Canadian Consumer Attitudes and Purchasing Behaviour of Omega-3 Products
The development of innovative functional food products is a major trend in today's food industry. The growth of this industry is driven by increased consumer awareness of their own health deficiencies, increased understanding of the possible health benefits of functional foods, development in formulation technologies, a positive regulatory environment and changing consumer demographics and lifestyles. While there has been a proliferation of omega-3 products such as milk, eggs, yogurt, and margarine in the Canadian food market, very little is known about consumers of omega-3 products. In our study we use ACNielsen HomescanTM data combined with ACNielsen Panel TrackTM survey data to develop profiles of omega-3 consumers in Canada. The focus of the study is on consumers of four products: omega-3 milk, omega-3 yogurt, omega-3 margarine and omega-3 eggs. We investigate whether there are significant differences between consumers and non-consumers of omega-3 products based on their age, income, education, and household composition. We also investigate whether a household's knowledge of the Canadian food guide, knowledge of nutrition labels, and consideration of health benefits influences the decision to purchase omega-3 products. The results from the ordered probit model estimation show that an aging (baby boomer) population is the most frequent purchaser of omega-3 products, the presence of children in the home increases the purchasing frequency of omega-3 yogurt and omega-3 margarine, and reading the Nutrition Facts panel and health benefits are important factors that affect the purchase of omega-3 products.
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