Street foods are important in meeting dietary and nutritional needs of growing urban populations, contributing to their food security needs. In spite of concerns of nutritional value, affordability and localness of street foods, street food vending enterprise is prolific in urban places with consumers of different socio-cultural and economic statuses. This is because several factors inform people on their food choices. These may include their socio-cultural and economic status and not just the food characteristics. This study was to examine the factors influencing consumption of Hausa koko, Waakye and Ga kenkey referred to as street vended local foods (SVLFs) associated with specific ethnic groups in Ghana. Data was collected from a cross section of 631 urban consumers of SVLFs in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale. Binary probit regression models were used to estimate factors influencing SVLFs consumption. Results showed that consumers were from different social, cultural and economic backgrounds. Food characteristics (such as safety, nutritional value, affordability, convenience and closeness to vendor), social status (including, age, educational level and work status), and cultural factors (like consumer coming from place of food origin and consumption of food from infancy) positively influenced consumption of SVLFs. Food vendors should be aware of these factors to promote consumers’ continual patronage of healthy, nutritious and affordable SVLFs in urban Ghana.
Key words: Food choices, Hausa Koko, Waakye, Ga Kenkey.
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