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CONSUMER ACCEPTANCE OF MADE IN NIGERIA PACKAGED FOOD PRODUCTS IN ENUGU
(A STUDY OF PACKAGED COSMETICS AND FOOD PRODUCTS)
- Background of the study
In Nigeria, people are extremely careful of what they consume in terms of food intakes or applied products. Most packaged food products made in Nigeria are highly rejected by the consumers due to poor quality production and lack of good technical equipment used for the production of goods by local industries. Few organizations of firms have succeeded in putting required efforts in planning, execution and production of acceptable packaged food products in Nigeria, firms like Indomie, Dangote Group, Hadis and Dromedas, (Isol, Royalux, Akacha, Ekko etc.) Nigeria Breweries, Juhel Pharmaceuticals, Eva water, Intercile (body creams, Vaseline etc.), Cusson PZ (Baby oil, cream, lotion etc.), UAC, Unilever (Close Up, toilet soap, cream etc).
The success of any product or service in the market place depends so much on its degree of acceptance by consumers or customers. The mission and objectives of an organization should be focused on the effective use of marketing mix and the marketing management philosophies which have remained the focal point of firms that wish to compete favourably in the ever competitive business environment. But most firms in Nigeria that engage in packaged food and cosmetics products have not really adopted these ideal practices. Through observation and findings it has been realized that imported competing packaged products are usually preferred when juxtaposed with those manufactured locally. The latter is mainly taken as a substitute in the event of the former being unavailable.
Despite that foreign investors of packaged product come into Nigeria market through the few available entry strategies, and which of course takes a lot of time for negotiation, our indigenous manufacturers neglect the advantage and the gap between them and foreign competitors. The lack of this knowledge and exploitation of the opportunity for this is the reason for this inquiry by the researcher on consumers of packaged products in Enugu State comprising Enugu North, East and South.
- Statement of Problem
Nigerian made and packaged food products have over the years been poorly and negatively regarded by consumers. These food products have been variously described by Nigeria consumers and the general public as “Awalawa” “Olunale” Aba made Igbo made, “Awsa” among others. An refer to fake or inferior food products.
Today, most consumers view Nigerian-made and packaged food product as fake, adulterated, substandard, inferior etc., and this affects their acceptance.
A report by NAFDAC in 1996 shows that most products made in Nigeria, including processed food products are not seen as genuine by Nigeria consumers. This sub-standard packaged products consumers believe, have increased the rate of food poisoning in our society – (the case of a family of three who died after consuming a processed garri in Imo State in 1997), the same 1997. Hence the rejection and snubbing of Nigerian-made and packaged products by some consumers in Nigeria.
Most of the time (like the issue of garri) the environment under which these products are processed are unsanitary. The equipment/foods used in manufacturing these products are not only obsolete, but unhygienic. Quality control measures are not adhered to by these processors and most often than not unqualified and more descript food and packaged companies.
Despite the questionable quality of some of these packaged products by indigenous manufacturers and the need to improve on them, they are not readily available when needed by consumers; their prices are some what inflated and unnecessarily high. Sometimes, their promotional claims are false and misleading. All of these reinforce the negative attitude of most consumers towards Nigerian-made and packaged products.
With all these problems arising in recent times, firms and industries should think and restructure their organizational standard to suit the government set standard. The government should act fully through its regulatory agencies. These will in no small measure help to resolve such issues as in
- Why consumers regard Nigerian-made and packaged products as inferior/fake or genuine?
- Why they see the promotional claims of these packaged products as false or true?
- Some observed or perceived shortcomings in distribution of these packaged products by indigenous manufacturers efficient?
- Whether the prices are inflated or reasonable.
- Objectives of Study
The main objective of this study is to evaluate consumer’s acceptance of made-in-Nigeria packaged food products in Enugu metropolis. The specific objectives of this study therefore are:
- To evaluate how consumers judge the quality of Nigerian-made and packaged cosmetics and food products.
- To evaluate how consumers assess the pricing of Nigeria-made and packaged cosmetics and food products.
- To determine how consumers regard the promotional claims of Nigeria-made and packaged cosmetics and food products.
- Determine how consumers views the distribution and availability of Nigerian-made and packaged cosmetics and food products.
- Compare Nigerian-made and packaged cosmetics and food products, with imported foreign-made packaged cosmetics and food products.
- Make recommendations to manufacturers, product marketers, importers and government in Nigeria and promote a change for a better acceptance by consumers of Nigerian-made and packaged cosmetics and food products, among others.
- Research Questions
- Do consumers regard Nigerian-made and packaged products as inferior//fake or genuine?
- Do they see the promotional claims of these packaged products as false or true?
- Are the distributions of these packaged products by indigenous manufacturers efficient?
- Are the prices inflated or reasonable/the answers to these questions and more are what research would try to find out empirically.
- Research Hypothesis
The following are hypothesis of the study:
Ho, Nigeria consumers do not see Nigeria-made and package
cosmetics and food products as inferior, fake, sub-standard and
Ho1 Nigeria consumers do not regard the prices of Nigerian made and
packaged cosmetics and food products as being unnecessarily
Ho2 Nigeria consumers to not perceive the sales promotional claims
and advertisements of Nigeria-made and packaged cosmetics
and fake and deceptive.
Ho3 Nigeria consumers do not readily accept Nigerian-made and
packaged cosmetics and food products.
1.5 Significance of the Study
When the study is completed, Nigerian consumer will benefit from the findings. Consumer perception of Nigerian-made and packaged cosmetics and food products would no doubt change for better. For the consumers, the rampant cases of health problems which most of the time are as a result of use intake of fake, inferior, adulterated and expired cosmetics and food products would be drastically reduced.
The consumers would be happy as their needs, wants and expectations would be effectively and efficient satisfied. Their actions and experiences would be reinforced since what they purchase would be good quality products. The products would be readily available when needed, the prices reasonable and moderate without exaggeration, through deceitful and false advertisement and sales promotions.
On their part, Nigeria food and cosmetics products would benefit immensely from the study as there would be less government intervention with stringent polices or laws found in their activities which may not be in their short and long term interests.
- Scope and Limitations of the study
This research did not investigate the industrial producer’s acceptance of Nigerian-made and packaged cosmetics and food products. It did not also investigate other variables that influence consumer’s perception and acceptance of Nigerian-made and packaged products.
The variables investigated in this study are- product quality, promotion and distribution. The study was carried out in three selected retail outlets in Enugu metropolis.
During the course of the investigation, the researcher experienced constraints in the following areas,
- Time constraints – During the period of this work, normal lectures were going on and the researcher was engaged in other academic activities. She was left with little time at her disposal to complete the study. Hence, the inability of an ideal and more elaborate study.
- Financial constraints: – Due to lack of finance, the researcher sampled only three retail outlets in Enugu.
- Most of the respondents, who were allowed to go home with the questionnaires, did not return them because they were uninformed and others that were improperly filled became insignificant to the study.
- The general attitude of the respondents towards the researcher and their willingness to give accurate and objective answer were not totally encouraging.
- There were some visible attitudes of skepticism by some respondents towards the actual intention of the researcher, although there was compliance after the conviction that the study was purely for academic purpose.
- Definition of special terms
Most terms used in this study are popularly known for inferior products. Terms like
Igbo Made: Also means fake, inferior, substandard, adulterated or poor quality goods or products.
Nigerian-made and packaged cosmetics and food products:
These are food products made and packaged by indigenous Nigeria food manufacturers. Multinational or companies with foreign affiliation are not included under this group.
MAN: Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, they are consortium of firms and industries that came together under this umbrella to protect their interest.
Marketing Management Philosophies: These are the philosophies which guide and propel other firms and Business activities in order to meet obligation to itself, the consumer and the society.