits of the new products are communicated according to the potential consumer group needs.
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