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Determinants of Halal Food Purchase Intention among Filipino Muslims in Metro Manila
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Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review

ISSN: 2223-5833

Open Access

Research Article - (2020) Volume 10, Issue 3

Determinants of Halal Food Purchase Intention among Filipino Muslims in Metro Manila

Sheikha S. Acas* and Jeanette Isabelle V. Loanzon
*Correspondence: Sheikha S. Acas, The Graduate School, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines, Email:
The Graduate School, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines

Abstract

Philippines is a non-Muslim dominant country where Halal industry is still emerging. Considering such environment, Halal food consumption becomes one of the Muslim consumers’ vital concern and an interesting subject for behavior study. This research is to address the gap in the literature pertaining to Filipino Muslim minority’s purchase consumption. The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) is utilized to ascertain the influence of attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control as well as Islamic religiosity among Muslim consumers of processed food products in the country’s largest urban area- Metro Manila. This work also attempted to identify the most influential among the four determinant factors.

The study employed a quantitative survey and used responses obtained from 444 Muslims who are grocery buyers of their respective households in top three cities with high concentration of Muslim residents in Metro Manila-Taguig, Manila and Quezon cities. The data collection was through a structured questionnaire using the purposive and the snowball sampling methods. Data gathered from the survey were then explored and analyzed. Descriptive statistics were used to determine the frequency of the respondents’ demographic characteristics. Multiple regression analysis using SPSS was done to test the hypotheses of the study. Regression results reveal that the identified independent variables (attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, and Islamic religiosity) in this study exhibited a positive and significant influence towards the dependent variable (Halal food purchase intention). This indicates that as these four determinant factors increase positively, the purchase intention towards Halal food products would also increase. Results also show that the subjective norm is the most important predictor and is followed by Islamic religiosity. This study gives important implications to the food manufacturers, marketers, policy-makers, Halal consumers, and academic community. Stated findings recommend to understand more the current phenomenon, respond to consumer's necessities, and encourage businessmen in providing Halal products to capture the growing Muslim community’s preference and maximize profit as well.

Keywords

Halal • Halal food • Purchase intention • Filipino muslim • Metro manila • Philippines

Introduction

Halal is an Arabic term which means “permissible” or “lawful” according to the Islamic law (Shariah), whereas Haram means “impermissible” or “unlawful”. The fundamental concept of Islamic dietary rule is that all foods are considered Halal excluding those which are clearly categorized as Haram in the Quran (Muslim religious text) and in the Sunnah (the sayings and the way of living of the Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h.) [1] Some of the verses in the Quran which mentions about Haram are provided in the following manner:

“Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which has been invoked the name of other than Allah; that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless you are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows: that is impiety. This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion: yet fear them not but fear Me. This day have I perfected my religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, Allah is indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful” (Al-Maaida:3).

Another is that, “O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan’s handwork: eschew such (abomination), that you may prosper” (Al- Maaida: 90).

In order for a food product to be Halal, basic things should be considered such as:

• It should contain no substance or derivatives from animals and other sources which are categorized as Haram.

• It should be made sure that the utensils, equipment or machinery that is being used in producing or processing the food should be clean in accordance with the Islamic law.

• It should be prepared, processed, stored and transported physically separated from Haram substances.

Contamination and harmfulness are some of the crucial reasons behind the prohibitions in Islam. Moreover, it should be noted as well under production involving meat that the way to slaughter animals is based on the principle of slaughtering called Zabiha which is according to the requirements of the Muslim religion [2].

As Islam is the second largest religion in the world, Halal product market is growing as well [3]. As cited from the data of the [4], Muslims will grow more than twice as fast as the overall world population between 2015 and 2060 and, in the second half of this century, as the world’s major religious group. Many food economists theorize that the Halal food industry will continue to boom and eventually become the main market force in the near future due to the fast increase of Muslim population globally; ethical, health and safety reasons by non-Muslims; rising disposable income of Muslims; and greater awareness among them [5].

The bulk of the Muslim population is located in Asian countries [3]. On the other hand, the Philippines with a total population of 100.98 million is a predominantly Christian country. However, Islam is its second largest religion with 6.06 million followers as of 2015 according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). While most of Filipino Muslims are originally from the southern part of the country known as Mindanao, at least 154,840 now live in Metro Manila.

Metro Manila, being known as the National Capital Region of the Philippines, is the country’s seat of government and premier center for finance and commerce. It is the second most populous and the most densely populated region of the Philippines [6]. The said region is composed of 16 cities and 1 municipality. However, the study focused on its three areas namely Manila City, Quezon City and Taguig City because they are the top three cities with highest concentration of Muslims living in Metro Manila. Population ranking is shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Muslim Population as of the 2015 Census from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

City in Metro Manila Total Population of Muslims
Taguig City 34,459
 Manila City 34,193
Quezon City 32,242
Caloocan City 11,600
Pasig City 8,504
Paranaque City 7,229
San Juan City 4,218
Pasay City 4,019
Muntinlupa City 3,758
Las Pinas City 3,697
Makati City 3,517
Mandaluyong City 2,842
Marikina City 1,925
Valenzuela City 1,485
Malabon City 656
Navotas City 290
Pateros 206
Metro Manila Total 154,840

Due to the fact that the Muslim community has no officially recognized groundwork in monitoring authentication yet, Muslim countries develop their own criteria and scheme in certifying Halal products [7]. Halal food certification refers to the examination of food processes, from the preparation, slaughtering, ingredients used, cleaning, handling and processing, right down to transportation and distribution [8]. In the Philippines, some of the duly recognized Halal certification and accreditation authorities are the following:

(1) Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines, Inc. or IDCP that is based in Manila City.

(2) Halal Development Institute of the Philippines or HDIP in Quezon City.

(3) Mindanao Halal Authority or MINHA in General Santos City.

(4) Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board, Inc. or MMHCBI in Cotabato City.

(5) Halal International Chamber of Commerce and Industries of the Philippines or HICCIP in San Juan City.

(6) Prime Group in Taguig City. These are private Filipino-owned Halal certifiers and are acknowledged only in the Philippines and not in other countries.

The Halal industry in the Philippines is still developing. Nevertheless, the Republic Act 10817 or the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act was signed in May 2016, creating the Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Board, consisting of the Departments of Trade and Industry, Agriculture, Health, Science and Technology, Foreign Affairs, Tourism, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Mindanao Development Authority, and two selected Muslim Filipino Professionals from the academe, law, industry, or food science who have experience in Halal industry development.

At present, the availability of Halal products is still limited. The lack of sufficient Halal options in the country especially in non-Muslim dominant areas such as Manila leads to Muslims’ struggle for everyday necessity to consume only Halal food. For Muslims, eating Halal is a mere religious obligation and is a standard of choice. Hussain et al.[9] state that Halalcertified products cause peace of mind for Muslims and the presence of Halal labels on product packaging help a lot in differentiation of permissible and non-permissible items. Al-Harran et al. [10] discuss that in the absence of Halal logo, consumers would then read the product’s ingredients and seek for the Halalness of it before buying or consuming. In parallel to the phenomenon of the booming Halal industry worldwide, and the increasing demand of Halal food in the Philippines, the determinant factors affecting the Muslim consumers’ decision making are interesting areas to examine in order to give implications especially to the local and international food industry stakeholders.

The primary problem of the study is to understand the factors which influence the Filipino Muslims’ food purchasing intention. This goes with the first research question: What are the influences of attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and Islamic religiosity towards Halal food purchase intention among Filipino Muslims in Metro Manila? Another problem of the study is to identify which among the factors could be the most influential to guide food manufacturers, marketers, and government policy-makers related to food consumption and distribution. This goes with the second research question: What is the most influential among the four determinants of Halal food purchasing intention? The study is the first to address the gap in the literature by investigating on the Filipino Muslim minority’s food purchase intention. There were considerable researches on food purchase intention using the Theory of Planned Behavior as a conceptual framework. However, none has utilized the same theory and the Islamic religiosity factor in examining the determinants of Muslims’ purchasing intention of Halal food products in the Philippine metropolitan area setting. The study would also give important implications to the food manufacturers, marketers, policy-makers, Halal consumers, and academic community.

Literature Review

Theory of planned behavior: Icek Ajzen

The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) is among the recognized frameworks typically used in examining Halal consumption. It was adopted in this research since it has been confirmed effective in the prediction of consumers’ Halal food purchase behavior. It has been widely utilized by many researchers in measuring consumer’s intention to purchase food products that are Halal [11,12].

The TPB is an extended form of Fishbein and Ajzen’s Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). It considers not only volitional control but nonvolitional control in explaining an individual’s behavior [13].

The three independent determinants of intention in this concept are (1) attitude toward the behavior, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control. These three determinants are also considered as behavioral beliefs, normative beliefs and control beliefs, respectively. Primarily, the more there is positivity in an individual’s attitude and subjective norm, and the more there is presence of perceived behavioral control, then the more there is a willpower to do a behavior. Stronger intention causes higher chance for an individual to perform an action [14].

Attitude toward the behavior

Attitude refers to the degree of favorable or unfavorable evaluation towards a behavior, and assessment of important to not important, harmful to beneficial, and pleasant to unpleasant results [15]. It is a mental state of an individual that represents his/her feelings toward an object or a concept [9]. Behavioral beliefs are assumed to influence attitudes toward the behavior [14]. According to the expectancy-value model of Ajzen and Fishbein, behavioral beliefs are formed when people thought of the behavior’s outcomes. Positive behavioral beliefs or attitudes are linked to desirable outcomes, while negative ones are linked to undesirable outcomes.

Subjective norm

Subjective norm refers to the perceived social pressure to comply with expectations [16]. This is determined by normative beliefs that have to do with the perceived expectations and actions of significant others combined with the individual’s motivation to comply with them [17]. People get “injunctive normative beliefs” by being told by important referents over doing something to earn their approval or disapproval, while they get “descriptive normative beliefs” by observing important referent’s actions [16]. Conventionally, Muslims live in a strong family system where social influence from their family members, friends, religious leaders and groups affect their daily decision-making hugely [18,19].

Perceived behavioral control

Perceived behavioral control is the feeling of being in control or the confidence in performing a behavior [16]. A study [14] refers to it as the perceived ease or difficulty of performing the behavior and it is assumed to reflect past experience as well as anticipated impediments and obstacles. These control beliefs about resources and obstacles that can facilitate or interfere with performance of a given behavior may include skills and abilities needed to perform the behavior, the required time and money, cooperation by other people, and so forth [17]. In addition, current challenges in the environment also influence how Muslim consumers behave in a multicultural society. For example are the availability of intoxicants, poverty, globalization, and lack of support from the government, which indeed reflect the perceived behavioral control factor [11].

Islamic religiosity

Religion is a set of beliefs that are taught and practiced since early years of individuals until it becomes a commitment along the time [20]. Religion plays a big role in every individual’s behavior including food consumption. It directs whichever is permissible and impermissible to take. For example, beef is prohibited in Hinduism while in Islam it is not forbidden [21]. Religiosity is the extent to which people are committed to their religion, reflecting their attitude and behavior in either obeying or violating the religion’s rules and regulations [22]. In accordance with a study [21] religiosity has been operationally defined as having five dimensions: ideological (the overall beliefs associated with a religion such as: about God, prophet, fate, etc.), ritualistic (the actions prescribed by religion such as: prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, etc.), intellectual (the knowledge about religion), consequential (the importance of religion), and experimental (the practicality of the religion. Based on the study of Alam et al. [20] individuals who are high in religiosity are more mature in decision making and behaving. According to Khraim et al. [23] religious belief is a significant influence in terms of consumption because of the rules and taboos it inspires. More “religious” consumers are more sensitive to the norms and rules prescribed by their religion, while less “religious” consumers make more “egocentric” (i.e. considering one’s own opinion instead of other one’s opinions) consumption decisions [24].

Purchase intention

Intention is the immediate antecedent of a particular behavior (Ajzen, 2015). In other words, it is a motivational situation prior to behavior and it indicates an individual’s readiness to perform a given behavior [25]. Purchase intention is the preference of the consumer to buy the product or service [26]. It can move one’s spending habit in the future. Ajzen et al. [14] stated that it is the principal element towards behavior performance in the theory of planned behavior. Purchase intention signals how eager an individual is in exerting effort just to achieve doing a behavior. It is expected that if the intention towards a behavior is stronger, the performance of such behavior is more possibly fulfilled. Also, repurchase of product brand is being promoted as well by greater purchase intention [27].

Conceptual Framework

The model in Figure 1 illustrates the framework of this study. Based on the main problem statement, propositions on the identified factors (as mentioned in our primary research question) such as attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, and Islamic religiosity on purchase intention were individually made in order to be measured. The first three independent determinants were derived from the TPB concept, while the latter was purposely added by the researcher.

arabian-journal-business-management-review-framework

Figure 1. Conceptual Framework Model.

Ho1. Attitude has no significant relationship on the purchase intention of Halal food among Filipino Muslims.

Ho2. Subjective Norm has no significant relationship on the purchase intention of Halal food among Filipino Muslims.

Ho3. Perceived Behavioral Control has no significant relationship on the purchase intention of Halal food among Filipino Muslims.

Ho4. Islamic Religiosity has no significant relationship on the purchase intention of Halal food among Filipino Muslims.

Regression analysis was done to examine each individual factor and to confirm each hypothesis. It sought to find out the existing relationship between the independent (TPB components and Islamic religiosity) and dependent variables (purchase intention).

Moreover, and in relation to the sub-problem statement, the study also pursued to determine and analyze the ranking of the identified four factors in terms of influence, and to find out the most significant indicator among them.

Research Methodology

Subjects and study site

This paper applied the descriptive-correlational research design, where quantitative approach was used to gather primary data by surveying qualified respondents. Respondents were identified via purposive and snowball sampling method, which are non-probability sampling techniques, with the following criteria:

(1) Filipino Muslim

(2) Residing in Taguig City, Manila City or Quezon City.

(3) At least 18 years of age.

(4) Purchases Halal food within Metro Manila.

(5) Willing to take part in the survey.

Selected locations were based on the current top three cities with highest concentration of Muslims living in Metro Manila (PSA, 2015). Data were collected in grocery stores or markets, in areas with Islamic community gatherings, in Arabic/Islamic schools (madrasah), in Muslimdominant barangays and other sites with qualified participants.

A total of 458 respondents participated in the survey, therefore the same number of filled questionnaires were received by the researcher. Accomplished questionnaires were validated by the researcher and 14 were rejected by reason of incomplete answers, duplicate entries and similarity of all responses. This gave a qualified response rate of 96.94% or a total of 444 final sample (Table 2).

Table 2: Summary of Sample Size.

City Population Sample
Taguig City 34,459 146
Manila City 34,193 147
Quezon City 32,242 151
TOTAL 100,894 444

Research instrument

A self-administered survey questionnaire through paper and pen served as the primary instrument in this study. Questionnaire items were utilized and modified from past studies. Scale on the attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control and purchase intention were sourced from [11] while the extent of Islamic religiosity were gauged using the items from [20,21].

The questionnaire is partitioned into 2 sections. The first section of the survey contains 7 questions about the demographic profile of the respondents including residential address, gender, age, tribe/ethnicity, educational level, occupation and income. The second section is composed of 40 statements on general feelings about Halal food which are indicated by the respondents on the basis of 6-point Likert scale varying from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”. Constructs constitute the 5 operating variables such as Attitude, Subjective Norm, Perceived Behavioral Control, Islamic Religiosity, and Purchase Intention. These operational variables are measured in the study using different item scales. Variables are measured using 8-item scale each.

The researcher prepared the survey questionnaire in both English and Filipino languages so as to give option and convenience to the respondents. The survey questionnaire was also pre-tested initially to 50 people, which were not part of the 444 final sample.

After the researcher’s pre-test and the review by the statistician and academicians, the survey questionnaires were distributed to respondents during the months of May, June and July of year 2019. Ethical considerations were properly observed in this study. A participant’s information and informed consent form was obtained from the respondents prior to the data gathering.

Conclusion

The study showed that TPB is an effective model for predicting consumers’ intention in purchasing Halal food products. Here, Islamic religiosity is also added as another interesting factor to explore. According to the regression results, all four hypotheses in this study are rejected. Findings reveal that attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control and the Islamic religiosity are all important factors that may increase or limit the purchase intention. Subjective norm is found to be the greatest predictor or influencer, and followed by Islamic religiosity. Subjective norm is the perceived social pressure from important referent individuals or groups to perform the purchasing behavior. A possible reason for this greater effect of subjective norms could be the Filipino culture that is known to have high values on family orientation. Another is the Muslim culture that is more on collectivism wherein decisions are therefore shared among the group members.

The overall findings in this study provide insights to better understand the Halal consumers in Metro Manila and the determinants of their purchase decisions which can help the business people, the government and the consumers themselves. Furthermore, this study is the first to address the gap in the literature by investigating on the Filipino Muslim minority’s food purchase intention.

Recommendations

It is generally recommended that

(1) Food manufacturers consider developing food products with genuine Halal certification in order to give confidence to its consumers, gain preference from them, and penetrate the growing local and global Muslim market.

(2) Food marketers incorporate the elements of social pressure and religion in marketing activities such as campaigns, advertising in reading materials, social media, televisions or radio stations. They include clear and comprehensive list of product ingredients with the Halal logo (once Halal-certified) in the product labels, establish Halal lane in grocery stores, and conduct awareness and promotion activities highlighting the benefit of Halal food.

(3) government Halal Board guarantee assistance to Halal certification, training of Halal manpower, allocation of budget for more Halal operation facilities, local promotion of Halal products, strengthening of ties with other countries to learn more about Halal production and trade, initiation of local Halal conferences among stakeholders, preparation of alternative Halal food sources for security, strategizing and regulation of Halal products pricing, and continuation of research and development programs for the Halal industry.

(4) Consumers provide Halal food literacy within household level since stronger family system and religious associations greatly shape up individuals’ beliefs towards decision-making and purchasing.

(5) Academicians or researchers do more in-depth investigation on Muslims’ purchase intention on wider geographical areas, on setting where Muslim population is dominant, on gathering perceptions from non-Muslim consumers, on exploring other product lines, and on examining other possible determining factors of Halal food purchase in order to strengthen the understanding of consumers’ behavior towards Halal in the country.

References

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