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Home » Archive » 2019

TDK conference 2019

Consumers' perception on lactose-free dairy products
Németh Andrea - year 6
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department of Veterinary Forensics, Law and Economics
Supervisors: Dr. László Ózsvári, Dr. Gyula Kasza

Abstract:

In the recent decades, consumer habits in developed countries have been undergoing more and more changes. With the advancement of medicine, many nutrition-related diseases, as well as products and diets for treating them, are gaining prominence and in parallel the role of certain food groups in maintaining health is on the rise. This is true for lactose sensitivity too, which is a high incidence disease in Hungary.

My research focused on the opinion of Hungarian consumers regarding milk and dairy products, lactose sensitivity and lactose-free products. To this end we conducted a large element (n = 1002) personal questionnaire survey between July 11 and August 14 2018 in Budapest and several rural towns. Most of the questions used a closed-form, 1-5 point Likert scale.

According to the results of the survey the general opinion of the respondents is that nutrition has a direct effect on health (4.59), which indicates increasing health awareness. Based on the answers the health-promoting role of milk and milk products is not realized. The survey participants were given the opportunity to assess their level of concern and willingness to act on it in the case of lactose intolerance. 10.40% of test takers declared themselves to be lactose intolerant and 18.60% said that someone in their family is affected by it. However, only 8.10% of the respondents saw a doctor because of their alleged illness. 80.20% of the respondents are neither affected nor worried by lactose intolerance as a possible health problem. Only 13.60% of them are concerned about the disease and would pay extra cost to prevent or treat it. Regarding the treatment of the disease, the overwhelming majority (63.90%) agree that the consumption of healthy foods can prevent or even cure it.

In our survey, we gained insight on the consumers’ opinions on yogurt. Yogurt is a functional fermented dairy product which also can play an important role in the lactose sensitivity diet. The vast majority (83.90%) of those completing the questionnaire consumes yogurt and also buys it (83.50%). Respondents clearly ranked lactose-free yogurt in a higher price range.

According to our survey, Hungarian consumers are concerned about the role of nutrition in health care, however, the example of lactose sensitivity shows that lack of knowledge and medical diagnosis can influence consumer habits and perceptions of certain product groups.



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