Tahir Turk, Rebecca Spohrer, Caroline Manus, Tran Khan Van, Tran Thuy Nga, Marie Nguyen, Alia Poonawala and Garrett GS
Objectives: Despite a period of rapid economic growth, poverty reduction and improved nutrient intakes, Iron deficient anaemia in pregnant women and malnutrition among children in Vietnam is a continuing problem with one of the most cost-effective interventions being iron fortification and supplementation. The objective of this study was to examine knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of mothers and fathers of young children, as well as program stakeholders in Vietnam, toward a logo developed for the national fortification program.
Methods: A rapid assessment and response method was utilized involving semi-structured interviews with stakeholders and focus group discussions with program beneficiaries from four locations in Vietnam. Discussion agenda addressed key program issues including attitudes toward a food fortification logo. Grounded theory supported data analysis.
Findings and discussion: Key findings explored general awareness, knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of fortified foods, including the fortified food logo, resource allocation, policies and partnerships. Benefits from the demand side was the importance by consumers identifying quality food products as opposed to counterfeit or substandard products, the need for a simple, easily recognizable logo, and product source credibility through government certification. However, barriers identified the relatively low awareness of the logo, and the potential confusion with other similar logo designs. Other barriers included the lack of endorsement by health authorities in promotional activities and the perceived lack of engagement in the fortification program by a number of private sector partners. Policy issues emphasised the need to support the promotion, distribution and endorsement of private sector fortified foods through a logo; and the need for greater fengagement by private sector partners on the evolution and promotion of the logo and food fortification program generally. Recommendations include the development of a social marketing strategy, the establishment of a Micronutrient Marketing Board and the potential to scale-up to a regional approach.