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The Growing Middle Class In Developing Countries And The Market For High-Value Food Products

Listed author(s):
  • Senauer, Benjamin
  • Goetz, Linde

The central hypothesis of this paper is that the largest global growth opportunity for high-value food products is the emerging middle class in many developing countries. Using data for Lima, Peru, 20 percent of households are classified as middle or upper class based on the prevalence of ownership of major durable goods, such as refrigerators and automobiles. Monthly expenditures by the middle class on more expensive foods, such as fresh fruit and red meat, and especially for high value-added products, such as food away from home, are substantially higher, markedly so in some cases. By extrapolating from these results for Lima, a minimum per capita gross national income (GNI) of $6,000 is required for an emerging middle class lifestyle. Based on World Bank data for GNI and income distribution, the size of the middle class is estimated for eleven low and middle income countries with large populations or high rates of economic growth. In China there are some 290 million people in the emerging middle class, in India 91 million and in Brazil 58 million, for example.

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Paper provided by University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center in its series Working Papers with number 14331.

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Date of creation: 2003
Handle: RePEc:ags:umrfwp:14331
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