Tag Archives: Markets

Marketing Strategies For Micro and Small Enterprises – Free Online Manual Series

Here is another document from the Ethiopian Business Development Network – the manual on Marketing Strategies For Micro and Small Enterprises in Ethiopia was published in Addis Ababa in February 2004.


from: EBDSN
(click image for full story online)

The 65 page manual starts with a review of the problems faced by the sector, which refreshingly emphasis business shortcomings rather than jumping to finances as is often the case in communities of uncommitted “entrepreneurs” in Africa.

Next it formulates a 5Ps of marketing consisting of Product, Price, Place, Promotion and the entrepreneur (Person) and then discusses approaches to a range of issues such as quality, location, pricing, distribution, finance and competition.

There are extensive sections on bidding for tenders and managing costs and pricing as well as sections on product development and market research.

Frozen Food Overview – Free Online Information

This 28 page document is the Food Vision of the British Frozen Food Industry.


from: British Frozen Food Industry
(click image for full story online)

Although the document considers the British industry it is packed with information that would be of value to anyone, anywhere considering entering the frozen food market.

There are detailed sections on market, technology & quality, sustainability & social and nutrition. The report has large lists of references.

Possibly as would be expected from a Frozen Food Association they are very positive about the future of the industry.

Summary of Leatherhead’s “The Global Market for Food Colours” Report

This is a short, 2 page summary of a report by Leatherhead on the world food colourant market.

FoodBev.com | Food colouring – a global overview.jpg

from: FoodBev
(click image for full story online)

As well as information on the market and market trends the summary lists, with brief explanations, the four largest suppliers and the food groups where colourants are used. Amongst the interesting information in the summary is:

global market for food colours expected to reach US$1.6bn by the middle of the next decade – up 10% compared with present levels

demand for natural colours has increased by almost 35% in value terms since 2005

natural varieties’ share of the global food colours market increased from about 31% in 2005 to 36.2% in 2009

challenges exist to the use of natural colours, and not least is their stability

One would have to approach Leatherhead for more detailed information.

Designer Ethiopian Coffee

Ethiopia has recently settled a trademark dispute with Starbucks, which gives Ethiopia the right to trademarks for certain coffee variaties.

Ethiopia adds luxury coffee to brand identity | Annansi Chronicles.jpg

from: Anansi
(click image for full story online)


Following this Ethiopia has commissioned Brandhouse to assist in branding and promoting Ethiopian coffee, while maintaining its links with Starbucks.

The objective is clearly to grow sales and income – possibly a more realistic approach than the baobab story outlined in the post of a few days ago.

The Biofuels Situation

Just a short comment, when the biofuels debate reaches the front page of Time magazine, it is surely significant.

TIME Magazine Cover_ The Clean Energy Myth - Apr. 7, 2008 - Energy - Oil - Global Warming.jpg

from: Time

(click image for full story online)

Although the contradictors are already at work, I feel we should all acknowledge that very massive and rapid change is happening that could have extremely serious consequences. If we do this it should be obvious that we should be striving for full and balanced understanding, rather than just promoting our particular perceptions and interests.

Remember that behind all this sits a very distorted system of politics/governance that drives subsidies and ridiculous practices such as “splash & dash” – if that doesn’t drive particular interests?

Demands for crackdown on biofuels scam | Environment | The Guardian.jpg

from: The Guardian

(click image for full story online)

Believe it or not 10% of the imports of biodiesel to Europe from USA are funded by a scheme where biodiesel exported to the US and blended with a “dash” of petrol attracts almost a dollar a gallon subsidy which makes the scheme profitable.

See an article from The Independent of almost a year ago and a blog of a day or two agofor some confirmation.

PS The Guardian story has internal links that give some simple information and great images on Biofuels.

Purchasing patterns on unpredictable incomes

Some of the uniqueness of supplying consumers at the Bottom of the Pyramid is illustrated by this view of what drives product purchase by the very poor from the Perspective 2.0 Blog.

When income is irregular and unpredictable, both in amount and frequency, such as it is for the majority at the bottom of the pyramid, buying behavior is not quite the same as for mainstream consumers. At least four patterns emerge based on a combination of need and money available.

Paid for in advance – Usually a service which can be used or consumed over time can be purchased in advance when funds are available and then made to last as long as possible. The best known example of course is prepaid airtime.

Bought in bulk – Usually food staples or something you cannot live without would be purchased in this manner, either when there is a sudden influx of cash or a payment at the end of manual labour or if managing on a fixed amount each month such as remittances from abroad. This ensures that there is something to eat even if money runs out before the next payment might be due. If its a sudden influx of cash for someone not on a pension or remittance then these are the funds that often go towards a consumer durable purchase or big ticket item of some kind.

Sachets or single portions – A form of on demand purchase. Interestingly, I came across this working paper by Anand Kumar Jaiswal at IIM, saying that sales results in rural India seemed to imply that only shampoos and razor blades were more successful in sachet form, whereas things like milkpowder, jam etc sold more in the larger size. The author cautions against assuming all sachets will sell. I believe it could be based on the usage pattern of the product in question or its nature – what if you packaged a perishable item in single servings that didn’t need refrigeration until opened?

On demand or daily purchase – mostly perishables like bread, eggs, fresh vegetables purchased for the day’s needs. Partly cultural but also influenced by availability of cash in hand. Cigarettes sold loose or two slices of bread and an egg are some examples we’ve seen. Indian vegetable vendors are also willing to sell you a small portion of a larger vegetable either by weight or by price. You can buy 50p worth of cabbage for a single meal. Minimizes wastage whether you’re cooking for one or have no fridge. This is also the most common pattern if you earn small amounts daily, like the vegetable vendor, shelling out what you have for what you need and then if there’s some change, debating what do with it.

I feel there might be three issues counterbalancing each other in this namely cash in the pocket, the potential of future income and the perceived risk of a purchase. What products work, surely depends on the balance of the three factors above and is not a universal either across countries or consumer groups in a country.

The sachet or single portion sale definitely works for food, I have seen bulk broken pasta in plastic bags in Senegal.

What about

lower specification products– addressing the same consumer need? In South Africa the bottlers of coke launched a diluted cordial in a small well decorated plastic sachet and seem to have established at least some market as the product has been available for many years.

sharing of bulk packs – in South Africa’s townships it is well known for neighbours to by large packs together and share directly without splitting and repacking. A product and package design could bedeveloped to make this process easier/ more efficient.

Trends in Processed Foods – In Africa?

I regularly get access to articles like the one illustrated below which give a view of what the trends in foods for the “Western Market”

Food Science Central - Ten trends to watch in packaged goods in 2008.jpg


This is always interesting but not really of direct applicability to any but a small part of the African market. I find this list interesting in that it hardly covers an issue that links to actually liking and enjoying the food but rather links to health and fitness issues.

To the entrepreneur it maybe gives an idea of what may happen in the future and at least keeps him thinking and in touch with what’s possible. It doesn’t really help in exporting as practically no cutting edge secondary products are exported from Africa.

What would be interesting is what are the food product needs and trends of the African consumer. I am not sure that this is available and would really ask that anyone who has such an article discuss it in the comments

If this article is of interest but you would prefer to get it via email than having to download it email me by clicking hereand I will send it to you by return email.

One of the items on the above top 10 is Out of Africa which is described as

Out of Africa

In a world that is getting smaller by the minute, the continent of Africa remains a mystery for most. That could be changing. We are just beginning to see an influx of African ingredients like shea butter and baobab oil into new non-food items like skin creams and cosmetics. For foods, hot peppers like African birds eye chili – also known as Peri-Peri – are beginning to appear in new sauces and condiments. And flavours from North Africa like couscous, for instance, are also gaining ground.

Besides the fact that I thought couscous was a cereal food and not a flavour, I am very interested in this. I have pushed attempts at commercialising indigenous foods for some time with little success. But maybe the time is now coming – there are after all more curry take aways in England than Fish & Chip shops! and its not just a mirror of immigration.

Africa’s Indigenous Fruit

A report, by the National Research Council of America, the third in a series by the council called ‘Lost Crops of Africa’, appears to promote the domestication of the indigenous fruits of Africa as a solution to nutritional, environmental and economic needs!

Lost African fruits would benefit from technology, says report.jpg


I wonder how real this is? Many areas of Africa have abundant fruit, indigenous and other. But this only during the harvest, when in fact excesses develop because the production exceeds consumption. Fruit is of course much more perishable and more difficult to stabilise and store than cereals and tubers. This means that the household use of fruit is somewhat limited and that the industrial processing for conservation tends to be expensive.

To me this indicates that the opportunity is rather in the economic sector where products from Africa can address Western food and medicinal trends such as super fruits, natural products, herbal extracts etc

An example is the Marula tree, which has become the base of one massive (Amarula Cream) and one significant (marula oil in cosmetics) new industry in addition to the traditional industry (Marula Beer) but still hasn’t required domestication of the marula – possibly because there are sufficient wild trees or that there is an attemt to keep cash flowing to harvesters.

What do you think? The blog allows you to respond easily so please make your input.

Karoo Lamb

This morning on AgriTV, Dr Kirsten from the University of Pretoria spoke about there investigation into the potential of using the Geographic Indication (GI) approach to adding additional value to mutton products from the Karoo.


Unfortunately, Dr Krsten’s part of the information is in Afrikaans, but is mainly a general discussion of the potential of GI, which can certify that foods have certain qualities or enjoy certain reputations, due to their geographical origin. He also identified the need for work to establish whether the Karoo Lamb is really a distinct product.

The second half of the article is in English and outlines the techniques used by Christine Leighton of ARC to prove that Karoo Lamb does in fact have a unique taste. This is hypothesised to be a result of the Karoo bush the sheep graze. In fact attempts to find differences between different breeds of sheep and between sheep from different areas outside the Karoo.

I was wandering what the opportunities there are within Africa? Is anyone active with surveying the opportunities?

Africans Abroad – A Potential Market

An obvious market for foods processed in Africa, is the large number of Africans living overseas, who yearn for their traditional foods. While there are a number of speciality shops and food is carried by travelers it seems that this market has not been well addressed.

A recent article from Bangladesh illustrates the potential.

_The Daily Star_ Internet Edition.jpg

The article in the Daily Star starts:

Bangladeshis abroad try to satisfy their craving for a taste of their homeland by stocking up on pickles, spices and snacks imported from Bangladesh.

While traditional exports such as rice and potato flakes remain the country’s largest food exports, drinks and snacks now exceed fresh vegetables as foreign currency earners, according to figures from the Bangladesh Agro-Processors Association.

“A large number of expatriate Bangladeshis want to have the taste of deshi food. And the demand for food items such as chanachur, puffed rice, aromatic rice, mustard oil, fried pulses and pickles are on the rise,” said Khurshid Ahmad Farhad, manager (export) of Square Consumer Products.