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Title: Processed food marketing in Ivory Coast, 1956-1990 : distribution techniques and foreign domination in a developing economy
Author: Bosteen, Lars Boe
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1993
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The thesis examines developments in the processed food trade through stores in Ivory Coast from 1956 to 1990. Quantitative and qualitative methods are applied to data drawn from a range of sources, notably government reports, company archives, fieldwork observation and store surveys. The performances of European operated stores are contrasted with those run by Lebanese and African traders by using an adapted interpretation of Hart's (1971) informal sector theory. The thesis examines the often negative views expressed on informal sector activities in the literature and points to previously ignored weaknesses of Western style distribution techniques. It is shown that foreign domination relates not so much to exploitation by Western countries as to the preponderance of Lebanese and foreign African traders. In addition the thesis examines the marketing strategies pursued by processed food importers and manufacturers: regional differences in distribution: the importance of price and brand to product success: and the effects of the media, western culture and economic conditions on consumption. These issues are related not only to the general framework but also to more specific theories and examined through case studies on stock cube and milk product distribution. The thesis concludes that virtually all traders influenced by Western techniques have failed because of inflexible operating methods, excessive overheads and miscalculations on store location and consumer outreach. The advantages to Lebanese and African traders of community networks and their knowledge of consumers have been greatly underestimated. Attempts by the state and private interests to stimulate processed food demand and increase Ivorian participation in distribution have largely foundered on a failure to acknowledge the contrasting fortunes of these two sectors. Finally, these conclusions are related to other sectors in the Ivorian economy and the issue of inappropriate technology in other developing economies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available