A Comparative Study on the Perception and Consumption Behaviors of Korean, Chinese, and US Consumers for Energy bars

한국, 중국, 미국 소비자들의 에너지 바에 대한 인식 및 소비 행동 비교 연구

  • Oh, Ji Eun (College of Science & Industry Convergence, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Yoon, Hei-Ryeo (Major in Foodservice Management and Nutrition, Kongju National University)
  • 오지은 (이화여자대학교 신산업융합대학) ;
  • 윤혜려 (국립공주대학교 외식상품학전공)
  • Received : 2020.08.13
  • Accepted : 2020.08.26
  • Published : 2020.08.31


This study evaluated the perception, consumption behavior, and optional attributes of Korean, Chinese, and U.S. consumers of energy bar products. Data were compared and analyzed by surveying 300 consumers in each country. Significant differences were observed in preference for energy bars according to their nationality, in the order China, the U.S., and Korea. Perception of taste, types and dietary suitability of the products ranked lower for Korean consumers, as compared to consumers of the United States and China. The order dietary fiber, protein, and calcium were the sought-after nutritional requirements of the products. The demand for protein was significantly higher in the U.S. Calcium demand was low in the United States and China, but was very high in Korea, which could be attributed to the low calcium intake of Koreans. Other optional attributes which were closely associated with the purchase and re-purchase decision, included price, taste and delivery period. All three factors were recognized as important options in Korea, whereas awareness of packaging/appearance and brand was not. The taste, nutrients and price in the U.S. ranked high as important optional attributes, while the packaging, external and expiration dates were recognized as low. Unlike Korea and the U.S., important optional attributes for Chinese consumers were determined in the order expiration date, taste, and nutrients, and showed low perception for packaging, appearance, weight, counts, and prices. Evaluating the preference for the main and secondary ingredients, Koreans preferred nuts over grains, Americans preferred dried fruits over nuts, and Chinese preferred nuts and grains; both Korean and American consumers had low preference for dried vegetables. The preference for chocolate was low in Korea and China, whereas preference for jelly was high in China as compared to Korea and the U.S. The intention of purchasing energy bars was significantly lower in Korea than in the U.S. and China. A variety of nutritious functional bars have recently been distributed and sold in Korea, but they are mostly produced in the U.S., which is the largest producer and consumer worldwide. Taken together, results of this study indicate that the demand for nutritional enhancement and preferred materials vary according to the nationality. Hence, it is necessary to develop products that reflect these criteria. Further research is required to analyze the relationship between preference and consumption behavior for each material product developed in the future.


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