Search results

1 – 4 of 4
Article
Publication date: 15 July 2022

Tarek Ben Hassen, Hamid El Bilali and Mohammad Sadegh Allahyari

During a pandemic, risk and uncertainty are the most important factors affecting consumer behavior. Near Eastern marketplaces are undergoing dramatic change during the…

Abstract

Purpose

During a pandemic, risk and uncertainty are the most important factors affecting consumer behavior. Near Eastern marketplaces are undergoing dramatic change during the COVID-19 global pandemic. As a result, this paper aims to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on food shopping habits in four countries of the Near East sub-region, namely, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Oman and Qatar.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on an online survey conducted on 1,456 subjects using a snowball sampling technique. The questionnaire consisted of 24 different questions (multiple-choice, one option) regarding the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on food habits such as food shopping, preparation, eating and food waste.

Findings

The findings show that consumers’ shopping habits and food sourcing in the region changed due to the risk and uncertainty connected with the COVID-19 pandemic. Firstly, respondents decreased their shopping frequency and, as a result, increased the amount of food purchased each trip. Secondly, because of food safety concerns, respondents boosted their purchases of local products. Thirdly, the data revealed an increase in online food shopping, mainly in high-income countries, namely, Qatar and Oman. Fourthly, the findings revealed significant disparities in food stockpiling behavior across the countries investigated.

Research limitations/implications

The major limitation of this study is the survey bias. The survey respondents were randomly hired. The questionnaire was completed by volunteers who were not rewarded. Only those motivated by a personal interest in the topic took part in the study. The sample had a high number of educated individuals, which does not represent the overall populations of the studied countries. In this case, generalizing the findings is inaccurate. A segment of the population with lower accessibility, such as individuals who are not web-literate, as well as the elderly, poor households and informal workers, especially in the Near East and North African (NENA) region, is often underrepresented in online surveys.

Practical implications

The findings provide insight into how consumers’ food shopping habits have changed due to the pandemic. This and other research will help governments and other organizations better prepare for future disasters and pandemics. The study’s results will also be useful in formulating evidence-based policies for the four countries studied and the NENA area as a whole throughout the post-pandemic recovery phase. The findings, for example, emphasized the necessity of encouraging online shopping by upgrading information and communication technology infrastructure and internet speed, particularly in middle-income and developing countries like Lebanon. Furthermore, in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, the findings provide insights to international organizations (both humanitarian and development ones) to pay more attention to issues of food and nutrition security to avoid the financial and political crises combined with the COVID-19 health crisis, become a humanitarian crisis for locals as well as the hundreds of thousands of refugees (primarily Syrians in Lebanon). Finally, the pandemic’s long-term impact on food activities and food security must be mitigated by including agricultural and food systems in recovery efforts. Several issues are posing a threat to food systems. Addressing them successfully involves developing cross-disciplinary research that innovates at their intersections to provide different solutions that address the social, economic, technological and policy components of these issues.

Originality/value

The paper’s findings indicate that the pandemic’s consequences will most certainly differ from country to country, based not just on the epidemiologic condition but also, inter alia, on the level of pre-COVID socioeconomic development.

Details

Journal of Islamic Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-0833

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 June 2021

Tarek Ben Hassen, Hamid El Bilali, Mohammad S. Allahyari and Laurence Charbel

Right after announcing the first cases, several governments worldwide have implemented stringent measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. This disruption in individuals'…

Abstract

Purpose

Right after announcing the first cases, several governments worldwide have implemented stringent measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. This disruption in individuals' daily routines transformed food consumption habits. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on food consumption, diet and food shopping behaviors in Lebanon.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws upon an online survey in Lebanon administered in Arabic and English through the Survey Monkey platform in the period of July 15—August 5, 2020, with 201 adults. The survey findings were analyzed using descriptive statistics, a paired sample t-test and a Phi correlation test.

Findings

The research underlined numerous key consumer tendencies that are currently affecting diet and food behavior in Lebanon. Indeed, the study outcomes suggested (1) a move toward healthier diets; (2) a rise in the consumption of domestic products due to food safety concerns; (3) a change in the grocery shopping behaviors (with a rise in online shopping); (4) a surge of food stockpiling; and (5) a decrease in household food wastage. Surprisingly, COVID-19 seems to generate several positive changes toward more sustainable and healthier consumption patterns in Lebanon.

Research limitations/implications

These findings contribute to the clarification and critical analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 on food behaviors in Lebanon, which would have several policy implications.

Originality/value

The findings of this first study contribute to the clarification and critical analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 on food behaviors in Lebanon, which would have several policy implications.

Details

Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-0839

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 August 2022

Zeljko Vasko, Sinisa Berjan, Hamid El Bilali, Mohammad Sadegh Allahyari, Aleksandra Despotovic, Dajana Vukojević and Adriana Radosavac

The purpose of the research was to determine food consumer behaviour and attitudes towards food consumption and household food waste in Montenegro. Since the period of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the research was to determine food consumer behaviour and attitudes towards food consumption and household food waste in Montenegro. Since the period of conducting the research coincided with the expansion of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Montenegro (10–14 weeks since its outbreak), the results of this research could indicate the emerging pandemic circumstances.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 529 consumers were surveyed online, and 514 questionnaires met the requirements of further statistical processing. Data were processed by methods of descriptive statistics and chi-square test of association between socio-economic characteristics of respondents and their attitudes, as well as cluster analysis.

Findings

The main findings of the research are (1) consumers in Montenegro are quite responsible for the use of food because they throw away a small part, both in quantity and value; (2) Montenegrin households still practice a traditional way of life with frequent preparation and consumption of food at home and use of leftovers; (3) consumers have confusing perceptions regarding date labels of industrially processed foods; (4) during the COVID-19 pandemic, 17.3% of consumers increased and 11.8% decreased the frequency of food purchases, while 20.7% increased and 5.1% decreased food waste.

Originality/value

The work is highly original and, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, there is no other article that analysed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on food wastage and food-related behaviours during the outbreak of the pandemic in Montenegro (May–June 2020). Therefore, the work fills a gap in research and knowledge and sets a baseline for future studies.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 December 2021

Tarek Ben Hassen, Hamid El Bilali, Mohammad Sadegh Allahyari and Rabeh Morrar

Global lockdowns and restrictions linked to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have affected food environments and consumption patterns. Conflict-affected…

Abstract

Purpose

Global lockdowns and restrictions linked to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have affected food environments and consumption patterns. Conflict-affected countries are disproportionately affected from economic and food security perspectives. In this regard, the Palestinian territories (namely West Bank and Gaza Strip), which face a number of issues such as Israeli military and economic control, overcrowded cities and refugee camps (especially in Gaza Strip), rising poverty and food insecurity, are an especially interesting case study. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the selection and intake of foods and drinks, as well as consumer behavior and attitude toward food in the Palestinian territories.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws upon an online survey in the Palestinian territories administered in Arabic through the Survey Monkey platform from September 15 to October 10, 2020, with 322 adults. The survey findings were analyzed using descriptive statistics and several nonparametric tests. Particularly, the U-Mann Whitney test was used in dichotomous, categorical independent variables (e.g. gender), while the Kruskal–Wallis test was run to analyze multi-choice responses (e.g. occupation).

Findings

The results reveal that food attitudes and consumer behavior towards food have been widely affected. First, they reveal that Palestinians try to have healthier diets but ate more between meals (e.g. snacks). Second, the pandemic transformed respondents' shopping behavior and induced panic buying, negatively affecting food affordability due to increased prices of some foods (e.g. fruits and vegetables). Some food behaviors were shaped by negative psychological determinants (e.g. depression and anxiety). The pandemic effects are moderated by different sociodemographics (age, education and income). COVID-19 negatively affected food security but also opened a “window of opportunity” to trigger the transition towards more sustainable diets.

Originality/value

The paper results show that the eventual effects of COVID-19 will most likely vary from country to country, based not only on the epidemiological circumstances but also, among other factors, on the baseline socioeconomic situation and shock resilience. The findings contribute to the clarification and critical analysis of the impacts of COVID-19 on food behaviors in the Palestinian territories, which would have several policy implications.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 124 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

1 – 4 of 4