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Assessing Consumer Attitudes and Perceptions Towards Food Quality: The Case of Consumption of Tetra-Packed Fresh Milk in Sri Lanka

  • Kariyawasam, Sumudu
  • Jayasinghe-Mudalige, Udith K.
  • Weerahewa, Jeevika
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    The objectives of this study are (i) to assess consumer perceptions on fresh milk that are stored in tetra-packs, and (ii) to determine the relationship between the perceptions and the socio-economic characteristics of the consumers. Using Caswell's four subsets of food quality (i.e. food safety, nutrition, value, and packaging) two indices, namely Mean Attribute Score (MAS) and a Food Quality Responsive Index (FQRI) were developed, which describe how important each of these four subsets and various attributes included in each subset for a consumer to be "loyal" with fresh milk in a tetra-pack instead of spending that part of money on close substitutes. A sample of 664 consumers were randomly selected and interviewed using a structured questionnaire at 10 different marketplaces in the Gampaha district in Sri Lanka from April to May in 2005. A subset of 100 consumers who consumes the product more frequently was considered for further analysis. Ordered Logistic Regression technique was used to estimate the coefficients of the model, to which five levels for the dependent variable was derived using the range of values of the FQRI. The results based on the MAS indicate that consumers tend to purchase tetra-pack considering the attributes included in value and package subsets mainly, including purity, appearance, size, convenience, and informational labeling etc. However, consumers did not believe that it enhances those attributes included in "food safety" and "nutritional" subsets. The statistical outcome shows that age, gender, level of education and income have a significant impact on this behavior. It suggests that the "market" can promote the consumption of fresh milk provided that a product complies with the safety and nutritional standards set by the "government".

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/34173
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    Paper provided by Canadian Agricultural Economics Society in its series Annual Meeting, May 25-28, 2006, Montreal, Quebec with number 34173.

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    Date of creation: 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:caes06:34173
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://caes.ca/

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    1. Neal H. Hooker & Julie A. Caswell, 1996. "Trends in food quality regulation: Implications for processed food trade and foreign direct investment," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(5), pages 411-419.
    2. Nelson, Philip, 1974. "Advertising as Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 729-54, July/Aug..
    3. Elizabeth FRAZAO & Jane E. ALLSHOUSE, . "Nutritionally-Improved Foods In Supermarkets: 1989-93," Department of Resource Economics Regional Research Project 95411, University of Massachusetts.
    4. Caswell, Julie A., 1998. "Valuing the benefits and costs of improved food safety and nutrition," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 42(4), December.
    5. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
    6. Julie A. Caswell & Eliza M. Mojduszka, 1996. "Using Informational Labeling to Influence the Market for Quality in Food Products," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1248-1253.
    7. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
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