|Title:||CONSUMPTION PATTERN AND MARKETING PRACTICES OF SELECTED FRUITS|
|Researchers:||Victoria M. De Padua and Venelyn L. Bersamira|
With the economic, ethical, and environmental consequence of human consumption patterns, understanding its dynamics is essential to set suitable development direction for industries and environment-related policies. Focused on fruits, the study was designed to determine the consumption and marketing practices and factors affecting consumption and analyze the demand and supply situation. The data, drawn from 150 consumers and 150 sellers who were randomly selected using the stratified proportionate random sampling, were statistically analyzed using central tendencies, correlation, and regression analysis using the SPSS Program. Results revealed that consumers preferred fruits which are fresh,classified according to size, color or variety and without chemical treatment even at a high price. Among the major fruits produced in La Union, which included banana, mango, watermelon, and guapple, banana was considered the most preferred by consumers and guapple the least referred while mango was perceived as the most nutritious. The 7.69 kg average per capita consumption of these fruits in La Union was higher than the 6.90kg ofnational level. Majority of sellers sourced fruits from the farmers in La Union, delivered in the market, classified and purchased on “pakyaw” basis. The taste, health benefits of the fruit and without chemical treatment was the foremost considerations in consuming fruits. Insufficient capital, limited supply and inadequate transportation were considered as the foremost serious problems of sellers. The factors that had significant influence on consumption included the socio-economic characteristics of consumers such as age, income, and education and the condition of products such as taste and price. Based on market supply and demand analysis, there is a market shortage of these fruits by 2015 onwards except in mango. This suggests that domestic production be intensified especially the adoption of organic farming; grading and standardization practices according to size, variety, color, and freshness of products; the development of other value-added product forms for the industrial market especially for the mango; design an intensified export program to address the domestic market surplus of mango and such needs to include Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GAP);and the provision of support systems in the form of trainings, marketing, and financial assistance.