Food neophobia among Nigerian consumers: a study on attitudes towards novel turmeric-fortified drinks

Folake Idowu-Adebayo, Vincenzo Fogliano, Matthew O. Oluwamukomi, Segun Oladimeji, Anita R. Linnemann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Knowledge on food neophobia among African consumers is scarce. Yet a good understanding in this area is essential to support the acceptance of new foods, for instance, when fortifying familiar foods to improve the health and nutritional status of the populace. In this paper, food neophobia among Nigerian consumers was assessed by their attitudes towards unfamiliar beverages, namely turmeric-fortified drinks. Turmeric was chosen as the Nigerian government is stimulating its production for income generation, but the spice is not commonly used in Nigerian foods and drinks. RESULTS: Familiar street-vended drinks, i.e. soymilk and the hibiscus-based drink zobo, were fortified with turmeric. Respondents (483) were allowed to try both the familiar and unfamiliar (turmeric-fortified) drinks. Subjects also filled in a 20-item questionnaire concerning attitudes toward food and eating. Food neophobia was measured by the Food Attitude Survey (FAS) instrument ratings. Using the FAS, people who reported liking the fortified drinks (‘likers’) were compared with those who disliked the drinks (‘dislikers’) and those who were unwilling to try the drinks (‘will not tryers’). Males were found to be more food neophobic than females. Middle-class income earners, the age group of 26–35 years and respondents with the highest education levels also showed a more food neophobic attitude towards turmeric-fortified drinks. CONCLUSION: Practical insights are given regarding the introduction of novel foods to Nigerian consumers by paying attention to attitudes from respondents with different demographic characteristics. The use of influencers seems to be a promising approach to address food neophobia in Nigeria.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • consumer research
  • Curcuma longa
  • Food Attitude Survey
  • Food Neophobia Scale
  • spice
  • zobo

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