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Buying behaviour of consumers for food products in an emerging economy

Ali, Jabir, Kapoor, Sanjeev, Moorthy, Janakiraman
British food journal 2010 v.112 no.2-3 pp. 109-124
food purchasing, consumer behavior, consumer surveys, food marketing, advertising, consumers, questionnaires, India
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to develop a marketing strategy for a modern food/grocery market based on consumer preferences and behaviour. Design/methodology/approach - A total of 101 households having sufficient purchasing power were personally surveyed with a structured questionnaire. These households are spread across the well-developed Gomtinagar area of Lucknow city. Simple statistical analysis such as descriptive statistical analysis, frequency distribution, cross tabulation, analysis of variance, and factor analysis to assess the consumers' preferences for food and grocery products and market attributes were carried out. Findings - The preferences of the consumers clearly indicate their priority for cleanliness/freshness of food products followed by price, quality, variety, packaging, and non-seasonal availability. The consumers' preference of marketplace largely depends on the convenience in purchasing at the marketplace along with the availability of additional services, attraction for children, basic amenities and affordability. Results suggest that most of the food and grocery items are purchased in loose form from the nearby outlets. Fruits and vegetables are mostly purchased daily or twice a week due to their perishable nature, whereas grocery items are less frequently purchased. Research limitations/implications - This paper analyses the buying behaviour of the consumers under survey with respect to food and grocery items. These consumers are in a relatively advantageous position in terms of purchasing power and awareness of health and nutrition. Practical implications - The results may help the food processors and outlet owners to understand a diversified set of preferences for products and market attributes, so that they can make better decisions in the emerging organized food and grocery retail environment. Originality/value - The topic is relatively less researched in emerging markets especially where organized retail is still in its early stages.