Changing Consumer Preferences in Emerging Markets: Food Market Challenges in Central Mexico

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8 Scopus citations


As incomes in emerging markets grow, consumers’ ability to break from former food consumption patterns and introduce new foods or conveniences grows as well. While this general principle is widely accepted, the path of such introductions is not identical worldwide. In this study, we explore how consumers in an advanced emerging market have identified with their current food options, including open-air markets v. supermarkets, and simple v. processed alternatives. Using focus groups, we find that Mexican consumers have strong ties to traditions in food preparation while also showing interest in modern food conveniences. Using product adoption theory, we show that consumers exhibit expected traits of innovation resistance, social contagion influence, and consumption innovativeness, but with specific local variation, including problems with trust, expectations of government action (paternalismo), and considerable definitional confusion. Foreign marketers wishing to access the growing Mexican market should account for these differences from broader product adoption theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-403
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Food Products Marketing
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 4 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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