A study of consumers' perceptions and prediction of consumption patterns for generic health functional foods

  • Kang, Nam-E ;
  • Kim, Ju-Hyeon ;
  • Lee, Yeon-Kyoung ;
  • Lee, Hye-Young ;
  • Kim, Woo-Kyoung
  • Received : 2011.01.04
  • Accepted : 2011.03.29
  • Published : 2011.08.31


The Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) revised the Health Functional Food Act in 2008 and extended the form of health functional foods to general food types. Therefore, this study was performed to investigate consumers' perceptions of the expanded form of health functional food and to predict consumption patterns. For this study, 1,006 male and female adults aged 19 years and older were selected nationwide by multi-stage stratified random sampling and were surveyed in 1:1 interviews. The questionnaire survey was conducted by Korea Gallup. The subjects consisted of 497 (49.4%) males and 509 (50.6%) females. About 57.9% of the subjects recognized the KFDA's permission procedures for health functional foods. Regarding the health functional foods that the subjects had consumed, red ginseng products were the highest (45.3%), followed by nutritional supplements (34.9%), ginseng products (27.9%), lactobacillus-containing products (21.0%), aloe products (20.3%), and Japanese apricot extract products (18.4%). Opinions on expanding the form of health functional foods to general food types scored 4.7 points on a 7-point scale, showing positive responses. In terms of the effects of medicine-type health functional foods versus generic health functional foods, the highest response was 'same effects if the same ingredients are contained' at a rate of 34.7%. For intake frequency by food type, the response of 'daily consistent intake' was 31.7% for capsules, tablets, and pills, and 21.7% for extracts. For general food types, 'daily consistent intake' was 44.5% for rice and 22.8% for beverages, which were higher rates than those for medicine types. From the above results, consumers had positive opinions of the expansion of health functional foods to generic forms but are not expected to maintain accurate intake frequencies or amounts. Thus, continuous promotion and education are needed for proper intake of generic health functional foods.


Health functional foods;generic functional food;consumers' perception;consumption pattern;health claim


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Supported by : Korea Food & Drug Administration