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Food choice motives of different ethnics and the foodies segment in Kuala Lumpur

Amrul Asraf Mohd-Any (Department of Marketing, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Nurul Shahnaz Mahdzan (Department of Finance and Banking, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Chua Siang Cher (Department of Integrated Marketing and Loyalty, Maxis Communications Bhd, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 25 November 2014




The purpose of this paper is to explore the food choice motives of consumers in Kuala Lumpur and the relative importance of these factors; to investigate the differences in food choice motives between the Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnicities and to examine variations in the food selection motives of foodies and non-foodies of the overall sample.


An online questionnaire was employed using a snowballing sampling method with 239 respondents. Food choice motives were measured using Steptoe et al.'s (1995) Food Choice Questionnaire (FCQ) while a new exploratory measure for foodies was developed to examine respondents’ attitudes, interest and opinions (AIO).


The top three factors of food choice motives were Price, Convenience and Sensory appeal. Ethnicities did not differ in their food choice motives except for Familiarity between Malays and Chinese. Foodies and non-foodies displayed significant differences in their food choice motives, specifically in regards to Balanced diet, Mood and Sensory appeal.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to only Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnicities in Kuala Lumpur. Future studies should explore motives of other minority ethnic groups and examine differences between age, gender and income groups.

Practical implications

Suppliers and marketers of the food industry should consider the important aspects of food choice motives to improve the marketing strategies of their products. Products should be reasonably priced, offer convenience and appealing.


This paper develops a new exploratory measure to capture the AIO of foodies based on Johnston and Baumann (2010) and Cairns et al. (2010).



Asraf Mohd-Any, A., Shahnaz Mahdzan, N. and Siang Cher, C. (2014), "Food choice motives of different ethnics and the foodies segment in Kuala Lumpur", British Food Journal, Vol. 116 No. 12, pp. 1879-1896.



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