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The cultural values in Taiwan are blended from Taiwanese aborigines and Confucianism Han Chinese cultures. This blend is often perceived to be a mix of both traditional and contemporary understanding in many aspects. The mainstream culture of the people of this nation is definitely a curious combination of traditions, modern consumerism and commercialization as well as technological ingenuity. This trend is capped with a touch of Japanese flavors that were left by a long period of colonial rule and commercial and social interactions. However, there is sharp difference between Taiwanese way of life and that of Mainland China and Hong Kong. For first time travellers to Taiwan, it is understood that the country has unquestionably some of the friendliest people in Asia if not in the world. Most foreign visitors are usually impressed by the high level of hospitality they are accorded by the hosts upon arriving.
It is a common trend among the people to bring gifts to the host during a visit and the most popular gift items include flowers, a tin of cookies or biscuits or even a box of chocolate. And as a matter of fact, guests are always expected to remove the shoes when invited into a house even if the owner says it may not be necessary. The concept of ‘face’ represent a strong part of the Asian culture and lack of clarity between public pride and politeness is an omnipresent reality in Taiwan but for foreigners who are naturally sensitive and thoughtful to other people may not find serious problems. In most weddings and social functions, cookies are some of the things a function cannot be perceived to be complete without. There are over a hundred varieties of cookies that can be presented in social functions. Therefore, the spirit of giving can be one of the most promising factors that can be taken advantage of in order to increase the possibilities of success for the biscuit brand in Taiwan.
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Consumer’s behavior in Taiwan tends to be relatively advancing although in the recent years, there have been a static growth in in levels of disposable income and this has relatively affected the demand of a wide range of products. The existence of a conducive relationship between Taiwan and mainland China has invigorated various sectors across the island although some Taiwanese consumers are not aware of the benefits. More general, the increased access to information technology and the global media through the internet has increased the rate of personal spending among the Taiwanese consumers.
The most increase in consumer trends in Taiwan can be contributed to rising democratization and consumer freedom through access to information, transformation and expansion of domestic tourism, consumer awareness of changes in the market conditions through interaction with China and its neighboring economies. Through consumer segmentation, consumer behaviors continue to vary depending on the social status, education and the level affluence. Parents often introduce education to their children at a very tender age and the young parents demand for healthy food for their kids increase the manufacturer’s variety for foodstuff. The social media has also become a central part of Taiwanese youth for interaction and socialization as the demand and influence from popular culture and markets continue to transform the consumption perception. Among the youths, spending patterns varies for some depending on the economic affluence of their parents.
Eating habits also determines the consumption behaviors. Vegetarian meals are more popular among the people in Taiwan and meat and meat products are less consumed by the greater part of the population. Luxury drinks have become increasingly important to the upper economic class and most hotels have a greater chance of increasing the drink and cookies market based on this developing trend. Therefore, the developing consumerism culture can be a motivator to any firm intending to join the food industry and emphasize on health and wellness of the consumer.
In Taiwan, consumers are royal to their favorite brands and this trend has been in existence for a very long time. The leading brand enjoys unrivaled advantage of dominating the market for the larger part of the country especially for agricultural foods. However, the people of Taiwan are very sensitive to prices. A brand of producer that puts its prices high up risks losing a larger proportion of its customers based on poor pricing strategy. Quality and the value of after-sale-service is another consideration that determines the consumer behavior and perception towards a product. Food purchasing decisions are often made when needed and the most purchased food products are national or Japanese made products.
Taiwan is highly sophisticated consumer market because the country has just introduced its consumers to global products and international consumer behaviors. Despite being too keen on maintaining royalty to particular brands, the consumers are also becoming keen on understanding new and emerging products especially on the technology sector. Through intensified domestic tourism, Taiwanese people have become frequent visitors of local resorts through the use of credit cards.
Among the main South Asian traditional ceremonies, funerals, weddings, ancestor worship and coming-of age rituals and customs are more complicated. These customs involves deep invocation of religious practices, the death world. Despite being ruled by foreign powers for several decades, Taiwanese burial rituals and customs are still left under the Han tradition. During these rituals, food is considered to be more than a physical source of nutrition. The community considers it as a substance of comfort, care and creativity that plays a substantial role in performance of the rituals. In Taiwan, baked products are consumed during the ritual seasons and along the traditional markets more than the upscale markets. The demand for biscuits may also be high during the seasons of festivities as compared to normal time.
Beliefs and values
Taiwan is a country where fish eating is the norm. Other meals are slowly cooked in a stew and soup or quickly through deep frying. Sea food, fresh vegetables and fruits are more favorable and are stocked in most hotels. Western influence is now found in coffee shops and bakeries in various towns and cities. Prosperity has also produced a business culture that focuses on entertainment supported in restaurants and meals provided in most culinary regions in the country. Buddhist restriction on food has produces a society where vegetarian cuisines are dominant in Taiwan in which wheat gluten, bean curd and mushrooms have significantly transformed into a version of standard cuisine which at times is molded into chicken and fish. Taiwan is quite famous for tea and occasional coffee especially on major stopovers where the common stacks taken along with these beverages are wheat products. This belief in tea as the best thirst quenching beverage provide a massive market for biscuits as the best alternative for cookies.
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