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Regional differences in portion size consumption behaviour: Insights for the global food industry

1 Birkbeck-University of London, Department of Management, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HX, UK
2 Kent Business School, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
3 Department of Operations and Project Management, College of Business, Al Faisal University, Riyadh 11533, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Given the influence of globalization on consumer food behaviour across the world, the purpose of this paper is to contribute to the theoretical discourse around food portion size as a global consumption-related symbol and its underlying socio-economic drivers for food industry strategy. Overall, 25,000 global food consumers were surveyed across 24 countries to elicit insight on portion size consumption behaviour as well as consumer perception on eating and drinking small portion size within selected socio-economic classes. The data was quantitatively analysed to answer the pertinent research objectives. In 20 out of the 24 global markets surveyed, large food portion size was statistically established as a prevalent consumption-related symbol. The paper found that there are regional differences in portion size food consumption behaviour, and further disparities exist across age, gender and income status in 24 countries covering all regions, including Australia, China, Mexico, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America. The outlined food industry implications reveal that adaptation and standardisation strategies are still relevant in global food and nutrition strategy as revealed by the variations in the preference for food portion sizes across various countries of the world.
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