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Introduction

The
demand for the nutritional foods and drinks are continuously increasing due to
the current trend in which consumers are becoming more concerned about the
nutritional value of food and their health. As such, nutritional foods and
drinks are considered to be safer, more nutritious and tastier than
conventional food. Due to the higher standard of living and healthier
lifestyle, the demand for the nutritional food and the drinks is accelerating,
despite the products being sold at premium price. Different
researches conclude that a better understanding of consumers’ perception of
healthy foods and its determinants are key success factors for market
orientation and development and for successfully negotiating market opportunities.
Consequently in the last years several papers have reported empirical studies
of consumer acceptance of healthy foods based on primary data collection, providing
insights in the profile of functional and nutritional foods and drinks consumers.
At the same time it is essential to consider that healthy attributes are goods
and therefore cannot be checked directly by consumers, consequently the process
of consumer decision-making is largely influenced by the level and quality of
information he possesses and which is supplied on the market. So health
information has been proved to influence choice and other attitudinal and
intentional variables in food science studies. Some evidence exists that health
information increases consumer awareness or expectations about the healthiness
of a product and produces more positive attitudes towards it likewise; health
claims influence consumer preferences and increase their intention to purchase
the product. In the same time providing food quality or safety information to
consumers may result in considerable welfare effects. Information is most
likely to be efficient and effective when it manages to meet specific needs of
the target audience so it has long been acknowledged that understanding
consumer information seeking behavior and information processing are crucial to
making better marketing decisions. Based on the previous considerations the
main intention of the current paper is to investigate the factors which
influence consumer intention to purchase nutritional foods and drinks.  

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Introduction to nutrition

Nutrition is defined as the processes by
which an animal or plant takes in and utilizes food substances. Essential nutrients include
protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. Normally,
85% of daily energy use is from
fat and carbohydrates and 15% from protein. In humans, nutrition is mainly
achieved through the process of putting foods into our mouths, chewing and
swallowing it. The required amounts of the essential nutrients differ by age and
the state of the body, for example: physical activity, diseases present
(e.g. prostate cancer, breast cancer or
weakened bones – known as osteoporosis),
medications, pregnancy and lactation.

Definition of
nutritional foods and drinks

There
is no common definition of nutritional foods and drinks due to the fact that
different countries have different standard for their products to be certified
nutritious. In simplest words nutritional foods and drinks are minimally
processed to maintain the integrity of the food without adding of any
artificial ingredients, preservatives or irradiation. Nutritional foods and
drinks are obtained by processes friendly to the environment, by cultivation
techniques that consider both the attributes of the final product and the
production method. Nutritional foods and drinks are produced without using most
pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or bioengineering. More
than that is not only a set of harmless agricultural production technique, its
ultimate meaning behind is to respect the nature and life, pay attention to the
conservation of the ecology to enhance environmental quality for future
generations.

Why is nutrition
important?

Nutrition is essential for
growth and development, health and wellbeing. Eating a healthy diet contributes
to preventing future illness and improving quality and length of life.
Your nutritional status is the
state of your health as determined by what you eat. There are several ways of
assessing nutritional status, including anthropometric (i.e. physical body
measurement), food intake and biochemical measurement.

Advantages of nutrition

Good Nutrition Provides the Building Blocks of Muscle

When you eat foods that contain protein, they are
broken down in the body as amino acids. These amino acids are then used to
build and repair any muscle tissue. This is great for those who are physically
active or exercise regularly. This means you will be able to recover at a
faster rate than if you were not to consume protein. Every tissue in your body
is made up of protein and 

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