Genuine and natural: the opinion of teen consumers

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Stefania Balzan *
Luca Fasolato
Barbara Cardazzo
Cristiana Penon
Enrico Novelli
(*) Corresponding Author:
Stefania Balzan | stefania.balzan@unipd.it

Abstract

Food packaging frequently reports the terms natural, 100% natural or similar. Often these indications induce consumers to purchase those products that are considered healthier and fresher. The overall goal of this study was to assess what teen consumers perceive to be genuine and natural foods. A questionnaire was distributed to the students of some high schools (lyceum, technical and professional institutes). It was completed by 349 females and 314 males, with an average age of 17.6 years. Respondents are quite interested in the information on recipes, diet, beauty and food safety; websites were important information retrieval tools. Genuine food is defined mainly as fruits and vegetables, home-made and salubrious, with less or without fat and that is good for health. Meanwhile, natural is demarcated primarily by the absence of additives and manipulation or treatments (negative impact). Also fruits and vegetables and organic production are associated to natural. The existence of a natural food preference is well described and the presence on food label may cause a wrong perception of healthfulness.

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