The study was conducted to obtain background information on consumers’ beliefs on Indigenous and Traditional Foods (ITF) and to assess consumers’ acceptance of, preference for and intended consumption of products made with cowpea leaves. Four focus groups investigated consumers’ beliefs on ITF. Thematic analysis identified three major themes in relation to ITF consumption. These were benefits of ITF consumption, barriers of ITF consumption as well as suggestions on how to increase ITF consumption. Consumers’ acceptance of, preference for and intended consumption of products made with cowpea leaves were assessed by 87 respondents. A 5-point hedonic scale and 7-point food action rating scale was used for sensory evaluation. Sample B (Cowpea leaves stewed with tomatoes, potatoes and onions with salt and vegetable oil added) was scored statistically higher for acceptance of general appearance, colour, smell, texture and taste with means ≥4 on a 5-point hedonic scale by respondents of the total study sample. The acceptability, preference and intended consumption of samples differed significantly between the communities, age groups and education levels. Overall, Sample B was the most acceptable, preferred and respondents’ intended to eat it more often than the others except for acceptance by respondents from Tlakgameng.
Key words: Consumers, consumers’ beliefs, consumption intent, cow pea leaves, preference, product acceptance.
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