The purpose of this paper is to investigate the key attributes that drive Muslim consumer purchase behavior in the context of imported Western food in Pakistan.Design/methodology/approachIn-depth, semi-structured interviews were used as a data collection tool. In this research, the in-depth interview data were analysed by using the manual content analysis (MCA) technique. Moreover, Leximancer software was used to reanalyse the data to enhance the trustworthiness of the MCA results. A total sample of 43 Muslim consumers from three metropolitan cities in Pakistan participated in the research. The sample comprises professionals, housewives and both college and university students.FindingsMuslim consumers in Pakistan look at both the intrinsic and extrinsic attributes when purchasing imported Western food. The ruling factors explored were product taste, ingredients, freshness, hygiene, brand name and overall product quality. However, product packaging and labeling also play a significant role. Participants were of the view that imported Western food provides a better, unique consumption experience and an opportunity to choose from a wide variety of food options. Interestingly, interview findings reveal that Western food product attributes surpass the Islamic concept of moderate spending, thus convincing Muslim consumers to engage in the consumption of imported Western food.Social implicationsThe presence of imported Western food may improve quality of life by having more opportunities and healthier options for the nation. If the Western food products are stamped Halal or made with Halal ingredients the product has a fair chance of adoption and penetration in the society. Further, it may result in overall health improvements within the society, which is already a major concern in the Pakistani consumer market. Also, food products coming from the Western world induces mindfulness; people are more aware about innovative and useful ingredients that can satisfy their taste buds.Originality/valueThis paper found that Pakistani Muslim consumers are not really concerned about the Islamic concept of moderate spending, and thus, established that Pakistani Muslim consumers are more concerned about product value rather than their Islamic teaching of moderate spending. From a population, with 97 per cent Muslim majority, product packaging and labeling were found to be a dominant and deciding factor, which, in itself, is an interesting finding. Further, established Western brand names help Muslim consumers to recognize products and plays a vital role in their purchase decisions. However, within product labeling, the element of halal ingredients was found to be a deciding factor, but not a leading factor, in purchase decisions.
Journal of Islamic Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 9, 2021
Keywords: Pakistan; Product attributes; Muslim consumer behaviour; Western imported food; Imported Western food
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