Exploring Consumer Attitudes And Behaviour Towards Sustainable Health-related Food Choices

Journal: British Food Journal, 2024, 126(2), pp. 920-937, Q2
Author(s): Norshamliza Chamhuri, Nur Syahirah Che Lah, Peter J. Batt, Muhammad Nadzif Bin Ramlan, Norain Mod Asri & Azrina Abdullah Al-hadi
Link: doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-07-2023-0612


Palm oil has consistently been a staple ingredient in the Malaysian diet. Despite various promotional efforts throughout the years, the health aspects of palm oil have often been undervalued, leading consumers to overlook its benefits. This study has two objectives: (1) to explore consumer behaviour in purchasing decisions for food products containing palm oil in an emerging market and (2) to examine consumer awareness of palm oil as an ingredient in various edible products related to health.

A quantitative methodology that utilises a self-administered questionnaire was adopted for data collection. The conceptual framework and hypotheses were tested using partial least squares (PLS) structural equation modelling (SEM) on a dataset of 342 respondents.

The findings revealed that three hypotheses – attitude, subjective norms (SNs) and perceived health benefits – positively impact the intention to purchase palm-oil-based food products. Additionally, results indicate that Malaysian consumers practice sustainable consumption when purchasing palm-oil-based food products.

There is a need for a greater understanding of the importance perceived health benefits have in influencing consumers' consumption of food products containing palm oil in an emerging market such as Malaysia. This research study addresses the gap in existing knowledge.