FACTORS INFLUENCING THE CHOICE AND PERCEPTIONS OF YOGHURTS AMONG OLD PEOPLE LIVING IN WARSAW
 
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Pol. J. Food Nutr. Sci. 2007;57(1):115–124
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ABSTRACT
The aim of the study was to analyze how demographic factors (such as gender, age and education period) and health factors (such as general health, problems with heart or digestion, diabetes) influence the choice of yoghurts among people aged 65+ and what kind of perceptions of functional foods are formed by the respondents. The study was carried out in Autumn 2003 in the group of 96 Warsaw citizens, without extreme visual and/or hearing impairments. The seniors were divided into experimental groups according to gender (48 women and 48 men) and age (65-74 years old and 75+, in equal proportions). In order to determine seniors’ perceptions of yoghurts a Repertory Grid Method (RGM) was used and empty packages of 5 functional and 2 conventional yoghurts were presented to the subjects in 3 triads. In general, health aspects and taste of yoghurts were the most important factors influencing the food choice, in particular for people who were overweight or obese or suffered from heart problems. Healthy yoghurts were seen by most seniors as natural products, without any additives or even fruits. However, the presence of other functional ingredients such as active biocultures, fibre or vitamins were perceived as additional benefit for health. Consequently, functional yoghurts were in general perceived as healthier than conventional ones. Health expectations of seniors (especially those with heart problems) were met if fat content in yoghurts was in the range of 0.0-1.0%. Therefore, functional yoghurts, being usually low fat, were often perceived by older people as having more proper fat content when compared to the conventional ones. Taste of yoghurts was not important regardless of the fact that the product belonged to either functional or conventional yoghurts.
ISSN:1230-0322