Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Consumer Knowledge About Nutritional Information Marketing Essay

Consumer Knowledge About Nutritional Information Marketing Essay The research is based on the impact of nutritional labeling on consumer buying behavior. the purpose of the study is to identify the factors that influence consumers to consider nutritional labeling while making a purchase from them or for their house hold. Moreover it also determines that printed nutritional value on packaged food products is essential for the consumer buying decision. This study made the researchers clear about the knowledge a consumer have about a nutritional content of package food products and also the nutrients a consumer look for their healthy diet through detailed published articles, journals and blogs related to food label. Many articles were referred for understanding of the reasons which play an important role in consumer buying behavior. This research is based on quantitative data; secondary data is referred for the understanding of the topic. The data is collected through questionnaires from 200 respondents of different age, gender, income and education level living in different areas of Karachi mainly from Defence/Clifton, KDA/Bahadarabad/PECHS, North Nazimabad/Nazimabad/F.B. Area, Gulshan e Iqbal/Gulistan e Jauhar/Malir and Saddar. The findings which are analyzed through this research are that there are various factors that influence consumers to read nutritional labeling while making a purchase. By these findings the researchers are able to develop a framework representing the socio economic classifications (SEC) that have an impact on consumer buying behavior. result_________________________ Introduction: Background: Labeling is defined as printed information or written text on the container of the product or it can be define as a subset of packaging (Prathiraja Ariyawardana, 2003). In food industry, labeling might just include the name of a brand, name of a product or logo but mostly it includes variety of information about a product like nutritional information, manufacturing date, expiration date, method of usage, contacts etc along with brand name, product name and logo. A label is one of the points of contact between producer and purchaser and is also a part of producer marketing plan (Prathiraja Ariyawardana, 2003). Labeling make consumers aware about any unique characteristic of the food, its nutritional properties, the way to use and how to preserve, all of these are of the upmost importance when buying, since the consumer has the opportunity to make purchasing decision (Senesi, Nayga, Gà ³mez, Palau, Ordoà ±ez, 2006). The items that consumers are most likely to read are price, prepa ration, manipulation and preservation of products. Another study revealed the items most read comprise calories, fats, sugar and fiber contents (Godwin, Henderson, Thompson, 2006). Information on a food label was found to affect a customer purchase behavior significantly. Nutritional information might make easy label use by increasing its benefits and by increasing the effectiveness of their use, thereby reducing the cost of using them. Nutritional information plays a significant role in providing relevant information to consumer through which the purchasing behavior varies (Prathiraja Ariyawardane, 2003). The level of awareness required to make the purchase decisions are compared across different socio-economic groups. Many investigators have also found that the interest in reading the food labels increases with age up to the mid-fifties, and thereafter it declines (Sushil Kumar Jabir Ali, 2011). The food printed label includes different information but it is found that nutritio nal value is one of the most important information for customers. Research Problem: The purpose of the study is to identify factors on the nutritional food label in influencing purchase decision in accordance with the socio-economic classification (SEC) of the consumers, while secondary objective of the research is to identify the characteristics of consumers and the extent of knowledge concerning nutritional value (senesi et al, 2006). Moreover this research helps to find the relation between printed nutrition value on packaged food product and consumer buying behavior. Consumers will choose better food products if they understand and use the food labels (senesi et al, 2006). The study explores the complex relationship of nutrition knowledge and consumer buying decision (Drichoutis, Lazaridis and Nayga,2006). The study can help to determine that printed nutritional value on packaged food products is essential for the customer buying decision or not. In the context to nutritional labeling, many customer switch towards other products after reading printed nutrition v alue such as fat, calories etc. The study also identifies those nutrition values which have a negative effect on consumer buying behavior. Problem Statement: The impact of printed nutritional labeling on consumer buying behavior. Objective of the study: To analyze the impact of printed nutritional labeling on consumer buying behavior. Sub Objectives: To examine the impact of printed nutritional labeling according to the gender of respondents. To identify how different age group respond to products with nutritional labeling. To analyze how educational level affect the consumers response to nutritional level. To study the impact of households income towards buying products with nutritional labeling. Scope: This research will be a study of Karachi, Pakistan. We will get the forms filled by middle and upper middle class visiting the malls and various supermarkets. We will ask them whether their buying preferences changed after reading the nutrition fact. Justification: By the research we will get to know how nutritional information printed on packaged food will benefit each stake holders: The biggest advantage for consumers will be confidence and ownership as the product is tested under certain standards. They will feel that the product is healthy for them. Consumers will get the advantage of time saving as they dont have to search and find out whether the product is safe or not. It will be beneficial for consumers who are health conscious and individuals who are on special diet recommended by doctors. Consumers can use health claims, which appear on the front of food packages, to recognize foods with positive nutritional qualities related to risk factors. Printed nutritional labeling will serve as a great way of promotion for the manufacture as it will provide their product an image of a safe and healthy brand. The producer will have its own unique product identity. The producer will get the competitive advantage as they will retain the loyal customer, lose fewer customers and attract more new customers. Assumptions: Our assumption is that all the economic indicators will remain same as well as the pattern of buying behavior. This assumption is made so that we can have result that is based on complete objectivity. We are also assuming that the nutrition information printed on the label of the packaged food is correct and by concerned authority. There is no kind of miss interpretation and proper application of government policy is kept in view by the producers while printing of the nutritional labeling.   In this research we are also assuming that consumers are aware of printed nutritional labeling found at the back of the every food item. Limitations: Our study will only consider the impact of gender, income, age, and life style index (LSI) and education level towards consumer buying behavior of nutritional products with printed nutritional labels on them. We are only focusing on those food products that have printed labeling on them. Structure of Report The research is divided into five main chapters which are Introduction, Literature review, Research Methodology, Data Findings and Analysis, Conclusion and Recommendations. Chapter 1 of this research relates to introduction and background of the study, research problem and objectives, justification of the research and a brief study of the search methodology that is used. Chapter 2 is about the previous studies conducted on nutritional labeling and consumer behavior. It also discusses the socio-economic factors which influence consumer buying behavior towards reading nutritional labeling on packaged food products in Karachi. Chapter 3 focuses on the research methodology, research design, sampling techniques, data analysis method, research design, as well as limitations to this research. In Chapter 4, the focus is on the research findings, Chapter 5 on analysis of the data that has been collected from respondents through questionnaires. Chapter 6 is Conclusion and recommendations that have been derived from this research are in Chapter 7. Literature Review: Printed nutrition labels are proposed to be used to help people make healthier choices, and consumers recognize them as a tool to improve health. Consumers can get relevant nutritional information with the help of nutritional labeling. It is found in researches that the consumer purchase behavior is affected by the nutritional labeling. The presence of nutritional information may influence the consumers to switch from unhealthy food products towards healthy food products (Anderson Zarkin, 1992). The interest on the consumers is to purchase and intake of improved nutritional foods which thus depends on the quantity and quality of information provided through a number of sources that also includes nutritional labeling. A printed label not only carries a brand name but also a source of important information (Caswell Padberg, 1999). CONSUMER KNOWLEDGE ABOUT NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Due to globalization, consumers are becoming more aware about nutritional information because there is an increase in the food information available to them through sources such as food nutritional labeling, electronic and print media.Advertising involvement is another marketing concept that helps to identify consumer interest in processing making information. The impact of advertising creates a perception in the minds of consumers regarding the product and increases the awareness and reinforces the consumer to purchase a certain brand that has high advertisement involvement (KapoorKulshrestha, 2008). As the consumers have become more demanding now days therefore the producers have understand the psychology of consumers and guide them with practical knowledge to cater the market and serve the people. Consumers can end up making better food choices if they value and make use of the nutritional labeling. The government is also playing an essential part by imposing restrictions on the consumption of some products. Therefore, they are regulating product labeling especially on food processing where it is manufactured. This has a positive effect on consumers behavior as they can get to know the amount of nutrients content present in a food. (Senesi et al, 2006). NUTRITIONAL LABELLING: The nutritional labels have become increasingly important, particularly as products move from the status of basic commodities to highly processed, value-added products significance of a well-balanced diet. Nutrition information on groceries items allows consumers to consume a range of healthy foods, maintain optimum weight and choose a diet with low fat/ cholesterol. Select a diet with abundance of vegetables, fruits, and grain products, and restrain from sugars, salt/sodium that are considered unhealthy. Consumers can use health claims, which appear on the front of food packages, to recognize foods with positive nutritional qualities related to risk factors and wellness. These are the claims about the relationship between a nutrient or a food and the risk of an illness or health-related condition (JeddiZaeim, 2010). A label might carry only the brand name or a great deal of nutritional information (Kotler, 2001). A label is the most important point of contact between the manufacturer and the buyer and it is consider as an important part of marketing as well. It is not only consider a piece of paper stuck on the package but also an expression on which consumer important decisions are based. A label should clearly and simply state the name of the product, the nutrition facts (nutritional label), the net weight, the name and address of the producer, and the brand name. The label printed on the packaged food is mostly viewed before purchasing the product which portrays that the label has an impact on the buying behavior of individuals. Consumers inclination to a food item is directly affected by self-control and temptation. (Hassan et al., 2010), (Campos et al., 2011). The printed food labels act as an indicating tool by which food companies assure that their potential consumers are satisfied regarding to their sound quality control practices. However, there are many issues and questions related to food labeling till date, one such question has been raised around the globe which is how far the consumer is aware of printed food labeling and can they understand the provided relevant information on the package. Consumers who are more health conscious have a habit of reading the label. They prefer to purchase an item that fulfills their daily nutritional value even if the brand is of higher price than the other brands available in market. This behavior can also be applied on consumers who have medical problems such as diabetes or cholesterol. This shows that certain category of consumers is willing to pay a higher price for nutrients beneficial for them (Magistris et al., 2010). Nutritional label benefits the consumers to analyze the factors of packaged food which allow them to have a healthier diet choice. According to the mechanism of the body they can balance the amount food to consume that will help them to stay fit in long run (Drichoutis et al., 2008). The consumers in Middle East give preference to the label at the time of first purchase. A study was carried out which showed that when consumers purchase the product for the first time they read the nutrients present in the food and on latter purchase of the same food brand they check the date till which they can use the product and the date of manufacture (Washi, 2012). Consumers also take into consideration of the health claims relation to nutrition such as vitamin, protein, sugar free and etc. people believe them to be true and help them to make the decision quicker. If certain health claim is present in front they grasp the product and further read the nutrient label to know that what other good nutrients are present in it. Consumers prefer that short and easy words are used so that they can understand them easily. Moreover if the claims are approved by FDA it gives an added advantage and surety that an agency is keeping a check on companies (Williams, 2005). The consumers with the help of labeling gets to know and understand the products characteristics, nutritional properties, preservation and instructions to facilitate the consumers to make a sound decision at the time of purchase, hence it carries a great significance (Senesi et al, 2006). By identifying the factors that have an effect on the peoples use of dietary labeling, the manufacturers can do the profiling of the consumers that do or do not exercise nutritional food labeling. It can result in improving public health, manipulating the proper labeling and increasing the productivity of the company (Senesi et al, 2006). Similarly the people who have much time to spend on grocery shopping are found to be more label users (Drichoustis 2006). It can also be seen that consumers who are more anxious about their health and nutrition give more time to read the printed nutritional labels. Similarly, consumers who are on a special diet or organic buyers or even those that have any kind of disease are preferred to search for on-pack printed nutrition information (Drichoustis 2006). Type of household also holds effect on reading of printed nutritional labels, as in a case where smaller households or households with young children are more involved in nutrition information sea rch behaviors. People with a healthier profile and eating habits prefer to see glance at the printed nutritional labeling for a more appropriate knowledge of the product. Moreover printed nutritional labeling is not directly linked with price and is preferred by people following a special diet plan or with health related issues like high BP, sugar, heart diseases or any kind of food allergies (Magistris et al., 2010). Printed nutritional labeling empowers consumers to have their own view at the components of the products which enables them to have a healthier diet choice in a way which they can intake in their busy life style now a days. (Drichoutis et al., 2008). The effects of printing nutritional labeling can be even greater on the buying behavior of consumer and they can be more educated if labeling is combined with an information campaign. It has been found in the research that purchasing behavior of consumers is effected by the nutritional information present on the label because this information influence their perception about the products and thus change their decision ultimately (Drichoustis 2006). It seems like Nutritional information on the back of the package creates favorable judgments about a product. For example, when a consumer reads the nutrients content on the back of the packaged food product which are beneficial for their health they will compare that particular product with other products and will be more likely to purchase that product. Other researchers have argued that provision of health related or printed nutritional labeling information does not always lead to healthier consumption of diet. Most empirical research, however, suggests that providing printed nutritional labeling information can significantly change dietary patterns in a consumers lifestyle of eating (Drichoustis 2006). Printing of Nutritional labels is also associated with giving consumers an edge to improve their diets by intake of high vitamin C, low cholesterol, and low percentage of calories from fat as they are now able to know what exactly they are consuming. Printed nutrition labeling on packaged foods are very clear sources of nutrition information for the consumers. They are observed as a highly trustworthy source of information and many consumers use it as their guidance in order to make purchase decisions easy. (Campos et al., 2011). It is often seen that there are consumers who considers printed nutritional labeling on the products during their shopping experiences and are happy to pay even a premium on the products having printed nutritional labeling on them. (Loureiro et al., 2006). Printed nutrition labeling information lowers down the usage of products which contain harmful ingredients and increases the consumption of products containing healthy ingredients. (Drichoutis et al., 2006). Purpose of printed nutritional labeling is to educate consumers to shift to healthier food choices, and force the competitors to add more printed nutritional value in their product and to competition on nutritional quality; printed nutritional labeling represents a helpful tool making consumers make informed decisions about their diet and lifestyle. (Daud et al., 2011). Nutritional labeling enables the consumers to have a view at the components of the products which enables them to have a healthier diet choice in which they can improve their intake of the require nutritious and proteins (Drichoutis et al., 2008). Nutrition labels on pre-packaged foods are very clear sources of nutrition information. They are perceived as a highly trustworthy source of information and many consumers use their guidance in order to make purchase decisions (Campos et al., 2011). The results show that there are consumers who considers nutritional labeling on the products during their shopping experiences and are happy to pay even a premium on the products having nutritional labeling on them (Loureiro et al., 2006). Nutrition labeling information decreases the use of products containing harmful components and improves the consumption of the products containing healthy components (Drichoutis et al., 2006). Customers do consider nutritional labeling when making a purchasing decision. Especially the old age people or individuals who are sick or with a special diet recommended having at least tertiary education read nutritional labeling. Moreover households with less than four members were willing to pay more for the nutritional labels (Prathiraja et al., 2003). As a whole nutritional labeling has a huge impact on consumer purchase behavior. There is some evidence that nutrition labeling makes consumers to switch products on the name of healthy and unhealthy diet plans. The preference for nutrient intake usually depends on the demand and supply of the product. From the demand perspective, consumers interest in purchase of healthy diets directly depends on consumers intakes. Consumers ability to make a decision regarding healthy diets usually depends on the information available through different sources (PrathirajaAriyawardana, 2008). If the products does not contain label the consumer may be unaware of its nutritional contents. Consumers usually form their own belief regarding the nutritional value of the product on the basis of information that they get from different sources, However this perception usually lead to either over or under value of the nutritional labeling of the product. Choosing food usually contains a trade of between taste and health contents of a particular product have negative impact on health because individuals usually perceived that decreasing the consumption of the food can lead to improve health conditions (PrathirajaAriyawardana, 2008). The results give a clear signal that printed labels is not linked with gender and age though its consumption relates with the income levels, education and occupation of the consumers. Most lifestyle products such as breakfast cereals, readymade dressings etc. that would mostly be used by people who have relatively higher levels of income and education would pay more attention to various kinds of label information (Sushil Kumar Jabir Ali, 2011). In the context of emerging economies, very little is known regarding consumers expectations and their response to printed food label information (Wang et al., 2008). Pakistans emerging economy is witnessing exceptional boom in the organized retail growth. Its consumers are in the process of changing their consumption/buying behavior especially with respect to food items. Consumption of processed and packaged food items has grown tremendously in the recent past. There is an increase in the demand for healthy food products and with this kind of change in lifestyle and consumption pattern, the quality of food and its safety standards are becoming essential from public policy perspective. ROLE OF FDA (FOOD AND DRUG ASSOCIATION) IN NUTRIONAL LABELLING: Labeling is a part of packaging. Label can be defined as an attachment to the product but according to the Food and Drug Association (FDA), a label is the chief point of contact between the manufacturer and the purchaser. It is described as a crucial part of the manufacturers marketing plan. FDA further explains that the label should carry the name, brand name and the net weight of the product with nutrition facts along with some details of the manufacturer. These food labels increases in complexity as the food products moves from basic commodities to highly process. It therefore keeps a check of the quantity of sugar, fiber, protein that is consumed and allows the purchasers to make an informed decision of the product. (FDA,1998). food_label.jpg With the guidance of dietary health experts, consumers can utilize the nutritional labeling to make better choices and to maintain a well-balanced diet. According to FDA (1998), consumers can enjoy a variety of foods; have a hale and hearty diet with low cholesterol/fats. Take a diet with different fruits or grains and can moderate the usage of salt and/or sodium if nutrition information is practiced. Hence, it carries a relationship between the nutrients and the threat of a disease. If the packaged food products are not labeled, customers may not be aware of their nutrient content. If the consumers form their own belief about nutrient content based on advertising or their own knowledge about food, it can result in underestimation or overestimation of the food content in untagged food products (Anderson and Zarkin, 1992). Especially for prepared food products, nutritional labeling is required more often (Godwin, Henderson, Thompson, 2006). Recently Food and Drug Association (FDA) conducted a research for anticipated changes in the plan and for the usage of the current labels. Therefore, with the sample size of 160 consumers to know if they use the labeling and if so, which part of it is more useful? Almost 21% consumers said that they always examine the tagging while the majority of them told that they often use the label before purchasing the item for consumption. Component of the label most frequently read is of fats, calorie, sugar and fiber contents. The list of ingredients with the health statements were read less. Respondents using high calorie food items like chips, sodas, bakery products etc. said that that do not make use of calorie part while two thirds of them said that they use the labeling rather than relying on their food knowledge and they do understand the importance of labeling. So it can be understood that majority of the respondents use and understand the significant of nutritional labeling and perceived themselves as knowledgeable consumers but a large survey has to be conducted to find the complete awareness and the consumers indulgent. (Godwin, Henderson, Thompson, 2006). A consideration to the food tagging can influence a change in purchasing pattern that can result in improving health. (McLean 2001). FDA with its efforts of providing food information on packaged food items educates the consumers and helps them in the purchasing decision (Satia, GalankoNeuhouser, 2001). CONSUMER AWARENESS ABOUT PACKAGED FOOD PRODUCT: A study was conducted in Islamabad to identify the response of consumer buying behavior in terms of packaging and nutritional labeling. The result showed that Pakistani marketing is getting aware of the nutritional facts of a packaged product. Further, it illustrates that Consumers read the content when they buy packaged food of a particular brand. If repetition is carried out then only manufacture date and expiry date is taken into consideration. The study also found out that a lot of people only check the dates to determine the nutrients. Also, people are still unaware that how much each nutrient is desired by their body and the concept of daily consumption/per meal consumption in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle (Zaidi, 2012). Another study was conducted in our neighboring country, India on Assessing Awareness and Usage Level of Indian Consumer and Influences on Food Buying Behavior. The research show that consumer seek extended information on labels. The result showed satisfactory level of awareness about information available on labels displayed on packaged food and people just skim through the nutrient facts before purchasing the product. In the market consumers also give high value to ingredients and nutrients. Whereas the brand and taste of product is the factor that is consider more as compare to the nutritional value. if these two are liked and the nutrients present are harmful for their health even then product will be purchased (kumar, 2008). Another study conducted in Europe on consumer response to nutrition information on food labels shows that people are aware of the importance of nutrition information on packaged foods. Consumers are aware that in order to maintain a healthy life nutritional food must be taken, therefore they try to make use of the information present on the label as much as they can. However the preference among the consumer differs while purchasing the packaged food such as likeable taste and etc. Secondly consumers prefer to have a simple and easy to understand nutrition information printed on the package. Complicated information and usage of too many jargons leads to confusion and consume their time. They like if noticeable printing to highlight the information as it will catch the eye at once and will also grab the attention of the consumers who are not in the habit of reading the label. Another point that was identified in the study was related to the format of the label and the technical terms including numbers, calculations and even percentages make it difficult for the consumer to decide among the products (Grunert, 2006). Therefore it is extremely beneficial if we find out the likeable ways that grabs the attention of the consumer. The ways would differ depending upon the nature of the product. The psychology of a consumer would be kept in mind while providing the information so that it becomes noticeable and every time when she/he purchases the product reads the label. (Kremers et al. 2006). A research carried out on whether consumers look at nutrition labeling showed it depends on the demographics factors that which nutrients ( sugar, fat, calories) are preferred by the consumers and how much are they interested in reading the nutritional label (Drichoutis et al. 2006). A research paper highlighted that nutrition label on the packaged food can guide consumers to maintain and improve their diet plan and make choices among the food. The effect of nutritional information has a positive impact in switching from one product to another due to beneficial nutrients present in the food. On the other hand nutritional label also have a negative impact on the manufacturer as consumers would avoid the food products that have high content of sugar and fats present it (Nayga, 2006). Consumer search for product information is an active process that involves reading nutritional labeling and then comparing them with other products information and after evaluation of each products information a consumer makes a right decision for purchase. The main cost for a consumer in searching information through label use is the time he/she spends on reading labels; the benefits of this will be healthier food choices. Consumers that are health conscious or have poor health condition through this will be able to search for a more nutritious diet and a healthy life, thus reducing all the risk of an unhealthy diet. Consumers may be aware about the importance of nutritional labeling but time can be an obstacle for the people who have to accomplish plenty of tasks. The purchase decision of employed consumers regarding the quality of product can be low, the reason being less time to spare on labeling than the unemployed consumers who have the time to make an appropriate decision regarding the quality of food products they will purchase (Kim, Nayga Capps, 2001). People make use of the label for various purposes but consumers should be encouraged to use the label more often and create awareness on how to apply this information more efficiently and conveniently (Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition 2004). Therefore, policy makers should identify different ways on how to motivate people to change the behavior of reading nutritional labeling before purchase of the packaged product. According to the Lancaster Product Characteristics theory in 1966, the consumers are a

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