The Rapid Emergence of Branding in Food Retail in Asia: Insights from Bihar (India)
40 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2014
Date Written: January 9, 2011
Local brands are rapidly emerging in food retail in Asia. However, it is not well understood what impact they have in domestic food markets. In a detailed case study of makhana in Bihar, one of the poorest states in India, we see the fast emergence - a doubling over five years leading to a share of 50% in total trade - of more expensive packaged and branded products. Two types of brands can be distinguished. Low-price brands focus exclusively on attractive glossy packing with little consideration for quality. The high-price brands pay attention to quality beyond packing, invest in advertisements and promotion, explore options for value-addition, and employ specialized salesmen. We find that information provided by most of these brands is incomplete or misleading and that there are little direct benefits to the farmers from the emergence of either of these brands. However, farmers might benefit indirectly because of the expanding product demand.
Keywords: Makhana, Branding, Markets, Bihar, India
JEL Classification: Q10, Q11, Q12, Q13
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