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Fast Food Industry Research Proposal Essay

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To study the attitude towards consumption of healthy food within the fast food industry

Background

We are a marketing research team of a fast food chain store. With increasing awareness about healthy food among the masses and with consumer preferences changing towards healthy food, we intend to launch a health food segment to cater to this need of the customers. We are also concerned about the pricing of the product that whether it should be priced same as that of normal fast food or the customers would be willing to pay a premium for healthy food.

But before launching that product we want to know that “Is it worth it to our fast food restaurant to market healthy food”. To answer this management decision problem, we intend to conduct a marketing research within the region of West Delhi.

Introduction

* What is fast food?

Definition1. Fast food have been defined by Bender and Bender (1995) as a “general term used for a limited menu of foods that lend themselves to production-line techniques; suppliers tend to specialize in products such as hamburgers, pizzas, chicken, or sandwiches”.

Definition2. In Data Monitor’s (2005) survey the fast food market is defined as the sale of food and drinks for immediate consumption either on the premises or in designated eating areas shared with other foodservice operators, or for consumption elsewhere. Definition3. As per “the free dictionary” fast food is “inexpensive food, such as hamburgers and fried chicken, prepared and served quickly”. Definition4.According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary fast food is “designed for ready availability, use, or consumption and with little consideration given to quality or significance

* Why fast food?
* Brief history of fast food industry in India
* Fast food industry trend, facts and figures, key players in India
* According to a study by the Tata Strategic Management Group, the size of the Indian health-and-wellness food market will rise from an estimated Rs101.5bn in 2010 to Rs550bn by 2015, implying annual growth of 35-37%.

* Why healthy food?

Health food is preferred by people mostly because of the various health issues associated with eating fast food: * Trans Fats which is commonly found in fast food have a negative effect on health * The fast food consumption increase calorie intake, promote weight gain, and elevates risk for diabetes. * Obesity is also linked to various other diseases

* What is Healthy food?
Definition1: As per “the free dictionary” healthy food is “Any natural or prepared food popularly believed to promote good health”
Definition2:
* Food with low content of edible oil used.
* Lower fat, lower cholesterol and lower sodium.

Major segments
H&W products in India could be classified into three dominant categories, i.e. Better-for-You(BFY), Functional / Fortified, and Natural categories.

Research Objective

The main aim of our research is to derive indications that may contribute to better strategic and tactical marketing decisions. The overall objective of the study is “To study the attitude towards consumption of healthy food within the fast food industry” this has been divided into following sub-objectives: 1) To study the consumption pattern towards fast food and health/wellness food. * What all sort of fast food people prefer, at what time, at what places they go, * What is the driving force behind it, e.g. taste, spiciness, ease , price, time factor etc. * Most popular fast food

2) To study the factors that influence the consumers to go for healthy food
* Sickness
* Obesity
* Awareness
* Who

3) To study the consumer perception about healthy food vis a vis normal fast food w.r.t. two factors i.e. taste and price * What does consumer think about healthy food e.g. taste , price

4) To identify the possibility/impact of nutritional value of fast foods on consumer purchase decision.

Research Questions and Hypothesis

Question: Do customer think healthy food is as tasty as fast food? H1: customers perceive healthy food to be of same taste as normal fast food. Question: Do customer think healthy food is costs same as normal fast food? H2: Customers perceive healthy food costs same as normal fast food. Question: Is there any impact of nutritional value of fast foods on consumer purchase decision? H3: Nutritional value of fast foods has no impact on consumer purchase decision.

Research Design
Qualitative Research
Purpose
Because of the exploratory nature of some of the aspects of the objectives, we need to have detailed qualitative information. The qualitative research will probe the following:
* the consumption frequencies, the categories of product consumed and the main reasons to use these products
* At what time and at what places do they prefer to go,
* What is the driving force behind their preference, e.g. taste, spiciness, ease, price, time factor etc.
* Most popular fast food
* Whether they would prefer to pay more for healthy food
* What factors influence the customers to eat healthy food

Population and sampling

Samples for the study will consist of youth segment (indicated as consumer in this study) in the age group of 20 to 27 years. Convenience samples are drawn from West Delhi region among the college students. We propose to conduct 4 focus groups with the following profiles: Group 1&2: Dwarka Region

Group 3&4: Janak Puri

Quantitative Research

We propose to conduct a study using questionnaire within the markets of Dwarka and Janakpuri region and also an online survey of the relevant respondents.

Purpose

This stage intends to quantify the factors that influence the respondents to eat healthy food. It will also give the percentage of each category of fast food which customers generally prefer to eat out and at what place &at what time. It will also help us to quantify that how many customers perceive healthy food as of same taste as normal fast food and of the same price. By establishing classified data we will know what type of people prefer healthy food and what price they are willing to pay. Also we will know that how many customers look at the nutritional value of the product before taking a purchase decision.

Population and sampling

Samples for the study will consist of youth segment (indicated as consumer in this study) in the age group of 20 to 27 years. Convenience samples are drawn from West Delhi region among the college students. Our definition of convenience samples includes only one dimension that is easy access to the sample units otherwise it was random selection of individuals from a large number of customers at the fast food outlets. We will be carrying out a survey of 200 Indian Customers The face to face interviews will be carried out in different days and in different outlets such as, open markets, traditional shops and supermarkets. A pilot test on 15 consumers will be conducted in order to ensure that the statements are clear and to identify redundant variables and questions that were difficult to understand.

Procedure

We will develop a questionnaire for this purpose. The questionnaire will probe the following: * the consumption frequencies, the categories of product consumed and the main reasons to use these products * The factors which influence the customers to eat healthy food * Which category of fast food people generally prefer and the main reason to use that product * Do customers perceive healthy food to be as tasty as normal fast food * Whether customers are willing to pay more for healthy food * Is there any impact of nutritional value on their purchase decision Analysis:

Statistical analysis such as descriptive statistical analysis and frequency distribution.
t-test
factor analysis
cluster analysis

Timing
Week | Activity|
1-3 weeks | Desk research|
4-6 weeks| Qualitative field work|
7 week| Questionnaire development|
8-9 week| Quantitative stage(n=200)|
10 week| Coding and data preparation|
11 week| Analysis |
12 week| Presentation and Report available |

Costs
Phase | Description | Costs |
Qualitative research | four focus groups-travel cost | 1200| Quantitative research | 200 interviews-Stationary-travel cost| 5001200| Total | | 2900|

Limitations

This study has some limitations that however do not liquidate the purpose of the study. Data for the study will be collected from West Delhi region mainly Dwarka and Janakpuri. Sampling units are primarily of young unmarried consumers. Annexure 1: Definitions of Health & Wellness Categories

• Better-For-You: Food products with lower levels of ‘bad’ ingredients /nutrients for the consumers like sugar or fat are called BFY products. Various low-fat, low-sugar or diet products would fall under the BFY category. • Fortified / Functional: Food products fortified with additional ingredients or produced / suitably modified to provide a distinct health benefit are termed as functional or fortified foods. Functional drinks, vitamin / mineral fortified milk or fruit juices and bakery products with added fiber would be classified as functional foods. • Natural: Products sold under the Natural platform are specifically manufactured with no chemicals, additives or artificial substances / chemicals. 100% natural juices, ready meals without preservatives, etc. are few examples of such products. • Organic: These are made from foods that are grown without use of chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides) during their cultivation. • Naturally healthy: These foods are considered healthy in their natural form itself like milk, olive oil, fruit juices etc.

References:
1) Naresh K. Malhotra, Marketing Research- An Applied Orientation, 3rd Edition 2) Anita Goyal and N.P. Singh, “Consumer perception about fast food in India: an exploratory study” 3) Andrea Freeman, “fast Food oppression through poor nutrition”’ California Law Review, Vol. 95,issue 6 4) “Healthy Ambition”, Economic Intelligence Unit, April 6th 2011,Vol XVIII No. 7 5) “The Health & Wellness Foods Industry in India: An Overview”, Tata Strategic Management Group(2009)

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