We eat, we drink and we buy


In 1990 Readers Digest commissioned a study on the economic and social life of seventeen countries across Europe - published in 1991 under the title Eurodata. The research was offered as a contribution of interest to marketers, government agencies, economic planners and academic researchers. Simultaneous to the European fieldwork, the Gallup Foundation (a trust founded in honour of Dr. George Gallup) sponsored a similar study in the United States. The questionnaire used in the US was virtually identical to that used in Europe - with just the removal of the questions relating to European Community membership - obviously irrelevant in the US. The work highlighted some interesting similarities and differences between the cultures and we believed that the incorporation of information about Japan would provide a unique picture of the three major economic competitors. Consequently the study was conducted in Japan expressly for the purpose of supplying the comparative data required for this paper using a selection of questions from the European/US questionnaire Although there is a time difference of about eighteen months between the European/US and Japanese fieldwork we believe the conclusions we draw are still valid - and certainly interesting. The Japanese economy did not suffer from the same recession that affected both Europe and the US in 1991 and, in consequence, we believe the economic and social attitudes would not have changed greatly in that time.

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