Asouzu N. C. 1 and Iheme G. O. 2
1Department of Dietetics, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, PMB 102,
Ebonyi State, Nigeria
2Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike,
PMB 7267, Umuahia, Abia State Nigeria
Corresponding Author: [email protected]
Objectives: This study was designed to determine the influence of consumers’ food label knowledge and perception
on food label utilization in Abakaliki Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
Methodology: A descriptive and cross-sectional study design was employed. A total of 262 respondents were selected
using multi-stage sampling technique. An interviewer administered structured questionnaire was used to elicit their
socio-demographic characteristics, food label knowledge, perception and utilization. Descriptive and inferential
statistics was used to analyse the variable with significance judged at P< 0.05 where applicable.
Results: Results revealed that 50.8% and 35.9% of the respondents had poor and average food label knowledge
respectively. Most (69.1%) of them had fair perception, while 22.5% had poor perception towards food label. Results
showed that 24.8% and 46.6% always and sometimes use food label during product purchase respectively.
Manufacture/expiry date (39.5%), food price (25.3%) and nutrition information (17.6%) were found to be the common
food label components checked by the respondents. Fats (30.5%) and carbohydrates (29.6%) were the key nutrients
considered by the respondents when using food labels. This was evident in their avoidance of high fat (36.5%) and
high sugar (36.1%) foods. Some of the respondents often utilized foods products with low/no sugar (50.2%), low/no
fat (63.5%), cholesterol free (41.6%) and sodium free (48.5%) health claims. A significant relationship exist between
food label knowledge and food label utilization frequency (r =0.03; p = 0.001).
Conclusion: Poor/average food label knowledge and perception score of the respondents was observed. Although,
most of the consumers use food label information, manufacture/expiry date was the most checked component of food
label. A positive correlation between food label knowledge and utilization frequency was