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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2007

S. Sarkar

Considerable efforts have been exercised to influence the intestinal microbiota by dietary means in such a way that the health of host is beneficially affected. Consumer's…

Abstract

Purpose

Considerable efforts have been exercised to influence the intestinal microbiota by dietary means in such a way that the health of host is beneficially affected. Consumer's belief that certain foods can exhibit health benefits has resulted in the coining of the term functional foods. Functional foods exist at the interface between food and drugs, therefore offers great potential for health improvement and prevention of diseases when ingested as part of a balanced diet. The purpose of this paper is to examine functional foods as self‐care and complementary medicine.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explores various aspects of functional foods such as the reasons for consumer's inclination, health claims, formulation, regulation, and labeling.

Findings

Any food can be regarded as functional if it can be demonstrated to affect beneficially one or more target functions in the body or reduce disease risk besides basic nutrition. Health beneficial properties of functional foods suggest their application as self‐care and complementary medicine.

Originality/value

Ingestion of functional food may help in maintaining the intestinal microbiota and prevent disease risk beyond their basic nutritional needs.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2011

Nick Christidis, Georgia Tsoulfa, Mira Varagunam and Maria Babatzimopoulou

Increasing awareness of functional foods would have many health benefits such as reducing the incidence of non communicable diseases. The aim of this study is to…

Abstract

Purpose

Increasing awareness of functional foods would have many health benefits such as reducing the incidence of non communicable diseases. The aim of this study is to investigate consumer awareness and consumption of functional foods in the city of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample population of consumers was randomly selected outside popular supermarkets in the city of Thessaloniki (n=154). Trained interviewers conducted interviews and a questionnaire was completed by each participant. Socio‐demographic information and details of knowledge and consumption of functional foods were obtained. Data were analyzed using Stata.

Findings

The analysis of the data showed that only 33 per cent of the consumers were aware of the term “functional foods”. Interestingly, the proportion of the sample population that knew about foods with health promoting factors was over 95 per cent. The term “functional food” was unfamiliar to the sample population. Over 70 per cent of the consumers surveyed consumed such foods, unaware of the terminology.

Originality/value

This appears to be the first Greek study to examine consumer awareness and consumption of functional foods.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 41 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 30 June 2020

Sik Sumaedi and Sumardjo

This study aims to analyse the influence of descriptive norm, perceived behavioural control, perceived threat of non-communicable disease (NCD), healthy food extension…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyse the influence of descriptive norm, perceived behavioural control, perceived threat of non-communicable disease (NCD), healthy food extension education frequency, the frequency of healthy food community group meetings, healthy food-related newspapers/magazines usage frequency, healthy food-related websites usage frequency and healthy food-related social media usage frequency towards traditional functional food consumption behaviour, especially tempeh, in Indonesia.

Design/methodology/approach

This study collected data from 99 respondents who consumed traditional functional food. The data were analysed using multiple regression.

Findings

Traditional functional food consumption behaviour is significantly influenced by descriptive norm, perceived behavioural control and the frequency of healthy food community group meetings. The traditional functional food consumption behaviour is not affected by the perceived threat of NCD, healthy food extension education frequency, healthy food-related newspapers/magazines usage frequency, healthy food-related websites usage frequency and healthy food-related social media usage frequency.

Research limitations/implications

This research investigated only one functional food type and employed a purposive sampling technique. Future research should be conducted in other contexts to examine the stability of the research findings.

Practical implications

To improve traditional functional food consumption, it is essential to ensure that people can easily consume traditional functional food. It is also essential to develop an extension education strategy that involves the community's influential person/leader and healthy food community group meetings.

Originality/value

This paper is the first that investigates traditional functional foods consumption behaviour.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 123 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2008

Maurice Doyon and JoAnne Labrecque

To draw the frontiers of the functional food universe, to identify concepts that should be included in a broadly accepted functional food definition and to propose a definition.

Abstract

Purpose

To draw the frontiers of the functional food universe, to identify concepts that should be included in a broadly accepted functional food definition and to propose a definition.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a review of the literature and the Delphi technique with a group of North American and European experts.

Findings

Four concepts were identified: the nature of food, health benefits, functions and regular consumption. Two dimensions, physiological effects and functional intensity, were developed to define the frontiers of the functional food universe and a definition is suggested.

Practical implications

A large number of definitions as well as great variations within definitions make it difficult to provide industry partners with robust information on market trends and market potential, or to appropriately protect consumers through legislation. This paper should contribute to the debate surrounding the type of food that should be considered a functional food and surrounding the lack of a common definition for functional foods.

Originality/value

This paper is the first one, to our knowledge, that attempts to conceptually define the frontiers of the functional food universe and to provide a definition of functional food which is not sensitive to cultural differences, can accommodate temporal variations and rely on previous knowledge (definition) as well as experts' opinions.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 110 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 20 December 2018

Ilkay Gok and Efe Kaan Ulu

After the introduction of functional food term in 1980s, production and marketing of functional food in Japan, USA and European markets has developed rapidly. Compared to…

Abstract

Purpose

After the introduction of functional food term in 1980s, production and marketing of functional food in Japan, USA and European markets has developed rapidly. Compared to these developed countries, the market size of the functional food in Turkey is very limited. The purpose of this study is to explore reasons of limited development and marketing strategies regarding the size of expenditure, governmental legislation and consumer preferences and highlight the type of functional food products available at large retail chains of important suppliers in Turkey.

Design/methodology/approach

Description and exploration of market size and expenditure were determined by using Euromonitor International (2017). The factors influencing consumption and attitudes toward functional food purchasing were evaluated by studying literature research. The number and types of functional foods in the most important supermarket chains were determined to show the growth rate in Turkey. Products in the markets were determined based on the direct observation available, and functional foods sold in the markets were noted at the visits and tabulated. The type of functional food product, its category, the main benefit offer to the consumer and the brand and status of the food processing industry (national or not) were identified. Government legislation on special health claims for functional foods was stated.

Findings

Market size of Turkey per capita expenditure was approximately US$5.8m, which was very low, whereas that of Japan and USA was US$86.7m and 100.2m, respectively, in 2017. The variety of functional food products was at a very low level, and functional food market share was limited compared to powerful countries like Turkey. International companies had a higher market share than national companies. Danone with dairy functional foods was the biggest company in Turkey market. Literature studies showed that Turkish people have less knowledge about functional foods and need education. According to reviews, socio-demographic characteristics such as age, education, income levels, gender and prices were important indicators influence consumer awareness and consumption of functional foods. Consumer’s knowledge must be increased with their health benefits by education. Reviews showed that nearly 60 per cent of people did not have any information about functional food and women were more aware and the most active user group. Dairy products were the most preferred functional foods in Turkey. Because of limited awareness, there is a need for elucidating studies that are targeting potential consumers. Turkey did not have labeling system to claim foods functionality on packages and did not permit foods that contribute to health maintenance and/or recovery from disease, but Republic of Turkey Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock applies some laws and regulations.

Originality/value

This study provides market study and detailed research about marketing strategies and legislation of functional foods in Turkey. People have high demand to consume and there are big potentials of functional food marketing and opportunities for food industries. But to increase consumption and marketing size, it needs education of consumer, advertising and some adjustment of legislation by government.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 49 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

Beate Irene Goetzke and Achim Spiller

The desire for health and well-being is a strong driver in the food market. Scientific publications show that health is an important motive for both functional and organic…

Abstract

Purpose

The desire for health and well-being is a strong driver in the food market. Scientific publications show that health is an important motive for both functional and organic food consumption. The aim of this study is to investigate whether functional and organic food consumers have the same understanding of health, and which health and well-being improving lifestyles are characteristic for them. Based on this, the authors identify dimensions for a wellness-orientated lifestyle model.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to measure the different well-being and health lifestyles, AIO dimensions were adapted to theoretical wellness concepts. The results of the conducted factor and multiple OLS regression analyses are based on the data of an online survey of 500 German consumers.

Findings

Consumers of functional food have a similar concept of health and well-being to organic consumers, but differ in certain aspects in their way of achieving this. The purchase of organic and functional food is driven by different lifestyles. Overall, the results confirm the link between organic food and an active lifestyle, as well as functional food and a passive lifestyle.

Practical implications

The paper contributes to the discussion of health in marketing and especially in the food industry. The results reveal which kinds of lifestyle food marketing should be considered in a target group specific product communication and positioning.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the understanding of consumer behaviour, especially in the organic and functional food segment. It highlights the importance of health for both food types and also important differences in the understanding of wellness. Moreover, the results reveal first dimensions for a wellness-orientated lifestyle approach – especially for the food market.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 116 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2007

Neela Badrie, Simone Reid‐Foster, Chandra Benny‐Ollivierra and Hazel Roberts

There is unprecedented interest by consumers to improve health and wellness through dietary means. This first study conducted in Trinidad, West Indies, aims to examine the…

Abstract

Purpose

There is unprecedented interest by consumers to improve health and wellness through dietary means. This first study conducted in Trinidad, West Indies, aims to examine the exercise enthusiasts’ perceptions, choices, reasons and beliefs of functional foods.

Design/methodology/approach

A structured questionnaire was administered to 120 randomly chosen exercise/fitness enthusiasts at six gyms located in East and Central regions.

Findings

Only 50.5 per cent had heard of at least one term either “functional” or “nutraceutical” or “designer” foods with the most familiar term (34.3 per cent; p<0.05) being “functional”. Frequency of exercise (p<0.01) and age (p<0.05) were influential factors affecting familiarity to functional term. Tomatoes (89.5 per cent) and cabbages (83.2 per cent) were popular vegetable choices. Energy giving was selected as most (71.6 per cent; p<0.05) important health claim. The perceived benefit of functional foods was more for performance enhancement rather than for health. Functional foods were considered expensive (47.4 per cent), prevented disease (46.3 per cent), necessary for older people (37.9 per cent) and were different from others. On comparing the respondent's agreement of manufacturer's health claims of functional foods with their own beliefs, 39.0 per cent “agreed/strongly agreed” that the manufacturers exaggerated their health claims. Gender did not (p>0.05) influence responses.

Originality/value

Although, limited in sample size, the reasons given for consumption of functional foods and the chosen foods could guide marketers and food product developers. The study highlighted the need for public education on the health benefits and regulatory measures on functional foods.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Ioanna Anninou and Gordon R. Foxall

This study aims to examine functional foods, a relatively recent development in the food industry, from the perspective of consumer decision-making. It deals specifically…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine functional foods, a relatively recent development in the food industry, from the perspective of consumer decision-making. It deals specifically with consumers’ attitudinal dispositions towards such products and seeks an overall comprehension of the elements of decision-making factors that precede their purchase.

Design/methodology/approach

This exploratory work methodologically uses several elements of a grounded theoretical approach, in-depth interviews with consumers (and food industry experts) and, more importantly, the constant comparative method of analysis.

Findings

The analysis indicates that three levels of decision-making processing form consumers’ final functional food choices in either affirmative or negative ways. At the abstract level, consumers position functional foods within their food system. A “benefit negotiation” process acts as the central route of decision-making. Finally, during the “appraising” stage, a representation of each functional food is built. This representation should not be perceived as a rigid one as it can be influenced by personal characteristics, marketing activities and, more importantly, monetary considerations.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a decision-making framework that takes choice issues into consideration. It builds on (connecting and challenging) some of the existing consumer literature on functional foods. The findings indicate the dynamic nature of consumers’ decision-making which is shaped by motivational and other personal factors. The study identifies the concept of perceived efficacy of such foods, a concept discussed widely in previous literature, as a subordinate aspect when compared to consumers’ consumption motivation, perceived importance and perceptions of pricing. The paper discusses the implications for theory, research and practice.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 34 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article
Publication date: 9 July 2019

Saugat Neupane, Ranga Chimhundu and K.C. Chan

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between consumers’ cultural values and their functional food perception.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between consumers’ cultural values and their functional food perception.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is qualitative in nature and uses the grounded theory method. The data were collected through in-depth interviews with three ethnic groups, Anglo-Australian, Chinese and Indian ethnic groups in Australia. The constant comparative data analysis approach was used to analyse the interview text.

Findings

The results indicate that there is a relationship between consumers’ cultural values and their functional food perception. Functional food perception depends upon the consumers’ predisposition towards their culture, their motives for functional food consumption and the level of perseverance towards functional foods.

Research limitations/implications

The study includes only three ethnic groups and is qualitative in nature, which may limit its generalisability to the universe. The inclusion of more ethnic groups and additional sources of data could form directions for future research.

Practical implications

Functional food marketers can assess the kind of cultural values the ethnic groups in Australia uphold and capture those values in their marketing strategies. The cultural values in the framework could be used for the segmentation of functional food consumers. In a multicultural setting like Australia, segmentation of consumers based on the standard values would be more feasible and effective to target consumers spread across different ethnic groups but who uphold similar values.

Originality/value

The research has attempted to fill the gap in the existing literature about the relationship between culture and functional food perception. The latent variables in the theoretical framework proposed by the qualitative enquiry can be a good starting point for understanding the influence of cultural values on functional food perception and the development of a more comprehensive theoretical framework for functional food behaviour.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 121 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

Jennifer Gray, Gillian Armstrong and Heather Farley

Reviews the main food choice trends driving consumer demand for functional foods and the constraints limiting market development. Considers previous research activity in…

Abstract

Reviews the main food choice trends driving consumer demand for functional foods and the constraints limiting market development. Considers previous research activity in the functional food arena and subsequently identifies paramount research priorities that may facilitate the development of products that will help satisfy consumer demands for convenience, health and sensory pleasure.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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