Determinants of Consumers` Attitudes on Imported Products in Tanzania: The Case Study of Dodoma Municipal

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International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 4, Issue 11, November 2014
ISSN 2250-3153
Determinants of Consumers Attitudes on Imported
Products in Tanzania: The Case Study of Dodoma
Nanzia Florent*, Natalia Kalimangasi** and Robert Majula***
*Department of Accounting and Finance, Local Government Training Institute, Dodoma- Tanzania
**Department of Research, Short Course and Consultancy, Local Government Training Institute- Dodoma, Tanzania
***Department of Community Development, Local Government Training Institute, Dodoma- Tanzania
Abstract- Consumers attitudes towards purchasing either foreign
are examined through true motives, desires, and expectations in
or local products have been a matter of debate. Therefore the
buying a product. Consequently, "consumers' attitudes toward
objective of this study was to investigate the determinants of
products originating from foreign countries have been of interest
consumers attitudes on imported products in Tanzania by
to international business and consumer behavior researchers for
exploring factors which attract Tanzanian consumers to purchase
decades. One of the factors which may affect a consumer's
imported products. This study employed cross sectional design.
decision to buy domestic or foreign products is consumer
Data were collected in Dodoma Municipal in which self-
ethnocentrism" (Sumner, 1985) in Habibur et al., (2011).
administered questionnaires were used to collect the required
In Africa, attempts have been made to examine this concept
information. The study randomly sampled 200 respondents who
of country of origin effect in various spheres. Agbonifoh and
included 92 business men/women, 60 students and 48 servants.
Elimimian (1999) in Ferguson et al., (2008)
showed that
The data obtained were analyzed using MS - Excel computer
products from the technologically more advanced countries were
viewed more positively by nationals of developing countries than
The results showed that Tanzanian consumers attitudes on
those from the technologically less advanced countries. Ferguson
imported products were heavily influenced by the sense of proud,
et al. (2008) have studied the country of origin effects in service
advertising and marketing, local market destructions, consumers
evaluation in five West African countries. They found that
awareness about the imported products, import brand name,
personal characteristics like motivation and ability to process
group reference and unavailable local substitutes. These variables
information may influence use of the country of origin attributes
have affected the Tanzanian consumers to purchase foreign
in evaluating a service. Besides individual characteristics such as
products differently.
ethnocentrism, culture orientation may influence the country of
The study recommends that local companies should
origin preference in service evaluation. Opoku and Patrick
emphasize on the use of promotion, marketing, labelling and
(2009) found that in Tanzania products from East Africa tend to
brand names that will attract and make local consumers to be
be less preferred than those made by their fellow Tanzanians;
proud when consuming local products. Also local companies
with this fact the main challenge which face Tanzanians is to
should search for good strategies like making local consumers
more patriotic and aware about their local products specifically
entrepreneurs domestic markets into the global market.
on the matter of standard, quality and the use of group influence
The problem of attitude to local or non-local products has
to attract consumers to use local products. In addition, the
been recognized in many parts of the world as a key economic
government should strengthen local companies production by
issue in the consumer behavior markets. Bias against imports is
providing subsidies and lower their product tax in such a way
high among people with positive attitudes towards their host
that local companies will be attracted to produce more instead of
countries (Durvasula et al., 1997) in Boonghee and Naveen,
being agencies of foreign countries products. Lastly the
(2005). Moreover the mentioned study observed that people in
government should implement regulations and policies that
developed country are more likely to purchase their locally made
restrict importation of products that are locally produced. This
products because of positive attitude on these products while it is
will eventually promote the domestic production of goods and
the opposite of developing countries. Likewise, attitudes toward
products from culturally similar countries are more favourable
than those toward products from culturally dissimilar countries
Index Terms- Consumer Preference, Attitudes, Imported Goods
(Watson and Wright, 2000). However, the effects of negative
attitude to local products are diverse and affect local industries,
local culture style of life and behaviours and the economy at
Increasing of global market use and development of
onsumers attitudes towards foreign products are widely
C iscussed by the renowned researchers of marketing
(Muhammad and Shah, 2011). Attitudes towards products choice
consumers being able to buy products from different countries
either by non-store sources like the internet, and local source

International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 4, Issue 11, November 2014
ISSN 2250-3153
markets. Also the flowing of imported products is observed to be
there were 567.5 millions of USD and in the last quarter there
higher specifically the Chinese made products which seem to be
were 831.5 USD goods that were exported while there were total
cheap. Most Tanzanians go for the imported products mostly
imports of 1356.9 million of USD and 1624.6 USD respectively
than the locally made products and this is what attracts the
(BOT, 2010). Thus the study intends to understand what factors
researcher to examine empirically the determinants of Tanzanian
attract Tanzanian consumers to more consume imported products
consumers attitudes towards imported products. The researchers
than local products, specifically the attitudes that Tanzanians
noted that the imported products are highly purchased than local
hold to the imported products as compared to local products.
products despite the fact that they are of almost the same quality
and they are cheaply available. In Bank of Tanzania quarterly
report of 2010, it was reported that in the first quarter of 2009
Group reference
Decision to
Available local
Figure 1: Conceptual diagram of the Study
Source: Researcher's own Construct 2012
population at 5 percent level so this study used a sample of 200
Study Area
This study was carried out in Dodoma region, specifically in
Data Analysis
Responses from respondents were coded and summarised
Dodoma Municipal. The study targeted the consumers around
using excel. Both descriptive and quantitative data were analysed
this region. The choice of this study area was due to the fact that
the region has high number of interaction of people from
using Microsoft excel program. Descriptive statistics was used to
different sections, specifically the politicians, students, and
determine the frequency of occurrences and percentages. Results
business men and women. Demographically, Dodoma has a
of the analysis were presented descriptively in a tabular form
followed by narrative description of the results.
general population around of 2 million (Census, 2012). The
economic activities of this area are agriculture, business, office
works, animal husbandry and hunting. The major employers in
this region are the private and public organizations that deal with
III. Results
provision of goods and services at either profit or not for profit.
Demographic Characteristic of Respondents
Out of 200 respondents who participated in giving the
Research design and data collection
information 63.5 % (127) out of 200 were males, and the rest
The research design of this study was cross sectional
(36.5%) were females. The respondents were costumers aging
approach since the data were collected at once. This design is
from 15 years and above while in terms of marital status, about
considered the best because the researcher meets his/her
52 % (104) were married. Respondents with primary and
respondents once, by (Kothari, 2007). This study employed
secondary level of education were about 86% (173) out of the
primary and secondary data collection techniques, in which self-
200 participants. The occupation of respondents varied where
administered questionnaires were provided to respondents so as
majority of the respondents (86%) were self-employed and it was
to fill the information asked. The questionnaires were structured
found out that 43% of the respondents were diagnosed with less
with closed ended questions with two sections. The first section
than 100,000 TZS and 37% had income between100,000 -
of the questions included respondents profile and the second
300,000 TZS per month. In this study the majority responded to
section was about respondents attitudes towards imported
favour foreign products more than local products and had
positive attitudes to these products.
However, in this study demographics such as age, sex,
Sample Size and Sampling Techniques
income and occupation worked quite well. Young people were
The probability sampling techniques was used because every
more likely to buy fashionable products than old, women were
members of the population had a known non zero probability of a
likely to buy feminine hygiene products and low income earners
selection. Thereafter, simple random sampling was used to get
werent. In many categories, demographics are of little use in this
respondents. In addition, the sample size of the study was based
study as the researcher based on social economic determinants of
on the theory of central limit. This theory assumes that any
import products and not specific type of the products. The results
sample size greater than thirty (30) is a good representative of the
of the analysis are presented in table 1, 2, 3, and 4

International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 4, Issue 11, November 2014
ISSN 2250-3153
Consumers Preference
the table 1 found that 60 % prefer to purchase foreign goods due
Table 1 shows the results focused on finding what determine
to fashion.
consumers attitudes in the context of consumers preference.
Also the findings presented in Table 1 show that 49.5% of
The doubting information here was whether consumers
respondents are not encouraged and convinced to purchase local
preference has influence on consumers attitudes to purchase
made products.
The study, therefore, observed that Tanzania
imported products. Questions to capture information on which
consumers were opting to purchase local products because local
factors are influential on consumers preference on purchasing
companies do not do enough promotion to convince them to
import products were asked to the respondents and the findings
choose local products. The same study was done in China and
are as follows.
revealed that Chinese economic growth has done little to change
It has been observed that most of the respondents (76.5%)
the tendency of the Chinese to prefer western products (Vincent
tend to like purchasing foreign products as shown in table 1
below. Also result indicates that more than half of respondents
overwhelmingly preferred western made products, though there
(52.5%) are proud to purchase foreign made products than local
were differences in their perceptions across product classes as
products. This implies that Tanzanians were likely to consume
well as degree of suitability of sourcing countries (Habibur et al.,
imported products because they were proud of them. The
tendency to purchase foreign products also resulted from
globalization that has emerged with new fashions and life style as
Table 1: Consumers Preference
Do you like to purchase imported products?
I don't know
153 (76.5%)
34 (17%)
How do you feel when you purchase
foreign made products?
What influences you to purchase foreign
I don't know
Source: Research Findings, 2012
consumers to opt for foreign products.
This means as local
Consumers' awareness
markets collapse consumers awareness about their domestic
This study also analyzed the influence of consumers
products decreases and chances to buy foreign products
awareness about imported products on their decision to buy these
increases. This reduces the marketability of the local products
products. It examined whether consumers awareness about
and consumers may end up lacking enough information about the
imported products had influence on their decisions to purchase
available goods.
these products. The results are shown in Table 2.
The result shows that almost (78%) of consumers tends to
The results in Table 2 show 69.5 % of respondents said that
opt foreign products due to the popularity of their brand names
the consumers chance to use imported product was increased as a
advertised either in TV, Radio or Internet etc. This was used as a
result of the destruction of local industries. Results also showed
signal of quality as well accessibility and affordability, where
that 61.5% of respondents purchase foreign products as they have
68% of respondents opted foreign products because they perceive
no enough information about local market. This reduces chances
foreign products as of high quality. They believe that products
of awareness to their decision on what products to purchase.
with very popular brand names have high quality and were more
Local industries collapsed due to unfair global competition, trade
preferred than those with unpopular brand names.
liberalization and mismanagement. This influences Tanzanians
Table 2: Consumers Awareness about the Purchased Products
A. Do you Purchase foreign products
I don't know
B. Do you opt for imported products
I don't know
because of the information you have
38 (19%)
about these products?
C. What products feature influences your
Brand name
purchasing habit?
D. Do you purchase foreign products
I don't know

International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 4, Issue 11, November 2014
ISSN 2250-3153
because of their quality?
Source: Research Findings, 2012
Group reference
of the influence from family members. Also the research found
The results in Table 3 show that family habits influence their
that the decision to purchase certain products begins from the
members to purchase certain products as it was found that 56.5%
reference group around the consumers. This implies that
of respondents purchase imported products because they have
decisions of Tanzanian consumers to purchase imported products
been induced by their family members. This study tested the
were influenced by members of their family and group
influence of different groups on consumers decision to purchase
imported products; where in the same table about (49.5%) of
respondents indicated that they bought imported goods because
Table 3: Group References
A. Do family habits influence you to use
I don't know
foreign products?
B. Who
imported products?
Source: Research Findings, 2012
local market, consumers tendency of purchasing imported
Uses of local substitutes
products accelerates. Local markets should, therefore diversify
The results from table 4 show that 47.5% of the respondents
their products to reduce consumers chance to opt for imported
agreed that the tendency to buy foreign products is increasing
products. These also were proved by the study of Garland and
when local substitute are unavailable. For example respondents
Coy, (1993); Herche, (1992) which found that the ethnocentric
explained that when there were no locally made clothes,
consumer will have no choice but to purchase imported goods if
pharmaceutical products and home utensils they tend to purchase
and only if there are no domestic made products.
substitutes imported products. Also in the same table 55.5% of
the respondents found that if there is a shortage substitutes in
Table 4: Unavailable Local Substitute
A. Do you buy foreign products just
I don't know
B. Is your buying decision of foreign
I don't know
products driven by insufficient local
111 (55.5%)
Source: Research Findings, 2012
consumers decision to purchase a product. This was used as a
sign of quality as well and affordability. Products with very
popular brand names were reported to be purchased more than
The tendency to purchase foreign products increased due to
those whose brand names were not popular. Similarly family life
style and habits played a great role to influence their members on
globalization that emerged with variety of new fashions of
the use of imported products. This is very common where there is
consumed products.
Also when there are local companies
a habit of using imported products in family.
This tends to
producing with the same products as those of foreign companies,
the local companies should strive to encourage consumers to
influence family members to adapt that habit. So, family habits to
purchase the local products. At the end, the consumers tend to
consume some products has tendency to influence purchasing
shift their decision to local products. The use of imported goods
decision of households. Lastly the findings showed that
chance to buy imported products increased with unavailability of
increased with the destruction of local markets. This was
local substitutes. It can be concluded that unavailability of local
because, having many foreign products in Tanzania, might have
substitutes increases the chance of purchasing foreign products.
reduced the marketability of the local goods and hence may end
up discouraging local productions and local trade. Likewise the
tendency to search for the producers particulars of foreign
products as well as local products was the determining factor for

International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 4, Issue 11, November 2014
ISSN 2250-3153
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International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 4, Issue 11, November 2014
ISSN 2250-3153
Third Author: Robert Majula - Master of Business
First Author: Nanzia Florent: Masters of Science in Economics
Administration (Marketing), Bachelor of Commerce
(Project Planning and Management), Bachelor of Science in
(Marketing), Email: [email protected]
Economic (Population Development), Email:
[email protected]
Correspondence Author: Nanzia Florent - Email:
Second Author: Natalia Kalimangasi - Master of Business
[email protected];, +255 717 445 642
Administration (Finance), Bachelor of Science in Agricultural
Economics and Agribusiness, Email: [email protected]