The Rise of Kenyan Supermarkets and the Evolution of their Horticulture Product Procurement Systems

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Abstract

Supermarkets are rapidly penetrating urban food retail in Kenya and spreading well beyond their initially tiny market niche among the urban middle class into the food markets of lower-income groups. Having penetrated processed and staple food markets much earlier and faster than fresh foods, they have recently begun to make inroads into the fresh fruits and vegetables category. Supermarkets in Kenya already buy about half the volume of produce exported, and thus represent a significant new ‘dynamic market’ opportunity for farmers. The important changes in their procurement systems bring significant opportunities and challenges for small farmers, and have implications for agricultural diversification and rural development programmes and policies.

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