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Cultural values affect functional food perception

Saugat Neupane (School of Management and Enterprise, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia)
Ranga Chimhundu (School of Management and Enterprise, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia)
K.C. Chan (School of Management and Enterprise, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 9 July 2019

Issue publication date: 9 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between consumers’ cultural values and their functional food perception.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is qualitative in nature and uses the grounded theory method. The data were collected through in-depth interviews with three ethnic groups, Anglo-Australian, Chinese and Indian ethnic groups in Australia. The constant comparative data analysis approach was used to analyse the interview text.

Findings

The results indicate that there is a relationship between consumers’ cultural values and their functional food perception. Functional food perception depends upon the consumers’ predisposition towards their culture, their motives for functional food consumption and the level of perseverance towards functional foods.

Research limitations/implications

The study includes only three ethnic groups and is qualitative in nature, which may limit its generalisability to the universe. The inclusion of more ethnic groups and additional sources of data could form directions for future research.

Practical implications

Functional food marketers can assess the kind of cultural values the ethnic groups in Australia uphold and capture those values in their marketing strategies. The cultural values in the framework could be used for the segmentation of functional food consumers. In a multicultural setting like Australia, segmentation of consumers based on the standard values would be more feasible and effective to target consumers spread across different ethnic groups but who uphold similar values.

Originality/value

The research has attempted to fill the gap in the existing literature about the relationship between culture and functional food perception. The latent variables in the theoretical framework proposed by the qualitative enquiry can be a good starting point for understanding the influence of cultural values on functional food perception and the development of a more comprehensive theoretical framework for functional food behaviour.

Keywords

Citation

Neupane, S., Chimhundu, R. and Chan, K.C. (2019), "Cultural values affect functional food perception", British Food Journal, Vol. 121 No. 8, pp. 1700-1714. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-03-2019-0178

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited