J Nutr Health.  2020 Apr;53(2):190-202. 10.4163/jnh.2020.53.2.190.

Recognition, purchase, and consumption of edible insects in Korean adults

  • 1Division of Food Science, Kongju National University, Yesan 32439, Korea


This study aims to evaluate the recognition, purchase, and intake status of edible insects in adults, who are the main consumers of edible insects, and to provide the information necessary to expand the production and consumption of edible insects and related products in the future.
A total of 453 adults (172 males and 281 females) aged 19 years and older were surveyed regarding their awareness of edible insects, purchase and consumption experience, and intention to purchase and consume, and the differences between them were analyzed according to gender and age groups. Data collection took place from December 2018 to January 2019.
Those who had knowledge of edible insects accounted for 87.0%, whereas those who had more than average knowledge were 75.9%, suggesting recognition was relatively high. Men had more experience than women in purchasing or consuming edible insects and related products (45.9% vs. 31.0%, p < 0.01). In terms of age, experience was 22.5% in 20–30s, 44.6% in 40–50s, and 63.1% in 60s and older, showing significant growth as age increased (p < 0.001). The satisfaction level of edible insects was highest in taste (3.4 points), and especially for shape and appearance, it decreased as age reduced (p < 0.001). The most common reason for not being willing to use edible insects was feeling repulsive (4.1 points), which was significantly more common in women than in men (4.3 vs. 3.9, p < 0.001), and lower with age (p < 0.001). The most needed information display for using edible insects was country of origin (63.8%), the main nutrient in edible insects was protein (93.6%), and the most preferred form of products was powder (39.5%).
According to the above results, the recognition of edible insects was high, whereas experience of using edible insects and intention to use edible insects were low especially in women and younger groups. The reason for this is that consumers are dissatisfied with edible insects due to their appearance. This study is expected to be used as basic data for expanding the production and consumption of edible insects and related products in the future.


edible insects; perception; consumption; adults; health
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