Compliance of Pre-Packed Juice to Labelling Requirements and Use of Food Labelling Information for Purchasing Decision Among Consumers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
With the changing in consumers’ lifestyles and industrialization, pre-packaged food products have become standard. Information on food labels on pre-packaged food products is considered a means to help consumers make informed food choices. In Ethiopia, there has been a limited information on food labels' compliance with food labeling requirements and customers' use of labeling information for purchasing decision making. This study was designed to fill this information gap. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Addis Ababa in 2019. Thirty-one juice products and 403 consumers from 15 supermarkets were included in the study. Compliance was assessed using the 17 standard requirements for food labeling information. On the other hand, the use of food labeling information by consumers was measured by considering the ten essential food labeling information, and frequent use of labeling information was considered as a "good practice". Data were collected using semi-structured questionnaires and a checklist. Data were entered into Epi data entry and analyzed using SPSS. Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression were performed. From the consumers included in the study, 204 (50.6%) were males, 248 (61.5%) attended college, and 105 (26.1%) reported frequently using food labeling information. Sex, marital status, monthly income, and level of awareness were associated (p < 0.05) with the use of food labeling information. Only 6 (19.4%) pre-packed juice products fulfilled all standard labeling requirements, while 1 (3.2%) fulfilled only 50% of the requirements. In consideration of the increasing use of pre-packed food products and associated public health risks, the study demonstrated the need for improving public awareness about the use of food labeling information, and strengthening regulatory enforcement practices.