Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 10

Consumers Related Abstracts

10 Characteristic of Gluten-Free Products: Latvian Consumer Survey

Authors: Laila Ozola, Evita Straumite


Celiac disease is a permanent enteropathy caused by the ingestion of gluten, a protein occurring in wheat, rye and barley. The only way of the effective daily treatment is a strict gluten-free diet. From the investigation of products available in the local market, it was found that Latvian producers do not offer gluten-free products. The aim of this research was to study and analyze changes of celiac patient’s attitude to gluten-free product quality and availability in the Latvian market and purchasing habits. The survey was designed using website, and a questionnaire was sent to people suffering from celiac disease. The first time the respondents were asked to fill in the questionnaire in 2011, but now repeatedly from the beginning of September 2013 till the end of January 2014. The questionnaire was performed with 75 celiac patients, respondents were from all Latvian regions and they answered 16 questions. One of the most important questions was aimed to find out consumers’ opinion about quality of gluten-free products, consumption patterns of gluten-free products, and, moreover, their interest in products made in Latvia. Respondents were asked to name gluten-free products they mainly buy and give specific purchase locations, evaluate the quality of products and necessity for products produced in Latvia. The results of questionnaire show that the consumers are satisfied with the quality of gluten-free flour, flour blends, sweets and pasta, but are not satisfied with the quality of bread and confectionery available in the Latvian markets.

Keywords: Quality, Consumers, Survey, gluten-free products

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9 Hedonic Price Analysis of Consumer Preference for Musa spp in Northern Nigeria

Authors: Yakubu Suleiman, S. A. Musa


The research was conducted to determine the physical characteristics of banana fruits that influenced consumer preferences for the fruit in Northern Nigeria. Socio-economic characteristics of the respondents were also identified. Simple descriptive statistics and Hedonic prices model were used to analyze the data collected for socio-economic and consumer preference respectively with the aid of 1000 structured questionnaires. The result revealed the value of R2 to be 0.633, meaning that, 63.3% of the variation in the banana price was brought about by the explanatory variables included in the model and the variables are: colour, size, degree of ripeness, softness, surface blemish, cleanliness of the fruits, weight, length, and cluster size of fruits. However, the remaining 36.7% could be attributed to the error term or random disturbance in the model. It could also be seen from the calculated result that the intercept was 1886.5 and was statistically significant (P < 0.01), meaning that about N1886.5 worth of banana fruits could be bought by consumers without considering the variables of banana included in the model. Moreover, consumers showed that they have significant preference for colours, size, degree of ripeness, softness, weight, length and cluster size of banana fruits and they were tested to be significant at either P < 0.01, P < 0.05, and P < 0.1 . Moreover, the result also shows that consumers did not show significance preferences to surface blemish, cleanliness and variety of the banana fruit as all of them showed non-significance level with negative signs. Based on the findings of the research, it is hereby recommended that plant breeders and research institutes should concentrate on the production of banana fruits that have those physical characteristics that were found to be statistically significance like cluster size, degree of ripeness,’ softness, length, size, and skin colour.

Keywords: Analysis, Consumers, Variables, preference

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8 Evaluation of Energy Supply and Demand Side Management for Residential Buildings in Ekiti State, Nigeria

Authors: Oluwatosin Samuel Adeoye


Ekiti State is an agrarian state located in south western part of Nigeria. The injected power to the Ado-Ekiti and the entire state are 25MW and 37.6 MW respectively. The estimated power demand for Ado Ekiti and Ekiti state were 29.01MW and 224.116MW respectively. The distributed power to the consumers is characterized with shortcomings which include: in-adequate supply, poor voltage regulation, improper usage, illiteracy and wastage. The power generation in Nigeria is presently 1680.60MW which does not match the estimated power demand of 15,000MW with a population of over 170 million citizens. This paper evaluates the energy utilization in Ado Ekiti metropolis, the wastage and its economic implication as well as effective means of its management. The use of direct interviews, administration of questionnaires, measurements of current and voltage with clamp multimeter, and simple mathematical approach were used for the purpose of evaluation. Recommendations were made with the view of reducing energy waste from mean value of 10.84% to 2% in order to reduce the cost implication such that the huge financial waste can be injected to other parts of the economy as well as the management of energy in Ekiti state.

Keywords: Energy, Management, Waste, Consumers, Power supply, Demand

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7 Psychosocial Predictors of Brand Loyalty in Pakistani Consumers

Authors: Afsheen Masood, Muhammad Sulman, Tabinda Khurshid


The current research focused on determining the factors that determine the brand loyalty in consumers. It was hypothesized that there are certain demographical features that lead the consumers to adhere more towards certain brands. Cross-sectional research design was used. The sample for the current research comprised of participants (N=500) from age group 16 to 55 years. The data was collected through self-constructed demographic questionnaire as well as from a self-constructed Brand Loyalty Questionnaire. Brand Loyalty Questionnaire was adapted after taking permission from researchers. A pilot study was conducted to chalk out all the ambiguities of the questionnaire. The final version was administered on 250 participants. The descriptive and inferential analyses were carried on through SPSS version 24.00 to explore the factors that determine Brand Loyalty. The findings revealed that there is a relationship between brand loyalty and brand loyalty demographics and certain factors emerged as significant predictors of brand loyalty in young and middle aged consumers. The research findings carry strong implications for organizational and consumer psychologists in particular and for professionals in marketing and policy making in general.

Keywords: Marketing, Organizational, Consumers, Policy making, consumer psychologists

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6 Automated Distribution System Management: Substation Remote Diagnostic and Operation Solution for Obafemi Awolowo University

Authors: Aderonke Oluseun Akinwumi, Olusola A. Komolaf


This paper gives information about the wide array of challenges facing both the electric utilities and consumers in the distribution system in developing countries, using Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Nigeria as a case study. It also proffers cost-effective solution through remote monitoring, diagnostic and operation of distribution networks without compromising the system reliability. As utilities move from manned and unintelligent networks to completely unmanned smart grids, switching activities at substations and feeders will be managed and controlled remotely by dedicated systems hence this design. The Substation Remote Diagnostic and Operation Solution (sRDOs) would remotely monitor the load on Medium Voltage (MV) and Low Voltage (LV) feeders as well as distribution transformers and allow the utility disconnect non-paying customers with absolutely no extra resource deployment and without interrupting supply to paying customers. The aftermath of the implementation of this design improved the lifetime of key distribution infrastructure by automatically isolating feeders during overload conditions and more importantly erring consumers. This increased the ratio of revenue generated on electricity bills to total network load.

Keywords: Consumers, Diagnostic, Remote Monitoring, System Reliability, distribution transformer, low voltage, medium voltage, electric utility, manned and unintelligent networks, unmanned smart grids, switching activities

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5 Label Survey in Romania: A Study on How Consumers Use Food Labeling

Authors: Camelia Vizireanu, Gabriela Iordachescu, Mariana Cretu Stuparu, Mirela Praisler, Camelia Busila, Doina Voinescu


The aim of the study was to evaluate the consumers’ degree of confidence in food labeling, how they use and understand the label and respectively food labeling elements. The label is a bridge between producers, suppliers, and consumers. It has to offer enough information in terms of public health and food safety, statement of ingredients, nutritional information, warnings and advisory statements, producing date and shelf-life, instructions for storage and preparation (if required). The survey was conducted on 500 consumers group in Romania, aged 15+, males and females, from urban and rural areas and with different graduation levels. The questionnaire was distributed face to face and online. It had single or multiple choices questions and label images for the efficiency and best understanding of the question. The law 1169/2011 applied to food products from 13 of December 2016 improved and adapted the requirements for labeling in a clear manner. The questions were divided on following topics: interest and general trust in labeling, use and understanding of label elements, understanding of the ingredient list and safety information, nutrition information, advisory statements, serving sizes, best before/use by meanings, intelligent labeling, and demographic data. Three choice selection exercises were also included. In this case, the consumers had to choose between two similar products and evaluate which label element is most important in product choice. The data were analysed using MINITAB 17 and PCA analysis. Most of the respondents trust the food label, taking into account some elements especially when they buy the first time the product. They usually check the sugar content and type of sugar, saturated fat and use the mandatory label elements and nutrition information panel. Also, the consumers pay attention to advisory statements, especially if one of the items is relevant to them or the family. Intelligent labeling is a challenging option. In addition, the paper underlines that the consumer is more careful and selective with the food consumption and the label is the main helper for these.

Keywords: Consumers, labeling, food safety information, labeling nutritional information

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4 Consumers’ Trust and Values towards Halal Food Products in Malaysia

Authors: A. B. Elistina, S. Norhafifah, R. N. Nashaqilla, M. A. Afida Mastura., O. Mohhidin


The issue of halal, especially in food products, raises lots of concern among Muslim consumers. Halal is often associated with safe, clean and nutritious food, according to the principle of halal toyyiban. Apart from that, the importance of halal food is not only emphasized by Muslim consumers but also non-Muslims. This is because the halal product is something that has been recognized for its cleanliness and safety. Nevertheless, consumers often face problems to ensure that the products they buy are genuinely halal as they can only rely on the certification of the authorities. However, the issue is the extent to which consumers place trust in the responsible certification authorities to determine the status of halal for a product. Therefore, this paper is intended to identify the relationship between consumer values and trust towards responsible parties such as Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM), the Ministry of Health (MOH), foreign halal certification body and producers with consumers’ behavior. Apart from that, this study will also determine the value which consumers hold when choosing halal food and its relationship with consumers’ behavior. The total of 400 respondents who had been selected through stratified random sampling had participated in this study, and the data were collected through a set of self-administered questionnaire. The results showed that trust towards JAKIM is the highest, followed by trust towards MOH, foreign Halal certification agency and lastly the producers. Meanwhile, the values associated with halal foods are the quality, followed by emotional, economic and lastly social values. Results show that all factors can explain 20.3% variance in consumers’ behavior when consuming halal food products and trust towards the producers become the main determinant factor. Therefore, this study is expected to help the certification authorities local or abroad to inculcate trust among consumers as well as assisting food products manufacturers to enhance the halal food industry in Malaysia.

Keywords: Behavior, Trust, Halal Food, Consumers, Value

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3 Consumers of Counterfeit Goods and the Role of Context: A Behavioral Perspective of the Process

Authors: Carla S. C. da Silva, Cristiano Coelho, Junio Souza


The universe of luxury has charmed and seduced consumers for centuries. Since the middle ages, their symbols are displayed as objects of power and status, arousing desire and provoking social covetousness. In this way, the counterfeit market is growing every day, offering a group of consumers the opportunity to enter into a distinct social position, where the beautiful and shiny brand logo signals an inclusion passport to everything this group wants. This work sought to investigate how the context and the social environment can influence consumers to choose products of symbolic brands even if they are not legitimate and how this behavior is accepted in society. The study proposed: a) to evaluate the measures of knowledge and quality of a set of marks presented in the manipulation of two contexts (luxury x academic) between buyers and non-buyers of forgeries, both for original products and their correspondence with counterfeit products; b) measure the effect of layout on the verbal responses of buyers and non-buyers in relation to their assessment of the behavior of buyers of counterfeits. The present study, in addition to measuring the level of knowledge and quality attributed to each brand investigated, also verified the willingness of consumers to pay for a falsified good of the brands of predilection compared to the original study. This data can serve as a parameter for luxury brand managers in their counterfeit coping strategies. The investigation into the frequency of purchase has shown that those who buy counterfeit goods do so regularly, and there is a propensity to repeat the purchase. It was noted that a significant majority of buyers of counterfeits are prone to invest in illegality to meet their expectations of being in line with the standards of their interest groups.

Keywords: Consumers, behaviorism, Luxury, context, counterfeits

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2 Customised Wellness Solutions Using Health Technological Platforms: An Exploratory Research Protocol

Authors: Elaine Wong Yee-Sing, Liaw Wee Tong


Rapid transformations in demographic and socioeconomic shifts are leading to a growing global demand for health and beauty products and services that demands holistic concepts of well-being. In addition, technological breakthroughs such as internet of things make it convenient and offer innovative solutions for well-being and engage consumers to track their own health conditions and fitness goals. This 'new health economy' encompasses three key concepts: well-being, well-conditioned and well-shaped; which are shaped by wellness segments and goals that influence purchasing decisions of consumers. The research protocol aims to examine the feasibility, challenges, and capabilities in provision for each customer with an ecosystem, or platform, that organizes data and insights to create an individual health and fitness, nutrition, and beauty profile. Convenience sampling of 100 consumers residing in private housing within five major districts in Singapore will be selected to participate in the study. Statistical Package for Social Science 25 will be used to conduct descriptive statistics for quantitative data while qualitative data results using focus interviews, will be translated and transcribed to identify improvements in provision of these services. Rising income in emerging global markets is fuelling the demand for these general wellbeing products and services. Combined with technological advances, it is imperative to understand how these highly personalized services with integrated technology can be designed better to support consumer preferences; provide greater flexibility and high-quality service, and generate better health awareness among consumers.

Keywords: Wellness, Health, Technology, Consumers, Beauty

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1 Rethinking the Use of Online Dispute Resolution in Resolving Cross-Border Small E-Disputes in EU

Authors: Sajedeh Salehi, Marco Giacalone


This paper examines the role of existing online dispute resolution (ODR) mechanisms and their effects on ameliorating access to justice – as a protected right by Art. 47 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights – for consumers in EU. The major focus of this study will be on evaluating ODR as the means of dispute resolution for Business-to-Consumer (B2C) cross-border small claims raised in e-commerce transactions. The authors will elaborate the consequences of implementing ODR methods in the context of recent developments in EU regulatory safeguards on promoting consumer protection. In this analysis, both non-judiciary and judiciary ODR redress mechanisms are considered, however, the significant consideration is given to – obligatory and non-obligatory – judiciary ODR methods. For that purpose, this paper will particularly investigate the impact of the EU ODR platform as well as the European Small Claims Procedure (ESCP) Regulation 861/2007 and their role on accelerating the access to justice for consumers in B2C e-disputes. Although, considerable volume of research has been carried out on ODR for consumer claims, rather less (or no-) attention has been paid to provide a combined doctrinal and empirical evaluation of ODR’s potential in resolving cross-border small e-disputes, in EU. Hence, the methodological approach taken in this study is a mixed methodology based on qualitative (interviews) and quantitative (surveys) research methods which will be mainly based on the data acquired through the findings of the Small Claims Analysis Net (SCAN) project. This project contributes towards examining the ESCP Regulation implementation and efficiency in providing consumers with a legal watershed through using the ODR for their transnational small claims. The outcomes of this research may benefit both academia and policymakers at national and international level.

Keywords: E-Commerce, Access to justice, Consumers, small e-Disputes

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