Peanuts are a valuable source of nutrients, but peanut consumption patterns, consumption frequencies, and the factors influencing peanut consumption in Malawi are not known. This study surveyed consumers to fill this knowledge gap and to assess Malawian consumers’ readiness to try new food products. Out of the 489 respondents surveyed, all but three consumed peanuts (in any form). The majority (70.4%) consumed peanuts at least three times in a week. Chi-square test showed that demographic and socioeconomic variables had significant effects (p
< 0.05) on peanut product preferences, the frequency of peanut consumption, and readiness to try new foods. For instance, women mostly preferred peanut flour compared to men, and peanut butter was the most preferred form for younger consumers. Logistic regression analysis showed that consumers with high school education or below were 2.35 times more likely to eat peanuts more often than consumers with post high school education. Among the participants that were ready to try new foods (54%), men and those with post high school education were 1.90 and 2.74 times more likely to try new foods than their respective counterparts. In general, the diversity of peanut products on the Malawian market is limited, and socioeconomic restrictions override consumer preferences. Therefore, future peanut-based food products innovations should explore ways to overcome such restrictions.
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