Consumer Behavior in Thailand Concerning Food

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Consumer behavior is the study of what, how, when, and why people buy or consume. Psychology, sociology, socio-psychology, anthropology and economics are the main elements/variables of this study. It is the attempts to understand the buyer decision processes as well as decision making process, both individually and in groups. In addition to that, it also tries to assess influences on the consumer from groups like family, friends, and society in general. One most important issue about consumer behavior is concerning food consumption. It is clear that food consumption behavior of people in Thailand has changed considerably since the last 15 years. Nutrition Survey conducted in 1995 showed that the average fat consumption per day for the Thai people was less than 30% of the total calories. However, according to a later study on nutritional status, the number has significantly risen since then. Changes in food consumption behavior of Thai people can be observed from their diets. In the past, the main diets of Thais are mainly consisted of vegetables and grain. Some well-known and popular dishes like Pad Kraprao, Tom Yum, Nam Prig, and Som Tum are rich in fibers and vitamins and do not contain much fat or protein. Therefore, the amount of protein and fat consumption was relatively small then. Later when globalization and capitalism has become predominant in Thailand, many Western cultures flooded the country. It was no exception with eating habits. While the country was keeping up with the developed world in term of economic growth, the openings of new department stores around the city were followed by the start of many Western style restaurants and dining. Most Western foods are mainly made of cheese, butter, wheat flour, and meat. All of these are the major source of calories and fat while they lack fibers and vitamins. Another important consequence of such economic development was the flourish of media in this consumption-driven society. Advertisements and...
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