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The reliability, use and evaluation of sources of information on foodstuffs

Julita Szlachciuk (Faculty of Human Nutrition and Consumer Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland)
Irena Ozimek (Faculty of Economic Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 6 March 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how young Polish consumers perceive the selected sources of information on foodstuffs. The authors have also taken into account the consumers’ comprehension, hierarchy of importance and use of labels on food products.

Design/methodology/approach

The survey sample consisted of a group of respondents aged 16-24. The participants were students of secondary schools and universities located in Poland, on the territory of Mazovian Voivodeship. The questionnaires were distributed among the respondents: the χ2 test was used to show the impact of demographic variables, while the Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient was applied to examine the relationship between the respondents’ attentiveness to the information contained on the food packaging and its legibility and comprehensibility.

Findings

The study ascertained the existence of differences in the perception of the reliability of sources of information on foodstuffs and the declared frequency of using them. In the respondents’ opinion, the most reliable information can be obtained from nutrition consultants, family members, physicians or pharmacists. Furthermore, the analysis of the frequency of use of individual sources of information by the respondents proved that most often they relied on the recommendations from their family members, the information contained in the label and advice offered by their acquaintances.

Originality/value

The research findings indicate that the key action should be to carry out further educational activities aimed at young consumers in order to enable them to execute their rights to fair information and education, in the foodstuffs market, as well as to increase their consumer activity.

Keywords

Citation

Szlachciuk, J. and Ozimek, I. (2017), "The reliability, use and evaluation of sources of information on foodstuffs", British Food Journal, Vol. 119 No. 3, pp. 442-452. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-03-2016-0107

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited