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Abstract

The market for functional foods in industrialized nations has shown rapid growth over the last decades, sales being estimated at $9 billion in 1995. The emerging market economies of Central and Eastern Europe provide a unique opportunity to study consumer behavior regarding the consumption of functional foods. This paper examines demographic and socio-economic factors affecting consumer beliefs in dietary properties of food in Bulgaria, one of the economies in transition. Estimated results are expected to provide information useful for developing marketing strategies for dietary food product marketing and assist in the formulation of policies and education programs to assure that consumers make informed choices in product selection. Educational attainment level, gender, household size, and regional variables were found to have statistically significant effects on consumer beliefs in dietary properties of food in Bulgaria.

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