Titel: Consumers Awareness, Purchase and Consumption Intention Towards Functional Foods: The Case of East Mediterranean Region of Türkiye
Abstract: This study aimed to determine consumers’ awareness and consumption frequency towards selected functional food products and to investigate the relationship between consumers’ sociodemographic characteristics and their purchase/consumption intention towards functional foods in Türkiye. An online survey was conducted with 384 participants from the provinces of Adana, Osmaniye, Kahramanmaraş, and Hatay, which are located in the East Mediterranean Region of Türkiye. According to the result of the factor analysis, we found 5 factors named "Reward", "Confidence", "Purchase and Consumption Intention", "Safety" and "Necessity". Additionally, t-test and ANOVA analyses conducted links between consumers' socio-demographics and their intentions to purchase/consume functional foods. Results confirm that mainly female participants and those with higher education have more positive intentions to buy and consume functional foods. Additionally, the most consumed functional foods were Turkish coffee, pickles and mineral water by consumers. Within the context of consumer perceptions, the growing perception of functional foods as an unfavorable future trend is a worrisome observation, revealing widespread skepticism and mistrust towards the industry. This study underscores the crucial role of transparency, urging manufacturers and marketers to substantiate their products' health benefits to effectively address these concerns.