How African Households Shop: Evidence from Dairy Chains in Ethiopia

Alemayehu Dekeba Bekele, Joost Beuving, Ruerd Ruben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Modern food retail outlets have expanded rapidly in Africa, yet their diffusion into the semi-processed and perishable sector is not well understood. Consumption is helpful in understanding the reasons for this: applying a novel demand-side perspective to the dairy sector in Ethiopia, we show how increased economic ability, the presence of educated adult women and retail outlet attributes are key factors shaping household purchasing behaviour. Nevertheless, contrary to previous studies, we found a varied effect of these factors across dairy products. It suggests that modern retail diffusion into dairy supply chains is limited by lower prices, the perceived quality of dairy products and the reputation of traditional retail channels. Thus, we add to discussions of how African households shop an analysis of non-price factors in the development of retail channels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)806-826
JournalEuropean Journal of Development Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • dairy retail outlet choice
  • Ethiopia
  • household consumption behaviour
  • modernization
  • traditional retail outlets

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