The Supply Chain for Asian Vegetable Retailers: A Case Study of Michigan

The demand for fresh vegetables including specialty vegetables such as Asian vegetables is increasing in the US. In addition to broad-line food retailers Asian grocery stores and restaurants cater to this demand. However, the supply chain for these Asian vegetable retailers has not yet been documented while supply chain research has focused on the broad-line vegetable retailers. This study traces the supply chain of the Asian vegetable retailers, both groceries and restaurants, based on a case study of Michigan. It also analyzes the potential to grow vegetables in Michigan that are common to the supply chain of Asian vegetable retailer's in Michigan and evaluates the potential of Michigan produced vegetables to access the supply chain. This study shows that the Asian grocery stores cater to a niche market that relies heavily on Asian customers. These Asian customers demand Asian specialty vegetables that are not common to broad-line grocery retailers and thus have a supply chain that is distinctive with ethnic ties. The variables such as ethnic presence, predominance of exotic Asian varieties and Asian customers, limited use of technology, fragmented businesses selling limited produce items and limited value addition make the supply chain distinctive. The study findings indicate that Michigan has potential to grow some general vegetables and limited Asian vegetables which gives Michigan producers a limited potential access to the supply chain of Asian vegetable retailers.

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Graduate Research Master's Degree Plan B Papers

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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