Compared to their counterparts in the Asia-Pacific region, Malaysians preferred to eat out and frequent bars, pubs and cafes but were also the ones who exercised the least, an online survey revealed.
The poll by market research agency GfK, where consumers were given a list of activities to choose from, found that compared to the regional average, more Malaysians were spending time outside for food and drinks, instead of cooking and entertaining guests at home.
Having a sit-down meal in a restaurant was ranked fourth in the list, where two in five, or 40%, said they did that at least once a week, whereas 36% said they frequented coffeehouses, bars, pubs or cafes for drinks or snacks.
Compared to that, on a regional level, only 35% and 12% of consumers indulge in these activities.
”Eating out is a local culture and common trend in Malaysia, be it in smaller towns or larger cities. We are spoilt for choice with a variety of good eateries, some of which are open late into the night,” said Selinna Chin, managing director of online pollster GfK in Malaysia.
She added that families with double incomes and less time to cook preferred to spend quality time together with friends and families by dining out.
Malaysia also had the lowest rate of people who exercised, where only 23% of those surveyed said they exercised to keep fit, compared to 50% in Singapore and 56% in Australia.
The regional average in Asia Pacific is 36%.
Meanwhile, the three most common activities Malaysians engaged in on a weekly basis were reading papers (82%), listening to music (63%) and grocery shopping (56%).
The survey also showed that these are the same top three frequent activities at the global level as well as in Asia Pacific, although at varying degrees.
GfK polled over 40,000 consumers aged 15+ across 28 countries, including 11 from Asia Pacific – Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia – on their attitude, behaviour and values across a range of topics.
Chin noted that there were huge differences in habits and behavioural patterns of consumers globally, between the east and west, and among the individual markets in a particular region.
“A formula that works extremely well in one market may fail miserably in another,” he said.
"So for businesses to succeed in a market, they need to be aware and understand the reasons behind the cultural diversity.” – October 17, 2013.