Consumers' Acceptance of Natural and Synthetic Functional Food
The concept of functional food is not new to the Malaysian consumers as traditional medicines have made tremendous contributions over the past centuries. However, with the advent of the pharmaceutical technology and industry, some of the remedial formulas for alternative food and medicines have been forgotten, thus paving the way for the consumption of synthetic functional food. The growth of the economy together with the strong desire among the Malaysian consumers to maintain a healthy lifestyle and growing awareness of functional ingredients are the driving force in the functional food and beverage market of the country. Although the consumption of functional food is increasing in Malaysia, relatively little is known about how consumers perceive these products and what factors are affecting their acceptance. Therefore, to gain success in the functional food market, the objective of this study is to explore the Malaysian consumers’ intention in accepting foods containing natural or synthetic compounds and the reasons behind including these products in their daily diet.