Consumer behaviour and food processor response towards ethnic food in East Java, Indonesia : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.), Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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This research examined two ethnic foods, Malang meatballs and Kediri tofu as representative of ethnic foods in East Java, Indonesia. The study examined how consumers behave in relation to their own ethnic food and how food processors respond towards these foods. Consumer behaviour was viewed as the purchasing decision process: purchasing intention, purchasing action and the satisfaction towards these foods. Food processor response was explained by the processing and marketing strategies towards ethnic foods. Multistage area sampling was used to randomly select 400 households from either Malang or Kediri areas (200 urban and 200 rural) as consumer respondents. One hundred meatball processors and 86 tofu processors respondents were selected from urban areas using cluster sampling. Respondents were interviewed using a structured questionnaire by the researcher and enumerators. Logistic regression analysis was used to analyse consumer behaviour towards ethnic food. Multiple and logistic regression procedures were applied to analyse the response of the home meatball industries (the HMIs) or the home tofu industries (the HTIs) towards ethnic food. The results from this study can contribute to a better understanding of consumers' preferences towards Malang meatballs (an animal protein based food) or Kediri tofu (a plant protein based food). Firstly, consumers preferred Malang meatballs compared to street foods (i.e. 'soto', 'tahu campur’, and fried noodle), and Kediri tofu than other types of tofu (i.e. fried tofu and regular tofu). Consumers who preferred unique taste and lived in urban areas would choose Kediri tofu, whereas younger consumers who concerned freshness and a 'halal food' may select Malang meatballs. Unlike Kediri tofu, the availability of Malang meatballs can increase consumers' purchasing action towards this product. However, surrounding cold air temperature influenced consumers in selecting these foods. Similar to Malang meatballs, an increase in repeat purchase towards Kediri tofu might be used as representative of consumers satisfaction towards this food. Secondly, urban and rural consumers' preference towards Malang meatballs and Kediri tofu is characterised by the type of ethnic food. Unlike Malang meatballs, rural consumers' choice towards Kediri tofu was associated with an actual purchase, however this appeared no relationship with their satisfaction towards Kediri tofu. This was related to rural consumers' choice for Kediri tofu being based more on product appearance, aroma, originality, place (i.e. a clean and a convenient place), and the offering good service. Rural consumers who perceived the importance of knowledge (i.e. food quality, nutrition, and 'halal food'), other people's influence, and surrounding air temperature may select Malang mealballs as snack due lo self-service offered by sellers. Married urban consumers tended to select Kediri tofu, whereas single consumers who had more female household members would improve the choice for Malang meatballs. Urban and rural consumers who had a high education level (≥ secondary school) might choice Kediri tofu because they preferred unique taste of this product, whereas female consumers selected Malang meatballs more. In contrast to Kediri tofu, the availability of Malang meatballs would increase consumers in purchasing this product. Consumers would repurchase towards either Malang meatballs or Kediri tofu if they were satisfied with these foods. The study offers an explanation of processing and marketing strategies used by the HMIs and the HTIs when responding towards consumers. Firstly, processing strategics focused on machine techniques (meat cutting combined with mixing meat and other ingredients) for the 'medium to large' (the 'MTL') group of the HMIs (using ≥ 5 Kg of meat per day); and on a manual techniques strategy (using a combination local and imported soybean types with manual techniques in processing Kediri tofu) for the 'MTL' group of the HTIs (using ≥ 50 Kg of soybeans per day). Secondly, the mixed marketing strategies are used by the HMIs: unique taste combined with promotional tools (general); a mixing between a clean and convenient place with good service and the time daily in selling meatballs (both groups); unique taste combining with a low price (the 'SM') group (using < 5 Kg of meat per day); and a low price strategy (the 'MTL' group) to meet consumers' needs (i.e. a 'halal food', unique taste, a low price, and a convenient purchasing place). The HTIs offered a combination of marketing strategics such as promotional tools with a convenient selling place; the time daily for selling Kediri tofu mixed with the offering of a low price and promotional tools combined with a convenient selling place strategies (the'MTL' group); offering fresh product and a low price combined with word of mouth, and applying a convenient selling place (the 'SM' group) (using <50 Kg of soybeans per day) to fulfil consumers' demand towards low price, originality of Kediri tofu and a convenient purchasing place.
Food preference, Consumer choice, Meatballs, Tofu