Assessment of Consumer Awareness and Preferences for Quality Certification and Origin-Labeling in Fruit Salads in Kigali,Rwanda

Consumers worldwide are increasingly becoming more concerned and aware about food standards, quality and safety issues. Developing countries including Rwanda have shown poor food quality and considerable deficiencies in vitamins; however, consumption of healthy and inspected fruit salads is among solutions to overcome these problems. Although Rwanda food policies have established regulations in food industry, no empirical evidence exists on consumers’ preferences for fruit salad quality specifically for quality certification and origin labeling. This study was conducted in Kigali city and assessed the factors influencing the awareness on origin labeling and consumers’ preferences for fruit salads quality through semi-structured questionnaires, from 360 randomly selected fruit salad consumers.Descriptive statistics were used in the characterization of fruit salads consumption. In addition, a binomial logit was applied to assess the factors that influence awareness on origin labeling, while choice experiment (CE) approach and multinomial logit (MNL) were applied to elicit consumer’s preferences for fruit salad attributes. Results show that the majority of fruit salads in Rwanda are not certified and non-labeled, and they are only consumed on occasional basis. The main factors that were found to have influence on awareness on origin labeling are residential area, place of purchase, reading of labels and levels of education. Further, consumers had positive preferences for organic fruit salads and inspection of vendor’s health. They also had higher positive preferences for fruit salads that comprise vitamins A, C and fats. In addition, consumers had higher preferences for imported than domestic fruit salads, and they had higher preferences for private certification. These results provide useful insights to nutrition policy on encouraging fruit salads consumption and enhancing consumer education on their quality. Further, the findings would guide health sector policy on effective monitoring and regulation of fruit salad sale to ensure safe trading of such foods.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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