Are consumer’s empowered at all? investigating the role of empowerment on packaged food purchases in India
Singh, Asweta Kumari
B., Sunder Raghavan
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Packaged foods have become prominent in India, providing convenience and hygiene to the consumers. Many national, regional, local brands offer packaged food products in India and the market offers multiple choices to the consumers. A few years ago, consumers were focused towards short-term benefits like cost, taste etc., But now, the power of information technology gives consumers access to a huge amount of information, enabling them to make more informed choices. The educated youth have become extremely health-conscious and evaluate the long-term effects of the chosen food products. The food purchase journey is no longer utilitarian but signifies the importance of the consumer experience. The study tries to find the relationship between consumer empowerment and consumer purchase journey through a 2 stages consumer empowerment model, based on a qualitative study. The data collection includes personal interviews, focus group discussions and observations made in various formats of stores, specifically in tier-1 cities of India. Age, gender, marital status, profession and food preferences are considered as consumer characteristics and consumer’s place of stay as the consumer environment. Sources of information, satisfaction derived out of purchase and their linkages with the various parameters of the model are used to arrive at the results. Regardless of having enough information, consumer empowerment doesn’t translate into buying behavior especially in the context of developing nations. It can be concluded that consumer empowerment is still in its nascent phase in India, hence no strong relations could be established between various aspects of the consumer buying process.
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