The “supermarket revolution” in the South

Reena Das Nair
DOI number

#Agriculture and food
#Trade and FDI
Additional info: Handbook on Urban Food Security in the Global South

This chapter evaluates the extent of 'supermarketisation' and internationalisation of supermarket chains and the implications on consumers, suppliers and the competitive landscape. While the degree of both supermarketisation and internationalisation has not been to the extent that was predicted in the early 2000s, there are nonetheless important implications of the conduct of large supermarket chains with market power and their positions as lead firms that shape supplier development in many value chains. Supermarket chains provide an important route to market for processed foods and household consumable products and can be a strong catalyst to stimulate food processing and light manufacturing industries in the region. However, the chapter highlights that the onerous requirements and the exertion of buyer power by supermarkets evidenced in the region limits this potential, especially for small and medium-size suppliers with limited capacity and no countervailing power.


Reena Das Nair

University of Johannesburg

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