Consumer Behavior in Grocery Shopping: Qatari Community during the GCC Blockade
AuthorEissa, Eiman Abdel Maksoud
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While Qatar had the highest GDP in the world in 2016, it faced the dilemma of a blockade in June 2017. This had a direct effect on the Qatari community who united and showed clear signs of patriotism. Consumers turned from the blockade countries' food products to products that were local or those that came from supporting countries. This blockade was seen as an economic opportunity for local brands as well as many international brands since 40% of the food that was previously available came from blockade countries (IISS, 2017). With this, many new brands entered the market and soon prospered. This research aims to compare the changes in the grocery shopping consumer behavior of the Qatari community at the start of the blockade and more than two years later. An Arabic language online survey is conducted on a non-probability-snowball sample of 194 respondents in 2017 and is repeated on a sample of 189 respondents in2020. Results show that the subjective norm the Qatari community's consumers have towards grocery products continues to be associated with the political positions of the countries of production. They also show that the most successful marketing technique used by grocery brands is "patriotism." Moreover, they show that the Qatari community has become more focused on learning the properties and competitive advantages of the products. Conclusions show that the Qatari community has remained consistent with giving priority to buying groceries that support the country and its allies throughout the blockade. They also show that the consumers have become more aware in comparing available products and making educated buying decisions. Further research should be conducted to examine the changes in attitude and consumer behavior after blockade is lifted.
- Theme 4: Social Change and Identity [28 items ]