Organization

IIMCAL,INDIA

Project Description

PROCESSED FOODS: AN INDIAN CONSUMER PERSPECTIVE

Project Abstract

Food and social culture are the entwined threads of the social fabric. Change in one is reflected through the pattern of the other. Primitive era, witnessed the raw food consumption and now globalisation has forwarded �processed� as the currency of use. Processed, synonymous with extensive packaging and attractive display of products, so to allure the consumers in one go, boggles the mind of consumer who is totally unaware of the food ingredients he is consuming and thus food labels step in as crucial source of information here. But what is their credibility? What are their assumptions and how do �nutritionally illiterate� Indian consumers comprehend these labels? The result of this ignorant behaviour pattern is steep raise of health problems in small children - obesity, juvenile diabetes its complications and many others. Illiterate and rural people are the worst sufferers. An attempt will be made to unravel these queries in the context of Indian consumer with his present state of nutritional awareness.
Organised food retails and super stores will be the sites for data collection. First phase will be the observation of the consumers in these stores for information regarding their buying patterns and this will be followed by in depth interviews. This methodology will attempt to understand the consumer perspective in detail, regarding food, its attributes, buying behaviour, food labels, consumers� comprehension of them, food policies, and their relevance in the contemporary form, changes required for better consumer information and also the recommendations of the Indian consumer in respect to their nutrition literacy levels.
Implication of the study will be a critical analysis of contemporary food policies and changes required so as to educate the consumers regarding �nutritional diseases� and environmental issues pertaining to packaged foods, resulting in better health status of the country.

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