An Economic Inquiry into the Consumer’s Usage of Coconut Oil in Tamil Nadu
A study was carried out to analyze the consumers’ preference of coconut oil in Tamil Nadu state, India. Data were collected from consumers across the three major coconut producing zones of Tamil Nadu. Thirty respondents were interviewed for the survey. Among the consumers of coconut oil, a little over 33% belonged to the age group of 31-40 years and majority of them (60%) were females. TV advertisement was the major source of information about coconut products. More than 80% of the consumers were using coconut oil as hair oil. About 31% used unbranded oil for edible purposes Adequate availability of homemade oil and high price were the main reasons for not choosing branded coconut oil. The factors influencing the use of coconut oil for household consumption was examined by functional analysis. The R2 value of 0.57 indicates that about 57% of the variation in the household consumption is influenced by the family type, age, education and income of the households. The variable education was positive and significant at 5% level indicating that increase in educational level of the consumers would result in increase the household consumption. Since the price of oil is comparatively high for many of the consumers, the usage of coconut is very much limited. The unacceptable flavour and taste unlike other conventionally used oils like groundnut and gingelly oils, made the consumers not to use coconut oil for cooking purposes. The nutritive and economic values of coconut oil should be popularized among the households to enhance the usage of coconut oil as a cooking media since education played a key role in deciding the usage of oil. The misconception of consuming coconut oil inducing health hazards like accumulation of fat may be eliminated through adequate mass media contacts and awareness campaigns by the institutional agencies to ensure adequate intake of coconut oil in the day-to-day food chain mechanisms.