Advertisements form a fast growing industry in modern societies. In the past fifty years, advertisements have become an inseparable part of consumers' lives. Advertising is part of our home environment. On the sauce bottle at the breakfast table, in the news papers, on hoardings at the road side, on the sides of buses and trains, in shop windows - everywhere we look the advertisers bombard us with their messages in an attempt to persuade us to buy goods or services. Advertising exists in various market systems and the way it affects the receivers varies from system to system.
Advertisements are fundamental in marketing because of its role in affecting the behaviour of consumers. Consumers rely on information about the products and services to arrive at rational purchase decisions. Information about price, quality and other product attributes enables buyers to utilize their income or wealth by finding the product whose mix of price and quality they most prefer (Beasles et al.,1981). Inevitably, marketers have to utilize marketing tools (e.g., television advertisements) to disseminate information about their products to influence their respective consumers' decision processes. The post- war economic boom which began in the 1950s saw a huge increase in advertising activity. Advertising has been introduced to every sphere of society including arts, culture, sport, fashion and fast food. It is, quite simply, everywhere:
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"We cannot walk down the street, shop, watch television, go through our mail, log on the internet, read a newspaper or take a train without encountering it. Whether we are alone, with our friends or family, or in a crowd, advertising is always with us, if only on the label of something we are using, advertising is everywhere." (Cook 2001:1).
Nowadays, advertising is also present in the fast food industry. Different fast food shop makes use of heavy advertising to sell their product to different age group of people. Around the world the United States is perhaps best known for its numerous and successful fast-food advertsiments. An analysis of 2001 advertising spending found that US companies spent $3.5 billion on fast-food advertisements (Welch G, 2003).
The fast food culture becomes a part of people's lives and advertisements affect consumer behaviours and attitudes in general public. Organic food consumption is one of several new trends in eating read as active opposition to industrialized food provision. Hundreds of millions of people buy fast food every day without giving it much thought, unaware of the subtle and not so subtle ramifications of their purchases. They rarely consider where this food came from, how it was made, what it is doing to the community around them. They just grab their tray off the counter, find a table, take a seat, unwrap the paper, and dig in. They should know what really lurks behind those sesame-seed buns. As the old saying goes: "You are what you eat." (From the introduction to Fast Food Nation,
Schlosser 2001: 10).
As the food environment has changed to increase food availability, there has also been a dramatic change in exposure to messages that encourage food consumption. Television has been cited as a contributing factor to higher dietary energy or fat intake (Hill, 1998). Exposure to food advertising, especially commercials for fast food or convenience foods, may influence viewers' food choices toward higher-fat or higher-energy foods (Durant Hr 1994). Importantly, there is evidence of behavioural implications of exposure to food advertising. Consumption of advertised foods is higher than consumption of foods that are not advertised (Jeffery RW, 1998).
The advertising of fast food has not only targeted the elderly but it has a major influence on children as well. The authors of several large-scale literature reviews have concluded that exposure to food marketing affects children's food preferences and eating behaviour (Hastings et al. 2003). Similarly, Hasting et al.(2003) stated that food marketing "can and is having an effect on children, particularly in the areas of food preferences, purchase behaviour and consumption."
In the United Kingdom, the Children's Food Bill is intended to highly regulate the advertising of such food aimed at children, and many other countries are looking to introduce strict limitations on fast food advertising (Children's food bill).Talks between the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the fast food companies were initiated to work together in an effort to improve children's diets, though Burger King withdrew from the discussions (leake Jonathan). In Sweden all advertising aimed at the under-12 is banned, including fast food adverts.
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The fast food phenomenon has not spared Mauritius either. With the existence of fast food restaurant like Mc Donald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken(KFC), Pizza Hut, Debonair, Steers and the recent Nandos which are well-known for selling simple, pre-prepared meals of food such as hamburgers and French fries. The reasons why people have turned to fast food are numerous. Many people in this modern day are quite busy which causes them to choose a one minute prepared meal instead of twenty minute meal. The speed of getting your meal prepared and served is very fast. So the great convenience of eating in or taking out at a fast food joint is one great contribution to the fast food phenomena's success. Moreover, for some people, eating such food is quite enjoyable because it is quite delicious even if it greasy and fattening. In other words the feelings and enjoyment of eating fast food is a great contribution to fast food's growth and success.
Following the above discussion, the problem which arises is that the advertising of fast food has undoubtedly increase the number of people around the world. However in Mauritius there is no research which has been conducted to know whether consumer in Mauritius buy more fast food when they are advertised. So this thesis will help to analysis the impact of fast food advertising on people in Mauritius. This thesis will take into consideration the most popular fast food retail in Mauritius such as McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, Nandos, Steers and Debonair. Therefore, this thesis will answer the following questions:
What is the impact of fast food advertising on Mauritian buyer behaviour?
What are the drivers leading to the consumption of fast food?
What are the different advertising tools that fast food retailer use to promote their fast food?
What advertising tool has the more effect on purchasing behaviour in Mauritius?
To analyse the different pattern of behaviours and attitudes of both generation Y and X towards fast food in Mauritius.
Aims and objective