In the News

Development Economics - Vending Machines and Retailing in Kenya

Graham Watson

14th December 2021

CK Prahalad wrote about "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid" and this is a lovely example of where it exists.

Some Kenyan shopkeepers have started using vending machines to sell milk; it has allowed them to sell in smaller quantities and tap a market that hasn't always been accessible.

Vending machines have been popping up across Nairobi's numerous informal settlements - selling milk, cooking oil, clean renewable cooking fuel and sanitary pads.

Of course, there are difficulties, not least in guaranteeing tamper-proof distribution and a constant and affordable supply of electricity but is technology allowing small shopkeepers to finally access this elusive market.

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to tutor2u, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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