1. Luis Guerrero, Maria Dolors Guardia, Joan Xicola, Wim Verbeke, Filiep Vanhonacker,
Sylwia Zakowska-Biemans, Marta Sajdakowska, Claire Sulmont-Rosse´, Sylvie Issanchou,
Michele Contel, M. Luisa Scalvedi, Britt Signe Granli, Margrethe Hersleth. “Consumer-driven definition of traditional food products and innovation in traditional foods. A qualitative cross-cultural study” Appetite Journal 52 (2009): 345-354. Science Direct. Web. 15 Apr. 2010.
The aim of this study was to obtain a consumer-driven definition for the concept of traditional food products and innovation and to compare these across six European countries (Belgium, France, Italy, Norway, Poland and Spain) by means of semantic and textual statistical analyses. One of the most important take away from reading this article is how research was performed. The results were obtained through focus groups and individual discussions. I leveraged this idea for my research and decided to do independent surveys of individuals who choose to eat from the halal vendors.
2. Saki Knafo. “Decline of the Dog” The New York Times (June 29, 2007): Acedemic Search Complete. Web. 15 Apr. 2010.
This artcile has great content on the history of street vendors in NYC. Knafo goes on to interview various halal vendors and he learned that people are looking for a meal, a hot dog is not a meal. For $5 customers can grab a tray of aromatic rice topped with perfectly seasoned chicken or lamb. Knafo stated “Although the city doesn’t collect statistics that distinguish between different types of street food, halal vendors generally agree that their ranks have swelled in the last five to eight years” The most obvious reason for the populatiry in halal food is due to the large increase in the Muslim population. Arthur Schwartz, a New York food historian who runs the Web site foodmaven.com, also suggests that a particular kind of customer has been instrumental to the success of halal carts. ”You can always tell who the new immigrant group is by the cabdrivers,” Mr. Schwartz said. ”Most of the cabdrivers are now Bangladeshi, and the car service drivers are Egyptian. And they are good customers for the carts.”
3. Walter Nicholas. “Roll Over, Hot Dogs; Friends Jump Into an Expanding Street-Cart Scene With Shawarmas and a
Dream” The Washington Post (August 29, 2007): Acedemic Search Complete. Web. 15 Apr. 2010.
Walter Nicholas explains how a vendor cart is far less expensive to operate than a bricks-and-mortar business, and it can be lucrative. But the opportunity has to be there to capitalize, in the article Nicholas shows that in some markets the Middle Eastern food is a bit more difficult for people to be comfortable with compared to a hot dog.
For my research and decided to do independent surveys of individuals who choose to eat from the halal vendors and perform interviews of the actual vendors. I wanted to understand the consumers choice for choosing this less than common food. I also wanted to understand what social and economic factors that influenced the substantial increase in halal vendor. I handed out questionnaires to people on line and people that pull up on the street ordering from their cars or work vans. I was able to distribute and collect over 20 responses in less than 15 minutes since there were so many customer. I interviewed the two vendors on Kissena Boulevard on opposite ends of Queens College.
The Survey has been posted in my last post. I decided to do a simple survey since customers are in a rush and hungry. Most of the people were very cooperative.
I took photos of the customers to understand if there was some visual clue to why certain customers prefer halal food over others, these photos backed up my survey and helped me understand the customer. I also took photos of the actual vendor carts and cart owners.
I gained consent from the questionnaire takers. I included a disclosure at the bottom of the questionnaire. Please refer to the survey post for the details of the disclosure. I gained verbal consent for the the vendor and explained the reason for research.