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Managing conflicting values in functional food consumption: the Malaysian experience

Managing conflicting values in functional food consumption: the Malaysian experience Purpose – Conflicting values are resolved through a process called value negotiation, but the nature of this process remains largely unexplored. This study aims to explore how consumers undergoing rapid socio‐economic transition manage their conflicting values in making choices concerning functional foods. Design/methodology/approach – Data for this study were collected qualitatively using ethnoconsumerist and grounded‐theory methodologies. In combination, these two approaches enabled the researcher to conduct research at the emic‐level (within culture). Findings – The exploratory model was developed to illustrate how the main three ethnic groups in Malaysia manage their values in terms of functional food consumption. The results showed that participants did not spend much time consciously considering their consumption choices or their values until they were faced with choices or personal values that were inconsistent with cultural, physical and product characteristics. Values are managed by prioritisation and balancing to suit the participant's health needs and situation. Research limitations/implications – The study's findings are based only on the Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnic groups in Malaysia. Practical implications – The model can be used to help food practitioners, policy‐makers and educators evaluate practices aimed at improving dietary behaviour. Originality/value – The finding gives new insight into how consumers in developing multicultural society consume functional foods. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png British Food Journal Emerald Publishing

Managing conflicting values in functional food consumption: the Malaysian experience

British Food Journal , Volume 113 (8): 15 – Aug 9, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0007-070X
DOI
10.1108/00070701111153788
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Conflicting values are resolved through a process called value negotiation, but the nature of this process remains largely unexplored. This study aims to explore how consumers undergoing rapid socio‐economic transition manage their conflicting values in making choices concerning functional foods. Design/methodology/approach – Data for this study were collected qualitatively using ethnoconsumerist and grounded‐theory methodologies. In combination, these two approaches enabled the researcher to conduct research at the emic‐level (within culture). Findings – The exploratory model was developed to illustrate how the main three ethnic groups in Malaysia manage their values in terms of functional food consumption. The results showed that participants did not spend much time consciously considering their consumption choices or their values until they were faced with choices or personal values that were inconsistent with cultural, physical and product characteristics. Values are managed by prioritisation and balancing to suit the participant's health needs and situation. Research limitations/implications – The study's findings are based only on the Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnic groups in Malaysia. Practical implications – The model can be used to help food practitioners, policy‐makers and educators evaluate practices aimed at improving dietary behaviour. Originality/value – The finding gives new insight into how consumers in developing multicultural society consume functional foods.

Journal

British Food JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 9, 2011

Keywords: Functional food; Multicultural societies; Cultural values; Value negotiation; Consumer behaviour; Food products; Consumption; Malaysia

References