Consumer Fruit Preferences: The Role of Nutrition Knowledge in Fruit Purchase and Consumption

Eridiong O. Onyenweaku


This study aims at ascertaining consumer fruit preferences and role of nutrition knowledge in consumers’ attitudes and practice as it concerns fruit consumption. An online questionnaire was used for this cross-sectional survey carried out in South Africa. The questionnaire link was circulated in the nine provinces for 4weeks; information gathered include sociodemographic data, respondents’ nutrition knowledge, and consumer fruit preferences alongside their fruit consumption patterns. Based on their responses, Nutrition Knowledge Scores (NKS) were calculated. Pearson correlation test was used to check for any relationship between the NKS, some sociodemographic factors and fruit preferences/consumption (significance was accepted at p<0.05). Three provinces; Gauteng, North West and KwaZulu-Natal accounted for over 70% of the 517 responses received. Almost half of the surveyed population had high NKS (45.5%) while 27.3% scored moderately and another 27.3% low. The most preferred fruits were oranges, bananas, and mangoes; others such as plums and berries were also preferred but not as consumed as the others due to their seasonal nature. The results show a positive relationship (p<0.001) between nutrition knowledge and fruit consumption frequency and healthy dietary patterns, but only significant but weak correlation between respondents’ nutrition knowledge and priority factors that affect their dietary product choices and purchases. Nutrition education is vital in enhancing awareness that will in turn yield positive results in fruit consumption and health outcomes.


Ahmad A, Wagustina S, Dwiriani CM, Estuti W, Salfiyadi T, Arnisam A, Fitrianingsih E. 2022. The efficacy of nutrition education on anemia and upper arm circumference among pregnant women in Aceh Besar District of Indonesia during the covid-19 pandemic. J Gizi Pangan 17(1):27‒36.
Barreiro-Hurle J, Gracia A, De-Magistris T. 2010. "Does nutrition information on food products lead to healthier food choices?." Food Policy 35(3):221‒229.
Bazzano LA, Li TY, Joshipura KJ, Hu FB. 2008. Intake of fruit, vegetables, and fruit juices and risk of diabetes in women. Diabetes Care 31(7):1311‒1317.
Brinkley JK, Golub A. 2011. Consumer demand for nutrition versus taste in four major food categories. Agric Econs 42:(1) 65‒74.
Chivenge P, Mabhaudhi T, Modi AT, Mafongoya P. 2015. The potential role of neglected and underutilized crop species as future crops under water scarce conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa. Int J Environ Health Res 12(6):5685‒5711.
Erinosho TO, Moser RP, Oh AY, Nebeling LC, Yaroch AL. 2012. Awareness of the fruits and veggies-more matters campaign, knowledge of the fruit and vegetable recommendation, and fruit and vegetable intake of adults in the 2007 food attitudes and behaviors (FAB) survey. Appetite 59(1):155‒160.
Frison E, Smith If, Cherfas J, Eyzaguirre P, Johns T. 2005. Using biodiversity for food, dietary diversity, better nutrition and health. South African J Clin Nutr. 18(2):112‒114.
Garber Jr LL, Hyatt EM, Starr Jr RG. 2003. Measuring consumer response to food products. Food Qual & Pref 14(1):3‒15.
Jansen A, Stoltz E. 2008. Is the Zero-Rating of Basic Foodstuffs in South Africa Well Targeted? Pretoria (SA): National Treasury South Africa.
Kirk RE. 2008. Statistics: An introduction. 5th ed. Belmont (USA): Thomson Wadsworth.
Kish L. 2017. Survey Sampling. First Edition Published 1965. New York (USA): John Wiley & Sons, Wiley Classics
Kucich DA, Wicht MM. 2016. South African indigenous fruits-Underutilized resource for boosting daily antioxidant intake among local indigent populations? South African J Clin Nutr 29(4):150‒156.
Kumar P, Kumar M, Bedi O, Gupta M, Kumar S, Jaiswal G, Rahi V, Yedke NG, Bijalwan A, Sharma S, Jamwal S. 2021. Role of vitamins and minerals as immunity boosters in covid-19. Inflammopharmacology 29(4):1001‒1016.
Layade AA, Adeoye IB. 2014. Fruit and vegetable consumption among students of tertiary institutions in Oyo state. Russ J Agric & Socio-Econ Sci 30(6):3‒8.
Lin BH, Yen ST. 2008. Consumer knowledge, food label use and grain consumption in the US. Applied Econs 40(4):437‒448.
Lindberg BG, Tang X, Dantoft W, Gohel P, Seyedoleslami ES, Lindvall JM, Engström Y. 2018. Nubbin isoform antagonism governs drosophila intestinal immune homeostasis. Plos Pathog 14(3):e1006936.
Muchiri JW, Gericke GJ, Rheeder P. 2016. Effect of a nutrition education programme on clinical status and dietary behaviors of adults with type 2 diabetes in a resource-limited setting in South Africa: A randomized controlled trial. Public Health Nutr 19(1):142‒155.
Nyawo T, Kesa H, Onyenweaku E. 2020. Food safety and hygiene: Knowledge, attitude and practices among food handlers. Afr J Hosp Tourism & Leisure 10(2):547‒558.
Obayelu OA, Ibe RB, Adegbite O, Oladimeji A. 2019. Demand for Selected Fruits among students of a tertiary Institution in Southwest Nigeria. Intl J Fruit Sci 19(1):45‒56.
Onyenweaku EO, Ene-Obong HN, Oko GE, Williams IO. 2019. Contribution of eggs and other cholesterol-containing foods to total dietary cholesterol intake, and their influence on serum lipid profile of adults in Calabar, Nigeria. Eur J Nutr 9:329‒340.
Shimokawa S. 2010. Asymmetric intra-household allocation of calories in China. American J Agric Econs 92(3):873‒888.
Shimokawa S. 2013. When does dietary knowledge matter to obesity and overweight prevention? Food Policy 38:35‒46.
Temple NJ, Steyn NP, Fourie J, De Villiers A. 2011. Price and availability of healthy food: A study in rural South Africa. Nutrients 27(1):55‒58.
Turker T, Kocak N, Aydin I, Istanbullouglu H, Yildiran N, Turk YZ, Kilic S. 2013. Determination of knowledge, attitude, behavior about genetically modified organisms in nursing school students. Gülhane Tip Dergisi 55(4):297–304.
Variyam JN. 2008. Do nutrition labels improve dietary outcomes? Health Econs 17(6):695‒708.
[WHO] World Health Organization. 2003. Diet, Nutrition and The Prevention of Chronic Diseases: Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation. WHO Technical Report Series No. 916. Geneva (CH): World Health Organization.
[WHO] World Health Organization. 2020. Factsheet on healthy diet. [Accessed June 16th 2022].
Wardle J, Parmenter K, Waller J. 2000. Nutrition knowledge and food intake. Appetite 34(3):269‒275.
Webbink D, Martin NG, Visscher PM. 2010. Does education reduce the probability of being overweight? J Health Econs 29(1):29‒38.
Wunderlich S, Gatto K. 2016. Consumers' food choices and the role of perceived environmental impact. Intl J Sust Dev & Plann 163:989‒995.


Eridiong O. Onyenweaku (Primary Contact)
OnyenweakuE. O. (2022). Consumer Fruit Preferences: The Role of Nutrition Knowledge in Fruit Purchase and Consumption . Jurnal Gizi Dan Pangan, 17(3), 157-166.

Article Details