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Factors influencing grocery shopping choices and the prevalence of food label use among Saudi mothers: a cross-sectional pilot study

Najlaa Alsini (Department of Clinical Nutrition, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Hebah Alawi Kutbi (Department of Clinical Nutrition, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Noor Hakim (Department of Clinical Nutrition, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Rana Mosli (Department of Clinical Nutrition, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Noura Eid (Department of Clinical Nutrition, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Zeinab Mulla (Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Imperial College London, London, UK)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 14 June 2022

Issue publication date: 7 February 2023

202

Abstract

Purpose

There is currently limited data available on the Saudi population’s adoption of nutritional guidelines or on other factors influencing food purchasing behaviors. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of nutrition label use, explore factors that could influence food choices during grocery shopping and evaluate the association of these factors with the sociodemographic characteristics of mothers.

Design/methodology/approach

Mothers were recruited at a community event. They were requested to complete a questionnaire that assessed social and lifestyle characteristics as well as product features that influence food choices during grocery shopping.

Findings

The study included 157 mothers. The prevalence of label reading was high with 69% of participants always or mostly reading labels pre-purchase. Features that were most likely to “always” influence purchase choices included: product healthfulness (57.3%), children’s preference (45.9%), specific needs of a family member (38.9%). The feature “awareness campaigns and workshops” was found to be associated with both low and high-income groups. There was a poor understanding of what the “light” food label meant with only 37.6% answering correctly.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed with a higher sample size with diverse sociodemographic characteristics.

Practical implications

Saudi mothers are influenced by product healthfulness as well as children’s and family members’ needs when grocery shopping. There was a high prevalence of reading nutrition labels prepurchase. These findings can inform future public health policy on the main drivers for food purchasing decisions and the need for educational initiatives in Saudi Arabia.

Originality/value

The present research collates factors influencing food choices

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are very thankful to all the associated personnel in any reference that contributed for the purpose of this research. No funding support was provided for this research study.

Citation

Alsini, N., Kutbi, H.A., Hakim, N., Mosli, R., Eid, N. and Mulla, Z. (2023), "Factors influencing grocery shopping choices and the prevalence of food label use among Saudi mothers: a cross-sectional pilot study", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 53 No. 2, pp. 432-444. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-11-2021-0345

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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