Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3728

Full Length Research Paper

Natural medical attributes and benefits of Spirulina: Segmentation based on consumers’ knowledge

Irene Kamenidou1*, Stamatis Aggelopoulos2 and Athanasios C. Batzios
1Department of Business Administration, Technological Educational Institute of Kavala, Aghios Loukas, 65404 Kavala Greece. 2Department of Farm Management, Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, P. O. Box 141, 57400 Thessaloniki, Greece. 3Departmentment of Agricultural Economics, Karanivalou 37 to 39, 54454 Thessaloniki, Greece.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 05 April 2011
  •  Published: 18 July 2011

Abstract

Consumers today are more health conscious and more interested in health related products than ever before. This behaviour has led to the production of natural products such as the commercial production of microalgae. Of all the blue-green algaes, Spirulinahas received the greatest interest. Spirulina, a filamentous cyanobacterium is considered to be a wholesome natural source of nutrition, and is used for human food, animal feed, and inthe cosmetics industry. The medicinal use of Spirulina is due to its nutritional properties. Previous research on Spirulina showed that it has numerous beneficial effects on human health. The purpose of this research was to describe a quantitative study (n = 795) in Thessaloniki, Greece which identified consumer segments based on their awareness ofSpirulina and its medical benefits to human health. A further aim of the study was to explain the differences in awareness and level of knowledge of Spirulina’s beneficial role to health, on the basis of demographic and socioeconomic attributes. Two consumer segments were produced through K-means Cluster analysis, from the consumers that were aware of theSpirulina product (n = 343). These segments were tagged as “low knowledge consumer segment” and “moderate knowledge consumer segment”. Results also showed that clusters were statistically significantly different regarding awareness, age, occupation, and net individual monthly income.

 

Key wordsSpirulina, health products, consumer awareness, knowledge, segmentation.