Imapct factor(SJIF): 6.56
A Refereed Monthly International Journal of Management
Changing Consumption Basket in Rural and Urban Areas- A Journey from Conventional Food to Convenience Food
Dr Kiran Mor
Purpose- The purpose of this study is to explore and study the awareness and determinants (demographics and psychographics) impacting consumers food choice towards Traditional food and convenience Food and reasons for shifting towards processed Food.
Design/Methodology/Approach- Food choice variables have been explored using literature reviews and exploratory survey of consumers in the rural and urban areas. Data obtained from the reliable sources (e.g. World Health Organization, NSSO data, Euro monitor International and Data monitor International) has been used to study the implications of consumer food choice and growing trend towards Cereal Convenience Food Products.
Findings- Based on literature reviews and exploratory surveys, the key determinants impacting consumers food choice are passion for eating, ambience, taste and convenience for dual-income families in urban. Findings indicate that food companies can no longer rely on convenience as USP in India, unless the implications of same on consumers health is given equal importance in the years to come.
Research Limitations /Implications- Data obtained from the probability systematic random sampling and literature reviews has been generalized for inferring consumption patterns of Indian consumers in rural and urban areas.
Practical Implications- This case study focus on growing trends towards Convenience food and reasons for shifting from Traditional Food to Convenience Food.
Originality/ value- This paper focus on determining a food choice model in wake of changing food and eating habits in rural and urban areas, using literature reviews, exploratory survey and reliable data sources.
Key words: Convenience Food, Rural, Urban, Food Choice Model
“Bird of Gold from 1000 years ago is destined to fly again”
(Mckinsey Global Institute report (May, 2007))156
These words well defined the Indian middle class which bulges upward towards the attainment of optimum consumption or rather felt to be a sweet spot of the bat which once make the most effective contact with the bat, can turn the entire situation of the cricket match. It has been well said in the report that recently a paradigm shift has been observed in the Indian market whether rural or urban regarding consumption pattern which lead to a continuation of high growth path over more than two decades. Another fact which was revealed in the report was that Indian economy will continue to boom and climb from its position as 12th largest consumer market to the world’s fifth largest consumer market by the coming of year 2025. Consumer behavior studies worldwide holds large importance for the researchers. Such studies ensure the benefits of development that has reached in different areas and regions and also different socio economic groups. In order to measure the quality of life, household expenditure plays an important role.
THE MANY FACES OF CONSUMPTION:
This section of thesis provides a brief knowledge of the words such as consumer, consumption and consumerism. It has been stated by researchers that today everyday life is related to a modern society.
DEFINING CONSUMER, CONSUMPTION, AND CONSUMERISM
An actor of the verb who is involved in the act of consuming. Earlier from the 14th century to a period of late 19th century, this word “to consume’ in English was generally carried in a negative connotation which was meant as to destroy, to exhaust to use up, to waste’ but the customer was generated in a positive lights. This negative connotation gradually came from dissipated objects to the needs of the person in order to fulfill the process. According to Trentmann (2006a : 19) three approaches have been categorized to define the simple word ‘consumer’.
Now, in fact, consumers are the locus of the modern society. As on one side of the coin, Gabriel and Lang (1995) defined the consumer as a god-like figure in front of whom nobody could prostrate themselves:
“Everywhere, it seems, the consumer is triumphant. Consumers are said to dictate production; to fuel innovation; to be creating new service sectors in advanced economies; to be driving modern politics; to have it in their power to save the environment and protect the future of the planet. Consumers embody a simple modern logic, the right to choose. Choice, the consumer's friend, the inefficient producer's foe, can be applied to things as diverse as soap-powder, holidays, healthcare or politicians.”
Gabriel and Lang, 1995: 1
This simple word consumption is really difficult to define. The word consumption has been defined differently by different researchers. Consumption may represent all those different activities performed by different people and in different places in the world (Brewer and Trentmann, 2006; Miller, 1995). According to Campbell (1995: 102), “Consumption is the selection, use, purchase, maintenance, repair, and disposal of any product or service”. It has been developed as a focus and playground for the entire individuals who are free from making the future of capitalism more secure.
Consumption is defined as a function of production and not a function of enjoyment. Therefore, it can be said that, “it is not just a matter of satisfying your material greed or filling the stomach. It is also a question of twisting symbols for all sorts of purposes required” Gabriel and Lang, (1995: 1) sheds the light on consumption and explained that it is not only the means of fulfilling and satisfying the needs consumption is “not just a means of fulfilling needs, but also pervades our social relations, reputation and perception for the product”. Consumption, here, is visualized as “the use and acquisition of all the things, including goods, products and, increasingly, household technology”
The word consumerism circumscribes different intellectual traditions which would mean different to different people around the world. Consumerism is a term that has engaged a variety of changes in its connotations. In developing countries like India, the pattern of consumption has undergone a structural change and a new theory has been emerged from it termed as ‘consumerism’. The termed consumerism can be well explained as those practices which are necessitated in order to achieve the entire utility to meet the consideration by the consumer’s aspiration so as to have a better standard of living
The important reasons which helped in the strengthening of consumerism in India. Some were:
CONSUMPTION AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF EVERYDAY LIFE
Harold Wilhite (2008) of the University of Oslo composed “Consumption and the Transformation of Everyday Life: a View from South India” which is based on a study in Trivandrum, Kerala. Similar as to Miller (1994) findings, he also collected ethnographic data by making friends, developing close relationships, building social networks, and conducting in-depth interviews. The book discussed each and every demographics of the family such as the household, caste, gender roles, income, standard of living, marriage and dowry, and so on. Reviewing his work, Wilhite, 2008: 1 “claimed that the same questions are also relevant for the other parts of the world. The book crystallizes on the changes which is in the social customs of ever day life, domino effect and offered the elucidation for changing consumption.”
CONSUMPTION: AN OUTLOOK
Consumption is termed as economic activity which is performed by every household. Every individual uses its personal disposal income, either for consumption or for savings, which throws a light on the economic development of the nation. In order to calculate the household consumption expenditure all those expenditure which have been incurred during a particular reference period (NSSO, various rounds). In other words, the monetary values consumed for various groups such as food, pan, tobacco, intoxicants, fuel, light, clothing, footwear, etc. These major items have been categorized into two classifications: 1) Food items and ii) non food items. (National Sample Survey)
During the 21 century, consumption growth has been unprecedented in its scale and diversity. However, still a wide disparity exits in the consumption of various developed and developing economies. It can be observed that there is a direct relationship between economic development and consumption as the rising standards have enlarged the difference between enriched choices and accessibility present for the household. The rising standard of living, also results in rising demand for conspicuous consumption. In the year 1998, the report also reported that 20% of the worlds’ population has been drawn out from the race of consumption explosion. Disparities in economic and social development across the regions and inter-regional disparities among different segments of the society have been the major reason for adopting planning in India since independence. While efforts to reduce these disparities were not looking and achievements were disproportionately low. Since then there has been studies by the academicians, researchers and planners in the field of disparities at all level- global, national and regional level. India’s economic development has created a large middle class which bulges to westernized trends and lifestyle adaption. The level of development of every region differs from each other in terms of consumption pattern. These differences come from various economic, social, natural and political factors. This means that the variation of consumption pattern is different with respect to different consumer in different regions and between different social groups.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
HYPOTHESES OF THE STUDY
5 representative districts have been selected on the basis of per capita income from the total districts of Haryana (Source: Statistical Abstract of Haryana, 2011-12). All the districts were arranged in the descending order as per high to low per capita income. Then 5 districts were randomly selected for the research study. Gurugram, formerly named as Gurgoan is the first district to be selected from the state which has the highest rank among the others. Thereafter, in order to select the area for collecting data – the total numbers of blocks were indicated in the respective district, and then it was decided to choose four blocks from each selected district on the basis of random sampling. In order to make the study more representatives, it was pursued that the samples were collected groups based on their residential status, gender, age, and income. In order to make the study reliable and comparable, it was ensured that a balance is maintained between the rural and urban respondents. The representation of the same is presented in the table underneath.
Gurugram (Formerly named as Gurgoan) Kurukshetra Jind Ambala Hissar
SAMPLE DESIGN AND SAMPLE SIZE
In the present study multi stage sampling has been used for selecting the samples. We have deployed probability systematic random sampling for the present study in other words the Nth selection technique. In the present study, the population is the respondents who are generally highly involved in decision making in the family. The same was made certain by verbally confirming from the subjects that they actively participated in decision making process of the household. The formula given by Krejcie, R. V., & Morgan, D. W. (1970)135 for calculating the sample size is followed for this study.
n= X2 N P (1-P)/d2(N-1)+X2P(1-P)
n= Required Sample Size X2= Table value of chi-square for 1 degree of freedom at desired confidence level
N= the population size – 16753235 P= the population proportion (assume to be .5) d= degree of accuracy expressed as a proportion
n=3.841*25353081.5*(1-.5)/.0025*16753234+3.841*.58 (1-.5) =384
Sample Size= 1610 respondents. And finally 1421 duly filled questionnaires were received.
TRENDS IN CEREAL CONSUMPTION IN INDIA:
The rise in the per capita income and revamped lifestyle associated with the modernization, urbanization and globalisation have changed consumer’s preferences for food and had increased the amount of money which is spent on food. Dyson and Hanchate (2000) stated that “all most every states of India have changed its consumption pattern during the late 1980s and early 1990s..”. Also the data from China had shown a decline in cereal and grain consumption and the households have shifted towards protein-rich products which was very similar metamorphoses observed in India
In India, even though the households are spending more on cereal consumption but still the consumption of cereals has dwindled in both urban and rural areas. Cereal consumption in rural areas was famed to be 11.7 kg per person per month and 9.6 kg in urban area as compared to 12.1 kg and 9.9 kg in rural and urban areas respectively in year 2004-05, for several years the consumption of cereals has been diminished. In 1993-94, the cereal consumption was 13.4 kg and 10.6 kg in rural and urban areas respectively. It is the single biggest source of nutrition for a majority of households in India, and it also holds the largest share of expenditure in households, among food items. It may be noted that over the years that expenditure on cereals has actually gone up in both urban and rural areas from Rs 101 to Rs 115 per person per month in rural areas and from Rs 106 to Rs 119 in urban areas. On the other hand, expenditure on milk, eggs, vegetables and edible oils has mostly remained the same.
Consumption of both rice and wheat has increased by more than duplex in rural India whereas in urban areas also there has been a significant increase in its consumption. The consumption of lesser cereals (coarse grains) like jowar (sorghum), bajra (pearl millet) and maize has also diminished sharply when compared to the staple food like rice and wheat.
Table 1 Per capita quantity (kg) consumed in 30 days
Source: NSSO, 68th round.
The rise in the number of working women especially in urban areas, the timings in the work place and increased wages/ salaries of recent years have led the consumer to pay more for convenience and packed food as they can get involve in other activities. This leading trend led to the emergence of hypermarket, supermarkets and fast-food chains as a prominent force in India since mid-1990s. Prabhu Pingali., (2006) in his article said, “as the demand for convenience and packaged food has raised the perception of the consumer about the longevity of the product with little loss in the flavour and nutrients over time….”. The supermarkets are continuously replacing the earlier formats of vendors like kirana shops and street hawkers.
These changed dietary habits emulate the western patterns and could be quite different from traditional habits developed by our ancestors. For example, in place of consuming traditional “wheat chapatti”, households are rather consuming wheat through different variety of the products such as bread, cake, pizza and hamburgers. Inevitably, the fast food market has grown around 30-35% per annum in the last few years and is making many efforts to attract common consumer, such as offering home delivery, reasonable prices, and also blending with traditional Indian recipes. The preceding years have seen an immense increase in the Food processing Industry which accounted to 32% (app) of the India’s total food market. The FP sector has emerged to be one of the largest industries in India, has been ranked 5th in terms of production, the consumption and the expected growth. Food Processing Industry has sustained on its upward track in terms of CAGR (10%) which was pegged at USD 135 billion in 2012, and now is expected to rise to USD 200 billion by 2018. The importance of this industry is also increasing as a major contributor to India’s GDP. MoFPI reported that this sector contributed to 1.5% of the total GDP in 2012-13 with considerable increases and will surely expected to rise in the next decade.
CONSUMPTION PREFERENCES IN PURCHASING CEREALS IN RURAL AND URBAN AREAS
The preference of consumer in the rural and the urban areas for cereals varies from country to country. Generally the consumers are very much agitated about the present quality and the current price of the commodity when making a buying decision. The consumers in Japan, Korea, North China and Taiwan, prefer to purchase cereals at low price. The predominance of various demographic factors such gender, age; income, occupation etc were also accentuated in a number of studies. The consumer who resides in urban areas normally has a good standard of living, high income and education, and mostly is inclined to purchase cereals of high quality based on their nutritive value than the consumers in rural areas. Kassali et. al (2010) studied that the age of the consumers, income and frequency of purchase were the only crucial factors that influence food consumption of a household. In conjoining to them it was also reported that changes in lifestyle and time constraints on women would also affect the purchasing behavior on rice brands in the market. Some of them may prefer to eat outside the home rather than preparing the cuisine cooked at home.
Following Table 2 shows the preferences to consume wheat in whole grain form or flour form.
PREFERENCES TO PURCHASE
Source Primary data.
The above table 2 reveals that the respondents in rural areas purchased traditional cereals i.e. wheat mainly in form whole grain and only 3.4% consumers purchased wheat in flour form. These are those consumers (3.4%) who are young and have fewer members in the family. Whereas in the urban areas most of the consumers are opting to use wheat flour and not whole grains as the matter of their busy work life schedules and preference to have a convenience way to have flour in the form of wheat. Still in the rural consumers are purchasing wholegrain cereals because they presumes that wholegrain wheat is in the purest form and does not have any preservative in it and are safe to consume.
PREFERRED MARKET PLACE
The preferred market place for purchasing the traditional cereal products plays a vital role in determining the pattern of consumption in the rural as well as urban areas. A number of options are available to consumers for buying the food products from the market. Following Table 3 tables are formulated to determine the most preferred market place to purchase the selected traditional cereal products.
Ho = There is no significant difference in the behaviour of rural and urban consumers regarding the choice from where to buy the cereal food products.
Table 3 exhibits that in the total; most of consumers (48.8%) prefer to purchase products from the grain market. Among them the percentage of rural consumers is more i.e. 31% as compared to their urban counterparts i.e. 17.7%. The rural people either buy/consume the wheat from their own source of production or the grain market whereas in the urban areas only 5.1% of consumers are having consuming cereal products like wheat from their own production.
MOST PREFERRED PLACE TO PURCHASE CEREAL PRODUCTS
Source Primary data.
These are those consumers who have migrated themselves to urban areas and still having agriculture as their main occupation. Whereas it has been seen in urban areas, 35.5% of the consumers are purchasing the cereal products from the grain market followed by grocery store which is nearly about 31.6%. Only 22.6% of the consumers in the urban areas are buying or purchasing their cereal products from organized shop. This scenario is different from the one seen in the rural. Only 2.8 percent of food products are purchase from organized store/shops. It has been seen that the value of chi-square test is 0.00 which is less than 0.05; which implies that there is a significant difference between the attributes and hence the null hypothesis is rejected.
FREQUENCY TO CONSUME SELECTED CONVENIENCE CEREAL PRODUCT
It has been observed that frequency of purchase or consumption plays a vital role in knowing consumers consumption behaviour. Table 4 shows the frequency of consumption of selected convenience cereal products.
Ho = Hypothesis is, that there is no significant difference in the consumption pattern of rural and urban consumers regarding the selected convenience cereal products.
It has been revealed that biscuits/rusk/cookies have the highest consumption percentage in total as compared to other convenience cereal products. These products are popular among in rural as well as the urban areas. The reasons can be its reasonable prices and huge variety/ flavor in the market. Bread / pav/ bonn are on the second place in rural and in the urban areas. But its consumption percentage is more in urban areas as compared to the rural areas.
FREQUENCY OF CONSUMPTION OF SELECTED CONVENIENCE
Source Primary data.
It has been seen that junk food like noodles/pasta and burger/pizza are preferred both in rural as well as in urban areas. Among them the percentage of urban consumer are more than the latter. In the urban areas, purchase or consumption of these food products are from eating joints like McDonalds’, domino’s, pizza hut etc which have increased to a great extend as compared to rural ones whereas in the rural areas, although, it has been depicted that there is an increase in the consumption of these items but not to that extends as compared to urban areas. The result manifested that cornflakes/ oats / muesli are mainly preferred in urban areas. The consumption of these products is hardly seen in the rural areas. These are used as a breakfast cereals in the urban areas. The probable reasons can be due to the availability of health nutrients in it or rather it saves time for preparation. This can be because urbanities (both husbands and wife) are mostly involved with fetching their livelihoods. Therefore have less time for preparation of traditional foods like paranthas, chapattis etc. Studies have also considered that there is an effect of geographic variables on the demand for convenience foods. Past findings from other studies also indicated that the households which are located in the urban areas are more likely to consume convenience foods than rural households (Parks & Capps 1997; Harris & Shipstova 2007; Harris 2005; Capps et al. 1985). Harris & Shipstova (2007) in his study has revealed that these differences in their consumption pattern reflect different lifestyles which exist in the rural and urban households. It is found in the study that instead of consuming traditional “wheat chapatti”, people rather consume wheat through products such as bread, biscuit, rusk, pizza and burgers. As a result the fast food markets are increasing in both rural and urban areas. Also one of the reasons of increasing convenience and processed food can be as the fast food chains or the supermarkets which are making many efforts to attract their consumer by offering them home delivery, affordable prices, and blending the processed food with traditional Indian recipes. Similar results were shown by Pingali and Kwaj (2004) for the dietary habits which reflect western patterns of consumption.
SELECTED CONVENIENCE CEREAL PRODUCT AS A COMPLETE DIET
Table 5 depicts the intake of convenience cereal products as a complete diet in the rural and urban areas.
Ho = Hypothesis is, that there is no significant difference in the consumption pattern of rural and urban consumers regarding selected convenience cereal products.
CONVENIENCE CEREAL PRODUCTS AS A COMPLETE DIET
IN RURAL AND URBAN AREAS
Source Primary data.
Table 5 reveals that in the urban areas convenience cereal products have been accepted as a meal especially in the breakfast. Studies reveal that convenience cereal products were earlier used as an item only for snacks. But the time has changed people are becoming more diet conscious in the urban areas. Value of chi-square test is 0.00 which is less than 0.05; it implies that there is a significant difference in the consumption of rural and urban consumers regarding selecting the convenience cereal products and hence the null hypothesis is rejected.
Similar results were depicted by Yeseul Hwang, Younchan Choe (2016) in his study. According to him people in the rural area highest consumption of convenience food as a substitution for a whole meal while in the urban areas consumer consumes convenience food as a substitution for a diet.
SOURCE OF INFORMATION BEFORE PURCHASING CONVENIENCE FOOD PRODUCTS
The consumers are mainly exposed to the internal and external stimuli’s which will help him to make a decision regarding the purchasing or consuming the products. Hitherto, it is very important to know the sources of information from where he gets the knowledge and information for purchasing the products.
Ho = There is no significant difference between media that affects the buying behaviour of consumers in the rural as well as urban areas.
SOURCE OF INFORMATION/ MEDIA THAT
THE AFFECTS CONVENIENCE CEREAL PRODUCT
Source Primary data.
CHI-SQUARE TESTS ON SOURCES OF INFORMATION
Table 6 exhibits that 34.7% of rural consumers and 43.07% of urban consumers; in total 48.7% of consumers are influenced by viewing products in the store itself. It is believed that consumers while purchasing the products do not remember the long list of items to be purchased. Generally a huge variety of the product is displayed in the store from where the consumer can recall the list of items and makes the final purchases. Both in the rural and urban area store display have the highest frequency. It is believed that television plays a major role in making the consumer’s mind about the product. 27.2% of rural respondents come to know about the product through radio as compared to 31.9% by urban respondents. On the other hand, most of rural respondents come to know about the product by newspaper also i.e. 15.7% as compared to 13.7% by urban respondents. It has been observed from the above table that the percentage belonging to rural and urban areas does not match with each other. The table 7 shows the value of chi-square test which is 0.00 (p<0.05); it implies that there is a significant difference in the consumption pattern of rural and urban consumers regarding selecting the media that influence the purchase of convenience cereal products and hence the null hypothesis is rejected.
FOOD CHOICE MOTIVES IN RURAL AND URBAN AREAS:
The mean and SD of 9 factor model of food choice motives of consumers/ households in rural and urban areas of Haryana were presented for the present study. As refer to the table 8, the result illustrated that the important food choice motives factors that were important in rural as well as urban areas. In the present study, descriptive statistical approach is used to measure the importance of all the motives. All items had scored between one and seven which can be computed by averaging (un-weighted) item ratings per scale. Thereafter, the mean rating of each motivation provides a clear picture that some determinants are rated highly by respondents, while others rated low by the same.
RANKING OF MEAN SCORE OF FOOD CHOICE MOTIVES
IN RURAL AND URBAN AREAS
Source: As per primary data
In the rural area it has been seen that the while consuming the convenience food product health issues is the first thing which the consumer generally consumes the convenience food. They neglect their health before consuming the convenience food having a mean value as high as 6.0876. The second factor is considered to be the sensory appeal for the rural consumer. Sensory appeal includes the smell of the convenience food, the looks of the convenience food and the foremost the taste of the convenience food for which consumer in rural areas often the convenience food product having a mean value of 5.890. The next ranking was given price (M=5.4620). The consumers are ready to spend more if the food is available at a convenient place and if it tastes, smells and tastes good. The least ranking was given mood, ethical concern and natural content having the mean value of 1.6361, 1.7582 and 1.9666 respectively.
In the urban area it has been seen that the while consuming the convenience food product sensory appeal is the first thing which the consumer generally looks forward before consuming the convenience food with a mean value as high as 6.5028. They neglect their health before consuming the convenience food which has been ranked 2 having a mean value as high as 5.3940. The next factor is price with a mean value of 4.9048 followed by convenience (M= 4.3689) of the product. In the urban areas convenience which easy availability, takes less time for preparation etc. also plays a vital role before consuming the convenience food products. The least ranking was given mood, ethical concern and natural content having the mean value of 1.8066, 2.9219 and 1.9362 respectively.
Source: As per primary data
The rapid growth of cities and the adoption of urban lifestyles by an ever increasing proportion of the population of developing countries is one of the major features of national development. The eating pattern in rural areas is trailing that in the urban areas as a result of the changes in socio, economical and other determinants. In the rural area the recent consumption basket is more or less inclined and a reflection of urban consumption pattern. The urban consumption has moved unconditionally in flavor of livestock products with a total share of 25% as against 20% as recorded earlier in the share of expenditure on cereals from 36per cent to 26per cent. This shift in the consumption is reflected in the production as well. The urban consumption patterns world widely differ from their rural counterparts in terms of different variety, food product’s quantity, and its quality. Therefore, it seems that the urban inhabitants are more liable to food and they spend comparatively more money in terms of the rural counterpart, since the urbanities are the importer of food from these rural areas. However, there is an apparent universal trend in dietary changes which is directly being associated with increasing income. The poor people and low income may consume high starchy tuber and traditional staples which are generally rich in calories and nutrient content on it.
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