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Open AccessArticle

Do French Consumers Have the Same Social Representations of Pulses as Food Industry Professionals?

Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l’Alimentation, AgroSup Dijon, CNRS, INRAE, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, F-21000 Dijon, France
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Foods 2020, 9(2), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9020147
Received: 20 December 2019 / Revised: 23 January 2020 / Accepted: 28 January 2020 / Published: 1 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Consumer Psychology)
Pulses present many advantages for human health, nutrition, sustainability, and the environment. Despite efforts in recent years by the pulse industry and national authorities to favor pulses, consumption in France remains relatively low, at 1.7 kg/per person in 2016, compared to 1920 when it was around 7.2 kg/per person. To understand social representations of pulses in France, 80 French nonvegetarian consumers and 35 professionals from the pulse industry were asked to say five words spontaneously evoked by the inductor “pulses”. They then had to rank these five words in order of importance and rate their valence. The structural approach was used to analyze social representations for each group independently. Our results highlight differences in the structure and content of social representations for pulses. Consumer responses suggested only vague impressions of pulses, but taste evocations were nevertheless rated positively. By contrast, professionals tended to focus specifically on protein content and culinary preparation. These differences could explain some barriers to pulse consumption, and improved communication should be a key target. Efficient communication must consider the concepts most frequently used by consumers when referring to pulses, and those ranked as most important. View Full-Text
Keywords: pulses; social representations; structural approach; pulse food industry; supply chain; professionals; word association pulses; social representations; structural approach; pulse food industry; supply chain; professionals; word association
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Melendrez-Ruiz, J.; Arvisenet, G.; Laugel, V.; Chambaron, S.; Monnery-Patris, S. Do French Consumers Have the Same Social Representations of Pulses as Food Industry Professionals? Foods 2020, 9, 147.

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