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Protein Supplement Usage Among Male University Students: Comparisons Between Current and Previous Users

Sung, Youngmo, Choi, Jinkyung
Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2018 v.37 no.2 pp. 127-132
adverse effects, college students, consumer attitudes, consumers (people), digestion, e-commerce, indigestion, information sources, males, markets, muscles, nutrition labeling, prices, product development, protein supplements, regression analysis, South Korea
Objective: Interest in specialized dietary supplements is leading market growth, and protein supplements are popular for increasing muscle mass among young males. Therefore, this study investigated the attitudes toward and satisfaction with protein supplements to identify detailed consumer behaviors related to the consumption of protein supplements. Method: The study sample includes male university students in their 20s in South Korea. In total, 223 responses were entered for analysis. Questions related to attitudes, satisfaction, and future behavioral intentions were asked using 5-point Likert scales. The responses were divided into two groups, current and previous users, to identify significant differences in terms of attitudes, satisfaction, and future behavioral intentions. A descriptive analysis, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and multiple regression were run. Results: The majority of respondents prefer the powdered form of supplements in bulk with a price range between 30,000 won and 60,000 won. Online shopping was preferred, while word of mouth and friends/family were considered credible information sources. The most common side effects experienced were problems with digestion and hives, although more than 78% did not experience side effects. In comparison between current and previous users in terms of attitudes and satisfaction, the following areas showed significances. Regarding attitudes, the importance of brand, preference for products from overseas, the search for nutritional facts, and reading carefully all product information were significant, while regarding satisfaction, price, effectiveness, and ease of consumption were significant. All significances showed that current users had more positive attitudes and greater satisfaction. Overall, consumers' satisfaction regarding ease of consumption influenced future behavioral intentions. Conclusions: The market for protein supplements has been growing, so measuring consumers' attitudes and satisfaction would help attract potential consumers. In addition, analyzing previous users' opinions on products could guide product development and encourage customers to return for repurchase.