In today’s fast-paced world, convenience foods like canned products have become a staple in many households. But what drives consumers to choose one brand over another? And how do cultural backgrounds influence consumption habits? This article presents a qualitative research study that sheds light on these questions, focusing on luncheon meat and the perceptions of Arab expats.
The research utilized a qualitative approach, collecting data through focus groups. This method allowed for a richer understanding of the nuances behind consumer choices.
1- Product Awareness & Motivations
Awareness Levels: The study found varying levels of product awareness. While some consumers were well-versed with different brands and products, others had limited knowledge.
Motivations: Convenience and taste emerged as primary motivators. However, cultural preferences also played a significant role, especially among Arab expats.
2- Perceptions of Lesser Known/Local Brands
Trust in Local: Some consumers exhibited a strong inclination towards local brands, possibly due to a perceived sense of trust and authenticity.
Visual Connection: Respondent photographs often captured local brands in familiar settings, suggesting a personal or nostalgic connection.
3- Consumption Habits of Arab Expats
Cultural Influence: Arab expats showcased distinct consumption patterns. Traditional dishes using luncheon meat were prevalent, indicating a blend of modern convenience and cultural traditions.
Dietary Considerations: Some Arab expats preferred halal variants, emphasizing the importance of catering to religious dietary requirements.
4- Overall Attitudes & Behaviors
Routine Matters: Most consumers had established food routines, influencing their purchase decisions. For instance, those who dined out frequently were less likely to purchase canned products.
Shopping Habits: Brand loyalty was evident among some consumers, while others were more experimental, often influenced by discounts or promotions.
The research offers several key takeaways for brands in the canned food industry:
Cultural Sensitivity: Brands need to recognize and respect cultural nuances. The consumption habits of Arab expats, for instance, highlight the potential of tailoring products to specific cultural preferences.
Local Appeal: The trust in local brands suggests an opportunity for homegrown brands to capitalize on their ‘local’ status, emphasizing authenticity and trustworthiness in their marketing.
Consumer behavior is a complex interplay of various factors, from cultural backgrounds to branding elements. For brands in the canned food industry, understanding these nuances is crucial. By staying attuned to shifts in consumer behavior and preferences, brands can craft strategies that resonate, ensuring their products find a cherished spot in consumers’ pantries.