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Consumer Attitudes toward Ready-To-Eat Packed Food Items (With Special Reference To Jaffna Divisional Secretariat Division)
R. Meenambekai 1 P. Selvarajan2 Abstarct Ready-to-Eat packed food items play a key role among the people in today’s busy lifestyle. It is observed that there is a huge flow of products into the consumer market in Jaffna district after the post conflict period. This research study attempted to identify the consumer attitudes toward the Ready-to-Eat packed food products (R2E) in Jaffna DS division. The problem associated with this research study is to describe consumer attitudes towards the above said food items. The main objective of this study is to identify factors (demographic factors and behavioural factors) influencing on consumer attitudes towards these products. For this purpose, 100 respondents were selected by using Area Probability Sampling method with an association of Judgement Sampling and data gathered from them through questionnaire and personal interviewing. The data analysis covered percentage, frequency, rank order and cross tab analyses by using the version 16.0 of SPSS (®) package. The findings showed the majority of the consumers for these products were young generation people especially students and working people below 45 years who belongs to nuclear family with moderate monthly income level. It was also found that television was the major source of medium for consumer awareness, and the interest of consumer towards these products was instant consumption, timesaving, taste and convenience to use them as snacks. Health consciousness was the major factor indicated by the non buyers of these products. Moreover planned purchase was common among majority of the elders while impulse buying behaviour is shown among many consumers preferred milk based products. Therefore it is recommend that these food manufacturers should pay much attention on attractive packaging, health and nutrients and quality and intermediaries should stress on effective sales promotion activities to increase the consumption of these products and sustainability. Keywords: Consumer Attitudes, Impulsive buying, Planned purchase, Ready -to-Eat food items 1. Introduction
There is nobody in the world that is left out of the class of consumers. The consumer hood continues till one’s last breath in the world.People bear certain beliefs and attitudes towards certain types of goods, brands ofcommodities and retail outlets based on their previous experience. Consumer purchases are likely to be influenced by physiological, psychological and sociological factors (Solomon, 2009). The commodities and services are brought by theconsumer to satisfy his basic needs, for comfort, pleasure, recreation and
Meenambekai. R, Vavuniya Campus of the University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka (firstname.lastname@example.org) Selvarajan. P, Vavuniya Campus of the University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka (email@example.com)
dried foods. young population and also. Although conditions are attractive. distribution network. a growing economy. growing markets potential. neighbours. The food habits have changed due to the western influence and the usage of these foods is also on the rise. well developed infrastructure. Hence. retailers face some problems related to different demographic characteristics. Moreover the marketing mix also influences on the consumer behaviour and their purchase decisions. etc. Jaffna District has many retailers for many years because with its population. increasing number of working women. thirst. different values. Ready-to-eat packed food is food offered or exposed for sale without additional cooking or preparation. The psychological factors like status prestige and social factors likefriends. etc)fulfilled all the needs of the modern human being. The consumption of these Ready to Eat packed food products is also one of the new trend of modern consumers. frozen foods. The changes in the business and marketing environment leads to the production of different goods and services and marketing them to satisfy the various needs of modern customers. preserved foods. fast foods. which have to besatisfied for survival. Now days the trend of buying behaviour and attitudes of consumers is dramatically changing while the trend of retail marketing also changing rapidly. time which translates into an increased need for convenience. Therefore the consumer behaviour and their attitudes  . which are simple and easy to digest. the present trend changed the habits of foods. changes income. education. convenience foods. and purchasing power. and marketing system. Also. Unlike the olden days where man used to have his food lavishly and slowly. income and age. according to some researches. relatives and job influence their purchasing activities. shelter. which is packaged on the premises where they are being sold and are ready for consumption. a scenario of rapid urbanization.. and attitudes of consumers in Jaffna district. The following are main causes lead to the change. changing lifestyle.The Seventh International Research Conference on Management and Finance (IRCMF 2012) happiness. it was thought that there is a relationship between attitudes toward retailing products and some demographic characteristics such as gender. Everyindividual has physiological need such as hunger. instant products. labour force. the existence of these ready-to-eat packed foods (Canned foods.
Thus it is important analyzing the current situation and predicts the future trend to make appropriate decision making in the business world. defined. Mass media communication provides an important source of information that influences the formation of consumer attitudes. Forming and changing both may slow or fast and may be easy or difficult. Kotler says whether the buyer is satisfied after purchase depends on the offer’s performance in relation to the buyer expectations. an attitude is a predisposition to evaluate an object or product positively or negatively. we form attitudes that influence our lives. Attitudes can be formed. close friends and admired individuals. This phenomenon is very important and a big opportunity for the marketers to try to make the consumers’ attitude favourable to them and their product. and so also they can be changed. money. Literature Review The study of consumer behaviour focuses on how individuals make decisions to spend their available resources (time. 1997). especially family.  . the influence of family members and friends. Kotler (1999) defined. Satisfaction is a person’s feeling of pleasure or disappointment resulting from comparing a product’s perceived performance (or outcome) in relation to his or her expectations. We form attitudes towards products or services that often determine whether we will purchase them or not. and mass media. The main objective of this study is to identify factors (demographic factors and behavioural factors) influencing on consumer attitudes towards these products. Solomon (2009) says.Direct experience refers the attitudes towards the product formed by the directly consuming the product. following are the main sources of that influence on Attitude formation. 2. Direct marketing programs are used by marketers highly to target small consumer niches with products and services that fit their interests and lifestyles.The Seventh International Research Conference on Management and Finance (IRCMF 2012) are rapidly changing in the marketing environment.The formation of consumer attitudes is strongly influenced by personal experience. Schiffman and Kanuk (2000). According to Solomon (2002). direct marketing. As we come into contact with others. The present study analyse the consumer attitudes toward the Ready-to-Eat packed food products (R2E) in Jaffna DS division. effort) on consumption-related items (Schiffman & Kanuk.
(2006) concludes five informational bases of food attitudes were identified: general sensory information (e. Attitude has been widely defined as a psychological tendency that is classified by evaluating a specific object (e. greasy).g. liking–disliking. attitudes and behaviour are formed interdependently following some kind of causal chains or hierarchies of effects. and R2E food market segmentation based on food-related lifestyles can be applied to develop proper marketing strategies. both beliefs and attitudes affect purchasing decisions. advertising a reduction in traditional cooking. Euromonitor international (2008) researched. Verdurmeet al.g. (2001) examined. in his study revealed that factors influencing the consumer’s choice of food are flavour. and positive and negative effects associated with eating foods (e. Taste.g.The Seventh International Research Conference on Management and Finance (IRCMF 2012) According to Moye and Kincade (1999).. safety). Demographic and household role changes and the introduction of microwave ovens have produced changes in eating habits. smell). satisfaction–dissatisfaction or good–bad polarity. The pressures of working life along with time constraints have resulted in an increasing number of consumers opting for convenience over price. Consumers’ knowledge or beliefs. resulting in food being consumed quickly at work or in the car. The study revealed that around one-third of consumers felt they lacked the time to prepare healthy meals. Vigorous  .The findings of this study indicate that consumer behaviours towards R2E foods differed between segments..g. Oily.. Consumer express preference or lack of preference for stores. texture appearance. health. taste and on some occasions. According toEagly and Chaiken (1993).. advertisements and other marketing stimuli by reflecting a favourable or unfavourable attitude. fragmentation of family means and an increase in ‘snacking’ etc. For this reason these same people have actually replaced many of their meals with snacks. nauseated. Rees (1992). A food product) with series degree of favour–disfavour. Finally. This is the main conclusion of a survey carried out in the USA by the market research and analysis group Packaged Facts. abstract cognitive qualities (health. relaxed). Aikman et al. specific sensory information (e.. brands. comforted. it is widely acknowledged that consumers’ decisions are the result of a complex process not always very well understood as many personal and environmental factors may contribute to final choices. It is assumed that respondents’ socioeconomic characteristics and food habits and lifestyles may affect on purchase decision. Guilt.
Preference Figure 01. who require and value convenience.According to the conceptual model the researcher explains two dimensions in detail. a conceptual model proposed which address on casual linkages among some key variables along with consumers’ attitudes towards Ready to Eat packed food items in Jaffna DS division have been taken into consideration. safety and tasty. Experience. value for money and proposition. profession. These studies indicate clearly the factors that need to be analyzed to identify the consumer attitudes towards the Ready to Eat packed food products. Conceptual model Source: developed by author As the sample size totally 100 respondents. Quality. Awareness. quality. household income. awareness. DEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS Gender. 3. were selected from the Jaffna Divisional secretariat geographical boundary. lifestyle Consumer Attitudes Behavioral Factors Price. They are socio economic aspects and behavioural aspects as independent variables and consumer attitude as the dependent variable. marital status. Sample respondents were equally distributed to each four  .The Seventh International Research Conference on Management and Finance (IRCMF 2012) sale of chilled and other prepared foods is related to the large numbers of working wives and single people. Knowledge. age. education.The following factors have been identified to analyze the problem such as price. experience and preference. availability. Availability. Methodology To achieve the research objective. family type. Value for money and proposition. safety and tasty. knowledge. consumption and expenditure pattern. Area probability sampling with the combination of Judgemental sampling were used.
000/month) 36. 4. measures of dispersion using the statistical package for social science (SPSS16. The findings explained the demographic characteristics of consumers of Ready to Eat packed food items in Jaffna DS division. In Data analysing.0). pie charts and percentage analysis.00 per cent of them were belonged to income group of Rs. Measures and data evaluation based on the Likert scale and famous statistical tools were such as tables. magazines.999/month). 37% of respondents belongs to low income group (<Rs.999/month) and 20. papers.000-59.000-39. Moreover 56% of them are male. standard deviation and percentage. 20. This study found the respondents between the Age 6-24 years and 24-44 years consumed Ready to Eat packed food items 53% and 22% respectively rather than other age category. measures of central tendency. and 46% of them were students while 29% government employees and 16% private employees. Primary data has been collected using the structured questionnaire with personal interviews with the customers at the stores and dwelling place and through personal observations. it is especially considered tabular analysis. 77% of the respondents belong to nuclear families. Text books and related websites. 40. deriving distribution.20. Discussion and Findings The comparative study was used to study about the consumer attitudes towards Ready to eat packed food items in Jaffna DS division.The Seventh International Research Conference on Management and Finance (IRCMF 2012) Ready to Eat packed food product categories that were already selected for this study. univariate analysis consisting of mean. Secondary data has been collected through various sources such as. 65% were single in status.00 per cent of them belonged to income group of Rs. Table 01 Reasons for purchasing Source: Survey data 2011  . 78% were completed higher studies.
From the analysis.  . 20% of the buyers purchased twice a week and 20% of the respondents purchased daily basis while most of them consumed milk based products. Particularly elders were more health conscious than other age category of respondents in Jaffna DS division.The Seventh International Research Conference on Management and Finance (IRCMF 2012) The above table shows that Instant consumption was the foremost reason to purchase Ready to Eat packaged food items in Jaffna DS division. More than half of the respondents purchased at supermarkets and modern retail outlets while 33% of respondents purchased at retail outlets 29% of the respondents made in both kind of places. Table 02 Reasons for not purchasing Source: Survey data 2011 Health consciousness and relatively higher priced were the vital reasons for disliking the purchase. 30% of the respondents usually purchased based on their need. Saving time and taste also were the key reasons leaded to consumption. Display at shopping outlets and Media ads were the main Source of information for product awareness and contributed around 50% in each kind of Ready to Eat packed food items. Parents and friends influences on the purchase decision were 30% and 20% respectively. Half of the respondents made planned decision making while purchasing but most of milk based product buyers made impulse purchases.
more than half of the respondents were price conscious and health conscious in Jaffna DS division. The quality of the products also influences on the purchase decision of the respondents while they prefer taste and special attributes of the products. Conclusion According to the above data analysis.Female respondents purchased because of instant consumption. Media created more awareness while  . While it was observed significantly that the health consciousness and high price were the main reasons to avoid the purchase by elders (age >65 years). Students purchased because of its taste and instant need. Half of the respondents perceived value from the consumption of ready to eat products. The both Government and private employees bought Ready to Eat packed products because of saving time. 5. Male respondents purchased for the reasons of instant consumption. and taste and instant consumption. instant consumption. Foremost factors influence to choose products Source: Survey data 2011 Saving time was the main factor influence on purchasing and consuming the products with the mean value of 4. taste and save time. taste and satisfaction in Jaffna DS division. Moreover the half percentage of the respondents stated the product available wherever and whenever needed.The Seventh International Research Conference on Management and Finance (IRCMF 2012) Figure 02.3 The study shows.
The quality aspects coupled with competitive price may  . This calls for the attention of other competing firms in the business to improve their sales promotion activities by making use of such mass media to improve their business. Taste and other quality aspects count more while preparation of the products. Brand loyalty is an important factor in such ready-to-eat food products.The Seventh International Research Conference on Management and Finance (IRCMF 2012) other sources also influenced. the study also indicated that those firms which resorted to advertisements through mass media. Ready-to-eat food products are impulse purchase products and generally fun eats foods. particularly television and newspapers could get a better share in the market. Any new firm entering into the market should study these things very critically. Since. So players/manufacturers need to stress on attractive packaging and sales promotion. Biscuits. manufacturers. This indicates that there is a wide scope for all the intermediaries who are involved in this business. planning for marketing strategy by attaching nutritive value of the products have to think seriously before launching such products. But the findings can be used for other similar regions in the district or out of the district. Further. and fruit juice and milk packets.. Jaffna DS division is a fast growing geographical area after local conflict. there is ample scope for this type of business. 6. This sends a message to the manufacturers of ready-to-eat food products. The above findings were obtained within the Jaffna DS division only. Hence. Lower age groups. Recommendations The majority of the residents in Jaffna DS division purchased these ready-to-eat products viz. But it could not represent the other areas of the Jaffna district. particularly for such cosmopolitan consumers. that they cannot compromise on quality of the products in view to offer the products at cheaper prices. particularly children and teens consume them the most. Price was more important to them. The cosmopolitan people of Jaffna DS division were found more health and quality conscious while choosing a ready-to-eat food product. Because the factors influenced on the consumer attitudes are differ place to place. It is very difficult to induce the consumers for brand switching. chips. It can be a base for further research. The consumer buys such products only if it catches his eye at the outlet. Ready-to-eat food products are impulse purchase and fun eats products.
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