Efforts to globalize a national food: Market segmentation by reasons for ethnic food preferences

Seong Seop Kim, Ja Young Choe, Aejoo Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to gain insight into the preferences of US customers regarding Korean food, and to categorize these customers according to the reasons for their preferences. Design/methodology/approach: The study was conducted with a sample of customers in Korean restaurants in the USA. Findings: Cluster 1 was a group whose members were attracted to Korean culture; Cluster 2 was a group whose members were passionate about Korean food; Cluster 3 was a group seeking healthy and exotic food; and Cluster 4 was a low-interest group. Each cluster had a different socio-demographic profile, favored a different Korean menu, identified different success factors for Korean restaurants, described different expectations and experiences of Korean restaurants and had different preferences regarding Korean food services. Practical implications: Active promotion of Korean food and Korean culture may be appropriate for Cluster 1, while developing a healthy and exotic menu may attract Cluster 3. Maintaining Cluster 2 is deemed important, while a strategic approach is necessary to appeal to Cluster 4. Originality/value: This study will contribute theoretically and practically to understanding food globalization, ethnic restaurants and segmentation by preference reasons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2310-2330
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Globalization
  • Internationalization strategy
  • Restaurant industry
  • Restaurants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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