Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Selling "long-life" milk in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Market Considerations

Selling "long-life" milk in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The country has a population approaching 55 million, over half of which is classified as rural.

As we know 55 million people live in the Congo. What is the actual market for "long-life" milk in Congo? Actually it must be highly lucrative otherwise Nestlé S.A. would not maintain an office there.

Market potential: How much "long-life" milk is imported to Congo at this time? How many units are bought and sold? Which companies dominate this market for powdered milk and alternative milk products? What is the size and scope of Congo as a "long-life" milk export market?

Demographics: Do Congolese use "long-life" milk in the same way as Canadians? For example, do they mix it with powdered milk, and with the assistance of milk nurses at maternity wards do they encourage nursing mothers to wither their own natural milk sources, namely their own breast milk by giving them samples for free and then encouraging them to malnourish their babies and mix it with unclean water supplies? Is the marketing of such "long-life" milk products ethical on global standards of corporate social responsibility? Are there unique positionings for "long-life" milk products in Congo?

Sociocultural: What disposable incomes are available for rural consumers of this product in Congo? Will prices exceed monthly incomes for profitable economies of scale sales? What higher income percentages of the population live in the rural environments of the Congo? What ratios of men to women exist in rural areas of the Congo? Who will be the primary purchaser of this product and who will be the primary consumer? Who earns the money in rural Congo and who decides where and when it will be spent? What age orientation do "long-life" milk products have in Congo? What level of disposable income is available in the Congo? For example is the product considered a breast milk substitute? Consider possible boycotts of company's other products.

Product market data: What pricing strategy would effect profits in Congo? Is this a viable product and is it being matched to a viable market?

Rawandan squatters and inter-border migrants in The Congo could effect local economy thus official statistics might provide inadequate assessment of actual Congolese purchasing power. For example earning a dollar a day to clear park lands and reserves would upset local pay scales and economic resources like eco-tourism. "Cattle were later introduced." "To protect the park, conservationists are now building a wall around a part of the UN World Heritage site to stop settlers from entering with their CATTLE..." This may flood the rural market with fresh milk and may affect viability estimates of complementary products such as "long-life milk."

Further evidence of cattle farming and interborder deforestation encroachment affecting unofficial fluctuation of local fresh milk resources are revealed at "Food Sector Transformation and Standards in Zambia: Smallholder Farmer Participation and Growth in the Dairy Sector" and "DR CONGO: A REGIONAL ANALYSIS - A Writenet Report by François Misser commissioned by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Emergency and Technical Support Service."

A few percentage points of market share perhaps determine a few percentage points of lost or gained revenue of complementary products. The Congolese environment and potential instability and small-scale dairy products are described in this video.

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