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Consumer perception of vitamin D and fortified foods

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Beth ClarkORCiD, Professor Thomas Hill, Dr Carmen Hubbard



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Emerald Publishing Limited, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


PurposeAs natural dietary sources of vitamin D are not consumed in sufficient quantities, fortified foods could play a role in maintaining vitamin D sufficiency. With public consultation an integral part of designing acceptable fortification strategies, this study aimed to understand public awareness and perception of vitamin D fortified foods.MethodologyA mixed-methods approach was taken with two focus groups and 109 surveys conducted using a non-probability sample from North-East England. Thematic analysis of focus group data identified 6 themes, with factor and cluster analysis identifying 7 factors and 4 clusters respectively, which highlighted differences in vitamin D knowledge and fortified food perceptions.FindingsDespite identifying sunlight as the main vitamin D source (91%), participants were less aware of the main dietary source (33%), and few could state fortified products (51%). Although attitudes towards fortification were generally favourable (63% agreeing that selected products should be fortified), nearly half (43%) were unsure if more products should be made available. Results suggest that more natural products to complement existing market offerings would be most preferred. Factor and cluster analysis results identified awareness of health benefits and/or dietary sources as essential to have favourable attitudes towards fortified products.Originality/valueThis research adds to the limited literature regarding consumer attitudes towards fortified foods. It highlights a need to improve public awareness and labelling of fortified products to potentially increase fortified food consumption.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Clark B, Hill T, Hubbard C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Food Journal

Year: 2019

Volume: 121

Issue: 9

Pages: 2205-2218

Online publication date: 02/09/2019

Acceptance date: 02/06/2019

Date deposited: 12/06/2019

ISSN (print): 0007-070X

ISSN (electronic): 1758-4108

Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited


DOI: 10.1108/BFJ-04-2018-0249


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