South African consumers' perception of soy and soy products
Food that provides health benefits beyond basic nutrition, by virtue of physiologically active food components are known as functional foods. Soybeans contain some of these phytochemical components such as isoflavones. Due to the lack of relevant data, the aim of this study was to assess South African consumers' perceptions towards soy and soy products. Respondents (n=3001) were randomly selected from 9 metropolitan as well as rural areas in South Africa. The questionnaire consisted of 17 food related topics. Four of these sections (which were also used in this study) probed information on soy and soy products. The data of 81 % respondents (n=2437), who were aware of soy, were used for further statistical analyses. There were no practical significant differences between rural and metropolitan respondents' perceptions regarding each statement. Large practical significant differences were found between racial groups regarding most of the statements. In general Blacks were more positive towards the use and taste of soy, as opposed to Whites. More Indians were aware of meat substitutes made from soy than the other racial groups. Marketing efforts in South Africa should focus on those groups that like the taste of soy best and who would consume soy regularly.