In recent years, the major food consumption trend in developing countries is that more consumers are eating increasingly more meals outside of their homes and most of the growth in away-from-home eating has been in the fast food sector. The interest shown at the national and international levels concerning the fast food is derived from the scarcity of time in a competitive and dynamic. According to Atkins and Bowler (2001), emphasis is increasingly being placed on quick meal solutions due to the busier consumer lifestyle and dual-working families with children.
Consumers lead increasingly busy lives, meaning that the time available to cook meals is being squeezed between work and leisure commitments.
Cooking for many has ceased to be a leisure activity and instead is a chore. Consequently, this has placed more emphasis on fast food items. Fast-food is a rapidly growing industry in the world as well as in Malaysia, especially in the urban areas. Moreover, the food diversity in Malaysia is an implicit characteristic of the diversified culture of the country amongst the different regions within the states.
Traditionally, Malaysians like to have home-cooked meals. However, going along with the times and due to the increasing awareness and influence of the western culture, there is a great shift in food consumption patterns among urban Malaysian families. Hence, studying this issue in the Malaysian context will provide deeper insights to the fast food industries, and consumer and government policy makers.
The fast-food industry is perceived to be an American creation, but the “fish-n-chips” format has prevailed in the UK since the eighteenth century as an outlet where the working class could easily purchase inexpensive prepared food.
In Malaysia, the American franchises have been dominating the fast-food and restaurant industry. It includes Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), McDonalds, A & W, Burger King, Subway, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Pizza Hut, Domino Pizza, Kenny Rogers Roasters, Haagen Dazs, Swensons, Famous Amos, Auntie Anne’s and the Outback Steak House. Among the 6000 (approximately) franchise outlets in Malaysia, foods and beverages dominate the franchising sector (fast-food retail was about 32%), whereas, the local fast-food or Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) market was valued at $493 million (RM 1.8 billion).
At present, the largest foreign franchise operator in Malaysia is KFC. It has entered the Malaysian market in 1973, and since then KFC dominates the market with 447 outlets and 46% market share in the fast-food or QSR market. Essentially, KFC and Pizza Hut in Malaysia are owned by the same group of companies, QSR Brands Bhd which in total, controls 60% of the QSR in Malaysia. The top performers in fast-food retailing stores are KFC (46%), followed by McDonaldâs (25%), and Pizza Hut (14%) (Malaysian Franchise Association, 2006).
Though Malaysia is a multi racial and multi religious country, a large number of population in Malaysia are Muslims. Therefore, chicken is very popular here as it is free from religious restrictions. Since there is no significant presence of other foreign fast-food franchises in Malaysia, the American franchises are mainly competing among themselves and with several successful local fast-food retailers. The most successful local fast-food brand is “Ayamas” (Fast Food Consumption Trend in Malaysia, 2008).
Problem Statement There has been a sustained increase in the demand for convenience foods and snacks over a number of years (Traill, 1994; Keynote, 2003). The global expansion of fast food markets prepared the way for a rise in the number and power of multi-national fast-food corporations (Schlosser, 2001). Initially, due to the cultural mismatch the multinational fast-food outlets faced the challenges of getting acceptance by the Malaysian consumers.
Today, the fast-food industry is being adapted to Malaysian food requirements and is a growing phenomenon in Malaysia. However, as per the author’s knowledge, little researches have been done in this field, especially in developing countries like Malaysia. Moreover, factors affecting consumer’s choice to purchase fast food can vary in a great way in Asian countries than West. Taken this opportunity into account, the current study has tried to fill this gap by exploring this issue using the country specific measures. As fast-food consumption has gained the acceptance primarily in Malaysian consumers, Malaysian consumers have been considered as the subject of the study. The problem statement for this study is therefore to understand the factors that influence fast food consumption in Malaysia.
Research Objective The objectives of this study were Research Objectives: 1. To examine the awareness of Malaysians about fast food. .2.To analyze the consumption pattern of consumer with regard to fast food. 3. To investigate the motives of Malaysia consumer with regard to select fast food. 4. To analyze the factors that influence fast food consumption in Malaysia. Research Questions Are Malaysian people aware of fast food? Fast food, it’s another word for an unhealthy meal. It’s convenient, quick and cheap and no preparation is needed. It’s the reason why many adults and children settle for this option of eating, but it’s also the reason why many of us are so unhealthy.
There’s nothing good about eating fast food other than the taste. It’s high in sugar and salt and lacks in nutrition, it’s definitely not a meal that should be eaten every day. Not everything inside these fast foods is real; they contain high amounts of preservatives and artificial substances and at times even industrial chemicals. Fast food chains such as McDonalds and Hungry Jack’s are the main cause of obesity in children and in adults. Obesity can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, joint problems and heart disease. Also obesity is hereditary and may be passed on to affect younger ones, even if they eat a healthy diet.
With obesity on the up rise, many teenagers are being either prevented or distracted from doing things helpful towards them. Not only does fast food degrade these children physically, but also mentally. These obese children may be targeted at school and be picked on because of their appearance, which may lead to low self esteem and depression. After considering the above points, it clearly shows that fast food consumption has a negative impact on society. It interferes with our lives and at the same time is a hazard to our health. This affects us and our future generation. The study has focused on the relations between attribute perceptions, overall customer satisfaction and store sales performance.
To capture the relationship between attribute perceptions and overall customer satisfaction, we have identified how customers interpret and respond to the products and services they buy and experience. Here it is essential to distinguish between specific attributes of a product or a service and the satisfaction factor they represent. In food retailing, for instance, consumers may put high value on a factor that might be called “customer service” provided by the supermarket.
This is an example of an abstract or subjective benefit. This abstract benefit depends on a set of related measurable at- tributes such as the disposition of the cashiers and sales associates, speed and accuracy of checkout, and availability of everyday grocery items and store cleanliness, among others. In addition to customer service, other relevant factors affecting overall customer satisfaction in grocery stores include the store ambiance, the perceived product quality of (growing) perishables departments–now 50 percent or more of store sales in some stores–such as fresh pro- duce, daily/bakery, seafood, fresh meat and floral, as well as the perceived value of products relative to their price.
The fast food restaurants are now in the growing pace as it is convenience and suits the lifestyle of Malaysians citizens who are now having a more hectic and busy lifestyle. Fast food outlets in Malaysia provide a wide range of products and also delivery services that suits the preferences of various consumers. Fast food restaurants in Malaysia heavily promote themselves through media such as television, internet, newspaper and also brochures and pamphlets. Moreover, with the Malaysian population becoming more urban and affluent, along with media influence and foreign exposure which has resulted in growing taste for western food, fast food outlets in Malaysia such as Pizza Hut has a great future prospective.
The purposed of this report is to analyze buyer behavior of consumer in fast food industry. Marketers need to recognize that internal and external aspect of buyer behavior will influence consumers buying decision making in fast food industry. Thus, marketers can use various component of buyer behavior to segment their target market in order to cater their needs and preferences with different marketing mix strategy.
Furthermore, Market segmentation is also being outlined in this report. For fast food industry, segment such as demography, psychographics, socio cultural and benefit segmentation will be targeted. Moreover, in order to success in the market, Pizza Hut should understand and provide greater consumer satisfaction than its competitors. In this case, the main competitor of Pizza Hut in Malaysia is McDonald’s.
Finally, future recommendation on the improvement of the marketing activities of Pizza is also provided Benefit segmentation requires finding the major benefits people look for in the product class, the kinds of people who look for each benefit and the brands that deliver each benefit (Schiffman et al., 2005). With fast food restaurant, family can decide on impulse to go out and eat, and each family can select their own food.
Thus, the food preparer does not have to plan meals for the whole family (Darian and Cohen, 1995). Fast food restaurant are superior in providing this benefit especially to the very time-poor consumers that searching for this kind of benefit in selecting their food choices. In order to understand consumers’ different perceptions and preferences of fast food outlets, it is important to understand their buyer behaviors. Understanding buyer behaviors and how they differ among consumers is very important for fast food industry to develop their marketing strategies (Kara, Kaynak and Kucukemiroglu, 1997).
Here, some aspects of buyers’ behavior which are vital in developing marketing strategy or making marketing decisions for fast food outlet will outline perception as being defined as the process by which an individual receives, select, and interprets stimuli to form a meaningful and coherent picture of the world. Consumer perceptions are vital to marketers and often underlie the success and failure of products in the marketplace (Hanna & Wozniak, 2001). Fast food meals such as Pizza Hut, McDonalds and KFC tend to be perceived by customers as convenient but unhealthy. As the response to this, a number of fast food companies have reviewed the fat and sugar contents of their product ranges and reconsidered the size of portions they offer. New ³healthy options (e.g. salad) can now be purchase from fast food such outlets such as Pizza Hut and KFC.
Attitude is being defined as the way consumers think and feel about and act towards some aspect of the product, company, services or brands (Neal, Quester and Hawkins, 1999). Usually, attitudes are constant with behaviors, in this case; the consumer’s purchase behavior toward specific incentive (Schiffman et al., 2005). Different people have different attitude towards the offering in fast food restaurants. One group of people tends to think that time is an important component in selecting the place for dinner while another group only care on the quality of the food provided.
Moreover consumers are also having a negative attitude towards . fast food restaurants as it is perceived to be unhealthy. Hence, it is the marketer job to induce people with these attitudes towards its product and service using advertising campaign and special offers. As illustration, the marketers in fast food outlets such as Pizza Hut has long induce the attitude change towards fast food by providing healthier menu such as salad and also emphasize on the time guarantee.