Eat to Live or Live to Eat? Mapping Food and Eating Perception of Malaysian Chinese

C.L. Yang, C. Khoo, M.Y. Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to explore the perception of Malaysian Chinese towards food and eating by using a qualitative marketing research tool, known as the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique. Twelve Malaysian Chinese were asked to collect photographs that represented their thoughts and feelings about food and eating. The results surfaced six broad meaning themes Malaysian Chinese have about food and eating: (a) health, (b) trying new food, (c) people, (d) home cooked food, (e) enjoyment, and (f) happiness. The findings were supported by rich description and meaningful images that capture both the spoken and tacit thoughts and feelings of the respondents. The findings reflected the health concerns and food neophilia tendency of Malaysian Chinese. The findings also revealed the positive emotional value of food and eating linked to enjoyment and pleasure. These findings suggest numerous important implications for scholars and practitioners in the industry. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-600
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Hospitality Marketing and Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • food and eating perception
  • Malaysian Chinese
  • marketing
  • qualitative
  • ZMET


Dive into the research topics of 'Eat to Live or Live to Eat? Mapping Food and Eating Perception of Malaysian Chinese'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this