The aim of this paper is to study the consumer perception of functional foods and to identify determinants of functional foods consumption in Slovakia.
The research is based on primary data obtained by conducting an online questionnaire survey in 2021 using the snowball sampling method (n = 1,138 Slovak respondents). By applying inferential and multivariate statistics, several segments of functional food consumers were identified.
Research identified three segments of functional food consumers in Slovakia differing in the agreement scores of the four dimensions of beliefs about functional foods. The “Skeptic” is the largest segment, comprising 52% of the sample. Consumers have higher agreement on the risk beliefs and lower agreement on the benefit, trend and interest beliefs. These consumers do not consume functional food regularly. The segment “Less interested”, comprising 35% of the sample, has average agreement scores, and consumers consume functional food occasionally or regularly. The “Enthusiastic” is the smallest segment, comprising only 12% of the sample. Consumers have high agreement on the benefits and interest beliefs and low agreement on the risk beliefs. Most consumers consume functional food regularly and are focusing on functional product features.
The results provide essential information for both the academic and commercial field. Obtained information can be used by producers of functional foods to better understand their customers as well as to improve their marketing strategies on the Slovak market.
This publication was supported by the Operational Program Integrated Infrastructure within the project: Demand-driven research for the sustainable and innovative food, Drive4SIFood 313011V336, cofinanced by the European Regional Development Fund.
Horská, E., Predanócyová, K., Šedík, P., Grunert, K.G. and Hupková, D. (2022), "Consumer perception of functional foods and determinants of functional foods consumption in the Slovak Republic", British Food Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-07-2022-0656
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