Assessment task requires the preparation of a full project proposal that should contain the following components:
--A detail statement of the problem that you would like to investigate.
--Research aim, objectives and research questions: What are the potential research objectives and questions that can address the problem?
--Justification and potential output of the research project: Why is your chosen project important both theoretically and practically? What are the potential outputs and outcomes of your research?
--Conceptual framework: An analysis of the literature relevant to the research topic that will give you the conceptual basis for conducting this research.
--Methodology and presenting secondary data: Based on the conceptual framework, research aim(s) and objectives, you need to provide a detail description of the data collection methods and tools, data sources and the
--methods/tools that you will use to analyse the data.
--Organisation of the study, project budget and schedule: Write the names of the chapters/sections of your research report, and briefly discuss what you will write in those chapters/sections followed by a brief description of budget for conducting this study and project schedule i.e., Gantt Chart.
This is an individual research task. You are required to demonstrate your understanding of the relevant body of works to a real-life business research. We expect you to read and reflect on at least twenty recent refereed journal articles on your topic supported by any other evidence or information that can help refine the problem of your research, formulate conceptual framework and the methods of data collection and analysis. Please see detailed guidelines about specific research requirements on the unit Moodle site. You can write 3000 words maximum for this assignment. The cover page and the list of references are not counted in the word limit.
Growing Interest in Healthy Food Choices
Most of the consumers in the present world desire making better and healthier food choices because of the growing interest in the overall health and well being of themselves and their families. The people are desirable of eating dinner with their children at home and also are of the opinion that eating at home is healthier. Consumers believe the fact that primary food stores are the most trustworthy and dependable allies in their aim to eat better and the food retailers need to take advantage of the increasing interest of the shoppers in the health as well as the opportunities to assist the customers. It is being observed that food shoppers at present are becoming much more health conscious and see
nutritious products which meet all the health needs and make a concerted effort to let alone those ingredients which are unhealthy. People also question in case their purchases are helpful or not for the sustenance of their community.
There are several families which have a string will to eat together and majority of the consumers believe that eating at home is very healthy and has a positive impact on the situations in the market. There are several consumers who are aware of the fact that outside products can have a negative impact on the health in case they cannot perform their duties in due course. Primary food stores have been ranked high among the trusted resources that are available for the health-conscious consumers. Some of the most trusted resources which are available for the health-conscious consumers are those of primary food stores. There are many shoppers who posses great intentions regarding the maintenance of a healthy diet and therefore put a great deal of effort into the eating by healthy habits. By means of regarding and taking advantage of the trust which the consumers have, the food retailers can fill the required gap by proper amount of assistance to their customers.
Subway has been a favourite among the customers due to its quality of goods and the level of services which they demand. The consumers offer the firm a market for the products which translate into the income revenue and also into amount of profits for the company. Therefore it has become necessary for Subway to ensure that they give sufficient attention to the changes in the overall preferences of the customers and the awareness about the consumption of the healthy products and match their products in order to meet the changing demands of their customers. Over the past few years time span it has been seen that the consumers have become more and more aware of the healthy eating as well as consumption habits. “It has been seen that the consumers have become more and more aware of the healthy eating and consumption of healthy products. Therefore it has been seen that there is a significant shift in the demand of goods and services in favour of healthy food which is at the expense of unhealthy lifestyles. Therefore their needs to be a forced design strategy and game plan in response to the increase in consumer awareness about the health eating in order to survive in the backdrop of the consumer needs which are constantly changing”. It has been seen in the study that Subway responded to the changes in the degree of consumer awareness regarding the products which are healthy.
Consumer Belief in Trustworthy Food Stores
The major aim of the study is to determine the factors which can increase the awareness of the customers about the healthy products and also regarding the consumption of healthy food. Another objective is the way in which the firms undertake strategic responses and the way in which Subway adjusted to the changes in the consumer preferences for the healthy products.
The main question which is to be discussed in this particular study is:
Is there sufficient awareness of the consumers regarding the health products?
The secondary questions which can be addressed in connection to this are:
What are the factors which can increase the awareness of the customers regarding the healthy products and also the consumption of healthy food?
What are the possible strategic responses to the problem which the firms can undertake in this regard?
Present trends have shown that the increase in technology and also the consumption of packaged foods have led to the increase and the utilization of the need for food additives. Food additives are actually substances which are utilized in the production, processing, treatment, packaging, transportation or storage of food among others. It has been justified that the maintenance of the distribution of food and its transportation would have been impossible without the proper utilization of food additives and the present rapid urbanisation and the increase of the overall population (Annunziata & Vecchio, 2013).
More or less all the food additives are presently used and have been found to lead to the problems of health in case of the consumers. This has led to the problems of health in case of the consumers. The issue of consumer awareness regarding the usage of food has led to a specific amount of research which is true in case of the countries which are developing. It is seen that much of information is not available regarding the customer expectations and also their responses to the food label information.
It has been reported that the utilization of food additives are actually permitted by the law and the excessive amount of consumption of such food stuff leads to the issues of obesity. High levels of defective foodstuff also lead to the cause of cancer. It has been seen that the different food preservatives cause the effects to the body which might not be recognized at the initial stages. Children have been seen to suffer the most from food additives because they are exposed to the food chemicals and the additives which are being consumed at present. Such additives might also cause side effects which are food allergies, increased waist lines, decreased amount of absorption of mineral and vitamins which causes a huge impact on the specific trends. The present trends of increased consumption of packaged food in the diet cause the ill effects of such preservatives to increase. It has been seen that in many cases the consumers are unaware of the function, role and advantages of the additives and these unhealthy impacts need to be approached suitably. It has also been seen that the consumers with lower levels of education are much more likely to trust the government institutions as well as their regulations of food additives (Kim et al. 2012).
Subway as an Example of Adapting to Changing Consumer Preferences
There are people who look at food labels for different sorts of reasons. There are certain consumers who like to know the way in which the information can be utilized in their lives. This has also led to the conclusion that whatever be the reason the consumers would like to know the way in which such information can be used in a much more effective and easy manner, the information regarding the concept of nutrition labelling and the benefits of food is one of the most crucial factors which are responsible for the influence on decision making. The modern label package has been responsible for taking the responsibility of education of the consumers regarding the products by means of multi-tasking such as attraction, promotion and motivation at the places of purchase. It is desirable that the food labels be closely observed for nutrient content declaration on calories, proteins, fats, dietary fibres, and other issues of dietary intake. There are competencies established with the legal requirements which are fundamental to the safety of the food products and also the responsibility of the consumers.
There are several food hazards which are responsible for affecting the safety of food, the microbial hazards, the pesticide residues, the misuse of additives, the chemical contaminants, the biological toxins and so on. There are different types of people with different preferences for food and nutritional requirement, choices as well as preferences. There are some people who have problems related to health which need certain food types or ingredients. There are certain foodstuff which contains specific instructions for the preparation and use. These need the consumers who need to be well informed regarding the characteristics of packaged food before the purchase and this is expected to be found in the food label (Kim et al., 2012).
It has been seen that in case of emerging economies, much is not known about the expectations of the consumers and their respective responses to the information regarding the food labels. The consumers often change their consumption or buying behaviour which is with respect to the food products. Consumption of the packaged items of food has been found to grow tremendously in the past situations. There have been changes in the lifestyle and in the pattern of consumption. The change in lifestyle and the products and the legal regulations are crucial in the food labels.
In context of the conceptual framework it can be stated that there is a close link between the purchase intention and the factors that impact it. These include the health consciousness, the perceived value of the product, the food safety concern and the religious factors if any.
Impact of Food Additives on Health and Consumer Awareness
“Research design is used to refer to the overall strategy which is chosen for the integration of the different components of the study in a proper and logical way. It is done to ensure that the research problem will be effectively addressed and comprises of the short and basic idea of the collection, measurement and analysis of the data. The major function of a research design is to ensure that the evidence which has been obtained enables the researcher to effectively address the research problem as unambiguously as possible”. There are different types of research design which include those of exploratory, explanatory, descriptive, casual, experimental cohort, sequential among others (Gibbs, 2008).
In this particular study the descriptive design of research will be studied because this helps in the in-depth understanding of all the issues and also helps in solving problems to the situations which are reached in a specific research issue. The descriptive research design helps in solving answers to all possible questions associated with the problem which is being researched (Sekaran & Bougie, 2016).
Research philosophy basically deals with the source, nature, development and understanding of the relevant knowledge. It is the belief regarding the ways in which the data about a particular phenomenon need to be collected, analysed as well as utilized. There are four different types of research philosophies (Bryman & Bell, 2015).
In connection to the different philosophies of research mentioned, here the theory of pragmatism will be utilized as there is the use of both quantitative as well as qualitative methods of data analysis.
The study aims to use the utilization of self completion questionnaires and structured interviews during data collection. The person in charge of the research needs to conduct it as well as in-depth interviews and questionnaires with the management of subway stores within the country to establish the strategy they adopted in response to the changes in consumer preferences. “Also, the researcher will give consumers of Subway products self-completion questionnaires to gather more information on the factors that raised their awareness regarding the importance of consuming healthy products. These methods are advantageous because they allow a one on one interaction between the researcher and respondent, thereby helping the researcher understand more about the topic.”
The methods of data collection will be primarily qualitative but the quantitative or the method of survey will also be employed in order to complete the research. In the study there will be the utilization of both primary and secondary data sources to gather information on the subject matter. ”The primary data sources will consist of the responses received from the interviews and questionnaires used for data collection. On the other hand, secondary data sources will consist of peer reviewed business journals, health databases, and library books on the subject (Taylor, Bogdan & DeVault, 2015).”
Importance of Food Labeling and Nutritional Information
Sampling is basically the method of selection of a subset of units from a target population for the purpose of collection of information. This information is utilized to draw certain inferences regarding the population as a whole. The subset of the units which are to be selected from the entire population is a sample. There are two major principles of sampling. These include those of probability and non-probability sampling, Non-probability sampling utilizes a method of selection of samples from the units which are usually fast, easy and inexpensive. Probability sampling is the method in which each particular sample has a distinct probability of being selected. This probability is usually the same for all sampling units (Lewis, 2015).
In this particular research the non-probability sampling method will be employed. This is because the consumers who are customers of subway are chosen for the method of research.
The sample size in case of the ideal scenario is usually a 10% proportion of the total population. This is because of the reason that the entire population of consumers of subway cannot be considered for the survey as the procedure in this case would become extremely time consuming and expensive. The ideal sample size for the survey can be considered to be n=100 and for the interview a total of 5 managers can be chosen for the survey.
It is possible for research to have several limitations and drawbacks of research. This is because of the reason that the research aims and objectives have been formulated too broadly. The method in which the formulation of aims and objectives can be narrowed also needs to be increased. There also needs to be an implementation of the method of collection of data. The choice of the sample size might not be accurate based on the research problem,. In case the sample size is too small the tests of statistical significance and hypothesis cannot be considered. Also in case the sample size is large, there might have been the possibility of generation of much more accurate results. There is the importance of sample size in quantitative studies which is compared to that of qualitative studies. There might also be the lack of proper literature in the data.
Consumer demand for the detailed information on the content and nutrition of the packaged food products are likely to increasing the healthy eating and awareness regarding the packaged food stuff in the developing countries specifically. There is an indication of a satisfactory level of awareness regarding the different types of information on the food labels which are displayed on the packaged food product and the usage of such information is low among the male and female respondents. It is essential for the government to keep a proper check of on the food companies in order to understand what they put in the packaged food and also the exploration of the market regarding use of the harmful ingredients which they might include in the foodstuff. There is not much awareness regarding the food labels and their usability among the consumers regarding the packaged food products. The outcomes also help the food companies in deciding which products to manufacture and the levels which they need to better.
Consumers’ expectations and their responses to the food level information are not very much available, this is because of the reason that the buying behaviour of the consumers often changes. There has been a tremendous increase of packaged food items in the past and the demand for the health and wellness of the food is also on the rise. There is also a specific change in lifestyle and the patterns of consumption. There are also standards of food safety, transparency in the dissemination of information and also the information which are connected to the food products as well as the dissemination of information related to the food products and legal regulations.
References and Bibliography:
Annunziata, A., & Vecchio, R. (2013). Consumer perception of functional foods: A conjoint analysis with probiotics. Food Quality and Preference, 28(1), 348-355.
Brownsell, A. (2012). Subway pushes '5-a-day' message in new campaign. Campaign. Retrieved 5 April 2018, from https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/subway-pushes-5-a-day-message-new-campaign/1159403
Bryman, A., & Bell, E. (2015). Business research methods. Oxford University Press, USA.
Gibbs, G. (2008). Analysing Qualitative Data (1st ed.). London: Sage Publishers.
Harwell, D. (2015). The rise and fall of Subway, the world's biggest food chain. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 April 2018, from https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-rise-and-fall-of-subway-the-worlds-biggest-food-chain-20150530-ghd0va.html
Kim, M. K., Lopetcharat, K., Gerard, P. D., & Drake, M. A. (2012). Consumer awareness of salt and sodium reduction and sodium labeling. Journal of food science, 77(9).
Leech, N. L., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2007). An array of qualitative data analysis tools: A call for data analysis triangulation. School Psychology Quarterly, 22(4), 557-584.
Lewis, S. (2015). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Health promotion practice, 16(4), 473-475.
Mary Converse RN, M. N. (2012). Philosophy of phenomenology: How understanding aids research. Nurse Researcher (through 2013), 20(1), 28.
Miller, D., & Shamsie, J. (1999). Strategic Responses to Three Kinds of Uncertainty: Product Line Simplicity at the Hollywood Film Studios. Sage Journals. Retrieved 5 April 2018, from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/014920639902500105?journalCode=joma
Neuman, W. L. (2013). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Pearson education.
Paul, J., & Rana, J. (2012). Consumer behavior and purchase intention for organic food. Journal of consumer Marketing, 29(6), 412-422.
Saunders, M. N., Lewis, P., Thornhill, A., & Bristow, A. (2015). Understanding research philosophy and approaches to theory development.
Sekaran, U., & Bougie, R. (2016). Research methods for business: A skill building approach. John Wiley & Sons.
Taylor, S. J., Bogdan, R., & DeVault, M. (2015). Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource. John Wiley & Sons.
Welsh, Elaine (2002). Dealing with Data: Using NVivo in the Qualitative Data Analysis Process. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 3(2)
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