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Vegetables with Enhanced Iron Bioavailability : German Consumers’ Perceptions of a New Approach to Improve Dietary Iron Supply

  • Iron deficiency is still widespread as a major health problem even in countries with adequate food supply. It mainly affects women but also vegans, vegetarians, and athletes and can lead to various clinical pictures. Biofortification of vitamin C-rich vegetables with iron may be one new approach to face this nutritional challenge. However, so far, little is known about the consumer acceptance of iron-biofortified vegetables, particularly in developed countries. To address this issue, a quantitative survey of 1000 consumers in Germany was conducted. The results showed that depending on the type of vegetable, between 54% and 79% of the respondents were interested in iron-biofortified vegetables. Regression analysis showed a relationship between product acceptance, gender, and area of residence. In addition, relationships were found between consumer preferences for enjoyment, sustainability, and naturalness. Compared to functional food and dietary supplements, 77% of respondents would prefer fresh iron-rich vegetables to improve their iron intake. For a market launch, those iron-rich vegetables appear especially promising, which can additionally be advertised with claims for being rich in vitamin C and cultivated in an environmentally friendly way. Consumers were willing to pay EUR 0.10 to EUR 0.20 more for the iron-biofortified vegetables.

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Author:Ann-Kristin Welk, Clara MehlhoseORCiD, Diemo DaumORCiD, Ulrich Enneking
Title (English):Vegetables with Enhanced Iron Bioavailability : German Consumers’ Perceptions of a New Approach to Improve Dietary Iron Supply
Parent Title (English):Nutrients
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2023
Release Date:2024/01/22
Tag:Dietary supplements; Functional food; Iron biofortification; Target group analysis; Vitamin C; Willingness to purchase
Article Number:2291
Faculties:Fakultät AuL
DDC classes:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 610 Medizin, Gesundheit
Review Status:Veröffentlichte Fassung/Verlagsversion
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International