Awareness and Attitude towards Functional Dairy Products among Consumers in Western Province of Sri Lanka

Narayana Mudiyanselage Nayana Kumari Narayana, Sanjeewa Fernando, Gangani Chandima Samaraweera


Functional foods are the foods that provide health benefits beyond the basic nutrition. Dairy products have a prominent position in the functional food market. However, market share for functional dairy products in Sri Lanka is low compared to most of the countries in the world. Awareness of consumers and attitude towards a healthy life is essential for market success of functional dairy products. Therefore, a study was conducted to investigate the status of awareness of and attitudes towards functional dairy products among consumers from Western Province of Sri Lanka. The study was conducted using a pre-tested structured questionnaire during June to November 2018, with the participation of 307 purposively selected consumers. Information on consumers’ tendency towards a healthy life style, awareness and perception on health benefits of functional foods and dairy products, confidence on different information sources etc. were recorded. SPSS statistical software package was used for the data analysis. The empirical findings showed that the consumers still concern about taste and cost rather than health when buying food products. Consumer age showed a significant (χ2=19.41, p<0.05) and a positive association with tendency towards a healthy lifestyle. Knowledge and awareness on functional dairy products, functional ingredients and their benefits are considerably low among the consumers. However, consumer education showed a significant positive associations with the knowledge and awareness (χ2 =21.27, p<0.05) and knowledge of the ingredients present in functional foods and dairy products (χ2=17.54; p<0.05). Information availability, trustfulness and media advertising had a significant (p<0.05) effect on increasing consumer knowledge. Participants predominantly received information through electronic media (97.7%). Powdered milk followed by ice-cream and yoghurt was requested by the consumers to be developed as future functional dairy products. Majority (70.7%) of the consumers did not satisfy with the existing market access and availability of variants and therefore, a good potential exists for the introduction of novel functional dairy products to the functional food market of Sri Lanka.


functional dairy products; consumer awareness; attitude; Health benefits Healthy lifestyle

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ISSN: 2148-127X

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