Influence of consumers’ food label knowledge and perception on utilization in Abakaliki Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
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.
Manuscripts are accepted for publication with the understanding that no substantial part has been, or will be published elsewhere. By submitting a manuscript, the authors agree that the copyright is transferred to the publisher if and when the articles, including reprints, photographic reproduction and translation are accepted for publication. Copyright owner is the Dietitians Association of Nigeria. An abstract at the beginning of an article may be reproduced without specific permission provided the original citation is provided. Statements made and opinions expressed in letters to the Editor, Editorials, Presidential address, book reviews and other special articles appearing in this journal are views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Journal or the Association.