Turkey: Education needed to boost functional food sales


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Related tags Functional food Nutrition

“The most important goal of [Turkish] functional food manufacturers should be to teach and educate consumers..."
“The most important goal of [Turkish] functional food manufacturers should be to teach and educate consumers..."
Gender, age, education, class – and taste – all influence functional food consumption say Turkish researchers who recommended the country of 75m people does more to educate its citizens about the potential of fortified foods.

In what they called, almost the first assessment”​ of the Turkish functional foods market from a consumer point of view, females were found to be almost three times more aware of functional foods than men and better educated people were 1.4 times more aware of them.

Those who used vitamins and mineral food supplements had greater knowledge of functional foods by a factor of 1.2, as did older people (3.4).

Consumers with genetic dispositions to certain diseases or ailments like heart disease or high cholesterol were also more likely to use functional foods like plant sterol-stanol margarines for lowering cholesterol and fortified juices and cereals.

“The most important goal of functional food manufacturers should be to teach and educate consumers about their products, the ingredients used in them and their corresponding health benefits,”​ the researchers said.


The 808 participants between the ages of 20 and 80 were asked to fill in questionnaires that asked them about:

(1) rewards of using functional food

(2) benefits of functional food

(3) confidence in functional food

(4) necessity of functional food

(5) functional food as medicine

(6) taste of functional food

(7) information about functional food.

They emphasised the importance of organoleptic properties, especially taste.

“…participants scoring functional foods high on taste were more likely to have consumed herbal tea to help digestion, breakfast cereals fortified with vitamins and minerals, and mineral water than low-scoring participants,”​ the researchers wrote.

But overall, “consumers do not have enough knowledge about functional foods in this context.”

“From this point of view, companies should perform informative and demand-stimulating marketing strategies. Consumer doubts related with asserted health effects of functional foods could be also removed by taking support from scientific experts in this field.”




Consumer Studies

Published online September 2 (DOI: 10.1111/ijcs.12134)

Consumers' awareness, acceptance and attitudes towards functional foods in Turkey’

 ​Authors: Aylin Büyükkaragöz, ​Murat Bas, Duygu Sağlam, Şaziye Ecem Cengiz

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Posted by Feritciva,

Unfortunately what Bleda wrote is completely right. Ministry registrations are really causing trouble in Turkey - as they insist trying to limit dietary supplement use. Although there is a very big potential, future of Turkish dietary supplement/functional food market depends on ministry issues rather than education..

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Education you say ?

Posted by Bleda,

Try to go with functional foods issue against Turkish Ministry of Food & Agriculture and see what happens ! That ministry recently prohibited Dietary Supplements... (not officially but causing lots of troubles to companies in the business) This article is more like a university study which can not be applied to real life ! Though it's true that Education is the biggest problem in Turkey in the last 10 years !

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