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Research Articles

Consumer awareness on nutrition fact panel of dairy food products: a context of urban, semi-urban and rural consumers in Sri Lanka

Authors:

M. H. Kodikara ,

University of Ruhuna, Mapalana, Kamburupitiya, LK
About M. H.
Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture
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P. A. B. N. Perumpuli,

University of Ruhuna, Mapalana, Kamburupitiya, LK
About P. A. B. N.
Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture
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K. N. N. Silva

University of Ruhuna, Mapalana, Kamburupitiya, LK
About K. N. N.
Departments of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture
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Abstract

A detailed nutrition fact panel is one of the best ways that can encourage consumers to make good decisions with regard to their eating habits. Nutrition fact communicates the information on nutrients available in a particular food. Past studies mainly focused on common food label information. However, the nutritional information is directly related to the healthy life of humans. Therefore the present study was conducted to analyse consumers’ awareness on nutrition fact panel while eliciting major sources and barriers to awareness. Further, the study identifies socio-demographic characteristics of consumers related to nutrition fact panel awareness and thereby develops appropriate suggestions and recommendations to scale up the awareness and fill the nutrition labelling information knowledge gap for the consumer benefit. A semi-structured Google questionnaire was used to collect information from a purposive sample of 135 consumers purchasing packed dairy food products from local supermarkets in Colombo, Matara, and Monaragala districts in a way to represent urban, semi-urban and rural areas respectively. It was found that the consumers in Colombo (P=0.01), Matara (P=0.024), and Monaragala (P=0.030) districts are having a significant awareness of nutritional fact panels and their information. Consumers who purchase dairy products from supermarket outlets in all three districts stated that they always look at the sugar level and fat level when purchasing dairy food items. The selected consumers stated that they face inconveniences in understanding the nutrition fact panel due to the used scientific or technical terms and the unfamiliar language. They reveal that it is important to uplift their knowledge through creating colourful and attractive labels (20.9%), and advertisements (18.7%) via mass media. Consumers stated that indication of fat (P=0.000) and sugar (P=0.000) level with colour code is extremely useful. Results revealed that front of pack nutrition labelling as the best way to increase consumer awareness on food label. The study therefore seeks to address the issue of how consumers use food nutrition label information and its effect on the purchasing decision of consumers. The outcomes of the study are helpful for policy makers in formulating policies for the benefit of both food producers in their marketing strategies and consumers to make healthy food choices.
How to Cite: Kodikara, M.H., Perumpuli, P.A.B.N. and Silva, K.N.N., 2022. Consumer awareness on nutrition fact panel of dairy food products: a context of urban, semi-urban and rural consumers in Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension, 25(2), pp.173–185. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tare.v25i2.5582
Published on 30 Jun 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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