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Origin and dairy consumption in West Africa: A cross-cultural analysis of consumer behaviour

The growing exports of European dairy products to West Africa is globally raising concerns with regard to its role in the retarded growth of the local milk sector in recipient nations. The impact of such imports on the local milk value chain and the competitiveness of local products have been extensively researched. However, the demand side, specifically consumer perceptions and preferences has been largely neglected. This study therefore focuses on identifying consumer perceptions, preferences, and attitudes in this context. Specifically, the study identifies factors influencing the choice of dairy products from local, domestic, and imported origins with data gathered from 312 and 532 households in Ghana and Senegal respectively. Focusing on yoghurt as the sole product coming from these three origins, we find a differing influence of consumer attitudes and perceptions on consumption frequencies. Although ethnocentric attitudes were exhibited, it did not limit purchases to local yoghurts, contrasting existing literature. Purchase decision as we find is largely influenced by product availability encouraging the consumption of domestic and imported products. Considering the crucial role of imported dairy products in ensuring a reliable access to affordable dairy products in developing countries, their imports are important.



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