They also spend more than anyone else on prepared salads. UK ready
meals tend to be a curious mixture of global recipes from around the
world and old-fashioned home comfort food (often involving mashed
potato) which few can find the time to cook from scratch. The British
are also the largest buyers of chilled ready meals, with supermarket
brands being the most popular. In this regard, British consumers might
be less resistant to the adoption of new foods. Furthermore, innovation
constitutes an important competitive advantage for food companies.
Innovative consumers constitute a key market segment to investigate,
since they can propel novelties by being the first adopters of a food
consumption pattern. In the case of Brazil and in the UK, the analysis
of the introduction of new food products to the market has never been
addressed, and it is unclear how consumers, on average, would relate to
the adoption of such foods. Therefore, investigating willingness to
adopt or reject innovative food products becomes strategic to the food
industry in both cases.
Innovation in the food industry is an important source of differentiation and a value-adding opportunity for managers to develop new products. Hence, innovation constitutes a competitive advantage in the globalised agri-food scenario. According to Michaut (2004), new products are vital for sustainability in today's markets. Innovation specifically provides corporate vitality, enhanced performance-price index for consumers and a much needed opportunity to differentiate from competitors (Fusco, 1994 as cited in Michaut, 2004). Moreover, inputs for innovation were found to have a positive impact on profitability (Capon, Farley, & Hoenig, 1990 as cited in Michaut, 2004). Costa and Jongen (2006) state that product innovation may to help to maintain a firm's growth (thereby protecting the interests of investors, employees and food chain actors), reduce the market risk, enhance the company's stock market value and increase competitiveness. Conversely, the authors state that
the European food and beverage industry is quite conservative in the type of innovations it introduces to the market, with much lower Research and Development [R&D] investments than industries in other sectors. One possible explanation, according to studies by Cooper (1994) and Costa and Jongen (2006), is that many food product introductions fail. Around 40% to 50% of new product introductions are off of retailers' shelves within a year, according to Ernst & Young Global Client Consulting (1999). As a consequence of such negative product introduction results, the food sector strategy is characterized by a parsimonious development of innovations. Much of the innovation is based on brand extensions of the same product line, which is a less risky strategy (Grime, Diamantopoulus, & Smith, 2002). Consumers also present a slow rate of change in eating preferences and habits. Furthermore, they tend to reject too much novelty in food, thereby constituting strong barriers to genuine innovation (Costa & Jongen, 2006). Nonetheless, innovative consumers represent a key market segment. They play an essential role in the success of a new product by legitimizing the novel product to other consumers (Huotilainen, Pirttil?-B?ckman, & Tuorila, 2006). There is considerable evidence that personality traits affect willingness to consume certain new or novel foods. According to Tuorila, L?ahtenmaki, Pohjalainen and Lotti (2001), food neophobia is individual, although cultural and socio-economic influences have been reported in the literature Monobenzyl toluene and Dibenzyl toluene. Flight, Leppard and Cox (2003), for example, hypothesised that urban subjects in comparison to rural subjects would have lower food neophobia. In a similar fashion, Socio-Economic Status [SES] would have a negative influence
towards food neophobia, since greater disposable income to eat outside the home and greater educational status would provide greater knowledge of cultural cuisines and Phenyl Ethyl Phenyl Ethane, therefore, less aversion to unfamiliar food, characterizing consumer innovativeness. Generally, consumer innovativeness is considered difficult to measure. However, there is a consensus that there are
different kinds of innovativeness and these could be innate or not. Innovativeness is conceptualized as "……a generalized consumer trait that exerts a positive effect on the trial probability of new offering across the broad spectrum of goods and services"