Consumers’ attitude towards the quality of traditional African vegetables sold in Uchumi supermarkets in Kenya
This study was conducted with an objective of determining consumers‘ attitude towards the quality of Traditional African Vegetables (TAVs) sold in Uchumi supermarkets. To understand the consumer‘s attitude three components of attitude namely; cognitive, affective and conative were analyzed. The research was based on descriptive statistics where primary data was collected using a structured questionnaire .The questionnaire was administered by trained research assistants in five Uchumi supermarket stores. A sample size of 150 shoppers was used and 150 questionnaires were successfully completed giving a response rate of 100%. Data collected was analyzed using percentages, means and standard deviations. This was because the study was modeled on a descriptive framework. The research revealed that 89% of the respondents have knowledge on TAVs stocked in Uchumi supermarkets, while 11% were not aware. Of those who were aware majority (65%) are female and this could be attributed to the facts that majority of shoppers of vegetables are female. Nightshade and amaranthus are the most known TAVs varieties according to 86% and 85 % of respondents respectively, although spiderplant was also ranked closely. Over 80% of respondents lacked awareness on other varieties like, Ethiopian kales, crotalaria and African leafy guard. The findings further reveals that consumers consider good leaf colour, cleanliness, and freshness as the most important dimensions of quality of TAVs, with respondents agreeing that TAVs stocked in Uchumi have good green leaf colour, are clean and fresh. These three attributes of quality are key factors that influence consumers‘ decision to buy. Nightshade and amaranthus are the most bought TAVs varieties; with respondents buying on average, three bunches of either variety during each purchase and majority of those who buy (39%) buy once per week. According to the findings 26% of respondents are definite about buying in future, while 29% will probably buy. This means that majority of consumers have shown a positive attitude towards quality of TAVs stocked by Uchumi. The study suggested some recommendations to address the existing gaps.They include; Better display for TAVs (placing a poster next to the vegetable shelves displaying the names of varieties) to increase awareness of TAVs stocked; Conducting nutritional awareness campaigns aimed at increasing consumer knowledge on nutritional and health benefits obtained from consumption of TAVs; Establishing better quality control systems, which may entail training TAVs suppliers on food safety and requirements, quality management and introducing traceability mechanisms. The small size of the sample 150 could have limited confidence in the results and this might limit generalizations of other situations. This study relied also on convenience sampling, as far as respondents were concerned. This may have an effect on the results.