Exploring the motives behind the purchase of western imported food products. A phenomenological study from a Muslim-dominated region

Article


Bukhari, Syed Faheem Hasan, Woodside, Frances M., Hassan, Rumman, Hussain, Saima and Khurram, Sana. 2022. "Exploring the motives behind the purchase of western imported food products. A phenomenological study from a Muslim-dominated region." Journal of Islamic Marketing. 13 (2), pp. 481-507. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIMA-05-2020-0139
Article Title

Exploring the motives behind the purchase of western imported food products. A phenomenological study from a Muslim-dominated region

ERA Journal ID123077
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsBukhari, Syed Faheem Hasan (Author), Woodside, Frances M. (Author), Hassan, Rumman (Author), Hussain, Saima (Author) and Khurram, Sana (Author)
Journal TitleJournal of Islamic Marketing
Journal Citation13 (2), pp. 481-507
Number of Pages27
Year2022
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1759-0833
1759-0841
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/JIMA-05-2020-0139
Web Address (URL)https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JIMA-05-2020-0139/full/html
Abstract

Purpose: The usage and preference of western imported food in a Muslim-majority state signifies its importance and relevance in a specific culture. However, the inclination and preference toward imported food products must be backed by a strong motivation, when the religion of Islam does not permit overspending yet the amount spent on such imported food products is overwhelming. Hence, the purpose of this study is to explore the motivation behind this behavior.

Design/methodology/approach: This is a qualitative study, and in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 90 participants comprising professionals, housewives and university students from eight cities in Pakistan, which represented different regions and demographic variables. These were Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Hyderabad, Faisalabad and Larkana. The technique used to analyze the qualitative interview findings was thematic content analysis. To confirm the results, Leximancer software Version 4.5 was used to reanalyze and validate them. Moreover, the purposive sampling method has been used in this research.

Findings: The findings from the qualitative-focused interviews revealed that the product attributes of packaging with attractive colors, design, size, overall quality material, taste and labeling with maximum product information influenced their purchase behavior. The vast majority reported that food products coming from the west needed to be halal, and this is an important deciding factor for purchase. Also, the level of religiosity related to western imported food buying behavior varies from city to city, which itself an interesting finding from a Muslim-majority population. Brand trust, loyalty, satisfaction, subjective norms were influential factors for Muslim consumers’ purchase behavior.

Research limitations/implications: This paper is qualitative in nature, and therefore, the generalizability of the study results is limited. Also, this study only focused on Muslim consumer buying behavior from a Muslim-dominated country. Practical implications: This study is instrumental for western food producers and exporters, providing valuable information about the motives behind the purchase of western imported food products in Pakistan, and by extension, potentially in Muslim countries in general. The study’s findings would add value to the field of consumer behavior, in which little research has been conducted on the relationship between consumer motives in context with Muslims’ consumer behavior toward western imported food products.

Social implications: The presence of western imported food products may give better options for consumers so that they can pick a quality product for their own and family usage. The placement of the halal logo and extra care of halal ingredients also assures the religious and cultural requirements, enabling the western imported food products to penetrate quickly.

Originality/value: The findings of the qualitative-focused interviews revealed that the level of religiosity varies from city to city. Even though the core religion is Islam, the level of religious commitment varies in different cities when it comes to the purchase of western imported food products. The interview findings discovered some reasons behind this behavior such as consumer demographic profile, cultural background, income level, education, lifestyle, family background and social class. This means that demographic variation plays an important role in religious commitment and especially across cites that possess different cultural and behavioral patterns.

KeywordsReligiosity, Purchase behavior, Motives, Western imported food
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350601. Consumer behaviour
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Byline AffiliationsIqra University, Pakistan
School of Management and Enterprise
Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), Pakistan
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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