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Does health matter   a different perspective - the cultural implications in asia - edith gomez and robin roberts
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Does health matter a different perspective - the cultural implications in asia - edith gomez and robin roberts


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  • 1. The Ying and Yang in Asian food -The relevance of nutrition ‘He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skills of the physician.’ (Chinese proverb) Edith Gomez (TIQ) Robin Roberts (GU)
  • 2. Overview› Asian cuisine in a nutshell (macadamia!)› Chinese traditions› Examples from past research› Concluding remarks
  • 3. Food in Asian cooking• South-West tradition – India, Pakistan, Ski Lanka and Burma – Persian-Arabia roots – Flat bread (nan), mutton and strong spices – Hinduism and Muslim influences
  • 4. South-East Asia – Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei – Aromatic and lightly prepared food – Balance of quick stir-frying, steaming and/or boiling – Citrus juices, chilli and herbs
  • 5. North-East tradition – China, Korea and Japan• Origins in Imperial China• Influenced by religious traditions – Confucian philosophy on health building• Food used as medicine• Fats, oils and sauces• Primary textures in Chinese cuisine: – tenderness, crunchiness, crispiness, smoothness and softness
  • 6. Society, culture andfood in urban China
  • 7. Food behaviours• Nutrition & balance• initiate & maintain interpersonal relationships• expression of socio-religious idea• social status, social prestige & for special achievements• coping with psychological needs & stresses• reward, punish or influence the behaviour of others• influence political & economic status of a group, and• detect, treat and prevent social , physical & cultural behaviour and illness Leininger, 1970
  • 8. Chinese society‘As social groups we vary behaviourally, not because of our biology, but because of our history, and these histories that we ourselves have made.’Wu & Cheng, 2002
  • 9. Chinese fascination with food, cuisine and stylish dining• Social codes involved rites rituals and ceremonies• Use to acknowledge honour & status• Harvests enjoyed only by upper class homes• Healthy lifestyles• Growth of categories such as legumes, poultry and ginger Wu & Cheng, 2002
  • 10. The role of food in Chinese society• Imperial China – distinct class structures• Social rankings: shi, nong, gong and shang• Dominance of the scholar bureaucrat class which become known as the ‘leisure class’• Emergence of gift giving – Emperors bestowed gifts filled with symbolic meaning at lavish ceremonies
  • 11. Social concepts in Chinese culture‘In ordinary life you must be economical; when you invite guest you be lavish in hospitality.’History has revealed:• Education & cultural accomplishments provided significant wealth – inturn accorded a lifestyle to engage in lavish consumption & gift giving• Social connections that bind (guanxi)• Cooking techniques and ethnicity are connected• Preferences for sour tastes rather than sweetThe socio-cultural environment & firms marketingactions – impact the consumers desire for products Scarborough, 1875
  • 12. Emergence of China’s consumer market• Late 1970’s - economic reforms• As the millennium approached – substantial adjustments to national banking, the monetary and social security systems• 2007 GDP grew to 13% despite global instabilities• Today, slowing to 8% but still significant by global comparisons• Last 30 years household disposable income has risen rapidly
  • 13. Buying behaviours in China• Increased income & wealth of Chinese households – spurred great interest for imported food products• Statistics show that food expenditures are growing faster & reveal consumers with higher earnings purchase more expensive foods• Ample evidence that food quality is a major factor• Introduction of ‘Green Food’ labelling• Profiling of different food segments (cultural, personality, geographical & socio-demographic)
  • 14. Positioning Australian avocados and mangoes
  • 15. Mangoes in China Package for gifts Imported product Brand SizeClean environmentLack of skin marks Price Nutritional Value Aroma Taste Ripeness Colour 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350• Intrinsic features – Colour, ripeness, taste and lack of blemish• Extrinsic feature – Nutritional value, brand and grown clean
  • 16. Mangoes in Japan1. Safety of the product (e.g. chemical residues)2. Country of origin (trust on quality assurance systems)3. Higher quality (Miyazaki are the benchmark)4. Price5. Availability6. Appearance of fruit (yellow/orange colour)7. Product information (“how to cards”)8. Nutritional information9. Opportunities for tastings
  • 17. Market research KoreaMango feature 1st option Three main featuresTaste of mango 39% 70.2%Price of mango 17% 63.2%Ripeness of mango 8.8% 40.3%Country of origin 8.3% 25.8%No marks on skin 5.2% 22.5%Grown in a clean environment 7.8% 21.2%Size of mango 3.7% 20.7%Aroma of mango 3.5% 15.3%Colour of skin 3.5 11%Nutritional value 2% 8.2%Ready for gift giving 0.7% 1.7% Food safety: 16.10%
  • 18. Positioning mangoes in Korea
  • 19. Singapore - FruitsHealth benefits and taste experience - strong motivators for fruit consumption. • Constipation – Banana, papaya, watermelon • Sore throat/ quenching thirst – watermelon • Antioxidants – berries Healthy living • Vitamins – Oranges, Avocado • Heart health - Avocado • Tonic/ weight gain – Durian • Energy/ muscle-building – Banana • Sweet and yummy – Mangoes, oranges, strawberries Taste experience • Savoury/ pungent taste - Durians • Ease of bringing it to work or storing it at the workplace – apple, Convenience orange, grapes • Family gatherings/ social events – Durian, where people gather to Special savour and enjoy durian together occasions/ • Hari Raya – dates, bananas festivities for • Chinese New Year – Pomelo and oranges to signify good luck/ fruit fortune consumption • Malay weddings – grapes, peach • Valentine’s day - Strawberry 22
  • 20. Avocados – Singapore focus groups“It’s high in fats, that’s a fact. Not suitable for eating it everyday.” Non-user“The last time I had a shake, my friend said not too much, not too much, then Iwas like, ok, but it’s nice. It’s high in nutrients. But then she said, you’ll get fat. Soactually, some of them have this thinking that it is fatty.” (User)“It’s a healthy fruit, low in cholesterol. It’s high in good cholesterol, and lowersbad cholesterol. It has a lot of good fats in it.” (User)“Most consumers will like avocado because of the texture, health benefitsand way it’s prepared.” (Restaurant owner)
  • 21. Singapore
  • 22. Malaysia
  • 23. Positioning as a nutritional and delicious “Avocados are nutritious but not delicious” “They are trying to say Australian but then its Chinese” “Ying yang is a religious symbol. No good to use to sell stuff”. “The first thing I see is the heart. generally the heart is connected to health, so if it’s good for the heart then it’s good for health”
  • 24. SingaporeHong Kong Malaysia
  • 25. Must remember:• Increasing government regulation on claims• Importers and retailers seek supporting data• Must have data/supporting information to claim: – Nutrition claims – Health benefits – Food safety claims – Natural farming practices – Organic practices
  • 26. Successful prospecting… future research• It is unclear what purchase attitudes & behaviours are important & to what extent product attributes, intended use & place of purchase influence the selection of food• Demand for high quality by high-income households – fuelled growth in premium priced food products• There is an incomplete view & profile to aid market entry. Questions need to be asked: ‘who’ is our buyer ‘what & how’ do they buy ‘why’ do they buy ‘when & where’ do they shop
  • 27. Thank you