عنوان مقاله [English]
Bread holds a crucial position in Iranian cuisine and encompasses various types such as Barbari, Lavash, and Sangak. However, these bread varieties are often made from refined flours, lacking the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Reports from the Statistical Center of Iran indicate that bread purchases constitute a significant portion of household expenses. Recent studies have raised concerns about the adverse health effects associated with excessive consumption of refined bread, potatoes, and rice, including diabetes, indigestion, obesity, cardiovascular issues, and digestive system disorders. These concerns highlight the limitations of whole grain food consumption, such as whole wheat-grain bread. To address these health concerns, it becomes necessary to provide stronger incentives or encourage individuals to incorporate more whole grain products into their diets. Thus, the present study aims to analyze the factors influencing households' willingness to pay extra for whole wheat-grain bread, specifically Lavash and Sangak, in the city of Tabriz over a specified time period. By examining these factors, valuable insights can be gained to promote the consumption of healthier bread options and enhance public health outcomes.
Materials and Methods
To achieve the research objective, a questionnaire was developed, and data was collected through a random sampling method from households residing in the ten provinces of Tabriz city. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 302 households during the summer of 2020. The data obtained from the questionnaire was analyzed using statistical and empirical techniques, specifically the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM), Sequential Logit (LS) model, and Generalized Sequential Logit (GSL) model. To ensure the validity of the models used, the Brant test of parallel regression was applied. This test evaluated whether there was proportionality in the odds model for ordinal logistic regression. It examined whether the observed deviations from our ordinal logistic regression model were significantly larger than what could be expected due to chance alone. This assessment helped ensure the reliability and accuracy of the statistical analysis conducted in the study.
Results and Discussion
The results of the study indicate that a high percentage of households in Tabriz city, specifically 90.73% for Lavash bread and 93.38% for Sangak bread, were willing to pay extra for whole wheat-grain options. Among the households, 40.4% expressed their willingness to pay less than 20% extra for the bread, while 26.82% were willing to pay more than 50% extra. Several factors were found to influence households' willingness to pay for whole wheat-grain bread. Positive effects were observed for the health index, knowledge of the benefits of whole wheat bread, education level, family income, presence of elderly individuals in the family, and frequent consumption of whole wheat Lavash bread. However, gender had a negative effect on households' willingness to pay for whole wheat-grain Lavash bread. Similarly, for whole wheat-grain Sangak bread, the health index, knowledge of the benefits of whole wheat bread, family income, and the presence of a patient individual in the family had positive effects, while gender had a negative effect. As the null hypothesis of the parallel regression test was rejected, the Generalized Sequential Logit model was applied to analyze the effects of various factors on households' willingness to pay at different levels (0%, less than 20%, 21-30%, 31-40%, 41-50%, and more than 50%) for different types of whole wheat-grain bread. The results of the model yielded different outcomes. Increases in the health index, awareness of whole wheat bread, family income, education level, presence of a patient individual in the family, and frequent consumption of whole wheat bread positively influenced households' willingness to pay more for both Lavash and Sangak bread. Education level and the presence of a patient individual in the family acted as incentives for whole wheat-grain Lavash bread, while gender and the number of household members deterred households from paying more. The general index of bread purchase was the only factor influencing households' willingness to pay more for whole wheat-grain Sangak bread. Education level, knowledge of the benefits of whole wheat bread, gender, and the number of household members had a negative impact on households' willingness to pay for Sangak bread. Moreover, the marginal effects of the coefficients were estimated at different levels, indicating how changes in the independent variables (such as health index, general index of bread purchase, awareness of whole wheat bread, family income, education level, knowledge of the benefits of whole wheat bread, frequent consumption of whole wheat bread, number of household members, presence of elderly individuals in the family, and presence of a patient individual in the family) affected households' willingness to pay for whole wheat-grain bread.
According to the results, limitation in producing, supplying, and distributing the whole wheat-grain breads across the city, lack of easy access to whole wheat-grain stores, high prices, remote locations for purchases, and family awareness were the main and significant factors of using whole wheat-grain Lavash and Sangak breads among the Tabriz households. In this regard, the following policies were recommended: 1) Increasing the number of whole wheat-grain breads baking units and purchasing stores, 2) Group media can help to the acculturation and adaptation to the consumption of the whole grain bread, 3) Increasing awareness of whole wheat-grain bread benefits on health could be effective steps on the consumption of whole wheat-grain breads in Tabriz city.