Who eats wild meat? Profiling consumers in ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam.
Overexploitation for consumption of meat from wild animals in urban centres currently threatens numerous species across the globe. Indiscriminate offtake to satisfy demand for wild meat affects a range of wildlife of conservation concern in Vietnam. It is essential to understand the consumption of wild meat in Vietnam in order to ensure it is not detrimental to wild species. We apply the principles of target audience segmentation to a sample of 384 respondents who had consumed wild meat in the previous year in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. We carried out a cluster analysis to divide wild meat consumers into subgroups considering demographic, behavioural and psychographic variables. We found three consumer groups: Classic Consumers (older, less educated), Up-and-coming Professionals (younger, wealthier, more educated) and Students. Compared to Students, Classic Consumers and Up-and-coming Professionals were significantly more likely to have paid for their meal at wild meat restaurants and to have ordered a combination of wild meat and other types of food rather than other types of food only. Classic Consumers match previous characterisations of wild meat consumers, but the other two groups should also be considered in demand reduction campaigns. As Students appear to have limited influence on restaurant/food choices in certain social contexts and less propensity to eat wild meat, Up-and-coming Professionals may be an important target group. A wide variety of species are consumed in wild meat restaurants. Some, such as pangolins, are of conservation concern and were consumed by 5% of our respondents. This is potentially an unsustainable level of consumption. Our study showcases an audience segmentation approach to understanding wildlife consumers and provides insights for behavioural interventions and further research to curtail demand for wild meat in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam where it is of conservation concern.