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Food Shopping Behavior Among Ethnic and Non-Ethnic Communities in Britain. By: Ogenyi E. Omar Alan Hirst Charles Blankson. Journal of Food Products Marketing , Vol.10(4), pp.39-57. 2004. Introduction.

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food shopping behavior among ethnic and non ethnic communities in britain

Food Shopping Behavior Among Ethnic and Non-Ethnic Communities in Britain

By: Ogenyi E. Omar

Alan Hirst

Charles Blankson

Journal of Food Products Marketing, Vol.10(4), pp.39-57. 2004

  • In societies with many cultures such as the United States, Britain, and Canada, ethnic groups have not had very much research regarding consumer habits compared to their social classes (Omar et al., 2004).
  • Research shows that ethnic minority groups are a large part of a consumer market, which is not being utilized (Omar et al., 2004).
  • “…...UK marketers have been slow to embrace the concept of ethnic marketing but this strategy could offer rich rewards….” (UK Marketing Business Magazine)
introduction cont
Introduction (Cont.)
  • “In Britain, the term “ethnic minority” is used to acknowledge the multicultural social setting and to identify people of separate status belonging to different groups” (Omar et al., 2004).

How the groups are spilt up

  • Non-ethnic = White people who originally were born in Britain
  • Ethnic group one = White people who moved to Britain (e.g. Irish, Polish, Jews…..)
  • Ethnic group two = Non-whites immigrants (e.g. from British Commonwealth countries such as Jamaica, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Barbados).
introduction cont4
Introduction (Cont.)
  • The differences in food choice and shopping behavior among different consumer groups in Britain are reflected in their selection of grocery stores and their responsiveness to certain marketing policies ( Omar et al., 2004).
background information
Background Information
  • Brand products change forms through color, design, flavor, options, packaging style, features, and size, for the purpose of differentiating between their competitors. (Omar et al., 2004)
  • The non-white ethnic majority groups are still becoming accustomed to the British way of life. They still tend to eat and buy foods that are a “comfort food” to them. (Omar et al.,2004)
  • Retailers in ethnic market area now need to develop brand products that fit the needs of this ethnic minority. (Omar, 2004)
  • British food retailers know very little about ethnic minorities’ food brand choices. (Omar et al., 2004). That is the origin of this research.
background information cont
Background Information (Cont.)
  • In targeting the issues of ethnic minority markets manufacturers and retailers need to look at ethical questions such as: kosher meals and other religious requirements (Omar et al., 2004).
  • With this, previous researchers have focused on brand loyalty, consumer values and family decision making when researching buying behaviors of ethnic minorities (Omar et al., 2004)
  • Concerning ethnicity, marketers should look at personal beliefs and individuals identities before marketing their product (Omar et al., 2004)
the uk grocery market
The UK Grocery Market
  • The British grocery market is highly competitive in terms of brand choice and preferences (Omar et al., 2004)
  • Previous studies about retail marketing strategies recommended combining competitive analysis and marketing segmentation, but they released that a marketing strategy focused solely for the ethnic minority would be too narrow and therefore unhelpful (Omar et al., 2004).
the uk grocery market cont
The UK Grocery Market (Cont.)
  • Culture is recognized as a key influence on consumption. This explains why so many studies have been done on ethnicity, culture and their influences on consumer behavior (Omar et al., 2004).
the uk grocery market cont9
The UK Grocery Market (Cont.)
  • Acculturation = The exchange of cultural features which result when groups come into continuous first hand contact.
  • Previous studies discuss barriers and incentives to ethnic minority consumers’ acculturation. Other studies emphasize using cultural market skills, paying close attention to social relations between majority and minority cultures (Omar et al., 2004).
acculturation of ethnic consumers cont
Acculturation of Ethnic Consumers (Cont.)
  • In regards to ethnicity and culture many marketers only consider the market from the outside, and forget that their understandings and actions contribute to further cultural and ethnic divide (Omar et al.,2004).
what questions this research answers
What Questions This Research Answers
  • Are UK retailers providing food brands and appreciating ethnic minority food needs?
  • What is the relationship between brand choice and acculturation of ethnic minority food consumption?
brand preferences
Brand Preferences
  • A well-known and much studied element of consumer behavior acknowledges that people buy brands for what the products mean as well as what the brands can do.
  • It has been suggested that consumers buy things to allow others to see what they have purchased rather than buying products that they actually need.
aims and objectives
Aims and Objectives
  • To contribute to marketing literature by enhancing the appreciation of brand preference comparison.
  • To compare food brand preference, shopping and consumption patterns of ethnic and non-ethnic consumers in the London area
  • To identify the sources that consumers use to obtain information about food brands.
  • To identify influences of acculturation and ethnicity in food brand preference.
data collection
Data Collection
  • Mail Questionnaires
    • Section A = Likert scale of 1 to 5, bad to good.
    • Section B = Questions about demographic characteristics (ethnic or non-ethnic)
  • Sample section
    • 1,400 questionnaires sent out in Southall and Brixton believed to be two areas in Britain indicative of England’s ethnic diversity.
    • 644 were returned; 604 were usable.
data collection cont
Data Collection (Cont.)
  • Variable measurements
    • Classification Variables = age, gender, income, ethnic origin, number per household, social economic and demographic characteristics, preferred brands, sources of food information used in brand selection, and the degree of acculturation that may influence brand selection.
    • The conceptual definition of “ethnicity” polarized the population (ethnic versus non-ethnic)
      • 400 respondents classified as non-ethnic
      • 240 respondents classified as ethnic
  • Demographic characteristics
    • Ethnic and non-ethnic are defined by household size, gender, marital status, age, and income and ethnical origin.
    • See table 1.
results cont
Results (Cont.)
  • Brand Preferred
    • National and owned label brands of dairy products pasta and bread, are high in both ethnicand non-ethnic shoppers.
    • With fruit vegetables, meat, rice, fish, and poultry = ethnic groups do not purchase any name brands.
    • Non-ethnic shoppers are more loyal than ethnic to national and store brands.
    • Non-ethnic shoppers tend to stay away from “no-name products”
    • See table 2.
results cont21
Results (Cont.)
  • Information sources used
    • The non-ethnic representatives shop less than the ethnic
    • Non-Ethnic
      • Likes = Bargain items, store flyer advertisements
      • Dislikes = T.V. ads, radio ads, newspaper ads
    • Ethnic
      • Likes = newspapers, store flyers, helpful menu selections, new items
      • Dislikes = T.V. ads, radio ads, non bargain items
discussion conclusion
Discussion & Conclusion
  • In a marketplace that is growing even more competitive, British grocers must find another niche, for example price, quality, or a convenient location.
  • According to UK Government Labor Statistics ethnic minority groupscollectively spend£2,870 for food consumed at home versus £1,908 for non-ethnic groups. It is obvious in light of these numbers that ethnic minorities represent a profitable niche.
discussion conclusion cont
Discussion & Conclusion (Cont.)
  • Despite no statistically significant difference between brand preferences of ethnic and non-ethnic in Britain, this study should pave the way for more robust and exhausted studies into ethnic minority purchasing behavior. Like fruit, vegetables, rice, meat, fish, and poultry, it seems that non-ethnic consumers place more value on national brands than other ethnic consumers; who are more willing to buy the “no name products”.
discussion conclusion cont25
Discussion & Conclusion (Cont.)
  • In summary retailers must focus on issues relating to culture and tradition of ethnic minorities and consider that what “[they] buy depends on their religious, cultural, and social-economic background”.
limitations future research
Limitations & Future Research
  • In light of its limitations this study is exploratory in nature and only concerns itself with two very broad definitions of a consumer group or population.
  • There were too many factors that could change each individuals responses to give the study any relevance do the purchasing behavior off the entire households.
limitations future research cont
Limitations & Future Research (Cont.)
  • And, since the ethnicity questions that define your ethnicity background seemed to cause quite a bit of confusion amongst the participants, this would need to be done in more finite terms in the future, for example, future researchers “May retire the acculturation scale to include eating habits, reading, writing, and speaking ability in the English language” just to name a few.