The main objective of this study is to examine consumers’ awareness for food labeling in United Arab Emirates (UAE), along with identification of the socioeconomic characteristics and attitudes which make consumers aware of the subject. The UAE is an economy with a peculiar nature; more than 80% of its residents are expatriates from all over the world. A total of 500 respondents from all over the UAE were randomly selected and surveyed through face-to-face interviews. The deterministic statistics and frequency tables of data were prepared and analyzed. An ordered probit model was utilized to see the effect of social characteristics and attributes on the consumers’ awareness for food labeling. According to the results, 89.6% of respondents indicated that they read information provided on food labels. Among the attributes written on the labels, the three most important that were read by respondents more frequently were expiration date, list of ingredients, and the country of origin. The results of ordered probit model shows that the probability of reading food labels more frequently increases with older, more educated, and those who have more children under age of 18.
Key words: Consumer’s awareness, food labeling, ordered probit model, imported food, healthy diet.
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