To read this content please select one of the options below:

Capturing the consumer value: the case of red lentils

Anoma Ariyawardana (School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Queensland, Gatton, Australia)
Ramu Govindasamy (Department of Agricultural Food and Resource Economics, Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA)
Allan Lisle (School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Queesnalnad, Gatton, Australia)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 2 March 2015




Red lentils are one of the widely consumed food items in South Asia and this has created an enormous market opportunity for all players in the chain. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine the most valued attributes of red lentils and to assess how consumer preferences vary across store type and by socio-demographic factors. Thereby, it was aimed to identify value chain interventions that are required to meet the consumer demand.


Sri Lanka was selected as the study location because of its significance as an importer. Through an intercept survey of 300 consumers in three store types, consumption pattern and preference for four attributes of red lentils, namely, size, colour, visual quality and price were collected. Data were also collected from retail and wholesale stores and from a processor. Conjoint analysis was used to analyse the consumer data.


A majority of the respondents consumed red lentils on a daily basis. Consumer preference rankings showed that consumers place a significantly greater level of importance on visual quality than other attributes. Trade-off patterns were different across store types and by socio-demographic factors. Grocery shoppers were willing to trade-off packaging to price while the reverse was true for supermarket shoppers. Retail and wholesale purchases were driven by quality.

Research limitations/implications

Findings highlight that chain effectiveness could be enhanced by offering bigger sized lentils while assuring quality.


This research uses a consumer driven assessment in identifying required value chain interventions.



This project was supported by the USDA’s International Science and Education competitive grants programme, Award No. 2009-51160-05470. Authors would like to thank Dr L.H.P. Gunaratne for his initial contribution to this study.


Ariyawardana, A., Govindasamy, R. and Lisle, A. (2015), "Capturing the consumer value: the case of red lentils", British Food Journal, Vol. 117 No. 3, pp. 1032-1042.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles