When in Rome, do as the Romans do

Mumtaz Ali Memon (Air University School of Management, Air University, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Muhammad Zeeshan Mirza (National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Bibiana Lim (Swinburne University of Technology, Kuching, Malaysia)
Waheed Ali Umrani (Sukkur IBA University, Sukkur, Pakistan)
Mohamed Ayyub Hassan (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia)
Tat Huei Cham (Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kajang, Malaysia)
Khurram Shahzad (Air University School of Management, Air University, Islamabad, Pakistan)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Publication date: 24 June 2019



International students are considered as a huge and potentially lucrative segment for various products of the tourism industry in Malaysia. One of the tourism products is the local food they consume. The purpose of this paper is to investigate key factors that contribute to international students’ intention to consume Malay food. Drawing on the theory of planned behavior (TPB), the present study examines the impact of attitude, subject norm and perceived behavioral control (PBC) on international students’ intention to consume Malay food.


A quantitative approach using self-administered questionnaire was adopted. A total of 163 samples were collected from international students studying in five different Malaysian higher education institutions. A partial least squares structural equation modeling technique was used to test the hypothesized model.


The findings highlight that attitude, subject norms and PBC significantly motivate international students to consume local food. The subject norm toward consuming local food was revealed as the strongest predictor of international students’ intention to consume Malay food.


Although this is one of the early studies that uses the TPB in assessing the factors that influence international students’ intention to consume local food, this paper is driven by and aimed for practical consideration and thus making a significant contribution to practice. Specifically, the findings of the present study provide important implications for tourism industry practitioners to plan and implement initiatives that may promote local food among international students studying in Malaysian institutions.



Memon, M., Mirza, M., Lim, B., Umrani, W., Hassan, M., Cham, T. and Shahzad, K. (2019), "When in Rome, do as the Romans do", British Food Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-09-2018-0636

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