Segmentation Analysis of Consumer Perception Towards Seaweed Incorporated Functional Foods — A case study of Kerala
The influence of consumer perception on acceptability of new seaweed incorporated functional foods was studied by collecting responses from consumers across Kerala. The factors influencing consumers to try novel functional foods based on seaweed were identified through a survey of respondents frequenting popular shopping malls, super markets, discount stores and traditional retail shops in Ernakulam and Palakkad districts of Kerala. Respondents belonged to Low :<₹0.5 million (38%) , Medium : ₹0.5 million – ₹1 million (49%) and High : >₹1 million (13%) annual income groups. Factor analysis performed to examine the existence of relationship between study variables and consumer acceptance of new seaweed based functional foods indicated scores above 0.6 for each of dimensions tested. The study pointed out that marketing strategy should concentrate on consumer’s focus on health, purchase habits, interest in novel products and knowledge of functional foods in general and seaweed products in particular. Popularization efforts through exhibitions and news coverage will widen the consumer base for the seaweed products. Consumer segmentation performed using cluster analysis revealed that, although Kerala consumers were divided on the acceptance of seaweed products, they have exhibited perception of linking their diet with health which can be useful in promoting demand for these food products. Segmentation analysis underscores existence of consumer groups characterized by distinct outlook towards food products with seaweed as functional ingredients. The results of this study highlights that immense opportunities exists for establishment of seaweed based small scale food processing industry.
Cluster analysis, Consumer characteristics, Consumer purchase behavior, Consumer segmentation, Innovativeness
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