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Why products Made in Cameroon are missing from store shelves

This is a fairly well-known fact in Cameroon, business products, especially SMEs, are not always present in local markets all over the national territory. Several reasons may explain this situation: not only financial but also logistical problems, challenges and strategic choices of the companies ... In fact, a company can focus its core market at the expense of the rest of the markets in the Country.

Just as the company can make a clear choice to enter only part of the opportunity in the market to sell its products, which also influences its production capacity and distribution, it can also maximize these revenues, according to observers . And thereby not focusing on the most promising markets. If selling products at Kye-Ossi brings a company more attractive margins than sales in Douala for example, then the firm will  sell at Kye-Ossi first and then in Douala, as a second option if the stock is enough.

Martial Bella, Managing Director of GIC-Bellomar, an SME that produces soaps, detergents, bleach, and shower gel, does not market his brand "Samurai" in Douala and Yaoundé, because of his company's low production capacity and finances.

The harsh laws of expensive supply chains, financial constraints, or sometimes a company’s strategic choices, mean that not all “Made in Cameroon” products make it to all nationwide store shelves. On the contrary, many manufacturers limit their sales to the key  hotspots of Douala and Yaounde so as to limit financial expenses.

It's the same situation for Jean Aimé Wokhui, promoter of Biocharis Ltd., which manufactures cocoa honey caramels. He is forced to limit his distribution network to 40% in the economic capital.

Other reasons cited by marketers to justify the absence of Made in Cameroon in some cities are among other strategic reasons, perhaps related to a source of supply of raw materials. But how to understand that companies that do not make any of these strategic choices, produce enough, but the product is still not reflected in the entire country.

Mbongue Francis says that the distribution has a cost, which is why some companies want their products everywhere, choose to subsidize it. "Every time a product passes through a km, its cost increases. And the more it moves away from its production site, the more the cost increases.
 
In short, corporate margins are more interesting when they sell their products close to their production sites. In addition, the cost of distribution is relatively low in Douala and Yaoundé, which has  a road infrastructure better than in other regions.

 

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