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Exploring the effects of consumers’ nutritional knowledge and information interest on the acceptance of artificial sweetener usage in soft drinks

Yusuf Arslan1
1. Sakarya University (Turkey)
33 - 44
Cite as:
Arslan, Y. (2019) Exploring the Effects of Consumers’ Nutritional Knowledge and Information Interest on the Acceptance of Artificial Sweetener Usage in Soft Drinks. Marketing and Management of Innovations, 3, 33-44. http://doi.org/10.21272/mmi.2019.3-03


Together with the increasing health awareness levels of consumers’, artificial food additives have been highly criticized by the public. However, these kinds of sweeteners are still being used widely all over the world. One of the sectors that prefer mostly these kinds of sweeteners is the soft drink industry. High fructose corn syrup, which has been associated with serious health problems recently, is one of these additives which is highly preferred in the soft drink industry. Upon examining the situation, it is understood that there is a conflict between the implementations of the soft drink industry and consumer attitudes towards them. However, it is seen that the consumers’ perspective is not clarified enough empirically in terms of this issue. This means that the players of the soft drink industry have a lack of insight in terms of consumer thoughts and attitudes regarding artificial sweetener usage in soft drinks. Owing to this research gap in the literature and the importance of the subject in terms of consumer well-being, this study aims to explore the antecedents for the acceptance of high fructose corn syrup usage in soft drinks. To reach this aim, four research questions represented to understand how frequent consumers prefer soft drinks containing high fructose corn syrup, to reveal consumers’ attitudes and acceptance towards high fructose corn syrup and to understand how nutritional knowledge and nutritional information interest affect consumers’ acceptance specifically on high fructose corn syrup usage in soft drinks. To answer these questions, a structured survey was developed and conducted on 888 soft drink consumers who are aware of high fructose corn syrup in soft drinks as an additive. Then, a number of analyses were conducted with the data obtained. According to the results, it is seen that although participants have a quite negative attitude towards HFCS usage in soft drinks (2.13 out of seven points Likert), more than half of them (53%) declared that they frequently buy soft drinks that contain HFCS. As to the hypothesis of the research, it is concluded that nutritional knowledge and nutritional information interest were both negatively affects consumer acceptance of high fructose corn syrup usage in soft drinks. The results suggest that the antecedents studied in this paper are both significant. Thus the two hypotheses of the study were supported. Obtaining these findings, this study contributes to the literature by creating insight in terms of consumer acceptance of artificial sweetener usage in soft drinks which is crucial especially in terms of consumer health.

artificial sweeteners, consumer acceptance, consumer health, food additives, soft drinks

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