Is religiosity an important consideration in Muslim consumer behavior: exploratory study in the context of western imported food in Pakistan

Article


Bukhari, Syed Faheem Hasan, Woodside, Frances M., Hassan, Rumman, Shaikh, Ayesha Latifa, Hussain, Saima and Mazhar, Waqas. 2019. "Is religiosity an important consideration in Muslim consumer behavior: exploratory study in the context of western imported food in Pakistan." Journal of Islamic Marketing. 10 (4), pp. 1288-1307. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIMA-01-2018-0006
Article Title

Is religiosity an important consideration in Muslim consumer behavior: exploratory study in the context of western imported food in Pakistan

ERA Journal ID123077
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsBukhari, Syed Faheem Hasan (Author), Woodside, Frances M. (Author), Hassan, Rumman (Author), Shaikh, Ayesha Latifa (Author), Hussain, Saima (Author) and Mazhar, Waqas (Author)
Journal TitleJournal of Islamic Marketing
Journal Citation10 (4), pp. 1288-1307
Number of Pages20
Year2019
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1759-0833
1759-0841
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/JIMA-01-2018-0006
Web Address (URL)https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JIMA-01-2018-0006/full/html
Abstract

Purpose: This study aims to explore whether religiosity influences consumer purchase behavior among Muslim consumers in Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach: An in-depth, semi-structured interview protocol was developed and administered to a sample of 90 participants, both male and female, across eight metropolitan cities of Pakistan. Professionals, university students and housewives were part of the sample. NVivo Version 11 was used for data analysis to answer the research questions raised in this study. Moreover, the purposive sampling method has been used in this research.

Findings: The behavior of consumers was found to vary with the degree of involvement and the degree of religiosity. Study findings are divided into three themes. Firstly, a high level of religiosity makes Muslim consumers follow the Islamic principles of food consumption, by evaluating the product ingredients, spending moderately and verifying a halal logo at the time of purchase. Secondly, a major theme is the view that religiosity has no influence on food consumption; it is more about individuals’ needs and priorities. Finally, the consumers’ overall perception of quality, product value, purity and health consciousness over-powers the concept of religiosity.

Research limitations/implications: Because of its qualitative and exploratory nature, the generalizability of this paper is limited. In addition to that, this research is just focused on one Muslim country.

Practical implications: This study suggests that western food exporters may use religiosity and other factors as probable segmentation variables to effectively position their brands. Religious images and other factors may be highlighted in product packaging and communication campaigns by marketers to gain recognition and usage of western food and consumption among religious, Pakistani Muslim consumers. The output of this research may support prospective entrants into the food business; those interested in exploring the Asian consumer market.
Findings from this study may also be helpful for those in the west interested in exploring Pakistan as an emerging consumer market.

Social implications: The presence of western imported food may improve the quality of life by having more opportunities and healthier options for the nation. Western food products can also bring cultural convergence whereby the underdeveloped nation feels upgraded and modern. Moreover, if the western food products are certified halal, the product has a fair chance of adoption and penetration in the society. Also, the food products coming from the western world induces mindfulness, people are more aware about innovative and useful ingredients that can satisfy their taste buds, improve their health, increase their life expectancy and contented approach toward life.

Originality/value: Thus far, limited research has analyzed religiosity of an overwhelmingly Muslim population and its impact on consumer behavior. This study is a preliminary effort to provide a basic understanding of the behavior of Pakistani Muslims, who have been insufficiently investigated by marketing and consumer researchers. The intriguing results are to remind marketers that there are several factors that govern religiosity and lead to a purchase decision.

Keywordsconsumer behaviour; Islam; Muslim consumers; religiosity; Western imported foods
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350699. Marketing not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Management and Enterprise
School of Management and Marketing
Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), Pakistan
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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