Comparing the Meanings of Food in Different Chinese Societies: The Cases of Taiwan and Malaysia
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Existing literature sheds little light on how Chinese consumers in any two societies perceive and consume food. In this study, the food perceptions of Taiwanese and Malaysian Chinese consumers are compared using a projective technique. Using images collected by respondents, both conscious and tacit interpretations of food were obtained. Findings reveal that Taiwanese and Malaysian Chinese share similar, but not identical, food perceptions. In this study, food is interpreted from a triadic framework: utilitarian (health, sustenance); hedonic (freedom, happiness, excitement, enjoyment, knowledge acquisition, love); and symbolic (sharing, warm relationships with others). Based on the emerged findings, the theoretical contributions of the study are highlighted, a number of managerial implications are proposed, and future research opportunities are recommended.
Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management
© 2016 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management on 10 Mar 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19368623.2016.1156042