Influence of consumers’ food label knowledge and perception on utilization in Abakaliki Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, Nigeria

  • N. C. Asouzu Department of Dietetics, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, PMB 102, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
  • G. O. Iheme Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, PMB 7267, Umuahia, Abia State Nigeria
Keywords: Knowledge and perception, Utilization, Food label, Consumers, Abakaliki

Abstract

Objectives: This study was designed to determine the influence of consumers’ food label knowledge and perception on food label utilization in Abakaliki Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

Methodology: A descriptive and cross-sectional study design was employed. A total of 262 respondents were selected using multi-stage sampling technique. An interviewer administered structured questionnaire was used to elicit their socio-demographic characteristics, food label knowledge, perception and utilization. Descriptive and inferential statistics was used to analyse the variable with significance judged at P< 0.05 where applicable.

Results: Results revealed that 50.8% and 35.9% of the respondents had poor and average food label knowledge respectively. Most (69.1%) of them had fair perception, while 22.5% had poor perception towards food label. Results showed that 24.8% and 46.6% always and sometimes use food label during product purchase respectively. Manufacture/expiry date (39.5%), food price (25.3%) and nutrition information (17.6%) were found to be the common food label components checked by the respondents. Fats (30.5%) and carbohydrates (29.6%) were the key nutrients considered by the respondents when using food labels. This was evident in their avoidance of high fat (36.5%) and high sugar (36.1%) foods. Some of the respondents often utilized foods products with low/no sugar (50.2%), low/no fat (63.5%), cholesterol free (41.6%) and sodium free (48.5%) health claims. A significant relationship exist between food label knowledge and food label utilization frequency (r =0.03; p = 0.001).

Conclusion: Poor/average food label knowledge and perception score of the respondents was observed. Although, most of the consumers use food label information, manufacture/expiry date was the most checked component of food label. A positive correlation between food label knowledge and utilization frequency was reported in this study.

Published
2020-06-30
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 2635-3326
print ISSN: 2141-8209