IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The supermarket revolution in developing countries: Policies for "competitiveness with inclusiveness"


  • Reardon, Thomas
  • Gulati, Ashok


"A “supermarket revolution” has been underway in developing countries since the early 1990s. Supermarkets (here referring to all modern retail, which includes chain stores of various formats such as supermarkets, hypermarkets, and convenience and neighborhood stores) have now gone well beyond the initial upper- and middle-class clientele in many countries to reach the mass market. Within the food system, the effects of this trend touch not only traditional retailers, but also the wholesale, processing, and farm sectors. The supermarket revolution is a “two-edged sword.” On the one hand, it can lower food prices for consumers and create opportunities for farmers and processors to gain access to quality-differentiated food markets and raise incomes. On the other hand, it can create challenges for small retailers, farmers, and processors who are not equipped to meet the new competition and requirements from supermarkets. Developing-country governments can put in place a number of policies to help both traditional retailers and small farmers pursue “competitiveness with inclusiveness” in the era of the supermarket revolution. Some countries are already taking such steps, and their experiences offer lessons for others." from Author's text

Suggested Citation

  • Reardon, Thomas & Gulati, Ashok, 2008. "The supermarket revolution in developing countries: Policies for "competitiveness with inclusiveness"," Policy briefs 2, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:polbrf:2

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Chamhuri, Norshamliza & Batt, Peter J., 2013. "Segmentation of Malaysian shoppers by store choice behaviour in their purchase of fresh meat and fresh produce," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 516-528.
    2. World Bank, 2011. "Trade Expansion through Market Connection : The Central Asian Markets of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 2333, November.
    3. Narayanan, Sudha, 2014. "Profits from participation in high value agriculture: Evidence of heterogeneous benefits in contract farming schemes in Southern India," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 142-157.
    4. Shuru Zhong & Mike Crang & Guojun Zeng, 2020. "Constructing freshness: the vitality of wet markets in urban China," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 37(1), pages 175-185, March.
    5. Glendenning, Claire J. & Babu, Suresh & Asenso-Okyere, Kwadwo, 2010. "Review of agricultural extension in India: Are farmers' information needs being met?," IFPRI discussion papers 1048, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Andersson, Camilla I.M. & Kiria, Christine G. & Qaim, Matin & Rao, Elizaphan J.O., 2013. "Following up on smallholder farmers and supermarkets," GlobalFood Discussion Papers 158142, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    7. Etornam Kosi Anku & Gerald Kojo Ahorbo, 2017. "Conflict between Supermarkets and Wet-Markets in Ghana: Early Warning Signals and Preventive Policy Recommendations," International Journal of Business and Social Research, MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, vol. 7(10), pages 1-17, October.
    8. Md. Jahangir Alam, 2018. "Transformation of Retailing in Bangladesh: A Holistic Approach," Journal of Asian Business Strategy, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 8(2), pages 38-51, December.
    9. Barry DESKER & Mely CABALLERO-ANTHONY & Paul TENG, 2013. "Thouhgt/Issues Paper on ASEAN Food Security: Towards a more Comprehensive Framework," Working Papers DP-2013-20, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    10. Schauder, Stephanie A., 2020. "The Effect of Sprawl Development on Grocery Store Location and Food Access," 2020 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, Kansas City, Missouri 304173, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Lixia Mei & Dan Shao, 2011. "Too Cheap Hurt Farmers, Too Expensive Hurt Customers: The Changing Impacts of Supermarkets on Chinese Agro-food Markets," Millennial Asia, , vol. 2(1), pages 43-64, January.
    12. Dominika Milczarek-Andrzejewska, 2012. "Siła przetargowa gospodarstw rolnych w łańcuchach żywnościowych," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 1-2, pages 135-153.
    13. Gorton, Matthew & Sauer, Johannes & Supatpongkul, Pajaree, 2011. "Wet Markets, Supermarkets and the "Big Middle" for Food Retailing in Developing Countries: Evidence from Thailand," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1624-1637, September.

    More about this item


    Supermarkets; Wholesalers; Modern retail; Small farmers; Traditional retail; Supply chains; Competitiveness; Inclusiveness;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fpr:polbrf:2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.