Purchase Intention for Halal Products by Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago: A Focus Study
University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago
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Halal food is an important characteristic of Muslim culture. It incorporates aspects of quality, food safety and international standards for processing and packaging through halal certification procedures. The primary concern of the Muslim consumer and food is the concept of halal, which indicates the permissibility of food and other goods and services based on the Islamic laws. Muslim consumers have more positive attitudes towards halal food products than towards halal products in other product categories. Muslims also look at other criteria such as quality, cleanliness, safety and contamination. It was found that Muslims often consume halal meat because it is believed to be tastier and healthy. The population of Trinidad and Tobago is only seven percent Muslim but halal food is prevalent in many places. One halal certification body has been in existence for over twenty years which certifies many restaurants and food products as halal. Halal food is heavily advertised through social media as well as through the use of billboards and television advertisements. Muslims and non-Muslims purchase halal food. The objective of this research is to identify the prevailing attitude to halal labelled and advertised food by Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago. The data was collected using two qualitative focus groups discussions with Muslim segments of the population who reside in Trinidad and Tobago. The study investigated the effects of attitude, awareness, religiosity, subjective norms and behavioural control on the Muslim intention to purchase halal food products sold in the country. The study found these to be significant factors affecting food purchase intention, with religiosity and attitude being the most significant factors.
Keywords: halal food; awareness; attitude; religiosity; subjective norms; behavioural control; intention to purchase