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This study examined the determinants of consumption preference of local versus imported rice brands in Enugu State, Nigeria. In Nigeria, rice is a cereal crop widely accepted and consumed as a staple crop both in urban and rural areas. Both imported and local brands are widely accepted, but there appears to be a hidden stereotype guiding consumer preference of each of the brands which this study wants to unveil. The research is set to examine consumption preference of the different brands of rice consumed and examine the preferred attribute of rice quality. Results are based on a questionnaire survey conducted among 106 consumers across twelve communities in six local government areas and three agricultural zones in Enugu State, Nigeria. Descriptive statistics and semantic differential scaling were used to analyse the data. Rice quality (75.7%) and packaging (71.4%) were the reasons consumers gave for their preference of the local rice brand and imported rice brand, respectively. The attribute that makes consumers prefer local rice brand include availability (x̄ = 1.8), taste (x̄ = 1.0), swelling capacity (x̄ = 1.5), and minimal use of ingredients (x̄ = 2.3). Consumers of imported rice brand prefer the brand because of its cleanliness (x̄ = 2.3), full grain size (x̄ = 2.5), and ease of preparation (x̄ = 1.8). This study therefore was necessary to unravel the determinants of this preference for strategic policy decisions that may guide improvements in the production, processing and marketing of local rice brands for obvious positive contributions to the national income and gross domestic product.
Keywords: consumer preference, local rice brands and imported rice brand