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A fortune in cookies? : changing contexts of consumption and the emergence of the industrial palate in… MacLeod, Scott Alexander 1988

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A FORTUNE IN COOKIES? CHANGING CONTEXTS OF CONSUMPTION AND THE EMERGENCE OF THE INDUSTRIAL PALATE IN HONG KONG.  By Scott  A l e x a n d e r MacLeod  B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h  C o l u m b i a , 1984  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE  REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in  THE  FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department o f Geography)  We a c c e p t t h i s  T h e s i s as Conforming  to the Required Standard  THE  UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA M a r c h 1988 (§) S c o t t  Macleod  In  presenting  degree  this  at the  thesis  inj partial fulfilment  University of  freely available for reference copying  of  department publication  this or of  British  and study.  thesis for scholarly by  this  his  or  her  (9gCx_j T C ^ H y  DE-6(3/81)  Ha<T^?7  requirements that the  I further agree  purposes  may be It  thesis for financial gain shall not  The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date  the  I agree  representatives.  permission.  Department of  Columbia,  of  for  an  advanced  Library shall make it  that permission  for extensive  granted  head  is  by the  understood be  that  allowed without  of  my  copying  or  my written  ABSTRACT.  T h i s paper examines the process of converging industrializing  food h a b i t s i n Hong Kong.  and  I t does t h i s  by  examining changes i n the food system as a whole, p l a c i n g consumption p a t t e r n s i n the context of the l o c a l food system and  local social  formation.  In t u r n , l o c a l dynamics are  p l a c e d i n a g l o b a l c o n t e x t . I t i s w i t h i n the g l o b a l context t h a t the g e o g r a p h i c a l homogenization of a v a i l a b l e f o o d s t u f f s is occurring. processes  I t i s , however, i n l o c a l p l a c e where the  and trends are  manifested.  The paper begins w i t h a d i s c u s s i o n of the r e s e a r c h i s s u e s and q u e s t i o n s t h a t surround  the s t u d i e s of  consumption, food h a b i t s and Hong Kong.  There i s then a  s e c t i o n which d e a l s w i t h the nature of food as an commodity and the nature of the world i n d u s t r i a l The  industrial food system.  i o g i c behind the g e o g r a p h i c a l homogenization i s drawn out  of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n .  The paper then t u r n s to the g e o g r a p h i c a l  s e t t i n g of the Hong Kong case; f i r s t d e s c r i b i n g the nature of the l o c a l s o c i a l f o r m a t i o n then moving on to c o n s i d e r changes i n the l o c a l food system i n the post Second World War Changes i n the import/export  p r o f i l e , the l o c a l  p r o d u c t i o n economy and the l o c a l c i r c u l a t o r y outlined.  These areas e x h i b i t a tendency to  period.  food  sphere capital  are  iii.  )  i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n and i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n . F i n a l l y changes i n the a c t u a l consumption p a t t e r n s of the people of Hong Kong are addressed.  The c o n c l u s i o n of the a n a l y s i s i s t h a t the  Hong Kong s o c i a l formation  and the Hong Kong food system are  undergoing a r a d i c a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n : one where g l o b a l l y articulated capitalist shape the nature  *patterns of r e g u l a t i o n ' are coming t o  of agency i n regards  the l o c a l p l a c e t h a t i s Hong Kong.  t o food consumption i n  iv.  TABLE OF CONTENTS  CHAPTER I .  INTRODUCTION  1  A.  Research Agenda  1  B.  Research Approach  3  C.  Research F o c i  7  Consumption  7  1.  2.  a.  Why  b.  The M o d e r n i z a t i o n of Consumption P a t t e r n s  8  c.  The Convergence of Consumption P a t t e r n s  9  d.  Two Routes t o Changes i n Consumption Patterns.10  e.  In Summation  Food as Research Focus  13 13  Why  b.  The S t r u c t u r a l Contexts of Food H a b i t s  15  i)  D e f i n i n g the Nature of S t r u c t u r e  15  D e f i n i n g the S c a l e of S t r u c t u r e  19  c.  Food?  7  a.  ii),  3.  Consumption?  In Summation  Hong Kong a.  Why  Hong Kong?  b.  In Summation  13  20 21 21 24  V.  CHAPTER I I .  THE INDUSTRIAL PALATE  26  A.  The Foundations of the I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n o f Food ...26  B.  The I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and I n t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of the Food Sector 1.  28  Food as I n d u s t r i a l Commodity a.  Food P r o c e s s i n g  31  b.  Food Marketing  33  c.  In Summation  33  2.  The World Food I n d u s t r y  3.  The World I n d u s t r i a l Food System  4.  29  34  and Homogenization  36  In Summation  41  CHAPTER I I I .  THE HONG KONG MILIEU  A.  Hong Kong, The S e t t i n g  B.  S o c i e t a l Changes Supporting  43  43  Changing  Consumption P a t t e r n s 1.  50  The B a s i c Parameters of the Mass Market i n Hong Kong  50  vi.  2.  L i f e C y c l e and Family Dynamics  52  3.  Income L e v e l s  54  a.  F a c t o r s A d j u s t i n g the Income P i c t u r e i) ii)  iii) b. 4.  The Myth of L a i s s e z - F a i r e Hong Kong  55 55  The Impact of Chinese Food Imports on Income L e v e l s  56  In Sum  57  The Importance of Income L e v e l s  A d v e r t i s i n g , Marketing and C l a s s Dynamics a.  Advertising  b.  P r o l e t a r i a n i z a t i o n and Consumption  c.  C l a s s , Status Emulation  d.  In Summation  57 60 60  and Consumption  63 64 65  C.  L i n k s t o the G l o b a l Community  66  D.  Consumption Trends i n Hong Kong i n General  68  E.  I n Summation  70  CHAPTER IV. CHANGES IN THE HONG KONG FOOD SYSTEM  A. The Hong Kong Import/Export P r o f i l e 1.  Imports  72  72 72  vii.  a.  General Trends i)  B.  Changes i n the Types of Foods Imported  74  b.  The ~Sourcing' of S u p p l i e r s  75  c.  V a r i a t i o n s i n Value  79  d.  Bases of Changing Imports  81  e.  In Summation  82  2.  Re-Exports  83  3.  Exports  85  4.  In Summation  86  The I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of a L o c a l Food P r o d u c t i o n Economy, The Hong Kong Case 1.  C.  72  In The F i e l d s  87 88  a.  General Trends  b.  Sources of Change  93  c.  In Summation  96  2.  The Hong Kong Food I n d u s t r y  3.  In Summation  ..89  97 101  Changes i n the Hong Kong Food D i s t r i b u t i o n System...102 1.  General Trends  103  2.  Comparing R e t a i l Types  105  3.  The Supermarket i n Hong Kong  108  a.  General Growth Trends  108  b.  A Case Study  109  viii.  4.  c.  Supermarkets  and M a r k e t C o n t r o l  d.  The S u p e r m a r k e t  In S i t u ,  i)  Outreach  Supermarket  I l l  Effects  and  115  The F F V , S e l e c t i v e A d o p t i o n and  the  C o m p e t i t i v e N i c h e s o f R e t a i l Types  5.  The F F V , The C o n v e n i e n c e S t o r e Penetration  6.  Needs...113  and  120  the  o f the World Food System  123  a.  The F F V S e c t o r  123  b.  The C o n v e n i e n c e S t o r e  124  I n Summation  127  CHAPTER V . CHANGING FOOD CONSUMPTION PATTERNS  A.  B.  129  M e a l s B o u g h t Away From Home i n the  130  1.  Trends  Restaurant Sector  2.  The C h i n e s e R e s t a u r a n t S e c t o r  135  3.  Comparing R e s t a u r a n t Types  137  4.  The Hong Kong F a s t  139  5.  I n Summation  Food S e c t o r  143  Changing Consumption P a t t e r n s i n the 1.  The Home S h o p p i n g B a s k e t a.  132  A n a l y s i s by E x p e n d i t u r e  Home  144 145  Cohorts  153  ix.  CHAPTER V I . IN CONCLUSION...  A.  157  T h i n k i n g About Convergence 1.  Convergence as D i s c o u r s e a.  Grammatical S t r u c t u r e s and Food Systems  b.  The Vocabulary  B.  C.  159  163  The S y n t a c t i c a l R e l a t i o n s h i p Between Grammar and Vocabulary  2.  158  of the Food  System as D i s c o u r s e c.  157  Discourse i n Place  P o l i c y Issues.....  164 166  170  1.  E f f e c t s on Poorer Consumers....  170  2.  Other P o l i c y Issues  174  The Hong Kong Case i n Summation  177  NOTES  183  REFERENCES  194  X.  List  of Tables.  No.  1.  Page  U.S. Per  2.  Irish  Potato U t i l i z a t i o n  C a p i t a Consumption,  1956  and - 1979  I n d i c a t o r s o f p o t e n t i a l Mass M a r k e t -- Hong Kong  3.  32  51  The  Impact  o f H i g h e r Food  C o s t s on  the  S i z e D i s t r i b u t i o n of Household  Income, 1981  59  4.  M e d i a D e n s i t y Hong Kong  63  5.  Hong Kong, I n t e r n a t i o n a l L i n k a g e s - - Communications  67  6.  Value of Trade  67  7.  P e r c e n t E x p e n d i t u r e on D u r a b l e Goods  70  8.  I m p o r t s , R e - e x p o r t s and R e t a i n e d Imports  9.  -- F o o d s t u f f s  Hong Kong F o o d s t u f f  74  Imports  Selected Foodstuffs 10.  I m p o r t s From C h i n a as a P e r c e n t a g e of  Total  11. S e l e c t e d 12.  Imports, S e l e c t e d F o o d s t u f f s  76  Imported  78  Foodstuffs  I m p o r t s L e v e l s , V e g e t a b l e s and Selected  13.  76  Fruits  Countries  I m p o r t s by End-use  80 by M a i n  Suppliers  81  xi.  14. Comparative  Share o f Hong Kong's  P r i n c i p a l Export Commodities i n Main Markets - Beverages i n China  86  15. Hong Kong, Per C a p i t a P r o d u c t i o n o f Selected Foodstuffs 16. Hong Kong, Food P r o c e s s i n g I n d u s t r y  92 99  17. C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f Food Manufacturing I n d u s t r y i n Hong Kong -- By S i z e of Gross Output  100  18. S c a l e o f O p e r a t i o n s , Number o f Employees, S e l e c t e d R e t a i l Types  106  19. S a l e s , Gross Margin and ValueA d d i t i o n , S e l e c t e d R e t a i l Types  107  20. Growth o f Wellcome Supermarkets  110  21. Comparative  S a l e s Per E s t a b l i s h m e n t  Restaurant S e c t o r , 1983 22. C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f Restaurant Types  135 138  23. F o o d s t u f f s I n c r e a s i n g Share o f Home Shopping  Basket  Expenditures  147  24. F o o d s t u f f s Decreasing Share o f Home Shopping  Basket Expenditures  148  25. 1963/64 D i f f e r e n t i a l Allotment o f Expenditures  144  xii.  L i s t of Graphs  1.  I n t e n s i t y of A d v e r t i s i n g E f f o r t i n LDCs Versus Developed C o u n t r i e s  2.  Percentage of T o t a l Expenditure  62 Spent  on S e l e c t e d C a t e g o r i e s  69  3.  Re-exports by End-Use Category  84  4.  U n i t Value Indexes of  Re-exports  By End-Use Category  84  4.  Changes i n A g r i c u l t u r a l Land Use 1954-1979  91  6.  Number of  Establishments  Food R e t a i l i n g 7.  105  Index of Value of  Sales  Food R e t a i l i n g 8.  108  Value of T o t a l R e c e i p t s by Restaurant  Type  133  L i s t of Maps.  1.  L o c a t i o n of Hong Kong  44  2.  Map of Hong Kong  45  xiii. Acknowledgments. The bulk of the work i n t h i s paper was c a r r y e d out under the terms of r e s e a r c h - a s s i s t a n c e s h i p . That work was under the d i r e c t i o n of Dr. T.G. McGee, and was p a r t of a l a r g e r SSHRC p r o j e c t on food consumption p a t t e r n s i n L a t i n America and A s i a ( j o i n t l y run by the I n s t i t u t e of A s i a n Research, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia and The Centre f o r Development S t u d i e s , M c G i l l University). I would l i k e t o thank Dr. McGee f o r h i s seemingly undying p a t i e n c e w i t h my t h e o r e t i c a l meanderings and the ongoing d e l a y s which seem t o be a p a r t of the Master's T h e s i s e x p e r i e n c e . H i s " d i r t y gumboot hermeneutics' was a much needed grounding f o r the a n a l y s i s a t hand and a l e s s o n i n what geography can and should be. As u s u a l , though I thank T e r r y f o r h i s a d v i c e , he should not be h e l d a c c o u n t a b l e f o r any e r r o r s i n my i n t e l l e c t u a l ways. The s t a f f and f a c u l t y of the geography department a l s o made t h i s e f f o r t p o s s i b l e through t h e i r enthusiasm f o r the d i s c i p l i n e and the c o n t i n u i n g debates which h e l p one t o r e f i n e one's p e r s p e c t i v e . In p a r t i c u l a r , the work of Rex Casinader i n the area of the i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of food p r o d u c t i o n was a prime f o r c e i n molding the way I have come t o view t h a t t o p i c . Thanks a l s o t o the s t a f f a t the i n s t i t u t e of A s i a Research (Sabrina Yan and K a t i e E l l i o t ) , and the numerous f r i e n d s who put up w i t h the t r a v a i l s of t h i s p r o c e s s . F i n a l l y , and most e s p e c i a l l y , a thank you t o my f a m i l y t h a t no mere words can express. Jan, Gord and Mary: I owe you b i g !  1  CHAPTER I .  INTRODUCTION.  A.  RESEARCH AGENDA.  The an  t h e s i s o f t h e f o l l o w i n g p a p e r i s t h a t , as Hong Kong i s  internationally  system world the  is  becoming  industrial  local  local  food  system.  system  shifts  i n the food  leading  to  those  These  changes  habits  of  the convergence o f an  industrialization  Through  the  in  to  turn sketch  context  The  of  by  and r e f l e c t  capitalist fundamental  Underlying  and  both the whereby  of r e g u l a t i o n  1  d e c i s i o n s of the myriad of a c t o r s  the o u t l i n e s of the l o c a l  food  system  are  patterns  i s a process  patterns  of the  traditional  population  norm.  food  'foodways'  food consumption  convergence trends  s t r u c t u r e the  in  s h a p e d by  local  of l o c a l  local  i n the l o g i c changes  less  effect  internationally oriented capitalist coming  the  more i n f l u e n c e d  evolving global and  area,  framed  i s becoming  e c o - c u l t u r a l c o n c e r n s and forces.  urban  increasingly  food  market  with  articulated  are who  -- a p r i m e  consumption.  focus  o f t h e p a p e r i s on two  first  c o n c e r n s changes  (i.e.  industrialization  inseparable trends.  i n t h e Hong Kong f o o d and  s y s t e m as  internationalization).  The  The  a whole second  2  i s the a c t of system are way,  the  consumption,  actually realized primary  p a t t e r n s , but the  where  concern  these can  industrialization  outlines  i n concrete is  with  o n l y be and  the  of  space.  changes  understood  the  Put  in  food  another  consumption  i n the context of  internationalization  of  the  food  system.  The  goal  of the f o l l o w i n g study i s to see i f Hong Kong i s  e x p e r i e n c i n g an i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n  and  i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of  i t s food system, from p r o d u c t i o n to consumption, and  i f so,  to  examine  trends  are  the  evolving  geographical  in  the  Hong  l i t e r a t u r e which Thus, most  reality  Kong  how  milieu.  specifically  of the  of  There  addresses  t h e o r e t i c a l and  They a r i s e not from  but from  itself.  geographical theory  is  situation clearly holistic  developments employed  more  as  perspective,  the  topic  existing at hand.  a priori theorization  Precedence i s g i v e n t o the a c t u a l of  a  the  processes  heuristic  intelligible,  explainable.  i s no  d i s c u r s i v e s e c t i o n s of the  paper are o r i g i n a l . the study  these  To  do  not  discussed,  and  d e v i c e to h e l p make the  necessarily  simpler,  nor  t h i s the paper adopts a r a t h e r  emphasizing  the  complexity  and  i n t e r a c t i v e nature of the process of s o c i a l change.  To achieve these m u l t i p l e o b j e c t i v e s the paper i s l a i d i n the f o l l o w i n g manner. general  research  The  approach,  first the  section  reasons  for  deals  with  adopting  out the the  3  specific  research  questions.  focus  and  some  pertinent  theoretical  The second s e c t i o n o f the paper examines the broad  g e n e r a l i z i n g f o r c e s i n the world  food system.  peculiarities  an  of  food  as  I t o u t l i n e s the  industrial  demonstrates how the ' l o g i c ' o f the world  food  product,  and  system seems t o  l e a d t o the c a p i t a l i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n and i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of food  production  and  homogenization of  eventually  product.  to  the  The f o u r t h s e c t i o n moves i n t o the  s p e c i f i c i t i e s of the Hong Kong case, l o o k i n g a t production  and  circulation  geographical  spheres.  changes i n the  The penultimate  d e a l s w i t h the r e p e r c u s s i o n s of the d e s c r i b e d changes of a c t u a l  consumption p a t t e r n s .  The  c o n c l u s i o n s of the study and suggests  B.  section i n terms  f i n a l s e c t i o n d e a l s the  policy issues.  RESEARCH APPROACH.  " S o c i a l Change I s n ' t What i t Used t o Be."  Whether one some other  calls  term, the  i t  contingency  in  'development' or  way s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s a r e coming t o view  s o c i a l change i s i t s e l f general there  'modernization',  changing.  In the  s o c i a l sciences i n  has been a move t o emphasize the v a r i a b i l i t y and the  way  general  trends  develop  i n concrete  space.  There i s ,  i n the  recent l i t e r a t u r e  a growing d i s c o n t e n t  4  w i t h the s t a r k imagery of the  1  dependistas'  and  more l a t t e r l y  of those (e.g. F r o b e l et a l . 1980)  who  a r t i c u l a t e the theory  of  the  of  Labour  In  New  International  c r i t i c i z i n g the Lipietz  (1986)  causality  Division  c o n v e n t i o n a l wisdom have  (i.e.,  focused  top  a need  interaction  and  on NIDL,  the  down) and  over-emphasis of labour there i s  on  (or  w r i t e r s such as  theory's  These  critics  t o emphasize  the importance and  intersection  of  global  or S c o t t and  a basic macro-level  context  determine  situation.  Thus, there  l i n k a g e between  a  ill-defined  global  Though  above  the  the  scope of  the  and  local  S t o r p e r , ed.  1986).  of NIDL  i s no  and  shape  simple  variable  of  provides  the r e s u l t i n g  d i r e c t u n i l i n e a r causal  within  an  milieu  and  a  authors  are  predominantly  changes i n the p r o d u c t i o n  (i.e.,  for local eventualities, i t clearly  nature  given  of  assert that  forces  Though the g l o b a l 'place-market' (Harvey 1985)  does not  conception  i t s uni-dimensionality  costs).  dynamics (see a l s o McGee 1986;  NIDL).  ubiquitous  but  tabula rasa l o c a l s e t t i n g . concerned w i t h  sphere the g i s t of the argument  holds  p a r t i c u l a r l y w e l l i n terms of the consumption sphere.  Linked view t h a t  t o the above changes i n  proposition i s  one  sphere of economic a c t i v i t y , such as  production,' do not d i r e c t l y determine the another sphere,  such as  t h a t of  these l i n k a g e s  s p e c i f i c contours of  reproduction  T h i s i s not to suggest t h a t there are rather that  the i n c r e a s i n g l y h e l d  or consumption.  no s p e c i f i a b l e l i n k a g e s ,  can not be g i v e n a p r i o r i and must  5  be analyzed  as  geographically,  variable relationships.  historically  and  sectorially  As t h i s paper w i l l go on to emphasize,  the tendency to the i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n  of  food  and  thence to  convergence f i n d s i t s r o o t s not s o l e l y i n p r o d u c t i o n l o g i c , i n the  interaction  of  production  economies  and  but  consumptive  needs through the medium of c i r c u l a t i o n .  Finally, such as  one  the food  dynamics  of  necessary  can  simply e x t r a c t an economic s e c t o r  s e c t o r and  social  to  not  formations  examine  the  of f o r c e s  broad understanding  of a  as the  as  a  l o g i c of  of the  Again  i t is  specificities  of an  and dynamics.  One  a generalized  can come to a and a b s t r a c t  food system, but t h i s a n a l y s i s must be s e t  i n the context of l o c a l contingency  where i n  dynamics are p l a y e d out i n c o n c r e t e  The  independently  whole.  geographical  unfolding t o t a l i t y  system such  analyze i t  f a c t the  broader  space.  key then, i s i n t e r a c t i o n .  In what f o l l o w s the emphasis i s on the importance of kinds of i n t e r a c t i o n .  The  geographical  awareness  explanation.  While t h i s  simple  definitive  geographical particular  goals of the paper are to come  rather  explanation,  This  of would  it a  to a  to p r e s e n t a t h e o r e t i c a l  approach abrogates  understanding place.  than  these  does  the i m p o s i t i o n of allow  particular seem  to  be  for a fuller trend  in  a  the mandate of  6 geography, t o see how theory p l a y  out i n  a r t i c u l a t i o n of  the  generalized a specific general  trends  place. and  and/or g e n e r a l i z i n g Thus, we focus on the  the  specific  as  they are  utility  or the  expressed i n the uniqueness of each p l a c e .  Such  an  approach  does  p o s s i b i l i t y o f uncovering the nature  of s o c i a l  not  any  situ  change.  research  to  the  generalizable conclusions  spatially variable  find  their  and r e q u i r e  usefulness  g e o g r a p h i c a l l y and h i s t o r i c a l l y s p e c i f i c i n s t a n c e . the r e s e a r c h of what I  in  each  In terms of  agenda of t h i s t h e s i s , the i n c r e a s i n g impingement  will  d i s t i n c t from footnote  as t o  Rather, i t emphasizes the f a c t  t h a t these g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s are in  deny  call  capitalist  patterns  of  the r e g u l a t i o n i s t s ' modes o f  1) a r e the  d r i v i n g forces A  r e g u l a t i o n (as  r e g u l a t i o n -- see  behind the  changes i n the  Hong Kong  food system.  c o r o l l a r y t o t h i s a s s e r t i o n i s the  suggestion  t h a t these l o c a l p a t t e r n s a r e i n c r e a s i n g l y coming t o  mimic the  broader p a t t e r n s  at a  world s c a l e .  The degree t o  which these p a t t e r n s of r e g u l a t i o n come t o r e f l e c t those of the world  food  process  system,  i s manifest.  precisely  how  this  is  the  degree  However, i t i s not trend  is  likely  m i l i e u x , or i n v a r i o u s sub-markets or in  the  complexity  t o which the convergence  and  i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n process  variance  occurs  that  to  possible to predict develop i n v a r i o u s  sectors. in  the  one f i n d s  'strength' and the most i n t e r e s t i n g r e s e a r c h  Indeed, i t i s way  the  food  i t s essential  issues.  7  C.  RESEARCH FOCI.  1.  Consumption.  a.  This  Why  paper  Consumption?  emphasizes  consumption  l i n e f o r a number of reasons. general  tends  production,  to  everybody  consumption i s (Sen  1981).  F i r s t , the a c t of consumption i n  more does  socio-spatially it.  diffuse  Secondly,  the  What  and where  a person  act  of  consumes r e f l e c t s l o c a l  Consumption p a t t e r n s are thus l i k e l y t o be  i l l u s t r a t i v e of the i n t e r a c t i o n of agency and  In t h i s  than  very much t i e d up i n the concept of e n t i t l e m e n t  s o c i a l structures. highly  be  s h i f t s as i t s bottom  t h e s i s the  aim i s  t o examine  i n t e r a c t i o n and t o t r y and d i s c e r n  structure.  m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of t h i s  any more d e e p l y seated,  less  o v e r t changes  i n the s t r u c t u r a l c o n t e x t s of i n d i v i d u a l c h o i c e .  Thirdly,  perhaps  and  c e n t r a l research express  the  generalizing concrete  importantly,  consumption  i s the  i s s u e because changes i n consumption p a t t e r n s  result  of  forces  and  action  consumption  most  by  the  interaction  intricacies  individual  instantiates  a r t i c u l a t i o n of s c a l e s ) .  the  of  various  global  of l o c a l contingency i n  agents.  (i.e.,  structural  the  result  act of  of the  8  • b.  More  The  'Modernization' of Consumption  specifically,  the concern here i s w i t h consumption  p a t t e r n s which a r e e x p e r i e n c i n g been  called  1985).  to  'modernization'  qualitative  e x p e n d i t u r e p r o f i l e of changes  change, p a r t i c u l a r l y  what has  the m o d e r n i z a t i o n o f consumption p a t t e r n s (McGee  The phrase  refers  Patterns.  and  a  consumption l e v e l s  (i.e.  consumption p a t t e r n s  quantitative  given  are c h a r a c t e r i z e d  of  populace.  by  an  towards  a  shifts  i n the  T y p i c a l l y , these  generalized increase i n  mass-consumption)  s h i f t towards i n c r e a s e d e x p e n d i t u r e s on  and  'non-essentials',  in a like  consumer d u r a b l e s .  The  modernization  r e f l e c t i o n and local  and  possible  mass-markets  recent  increases  c i r c u l a t i o n of goods, c a p i t a l process  consumption  i s shaped  by  a  (McGee  1984).  is a  i n the  structure  1985).  It  i s made  i n the speed and ease of the and i d e a s .  number  of  r e q u i s i t e s of t r a n s n a t i o n a l c a p i t a l , changes  practices  a source of the emergence (and a r t i c u l a t i o n ) of  global  by  of  and  The  nature of t h i s  f o r c e s ranging from the  t o government  needs  policy, to  of the f a m i l y  (Laurant  P a r a d o x i c a l l y , d e s p i t e the d i v e r s i t y of sources and the  variability  of  local  contingency,  the t r e n d t o modernizing  consumption p a t t e r n s seems t o be l e a d i n g the convergence of consumption p a t t e r n s .  t o common  r e s u l t s --  9 c.  The  The  concept  different broad  Convergence of Consumption of convergence  disciplines.  way  to  has  I t i s used  describe  the  this  process  the focus  occurs  consumption.  and  in  this  connotations i n  paper  in  a very  gradual u n i f i c a t i o n  an e v o l v i n g  manifest  of  g l o b a l standard.  of the present i n q u i r y i s on  is  Increasingly,  different  apparent  g l o b a l consumption norms towards More s p e c i f i c a l l y ,  Patterns  in  terms  of  how food  goods (be they movies, c l o t h i n g or  f o o d s t u f f s ) are coming to be as commonly found  (and  purchased)  the  increasing  i n Kinshasa as Rome.  The  convergence  f l u i d i t y and goods  and  process  is  linked  p e r v a s i v e n e s s of the g l o b a l capital.  The  decline  in  brought more and more of the world i n t o market p l a c e . much  The  attention  of labour'  the  world  Hopkins 1980)  ( F r o b e l e t a l . 1980)  also  comes  increases around  Yet,  to  the  and  impact  modes  marketplace increasingly  world, -  a  it global  subject  to  Those  of  consumption  as  m a r k e t a b i l i t y of  global  1974;  discussions  f a c e t s and  intensity  factors  circulation well.  various  It goods  the emergence of a g l o b a l  mass-market. a  received  international division  of v a r i o u s  facilitates  has  of a g l o b a l  (Wallerstein  literatures.  of  ideas,  friction  the ambit  'new  increased  the a v a i l a b i l i t y and  the  distance  systems  tend to focus on the d i s t r i b u t i o n of p r o d u c t i o n .  c i r c u l a t i o n of  impact of enhanced c i r c u l a t i o n has  in  W a l l e r s t e i n and  to  This market  marketplace i s rationality,  as  10  expressed  in  the growing predominance of i n d u s t r i a l foods.  t h i s mass market grows and comes t o g i r d  the globe,  As  the goods  w i t h i n i t become i n c r e a s i n g l y g e o g r a p h i c a l l y common. d.  Two Routes t o Changes i n Consumption Patterns.  Changes  in  consumption  r o u t e s , one i s c e n t e r e d i n other i s  located i n  term these  'direct'  practices  the  and ' i n d i r e c t ' The d i r e c t  system changes i s r e l a t i v e l y  structural their  foods. of  market  household the  and  (These groupings  in  It  have a h i g h  the dynamics  food). and  articulation  allows  It  world with  local  local  food  systems and  each other and the i n frozen  food  to  be  transported  system  and  thus  alter  great  I t also requires and  (often)  These changes reshape the v e r y  system  the  p a r t of the i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n  distribution  technologies.  of the  includes  food  g i v e s i t a longer s h e l f - l i f e .  the  One can  route t o consumption and food  (eg.  F r e e z i n g i s an important  main  s e c t o r , the  An example of t h i s k i n d of change i s found  foodstuffs.  changes  product  confined to  dynamics o f the l o c a l  d i s t a n c e s and  of  sector  interaction  consumer.  specific  v i a two  the s o c i a l formation as a whole.  degree o f i n t e r f a c e ) .  particular  occur  the  in  nature  context of  consumption.  Such changes  both e f f e c t  a r t i c u l a t i o n o f l o c a l and reshape the  nature of  and r e f l e c t the dynamics o f the  global  tendencies.  They  the l o c a l  food system  and thus  come t o effect  consumption p o s s i b i l i t i e s . f a c e t of  the impact  i s t o be found mass  techniques  goods,  and and  but no  less  critical  i n the d i r e c t route t o consumption change  i n the impact  produced  producers  A less overt  of c o m p e t i t i o n .  goods  Competition  produced by h i g h l y  'scientific'  distribution  from  specialized  and  marketing  t e c h n o l o g i e s ( a l l d i s c u s s e d below) have f o r c e d  l o c a l entrepreneurs  t o modify the way they address  the market.  In doing so t h i s c o m p e t i t i o n a l t e r s the l o c a l food system.  The d i r e c t  route t o  context and an outcome The d i r e c t  process  of changing  food consumption p a t t e r n s .  route t o changes i n the food system and consumption  i s the primary the  changes i n the food s e c t o r i s both a  focus of t h i s paper, i t r e f l e c t s and of  convergence  is  shapes how  o c c u r r i n g w i t h i n the broader  parameters of the s o c i a l f o r m a t i o n as a whole.  Food consumption  patterns  largely outside  the s p e c i f i c  might term  'indirect'  patterns.  the In  industrialization  this and  are  also  effected  market s e c t o r . route  grouping  to  These f o r c e s one  changes  general  urbanization  consumer  behaviour  emulation o r the commodification  i n consumption  one may i n c l u d e the impacts of (or  more  ' s o c i a l change') and other, perhaps l e s s obvious, effect  by f o r c e s  like  of s o c i a l  broadly  put,  f a c t o r s which  advertising, status relations.  12 The two  r o u t e s t o changing consumption  i n t e g r a t e d manner. seems  to  be  In u n i s o n the  leading  to  an  i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of food. the  success  of  the  p a t t e r n s a c t i n an  combination of  these trends  i n e l u c t a b l e tendency towards an  T h i s i s perhaps not too s u r p r i s i n g ,  industrial  palate  i s the r e s u l t of the  c o m p e t i t i v e edge of i n d u s t r i a l foods i n i n d u s t r i a l  settings.  In a schematic sense one can o u t l i n e the nature of the routes t o consumption  two  s h i f t s thus,  Sphere  Trait  * Production  Increasing Capital  Intensity  Circulation  Growth of the Mass Market  Consumption  I n c r e a s i n g Purchase of  Value-added  Indirect  Direct  Factors  Factors  *note: t h i c k n e s s of t r i a n g l e i n d i c a t e s p r o p o r t i o n a l of impact. Along these  l i n e s one  (with i t s i n c r e a s i n g  can e n v i s i o n the p r o d u c t i v e sphere  capital  intensity)  as  being  behind the emergence of i n d u s t r i a l food (and thus the  circulatory  emergence consumption  of  a  sphere mass  level  as market  being for  the  sphere as shaping the s p e c i f i c  convergence);  facilitator  industrial  the motor  of  the  foods; and the  foodstuffs  required  ( w i t h i n the c o n s t r a i n t s and p o s s i b i l i t i e s of the o v e r a l l market and l o c a l s o c i a l f o r m a t i o n ) .  13  e.  In Summation.  As i m p l i e d above, consumption per se can not be c o n s i d e r e d i n an  i s o l a t e d manner.  p a r t of a l a r g e r social  system.  kinds a t examine  'market system' They  various the  Consumption  and of  a specific,  grounded  r e f l e c t and e f f e c t dynamics of v a r i o u s  scales.  process  p a t t e r n s are an i n t e g r a l  of  It  i s , therefore,  converging  c o n t e x t , w i t h i n a given s e c t o r and  consumption p r a c t i c e s i n  in a  f o l l o w i n g a n a l y s i s looks a t changes i n i s s e t i n the context of r a p i d s o c i a l  necessary t o  s p e c i f i c place.  The  a l o c a l food system and change and  modernization  w i t h i n a s p e c i f i c urban m i l i e u -- Hong Kong.  2.  Food as Research Focus.  a.  Why  Food?  I t h i n k t h a t i t can be p l a u s i b l y argued t h a t changes i n d i e t are more important than changes of dynasty or even r e l i g i o n . (George O r w e l l , c i t e d i n B a r n e t t and M u l l e r 1979) The food s e c t o r seems a a n a l y s i s f o r a number  particularly  of reasons.  unit  of an  Perhaps the primary  reason  i s t h a t food consumption i s so u b i q u i t o u s . part  of  the  'everyday'  1973  or  Wallerstein  1984  useful  It i s  very much a  i n a t r u l y B r a u d e l i a n sense or  cf.  Giddens  1984).  (Braudel Food  14 consumption p a t t e r n s life.  a r e a fundamental p a r t of t h e r o u t i n e s of  Thus, changes i n e a t i n g  illuminate  other  more  habits  sublimated  might  social  be  expected t o  forces  o f 'longue  duree' such as s h i f t s i n l o c a l p a t t e r n s of r e g u l a t i o n .  Food consumption i s a t i n d i v i d u a l repast.  It  i n d i v i d u a l reproduction senses).  once  isa  social  c r i t i c a l variable  ( i n both  n e c e s s i t y --  practical  hunger.  are so common and so important d e a l o f i n f o r m a t i o n about a  and  a very  i n s o c i a l and  and s o c i o l o g i c a l  Because d i e t a r y p a t t e r n s  they can p r o v i d e one w i t h a good  place  and  a  people  Douglas 1972; Khare 1977; Lindenbaum 1 9 8 6 ) .  Margaret Mead one  very  I t i s surrounded by a h a l o of s o c i a l mores and d r i v e n  by the b a s i c  1975;  a  (1964) has  can 'read' a meal.  p o i n t , the crux of seen as a mode  gone so  but o n l y  i s more d i f f u s e .  of r e c o n s t i t u t i n g  2  f a r as t o suggest t h a t  This assertion i s v a l i d  the matter  (see A r n o t t  a social  to a  D i e t must be  context w i t h i n the  s e t t i n g o f t h a t context.  In t h i s view d i e t i s an i n t e g r a l p a r t  of the  (Smart 1985; T h r i f t  s o c i a l discourse  1983).  As Mary  Douglas w r i t e s , Each meal c a r r i e s something of the meaning o f other meals; each meal i s a s t r u c t u r e d s o c i a l event which structures others i n i t s own image. But the structuring is not simply repetition and reinforcement; f o l l o w i n g the l i n e s of c o n t e x t u a l a n a l y s i s , we must a l s o see the elements as r e a c t i n g to t h e d i f f e r e n t s i t u a t i o n s i n which they occur (1972:69).  15 Thus, food consumption p a t t e r n s must be within their without as t o  s t r u c t u r a l contexts;  the o t h e r .  one  s t r u c t u r e . (Giddens 1984,  S t r u c t u r a l Contexts  then  to  how  define.  does  dwell  define  those who in  the  rudimentary  this  a c t i o n s are n o t o r i o u s l y  view the  there  dominant nature  realm of the i d e a l and those  of who  So too w i t h food s t u d i e s .  manner the v a r i o u s approaches to food  h a b i t s and t h e i r s t r u c t u r a l contexts may 1)  one  In the s o c i a l s c i e n c e s i n g e n e r a l  adopt a more m a t e r i a l i s t i c approach. very  of Food H a b i t s .  s t r u c t u r e s of human  i s a continuum between structure  becomes  of  1983).  D e f i n i n g the Nature of S t r u c t u r e .  d i f f i c u l t to  a  Thrift  i)  The  indicative  see-saw balance  The  'structure'3?  In  the  b.  question  one  of t a s t e and need; c h o i c e and c o n s t r a i n t .  D i e t , i t seems, i n many ways epitomizes  The  can not examine the  E a t i n g p a t t e r n s are p a r t i c u l a r l y  the i n t e r p l a y  agency and  seen as o c c u r r i n g  'Food as Thought'.  be d e l i n e a t e d thus,  Levi-Straus asserted that  people  consumed s p e c i f i c food items not because they were good to eat but because they were 'good t o t h i n k ' (1963:89). consumption i n t h i s model was  the r e s u l t of  Food  the r e s u l t of  "fundamental themes i n the human psyche" ( H a r r i s 1987:59).  2)  'Food  as Meaning'.  Mary Douglas, i n p a r t i c u l a r  (1972,  1984) has emphasized the communicative meaning patterns,  suggesting  that  r e v e a l both i n d i v i d u a l  meals  are e x p r e s s i o n s .  expression  and  norms ( c f . Khare 1976;  S a h l i n s 1976).  3)  Determinants  'Psyco-biological  Patterns'.  This  psychological consumption.  view  factors  tries to  to  of meld  explain  the  dominant  Food  more i d e a l i s t  to  term  H a r r i s 1966) and the an  p h y s i o l o g i c a l and nature  of  food  i n reaction  approaches, has s t r i v e n t o show the  irrational  what the  i d e a l i s t s had  food consumption c h o i c e s , (see  H i s work emphasizes n u t r i t i o n a l requirements  systems of  avowedly  cultural  (Barthes 1979; Harper 1957; R o z i n 1982).  u n d e r l y i n g m a t e r i a l i s t sources of come  They  Consumption  4) ' C u l t u r a l - E c o l o g y of Food'. Marvin H a r r i s , t o the  of d i e t a r y  food d i s t r i b u t i o n .  materialistic  approach  T h i s s c h o o l takes to  food  habits  research.  ( H a r r i s 1987; Ross 1987,  1980)  5) 'Food  as E n t i t l e m e n t ' Armatyra Sen, has emphasized the  s o c i a l power r e l a t i o n s h i p s s u r r o u n d i n g the d i s t r i b u t i o n of food.  Though  his  work  is  famines, h i s focus on the power consumption  patterns  consumption i s both an of s o c i a l power. (Sen  primarily  with  r e l a t i o n s h i p s behind food  highlights a r t i f a c t of 1981)  concerned  the  fact  that  food  s u b s i s t e n c e needs and  6)  'Cuisine  and  increasing  Class'.  importance  p r o l e t a r i a n i z a t i o n to (1982).  He  of  Goody  emphasizes  the  industrialization  and  the shaping of consumption p a t t e r n s  focuses  r e l a t i o n s h i p s , mass  Jack  on  the  three  areas  of  class  markets and t e c h n o l o g i c a l advances i n  the p r o d u c t i o n , d i s t r i b u t i o n and home p r e p a r a t i o n of food.  7) Food I n d u s t r y A n a l y s i s . by American  This  s c h o l a r s , almost  body of  work, dominated  s o l e l y concerns  itself  with  the economic s t r u c t u r e of the food i n d u s t r y a t the expense of c o n s i d e r i n g 1979;  Connor and  Silverstien  Each They a l l , of  the  the broader  of  Ward  social setting.  1983;  Horst  1974;  these  Mueller  1983;  approaches  has s t r e n g t h s and weaknesses.  some more than o t h e r s , capture a p a r t of the structural  i n d i v i d u a l agency  forces If  one  which  are  accepts  and s t r u c t u r e  1984),  then  one  c e n t r a l focus of s t r u c t u r a l  must  Giddens*  suggestion that  are i n s e p a r a b l e  accept  forces.  historical-geographical  e n v e l o p i n g s t r u c t u r e w i l l a l s o vary. the s t r u c t u r a l  context of  r e q u i r i n g , i n the end,  p a r t s of the paradigm  --  the i n d i v i d u a l as the  As i n d i v i d u a l s  milieux  the  What f o r c e s  inquiry.  exist in  'mix'  of the  dominate i n  i n d i v i d u a l c h o i c e i s thus  site-specific  totality  d e f i n e d by, and d e f i n e  same whole, (the ' d u a l i t y ' of the s t r u c t u r e agency  differing  1981,  1984)  i n d i v i d u a l choice.  Giddens  (Connor  variable:  18  There i s a s u r p r i s i n g l a c k of work t h a t t r i e s t o i n t e g r a t e the above mentioned approaches and p l a c e them i n a contemporary context.  Thus, t h e r e i s r e a l l y no model approach t o  the a n a l y s i s  of the  q u e s t i o n at hand.  i n t h i s paper l i e s somewhere between and  Goody.  It  might  assist i n  The approach developed  the approaches  of H a r r i s  be termed the contemporary  industrial  ecology of food.  A c c e p t i n g t h a t the i n f o r m a t i v e content of food consumption patterns  may  be  important  conspicuous consumption  of  (especially fast  foods)  in  the realm of the  it  i s none-the-less  possible to  adopt a m a t e r i a l i s t approach which takes t h i s  account but  more f u l l y  p r o c e s s of  examines the  d i e t a r y change.  'nuts and  apparatuses  and d i s t r i b u t i o n of reflect shifts goes on  to  abstraction'  food  of  foods. only  the p r o d u c t i o n , p r o c e s s i n g  how  these  shaping the  system, and  the  merely t h a t i t i s  evident  role i n  T h i s paper does not of  is  regulation  Kong food  facet  it  changes  that is  e f f e c t and  As the t h e s i s the 'concrete  coming t o p l a y an  m a t e r i a l s t r u c t u r e of  thus, the nature of a v a i l a b l e  seek t o  structural  as the  for  capitalist  increasingly large the Hong  and  broadly defined  i n o v e r a l l consumption p a t t e r n s .  demonstrate,  b o l t s ' of the  The focus of t h i s paper i s on the  changing s t r u c t u r e of the food system, physical/material  into  suggest t h a t  t h i s i s the  context of i n d i v i d u a l c h o i c e ,  i n c r e a s i n g l y the  dominant f o r c e  the Hong Kong food system and thus l o c a l food h a b i t s .  i n shaping  19 Food systems like  Unilever  Together, i n  are composed  and  sub-subsistence  Armstrong 1986).  peasants  The  food system,  m u l t i p l e l e v e l s and kinds of  ii)  the  as a sum  question  local  local  food  food  Advances i n  extended the  are (see  c e n t r a l p a r t of the of,  and  context f o r  interaction.  to  a r i s e i s , t h e r e f o r e , what are  s p a t i a l c o n f i n e s of such a 'system'?  horizons.  hawkers.  D e f i n i n g the S c a l e of S t r u c t u r e .  second  that  or  o u t l i n e s of the food system as a whole  ' s t r u c t u r e ' of food c h o i c e s i s  is  corporations  i n t e r p l a y w i t h consumer c h o i c e they shape and  shaped by the broad  A  of 20 b i l l i o n US$  range of system,  s t r u c t u r e , making  systems  are  no  circulation  i t less  and  system and more and more a  longer  the answer  bound by  technologies  a c t o r s and expanding  Increasingly  the  local  have g r e a t l y  ' f o r c e s ' which impinge on a  the less  scale  of  the  enveloping  an independent l o c a l  constituent part  of l a r g e r ,  food  indeed  g l o b a l food system.  Local  food  consumption  patterns  r e c e n t l y , l a r g e l y c i r c u m s c r i b e d by the l o c a l few  the nature  until  --  local  Goody  food  systems  1982:187)  usually tightly organically  linked  These to  were  ever  systems each  quite  and dynamics of  s o c i a l formation and the l o c a l food system.  'traditional'  independent  were,  (though  completely  were i n t u r n  other  and  local  20  ecologies.  Local  idiosyncratic, of  local  isolated  based on an  place.  The  food systems were/are o f t e n v e r y  e c o - c u l t u r a l linkage primary  and power  structures.  the most d i s t i n g u i s h i n g f e a t u r e s e t h n i c groups. people, t h e i r  nature  r e g u l a t o r of c u i s i n e was  nature of the l o c a l ecology, fused through s o c i a l dynamics  to the  the  the  nature of l o c a l  Indeed d i e t  of t r a d i t i o n a l  i s one  societies  of and  I t i s an o v e r t m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the u n i t y of a l i n k s to each other and to a g i v e n p l a c e .  Changes brought about  by  land), i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n ,  urbanization  increased levels  (eg.  l e a v i n g the  of c i r c u l a t i o n  and  the m o n e t i z a t i o n of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s have changed the nature of numerous f a c e t s  of day  fundamental  shifts  consumption  patterns.  increasing horizons towards  global  are  life.  One  most  apparent  is  These  of  food  to day  the  shifts  local  consumption  i n c r e a s i n g importance and  are  food norms  relevance  of  area where these in  changing  r e f l e c t i v e of the  system.  The  i s indicative the  food  shift of the  c a p i t a l i s t world  food system.  c.  Diet  and  consumption. effect  changes  In Summation.  cuisine  are  highly  In t h e i r r e p e t i t i o n i n the  and  s t r u c t u r e d p a t t e r n i n g s of change they  reflect  p r i n c i p a l p a t t e r n s of r e g u l a t i o n .  consumption p a t t e r n s , t h e r e f o r e , p r o v i d e an important  focus  and Food and  21 a useful  frame t o r  examining the  process of s o c i a l change i n  situ.  3.  Hong Kong.  a. The of  Why Hong Kong?  s e l e c t i o n of Hong Kong as the case study has  sources.  culture.  First,  The meal i s the  food, the  integrated  environmental  l o c a l place.  l o c u s of  facet  much s o c i a l  requisites. linked to  Thus,  of Cantonese a c t i v i t y ; the  Anderson (1977c) has  Cantonese c u i s i n e  i s closely  He argues t h a t i t  example of the melding of s o c i a l p a t t e r n s I t r e p r e s e n t s food consumption  local eco-cultural  p a t t e r n s -- t o  s h i f t s away from t h i s d i e t a r y p a t t e r n may  i n d i c a t i v e of the i n t r o d u c t i o n  i n the  central  w i t h l o c a l e c o l o g i c a l parameters.  patterns c l o s e l y  local milieu.  As  these p a t t e r n s seem l e s s and  a  that t r a d i t i o n a l  p r e s e n t s an e x c e l l e n t  be  is  bearer of much s o c i a l meaning.  argued s t r o n g l y  and  food  a number  of new p a t t e r n s of  regulation  t h i s paper w i l l go on t o i l l u m i n a t e linked to  the nature  of l o c a l p l a c e  are more e x p l i c i t l y shaped by the dynamics o f a r a t h e r  more  industrial logic.  In t h i s regard dietary  consistency  Hong  Kong  is  and change.  a  The  j u s t i f i a b l y proud of t h e i r c u i s i n e . world i s i n d i c a t i v e of the f a c t t h a t  fascinating  amalgam of  people of Hong Kong are Its  success  around the  Cantonese c u i s i n e  i s not a  moribund, weak or i n f e r i o r d i e t a r y apparent  strength  of the  regime.  Hong  society of  Kong  provides  one  of the  people of Hong  w i t h an e x c e l l e n t case of a  ( l a r g e l y Cantonese) wedded t o i t s c u i s i n e  chauvinism,  Anderson  d e s p i t e the  l o c a l d i e t t h e r e are r a d i c a l changes  o c c u r r i n g i n the d a i l y d i e t a r y p a t t e r n s Kong.  Yet  1977a:13)  ( t o the p o i n t  yet increasingly  flirting  w i t h the norms of the g l o b a l i n d u s t r i a l p a l a t e .  A second reason why analysis term  lies  in  Hong Kong  u s e f u l u n i t of  i t s r a t h e r 'contained' nature.  ' c i t y - s t a t e ' i s something  p r e s e n t the  presents a  i n v e s t i g a t o r with  of a  Though the  misnomer, Hong  Kong does  a f a i r l y d i s c r e e t package.  r e s u l t of the i n t e r p l a y of micro and macro i s expressed meso-scale  of  the  Hong  Kong  primary u n i t of a n a l y s i s i s the whole, that  and  the  place  f r e e from  a larger  hinterland.  Kong  a whole. food  Thus our  system  as a  t h a t food consumption p a t t e r n s have i n  urban  politically  role i n  areas.  setting  which  dynamics p l a y l e s s  Hong Kong than they do elsewhere.^  As  urban, i t p r o v i d e s  the an  colony almost  i s relatively  (and s t a t i s t i c a l l y ) i n t e g r a t e d  Thus, r u r a l - u r b a n p o l i t i c s and  trends d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s paper urban  Hong  as  i n the  setting.  Hong Kong i s a l s o an  of a  milieu  The  tend  to  be  F u r t h e r , the  most  manifest i n  of Hong Kong i s predominantly unique  opportunity  ' n a t i o n a l ' data t h a t focuses on the urban s e t t i n g .  t o access  23  A t h i r d p o i n t i s t h a t Hong Kong depends on imports of  its  world  foodstuffs. food  unique, Hong  system.  but i t a l s o  Kong's  likely  i s deeply  Granted, makes Hong  relationship  with  a r t i c u l a t e d with  fourth  Kong an the  e x c e l l e n t bellwether.  g l o b a l food system seems  i n other d e v e l o p i n g c i t i e s  feature,  the  t h i s makes Hong Kong somewhat  t o be i n d i c a t i v e of f o r c e s and trends  but l e s s m a n i f e s t  A  Thus, i t  f o r 80%  related  to  Kong's i n t e r n a t i o n a l o r i e n t a t i o n .  which are present or n a t i o n s .  the above, concerns  Hong  The post-war d e c l i n e i n Hong  Kong's r o l e as e n t r e p o t f o r the China t r a d e and the huge i n f l u x of  refugees  from  engagement of  China  led  to  Hong  the post Bretton-Woods world economy.  i s perhaps the pioneer  and premier  example of  l a i s s e z - f a i r e i n t e r n a t i o n a l i s m of the Dragons". with a  Kong's  Their  internationalist  burgeoning  aggressive Hong Kong  the a g g r e s s i v e  A s i a n NIC's, or  policies,  "Little  which c o i n c i d e d  g l o b a l i z a t i o n of c a p i t a l and p r o d u c t i o n , are  c r e d i t e d w i t h t h e i r r a p i d growth r a t e s and c o i n c i d e n t l e v e l s of s o c i a l change. of  interest  These to  developments have a t t r a c t e d a good d e a l  their  production  sectors.  However,  the  i n t e r n a t i o n a l i s t ethos can have e q u a l l y important r a m i f i c a t i o n s for will  the consumption s e c t o r ( c f . F i l g u e r a 1981), as  this  thesis  demonstrate.  A number  of authors  have i d e n t i f i e d the p e r v a s i v e n e s s  the e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l s p i r i t and the r o l e of s m a l l  of  e n t e r p r i s e as  24 keys t o an understanding  of Hong Kong.  As C a s t e l l s w r i t e s :  T h i s p a t t e r n of development on the b a s i s of s m a l l b u s i n e s s c o n t i n u o u s l y adapting t o a changing world environment i s at the r o o t s of the h i s t o r i c a l process of the development of Hong Kong. ( C a s t e l l s 1986:113; see a l s o P e a t t i e 1985; Hopkins 1971:160; or L e t h b r i d g e and Hong 1984)  For p r e s e n t  purposes  s u b t l e changes i n the may  become  apparent) The  more  their  adaptability i s useful i n that  nature of  readily  as they are  success  this  supply and  visible  a c t e d upon  or f a i l u r e  sociological  acumen.^  vital  role  changing  with in  its  Thus,  entrepreneurs.  explicitly  local milieu  act  as  (and of i t s i n t e r p l a y  being agents  of change.  In  f r e e market, these entrepreneurs p l a y a  expressing  and  defining  the  parameters  the  profile  of  In Summation.  Hong  Kong  seems  to  s e n s i t i v e barometer which should and  nature  study f o r  i l l u s t r a t i n g the  prove h e l p f u l  nuts and b o l t s of how --  have  intensification,  of  i n gauging  I t w i l l a l s o prove  of consumption -- food systems capital  present  of v a r i o u s p r e s s u r e s e f f e c t i n g  p a t t e r n s i n NICs i n g e n e r a l .  towards  by i n d i v i d u a l  food consumption p a t t e r n s .  b.  impact  statistically  They  w i t h e x t e r n a l f o r c e s ) as w e l l as Kong,  least  of these entrepreneurs i s dependent on  i n t e r p r e t e r s of the changing  Hong  (at  demand parameters  a the  consumption  a u s e f u l case the c o n t e x t s  displayed  a  tendency  industrialization  and  internationalization. reflect  the  These  impingement  are of  the the  r e g u l a t i o n and which u n d e r l i e  the  practices.  moving  Yet  before  the processes  catalytic capitalist  convergence onto  patterns  of  of consumption more  i n Hong  specific  consideration  of  necessary t o  o u t l i n e the nature of the g l o b a l food system (the  g e n e r a l i z i n g macro f o r c e s ) .  of change  a  trends which  Kong i t i s  26  CHAPTER I I .  THE  A.  INDUSTRIAL PALATE.  THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE INDUSTRIALIZATION OF FOOD.  I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n ^ u n d e r l i e s the convergence permits and mass  market  r e q u i r e s the e x t e n s i o n and expansion i n foods.  More  i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n which  than  reshapes  t h a t o f a l o c a l product t o of food  process.  It  of the g l o b a l  anything  else  i t is  the nature of f o o d s t u f f s from  g l o b a l commodity.  The convergence  consumption p a t t e r n s i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by, and a r e s u l t  of the emergence of the ' i n d u s t r i a l p a l a t e ' .  The  phrase  'the i n d u s t r i a l  i n c r e a s i n g l y manufactured most of the world an  increasing  palate'  of  t o the  nature of the f o o d s t u f f s consumed i n  (particularly i n cities).  level  refers  At a g l o b a l s c a l e ,  c a p i t a l - i n t e n s i t y i n food systems i s  r a p i d l y t u r n i n g food i n t o an i n d u s t r i a l commodity.  H i s t o r i c a l l y , the process household,  of  food system  production  and  has been  consumption  dominated by the within  but w i t h i n c r e a s i n g u r b a n i z a t i o n and  c a p i t a l - i n t e n s i t y and transportation,  technology of  processing,  the  same  changes i n the  food p r o d u c t i o n , s t o r a g e ,  retailing,  and  preparation,  a  larger proportion The  of food  i s being consumed by non-producers.  g e o g r a p h i c a l s e p a r a t i o n of  of food, e s p e c i a l l y  the consumption  and p r o d u c t i o n  when s e t i n the context of an expanding and  deepening c a p i t a l i s t  marketplace,  is  leading to  a decline i n  the g e o g r a p h i c a l s p e c i f i c i t i e s of l o c a l food systems.  Though capitalist  the  trend  towards  competition,  changes l e s s the s o c i a l  intensification  i t is  d i r e c t l y linked i m p l i c a t i o n s of  also  fuelled  i s d r i v e n by and  shaped by  t o the food system, s p e c i f i c a l l y u r b a n i z a t i o n and i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n  w i t h i n the context o f i n c r e a s i n g g l o b a l c i r c u l a t i o n .  Urbanization provided  a setting  food p r o d u c t s .  As urban p o p u l a t i o n s  divorced  'the  from  land',  they  f o o d s t u f f s -- t h i s i s a primary foodstuffs.  need  by d e f i n i t i o n  t o buy most of  their  b a s i s of the commodification  of  decrease  there  need t o process  marketability.  The i n c r e a s e d demand f o r foods i n urban  areas  also increased  the range  provided  an  and  of supply  preservation.  imperative  processed f o o d s t u f f s .  perishability  was a  their  processing  their  vending,  and t o i n c r e a s e  for  to  are almost  Because foods needed t o be t r a n s p o r t e d t o the c i t y  and o f t e n s t o r e d b e f o r e them  and a need f o r i n d u s t r i a l  and  a  areas, enhancing the need In  market  this  way u r b a n i z a t i o n  f o r the emergence of  28 Another  f a c t o r which i n c r e a s e d  foods was i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n i t s e l f .  the demand  f o r processed  I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n increased  the demand f o r processed foods as people moved o f f the land and as household  time-economies  were  a l t e r e d and women j o i n e d the  work-force o u t s i d e  the household  labouring required  t h a t consumers purchase an i n c r e a s i n g  of  needs.  their  food  (Goody  The  1982).  growth  Industrial  of  share  capitalist  i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n l e d t o a g e n e r a l commodification of a l l goods i n c l u d i n g food  and, some  social relations. ramifications propensity  As  of  would argue,  the cash  industrial  t o purchase  the commodification of  nexus deepened and the s o c i a l  labouring  industrial  became  m a n i f e s t the  goods, i n c l u d i n g food was  a l s o enhanced.  I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n p r o v i d e d a major for  processed  foods  b u t i t has  s a t i s f y those s p e c i f i c needs. the  types  processed. suitability shelf-life, B.  of The  produced  manufacturing  f o r emergent  of  market  the demand  a l s o p r o v i d e d the means t o  Industrial and  of  development a f f e c t e d  the way  those foods were  foodstuffs niches  and  increased their extended  their  thus extending t h e i r market. THE INDUSTRIALIZATION AND INTERNATIONALIZATION OF THE FOOD SECTOR.  The b a s i c are  food  source  relatively  parameters  of  w e l l understood  most expected t r e n d s .  c a p i t a l i s t i n d u s t r i a l production and the food i n d u s t r y e x h i b i t s  In g e n e r a l , t h e r e has been a v e r y marked  increase i n  c a p i t a l i n p u t of a l l f a c e t s of food p r o d u c t i o n  and  downstream as w e l l ( t h i s a s s e r t i o n i s more c l e a r l y demonstrated i n the  Hong Kong  case s t u d i e s ) .  Whether one  t r e n d i s a r e s u l t of an i n - b u i l t d e c l i n i n g the c o m p e t i t i v e  holds t h a t  r a t e of  this  profit  d r i v e to i n c r e a s e d p r o d u c t i v i t y , the  or  increased  c a p i t a l i n p u t i n t o one's d a i l y bread seems i n d i s p u t a b l e . (Burns 1983;  Conner  1984;  Howe  1983;  level  of  Sorj and Wilkenson 1985;  U.N.  1981)  The activity  increasing is  manifest  in  capital  input  into  i n c r e a s i n g use of machinery, i n the  food s e c t o r t h i s leads t o the i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of most  commodities,  product.  foodstuffs  However, the  have  food s e c t o r  i s rather  industrial  unique i n t h a t  commodities.  food s e c t o r  exhibits t r a i t s  economic s e c t o r s there are some f e a t u r e s present  a  rather  unique  * t y p i c a l ' i n d u s t r i a l good. goods i n  a number  tends to  be more  This  Like  7  Food as I n d u s t r i a l Commodity.  Though the  which  food.  a l s o become an  foods are at base not t y p i c a l i n d u s t r i a l  1.  economic  trait  has  It  of ways.  As  food  Food  other  as commodity is  not  d i s t i n g u i s h e d from  i t is  recession resistant made  of food  profile.  can be  s i m i l a r to  a  other  an e s s e n t i a l good, i t than other  commodities.  an a t t r a c t i v e investment area f o r  t r a n s n a t i o n a l s l o o k i n g to d i v e r s i f y  (see Burns e t a l 1983).  30 The  food s e c t o r p r o v i d e s  the importance  one w i t h  of i n t e g r a t i n g  production  h o l i s t i c p e r s p e c t i v e which c o n s i d e r s and consumption.  an e x c e l l e n t  case f o r  ' l o g i c s ' i n t o a more  the r o l e s  of c i r c u l a t i o n  C a p i t a l i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n i n the food s e c t o r i s  a l s o a r e s u l t of f o r c e s of consumption i n regards t o the  nature  of food as a commodity.  Though food i s l e s s s u b j e c t to wide f l u c t u a t i o n s i n demand due  t o i t s r e l a t i v e p r i c e and income i n e l a s t i c i t y , these  a l s o make i t d i f f i c u l t t o s u s t a i n p r o f i t s and market T h i s i s because food i s a t p r i c e and  base  income i n e l a s t i c .  The  consumption p r o f i l e i s l i k e l y outlined  by  Engel's  Law)  s e c t i o n on consumption). investment produce  food  seek  value-addition  are v e r y  share of s t a p l e s i n the as incomes  total  rise  (as  l o c a l markets expand (see the  add  t h e i r r e t u r n on  v a l u e t o the foods  markets.  (see  Howe  they 1983;  methods of a c h i e v i n g the goals of  market Further, t h i s  g e n e r a l , occur on the or marketing  The  and  capital-intensive.  must  expansion.  staples  In order to m a i n t a i n  other  BusinessWeek. 1/12/73)  staple;  to d e c l i n e and  companies  and/or  a  traits  farm; but  expansion  are  often  v a l u e - a d d i t i o n does not, i n through  i n d u s t r i a l processing  techniques.  The dominant r e d u c t i o n through value-addition  logic in the  the food s e c t o r i s not simply c o s t  utilization  through  higher  of  machinery  levels  of  but  a l s o of  processing  and  31 advertising .  The producer/processor can add value by f u r t h e r  7  processing a given  foodstuff  potential  market;  or  marketing  techniques  'value'  than  to  meet  or  reach  a perceived  v a l u e - a d d i t i o n can be achieved which  portray  i t intrinsically  the  good  possesses.  to  have more  U s u a l l y marketing  s t r a t e g i e s combine these two modes of v a l u e - a d d i t i o n . way,  although  the  production  sector  is  the  the  factors  process  play  an  i s market  important  driven.  role  in  In t h i s  motor  i n c r e a s i n g l e v e l s of c a p i t a l i n t e n s i t y the shape and behind  through  behind  the l o g i c  That i s , consumption  shaping  the  resultant  dynamic.  a)  Food P r o c e s s i n g .  A particularly  unique f e a t u r e  of food  its perishability.  Earlier i n this  food  i t s geographical  to  second,  increase  r e l a t e d unique  feature  of  as a commodity i s  paper the  need t o process  range was a l l u d e d t o . food  is  A  i t s seasonality.  P r o c e s s i n g extends the market f o r foods i n both space and time. Processing foodstuffs.  provides This  for is  the  year-round  as s e a s o n a l  In t h i s way demand parameters  secondary p r o c e s s i n g .  of  important t o food producers because i n  g e n e r a l the demand f o r food types i s not production.  availability  as t h e i r  e f f e c t the l e v e l of  However, the tendency t o i s not  s o l e l y based  increasing levels  on p r e s e r v a t i o n  shown the importance o f  f a c t o r s other  terrific  potato  increase  potatoes,  which  reasonable  levels  for  are  argues  Yet  increased a  that  foods  year  the  round  last  He in  also  i n the  shows the  that US  at  have no i n h e r e n t need three  tremendous amount. are  (1984) has  thanpreservation  and q u a l i t y  over  Grieg  processing.  available  of p r i c e  processing.  p r o c e s s i n g has He  in  needs.  of processing  decades potato (see Table  processed  1.)  for variety,  convenience and q u a l i t y c o n t r o l reasons (1984:175)  Table 1. U.S. I r i s h Potato U t i l i z a t i o n , and Per C a p i t a Consumption, 1956 - 1979. Utilization  ( m i l l i o n cwt)  Per C a p i t a Consumption ( l b s )  Source:  1979  .146.0 ..24.7 ..14.5  131.7 94.4 41.8  115.1 162.3 58.5  ..86.0 ..14.6  67.2 48.2  52.2 73.6  are market  focus on convenience.  doing  1967  G r i e g 1984:176.  These reasons  the  1956  attractiveness  Convenience and of  foods.  i s breaking down the food  marketing  parts  of  d r i v e n , f o r the moment we  i t .  d i m i n i s h the r e q u i r e d l e v e l  The of  labour savings  shall add t o  What i n essence producers are p r o c e s s i n g labour general home  process and  t r e n d seems t o be t o  processing  to  meet the  diminished seems  availability  to  accompany  processing  of  i n home  the  food  dispensing with  home  cooking.  food  p r o c e s s i n g time which  industrialization  enhances  process.  the convergence  'un-economical'  and  The  process  'inconvenient'  by  variations  In the context of low income e l a s t i c i t i e s o f  demand f o r food, the means  of  maintaining  increasing  acceptable  value-addition  levels  of  i n food a l s o  growth f o r the food  industry.  b.  Food  Marketing.  A good example o f the second mode of i s marketing  techniques, i s t o be found i n such  non-branded goods as f r u i t s . and S u n k i s t  Brands  Oranges t r y t o circumvent  basic foodstuffs t h i s way  value-addition, that  by h e a v i l y  they t r y  such as  C h i q u i t a Bananas  the i n e l a s t i c i t y o f most  emphasizing  to increase  traditionally  brand  the value  awareness.  In  of t h e i r product by  i n v e s t i n g c a p i t a l i n t o a d v e r t i s i n g and packaging.  T h i s type of  marketing  agricultural  is  very  removed  from  the a c t u a l  p r o d u c t i o n of the g i v e n f o o d s t u f f .  c.  These  In Summation.  factors  lie  at  the  base  of  i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n and i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n t r e n d s . food p r o d u c t i o n i n t o the realm of the g l o b a l  the  capital  They e s c a l a t e  c a p i t a l i s t market  34 place,  and  therefore,  provide  the d r i v e f o r the convergence  process.  2.  The World Food I n d u s t r y .  One  r e s u l t o f an i n c r e a s e d l e v e l s of c a p i t a l i n t e n s i t y and  p r o d u c t i v i t y i s a need f o r market expansion 'Fordism'-and  (a b a s i c premise of  see L i p i e t z 1987, 1986, 1984; or A g l i e t t a  market  control  ( c f . Galbraith  h i g h l y e v i d e n t i n the food s e c t o r . food manufacturing  1968).  1979 }  These trends a r e  Howe (1983:103) w r i t e s t h a t  has became more,  capital intensive, and one outcome of t h i s and the a v a i l a b i l i t y of economies of s c a l e i n food p r o c e s s i n g was t h a t manufacturers began t o seek g r e a t e r c o n t r o l over t h e i r products a t the d i s t r i b u t i o n stage. Furthermore, potential economies of scale along with capital i n t e n s i v e n e s s encouraged manufacturers t o expand both i n t e r n a l l y and e x t e r n a l l y , l e a d i n g i n a number o f cases t o h i g h l e v e l s o f market c o n c e n t r a t i o n . (Howe 1983:103) The  tendency t o h e a v i l y  distribution  techniques)  corporations. dominate  food  apparent  p r o d u c t i o n (and i n very  are i n c r e a s i n g l y  system,  through  large  coming t o  concentration  of  For example, " C o n c e n t r a t i o n i n the U.S., measured by  c o n t r o l of  a s s e t s by  50 o f  from 41 percent i n 1974 1985:355  i s most  These c o r p o r a t i o n s  the world  control.  c a p i t a l i z e d food  See  also  Projections into  Howe  to  the l a r g e s t food p r o c e s s o r s , grew 56  percent  1983:105  the f u t u r e  c o n t i n u a t i o n o f these t r e n d s .  at  i n 1974..."  f o r figures the world  (Whiting  on the U.K.)  scale  predict a  A 1981 r e p o r t by the U.N. Centre  on T r a n s n a t i o n a l C o r p o r a t i o n s suggested  that,  35 one reasonable p r o j e c t i o n o f f u t u r e industry structure would be t h a t the number of food p r o c e s s i n g f i r m s w i l l c o n t i n u e t o d e c l i n e , and t h a t the s u r v i v o r s w i l l be l a r g e scale, multi-product p r o c e s s o r s w i t h a s t r o n g marketing o r i e n t a t i o n , combining w i t h i n t h e i r d i v e r s i f i e d s t r u c t u r e s a variety of linked services and manufacturing a c t i v i t i e s . " (U.N. 1981:16; see a l s o Kaynak 1986:5) In the food s e c t o r , i n d u s t r i a l r e o r g a n i z a t i o n has r e s u l t e d i n the c r e a t i o n of  a smaller  number of l a r g e r f i r m s .  years have seen an e x p l o s i o n  i n the s i z e of food  merger  Week.  activity  constantly (Horst  (Business  24/9/84).  Recent  TNC's through These f i r m s a r e  seeking p o t e n t i a l mass-markets t o f u e l t h e i r growth.  1974;  Increasing  Howe 1983; Whiting 1983;  market c o n c e n t r a t i o n  and Burns e t a l 1983)  a t a g l o b a l s c a l e i s one f a c t o r  which underpins convergence, as fewer c o r p o r a t i o n s  c o n t r o l more  of the world food  system (U.N. 1981:4; Clairmonte and Cavanaugh  1982a, 1982b:86;  Lappe and  1975;  C o l l i n s 1979; George 1978; Ledogar  Morgan 1979; Coonor 1984; Barnet and M u l l e r  level i t  i s the  convergence  as  sheer s i z e their  markets i n which they  1979)  At one  of the food g i a n t s which leads t o  internal  dynamics  greatly  p a r t i c i p a t e . (Connor  impact the  1979; Feder 1976;  M u e l l e r 1983)  However, food TNC's do not simply d i c t a t e the dynamics o f the i n d u s t r i a l p a l a t e .  They (or more p r e c i s e l y t h e i r managers)  are agents themselves, working s t r u c t u r e s of marketplace.  the world  food  i n interaction system  w i t h the l a r g e r  and the world  capitalist  36 3.  The World I n d u s t r i a l Homogenization.  Food System and  An important f e a t u r e o f t h i s market p l a c e scales  i t includes;  many l o c a l markets size  of  the  the  space  conceive of l o c a l p l a c e s the  larger  capital  of  of  the  global  of the extreme  functional role i n  (see f o r example Because of  activities  the  t r a n s n a t i o n a l vendors i s h e a v i l y s t r u c t u r e d by rationality  i n t h i s perspective  r e q u i r e s but  what i t w i l l bear.  Castells  the s c a l e and  plan  space  of  the c r y s t a l l i n e  c a p i t a l i s t market p l a c e .  consideration  includes  marketers, they come t o  of t h e i r  1982:39)  their  Because  global  market.  and T h r i f t  intensity  of  i n terms  geographical  1985:9; T a y l o r  g l o b a l marketplace i n f a c t  (e.g., Hong Kong).  plan  i s the range of  i s not what the  A prime  l o c a l market  As t h i s paper w i l l go on t o  demonstrate, the r e s u l t of t h i s  perspective  tends t o  standardization  lead to a geographical  i s such  that i t  of c o n s t i t u e n t  products.  The example  food of  production  the  provides  utility  of  spheres as d i s t i n c t  U r r y 1981:102) Increased  system  with  envisaging  a  rather  sterling  the  consumption and  but i n t e r l i n k e d  e n t i t i e s , (see  These e n t i t i e s are l i n k e d through c i r c u l a t i o n .  circulation  consumption and  one  connects  production  the  abstract  realms  of  but i t a l s o l i n k s t h e p l a n space of  the t r a n s n a t i o n a l and l o c a l , s i t u a t e d consumption.  Increasing economies and  scales meet the  of  production  needs of  a l s o r e q u i r e mass-consumption. result  of  the  fusion  facilitate  certain  l a r g e s c a l e c a p i t a l but they The  industrial  palate  is a  of the s y m b i o t i c t e n d e n c i e s t o c a p i t a l  accumulation and market d i s s e m i n a t i o n .  C i r c u l a t i o n p a t t e r n s m a n i f e s t and between the  ' l o g i c s ' of  of consumption.  p r o d u c t i o n systems and the p o t e n t i a l s  C i r c u l a t i o n a c t i v a t e s the accumulation process  but a l s o extends i t s impact. t h a t the c a p i t a l i s t 1981;  Lipietz  At base i t i s through  'realizes'  1987:30).  the f r u i t s  of  circulation  circulation  of investment  (Urry  Value does not accrue u n t i l the good  i s exchanged i n the marketplace. sphere  f a c i l i t a t e the l i n k a g e s  can  Indeed,  be  viewed  in as  many  being  ways the partially  c o n s t i t u t e d by the marketplace  T h i s market occurs i n  space.  Circulation  i n c l u d e s the  p h y s i c a l t r a n s f e r of goods, i d e a s and money over space. advances  i n telecommunications and  expanded c i r c u l a t o r y markets  and arenas f o r  advances  have  p r o c e s s i n g and speed  l i n k a g e s and  and  been  investment.  t r a n s p o r t a t i o n have g r e a t l y thus the  s i z e of p o t e n t i a l  In the  food s e c t o r these  s y n e r g i s t i c a l l y l i n k e d w i t h improved  packaging t e c h n o l o g i e s .  scope  Recent  of  circulation  are  p r e s e r v a t i o n and d i s t r i b u t i o n of food on t o the domestic d i e t of the new  Such "  advances  essential  a mass  proletariat."  food  i n the to  the  s c a l e , and so  ( Goody 1982:166)  38 In  order  to  achieve  food company needs t o and  abilities  1979). corporate the  find a  meeting p o i n t  and  the  felt  Naturally,  the  closer  vision  non  industrial logic L i p i e t z 1980;  needs  the b e t t e r .  relatively  markets.  a t h r e s h o l d market share the  equation  T h i s v i s i o n i s one  place-conscious  of c a p i t a l  or R a f f e s t i e n  between i t s needs  of consumers (see  this  large  Kobrin  comes  to  dominated  rationality  of  1979)  and  by the  accumulation (see Friedmann and Bresso  the  1981;  g l o b a l mass  I t leads to a ' r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n ' of l o c a l markets.  As Robert  B u z z e l l (1983)  has  demonstrated, one  outcome of market  rationalization is  product.  f o r c e f u l l y argued t h a t the p o t e n t i a l l o s s of  He has  market-share due important  to s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n i s most  than  the  economies i n c l u d e  economies  those of  of  standard  1983).  T h i r d World marketing expert  developed  marketing p l a n  important countries'  standardization  l i k e l y to  be  standardization.  ' s c a l e ' and  from a  despite  the  potential  the b e n e f i t s  of  less These  accruing  (see a l s o Sorenson and Weichman  differences national  s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n can be o v e r r i d i n g .  Erdener Kaynak agrees t h a t  between markets He  developed the  and  benefits  writes,  ...the experience of a growing number of companies o p e r a t i n g i n LDCs suggests t h a t there are a l s o r e a l potential gains in an integrated approach to marketing planning in these countries. Standardization of marketing programs may permit s u b s t a n t i a l c o s t savings as w e l l as g r e a t e r awareness and impact i n d e a l i n g w i t h consumers of LDCs. (Kaynak 1982:5)  less of  Though the some c o n t e n t i o n consensus  ' s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n model' i s - s t i l l (see f o r example, Kaynak ed.  among  marketing  " g l o b a l i z a t i o n of  1985), the  specialists  is  this  point.  He  c o r p o r a t i o n , "looks they are  at the  everything  ultimate  aim  is  (Kaynak  into a  firm 1985:12;  I t i s important t o trend.  for  a  S i m i l a r l y , the work of  For  that  Holmes and  sensitivity  convergence i s not a number  as  a unified  discussion  standardization  others on  i n the  of  standardization. the r o l e  to q u e s t i o n the u t i l i t y of  to  present matter  is a  of  However, the  consumption  choices  argument.  The  the  of  're-industrialization'  9  the  Geo-centricity i s  b r e a k f a s t c e r e a l s ) might  i n a 'post modern' w o r l d .  undermine  ( L e v i t t 1986:22)  markets  assertions regarding  North America might l e a d one  really  how  example, the v a s t p r o l i f e r a t i o n of  s p e c i f i c a t i o n of market niches  wealth o f , and  not f o r  1980)  emphasize  seem t o b e l i e the present  global  ... i t seeks to  fuller  s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d products (eg.  market model  the world  all  Harvard  successful  g l o b a l mode".  the  i n h i s emphasis  they are a l i k e  treats  g e o - c e n t r i c i t y see Granner  geographical  the  t o become g e o - c e n t r i c .  the s t a t e "where the whole".  that  n a t i o n s of  d i f f e r e n t , but f o r how  standardize The  argues  general  that  markets i s at hand".(Kaynak 1985:6)  'marketing guru' Theodore L e v i t t i s r e l e n t l e s s of  the s u b j e c t of  gradual  the of  a mass apparent does not  point i s that  decline  i n the  of c h o i c e s a v a i l a b l e ( i e . market homogenization) but i s  40  a  process  wherein  these  choices  are  increasingly  globally  s t a n d a r d i z e d ( i e . g e o g r a p h i c a l homogenization).  Though sectors  advances  have  offerings  in  production  facilitated  two  facts  a  technologies  greater  remain  clear.  variance First,  i n certain in  product  advances  such as  these occur almost e x c l u s i v e l y on b i g t i c k e t items. one  to  must be  a  second  borne  increase i n deal  of  T h i s leads  p o i n t , the c o s t s i n product d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n  by  someone.  Thus,  producers  must  g a i n an  e i t h e r t h e i r product margin, by e x t r a c t i n g a g r e a t  value-addition  specialized,  conspicuous  recoup p r o d u c t i o n  costs  from  each  consumption that  arise  consumer  (i.e.,  in  goods); or they have t o from  servicing  specific  market n i c h e s by s p r e a d i n g t h e i r market g e o g r a p h i c a l l y .  These  perogatives  dovetail  nicely  arguments r e g a r d i n g v a l u e - a d d i t i o n . between  the  production  consumers on s i d e , the new the  and  They draw  consumption  number  of  the  earlier  the c l o s e  sectors.  ways,  from  ( L e v i t t 1981). advertising,  links  To b r i n g  i n d u s t r i a l products need t o be  vendors need t o 'create customers'  be done i n a  with  sold,  T h i s can t o meeting  changing l i f e - s t y l e requirements (or c r e a t i n g them) through the e f f i c i e n c y of d e l i v e r y , t o p r i c e c o m p e t i t i o n .  A subtle through  distinction  product  innovation  is  needed  focuses  here. on  the  Value a d d i t i o n broad nature of  consumer demand (because on l o c a l  of the need f o r the mass-market), not  s p e c i f i c s , however,  focused on l o c a l audiences. of t h e i r marketing  a d v e r t i s i n g may Corporations  may 'segment' p a r t s  scheme (see Sorenson and Weichman 1983), but  the c e n t r a l f a c t i s t h a t the a c t u a l foods standardized.  In  space the producer l i k e l y to  be more c l e a r l y  order  are geographically  t o spread a segmented market a c r o s s  needs t o i d e n t i f y market segments  be g e o g r a p h i c a l l y  which a r e  common (or can be made s o ) . For  example, the l a r g e s c a l e vendor i s l i k e l y t o be more i n t e r e s t e d in finding  a niche t h a t b r o a d l y serves a l l i n d u s t r i a l  (e.g., q u i c k  preparation,  n a t i o n a l market the  types  of  little  clean-up)  than  societies a specific  (e.g., s t r i n g - h o p p e r s i n S r i Lanka). niches  that  industrial  vendors  Further,  i d e n t i f y are  themselves o f t e n s o c i a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of the i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n p r o c e s s . Thus, the ethos of c a p i t a l i s t  i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n comes  to dominate the form and the f u n c t i o n of food.  4.  I n Summation.  This  section  structural  nature  of of  the  i n c r e a s i n g l y impinging demonstrated  the  intensification, combination the  of  production  the  paper  has  macro-level  on the Hong Kong drive  market these sphere,  behind  expansion  and  outlined forces  the which  food system. increasing  broad are  I t has capital  s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n . The  macro-level tendencies,  which a r i s e i n  i s the motor behind, converging  food  42 consumption p r a c t i c e s , ... the t r e n d of i n d u s t r i a l food has been to reduce the differences within and between s o c i o - c u l t u r a l systems. Processed food i s more or l e s s the same i n E a l i n g as i n Edinburgh; the aim of the manufacturers i s to get as wide and as standard a d i s t r i b u t i o n as possible. Corn F l a k e s make t h e i r appearance on Ghanian b r e a k f a s t tables; c o c a - c o l a i s a v a i l a b l e where-ever the company has been able t o make a p r o f i t a b l e agreement. (Goody 1982:64) Though  this  discussion  has  vendor, the paper w i l l show how of  the  food  system  face  grammar of the c a p i t a l i s t  focused  on the l a r g e - s c a l e  other agents  similar market  at other  choices/constraints.  place  has  permeated  i n t o many s o c i e t i e s coming to order day-to-day l i f e c a p i t a l i s t economic r a t i o n a l i t y .  This i s  which l i e s beneath the u n f o l d i n g scene. in  the  resulted  contexts in  the  of  requirement -- food -- from  a  p l a c e l e s s i n d u s t r i a l commodity.  part  The  deeply  i n terms of  the p a t t e r n e d  canvas  C a p i t a l i s m ' s expansion  industrialization transformation  'levels'  of of  and  urbanization  peoples their  most  'place',  has  basic to a  43  CHAPTER I I I .  THE HONG KONG MILIEU.  The proceeding  s e c t i o n of  the t h e s i s  o u t l i n e d the broad  nature o f the g e n e r a l i z i n g f o r c e s a t the world s c a l e , i t i s now time  to  shift  specificities  the l e v e l  of  resolution,  of the Hong Kong case.  and  focus on the  F i r s t , i t seems u s e f u l t o  impart some sense of the p l a c e t h a t i s Hong Kong.  A.  HONG KONG, THE SETTING.  Located on  the 'j aws  of the dragon',  (see Map 1.) Hong  Kong (the 'Fragrant Harbour') c l i n g s t o the mountainous t e r r a i n of  southeast China.  of  Asia  I t s l o c a t i o n p l a c e s i t on the l e a d i n g edge  ( i n more ways than  East-Asian  Tokyo/Singapore  burgeoning  Pacific-Basin;  doorway t o  China, Hong  niche.  Hong Kong i s a  telecommunications  one).  Centrally  axis; while  facing  located outwards  simultaneously  i n the t o the  minding  the  Kong occupies an e n v i a b l e g e o g r a p h i c a l central  traffic.  hub  f o r ocean,  a i r and now  Y e t Hong Kong i s much more than a  p l a c e on a map.  Hong Kong a t once e p i t o m i z e s cities.  and  i s unique  among A s i a n  I t has a c o l o n i a l h e r i t a g e (indeed s t i l l  i s a colony)  44 but has  maintained  a- v i b r a n c y u n i q u e l y i t s own.  I t i s proudly  known as t h a t most unique of c r e a t u r e s , 'the i n d u s t r i a l  colony'  Map 1. The L o c a t i o n of Hong Kong.  \-7  k*+ •  0  i Orthomorphic Projection  Source:The Canadian Oxford School A t l a s . 5th ed.  150  300  450km I  (Hopkins 1971).  I t i s at once a model of success i n A s i a and  testament to the v a s t sums of wealth t h a t e x p l o i t a t i o n of  cheap labour.  may  laissez-faire  capitalism  but  p u b l i c housing (Fong 1986:3). housing  in  structures  Hong  Kong,  from  the  I t i s 'home' to over 5 m i l l i o n s  of people, but many of these are immigrants. of  accrue  a  44  Despite  there  (Hong Kong Housing  It  i s the model  % of i t s people l i v e i n the  are  'success'  some  Authority's  of p u b l i c  600,000  Annual  squatter  Report  1982,  c i t e d i n C a s t e l l s 1986:52)  I t i s a b a s t i o n of f r e e e n t e r p r i s e ,  but t h e r e  suffrage.  cities,  i s no  Hong  i s a p l a c e of c o n t r a d i c t i o n s and  Today's  Hong  free-wheeling surface genre  electoral  of de  dynamics  Kong  capitalist change  vivre. has  ethos.  Yet  its under  hectic  pace  to  proven  and  t h i s tumultuous  senses a p e c u l i a r l y s t a b l e  The  interplay  of  on  external  and i n t e r n a l  Hong Kong a c o n t i n u o u s l y  --  adaptability.  In  evolving  i t s various  f i s h i n g v i l l a g e through c o l o n i a l entrepot  Faure et a l . 1984) has  for  continuity.  growth one  g e n e t i c code f o r s u r v i v a l  Hong Kong  known  l i k e most  and  imprinted  i n c a r n a t i o n s as  is  Kong,  'World C i t y ' ( H a l l 1984; uniquely  (See  Friedmann 1986),  adaptable to i t s v a r i o u s  niches  i n the world system.  Hong Kong was  founded i n 1841  by the  B r i t i s h to e s t a b l i s h  a f r e e p o r t t o f u r t h e r the China t r a d e , a r o l e i t has since.  Through the a c c r e t i o n s of the s p o i l s  of war  fulfilled Hong Kong  47 grew from  i t s original  l o c a t i o n on  the s m a l l  Kong to e v e n t u a l l y encompass the New extends some By 1911,  25 m i l e s  T e r r i t o r i e s , an area which  Chinese mainland (see Map  2).  the colony's p o p u l a t i o n had mushroomed to 457,000, and  had reached  1,640,000 by the time of the  ( d u r i n g World War the  i n t o the  i s l a n d of Hong  Japanese  Two).  After  occupation,  excess of 5.5  the severe  the  Kong home q u i c k l y rebounded.  The  l o c a l ethnic  depopulation during  numbers of people c a l l i n g Hong  Presently,  the p o p u l a t i o n  is in  millions.  In the pre-war years Hong Kong was economy.  'Japanese Interregnum'  t r a d i t i o n a l f i s h i n g and groups (see  Faure e t  c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a d u a l farming p u r s u i t s  of the  a l . 1984), and the rampant  m e r c a n t i l i s m of l o c a l e x - p a t r i o t s and some e t h n i c Chinese. sources of  the r a p i d  changes which  Kong of today are to be found i n the Second World  The  have r e s u l t e d i n the Hong  the p e r i o d  immediately  after  War. i  In the  e a r l y 1950's the s i t u a t i o n was  Korean War,  the  closing  China, and  the tremendous  of  the  bleak a t b e s t .  critical  i n f l u x of refugees  communist v i c t o r y i n China i n 1949)  painted a  future  the  prospects.  Yet  among  i n d u s t r i a l i s t s from Shanghai (Chen others  aggressively  inexpensive  goods  looked  produced  entrepot  outwards by  the  for  t r a d e to  (both due  to the  grim p o r t r a i t of  immigrants  1984).  The  These markets  seemingly  were people for  many and the  inexhaustible  48 supply of labour Hong  ( H a l l 1984).  Kong's  outward  n i c e l y w i t h a ' c r i s i s of 1987),  and  the  looking fordism'  advances  in  development in  the  of Labor.  meshed  (see L i p i e t z  and  circulation  International Division  In a time of g l o b a l c o m p e t i t i o n t o produce products  cheaply, Hong Kong has proven u n i q u e l y  The average annual growth 1973 d o l l a r s 6.9%  core  production  t e c h n o l o g i e s which made p o s s i b l e the New  model  from 1961  (Chen 1984).  sharp downturn  r a t e of  t o 1982  GDP/capita i n constant  grew at the v e r y h i g h r a t e of  (note t h i s f i g u r e i s s e v e r e l y skewed  i n 1982)  which have l e d t o the post-war  efficient.  Yet i t i s not e x t e r n a l f a c t o r s alone  Hong Kong's  period.  by the  tremendous  Factors i n t e r n a l  levels  of growth i n  t o the nature of Hong  Kong a l s o enhanced the growth p r o c e s s .  Hong Kong i s known f o r the dynamism of i t s e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l spirit,  and  Traditionally  suppleness Hong  f l e x i b l e small  Kong  and  responsiveness  enterprise  scale enterprises  has  of  been  i t s economy. dominated  by  ( P e a t t i e 1985) which q u i c k l y  respond t o changes i n the economic scene.  T h i s dynamism i s perhaps as much a r e s u l t of the i n t e n s i t y of  the  Hong  Kong  (Freedman 1959).  scene  as i t i s any p e c u l i a r e t h n i c  traits  Hong Kong i s indeed a p l a c e of i n t e n s i t y ,  space and p l a c e are used t o t h e i r optimum.  The human  49 landscape i n Hong Kong i s d i v e r s e , small i n scale, mixed and v a r i e d i n f u n c t i o n and s t y l e , i t seeks t o unite diversity with s p e c i a l i z a t i o n i n one spot, i t minimizes t r a v e l l i n g and maximizes the v e r s a t i l i t y of the individual l o c a l i t y ; i t scorns no economic o p p o r t u n i t y , whatever i t s shape, size, content and i m p l i c a t i o n s ... (Leeming 1977:19) One r e s u l t  of t h i s  densities,  in  i n t e n s i t y of land use i s u l t r a - h i g h l i v i n g  places  exceeding  150,000  people  per  square  kilometre.  D e s p i t e the image of Hong Kong as a cosmopolitan c i t y , the v a s t m a j o r i t y of the populace are e t h n i c Chinese, Hong Kong Chinese continue to perceive themselves, i n the a b s t a c t , as Chinese, f o r t h e r e i s not y e t any developed n o t i o n of a separate Hong Kong identity ... and i t would be f a i r t o say t h a t a person's b e l i e f t h a t he i s Cantonese i s the most important p o l i t i c a l sentiment o p e r a t i n g i n Hong Kong at p r e s e n t . " ( L e t h b r i d g e 1984:54) The people of Hong Kong are r u l e d by what has a  "departmentocracy"  government  has  a  (King  number  of  1981:133).  Though t h i s mode of  drawbacks  i t has  s t a b i l i z i n g f o r c e i n the process of s o c i a l change. rapidly  e v o l v i n g nature of the c i t y  recently,  the  Traditional the  basic  social  fabric  Chinese v a l u e s were s t i l l  tempest  swirled.  of Hong  (Anderson 1977c)  proven  a  D e s p i t e the  Kong, u n t i l q u i t e  remained the  been c a l l e d  t i g h t l y woven.  bedrock around T h i s was  which  particularly  t r u e i n the ' c o u n t r y - s i d e ' of the new t e r r i t o r i e s ( P o t t e r 1968) and  in  islands.  the Now,  numerous however,  f i s h i n g v i l l a g e s which dot the o u t l y i n g the  Hong  Kong  social  formation i s  undergoing  a  deep-seeded  traditional  order  maelstroms  of  of  transformation,  things  capitalist  industrialization.  i s being penetration,  one  where  convulsed  the  i n the  urbanization  Hong Kong i s a Chinese c i t y  but i t  and  i s one  'sui generis'.  Lethbridge  captures  the sense of p l a c e w e l l i n w r i t i n g ,  Hong Kong, from whatever p e r s p e c t i v e one views i t , i s an e x r a o r d i n a r y s o c i e t y , a mixture of the antique and the modern; economically advanced, y e t s o c i a l l y backward i n many areas. Chinatown-by-the-Sea, Babylon-sur-mer, S u r b i t o n with servants: i t has something of each. But d e s p i t e the sweeping changes that have o c c u r r e d s i n c e the r e - e s t a b l i s h m e n t of British colonial rule in 1945, i t remains an essentially Chinese community, though e l a b o r a t e l y novel i n contrast with many Asian societies. (Lethbridge 1984:67)  B.  SOCIETAL CHANGES SUPPORTING CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS.  1.  The Parameters of the Mass Market i n Hong Kong.  A  primary  convergence of the mass Frazer  f o r the  food consumption  market.  Drawing from  industrialization  l i s t s these  the emergence v a r i a b l e s and  and  p a t t e r n s i s the emergence of the B r i t i s h experience  (1981) has o u t l i n e d s e v e r a l f e a t u r e s  central to  Kong.  prerequisite  which he c o n s i d e r s  o f the mass market. presents  relevant  Hamish  Table  2 below  f i g u r e s f o r Hong  51  Table 2. I n d i c a t o r s of a P o t e n t i a l Mass-market - Hong Kong Variable  Hong Kong F i g u r e s  1) A growing market  P o p u l a t i o n 1950 1985  2) I n c r e a s i n g income  Using 1964=100  3) Growing  disposable  - 1.9 m i l l i o n ; - 5.43 m i l l i o n .  Index of nominal wages i n manufacturing i n 1980=525 Index of food p r i c e s 1980=340  literacy  4) O r g a n i z a t i o n changes in retailing  A d u l t l i t e r a c y 1960 1979  - 70.4%; - 90%  Number of supermarkets 1974 1985  - 62 - 695  5) A s t r a t i f i e d s o c i e t y  Share of o r d i n a l group of income lowest 20% - 5.6% of t o t a l income h i g h e s t 5% - 24% of t o t a l income  6) I n c r e a s i n g number of urban workers  L e v e l of U r b a n i z a t i o n 90% D e n s i t y (av.) 1960 - 29,000/km 1980 - 48,000/km  7) C r e a t i o n of a f a m i l y type separate from the p r o d u c t i o n process  Labour f o r c e i n A g r i c u l t u r e 1961  -  7.4% 1981 -  1.9%  Sources: 1, 3, 6, 7 World Bank 1983; 2 - Chau 1983; 4 Hong Kong Census of Wholesale, R e t a i l . . . v a r i o u s y e a r s ; 5 - Chow and Papanek, 1979.  Though Table formation,  i t nonetheless  the i n d i r e c t as o u t l i n e d  2 i s a r a t h e r schematic p o r t r a y a l of a  i s i n d i c a t i v e of s h i f t s o c c u r r i n g v i a  route to consumption changes. by F r a z e r ,  social  are apparent  The p r e r e q u i s i t e s ,  i n Hong  Kong.  p r e s e n t day Hong Kong i s not 19th century B r i t a i n .  However,  It is  52 undergoing  different  social  t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s and  the emergence of the mass market at a different geographical-historical s i t s i n a much more f l u i d and  experiencing  d i f f e r e n t rate  conjuncture.  and  in a  Hong Kong a l s o  p e r v a s i v e world economy.  Indeed,  Hong Kong i s s i t u a t e d i n a g l o b a l mass-market.  2.  L i f e Cycle and  There are  Family Dynamics.  some important v a r i a b l e s which F r a z e r  t h a t are important i n Hong Kong. labour  force  relevant  in  participation Hong  Kong  consumption r a t e s numbers of  to  of  outside  of  increased This  from 43.6  trend  has  An  i n 1976  to 51.2  numerous  of  was  the in  formal 1985  implications.  making  the  p r e s e n t e d by  It also purchase Laurent  increases of  these  (Hong First,  Kong case;  are  consumers  leading  force  Kong 1986). it  lessens  foods more family,  possible.  Data  (1984) suggests t h a t these a s s e r t i o n s  v a l i d i n the Hong the  more  young f a m i l i e s of  w i t h two  patterns).  are  earners  'modern' consumer durables  i n d i c a t o r of modernizing consumption  the  percentage  the cash income of the foods  in  a variable  labour  a v a i l a b l e labour time i n the home, making processed attractive.  changing  ' i n d i r e c t route'  In Hong Kong the  in  i s female  increase  the home  the d i s c u s s i o n of the  participation  and  are p a r t i c u l a r l y  process  of processed f o o d s t u f f s .  mentioned i n  female  These the  t o changing consumption p r a c t i c e s . rate  such v a r i a b l e  rates.  and  women working  which was  One  omits  (an  53  T h i s p o i n t i n t r o d u c e s a second important v a r i a b l e i n t o the d i s c u s s i o n -- l i f e c y c l e .  The age grouping showing the h i g h e s t  l e v e l of consumption i n d u r a b l e s i s the age 20 t o These  people  profile  devoted,  towards  comparison,  on  buying  average,  6.7%  consumer  25  of t h e i r  durables.  grouping.  expenditure By  the 45 t o 54 age grouping spent 4.3%.  way  Those i n the  20 t o 25 grouping, a t l e a s t b e f o r e they have c h i l d r e n , general  of  have i n  the most d i s c r e t i o n a r y income of any age group i n Hong  Kong (Laurent 1984:154)  They are the group w i t h the most women  workers and they are the l e a s t s e t i n t h e i r consumption h a b i t s .  Laurent a l s o emphasizes the h i g h e d u c a t i o n a l attainment of t h i s group and the f a c t t h a t they tend t o see as a  model, r a t h e r  a l s o S a l a f f 1984). transmission  of  than t h e i r  T h i s tendency may traditional  f e e l s t h a t the b r e a k i n g arbiter  of  consumption  i n c r e a s i n g success  of  ( S a l a f f 1984:66).  The  important as the in  terms  largest).  of  parents  of  (Laurent 1984:144; see  serve  consumption the  norms 'modern  hold is  of  a  in  Hong  break on the  practices.  Salaff  the  as the  goods'  t h i s group  20 t o 25 age grouping i s  population,  as a  central  western  impact of  t h e i r peer group  family  reason f o r the in  Hong Kong  i s a l l the more  the second  largest,  Kong (the 25 t o 30 i s the  54 While Hong to  the  Kong has not r e a l l y witnessed a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n  nuclear  p r e d i c t e d by  family  accompanying  t h e o r i s t s such  as Parsons,  Kong may be even more conducive consumption towards  patterns.  extended  The  'stem'  trend  increase the earning p o t e n t i a l  and modernizing  i n Hong Kong seems t o be  families,  (Laurant  as  the tendency i n Hong  to increasing  that  c o n t a i n i n g a t l e a s t one other a d u l t . i s an unmarried b r o t h e r .  industrialization  is a  family  unit  U s u a l l y t h i s e x t r a member  1984:146)  This  serves t o  of the f a m i l y u n i t , f r e e i n g up  income f o r i n c r e a s e d d i s c r e t i o n a r y spending.  Income l e v e l s a r e  perhaps the primary f a c t o r s i n changing consumption p a t t e r n s .  3.  Income L e v e l s .  The workers  o f Hong Kong have experienced  i n t h e i r r e a l wages  i n the post war  period.  a steady growth Real take-home  wages have almost doubled s i n c e 1960 (Chen 1984:19; or see Chow and Papenek 1979:20). food,  wages  In  increased  terms  at  a  of  the p u r c h a s i n g  r a t e twice t h a t of food p r i c e s .  T h i s p o i n t i s c r i t i c a l l y important t o foods a r e i n t r o d u c e d  In terms  the process  whereby new  i n t o the l o c a l s e t t i n g .  of income d i s t r i b u t i o n the f i g u r e s f o r Hong Kong  are q u i t e c o n t e n t i o u s , t o 0.74  power o f  (Chow and  w i t h G i n i c o e f f i c i e n t s ranging  Papenek 1979).  Despite  from 0.41  the d i s p a r i t i e s o f  o p i n i o n , those data s e t s which have t o show  s i m i l a r trends.  majority  of  the  groupings at  Notable  middle  of the  dimension tend  gains have been made by  (especially  the expense  (World Bank 1983;  a temporal  upper-middle)  very r i c h  Chow and Papenek 1979;  and  the  income  the very poor  H s i a and Chau 1978).  a.  F a c t o r s A d j u s t i n g the Income P i c t u r e .  i)  The  Myth of L a i s s e z - F a i r e Hong Kong.  There are, however, some  variables  unique  to  Hong Kong  which a d j u s t the income d i s t r i b u t i o n p i c t u r e somewhat and which have d i r e c t impact on Kong i s  not q u i t e --  maintain  Rabushka 1979  true.  The  their  s u b s i d i z e the  Hong  are  a  c o s t s of  Though Hong  forms.  O'Connor  1973)  Kong economy number  levels)  Government  l e a s t two  or Chow and Papenek 1979)  as  (see  housing;  on  Much of the l a n d i n Hong Kong i s a  good  land  this i s  a truly free  which  serve  of labour power especially of  to  (and  Schiffer  labour comes i n at  ' s o c i a l investment'  and  areas of the food market, p a r t i c u l a r l y  government  factors  subsidization  State expenditure such  of  i s not  the r e p r o d u c t i o n  consumption  1984:10-11).  the  regimes.  o f t e n d e s c r i b e d as a l a i s s e z - f a i r e f r e e market economy  (eg. Chen 1984,  market  food consumption  (see  s t a t e r e g u l a t i o n of  key  rice.  crown-land.  base and  This  revenue source  gives  f o r the  c o n s t r u c t i o n of p u b l i c housing the r e s i d e n t s  of Hong  ( C a s t e l l s 1986).  Kong l i v e  Some  i n p u b l i c housing  40% of  (Hong Kong  1986).  Government investment and c o n t r o l i n the housing s e c t o r  serves  to  subsidize  overall  rental  tenants (see a l s o S c h i f f e r 1984;  rates  f o r lower income  C a s t e l l s 1986;  Fong  B a s i c food c o s t s are s u b s i d i z e d i n Hong Kong 1) through  1986).  i n two ways:  government i n t e r v e n t i o n v i a marketing agencies; and  2) through lower than world market p r i c e s on imports from China (40% of  t o t a l food  consumption).  most p r e v a l e n t i n the traditional).  rice  Through  and  the  Government i n t e r v e n t i o n i s vegetable  sectors  (the most  r i c e c o n t r o l scheme of 1955, f o r  example, the government o u t l i n e s the p r i c e of r i c e and  strictly  r e g u l a t e s and s u p e r v i s e s 38 r e g i s t e r e d r i c e s t o c k h o l d e r s .  ii)  The Impact of Chinese Food Imports Levels.  Hong Kong  i s dependent  on Income  on f o r e i g n sources f o r 80% of i t s  food supply, f i f t y per cent of t h i s comes from China. China 1986;  has  clearly  Chau 1983)  not  abused  i t s market dominance  However, (Castells  Chau has shown t h a t :  P r i c e s of food imported from China would have been 29% more expensive i n 1979, had China a d j u s t e d i t s export p r i c e upward at the same r a t e as world export prices over the same p e r i o d [1972-1979]. (Chau 1983:221) The impact of  these  a c r o s s a l l income c o h o r t s .  lower The  prices  is  not  felt  equally  impact i s most s t r o n g l y  felt  57 among Hong Kong's v e r y poor. an " i n v e r s e foodstuffs" imports  S c h i f f e r has argued t h a t t h e r e i s  r e l a t i o n s h i p between ( S c h i f f e r 1984:4).  is  to  increase  income.  (Table  3  "revised  income  share"  the  below  income and dependency on The  net  lower  income  illustrates data  show  result  this  of  PRC  PRC food  group's share of point).  Chau's  an i n c r e a s e i n the income  share of the v e r y r i c h and a decrease i n c l u d i n g the lowest income groupings. f o o d s t u f f serves t o i n c r e a s e the r e a l  i n the  share of o t h e r s ,  Thus, the impact p u r c h a s i n g power  of  PRC  of the  poor.  iii)  The  In  picture  Sum.  which  emerges  is  of a s i t u a t i o n where the  lowest income grouping has a d e c l i n i n g share of income but t h a t this shortfall growth of the incomes of The the  is in middle  p a r t s u b s i d i z e d i n other ways. class  and  the  "subsidization"  the v e r y poor support increased-consumption  stage i s thus s e t f o r the emergence of the convergence  of  food  The huge of the levels.  mass market  consumption p a t t e r n s .  As Goody has  w r i t t e n , the i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of food, l e d t o a c o n s i d e r a b l e degree of homogenization of food consumption and was dependent upon the e f f e c t i v e i n c r e a s e i n demand from the working c l a s s , which now d e s i r e d access t o f o o d s t u f f s . (Goody 1987:170) b.  The  Importance of Income L e v e l s .  and  The  increased  (or s u b s i d i z e d ) incomes o f the v e r y poor and  the growing income share important  to  patterns'  (and  income l e v e l s  to  food  the  process  thus i n  drops  (as  m i d d l e - c l a s s e s are c r i t i c a l l y  of  'modernizing  the longer  increase,  i n e l a s t i c i t y of for  o f the  term --  food consumption convergence).  As  the percentage of expenditures devoted  per  Engel's  demand f o r  law)  foodstuffs.  due  to  the  basic  This  leaves more room  the  inelasticity  d i s c r e t i o n a r y spending i n g e n e r a l .  More  importantly  (and  correctly)  demand i s  p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant  staples.  Because  staples  of  i n terms of the consumption o f  are  highly  inelastic,  increasing  income allows  f o r i n c r e a s i n g d i s c r e t i o n a r y spending w i t h i n the  food basket.  It  realm  of  discretionary  introduction local  (eg.  i s largely  spending  i n t o the l o c a l d i e t a r y state subsidized  (eg. cheap imports from economy the  (though not  people o f  that  foods Due  i n the  find  China) and the  to various  general health  Hong Kong have, i n g e n e r a l ,  generalized  increase  prices  a  The  of the  experienced  importance  i n income l e v e l s i n r e l a t i o n t o b a s i c which  an  housing) and i n t e r n a t i o n a l f a c t o r s  i n d i s c r e t i o n a r y spending.  point  new  regime.  an i n c r e a s e  is  exclusively)  will'  recur  in  e s p e c i a l l y the s e c t i o n on changing consumption  this  of a food  paper, (see  practices)  Tne  Impact o f _U.gb.er Size  Income, 19a1  Household Income (HK d o l l a r s )  1  Nuinher of householas  (1) Under bOO  b_,yby  boo-999  50,7b3  1  1,000-1,499  i,_uu-i,yyy  3 , 0 0 0 - 3 , 9 9 9  ,4,uuu-4,yyy  s  5 , 0 0 0 - 5 , 9 9 9  b,000-7,000 8 , 0 0 0 - 9 , 9 9 9  •10,000 and over • A l l land i households  Income  households)  Averaye Consumption Propensity  i i  Loss of Income due to Higher Food P r i c e s (tnousana HK d o l l a r s ) (o)  Percentaye Income Loss  (5)  5.41 4.10 9.10 y .yb 12.b4 9.69 16.10 10.01 o.bO 7.35 3.43  0.b1 O.bb 1.95 2 .9D b.7b b.33 13.39 10.71 8.89 12.23  ,b74 7, 125 18,8 48 25,648 49,827 46,677 80,250 60,08b 40,448 48,504 2 4,b79  21.2 20.1 18.5  7.3J  1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 0.87 0.87 0.78 0.77 0.7U 0.61 0.61 0.61  88,2by  b.o  5.4U  28.25  1,237,b43  b,207,510  100.00  100.00  Chau 1983  o n t h e  Household  (4)  1,471,184  yu,yy2  o f  (3)  bb,872  123,day 84,157  coefflcient Kuznets r a t i o Source:  Percentaye Snare  42,4jy  1iy,y35 iyy,242  2 , 5 0 0 - 2 , 9 9 9  (2)  Percentaye Snare of Households  (land  2b,784 3b,534 101,41b 154,084 352,082 32y,821 by7,347 557,5U1 4b2,863 b3b,944 Jb1,951  112,083 123,231 156,481  2,000-2,499  Total Income (thousand HK. d o l l a r s )  Food C o s t s  DistriDuCJ-oa  0 .481 68.84  5  495,98b  (7)  1b.b  14.2 14.2 1 1.5 10.8 8.7 7.b b ._  Revised Income Snare  (8) 0 .45 U .OU 1.75 M (D 2.73 b.42 b.01 • 13. 10 10.bo 8.97 12.49 7.58  cr  29.35  100.00 0 .50 71.90  60 4.  A d v e r t i s i n g , Marketing and  a.  The on  C l a s s Dynamics.  Advertising.  changes  passive,  consume, and  described  so f a r i n t h i s s e c t i o n have focused  general  factors  which  what i s  consumed.  effect  the  ability  to  In t h i s s e c t i o n of the paper  the focus i s on v a r i a b l e s which are more i n t a n g i b l e , s u b t l e  and  active.  and  Among  marketing.  these  are  Advertising  the  and  impacts  its  of  advertising  effects  on  Third  consumers i s the s u b j e c t of a good d e a l of l i t e r a t u r e 1984;  Ewen  1976;  i l l u m i n a t e s how  James  and  Lister  1980).  advertising interacts  and  consumption p a t t e r n s  marketing  (Anderson  This  section  with l o c a l variables  e f f e c t the convergence of food consumption  Advertising  World  patterns.  interact  i n a number of ways.  with One  local  food  of the ways t h i s  occurs i s through i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h l o c a l c l a s s dynamics. elites  can  often  dissemination manner  one  of  propensities  of  and  years  act  changing  Transnational  as  role  models  for  ( F i l g u e r a 1981).  are  aware  the  In t h i s  consumption i s through  advertisers  Local  'status of these  b u i l d on them (Anderson 1984).  Expenditures on recent  to  consumption norms  mode  emulation'.  come  to  advertising in  (World  Advertising  L D C s have skyrocketed i n Expenditures  1979:25).  Advertising  expenditure  among the h i g h e s t dollars/capita  of  (this  per  capita  a l l LDC's does not  (1977)  (Kaynak  f o r Hong Kong i s  1982)  at  23.71 US  include d i r e c t advertising  such  as e x h i b i t i o n s promotions e t c ) .  Advertising societies'  requires  this  is  e l e c t r o n i c media. Douglas  and  a  delivery  largely  done  mechanism; through  The spread of r e c e i v e r s  Isherwood  (1979)  call  is  i n 'modern  the  print  critical  radios  i n Hong Kong.  t o what  the 'spread of i n f e c t i o n  model' of the d i s s e m i n a t i o n of consumption p r a c t i c e s . i l l u s t r a t e s the huge i n c r e a s e  and  Table 4  i n the numbers of t e l e v i s i o n s and  In t h i s sense Hong Kong t r u l y i s a 'wired  city'.  Graph 1  indicates that  i n t e n s i t y i s q u i t e mature. point  between  LDCs  and  Hong Kong's It  seems  DCs.  Switzerland  and on  the  changing  difficult  to  establish  be  at  between  such as  the U n i t e d S t a t e s )  available  to  (i.e.,  Mexico, Zambia and I n d i a and D C s  l e v e l of a d v e r t i s i n g a transition such LDC's as  the U n i t e d Kingdom,  U n f o r t u n a t e l y data are not  intensity  trends.  over  time  much  countries (James and has  higher at  than  similar  they stages  L i s t e r 1980:64).  were i n p r e s e n t l y of  i t is  However, i t i s important t o  note t h a t p r e s e n t l e v e l s of a d v e r t i s i n g i n t e n s i t y i n are  so  affluence  Further,  a d i s t i n c t l y international bias.  Hong Kong  more developed  and 'development'  a d v e r t i s i n g i n Hong Kong By 1979  nine of  the top  62 ten U.S.  a d v e r t i s i n g agencies  had o f f i c e s  i n Hong Kong (U.N.  1979:44). Graph 1. Intensity of Advertising Effort in LDCs versus Developed Countries, 1977 Advertising Expenditures as a Percentage of National Income  United States  0  1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 National Income per Capita (U. S. dollars)  Source: Kaynak 1982.  6,000  63 Table 4 Media D e n s i t y , Hong Kong 1960 Radios/000 pop. TV's /000 pop. Source:  53.9 2.2  1970  147 13.9  1975  175 112.1  1980  569 190.2  503 219.8  Hong Kong 1983  b.  It  Proletarianization  has  been  proletarianization patterns to  1965  and  suggested itself  may  Consumption.  that  the  however,  in  quantitative  is a  difficult  terms  p r e s e n t the p r o f i l e of an i n d u s t r i a l i z e d , In 1981,  of  l e a d t o changes i n consumption  (McGee 1985). P r o l e t a r i a n i z a t i o n  define,  process  Hong  term  Kong does  proletarian  society.  f u l l y 86% of the working p o p u l a t i o n was c l a s s i f i e d as  'employees' involved  (Lethbridge and  in  Hong  'agriculture,  1984:75)  forstry  and  and  only  mining'"  1% were (Castells  1986:131)  The g i s t of the workers  become  proletarianization  increasingly  subject  argument to  the  is  that  alienation  as of  i n d u s t r i a l l a b o u r i n g the a c t of consumption may come t o j u s t i f y work (see life  Filquera  1981).  (Barnett and M u i l e r  become  subjugated  to  Workers 1974:84). the  come t o t o i l f o r the good In t h i s  demands  of  view, as workers capital  and  as  the,"channels of p a r t i c i p a t i o n are narrowed, t h e r e o n l y remains  64 work and consumption as the s o l e and p r i n c i p a l form of r e l a t i o n between the i n d i v i d u a l and s o c i e t y . "  The  tendency  which  (Filquera  Filquera  1981:84).  summarizes  m a g n i f i e d i n the c o n t e x t of r a p i d s o c i a l change. t e x t i l e worker than  a  sipping Pepsi  preference  in  Cola i s  sodas.  As  may  become  The Hong Kong  perhaps e x p r e s s i n g more Mary  Douglas  and Baron  Isherwood have argued, Man i s a s o c i a l being. We can never e x p l a i n demand by l o o k i n g o n l y a t the p h y s i c a l p r o p e r t i e s of goods. Man needs goods f o r communicating w i t h o t h e r s and f o r making sense of what i s going on around him. The two needs are but one, f o r communication can o n l y be formed i n a structured system of meanings. His o v e r r i d i n g o b j e c t i v e as a consumer, put a t i t s most general, i s a concern f o r i n f o r m a t i o n about the changing c u l t u r a l scene. That sounds innocent enough, but i t can not stop a t a concern merely t o get i n f o r m a t i o n ; t h e r e has t o be a concern t o c o n t r o l i t . (Douglas and Isherwood 1979:95) One way it.  to control  t h i s information  i n f l u x i s t o buy some of  In t h i s way m o d e r n i z a t i o n comes t o  be seen  as a  mode of  consumption (see S i n - J e e 1973).  c.  Diet  is  C l a s s , Status Emulation and  traditionally  Goody has w r i t t e n t h a t , cultures  of  Europe  h i e r a r c h i c a l man." important t o  "A and  a  very  salient Asia  (Goody 1982:99)  the present  Consumption.  class feature  is  their  This  specific of  pattern.  the c u l i n a r y  association  with  point i s p a r t i c u l a r l y  d i s c u s s i o n because the d i s s e m i n a t i o n  65 of consumption p a t t e r n s from n a t i o n a l e l i t e s t o the r e s t of the population  is  convergence.  a  critical  (Kumar  1979;  ingredient i n terms  i n the process  of  food  of  see K a p i i n s k y  1979:92-93; or Behar 1976:432)  Traditional as  e l i t e s tend t o view other i n t e r n a t i o n a l  t h e i r peer group or a t l e a s t as models.  as models The  of consumption  demonstration  advertising  (UN  f o r the  effect  is  1979:35).  In t u r n ,  enhanced  Advertisers  by  the power  play  1976)  'global'  Because  hierarchical  linkage i s p a r t i c u l a r l y 1985)  relevant.  t h i s way the  goods  Robinson  of  the c l a s s  with l o c a l  dynamics t o l i n k the consumption of a  up  In  c i r c u l a t i o n of ideas and i n f o r m a t i o n i n t e r a c t s  i s traditionally  they a c t  r e s t of the l o c a l populace.  c o n n o t a t i o n s of s p e c i f i c goods.(Ewen  diet  elites  class  to status. matter  (cited  this  i n McGee  portrays t h i s situation well i n writing, S t a t u s appears t o be the name of the game i n the. r i s e of f a s t food p o p u l a r i t y . In M a l a y s i a , where a c a r sticker bearing the name of an overseas u n i v e r s i t y can open doors, and where o f f i c e workers plunk down a months wages t o buy a b e l t w i t h a d e s i g n e r buckle, chomping American burgers and g u z z l i n g r o o t bear helps t o promote the wished f o r 'man about town image' (Robinson 1982:7)  d.  In Summation.  Thus the i n c r e a s e d i n f o r m a t i o n and  level  of  the g l o b a l  ideas i n i n t e r a c t i o n  c i r c u l a t i o n of  with l o c a l class  dynamics  66 serves t o f u e l the The  increase  d i s s e m i n a t i o n of  i n information  g l o b a l consumption norms.  flows has " g r e a t l y f a c i l i t a t e d the  a b i l i t y of i n t e r n a t i o n a l  and  national  create  for  the  and  fill  needs  capitalist  sectors to  people of the T h i r d World."  (McGee 1985)  C.  LINKS TO THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY.  The  f a c t o r s o u t l i n e d above do not n e c e s s a r i l y l e a d t o Hong  Kong's i n c l u s i o n needs  to  link  international paper.  i n the Hong  g l o b a l mass-market.  Kong  milieu.  as  a  This  However, i n terms of  whole  is  to  To  do t h i s one  i t s increasingly  of course the ambit of t h i s  background, Tables  5 and  6 give  some i n d i c a t i o n of Hong Kong's i n c r e a s i n g i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n . C l e a r l y , Hong Kong i s r a p i d l y becoming  more and  more enmeshed  i n an i n t e r n a t i o n a l m i l i e u .  I t would,  therefore,  seem  emergence of the mass-market. media d e n s i t y  the  global  consumption  I t s population  and i n t e r n a t i o n a l l i n k a g e s  the p e n e t r a t i o n of  t h a t Hong Kong i s r i p e f o r the characteristics,  a l l seem conducive t o  of g l o b a l marketing f o r c e s , and t o mass-market  patterns.  --  the e f f e c t s  among them the convergence of  67  Table 5 Hong Kong I n t e r n a t i o n a l Linkages - Communications Year Letters  1976  1979  1982  1985  77.0  95.2  97.5  115.3  2,540  8,742  20,495  31,521  14,520  31,311  72,509  144,761  sent abroad  (million) Total Int'i (000  telexes  minutes)  Outward I n t ' l traffic  telephone  (000 minutes)  T e l e v i s i o n Programmes; Number 424 764 963 1,250* reception** Minutes 9,404 4,623 22,364 42,312 ** Prior t o 1984 f i g u r e s r e f e r t o t e l e v i s i o n programs v i a satellite, from 1984 onwards, f i g u r e s r e f e r t o t e l e v i s i o n programs v i a media ( i e . both by s a t e l l i t e and microwave l i n k ) . * These f i g u r e s f o r 1984. Source: Hong Kong Annual D i g e s t of S t a t i s t i c s 1986 Edition.  Table 6 Value o f Trade (constant 1973 Year  1960  Av. 1970  Imports Exports  7,975 7,603  23,281 25,645  Source:  prices)  Ann. Growth Rate % 1980 1960-70 68,482 66,249  World Bank 1983  10.5 12.5  1970-80 11.3 10.3  68 D.  CONSUMPTION TRENDS IN HONG KONG IN GENERAL.  Having o u t l i n e d  the broad s t r u c t u r a l - parameters  serve t o f a c i l i t a t e the Kong  let  us  convergence be  now  emergence of  turn  to  examine  model i n g e n e r a l .  experiencing  a  F i l g u e r a , and Armstrong have i n c r e a s e d  and  the  of  McGee.  markedly.  the mass-market  does appear t o  consumption  as d e f i n e d  O v e r a l l consumption r a t e s  Both t o t a l p r i v a t e and  governmental  consumption l e v e l s i n c r e a s e d a t a r a t e of 8.6%/annum to  1970  and  at  10%/annum  i n Hong  b a s i c t e n e t s of the  F i r s t , Hong Kong  modernization  which can  from  1960  from 1970-1980. (World Bank  Even when a d j u s t e d f o r p o p u l a t i o n i n c r e a s e  and i n f l a t i o n  1983) these  f i g u r e s are s t r i k i n g - they r e p r e s e n t an emergent mass-market.  The model by F i l g u e r a (1985)  of converging  (1981),  also  McGee  emphasizes  consumption p a t t e r n s as o u t l i n e d (1985),  and  'qualitative'  Armstrong changes  such  i n c r e a s e i n expenditure l e v e l s on durable goods. u s u a l l y matched food.  by a  approach  these see  trends i n  dynamics  evident. durable  of  the  emergence  Table 7, below, shows goods  groupings.  for  an  This trend i s  higher,  Hong Kong  Chen 1980:229).  r e f i n e s the data t o c o n s i d e r expenditure the  as  d e c l i n e i n the percentage expenditure on  Graph 2 demonstrates  more econometric  and McGee  of  c o h o r t s then  the  mass-market  the percentage middle,  I f one  and  (for a further some of become  expenditure on  lower  expenditure  69  Graph  Sources:  2.  Report of the Household Expenditure Survey, 1979 80... .,- The H o u s e h o l d E x p e n d i t u r e Survey, 196364.  70 Table 7 P e r c e n t Expenditure on Durable Goods (and Change) Expenditure Cohort  % Exp. 63/64  Low Mid High  % Exp. 79/80  0.6 2.4 6.9  Sources:  Nominal Change  1.3 5.4 5.1  society at  consumer goods  superficially,  Further, i t  Hong  and d e s i r e  Kong  does appear,  society  that  i s witnessing a  habits.  IN SUMMATION.  Though the f i g u r e s are appears  the a b i l i t y  seems t o be t r i c k l i n g - d o w n through  q u a l i t a t i v e s h i f t i n consumption  E.  + 116.6% + 125% - 26%  d e r i v e d from Hong Kong: Report of the Household Expenditure Survey ... (1981) Hong Kong: The Household E x p e n d i t u r e Survey (1965)  (see a l s o Kumar 1979).  least  Rate of Change  +0.7 3.0 -1.8  The p i c t u r e which emerges i s t h a t t o purchase  %  to  consumption  conform  to  at  the  and income) as  model  of  Hong Kong  the open economy ( r e : Filquera  (1981).  The  somewhat by v a r i o u s f a c t o r s a t  A l l of these f a c t o r s c o n s p i r e t o shape the  l e v e l and type of change i n Kong's d i e t a r y  contentious,  o u t l i n e d by  s i t u a t i o n i s , however, a l t e r e d various l e v e l s .  times  regime.  the  patterns  and  norms  of Hong  71 The b a s i c parameters and r e q u i s i t e s f o r the emergence of a g l o b a l l y a r t i c u l a t e d mass market the l o c a l  s o c i a l formation  are p r e s e n t .  Changes w i t h i n  ( i . e . the i n d i r e c t route to. change)  have made Hong Kong a prime l o c a l e f o r  the development  of the  industrial palate.  Changes interact conduits.  in  with  local  expenditure  various  larger  and  trends  consumption p a t t e r n s through  a  number  of  At the l o c a l l e v e l these i n c l u d e , the import/export  p r o f i l e , the l o c a l food p r o d u c t i o n economy d i s t r i b u t i o n system.  These  next p a r t of the paper as c o n t e x t s f o r change.  and the  l o c a l food  areas p r o v i d e a framework f o r the  well  as  being  indicators  o f , and  72 CHAPTER IV.  CHANGES IN THE HONG KONG FOOD SYSTEM.  A.  THE HONG KONG IMPORT/EXPORT PROFILE.  1.  Imports. a.  One  General Trends.  way  i n which  g e n e r a l i z i n g g l o b a l f o r c e s e f f e c t and  r e f l e c t changes i n l o c a l import/export  profile  r e l a t i v e l y f r e e of would conform  food consumption  p a t t e r n s i s i n the  f o r foodstuffs.  trade  restrictions  As one  might  present response  urbanized i n d u s t r i a l a  declining  to  remarkable  imagine i t  such  level  colony i t of  speculation  As Hong Kong i s  might be expected t o  food-self-sufficiency. i s r a t h e r ambiguous.  Kong import/export p r o f i l e over the l a s t 30 y e a r s of  Kong i s  t o the r a t i o n a l e of the Hecksher-Ohlin-Samuelson  theorem on i n t e r n a t i o n a l t r a d e s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . a highly  Hong  general  stability  The  The Hong  has been one  i n i t s broad parameters but  a l s o o f some important s h i f t s i n i t s i n t r i c a c i e s and dynamics.  In terms of dependency)  food  self-sufficiency  (or i n the i n v e r s e ,  the data a r e q u i t e c o n t r a d i c t o r y .  Chau (1983) has  a s s e r t e d t h a t Hong Kong's  s e l f - p r o d u c t i o n has  constant  of consumption s i n c e 1960 (though he  at  around  20%  remained  fairly  73 p r o v i d e s no u n i t s ) . which  would  illuminate,  There i s ,  suggest the  otherwise.  value  increasing,  while  declining.  The  however, a  and  the  As of  quantity  of  is  of  data  the f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n s  volume  conclusion  great deal  imports local  that  Hong  is  rapidly  production Kong's  is  l e v e l of  s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y i s s t a t i c i n terms of v a l u e .  One  possible  self-sufficiency fixation  with  manifested (Chau  reason  (or  Further,  maintenance  the Cantonese c u l t u r a l  freshness).  This p r e d i l e c t i o n i s  paid for  the  ( f r e s h ) l o c a l produce  value of l o c a l produce ( i e . the  rapidly  increasing  profile.  The  parameters  of  surprisingly, f i g u r e s support  a  five-fold  local the  the  Hong Kong  increase  in  and,  even more  re-exports.  These  the p r o p o s i t i o n t h a t Hong Kong's food system i s  becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y  the  the  key f e a t u r e s to be noted here are  the t h r e e - f o l d i n c r e a s e i n the value of imports  of  as  c a p i t a l i n t e n s i t y of i t s goods.  8 o u t l i n e s the broad  import/export  One  local  s e c t o r ( d i s c u s s e d i n the next s e c t i o n ) i n c r e a s e s  value-addition-and  i s moving  of  is  i n a premium of 30%  types of goods produced) i s  Table  the  ( i n terms of value) 'Xin'  1983).  production  for  enmeshed i n  an i n t e r n a t i o n a l m i l i e u and  'up-market'.  can designate contradictory  two  broad trends  statistics:  the  which are value  of  at the base imports  is  74 r a p i d l y c l i m b i n g and the value of pace.  In other  moving  (These  inflation  s e t t i n g there i s a profile.  This  i s keeping  words the Hong Kong food system as a whole i s  'up-market'.  inflation-or  l o c a l production  in  increases staples).  great deal change  is  far  Within  of change found  o u t s t r i p general  in  this  i n the the  balanced  import/export  types,  value  and  'sourcing' of f o o d s t u f f s .  Table 8. Import, Re-exports and Retained Imports -- F o o d s t u f f s (HK$ M i l l i o n )  Imports* Re-exports* Retained Foodstuffs* Exports**  1976  1979  6,925 1,000 5,925 626  1982  1985  % Change  9,968 1,319  16,785 3,241  20,752 5,077  + +  300 507  8,649 741  13,543 1,071  15,676 1,189  + +  265 190  Notes: 1. Retained imports are d e r i v e d by s u b t r a c t i n g the r e - e x p o r t s t a t i s t i c s from the c o r r e s p o n d i n g import statistics. S i n c e no account i s taken of the t r a d i n g margin and other charges i n v o l v e d i n the r e - e x p o r t s , the r e s u l t i n g values of r e t a i n e d imports are understated t o t h a t e x t e n t . 2.  I n f l a t i o n f o r f o o d s t u f f s over t h i s p e r i o d was  100%.  * - includes a l l foodstuffs **- i n c l u d e s o n l y food. Source:  Hong Kong Annual D i g e s t of S t a t i s t i c s 198b  i)  The levels  Changes i n the Types of Foods Imported.  f o o d s t u f f s showing (in  Edition.  both  total  the  value  greatest and  total  increase  i n import  volume) tend to be  75 i n d u s t r i a l i z e d food  types.  In terms  of percentage  (1980-1985) the b i g 'gainers' i n the import 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6)  regime were:  Tea and Coffee Live Poultry F i s h and F i s h P r e p a r a t i o n s Other F o o d s t u f f s Meat and Meat P r e p a r a t i o n s Wheat  Groupings showing a n o t a b l e percentage 1) 2) 3) 4) 5)  d e c l i n e were:  Sugar Cattle Rice Vegetables Swine  (Derived from Hong Kong Review of Trade The c o n t r a s t  i n these  striking.  The  traditional  cuisine  former grouping industrial  increase,  latter  palate.  sets  grouping  (eg.  seems  two  rice,  more  of foods i s r e a l l y q u i t e  (except  cattle)  vegetables  and  representative  These  1985)  trends  are  of  epitomizes pork).  a  r a t h e r more  dealt  with  e x t e n s i v e l y i n the s e c t i o n on food consumption p a t t e r n s per At t h i s  p o i n t the  concern  the Hong Kong food import  b.  A  key  The  imports.  s u p p l i e r of  se.  i s w i t h the e v o l u t i o n and nature of  regime as a l a r g e r dynamic.  of  this  specialization  By way  more  'Sourcing' of S u p p l i e r s .  feature  (geographical  The  of example,  dynamic and  China i s  is  the  specification) f a r and  f o o d s t u f f s to the Hong Kong market.  sourcing of  food  away the major Approximately  76 Table 9. Hong Kong F o o d s t u f f Imports U n i t Value Index For 1981-1985 S e l e c t e d F o o d s t u f f s 1981 = 100 Foodstuff/Year  1983  1985  1985  128 132 122 143 115 112 95 139 68 102 125 114 118 120  131 155 117 141 120 109 83 172 58 95 132 127 125 123  132 94 132 86 103 114 107 162 113 82 131 117 134 115  * F i s h and F i s h P r e p a r a t i o n s X Fruit Meat and Meat P r e p a r a t i o n s * Vegetables + Swine M i l k , B u t t e r , Cheese Eggs + Rice Tea and Coffee Sugar + Cattle Live Poultry Wheat and F l o u r Others Foodstuffs (Total) *  Quantum Index (volume)  1981 =  QI* 1985 HK$ Million 3,424 2,900 2,535 2,083 1,598 1,152 895 bbb 228 210 484 399 3,132 20,752  100  * i n d i c a t e s d e c l i n e i n Chinese share of the market + i n d i c a t e s i n c r e a s e i n Chinese share of the! market Source:  Hong Kong Review of Overseas Trade i n 1985  Table 10. Imports From China as a Percentage of T o t a l Imports, S e l e c t e d F o o d s t u f f s .  Year  Cereals/ Cereals Prep.  1959 1965 1970 1975 1980 Source:  17 27 __>  41 38  Live Animals  63 88 80 91 96 Chau 1983:188  Meat/ Meat Prep. 53 67 56 59 57  Fruits/ Vegs.  49 51 45 42 38  Fish/ Fish Prep.  Dairy/ eggs  62 66 51 50 36  41 53 51 50 44  one-half of  a l l food  imports  (40% of t o t a l consumption) comes  from China a t below world p r i c e s . as  a  supplier  re-inforced. from  of  cheap  If  one  compares  i l l u m i n a t i n g f e a t u r e s emerge.  and F i s h  seems  Table  to  The  10  areas  be  are  amongst  i n c r e a s e i n value on Table 9. an i n v e r s e  those  Indeed,  role  becoming  food imports  w i t h Table 9 some in  g r e a t e s t l o s s of market share:  products,  almost p o s i t  staples  China's  Table 10 i l l u s t r a t e s some trends i n  China.  showing the  Interestingly,  which  Fruits,  showing  China i s Vegetables  the g r e a t e s t  i n g e n e r a l terms one  r e l a t i o n s h i p between  the  can  'growth' i n  value of a consumption s e c t o r and the percentage of t h a t s e c t o r coming from China 'growth' or is  becoming  (see Tables 9 and 10).  h i g h value-added primarily  a  China's  share i n the  food groups i s d e c l i n i n g . source  of  less  China  expensive,  or  t r a n s p o r t - l i m i t e d goods w h i l e Hong Kong looks f u r t h e r a f i e l d t o s p e c i a l i z e d producers f o r an  increasing  share  of  i t s import  needs.  The  nature  of  the  Hong Kong import regime becomes more  e x p l i c i t i f one examines some s p e c i f i c foods, as 11.  These  food  groupings  exemplify the g e n e r a l i z e d trends  found i n food imports i n g e n e r a l . geographical distancing  done i n Table  Notable f e a t u r e s i n c l u d e the  of sources, the r e l a t i v e c o n c e n t r a t i o n  i n the number of sources and the v a r i a t i o n of v a l u e by source.  78  Table 11 Selected. Imported F o o d s t u f f s 1985 a)  Chicken f r e s h , c h i l l e d ,  Nation 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) b)  U.S.A. China Denmark Brazil Netherlands  c)  $Hong Kong (000's)  14,502, 2,794, 2,221, 1,416, 1,397,  133,952. 24,250. 19,951. 12,365. 12,863.  kg (000)  Australia U.S.A. Belgium U.K. China  244 156 57 55 45  Average Price/kg 9.2 8.6 8.9 8.7 9.2  Concentration #1 = 60 % 1-5 = 91.7%  foods  $Hong Kong (000's)  Average Price/kg  4,830. 2,303. 1,158. 714. 291.  19.7 14.7 20.5 12.9 6.6  Concentration #1 = 40% 1-5 = 95%  Vegetables p r e s e r v e d , canned/not canned  Nation 1) 2) 3) 4) 5)  kg (000)  Prepared c e r e a l , b r e a k f a s t  Nation 1) 2) 3) 4) 5)  frozen  China Taiwan U.S.A. U.K. Canada Source:  kg (000) $Hong Kong (000's) 13,431 3,259 2,687 1,594 774  52,766 12,998 18,699 8 ,508 4,711  Average Price/kg 3.9 4.0 7.0  Concentration #1 = 71% 1-5 = 94%  d e r i v e d from Hong Kong Trade S t a t i s t i c s , 1985  79 I n c r e a s i n g l e v e l s of c i r c u l a t i o n have had do w i t h  the emergence of these t r e n d s .  of f a s t , e f f i c i e n t  global  a good  deal to  In the p r e s e n t day e r a  transportation  and  high-technology  food p r o c e s s i n g and p r e p a r a t i o n , d i s t a n c e t o source i s becoming an i n c r e a s i n g l y l e s s s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r i n t r a d e . irradiation  and  perishability  super-cooling  of  fruits  and  have  greatly  T h i s has  of  and  market  horizons  i s that  consumerscome t o s p e c i a l i z e a t a g l o b a l s c a l e i n  products and sources r e s p e c t i v e l y . to t h i s  This situation i s  (see Table 12).  r e s u l t of the expansion  producers and  the  allowed  the p r e s e n t trends i n the imports of f r u i t s  v e g e t a b l e s from China and the USA  One  diminished  vegetables.  d i s t a n t c o u n t r i e s t o e n t e r the l o c a l market. e x e m p l i f i e d by  For example,  trend.  Hong  Kong i s  no e x c e p t i o n  Hong Kong imports 80% of i t s wheat f l o u r  from  one source - Japan (though Japan grows very l i t t l e wheat); some 70% of  Hong Kong's  from the  imports of evaporated/condensed  Holland.  Consistently  the  share  of  m i l k comes Hong Kong's  imports of s p e c i f i c items accounted f o r by the top f i v e i s over 90%.  c.  Another variation  of  (Source: Hong Trade S t a t i s t i c s  sources  1985)  V a r i a t i o n s i n Value.  feature value  of  Hong  within  food imported from developed  Kong's  import  regime  food-grouping by source. countries i s  i s the Usually  more h i g h l y v a l u e d .  80 Though  these  variations  appear  in  branded goods as w e l l as  t y p i c a l l y non-branded goods, the v a r i a t i o n s are more pronounced i n goods which may  be s u b j e c t t o branding.  f r o z e n c h i c k e n (see  Table  between DC  sources.  and LDC  huge divergence between  cheap  expensive,  in low  branded  distant, usually  11)  shows  By way  a  mild  p r i c e gradient  B r e a k f a s t foods, however, show a  value/kg.  Typically  value-added  imports  products  of examples,  imported  the from  from  divergence i s China and more  specific,  often  'core' sources.  Table 12. Imports L e v e l s , Vegetables and F r u i t , S e l e c t e d C o u n t r i e s (HK$ M i l l i o n ) Country/Year  1983  1984  1985  China USA  2,075 1,217  1,897 1,259  1,918 1,372  Source:  % Change - 7.5% +12.7%  Hong Kong Annual D i g e s t of S t a t i s t i c s 1986  Edition  Table 13. Imports by End-use by Main S u p p l i e r F o o d s t u f f s (HK$ M i l l i o n ) Supplier/Year  1976  1979  1982  1985  China USA Japan Thailand Australia  3,352 798 359 477 357  4,520 1,259 611 668 553  7,941 2,152 1,125 844 789  8,797 2,944 1,488 1,008 846  TOTAL  6,925  9,968  16,785  20,752  Source:  Hong Kong Annual D i g e s t of S t a t i s t i c s  %Change +162% +271% +314% +111% +137% +200%  1986 E d i t i o n  81 d.  The  Bases of Changing  increasing  Imports.  proportion  (in  processed, n o n - t r a d i t i o n a l f o o d s t u f f s Hong  Kong's  import  profile  is  processes.  These might be termed  d i r e c t set  i s based  food  T.N.C's  a r t i c u l a t i o n of techniques).  colony  the  The  of  core  indicative  of  ' d i r e c t ' and  value)  of  countries i n two  s e t s of  'indirect'.  The  and market advantages of  structural  the world  constraints  of  the  and l o c a l food systems (eg. storage  indirect  l i f e - s t y l e s , needs  from  on the marketing  and  terms  set  occurs  via  the  changing  and wants of the people of Hong Kong as the  undergoes  rapid  industrialization,  urbanization  and  s o c i a l change.  As  mentioned  above,  and  'industrialized' countries (in  value  terms)  advantage of  of  as  illustrated  are s u p p l y i n g  Hong  Kong's  in industrialized  foodstuffs  (Goody  l i e s , not  1982;  Table  13,  an i n c r e a s i n g amount  imports.  industrialized countries  by  The  relative  surprisingly,  Horst 1974).  These  f o o d s t u f f s tend t o be h i g h l y processed and c a p i t a l i n t e n s i v e i n nature. the  Processed food items have o f t e n a l r e a d y moved through  product  cycle  (see  UN  1981:148).  developing countries  ( l i k e Hong  Kong) as  low  integrated  marketing  margin  and  an  therefore, often highly competitive.  Thus,  they  reach  mature goods w i t h a plan.  They are,  82 The  conduits  which  link  are o f t e n food T.N.C's. control  an  'core' and d e v e l o p i n g c o u n t r i e s  Food  increasing  transnationals  share  of  the  are  global  (Clairmonte and Cavanagh 1982a, 1982b; George 1978; They aim  to v e r t i c a l l y  integrate their  and shape a i l areas of the marketing)  (Howe  standardize products.  one  convergence occurs v i a the import  The  success  changes i n the shaped  in  of  the  local  U.N.  1981).  way  often  that  seek to  the  process of  regime.  standardized  'indirect  trade  (from a g r i - b u s i n e s s to  Transnationals  This i s  food  operations to c o n t r o l  food system  1983).  coming to  route'  imports  to  dynamics  i s f a c i l i t a t e d by  change.  This  of s o c i a l change.  route i s Changes i n  l i f e - s t y l e s or f a m i l y c y c l e s w i t h i n the context of u r b a n i z a t i o n and  industrialization  patterns.  As the b a s i c  similar  to  what  c o u n t r i e s , products relative  Thus,  nature  was  of  these  experienced  from those  in  shifts  in  changes the  c o u n t r i e s may  dietary  i s broadly  industrialized f i n d niches with  In Summation.  it  the  forces within of t h i s  necessitate  ease.  e.  reflects  may  appears  dynamic  that  interaction  the context  interaction  the  is  Hong of  Kong macro  import and  of r a p i d s o c i a l change.  that  the  Hong  Kong  food  profile  micro The  level result  system i s  83 increasingly  characterized  by  a h i g h l e v e l of v a l u e - a d d i t i o n  and i n t e r n a t i o n a l s p e c i f i c a t i o n  of  'sources*  for  a  changing  spectrum of food types.  A.  Re-Exports.  Hong Kong  i s becoming  i n c r e a s i n g l y l i n k e d to an emergent  network of the g l o b a l food system, as  regional  sub-centre.  This  i n c r e a s i n g importance of the ' i n d u s t r i a l ' ) food  The  value  b i l l i o n HK$ growth striking  of  (at  when  trend  is  manifest  r e - e x p o r t and  re-exported to 5  least  seen  in  export of  in  foodstuffs  b i l l i o n HK$ in  the  the  (largely  the  context  (see Graph  3), i t  integration  interaction  with  increased  i n 1985.  1980's)  re-export sector and  developing i t s role  products.  i n 1976  rate  and i s  of  Though t h i s  i s not Hong  from 1  particularly Kong's e n t i r e  i l l u s t r a t e s an i n c r e a s i n g an  industrial  world  food  system.  The  re-export  sector i s  more impressive i f one  the v a l u e of the goods handled. 4) one area.  should note Yet again  one  t h a t the sees  In terms of food s e c t o r  the  escalation  considers  u n i t value  (Graph  i s a l e a d i n g growth in  the  value  (-  a d d i t i o n ) of f o o d s t u f f s which are e n t e r i n g and/or being t r a n s h i p p e d v i a the Hong Kong food system.  The  i n c r e a s e i n the  84  Graphs 3 and 4, X  o  •o  in  Cr  o  o  T  o  o  CM  o  ro  co CV  o  CO CO  => o t o CD •o —X e  «3co  OJLul—-I J2en OJ —3 -J -o c  >>CO  to  >> s-  ro o ~- c X  o  cn  J ••U —•U ra c <u 1JO  CM CO  c_>  ZD  -i  X  C3  •oc  o in  o >a-  o ro  co  T 3O -J C C OC 3 "O O 4> - C O o - on ro s_  O o  o  CTl  0 n <g o CD * i — (*- O to  co  o — •—  o o  O  O © co co  CO co  ^J* ro  CM  •— o  CD  ^* ro  o  o  o  - 3_C <1L 0111 4J 10Mi -— 3 3 21 4> 3-r- 301  CM  E  <o E * *-> i in to to T - -o — c E Q. O O rd OJ ro O C_> CC to C_> U_ U.  o  >> u o  «3CO  -O <_) to  OJ  X  —  •*-> (/>  S - ©I O c-o  CC CD  CL  co cn  —  •<CO  o  O _  o 0 0o  CO  o ro  o  CM  O co co  *r  ro  CM  • co  co  >3- ro  o  ©  o  o  o  X  Source:  Hong Kong Review of Overseas Trade 1985.  85 value  of  foodstuffs  inflationary  tendency  is  not  in  merely  all  foods.  p e r i o d the v a l u e of imports from Kong Review of Overseas Trade  It i s ,  up o n l y  Re-exports  from China.  s e c t o r at  Singapore).  mainly i n v o l v e  or v e g e t a b l e s  as advanced as  one  of food  -- which are o f t e n  which are  trans-shipped to  i n a nascent  stage.  Food E x p o r t s .  Hong Kong's r o l e as an e x p o r t e r of f o o d s t u f f s more i n d u s t r i a l i z e d . a regional  foodstuffs.  An  Local role i n  example  14.  the export of  this  of s p e c i f i c  process  imported beverage  is  processed  Hong  Kong's  market as  seen  Table 14 imparts some sense of the r a p i d i t y w i t h  which changes i n the place. The  i s markedly  Hong Kong i n t e r e s t s are moving t o  i n c r e a s i n g c o n t r o l of China's  table.  Hong  Hong Kong's r o l e as a r e g i o n a l c e n t r e i n the world  food system i s s t i l l  can take  (Hong  present.  transhipment  ( e s p e c i a l l y sea-products  canned i n Hong Kong  i n Table  10%  1985).  as r e - e x p o r t e r i s not, perhaps,  might imagine.  take on  a basic  however, important not t o impute too much emphasis  Kong's r o l e  3.  of  Indeed, over t h i s same  China was  w i t h r e g a r d t o Hong Kong's r e - e x p o r t  to or  indicative  first  Two  world food interesting  i s the s c a l e and  (and beverages) market/system f e a t u r e s stand  out i n t h i s  speedy development  Kong's dominance of China * s beverage imports.  of Hong  86 Another f e a t u r e  of note i s the r a p i d d e c l i n e i n the share  of the USA i n the Chinese market. is  not  likely  to  be  the  One wonders  result  of  i f this  decline  a s h i f t of US c a p i t a l  ' o f f s h o r e ' t o s e t up branch p l a n t s i n Hong Kong.  Comparative Commodities Country  Hong Kong France USA Source:  4.  Table 14 Share of Hong Kong's P r i n c i p a l Export i n Main Markets -- Beverages i n China  % Share of T o t a l Imports i n t o  Market  1983  1984  1985 (Jan-Sept)  38.7 15.7 17.3  60.0 13.0 13.2  73.0 14.2 4.0  Hong Kong Review of Overseas Trade i n 1985  In Summation.  From t h i s b r i e f look  at  Hong  Kong's  food import/export  p r o f i l e i t seems c l e a r t h a t Hong Kong i s becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y enmeshed i n a  global  addition)  the  system  of  has  capital  food  goods  increased  intensity,  and thus,  convergence.  entering  markedly.  value-addition,  e f f e c t and r e f l e c t the system --  system.  increasing  are the  Further,  the  v a l u e (-  and l e a v i n g the l o c a l food The and impact  increasing  l e v e l s of  internationalization of  the  world food  c a t a l y s t s and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of  87 B.  The  I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of a L o c a l Food  Economy -- The  Hong Kong Case  I t seems u s e f u l to use m i c r o - l e v e l dynamics i n the p r o d u c t i o n one  can  also  the Hong Kong  melange  a  sphere of a l o c a l food  illustrate  matter of of  local  complexity  is  case to  of the process of c a p i t a l  how  p r o c e s s of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n simply  complex  of  variables.  r e g u l a t i o n , the relevance  intensification In t h i s  way  and m u l t i - l a y e r e d  the  is.  but a l s o  However,  increasing  o u t l i n e the  system.  foodstuffs  external dictates,  the  Production  It  i s not  of a complex  underlying  pervasiveness  of  this  capitalist  of which i n c r e a s e s w i t h the growth i n  capital intensity.  In Hong f o r c e s has production.  Kong, the  led,  in  conjunction  general,  an  intensification  T h i s i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by  product types and  increasing  i n t o e x i s t i n g crops.  The  food system as a whole -processing  to  of i n t e r n a t i o n a l and  plant.  ' a g r i c u l t u r e ' to  It  c a p i t a l and  of  food  shifting  technological  inputs  i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n p r o c e s s permeates the from is  'agri-business'  i n d u s t r i a l commodity.  local  the  paddy  indicative and  of  bund of  food  to the  from  the shift  food of  s t a p l e to  88 1.  In The  a.  In  the  Fields  General T r e n d s  fields  the  111  .  situation  l i n e a r as c h a r a c t e r i z e d above. of v a r i o u s  not q u i t e as s t a r k or  In Hong Kong,  r e s u l t s of  i n c r e a s i n g land-use  i n c r e a s i n g land abandonment ( S i t 1981;  Agricultural pressures  lands  around  s i m i l a r to those found i n  In Hong Kong these i n c l u d e , 1)  l e d to  intensification  Yeung 1985b:20).  the urban core are undergoing  c o n d i t i o n s of r a p i d urban growth and  other p e r i - u r b a n  areas i n  industrialization.  (1-3  after Sit  1981)  pressure on f l a t land from i n d u s t r y (eg. to l e a s e land to s m a l l f a c t o r i e s ) r i s i n g labour c o s t s s p e c u l a t i o n i n regards t o 'new towns' development the impact of r e s e r v o i r c o n s t r u c t i o n (Hays 1983) c o n t r a c t u a l d i f f i c u l t i e s w i t h t r a d i t i o n a l tenants (Strauch 1984:205) ( i . e . , m o n e t i z a t i o n of agrarian s o c i a l relations)  2) 3) 4) 5)  Perhaps  ironically  c a t a l y s t which converts i s often  the i n t e r s e c t i o n  f o r c e s e f f e c t i n g the l o c a l space-economy has  the p a r a d o x i c a l and  is  considered  abandonment  of  land  these  to  government l a n d - f r e e z e between a g r i c u l t u r a l  (in  'laissez-faire' pressures  into  Hong  Kong) the  land abandonment  be the government (Yeung 1985b:20). has  and is  l e f t a good industrial an  d e a l of usage --  important  trend  A  l a n d i n limbo, abandoned. in  The  itselfH.  89 However, f o r  t h i s paper's  o b j e c t of main concern,  purpose i t  serves to h i g h l i g h t  the i n t e n s i f i e d  use of  the  the  remaining  l a n d base.  Agriculture i n Wade 1981; The  Hong Kong i s h i g h l y p r o d u c t i v e (Wong  Yeung 1985b; S i t 1981)  process  of  agricultural  o c c u r r i n g i n two ways. products grown;  interwoven.  changes i n  Clearly  these  1) s h i f t s  of a g r i - b u s i n e s s  In  intensification  Hong  two  (Davis and  Kong  types of  sets  of  changes are  Goldberg  appear  and  These trends l i e a t  convergence of  they  (eg.  as  a  1957)  and  thus  available  food  generalized  process.  Anderson captures product  i n the  Both are m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of the c a p i t a l i z a t i o n  p r o v i d e a major impetus f o r the types.  more so.  p r o d u c t i o n techniques  e v e n t u a l i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of a g r i c u l t u r e . the base  i s becoming  i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n i n Hong Kong i s  These are:  and 2)  l e v e l of i n p u t s ) .  and i t  1985;  the process  of i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n  through  s h i f t s w e l l by w r i t i n g :  From then [1966] on to 1974-75 the trend to s p e c i a l i z a t i o n continued with rice becoming almost extinct. The v e g e t a b l e s too began to g i v e way: more and more f i e l d s went i n t o even more s p e c i a l i z e d , h i g h - c a p i t a l , h i g h value-added a g r i c u l t u r e -- n o t a b l y flower farms ... the f u t u r e of farming i n the NT [New Territories] i s e v i d e n t l y to produce frank l u x u r i e s and to become more and more s p e c i a l i z e d . (Anderson 1977b:2) The c o l l a p s e  of the  i l l u s t r a t e s the tendency  r i c e - p r o d u c t i o n s e c t o r most s t r o n g l y to  increasingly  intensive  and  high  90 value  agricultural  production However,  was as  production  once  famed  Schiffer's  in  for  data  Hong Kong.  its have  technique shown,  p r o d u c t i o n accounted f o r o n l y  .02%  of  (Schiffer  1600  metric  1984:23).  produced i n  1970  1984:61-62).  While  only  70 tonnes  C l e a r l y one  Hong Kong r i c e  the  and q u a l i t y .  by  1980  level tons  were produced  local  of imports of r i c e were  i n 1980  (Hays  can not o v e r s t a t e the s h i f t s i n the  a g r i c u l t u r a l space economy.  A g r i c u l t u r a l land-usage devoted t o  rice f e l l  i n j u s t under two g e n e r a t i o n s (see  from 70.3%  t o 0.4%  flip-side  of  Graph 5 ) .  The  production i s  the  the s h i f t  precipitous  type of  rice  Intensive  c a p i t a l and t e c h n o l o g i c a l  crops and, a t base, the r e t u r n on c a p i t a l  ( i e . p r o d u c t i v i t y ) t o investment i n a g r i c u l t u r e . has undergone a number of s t a g e s . crop regimes  in  t o more ' i n t e n s i v e ' c r o p s .  i n t h i s sense r e f e r s t o the l e v e l of i n p u t s , the  decline  have become  T h i s process  At v a r i o u s p e r i o d s d i f f e r e n t  dominant  as  the a g r i c u l t u r a l  sector  responds t o a wide gamut of f o r c e s .  Graph 5  i n d i c a t e s the  f i r s t wave  Kong a g r i c u l t u r a l space economy. by  increasing  land-use  v e g e t a b l e s , f r u i t s and f i s h some of  the parameters  This  for  of change phase was  more  production.  i n the Hong characterized  intensive  crops  T a b l e 15  like  illustrates  of the second wave of i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n .  Of note here i s the r e l a t i v e l y  poor performance  of v e g e t a b l e s  91 production  since  1975  sectors.  The second  protein,  high  and  wave of  intensity  f i s h products.  the growth of even more i n t e n s i v e  These  change i s  products  c h a r a c t e r i z e d by high  such as c h i c k e n s , p i g s and  products  exemplify  the  processes of  i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n and i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n .  S a l t water  f i s h ponds  are the c u l m i n a t i o n of the process  of i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of 'brakish paddy' land aqua-culture.  Livestock, p a r t i c u l a r l y  areas o f c h i c k e n industrialized  and  pork  is  into high-intensity  the two b i g g e s t growth  traditionally  food s e c t o r s Graph 5. Changes  i n Agricultural  Land  Use  1954-1979  lOO-i IA  = •o  90 -  Z  80 -  1954  1969 Year  Source: Wong 1983.  1979  among  the more  92  Table 15. Per C a p i t a L o c a l P r o d u c t i o n of S e l e c t e d F o o d s t u f f s (Units) Foodstuff  1975  1977  1979  1981  1983  o,  1985  o  (KG s) 43.0 Vegetables 41.0 39.0 34.0 29.0 28.0 -31% 0.3 Rice 0.8 0.02 0.01 NA -100% NA 0.8 0.6 F i e l d Crops 1.8 0.5 0.3 0.3 -83% Milk 1.0 1.1 0.8 0.9 0.8 0.5 -54% * Fruit 0.7 0.5 0.2 0.9 0.9 0.2 F i s h , Crust 33.0 37.0 33.0 34.0 34.0 +3% (Head) Pigs 0.8 0.09 0.11 0.08 0.07 0.11 +38% Cattle 0.0003 0.0004 0.0004 0.0002 0.0002 .0001 -66% Chicken 2.3 3.3 3.3 3.3 2.9 2.6 +13% * too much p r o d u c t i o n i n s t a b i l i t y 1  Source:  D e r i v e d from Data i n the Hong Kong Annual D i g e s t of S t a t i s t i c s 1986, 1985  (Horst 1974).  In Hong Kong these a c t i v i t i e s have indeed become  more commercial and s p e c i a l i z e d  Perhaps agriculture products.  the is  ( S i t 1981:137-138).  ultimate  in  the  step  production  In 1976-77 the v a l u e  million dollars  (H.K.).  towards of  o f flower  industrialized  non-edible  consumer  p r o d u c t i o n was 35.5  T h i s was second o n l y t o v e g e t a b l e s and  was f o u r times the v a l u e o f f r u i t p r o d u c t i o n and s i x times the value  of  rice  production  p r o d u c t i o n had climbed  (by  1982  the  t o 73 m i l l i o n H.K.$  value  of  flower  - Hong Kong 1985).  93 F i n a l l y , i t i s important  to underline  the f a c t  t h a t not  o n l y are the types of products grown changing but so t o are the techniques of growing. technique  from  Hong Kong  hand-labour  has e x p e r i e n c e d  (Faure  1984),  mechanization  (eg. p o w e r - t i l l e r s e t c . ) ,  For example,  hydroponics-'-  is  independent  culmination process.  of  the  of  through  primary  to 'bio-technologies'.  i s becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y popular i n  2  Hong Kong (Yeung 1985b:33). which  a s h i f t of  Hydroponics, soil  conditions,  intensification  T h i s method r e l i e s  a  (and  type is  of farming perhaps  the  rationalization)  on,  s c i e n t i f i c a l l y c o n t r o l l e d mixtures of p l a n t n u t r i e n t s and water t o be s u p p l i e d t o v e g e t a b l e s and f r u i t s as these are r e q u i r e d . On the same amount of l a n d , m u l t i p l e t i e r s of v e g e t a b l e s and f r u i t s can be grown, thus increasing production levels several times. (Yeung 1985b:33)  b.  Sources of Change.  The  reasons  for  this  process  i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n are v a r i o u s . land  values;  i n c r e a s i n g wage  2)  of  the  of  new  of  the  agrarian  increasingly within  has  local  sector;  expensive  foods;  and  c u l t i v a t o r s r e c e n t l y emigrated from China.  variables  and  3)  Hong Kong; 3) government p o l i c y ;  i n c r e a s e d l o c a l demand f o r more impact  specialization  They i n c l u d e : 1) i n c r e a s i n g  monetization levels i n  of  preeminence,  act  5) the None  in  toto,  the c o n t e x t of a broader world food  system  (eg. v i a import c o m p e t i t i o n or technology  they  4)  transfer).  94  The  impact  Guandong complex  of  Chinese  illustrates of  forces  the and  the impact  of the of an  depth gives  i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n process one fragment  immigrant of one  occurs i n  agriculturists  interaction some  within this  idea  of  Hong  l a r g e r dynamic.  Most  w r i t e r s agree  food  production  course of  Hong Kong  agents r e a c t i n g t o , and d e f i n i n g food  formation.  that  system  in  the  s t r u c t u r e of  sector.  t r a n s n a t i o n a l s ) these people were not independent  local  the  ' i n v a s i o n ' of vegetable and pond farmers ( S i t  Kong  a l t e r i n g the  how  s i t u through the example of  1981:241) from China i s one f a c t o r i n the changing the  from  Yet  (like  agents  freely  food p r o d u c t i o n . the  context  shifting of  the  They are  nature  of the  changing  social  They f i r s t had a need f o r c a p i t a l , saw  a potential  market and moved t o f i l l i t .  One  reason  for  the  need  for  c a p i t a l was  immigrant  tenants r e n t e d l a n d on a monetary b a s i s  from the  past).  To the  needs r e q u i r e d a s h i f t t o production.  more  Vegetable farming  intensive  vegetable  cheaper  The d r i v e behind t h i s new  sources  expensive f o o d s t u f f s .  and  an  Strauch,  capital and f i s h  i n c r e a s e d cash flow nine times of l a n d  increasing for  needed f o r  p r o d u c t i o n l o g i c was  awareness of a d e c l i n e i n the v a l u e of r i c e due from  new  (a departure  r e n t e r s , t h e i r e x p e r t i s e and  ( S i t 1981:127) w h i l e d e c r e a s i n g the amount production.  t h a t the  to competition  market  example,  the  for  more  (1984:192) has  95 w r i t t e n t h a t these immigrants were "seeking f i e l d s s u i t a b l e f o r markets." Competition from lower increased value  priced rice  imports, and the  of l a n d , i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h market s h i f t s and  l o c a l knowledge, thus l e d t o a change i n  production p r i o r i t i e s  and a change i n the l o c a l food system.  The Hong  Kong government was an a c t i v e supporter of these  changes through Organization"  the a u s p i c e s and  the  of the  targeting  "Vegetable  and Marketing  of a g r i c u l t u r a l  l o a n funds.  S i t has a s s e r t e d t h a t t h i s o r g a n i z a t i o n was, founded t o promote the transformation of the a g r i c u l t u r a l economy from one h e a v i l y based i n r i c e p r o d u c t i o n t o one o f v e g e t a b l e and f i s h pond c u l t u r e . ( S i t 1981:75)  Plainly  put,  i t would  seem t h a t t h e r e was no money t o be  made i n r i c e anymore.  In Hong Kong  replaying  which  of  agricultural with a  trends  s e c t o r becomes  one sees  continue  i n microcosm the  around  increasingly  the world:  capitalized.  techniques and t r a n s p o r t modes,  local  local  land  prices,  advantage o f l o c a l e .  capital  Faced  g l o b a l market o f ( o f t e n s u b s i d i z e d ) c o m p e t i t i o n , h i g h l y  advanced a g r i c u l t u r a l  staple  the  '  -- d e c l i n e d ,  rice  As the  relative  producers  intense products.  producers price  and h i g h  l o s t much of t h e i r of r i c e  -- 'the  turned t o more h i g h l y v a l u e d ,  96 The  r e s u l t of the  intensification place-specific (i.e.  p r o c e s s e s of  are  that  (Harwood  fertilizers),  dependent  requires  r e t u r n on value-added). immersed i n the  agriculture  1977),  and  c a p i t a l and  technological becomes  on  less  other r e s o u r c e s  a higher c a p i t a l return ( i . e .  A g r i c u l t u r e thus  becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y  l o g i c of the g l o b a l market.  This  ' l o g i c ' leads  to g e o g r a p h i c a l r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n .  c.  In Summation.  R a t i o n a l i z a t i o n leads and  specialization  the  geographical s p e c i f i c a t i o n These n i c h e s  are,  however, p a r t of a l a r g e r g l o b a l p r o d u c t i o n m a t r i x , r a t h e r  than  a purely  of  to  production  local eco-cultural  niches.  one.  As the breadth and  the g l o b a l market i n c r e a s e s  i t comes to r a t i o n a l i z e  of  thus,  food  production,  consumption. agents a c t  and  It i s within and  v a r i a b l e s can  local  v a r i a t i o n s are  the new  intensive vegetable  impinges on  redefine  played-out.  combine  linear to  the  overlying  immigrants need f o r , and  interactive.  structural  move to more  crops).  (i.e.  shape  food  These l o c a l  Thus, through changes i n the a g r i c u l t u r e s e c t o r rather  a l l facets  t h i s broader c o n t e x t t h a t i n d i v i d u a l  r e i n f o r c e or  parameters (e.g.  ultimately  depth of  the  In some  intensification) resultant sense i t  the  dynamic i s the  seem to  processes are  complex  be  which and  depth of t h i s process  97 which  provides  seemingly  the  overall  ineluctable  combination  continuity  nature.  In  of  change,  the  fields  of micro and macro f o r c e s has l e d  intensification,  perhaps  t o an  and i t s  then,  the  increasing  u l t i m a t e l y i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of food  production.  2.  The Hong Kong Food I n d u s t r y .  The c a p i t a l i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n process does not s t a r t or stop at the of  farm gate  Hong  Kong's  (or the paddy bund). fastest  value-addition i n  the food  380%  from  330%.  show some  processing sector.  to  1982.  of the  Though  trends  and  the number of  gross output i n c r e a s e d  Further,  ' p l a n t ' i n c r e a s e d 300%  These growth  capita  1981:142)  (and employees) dropped,  1976  f o r m a t i o n , or  Table 16  Per  i n Hong Kong i s amongst the  income LDC's. (UN  The data g i v e n i n  establishments  'industries'.  food p r o c e s s i n g  h i g h e s t of a l l middle  t r a i t s of  growing  Food p r o c e s s i n g i s one  gross  fixed  and v a l u e a d d i t i o n  capital was  r a t e s o u t s t r i p the r a t e of i n f l a t i o n  up  over  t h i s p e r i o d ( i . e . 60%-World Bank 1983).  The Hong Kong food p r o c e s s i n g i n d u s t r y which paper.  will  become  It is  which have  a  common  characterized  theme by  two  distinct characteristics.  presents a p r o f i l e  i n the remainder kinds As  of t h i s  of e s t a b l i s h m e n t s Table 17 shows, the  98 s e c t o r as a whole terms  of  These  large  biggest  is  total  dominated  output,  total  establishments  producers  employee than the  10  smallest  the l a r g e r ones.  large  the  most  times  more v a l u e  and t o t a l  sales).  productive.  The  more v a l u e a d d i t i o n per  grouping.  The v a r i a n c e  establishments ( i n  value-added  are  extract  establishments create  by  However,  the s m a l l e r  a d d i t i o n per u n i t s a l e s than  i n value  a d d i t i o n per  u n i t of  s a l e s i s a r e f l e c t i o n of a number of f a c t o r s .  The  first  of these f a c t o r s i s t h a t i t i s i n the nature of  l a r g e p r o d u c t i o n complexes to seek a s m a l l margin ( t h i s i s t h e i r c o m p e t i t i v e edge). this  a  step  mass-market.  further.  themselves,  They  through  techniques.  Thus they  market  accommodation  to  e s t a b l i s h m e n t s eke markets  'fit'  attempt  price,  establishments f o r volume  to  bring  advertising  and  seek  a  of s a l e s and  the  market  other  to  marketing  Smaller e s t a b l i s h m e n t s , on the other hand, need a  s m a l l e r market.  in  Yet perhaps one can c a r r y  larger  They t r a d e market  standardization.  particular  The  on each s a l e  tend  to  'go  niche.  It  is  i n t h i s awareness o f , and  segments  of  out t h e i r  dominated  standardization,  and  smaller establishments  by the  the  profit.  large inverse  predominate.  to'  or  market  to  that  serve a  smaller  T h e r e f o r e , the tendency  establishments  is  towards  i s l i k e l y to be t r u e where  99 Table 16. Hong Kong, Food P r o c e s s i n g I n d u s t r y Year  1971  1976  1979  1981  1983  1,153  1,127  1984*  Number of Establishments  689  1,190  971  928  Average Number of Persons  Engaged  NA  15.2  NA  1,244  NA  381  16.6  17.3  16.7  2,389  NA  4,722  710  NA  1,251  23.3  Gross Output ( m i l l i o n HK$)  5,498  Value Added ( m i l l i o n HK$)  1,317  Gross F i x e d C a p i t a l Formation NA 45 97 NA 135 158 Sources: U.N. Yearbook of I n d u s t r i a l S t a t i s t i c s V o l . 1 General I n d u s t r i a l S t a t i s t i c s various editions * Source: Hong Kong Survey of I n d u s t r i a l P r o d u c t i o n 1984 note: where these sources o v e r l a p they demonstrate compatability. The t r e n d i n the Hong Kong food p r o c e s s i n g s e c t o r seems t o be t o l a r g e r , more p r o d u c t i v e e s t a b l i s h m e n t s 17).  In terms of the p r e c e d i n g argument,  t h a t the  (see Tables 16  i t is  also  and  apparent  r a t i o of gross-output t o v a l u e - a d d i t i o n i s d e c l i n i n g .  T h i s i m p l i e s a move towards mass-market p r o d u c t i o n and away from the Hong Kong norm of s m a l l e s t a b l i s h m e n t s One  possible  result  of  this  s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n , o f product. l i k e l y to  have an the  process  is  Further, t h i s  ( P e a t t i e 1985).  likely  to  be  a  standardization i s  i n t e r n a t i o n a l b i a s f o r t h r e e reasons. These  include:  1)  type  technology  transfer);  2)  of the  capital need  goods  brought  in (ie.  t o expand markets (to go  100 international  -- eg. beverages  l e v e l s of f o r e i g n  o o  «>  and  3) i n c r e a s i n g  17.  01  Ol  VP ro  CN  .  ro  o  China);  investment.  Table  3  to  JI  3  CM  .— •  31  .  .—  A  1 3 3  ©  3 3 3  CM . T— 1  •  CN  r—  •  .  3 *—  31  IT) 31 | 3  O  >1 U  3  3  3  3  JJ  01 3 TJ  -  U>  X  3  31  CN  T  1 3 3  o •3>  C  U 3 O  JJ  3  JJ  3  O  u 01  lu  u •3  JI  rn  3  •S) r—  ro  .  35  no  3 3 3  31 31  31  c  o  M  J3  Oj  JJ  31  Jl  rn  ro  31 31 31  ro  ro r-  .  T—  •  ro  JJ  01 3 •o  JI  JI 3  •  3  31  U  *~  .  »—  '.0  H  ro rv]  <tf  1) > u 31  31 31 31  •  JI  ng  3  3  • -0  CO  D ro  .  •M  X  31  1  -  0  .  vO  3  Q  O  3  TJ  IS  1  3 3 3  a  in  CN  O  ro ro  3  3  31  31  3 3  o  JJ  H JJ  1  1  i> o  *—  a  •o CO  a  •  .  3  r^  31  CN  31  •  ^  to  o  3 3 3  3 3 J->  1  3 3  £>  31 31 31  r»  31 31  T—  *™  3 3  V  V)  tN  JJ  U  t)  CM  ro  ro  CN  JI  X r» ro  .  ro  r—  •  •  •  JJ  (0  3  JJ  JJ  a  CD  a.  01 c  *j  E  0 01  -1 3 (8 0,  -I  •  (0 01  JJ  JJ  JJ  JJ  ^  O  H  C S  0  3  0) 0 0) 0  <JJ  #> .  i — •  1  JJ  •H  >  CN *—  1  -n  m  •Q  3 0 o 1> 3  Ol  c 0  i  to u fj  31  3 •O  .  r—  CN  •—  0  T—  0  •u  0  u  'J  .  rO  aD  JJ  01  -1 JJ  0  H  uj  0 •  ro  in .  -o CD  -o  <  1) 3 H  •  .  rd JJ  0  E-<  CO  1) CD  >1  0  M-l -1  0  a<  #  M  JI  B  V V  <  JJ  -1  c d) D M  a,  01 3 c <D -1 0 -1 (0 •H <d  >  •  V  V  1  1  -I  JJ  >  H  •o  <  M  0)  0)  a. >i  0 3 c H -1 0 Q i 10 -1 £  >  JJ  •H M  0) T3 0) o  3 0  101 The  i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z i n g nature  i n d u s t r y i s apparent i n trends (FDI)  (after  Hung  1984).  the  i n foreign FDI  i n the  "manufacturing i n d u s t r y " i n c r e a s e d m i l l i o n Hong Kong d o l l a r s  of  food  processing  d i r e c t investment food  and beverage  from 5.4 m i l l i o n t o 386.7  from 1971  t o 1981.  This  increased  the food and beverage s e c t o r ' s share o f t o t a l FDI from 0.79% t o 5.7%.  In percentage terms the i n c r e a s e i n FDI i n the Hong Kong  food and  beverage s e c t o r was 7,061%.  T h i s r a t e of growth even  o u t s t r i p p e d the e l e c t r o n i c s s e c t o r .  3.  In Summation.  C l e a r l y the increasingly matrix.  case  enmeshed  The nature  m a t r i x leads Kong  local  food and  production constrained  and l o g i c  demonstrated  i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n occurs  i n situ.  i n a larger  mode  of  regulation  importance of t h i s impingement production  sector,  as the  production  T h i s examination o f the Hong  how  the  process  I t i s the  into  the  i s not  of  capital  r e s u l t of a wide  range o f f a c t o r s , but i s u n d e r l a i n by permeation capitalist  i s becoming  of t h i s production/consumption  to standardization. has  economy  of the g l o b a l  local milieu.  s o l e l y confined  following sections  The  t o the  outline i t also  g r e a t l y impacts the realms o f c i r c u l a t i o n and consumption, i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n occurs i n s i t u . range o f  It  i s the r e s u l t of  a wide  f a c t o r s , but i s u n d e r l a i n by permeation o f the g l o b a l  c a p i t a l i s t mode of  regulation  into  the  local  milieu.  The  102 importance of production  t h i s impingement  sector,  i s not s o l e l y c o n f i n e d  as the f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n s  t o the  outline i t also  g r e a t l y impacts the realms of c i r c u l a t i o n and consumption.  C.  CHANGES IN THE HONG KONG FOOD DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM.  In many  ways the nature of  food d i s t r i b u t i o n system underlying  prospectus  provide  variables. due  a  suitable  of t h i s t h e s i s .  a c t s as l i n k a g e between, and a micro-level  the changes i n the Hong Kong  choices  and  analogy  The d i s t r i b u t i o n system  context  for  constraints  the i n t e r a c t i o n of  and more  I n Hong Kong t h i s i s perhaps  macro-level  particularly  t o the f l u i d i t y and a d a p t a b i l i t y of the commercial  Changes t e x t u r e of part of  i n distribution  networks  i s t h a t "a whole  find their  t o the  process because  s e r i e s of  agents now  they are t h e c o n d u i t s  intervened  between the  These i n t e r v e n e r s a r e  through which f o o d s t u f f s  way t o the consumer (see B u c k l i n 1976:59-60).  are o f t e n very the r e q u i s i t e s  sensitive  t o the dynamics o f  the l o c a l  r e d e f i n e the d i s c o u r s e  m i l i e u who  They  the i n t e r p l a y of  of the i n d u s t r i a l p a l a t e and l o c a l  They a r e agents w i t h i n d e f i n e and  sector.  of the expansion of the c i r c u l a t o r y sphere  producer and consumer." (Goody 1982:166) important f o r  explicit  are c r i t i c a l  the i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n / c o n v e r g e n c e  the nature  f o r an  communities.  by t h e i r  between the world  food system and the agency of l o c a l consumption.  actions  industrial  103 The Hong complex  Kong food  multitude  However, one  of  distribution overlapping  can i d e n t i f y  system  i s i n f a c t a very  networks  of d i s t r i b u t i o n .  two b a s i c  are i n some sense i d e n t i f i a b l e  by  kinds o f ' s e c t o r s ' which  the  products  they  purvey.  (Though these groupings are not c l e a r l y demarcated nor mutually exclusive.) livestock  The f i r s t  and  r i c e marketing  government-regulated New T e r r i t o r i e s  or China.  (often  Wholesale,  system.  'markets' t o  and  in  foodstuffs  from the  I t i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a d i f f u s i o n  Hawkers)  Retail  produce,  T h i s s e c t o r tends t o be  and d e a l s mostly  of product from l a r g e sellers  i s the more t r a d i t i o n a l Chinese  (Hong  numerous v e r y Kong,  Import/Export  small scale  Establishments  Trades,  in  Restaurants and  H o t e l s . 1979.)  A second  'sector' i s t h a t which handles mostly processed,  p r e s e r v e d and/or f o r e i g n f o o d s t u f f s . tightly articulated  sector.  be  exclusively)  increasingly,  of  late,  i s more  The degree of  i s h i g h e r i n t h i s s e c t o r than i n the  more t r a d i t i o n a l not  grouping  w i t h the g l o b a l food system.  c o n c e n t r a t i o n of ownership  (though  This  T h e ' o u t l e t s ' of t h i s s e c t o r tend t o grocers convenience  or  supermarkets stores  such  (and as  'Seven-Elevens').  1.  General  Trends.  Because s h i f t s i n the ecology and economy of  food s e l l i n g  104 are most  apparent  a t the r e t a i l l e v e l t h i s a n a l y s i s w i l l  on r e t a i l o u t l e t s . - ^  A  1  number  of  surprising  and  focus  a t times  a p p a r e n t l y c o n t r a d i c t o r y trends seem t o be emerging i n the Hong Kong food r e t a i l i n g s e c t o r .  One  sees a  t r e n d towards bigger  e s t a b l i s h m e n t s , e x e m p l i f i e d by supermarkets, a p r o l i f e r a t i o n of smaller establishments sellers;  and  more  - in  fresh  recently  e s t a b l i s h m e n t the convenience  fruit  a  move  and to  the changes i n numbers of e s t a b l i s h m e n t s This  third  by 4  broad  'grocery'  provision sector. changes i n  goods but  here l a r g e l y i n terms of changes  are a l s o  from  Perhaps the most n o t a b l e  the graph  i n regards  t o the  o u t l e t s i s the r e s i l i e n c e o f the Chinese  T h i s r e l a t i v e s t a b i l i t y i l l u m i n a t e s a theme,  the food  much t o be simply  -- the f r e s h  'grocery' s e c t o r i s a l s o of  supermarket s e c t o r s .  g e n e r a l t r e n d t o be gleaned traditional  groupings  (FFV) and supermarket s e c t o r s .  i n t e r e s t but w i l l be addressed FFV and  o f the  graph q u i t e v i v i d l y shows the two major  The d e c l i n e i n the t r a d i t i o n a l  i n the  of  Graph 6 i l l u s t r a t e s  growth areas i n terms of numbers of e s t a b l i s h m e n t s f r u i t and v e g e t a b l e  type  s t o r e , an amalgam of some  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the two dominant t y p e s .  from 1974-1984.  a  v e g e t a b l e (FFV)  r e t a i l i n g / d i s t r i b u t i o n system tend not so  the r e s u l t linked to  d i f f e r i n g kinds of r e t a i l  of a  r e p u d i a t i o n of t r a d i t i o n a l  the e c o l o g i e s  outlets.  and economies o f  105 Graph 6.  6000  5000  4000  J  F r e s h  3000-  / _J GM  ^ ^ f  C h i n . P r o v i s i o n s  2000  1000  '971  75  76  77  78  79  SO  81  Source: Hong Kong Survey o f Wholesale, R e t a i l  2.  33  84  85  ... 1984.  Comparing R e t a i l Types.  There a r e some r a t h e r i n t e r e s t i n g comparison t o be made i n egards t o the 'nature'  of d i f f e r e n t  outlets.  Of p a r t i c u l a r  106 note are the r a t h e r s t a r k d i f f e r e n c e s i n the two growth areas of FFV and supermarkets. the nature  Few  areas exemplify the divergence i n  of these two k i n d s of e s t a b l i s h m e n t s as much as the  number of  employees per  the  differences  vast  establishment. in  the  size  T a b l e 18  illustrates  of these of two  s o r t s of  outlets.  Table 18. S c a l e of o p e r a t i o n s , Number of Employees,Selected Types # of employees  >10  Supermarket F r e s h F r u i t and Vegetables Groc's of Chinese Prov. Groc's of General Prov. Source:  emp.  <5  84% 4.1% 6.1% 5.8%  the Hong  represent  a  emp.  3.4% 88.2% 64.4% 76.9%  Hong Kong, Survey of Wholesale, R e t a i l  C l e a r l y supermarkets  R e t a i l Types  radical  Kong norm of s m a l l e n t e r p r i s e s  ...  1984.  departure from  ( c f . P e a t t i e 1985)  the FFV s e c t o r seems t o e p i t o m i z e t h a t model.  The  yet  differences  between these two types of o u t l e t s go deeper than the number of employees. addition  (see per  Table  unit  19)  sales,  The sales  inter-relationship  per e s t a b l i s h m e n t and gross  margin per e s t a b l i s h m e n t i s most t e l l i n g smaller from  (see  every  outlet.  (see Table  17).  The  above) more numerous FFV o u t l e t s get more 'value' sales  value-addition T h i s i s one  of v a l u e  per  reason  dollar. unit for  They of  the  have  twice  the  l e v e l of  s a l e s t h a t the supermarket proliferation  of  this  does.  k i n d of  107 The o v e r a l l v a l u e - a d d i t i o n and s a l e s per e s t a b l i s h m e n t a r e f a r lower f o r FFV o u t l e t s than supermarkets. the nature  o f each.  T h i s i s p a r t of  The FFV has a lower t u r n o v e r and s m a l l e r  market but by d i r e c t l y s e r v i n g a market  (eg. by l o c a t i o n ) i t  e x t r a c t s the  The  inverse.  maximum v a l u e - a d d i t i o n .  The nature  supermarket i s the  o f these two v e r y d i f f e r e n t  'niches' can  t e l l one much about the food system i n Hong Kong as w e l l as the more  general  question  of  The FFV goes t o , and adapts through  price,  consumer t o i t .  diversity  the m o d e r n i z a t i o n of food systems. t o the market. and  marketing  This i s a c r i t i c a l  The supermarket  seeks  t o b r i n g the  distinction.  T a b l e 19 S a l e s , Gross Margin and V a l u e - A d d i t i o n S e l e c t e d R e t a i l Types (HK $'s) R e t a i l Types Supermarkets  VA/Sales 11.7  VA/Est. 294.1  GM/Sales 13.6  GM/Est. 343.3  Groceries of Chinese P r o v i s i o n s  15.9  53  16.9  56  16.7  32  18.3  35  G r o c e r i e s of General P r o v i s i o n s  F r e s h F r u i t s and Vegetables S e l l e r s 27.1 26 28.8 VA - 'Census Value Added' GM - Gross Margin Est - Establishment Source: D e r i v e d from data i n 1982 Hong Kong Survey of Wholesale, R e t a i l and Import/Export Trades, Restaurants and H o t e l s  28  108 3.  The Supermarket i n Hong Kong.  a.  The most  General Growth Trends.  covert manifestation  of the  food r e t a i l i n g s e c t o r i s the supermarket. i s to the  some the  dull  mass-market i n the It  r e p r e s e n t s what  vanguard (e.g. Kaynak 1982:246) and t o others  homogenization  of  the  mass-market.  Newcombe  (1977:336) f o r example, w r i t e s t h a t , "supermarkets are the same i n Hong Kong as they are throughout the r e s t of the world".  Graph 7.  Graph  320 -|  Index  of  Value  of  Sales  '  Supermarkets  300 280 _  /  260  /  240 220 -  .  200 180  Consumer  --  Durables  Foodstuffs, Alch..Tobacco Department S t o r e s All Retail Trades  160 140 120 J 100  80  81  i—  82  83  ~1  84  85  Source: Hong Kong Annual D i g e s t of S t a t i s t i c s ,  1986.  In Hong Kong the numbers of supermarkets i n c r e a s e d from 62 i n 1974/75 t o 655 i n 1984/85. tell  the  whole s t o r y  Yet  gives  a more  fewer o u t l e t s .  accurate p i c t u r e  Hong Kong supermarket s e c t o r . their  share  of  the  negligible levels  in  growth does not  because i t i s the nature of supermarkets  t h a t they do more b u s i n e s s w i t h Graph 7  even t h i s  Hong the  Thus,  of the growth of the  Supermarkets Kong  late  food 1960's  perhaps  have i n c r e a s e d  retailing to  market  from  approximately 55%  today. (SCMP 9/1/86)  b.  The  A Case Study.  vibrancy  of  e v i d e n t i f one focuses chain,  and  the on  i t s direct  a  system.  specific  parent  a r c h e t y p a l exemplars of the and i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n  supermarket s e c t o r i s p a r t i c u l a r l y  firm,  p r o c e s s of  of t h i s  chain.  The Wellcome  Dairy  Farm,  growth,  f a c e t of  seem the  capitalization  the Hong Kong food  From 1981 t o 1985 Wellcome Supermarkets  increased i t s  share of Hong Kong food s a l e s from' 8 per cent t o 13.7 per c e n t .  D a i r y Farm 1886 it  i t was  Ltd.  beginnings.  When i t was  s t r i c t l y a s u p p l i e r of f r e s h m i l k .  expanded  production  had s m a l l  into  general  dairy  products  founded i n  From t h a t time (1896),  into ice  (1918), then i n t o a j o i n t venture w i t h Lane Crawford  (U.K.) t o open i t s f i r s t two supermarkets  D a i r y Farm bought the Wellcome Company,  (1960).  then p r i m a r i l y  In  1964  a food  110 wholesaler  (with  one  a c q u i r e d by Hong Kong expanded both acquiring Presently  Land.  ( i n 1979)  Since t h a t  Dairy  the F r a n k l i n s  Farm  Farm's " p r o f i t a b i l i t y i n the context o f sheet"  The  In 1972 D i a r y Farm was time i t  has g r e a t l y  w i t h i n the Hong Kong market and i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y ,  is  order t o g i v e i n v e s t o r s  balance  supermarket).  a  Food  chain  i n Australia.  'de-merging' from Hong Kong Land i n chance  to  realize  some  of Dairy  and growth p r o s p e c t s which were submerged  Hong Kong  Land's l a r g e  and asset-dominated  ( H i l l and Knowlton A s i a L t d . 1987:3).  recession  resistant  nature  o f the food i n d u s t r y i s  e v i d e n t i n D a i r y Farm's r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Hong Kong Land: Ultimate controlling shareholder J a r d i n e Matheson wants D a i r y Farm l i s t e d (de-merged and f l o a t e d on the stock exchange) i n order t o unlock i t s market worth. In r e c e n t years D a i r y Farm has been c o n s t r a i n e d by parent Hong Kong Land, which wholly owns i t . Cash-flow r i c h D a i r y Farm has had t o s u b s i d i z e Land to the tune o f an estimated 33 percent o f Land's cash flow i n the 1982-84 p r o p e r t y squeeze. (SCMP 1/9/86) Table 20 Growth o f Wellcome Supermarkets Year Sales # of Est. Footage(000) Share o f HK Food S a l e s %  1981 HK$m  1982 HK$m  872 50 227 8  1983 HK$m  1,083 61 300  1,302 73 372  9.1  9.5  Source: B a r c l a y s de Zoete Wedd 1986  1985 HK$m  1984 HK$m 1,785 86 455 11.2  2,201 104 602 13.7  Ill D a i r y Farm's parent f i r m i s now The  Chairman  "primarily  of  Dairy  reflects  the  i n t e r n a t i o n a l spread a v e r y l a r g e and 10.2  billion,  operations,  1.1  share  of  company's  booming concern.  t h a t was while  billion  s t a t e s t h a t t h i s new existing  of b u s i n e s s . . . " ( i b i d ) .  a 20%  not  enterprise, exhibited HK$  Farm  a Bermuda h o l d i n g  at  the  to HK$  this  growth  was  scale  Wellcome c h a i n .  Table  20,  2.7 a  and  potential  D a i r y Farm i s  over 1985.  markedly b e t t e r  i n 1981  structure,  T o t a l s a l e s i n 1986  increase  of  were  now HK$  I t s Hong Kong  the  Australian  growth, i n c r e a s i n g from  billion  result  above,  company.  i n 1985.  of  The  lion's  the success of  i l l u s t r a t e s the  the  retailer's  phenomenal growth.  T h i s growth shows few open 20 new  outlets  International  in  Hong  Kong  Holdings  Ltd.  1986).  e x h i b i t i n g a tendency t o well. increased  s i g n s of a b a t i n g .  expand  during  via  Turnover  in  its  from HK$  240  million in  1987  (Diary Farms  Further,  Dairy  vertical  i n t e g r a t i o n as  manufacturing 1981  Wellcome p l a n s to  and  to  HK$  Farm i s  trading d i v i s i o n 408  million in  1985.  c.  The  Supermarkets and  rapidity  of  growth  Market  in  the  of  system.  i n d i c a t i v e of the market  is  also  within  supermarket  i n d i c a t i v e of the s t a t e It  flux  Control.  the  Hong  sector i s Kong food  'momentum' of  112 supermarketing are  i n Hong Kong.  The two major chains i n Hong Kong  'Wellcome' and 'Park n' Shop' (the l a t t e r c o n t r o l l e d by the  another  'hong',  Hutchison-Whampoa).  These  two  chains are  coming t o dominate the Hong Kong supermarket s e c t o r .  Ian Wade, a managing d i r e c t o r of Wellcome's parent company c l a i m s t h a t "the two major c h a i n s  are now  virtually  (The B u l l e t i n Oct.  dictate  the market."  They have i n c r e a s e d t h e i r aggressive  marketing  p r i c e competition:  market  tactics.  so b i g t h a t  a  (they)  1986:51)  share  through  number of  These  i n c l u d e : 1) p r e d a t o r y  "As i n p r i c e c o m p e t i t i o n anywhere e l s e s m a l l  operations s u f f e r .  ' I f you're  b i g g e r you can a f f o r d t o spread  your problems.'", Wade says; 2) monopolizing Hong Kong  the l a r g e  producers  i n the i n t e r n a t i o n a l  developing  their  selling rights; i n  r e t a i l e r s are e s t a b l i s h i n g d i r e c t t i e s t o  own brand  market  place  and  a r e even  names; 3) l i n e s of c r e d i t are a l s o  b i a s e d towards l a r g e r r e t a i l e r s , s u p p l i e r s o f f e r the b i g chains 120  days'  c r e d i t , while  the s m a l l e r  day term. (The B u l l e t i n Oct. adopt  these  tactics  1986:51)  because  of  o p e r a t i o n s o n l y get a 90 Large  their size.  these kinds of t a c t i c s which i n c r e a s e t h e i r  Another supermarkets  source  of  i s through  market  supermarkets can  advantage  Further, i t i s  size.  for  the  the t e c h n o l o g i e s o f r e t a i l i n g .  chain For  example, these chains have i n t r o d u c e d the l a t e s t i n storage and inventory  control  technologies  (eg. ' j u s t - i n - t i m e i n v e n t o r y  113 control').  The b i g  chains  production  technologies,  are  also  especially  example, D a i r y Farm, the owner of entered i n t o  a joint  venture  Field  agreement w i t h  Bakery Standard  a  --  Park N' Shop has  Japan's  4/13/86)  i n p u t s have  largest High  of  Field  2,000  of  For just Inc.'  baked goods.  o u t l e t s worldwide.  inked a s i m i l a r d e a l w i t h  with  levels  in-store  c h a i n has  'Mrs.  variety  i s a g l o b a l c o r p o r a t i o n with 380  (SCMP 25/9/86)  new  for t h e i r bakeries.  the Wellcome  t o l o c a l l y produce and d i s t r i b u t e Mrs.  importing  Fuji  r e t a i l outlets.  capital  (The  and t e c h n o l o g i c a l  made supermarkets more c o m p e t i t i v e and changed the  nature of food r e t a i l i n g i n Hong Kong.  d.  The  The  Supermarket In S i t u , E f f e c t s and Needs.  retailing  and  marketing  techniques  of  the l a r g e r  supermarkets have  i n c r e a s e d t h e i r market share, l a r g e l y at the  c o s t of a d e c l i n e  i n the  and/or g r o c e r s .  numbers of  Yet perhaps more i m p o r t a n t l y the techniques  the l a r g e chains have changed the way do  business.  competitors In  this  The  success  of  competitors  supermarketing  t o change t h e i r r e t a i l i n g techniques  sense  the  capitalization.  The  than t h i s .  s m a l l - s c a l e supermarkets  supermarkets  have  of  are l i k e l y to has and  forced  products.  a c t e d as c a t a l y s t s of  impact of the supermarket goes even deeper  T h e i r presence r e f l e c t s and e f f e c t s changes i n the  nature of the consumer and  consumption.  114 In Hong Kong the supermarket 'westernizing  food  retailing',  from the p a s t " (Leeming  1977).  Perhaps i t would be  an i n d i c a t o r of  i t "marks a r a d i c a l departure I t i s a c o n c r e t e f e a t u r e i n the  l o c a l s p a t i a l and socio-economic locale.  i s more than  fabric.  more  I t i n t e r a c t s with i t s  apropos  to  say  t h a t they  i n t e r a c t with t h e i r m i l i e u .  A key  f e a t u r e of  the nature of supermarkets  are u s u a l l y p a r t s of c h a i n s . of shops  t h a t were  Indeed the  organized i n  i s t h a t they  "growth of m u l t i p l e s ,  branches  along n a t i o n a l (and  i n t e r n a t i o n a l ) l i n e s , " i s the b a s i s o f what has been termed the "second 1982:168)  retailing  The importance  generally chain the  revolution". of  stores l i e s  marketplace.  the  t o the  in a l l outlets.  In t h i s  fact  outlets  act  institutions'.  in  a  that  adopt  c i t e d i n Goody supermarkets are  a  marketing  scheme  types of goods they purvey) and use i t way they  f a c i l i t a t e the g e o g r a p h i c a l  d i s p e r s i o n of a g i v e n mode o f marketing of s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n o f  1966,  i n the c o n s i s t e n c y t h i s b r i n g s t o  Supermarkets  (closely linked  (Davis  product.  and enhance the process  Kaynak  feels  t h a t these  manner s i m i l a r t o Schumpeter's ' i n n o v a t i n g  He w r i t e s t h a t :  The c o m p e t i t i v e s i t u a t i o n i n the market i s never the same a f t e r such i n s t i t u t i o n s e n t e r the marketplace; they are i n s t i t u t i o n s t h a t seem t o d i f f e r not o n l y i n degree but i n kind.(1982:247)  115 T h i s a s s e r t i o n seems p a r t i c u l a r l y v a l i d i n the supermarket case.  Supermarkets  practices  and  they  about: by p r i c i n g providing  a  offer  of  wide  require  shifts  incentives  packaged  range  in  of  local  t o b r i n g these changes  goods,  diversity  Yet  consumers' is  to  succeed,  the  to  programs  of branded  supermarket r e q u i r e s changes i n  purchasing patterns.  conducive  of produce,  goods and s e r v i c e s and by t a k i n g  advantage of the marketing and a d v e r t i s i n g goods.  consumption  The e x t e n t t o which the market  supermarketing  i s d e s c r i b e d by the l e v e l of  'outreach'.  i)  Supermarket  'Outreach' d e s c r i b e s infra-structural  Outreach.  a  changes  complex which  f a c i l i t a t e the growth of the things  such  as  the  decline  community c e n t r e t o i n c r e a s e d p e r v a s i v e n e s s of the ' f i t '  are  supermarket in  s o c i a l and  facilitated sector.  by,  Although  consumer t o  I t covers  t o the i n c r e a s i n g  Outreach i s a r e f l e c t i o n of  both a d j u s t , the dominant  adapt t o  and  the r o l e of l o c a l g r o c e r as  income l e v e l s  media exposure.  of  between the nature of the supermarket as r e t a i l e r  the consumer. f o r the  totality  the nature  and  tendency i s  of the supermarket,  s p u r r e d on by convenience, c o s t and marketing i n c e n t i v e s .  The  supermarket  consumption p a t t e r n s .  requires For example,  'outreach',  changes  as Goldman w r i t e s ,  in  116 The major f a c t o r l i m i t i n g outreach i s t h a t i n order f o r consumers t o reap the b e n e f i t s of low p r i c e and wide s e l e c t i o n o f f e r e d by the supermarket they have to change their basic shopping h a b i t s ... the supermarket shopper adjusts for t h i s increase i n travel distance and time by r e d u c i n g shopping frequency. (Goldman 1974:65) Goldman's a s s e r t i o n s informs t h i s of  ways.  Centrally,  it  states  consumer's h a b i t s , p a t t e r n s and supermarket  shopping  increased  payments ( i . e . , changes i n  a number  the n e c e s s i t y of change i n  incomes.  From the  nature of  one can i d e n t i f y some important v a r i a b l e s  i n the success i n supermarket include  discussion i n  income  weekly  'outreach.'  levels,  or  changes  bi-weekly  household technology,  Broadly  as  in  the t i m i n g of  appossed  and s p a t i a l  put, these  to d a i l y )  variables.  All  t h r e e areas are i n t e r - r e l a t e d but income l e v e l s have primacy.  Because supermarket shopping t r i p s  i t is  shopping i s premised on  dependent  on  fewer, b i g g e r  i n c r e a s e d income l e v e l s i n  order t o f a c i l i t a t e the purchase of more than a few at one  time.  A corollary  to t h i s  i s the  days' food  importance of the  i n c r e a s e d a b i l i t y t o purchase a p p l i a n c e s (and/or storage space) i n order  t o keep  food i n between l e s s - f r e q u e n t shopping  (eg. r e f r i g e r a t o r s ) and t o process the food when  trips  r e q u i r e d (eg.  blenders).  As  outlined  considerably i n i n c r e a s e was  Hong  earlier, Kong  income over  e s p e c i a l l y evident  the  levels last  have 25  increased  years.  among the upper-middle  This income  117 groups. are  T h i s i s q u i t e important  usually  the  (Goldman 1974) and a r e these  initial  They  people  outlined.  in  target  are o f t e n  taste-setters.  because t h i s market  group of people  for  supermarkets.  quite internationally  oriented  E a r l i e r i n t h i s d i s c u s s i o n the r o l e of  disseminating  consumption  patterns  was  Among the trends noted was the i n c r e a s e d expenditure  on consumer  durables.  Among  these  durables  a r e household  appliances.  F i g u r e s on  the ownership  of s p e c i f i c household a p p l i a n c e s  such as r e f r i g e r a t o r s are not a v a i l a b l e . on  "Furniture,  furnishings  increasing rapidly. 100%  from  and  However, expenditures  Household  Expenditures under t h i s  12%  only i n f e r  are  heading i n c r e a s e d  1976 t o 1985 ( a t c o n s t a n t 1980 market p r i c e s -- Hong  Kong Annual D i g e s t o f S t a t i s t i c s 1986) . for  Equipment"  of  total  that  By 1985 they  p r i v a t e consumption e x p e n d i t u r e s .  at  least  part  of  these  supermarkets,  appliances  the  emergence  1979), and the convergence  iscritical of  One can  expenditures went  towards r e f r i g e r a t o r s and other food a p p l i a n c e s . usage of household  accounted  The i n c r e a s e d  t o the  industrialized  outreach of foods  (Goody  of food consumption p a t t e r n s .  A t h i r d s e t of f a c t o r s which impact outreach may be termed 'spatial'. neighbourhood  'Space'  impacts  e f f e c t ' , market  transportation.  The  outreach size,  neighbourhood  in  terms  communication effect  is a  of 'the l e v e l s and critical  118 v a r i a b l e , i t r e f e r s to the s c a l e emergence  of  the  industrial  s c a l e of the marketplace; towards the  palate  away  'mass' s c a l e .  market.  from  the q u a l i t y  local  of h i s  v e r y important because the  the  a d u l t e r a t i o n was  however,  as  foods  branded, and  there  have  personal serve t o  grocer  was  or her goods.  q u a l i t y of  v a r i a b l e and  the  changing scale  and  illustrate  the  personal  This role  goods was  often  was  highly  rampant (Goody 1982:173).  become  i s a greater  much  more  Now,  standardized  d e n s i t y of i n f o r m a t i o n  the nature of goods, the importance of t h i s As Goody has  Part of  i s found i n the  An example may  t h i s p o i n t . T r a d i t i o n a l l y the guarantor of  of the  and  flow  on  role i s declining.  written,  ... the shopkeeper was no longer the one who s e l e c t e d and c e r t i f i e d the product; t h a t was done by the producer and packager, by the name and the advertisement. (1982:173) Another s p a t i a l f a c t o r i s the f r i c t i o n Transportation and  economies  facilities of  centralized  private transportation rank  low  in  terms  are i n t e g r a l  limited.  private  transportation.  p a r t s of the  supermarkets.  i s quite of  of  In  ecologies Hong Kong  Hong Kong tends t o  automobile  ownership (Yeung  1985a).  The  lack  of  private  l e a s t p a r t i a l l y ameliorated Hong Kong's  transportation by  high d e n s i t i e s .  found i n areas of high d e n s i t y  p u b l i c and  i n Hong Kong i s at private transit  Supermarkets are most (and  high  income)  and  frequently or  a  high  119 throughput of p o p u l a t i o n (e.g. Peak and C e n t r a l r e s p e c t i v e l y -Hong Kong Survey of Wholesale, R e t a i l . . .  The average number of much h i g h e r  households per  o u t l e t tends  t o be  f o r supermarkets than f o r o t h e r o u t l e t t y p e s .  presence of supermarkets i s terms.  1986).  a l s o much  more uneven  The  in spatial  The number of h o u s e h o l d s / o u t l e t f o r supermarkets ranges  from 578  (in  district  --  Central  district)  E s t a b l i s h m e n t s and  and Import/Export... 1979).  to  23,187  (in  Lei  Yue  Mun  Employment i n Wholesale R e t a i l  This variance  is a  r e f l e c t i o n of  the v a r i a b i l i t y of 'outreach'.  Outreach consumed. for  the  also  refers  to  changes  Consumers need t o s w i t c h t o packaged supermarket  to  is  exemplified  by  goods i n o r d e r  f u l l y e x p l o i t i t s market  The l i n k a g e between the supermarket and sells  i n the types of goods  the  the types  advantages. of goods i t  t r a i t of ' s e l e c t i v e a d o p t i o n ' .  Research i n d i c a t e s t h a t even when supermarket  shopping becomes  w i d e l y adopted, v e r y few consumers i n L D C s buy a l l t h e i r goods i n them. A number of writers have observed that the supermarket i n d e v e l o p i n g c o u n t r i e s t u r n s out t o be mostly a s e l l e r of g r o c e r y items. [ i . e . , packaged foods] (Goldman 1984:25)  120 4.  The FFV, S e l e c t i v e Adoption, and the Competitive Niches of R e t a i l Types.  ' S e l e c t i v e adoption'  a l s o appears  Kong, and e x e m p l i f i e s some of the the supermarket  sector.  t o be p r e v a l e n t i n Hong  s t r e n g t h s and  In Hong Kong the wet markets, as  o u t l e t s are c a l l e d , have t e n a c i o u s l y h e l d the produce  market.  quality  onto t h e i r  control  These and  l i e mainly  on  the other  location.  "Wet  h i g h e r . " (The  markets  prices  hand, o n l y have a l i m i t e d  and t h e i r p r i c e s are u s u a l l y much  produce  in pricing,  p r o v i d e the widest range of f r e s h foods a t v e r y low supermarkets  FFV  share of  The v i a b i l i t y of the t r a d i t i o n a l  s e c t o r has a number of sources. flexibility,  weaknesses of  ...  selection  Bulletin  Oct.  1986:53)  Hong Kong t o p i c of FFVs, flexibility.  Councilman  Lee  feels that t h e i r He notes  Chik-yuet, an success i s  a u t h o r i t y on the a result  of t h e i r  that,  Market t r a d e r s are much more f l e x i b l e in their business s t y l e . They don't have t o f i x what and how much they sell. When they go i n the morning t o p i c k whatever they want t o s e l l f o r the day, they can take the f r e s h e s t m e r c h a n d i s e . ( i b i d )  Smaller  retailers  t h e r e f o r e , wastage may structure.  be  also less  purchase of  a  smaller  factor  in  lots  and,  their  price  As they have a s m a l l e r i n v e n t o r y these t r a d e r s can  a l s o go t o the  market.  responsive to  shopper's  Small produce needs.  vendors  are  much more  They are keenly aware of  local  121 produce requirements.  They occupy a niche where i t i s c r i t i c a l  to know p r e c i s e l y who  needs what, and when.  traditional cultural  predilection for  sector i s  food system i s not  The booming growth of  i n d i c a t i v e of  the f a c t  a  process  uni-linear  Hong Kong the  f r e s h produce has acted  to enhance the v i a b i l i t y of t h i s s e c t o r . the FFV  In  t h a t change i n the --  local  variables  count.  The response  of the supermarket s e c t o r i s i l l u s t r a t i v e of  i t s i n h e r e n t l y c a p i t a l - i n t e n s i v e and order t o  lower p r i c e s  producers i n the U.S.,  Park N'  their  modes of  transportation.  selection  coming i n by a i r every day."  Thus,  one  may  Shop now  Australia  increase  again  international  and  growth  h e a l t h of  of the  the  have  25 tons  for  seek t o intensive  of f r e s h produce  (Ian Wade, The B u l l e t i n 1986:52)  assert  supermarket  market  They  and f r e s h n e s s v i a c a p i t a l "We  In  'sources' d i r e c t from  Europe.  the interdependence of the  l o c a l supermarket economy and the world The  bias.  food product i n d u s t r y .  sector  branded,  i s i n d i c a t i v e of the  processed  foodstuffs i n  general.  Judging  by  present  trends  i n c r e a s i n g l y d u a l i s t i c food r e t a i l i n g  one  might  sector.  imagine In  an  t h i s view  supermarkets, being  more t a i l o r e d t o (indeed dependent on) the  selling  processed,  of  highly  branded  and  u s u a l l y imported  122 foodstuffs sector.  will  inevitably  destroy  The r e s u l t a n t p r o f i l e would  supermarket s e c t o r  and a  the  small scale grocery  be one  of a  large  s m a l l s c a l e produce s e c t o r .  scale  This i s  by no means c e r t a i n .  I t seems probable t h a t change.  As McGee  general,  it  penetration (McGee 1973) supermarket  the  FFV  outlets  seems  only  relegates  a  the  matter  produce  of  hawker  T h i s process may  to  time a  too  far.  until  capital  p i c t u r e s q u e memory.  be hastened  maintenance  system i n the produce market. dualisms  themselves  has argued r e g a r d i n g Hong Kong's hawkers i n  by improvements  in  and c o s t reduction- ^ or more 1  d i r e c t l y , through the i n c r e a s i n g impingement  carry  will  of the g l o b a l food  The p o i n t i s t h a t one s h o u l d not Neither  sector  has  a perpetual  monopoly on the goods they tend t o s e l l .  The l o c a l supermarket i s both a r e f l e c t i o n and a source of changes i n l o c a l  food  consumption  patterns,  The  supermarket  p r e s e n t s the consumer w i t h (often) lower c o s t s , wider  selection  and a s t a b i l i t y of product but r e q u i r e s t h a t the consumer adapt to i t s  imperatives.  Thus, the supermarket i s a l o c a l agent of  change (one among many).  However,  o n l y h a r b i n g e r of the impingement  the supermarket  i s not the  of the g l o b a l food system.  123 5.  The FFV S e c t o r , The Convenience Store and P e n e t r a t i o n of the World Food System. a.  The  FFV  the  sector  I n t e r e s t i n g l y , i t i s p o s s i b l e to argue t h a t the FFV i s i t s e l f an e x c e l l e n t example of the world  food system.  the depth  areas  thoughts  of  on  vegetables  Hong  Kong  Yaumati: are  of p e n e t r a t i o n of  In many ways the FFV o u t l e t s i l l u s t r a t e  the t h e s i s of c o n s e r v a t i o n - d i s s o l u t i o n most  sector  one  "Most  sold  In  can r e i t e r a t e Leeming's (1979)  of  by  ( B e t t l e h e i m 1979).  the  community's  hawkers"  fruits  (Leeming,  and  1977:81).  I n c r e a s i n g l y , these m i c r o - s c a l e o u t l e t s are themselves becoming enmeshed  in  particularly  the true  larger in  the  i n c r e a s i n g r o l e of the USA 1984  s a l e s ( i n tonnage)  global case  food-system.  of  vegetables  i n vegetable  at Cheung  This (recall  imports).  Sha Wan  is the  From 1975  Imported  to  Vegetable  Market (which i s a source of supply f o r hawkers) i n c r e a s e d  65%.  (Hong Kong Annual D i g e s t of S t a t i s t i c s 1986.)  The  inter-relation  explicit in imported and more  the nature  versus  the  transnationals i n one  also  sees  vegetables USA.  i s , indeed,  sector.  i s increasing.  are  the  of  small  quite  share  of  F u r t h e r , more  dominance  c i r c u l a t i o n -- UN  proliferation  The  coming from 'core'  (Recall  g l o b a l food a  and macro  of the vegetable  l o c a l vegetables  of these  particularly  of micro  sources, of  1981:51)  fresh  fruit  food Yet and  124 vegetable s e l l e r s .  In  unison these  i n t e r a c t i o n of s c a l e s and  two  trends exemplify the  the i n c r e a s i n g  depth of p e n e t r a t i o n  of the world food system i n t o the day t o day Hong Kong. incoming  T h i s process i s foods  are  i n t e n s i v e l y produced  the beginning  likely (as  to  are  become  locally  l i v e s of people of of the  wedge where  increasingly produced  i n c r e a s i n g l e v e l s of c a p i t a l i n t e n s i t y and  capital  foods).  The  internationalization  of the l o c a l produce market i s i n d i c a t i v e and  s u p p o r t i v e of an  i n c r e a s i n g r o l e f o r l a r g e t r a n s n a t i o n a l vendors (see Clairmonte and Cavanagh emergence  of  1982a, the  1982b)  and  industrial  provides  palate  an  and  entre  f o r the  the convergence of  consumption p r a c t i c e s .  Another, viewing  the  perhaps more r e l e v a n t , example of the problems of supermarket  i n d u s t r i a l food system may of processed  and packaged  as  the  o n l y vanguard of the g l o b a l  be o u t l i n e d i n terms foodstuffs.  the b a i l i w i c k of supermarkets  alone.  selling  T h i s area i s no longer They are  s o l e vanguard of the mass-market i n processed  b.  of the  no longer the  foods.  The Convenience S t o r e .  In v e r y r e c e n t times Hong Kong has witnessed the growth i n numbers of a t h i r d s o r t of store. stores  One has  r e t a i l outlet  -- the  c o u l d , i n f a c t , say t h a t the growth of been  explosive.  In  1981  convenience convenience  there  were  8  125 'Seven-Elevens'  in  Business 8/87:54). t h i s growth general  occurred  Hong  Kong,  What  is a l l  alongside  In  many  ways  understandable. large  the  The  packaged, branded  highly  (the Hong Kong norm). number of ways.  The  investment, and use etc).  Linked  o u t l e t s are  One  convenience s t o r e s i s q u i t e store represents  the l o c a l  most  central  of  a hybrid  supermarket  franchises.  Vendors buy  these  i s the  are  selling  (eg. s e l f - s e r v i c e f a c t t h a t these  an i n t a c t marketing  been p e r f e c t e d  and  abroad.  o u t l e t s are a prime source of convergence.  advantage of f r a n c h i s e d r e t a i l types i s i n  the  'science  The biggest bonus of a l l i s i n the system, a carefully laid out s e t of r u l e s f o r marketing, s e r v i c e and a d v e r t i s i n g t h a t , w i t h hard work almost guarantees success. (Asian Business. 8/87:54) Hong Kong f r a n c h i s e e :  Part  product.  selling',  i n the words of one  in a  i t s capital  'the package' i s the s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n of p r o c e s s and  Or,  of  small scale enterprise  of r e t a i l i n g t e c h n o l o g i e s  to these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  Franchise  o u t l e t s from  I t d i f f e r s from t r a d i t i o n a l g r o c e r s  r e t a i l i n g program which has  of  in  a  1986.  capitalized  goods and  s u r p r i s i n g i s that  food r e t a i l  to 8,000 i n  boom  (Asian  the boom i n supermarkets and  convenience  scale,  t h e r e were 200  the more  c o n t r a c t i o n i n the number of  approximately 10,000 i n 1983  the  by 1986  of  126 You do not have to t h i n k about a l o t of things. j u s t do what the system t e l l s you. ( I b i d )  The  situation  c i t a t i o n s may  is  not  suggest.  quite  Franchised  as  success i n  days of the i n t r o d u c t i o n  of  f a i l u r e rate  40%.  was  Seven-Elevens and successful.  almost  but  source  just interested  i s l o o k i n g at  insight  who  of  the  e n t e r p r i s e s and  Franchise  Hong  of f r a n c h i s e e s .  i n who  In  help  Kong the  now  very  t h i s more r e c e n t success i s the Now  i s w i l l i n g to buy as w e l l .  s k i l l s and  can  (Ibid)  into  in  Yet d e s p i t e the e a r l y a t t r i t i o n  other v a r i a b l e s  s i n c e r i t y , managerial  operation."  In the e a r l y  t h e i r system of marketing goods are  One  of r e l a t i v e s  s t o r e s have not  Hong Kong.  Seven-Elevens  companies s t r i n g e n t s c r e e n i n g i s not  c l e a r c u t as the above  convenience  e x p e r i e n c e d untrammelled  You  the company a franchise,  Among  these  are  "a s t a b l e f a m i l y w i t h p l e n t y  out  in  the  this latter  interdependence  tough 24-hour-a-day  r e q u i s i t e one  gets a good  of  forces  global  and  local social relations.  food  stores t r y  to meld the s t r e n g t h s  of  local  i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h the s c i e n c e of s e l l i n g to p r o j e c t t h e i r market through  space.  industrial products.  palate These  In  doing  and  so  serve  products  i n t e r n a t i o n a l food T.N.C.s (eg.  they to are  extend the l o g i c of  distribute often  industrial  those  Coke, H o s t e s s ) .  of In  the food  equally this  way  127  the  global  franchiser  and  local  entrepreneur  enhance  the  process of converging consumption p a t t e r n s .  4.  In Summation.  In c o n c l u s i o n then, i t i s apparent retailing  system  system.  is  In many  forces i n  deeply  ways i t  the g l o b a l  t h a t the Hong Kong food  a r t i c u l a t e d w i t h the g l o b a l food  a c t s as  food-system  a conduit as  f o r changes and  a whole to i n t e r a c t w i t h  l o c a l consumption.  The Hong Kong food flux. way  d i s t r i b u t i o n system  a s t a t e of  Rapid and unprecedented changes are r e v o l u t i o n i z i n g  an i n c r e a s i n g share of  Though the  Hong  'cultural f i l t e r '  has r e s u l t e d i n a traditional  good d e a l  fresh  developments may  be but  a  Kong's  food  and stop  i n the  vegetable along  the  sector also  of  fact  contingency,  neccessarily  always  being  sold.  seemingly sector,  way  to  more these  a fuller  i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of the food system.  However the h e a l t h of the FFV local  is  the  of Cantonese d i e t a r y p r e f e r e n c e s of growth  fruit  i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and  inputs  is in  the  achieved  by  that  shows the importance v a l u e a d d i t i o n i s not  technological  and  capital  (e.g., by l o c a t i o n ) and t h a t there are m u l t i p l e modes of  i n f u s s i o n f o r the world food system.  The  s a i d of  the success of the convenience  outlets  seem  to  be  more  same may,  stores.  explicitely  i n p a r t , be  Although  conduits  for  these the  128 i n t r o d u c t i o n of g l o b a l  consumption norms t h e i r success i s a l s o  due t o the Hong Kong tendency  to small  e s t a b l i s h m e n t s and the  c o n t i n u e d importance of l o c a l e i n the Hong Kong m i l i e u .  The supermarket of the i n d u s t r i a l supermarkets'  i s the  palate.  sales  c l e a r e s t example  of the emergence  The  increase  indicates  tremendous the  i n d u s t r i a l p r o c e s s e d foods i n the  increasing  local  food  i n the  importance of system  and the  emergence of a mass market i n foods.  The economic power of the  supermarkets and the l u r e they  for  change the way  shoppers  w i l l i n g to  they shop have deeply e f f e c t e d the nature of the  l o c a l food system. advantages  hold  of  These  scale,  outlets  but  importance of g e o g r a p h i c a l  in  make  doing  the  so  variability,  most  they thus,  of t h e i r  downplay  the  convergence i s  enhanced.  Trends o u t l i n e d  i n t h i s t h e s i s suggest t h a t the nature of  v a r i o u s r e t a i l o u t l e t s may  e f f e c t the  consumers.  are f a c i l i t a t e d  These changes  edge o f , f o r example, retail  outlets  and  the  the  prevalence  purchased).  Changes i n  changes  the  patterns.  in  by the c o m p e t i t i v e  supermarkets and convenience s t o r e s . goods  they  i n t e r - r e l a t e d so changes i n one area enhance  consumption p a t t e r n s of  of  primary  focus  (eg. l o c a l e  another  the r e t a i l of  purvey  (eg.  are  acutely  of purchase)  types  sector e f f e c t  The  of and  goods reflect  t h i s paper -- consumption  129 CHAPTER V.  CHANGING FOOD CONSUMPTION PATTERNS.  To  this  point  the  paper  has  o u t l i n e d the context and  c o n s t i t u t i o n of the Hong Kong 'food-system'. on  describing  the  complexity  through, and w i t h i n v a r i o u s imports). 'logic',  The in  has  sense,  the  i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n and convergence. have p a i n t e d a r a t h e r which has the p i e c e . conclude by to  perhaps  impact  has f o c u s s e d  i n t e r a c t i o n of s c a l e s  of  the  food  system  (eg.  been most concerned w i t h the inevitability  of  capital  Yet these broad b r u s h - s t r o k e s  c i r c u m s t a n t i a l and  d e t e r m i n i s t i c image  l e d the viewers eye away from the s u b j e c t of  The background i s  intact, i t  s k e t c h i n g - i n some  f i n d out how  the  facets  discussion a  of  It  the trends  i s now  necessary t o  of the r a t h e r more human d e t a i l  o u t l i n e d above  are shaped  by,  and  i n d i v i d u a l consumption c h o i c e s .  As o u t l i n e d  above, as  Hong Kong has developed and income  l e v e l s have grown the average declined.  However, though  f r a c t i o n of the Hong predominant expense  l e v e l of expenditure food has  Kong expenditure (the more  Food consumption and expenditure  on food has  come t o occupy a s m a l l e r matrix i t  is still  the  so the lower the income l e v e l ) . p a t t e r n s are  still  p a r t of the l i v e s of most of the people of Hong Kong.  a central  130  There are  two d i s t i n c t areas of change i n the consumption  h a b i t s of the people of Hong Kong. l o c a l e of e a t i n g .  i s the changing  The second i s the change i n the types of the  foods found i n the themes  The f i r s t  a r e the  Home  focus  Shopping of  the  Basket  (HSB).  These two  remainder o f t h i s p a r t of the  study.  A.  Meals Bought Away From Home (MBAH)  One o f the major s h i f t s i n the food  consumption  patterns  of the people of Hong Kong i s i n the l o c a l e of e a t i n g .  Average  expenditure on meals bought from  7.5%  1984/85.  to  19%  (derived  Expenditure  of  from  home  Hong  1984/1985.  Kong and  Report Hong  Expenditure Survey 1963/64  and  Consumer  trend  the  process  i s symptomatic  (MBAH) i n c r e a s e d  t o t a l e x p e n d i t u r e s between 1963/64 and  from  Survey  away  of  consumption p a t t e r n s , and i l l u s t r a t e s  of  the Household  Kong, The Household Price  Index)  This  of 'modernizing' food  s e v e r a l key  f e a t u r e s of  that process.  One can  c o n c e i v e of  being something  of  variables  outlined  shopping)  and  a  r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of  bridge  above  actual both.  changes i n the l o c a l e between  the  o f e a t i n g as  rather  structural  (e.g. the r e q u i s i t e s of supermarket  changes  i n food  consumption;  i t is  The change i n the venue o f e a t i n g i s  131 at  once  a  change  in  food  consumption  d i r e c t l y l i n k e d to the dynamics of food economy  - the  a particular  restaurant sector.  dynamics of the i n c r e a s i n g t r e n d  patterns  'to  and  i t is  s e c t o r of  the  To examine some of  the  eat  out*,  this section  w i l l c o n s i d e r recent changes i n the r e s t a u r a n t i n d u s t r y .  The  restaurant  which make  it  i n d u s t r y has  relevant  to  the  a number  of unique f e a t u r e s  discussion  of  this  thesis.  F i r s t , the r e s t a u r a n t r e p r e s e n t s an o p t i o n whereby the consumer can  trade  convenience  restaurant  thus  and  adds  time-savings  value  by  if  not  pleasant  in  Secondly, the c l i e n t e l e of the tend  to  be  wealthier  and a  the  most.  The  required  p l a c e which are  themselves  restaurant  than  money.  delivering  commodities i n an e d i b l e form at a time acceptable,  for  (e.g.  sector  as  decor). a whole  Thus, r e s t a u r a n t s tend  serve t h a t s e c t o r of s o c i e t y most o f t e n i d e n t i f i e d as being least  traditional  Thirdly,  who  restaurants  'technological l a y o u t and prove a  and  are  drag'  r e s t a u r a n t s are p r i v a t e responsive  to  to new  acumen  to  The  less  in  traditional  food adoption. they  a  emulation.  need  The  to very  kitchens  can  F o u r t h l y , as to  be h i g h l y  r e s t a r a u n t e u r needs t o be an  In many ways one  inform  the  susceptible  household k i t c h e n s .  enterprises  the market.  astute s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t . b usi ne ss  are found  limiting factor  as f o c i of s t a t u s  relatively  than  the a p p l i a n c e s  act  to  can allow h i s or  an her  d i s c u s s i o n on changing t a s t e s .  Changes which are c r i t i c a l to h i s or her  business.  132 which are c r i t i c a l t o h i s or her b u s i n e s s .  1.  Trends i n the Restaurant  There  are  some  Sector.  s i g n i f i c a n t trends d e v e l o p i n g w i t h i n the  Hong Kong r e s t a u r a n t s e c t o r (hawkers are omitted from a n a l y s i s due t o a l a c k of d a t a ) . continuity  and  change.  c o n t i n u e d burgeoning Graph 8 ) .  In  this  These trends take two forms the  former i n s t a n c e t h e r e i s a  of s a l e s i n the r e s t a u r a n t s e c t o r (see  In the l a t t e r case, t h e r e appears t o be a n o t a b l e  Graph 8. Value of T o t a l R e c e i p t s I By R e s t a u r a n t t y p e )  Al 1  restaurants  Chinese  restaurants  Non-Chinese  Fast  restaurants  rood  '77 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 Source:  Hong Kong Survey o f Wholesale, R e t a i l various years.  ...  I  133 change o c c u r r i n g i n the types o f r e s t a u r a n t s the types which show the most r e f l e c t modernizing  profit).  frequented  Both o f  (and i n  these  consumption and make the r e s t a u r a n t  an important and u s e f u l a n a l y t i c a l category  i n an  trends sector  a n a l y s i s of  the Hong Kong food regime.  The  reasons  various. placed  f o r the growth i n t h e r e s t a u r a n t s e c t o r a r e  F i r s t , the Cantonese o f Hong Kong a  great  deal  of  emphasis  have t r a d i t i o n a l l y  on ' e a t i n g out'  1977a, 1977b, S a l a f f 1981:209, Newcombe 1977:341). propensity  f o r dining  out i s a  important s o c i a l  Indeed the  f e a t u r e o f even the lowest  income s t r a t a ' s d i e t a r y regime (Chau 1980:499). i s an  (Anderson  The  r e p a s t on n e u t r a l grounds.  meal out  As Graph 8  i n d i c a t e s t h i s t r a d i t i o n i s growing r a p i d l y .  Other sources o f the growth i n the r e s t a u r a n t likely l i e  s e c t o r most  i n i n the areas o f i n c r e a s e d income and changes i n  f a m i l y s t r u c t u r e ( i e . i n the i n d i r e c t  route).  As more women  enter the work f o r c e t h e i r f a m i l i e s ' incomes i n c r e a s e , however, the  time  available  characteristic  trait  f o r household of  industrialized  r e f e r r e d t o as the p r o p e n s i t y and  time  one  conceives  incomes cooking  poor.  chores  decreases.  societies  has  This been  f o r people t o become income r i c h  T h i s r a t h e r b a l d a s s e r t i o n has some u t i l i t y i f  of i t i n a  and decrease  relative  i n time  manner. available  The  increase i n  f o r chores such as  i s a source o f the i n c r e a s e i n expenditures  on MBAH.  134  I t i s i n t o t h i s niche t h a t many r e s t a u r a t e u r s add v a l u e  by s a v i n g  the consumer.  time and  In essence  move.  They  labour (among other t h i n g s ) f o r  the consumer t r a d e s back some  or her income f o r more time. T h i s i s one the r e s t a u r a n t b u s i n e s s , but i t  is  a  of h i s  f a c e t of the nature of critical  one  for this  paper's purposes ( i t i n d i c a t e s the m o n e t i z a t i o n of the r o u t i n e s of  life).  In t h i s view the consumer not for social time. the  purposes but  only v i s i t s  a l s o to make a t r a n s a c t i o n : money f o r  In t h i s context the consumer i s l i k e l y t o least  he  or  she  can  and  T h i s i s of course the r o l e  however,  that  is  to  jump  consumers w i l l i n g n e s s value-added speed  of  proclivity manifest whole.  to  in  t o 1985 as  the  the robust  was a  Chinese Restaurant  increase i n  For  the  MBAH r e f l e c t s  the  380%.  value-added growth i n the  A good  seems  Sector  i n food (be t h a t  the patrons, the  as a whole.  whole  the argument.  restaurant).  illustrates  restaurant sector  sector  of  purchase  Graph 8  in  f a s t food o u t l e t ,  to purchase value-added  a r e s u l t of decor, service  of the  ahead  moment, one can a s s e r t t h a t the  want to spend  devote the l e a s t time to the  process.  1977  the r e s t a u r a n t  to  (CRS).  in  'image' or the  In  Hong  food  is  the r e s t a u r a n t generalized  The unadjusted d e a l of  Kong the distinctly  s e c t o r as a  growth  f o r the  growth-rate  the buoyancy  from  i n the  be the r e s u l t of growth i n the This  trend i s  i n d i c a t i v e of  135 the  fact  that  the  process of modernizing  s o l e l y made of r e p u d i a t i n g t r a d i t i o n a l 2.  The  Chinese Restaurant  Restaurants non-Chinese or  i n the  CRS  tastes.  Sector.  tend  to  be  fast-food restaurants.  larger  CRS  below),  i n 1983  was  the  l e v e l of  than e i t h e r  They a l s o tend t o do a  h i g h e r volume of b u s i n e s s per e s t a b l i s h m e n t . Table 21  consumption i s not  For i n s t a n c e (see  s a l e s per e s t a b l i s h m e n t i n the  twice t h a t of both  non-Chinese r e s t a u r a n t s and  the f a s t food s e c t o r (FFS). TABLE 21 Comparative S a l e s per Establishment  1983  Type of O u t l e t  Sales/Est.  Chinese Restaurant Non-Chinese Restaurant  HKD HKD  3,860,000 / E s t 1,550,000 / E s t  F a s t Food Shop  HKD  1,690,000 / E s t  Source: The may  Hong Kong, Survey of Wholesale, fact  t h a t CRS  the importance  of of  the  assertions  'scale'  made  in this  of o p e r a t i o n .  This i s  not r e a l l y the case, and an e x p l a n a t i o n of may  1984  o u t l e t s are l a r g e r than the other types  seem t o c o n t r a d i c t some  paper about  Retail...  why  this  serve t o c r y s t a l l i z e t h a t f a c e t of t h i s paper's  i s not so argument.  S c a l e i s an important v a r i a b l e i n the convergence p r o c e s s . At the m i c r o - l e v e l , however,  sheer s i z e  i s not  enough.  Each  136  CRS o u t l e t  s i t s w i t h i n a market r a t h e r than spanning a market.  The i n t e r n a l dynamics of the i n d i v i d u a l o u t l e t are dominate  any  market  process  may  forces  rather  case w i t h  sectors  be t r a c e d than  therefore  more d i r e c t l y 'interior'  l a r g e food  through an  and  TNCs).  u n l i k e l y to  the convergence  to 'exterior' s t r u c t u r a l  market c o n t r o l (as may be the Thus, the  route t o convergence  i n d i v i d u a l , or s m a l l group of companies  controlling  the market, i s not p r e s e n t .  Secondly, convergence  in  terms  nexus,  of  scale  is  the not  food  industrialization/  the key v a r i a b l e .  important here i s the l e v e l of c a p i t a l i z a t i o n , how i s achieved.  What i s  value  added  U n t i l very r e c e n t l y the CRS was by f a r the l e a s t  c a p i t a l i z e d of the three major r e s t a u r a n t types (Table 22).  C a p i t a l i z a t i o n of process of the the  i n d u s t r i a l palate  micro-scale  relevance  of  (as  it  is  the emergence  indicative  of  the  c a p i t a l i s t p a t t e r n s of r e g u l a t i o n ) .  between  vegetable  seller linkages). traits  local  i s the  linkages  these  p a r t of  (and thus convergence) e s p e c i a l l y at  addendum t o t h i s a s s e r t i o n  of  i s a key  very  market.  What does  capital  penetration?  and  importance of  i n t e r n a t i o n a l actors  increasing An important the l e v e l of ( r e c a l l the  The Hong Kong CRS e x h i b i t s n e i t h e r  extensively  t h i s say  and seems t o dominate the  about the  i n e l u c t a b l e nature of  137 3.  Comparing the  What  it  says  multi-levelled. the Hong  'Health' of Restaurant  is  that  F u r t h e r , the  Kong food  examines  some of  the  1977 was  to 1985  was  1,181%.  and  340%,  yet  'base'  1984  one  1986  was  Using the  September 1985  restaurants i n  108,  for  the FFS  from  1980-1983)  Kong Survey  a  from  s e c t o r (FFS) i t  compared  r e c e n t data  the  t o the  (when  q u a r t e r l y averages the value of  the second i t was  R e c i e p t s and  FFS  The  one  sub-sector  as base 100:  in  editions)  If  as  g r e a t e s t ) the d i f f e r e n c e i n  F u r t h e r , s a l e s per establishment  1980-1983). (Hong  i s not  f o r the CRS  when  the most  issues)  (30%  i n the  t h i s does not deny the t r e n d .  at i t s  Q u a r t e r l y Survey of Restaurant  the  CRS  each  f a s t food  minimal  but  striking.  to  of  growth-rate  compares  is  the r e c e i p t s f o r Chinese q u a r t e r s of  The  is  CRS,  FFS  growth r a t e s i s most  change i n  (at present) The  but  the FFS began from a minute base and  i n the  of the  from October  'health'  f o r the  absolute increase i n sales  the  i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and  emerges.  For example, even i f  not l i n e a r  the above f i g u r e s might suggest.  Granted  o v e r a l l growth  is  looks a b i t c l o s e r .  growth,  different picture  process  system i s l e s s v i s i b l e  b i g p i c t u r e than i f one 'healthy' as  the  Types.  than  131.  and  third  (Report  on  Purchases, v a r i o u s  are i n c r e a s i n g f a s t e r the  CRS  (10% from  of Wholesale, R e t a i l . . . v a r i o u s  'health' of r e s t a u r a n t s e c t o r s can  be d i s c e r n e d by the gross s u r p l u s per  i n some ways  establishment.  138 Table 22. C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Restaurant Types 1980  1981  1982  1983  Gross S u r p l u s / E s t a b l i s h m e n t (HK$) Chinese Restaurants ...215,000 Non-Chinese Rest 96,427 F a s t Food Rest 163,129  232,149 119,497 206,866  205,405 73,111 158,506  99,212 103,567 171,428  25,638 26,387 24,329  29,716 28,085 27,156  32,966 31,912 27,363  14.5 18.0 61.1  14.7 20.1 49.1  20.2 20.0 53.7  Compensation f o r Employees, (pay/' emp. HK$) Chinese Retaurants Non-Chinese Rest F a s t Food Rest  22,138 21,044 23,029  C a p i t a l i z a t i o n Ratio (Gross A d d i t i o n t o F i x e d A s s e t s / E s t . over Compensation to Emps./Est.) Chinese Restaurants Non-Chinese Rest F a s t Food .  Source:  14.9 20.5 50.6  D e r i v e d from data i n Hong Kong, Survey of Wholesale, R e t a i l , and Import/Export Trades Restaurants and H o t e l s . v a r i o u s y e a r s .  Table 22  i n d i c a t e s t h a t the FFS has surpassed the CRS i n  terms o f gross s u r p l u s per o u t l e t . to have of 1982.  Importantly,  i t a l s o seems  been q u i c k e r t o rebound a f t e r the g e n e r a l i z e d slowdown Clearly  an a n a l y s i s  about what i s happening  of the  FFS can  t e l l one much  i n the Hong Kong r e s t a u r a n t s e c t o r , and  where and how people are i n c r e a s i n g l y e a t i n g o u t .  139 4.  The Hong Kong F a s t Food S e c t o r .  The f a s t - f o o d o u t l e t does indeed seem t o be the paragon of the processes  being d i s c u s s e d  c e r t a i n l y one  of the  There  shortage  i s . no  a r t i c l e s on  most h i g h of  the success  of f a s t  v i s i b l e concerns of t h i s  reminiscent  ways the of  those  indeed, v e r y s i m i l a r ) .  magazine  sector i s  convergence. or newspaper  foods i n A s i a , or Hong Kong. icon for  the l e s s  paper.  f a s t food of  the  o u t l e t ' s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are convenience  stores  (they are  F a s t food o u t l e t s tend t o be s m a l l (89% they are a l s o h i g h l y c a p i t a l i z e d  The h i g h l e v e l of c a p i t a l i z a t i o n may  t o another c h a r a c t e r i s t i c : d e c l i n i n g regards t o  The  p r o f i l e areas of  highly v i s i b l e  have fewer than 20 employees); (see Table 22).  paper.  hyperbolic  The FFS seems a popular and  In many  in this  other r e s t a u r a n t  relative  types).  wage  be  linked  rates ( i n  These t r a i t s are i n some  sense merely d e s c r i p t i v e , not d i a g n o s t i c . the FFS looks l i k e , not n e c e s s a r i l y how  They t e l l  one what  i t succeeds.  The t h r e e key areas f o r success i n the f a s t food s e c t o r i n Hong Kong, and g e n e r a l l y linked  to  an  are  international  as  (e.g.  (e.g. U.S.A.) image ( F u j i t a 1986) f a s t food  franchises.  follows.  'Branding',  though  McDonalds) not a n a t i o n a l  i s c r i t i c a l t o the success of  The consumer  the o u t l e t and the products i t purveys.  must be a b l e t o i d e n t i f y Secondly,  location i s  140 also  important.  (SCMP A/1/86). market  and  geographically, and  ( F u j i t a 1986: the  fast  Hong  Kong "the p o s i t i o n i s e v e r y t h i n g "  Prime p o s i t i o n s  expands  Thirdly,  In  competition  bringing most  the  in  sector..  the  deepens  is  but  palate  the  the key  McDonalds  CBD  as  the  franchises disperse  industrial  importantly,using  26, H i r s t 1983)  food  are  with  them.  'production system' to the  for  expansion  example has  of  25,000  o p e r a t i n g manuals ( F u j i t a 1986).  The p r o d u c t i o n of guaranteed s t a n d a r d i z e d and branded food i s the 1983; of  key to the f a s t food o u t l e t s o r i g i n s and F i s h w i c k 1978;  selling"  advantage,  which and  rationalization  or c f . B e l a s c o gives  which of  the also  1987).  fast  It is  food  food  types  the  shop  ultimately  available  success  -  "science  its  leads  (Hirst  market  to  the  and thus to the  convergence of consumption p a t t e r n s .  In Hong Kong the l o c a l company  called  leader i n 'Cafe  the f a s t  de C o r a l ' .  The  competition  f a s t food  i n the FFS  had a 21% market share.  is  outlet  i n t o the  mold of the  (with whom i t competes).  fierce.  In 1985  Cafe de C o r a l  However, the market i s growing so  t h a t Cafe de C o r a l management f e e l i t must expand at at l e a s t  20%/annum t o keep up  is a  Though t h i s company i s  o s t e n s i b l y l o c a l , i t f i t s q u i t e smoothly globally franchised  food i n d u s t r y  (SCMP 5/18  1986).  fast  a r a t e of  To do t h i s i t  141 w i l l need t o b u i l d seven new US$ each t h i s  outlets at  two t o  three m i l l i o n  year.  As the company's founder  and managing d i r e c t o r  attests:  It i s v e r y expensive t o m a i n t a i n the companies' growth ... [But] ... Cafe de C o r a l has no c h o i c e , but t o expand as f a s t as i t can, otherwise its leading position w i l l be taken up by i t s c o m p e t i t o r s . (SCMP 4/8, 1986) Clearly,  maintaining  p r o p o s i t i o n i n a booming reason why  the  developed  fast  food  share  TNC's  are  techniques  generally  and  elsewhere ( t h i s  expansion  devoted  an  industry.  so  expensive  This  i s one  to  i s very  trait  low  marketing.  can  and  is  facets of  be  viewed  in  a manner  Thus, the TNC's c o s t  often disproportionately  w e l l developed  some ways f o r c e the competitors  their  They  The c o m p e t i t i v e edges, i n t e r n a t i o n a l  image, and p r o d u c t i o n systems of the franchises i n  successful.  products which have a l r e a d y been  s i m i l a r t o the p r o d u c t - c y c l e h y p o t h e s i s ) . of  is  f r a n c h i s i n g i s so popular and why v e r y l a r g e ( o f t e n  self-financing) provide  market  marketing  approach.  fast  food  t o mimic c e r t a i n  Thus,  convergence i s  enhanced.  The  sheer  c a p i t a l i n t e n s i t y of the e n t e r p r i s e o f e n t e r i n g  the f a s t food market r e g u i r e s a s c i e n t i f i c approach  to s e l l i n g  - t o the manufacture o f food i n a d i s t i n c t l y i n d u s t r i a l manner. What one might a s s e r t food o u t l e t  becomes a  t o be  the case  then, i s  t h a t the f a s t  v e r y s m a l l s c a l e food p r o c e s s o r  (as are  142 a l l r e s t a u r a n t s ) and one which i s v e r y much i n t e g r a t e d i n t o the production success  and  marks  maintenance the  industrialization  of  the  penetration  of  and  industrial the  palate. I t s  process  of the  thus the convergence o f food consumption  patterns.  The Hong Kong f a s t of  local  economies  food s e c t o r  and  international  capital.  "franchising"  epitomizes  capital  and  introduction  the of  ecologies At the  local  with  one  relationship  capital  p r o d u c t i o n and marketing  the  level  bourgeoise.  highly  l o c a l competitors  e x e m p l i f i e s the i n t e r p l a y  At  intensive  techniques  t o do l i k e w i s e .  imperatives of  the  nature  of  of t r a n s n a t i o n a l another, and  elicits  a  the v e r y  'scientific' response  Thus the l o c a l  from  entrepreneur  a c t s as the l o c a l agent of change i n a much l a r g e r framework.  An i n t r i g u i n g bringing  about  v a r i a b i l i t y of might  assert  capitalization growth of  i l l u s t r a t i o n of  change these that  is  figures there  of the CRS.  the FFS,  seen  the process i n Table  leaves  has  them  of competition  22.  Although the  i n c o n c l u s i v e , one  been a n o t a b l e i n c r e a s e i n the  T h i s may or may not  whatever may  be due  t o the  be the case, the c o m p e t i t i v e  m i l i e u x i n which i n d i v i d u a l managers have found themselves, l e d them t o  increase their  capitalization,  r a t e of  capitalization.  as d i s c u s s e d above,  isa  The r a t e of  c r i t i c a l variable i n  143  the  process  of  industrialization  and  convergence  of  food  consumption.  5.  I n Summation.  The r a p i d growth of the FFS i s i n d i c a t i v e changes i n food consumption Kong.  Both  the types  of  of the two key  p a t t e r n s among the people of Hong food  consumed  consumption a r e undergoing major  and  the p l a c e of  s h i f t s . E a t i n g meals  of the home p r e s e n t s a u s e f u l metaphor  outside  f o r the changes i n l o c a l  food consumption p a t t e r n s , they are i n c r e a s i n g l y l e s s enveloped in  the t r a d i t i o n a l  ensconced  context  i n the context  s h i f t s a r e the response  of of  home  the  t o (among  and  family  and  i n d u s t r i a l palate.  many t h i n g s )  more These  the marketing  power of f a s t food o u t l e t s , the impact of s t a t u s emulation, the ' e f f i c i e n c y ' o f the p r o d u c t i o n the i n c r e a s i n g  schemes  of chain-restaurants,  l e v e l of v a l u e - a d d i t i o n i n the food system as a  whole, the i n c r e a s i n g s t r e s s on the time-economies i n the home, and the  l o c a l p r e d i l e c t i o n t o dine out.  many; but the r e s u l t i s the a d o p t i o n  Thus, the sources a r e of  i n c r e a s i n g l y common  g l o b a l consumption norms.  B.  Changing Consumption  P a t t e r n s a t Home  Changes a r e a l s o o c c u r r i n g Changes i n home consumption  i n the "home shopping basket.  p r o f i l e s a r e one's most a c c u r a t e  144 gauge o f  the r e s u l t of the b a l a n c i n g of c h o i c e and c o n s t r a i n t .  In f a c t , i t i s through t a n g i b l e and  consumption  t h a t the  i n t a n g i b l e f o r c e s o u t l i n e d above become m a n i f e s t .  In l i g h t of t h i s c e n t r a i i t y , one d e f i n e s consumption. consumption  might w e l l  is  considered  to  be  f o r example,  proposes  purchase (these are cooking, e a t i n g and i n the d i s t r i b u t i o n of food or chores i s l i k e l y t o be i l l u m i n a t i n g . useful to  have a  how one  the  act  Such an approach has drawbacks.  the a c t o f p u r c h a s i n g food i s not the (1982),  ask j u s t  For t h i s s e c t i o n of the paper's purposes  consumption/purchase.  Goody  i n f l u e n c e of the  the food c y c l e .  t h r e e stages a f t e r the cleaning-up).  f o r example,  would get  food consumption p a t t e r n s .  at present  available.  have  be v e r y  In t h i s  Such i n f o r m a t i o n i s not  F o r t u n a t e l y , due t o the s p e c i f i c  of the p r e s e n t paper t h i s data s h o r t f a l l i s not as might  areas  c l o s e r t o the v e r y f u n c t i o n i n g and dynamics  of changing  it  Changes  s e t on a b s o l u t e ( i e . q u a n t i t y  o f ) consumption by income group and w i t h i n the f a m i l y . way one  Clearly  i n any one o f these  I t would,  coherent data  end of  of  been  i f one  were  looking  focus  c r u c i a l as  a t changing  food  concerned  with  What i s important  here  distribution.  Though the t o p i c of t h i s paper diet; nutrition i s not so much  i s overtly  i s beyond i t s purview. the q u a n t i t y  or q u a l i t y  of food  or n u t r i e n t s  consumed, but r a t h e r the r e s u l t s of the i n t e r a c t i o n of consumer c h o i c e w i t h an o v e r - a r c h i n g food system.  The focus here  i s on  145 changing p r e f e r e n c e s  and t a s t e s  within a  set of constraints.  With some caveats- ^ these changes can be d i s c e r n e d by s h i f t s i n 1  p r i o r i t y w i t h i n a f a m i l y ' s e n t i r e consumption/purchase d e c i s i o n profile Kong  ( i . e . 100% of  must  purchase  expenditures). their  food,  As most  the r e l a t i v e wieghtings of  expenditure by f o o d s t u f f grouping should be of  the i n t e r p l a y  of  choice  people i n Hong  and  broadly i n d i c a t i v e  constraint  as manifest i n  purchase d e c i s i o n s .  1.  The Home Shopping  Basket.  The home shopping basket expenditure on  (HSB) i s t h a t  home  (MBAH).  f o o d s t u f f expenditures  - MBAH.  because i t allows  to  one  shifting  represents  'shares'  put:  HSB  = Total  HSB i s a u s e f u l category  a  differentiated  totality  may be d i s c e r n e d . There a r e no consumed i n r e s t a u r a n t s . The  given  consumption d e c i s i o n p r o f i l e .  In  this  of  The  a  look a t  100%  Simply  examine  d a t a on the s p e c i f i c food types HSB  of the  f o o d s t u f f s which excludes expenditures on meals  bought away from  w i t h i n which  section  ( i n this this  case home food)  paper,  analysis  will  changes i n the 'share' of v a r i o u s food products w i t h i n  totality.  There preferences  i s no and  direct  changes  correlation  between  i n expenditures.  p a t t e r n s do i s g i v e one some i n d i c a t i o n of  s h i f t i n g food  What expenditure broad t r e n d s w i t h i n  146 a  shifting  incomes.  of  (This point  following shares.)  market  section  changing will  on  be  foods  supply, more  demand;  fully  prices  discussed  and  i n the  showing a d e c l i n e i n expenditure  The weakness of the  "share of  expenditure'  approach:  i t s s u s c e p t i b i l i t y t o v a r i a n c e s i n p r i c e s and t o t a l expenditure levels,  i s also i t s strength.  What i s important i s  p r i o r i t i z e t h e i r food consumption/purchase  With these the data  set.  c a u t i o n s and Table 23  i n c r e a s i n g share  choices.  l i s t s the  w i t h i n the  HSB  food-groupings g a i n i n g an  between  change.  1963/64 and 1979/80, This  a c t u a l i n c r e a s e i n percentage share of the  expenditure p a t t e r n s  refers  analysis,  and  of  our  as seen  i n Table 23 are  assertions  i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of the Hong Kong food of  the  termed  'growth-areas' traditional  v e g e t a b l e s , though  in  (e.g.  expenditure pork,  these are  expenditure p r o f i l e ) .  rice  still  to t h e i r  HSB.  s u p p o r t i v e and r e f l e c t i v e of s h i f t s we have noted this  people  concerns i n mind one can t u r n t o  ranked by nominal percentage  Changes i n  how  system and  elsewhere i n about diet.  distribution products,  important  the Few  c o u l d be  and  fresh  p o r t i o n s of the  147  Table 23 F o o d s t u f f s I n c r e a s i n g Share of Home Shopping  Basket  Expenditures From 1963/64 t o 1979/80 A l l Surveyed P o p u l a t i o n  Rank  Foodstuff  1)  F r u i t , Fresh  2)  Meat/Poultry,  3)  Nominal  % Rate of  Change %  Change  4.69  100.4  3.26  N/A*  F i s h , other  3.23  587.3  4)  Confectionery  1.40  170.7  5)  Meat/Poultry Tinned  .95  N/A*  6)  Meat, other  .91  18.4  7)  Foods, other  .61  14.8  8)  F r u i t , other  .57  203 .6  9)  Tea, C o f f e e , Soda, J u i c e s  .48  25.0  10)  Biscuits  .27  33.0  11)  Milk,  .20  36.4  fresh  Frozen  * T h i s grouping, not i n 1963/64 t a b l e s .  Sources:  D e r i v e d from Report of the Household Survey ... 1981, 1965  Expenditure  148  Table 24 F o o d s t u f f s Decreasing Share of Home Shopping Basket Expenditures From 1963/64 to All  Rank  1979/80  Surveyed P o p u l a t i o n  Foodstuff  Nominal  % Rate of  % Change  Change  1.  Rice  -8.4  -56.0  2.  Eggs  -2.9  -61.5  3.  Beef,  local  -1.3  -30.2  4.  D r i e d Sea Products  -1.0  -40.5  5.  Pork  -1.0  - 8.5  6.  M i l k Powder  - .8  -32.8  7.  Freshwater  - .6  - 9.9  8.  Breadcakes  - .5  -10.0  9.  Beans/Peas  - .4  -65.5  10.  Sugar  - .3  -36.6  11.  Vegetables,  Other  - .2  -19.5  12.  Vegetables,  Fresh  - .1  - 1  13.  Other  - .1  - 4.9  Sources:  local  F i s h , Fresh  Cereals  Report of the Household Expenditure Survey 1981, 1965.  ...  149 Indeed, of the  the food groupings showing gains have tended t o be  more processed and value-added  c e r e a l s , eggs e t c . ) f r u i t s , these  f r u i t s are  further a f i e l d . original  The  leading  (e.g. more so than  growth  meat  foods  and  (see  poultry  Horst  and/or processed.  are  1974).  i n c l u d e s processed, canned, and f r o z e n f i s h . s o l e l y preserved  sector  Most of  of ^expenditures  'Fish other'  ' F r u i t s o t h e r ' are  C o n f e c t i o n e r y products are  'international',  trait  the f o o d s t u f f s showing an i n c r e a s i n g  are s u b j e c t and  t o branding;  highly  and  amongst the  of course processed and exemplify a second u n d e r l y i n g branding.  i s fresh  i n c r e a s i n g l y coming from f u r t h e r  Frozen  industrial  types  --  share  they are processed,  capitalized  'industrial-food'  types.  The groupings showing a d e c l i n i n g share of e x p e n d i t u r e s i n the p o p u l a t i o n  as a  whole tend  t o be  food groupings showing a d e c l i n e i n listed  in  24.  The  t r a d i t i o n a l low v a l u e -  added  foodstuffs.  Table  share of  reader and  more t r a d i t i o n a l .  will  expenditures are note  'staple'  The  the  nature  local, of these  In f a c t t h i s l i s t i n g seems almost an i n v e n t o r y of  t r a d i t i o n a l food types.  The  nature of  a d e c l i n e i s so marked t h a t i t r a i s e s  foods showing  some concerns about  of  the  traditional  j u s t what t h i s data s e t i s t e l l i n g  One might w e l l wonder share of  consistency  expenditures i s  whether the  p e r c e i v e d drop  one.  i n the  not l i k e l y to be due t o a d e c l i n e i n  150 the p r i c e of these goods o r an o v e r a l l i n c r e a s e i n levels.  r e a l income  Such events might cause the p r o p o r t i o n of expenditures  g i v e n over  to t r a d i t i o n a l  staples to  drop.  T h i s i s because  s t a p l e s tend t o be p r i c e and income i n e l a s t i c .  In g e n e r a l  i t has  been shown  t h a t u n d e r p r i c e d food from  China has allowed Hong Kong a unique immunity t o the food p r i c e inflation  that  so  (Chau 1983:197). staples  in  foodstuffs. to  1985  times.  accompanies r a p i d  general,  especially  While r i c e p r i c e s rose  Some  in  foodstuffs  Oranges,  times from 45  general  in  comparison  about 2.5 increased  experienced  f o r example,  even  to  other  times from 1963 approximately 3.5 more  rapid  price  i n c r e a s e d i n p r i c e over 4.5  cents i n 1968 t o 2.03 HKD per p i e c e i n 1985.  such a s i t u a t i o n i f one's t a s t e s remained to purchase was not d e c l i n e and  industrialization  Chinese p o l i c i e s have suppressed the p r i c e o f  foodstuffs  climbs.  often  a problem)  than the  c o n s t a n t (and a b i l i t y share of  the share o f oranges would i n c r e a s e .  however, t o say t h a t the data  are  of  In  little  r i c e would  T h i s i s not,  use,  q u i t e the  c o n t r a r y i s the case.  The p r o b a b i l i t y parameters  and nature of  t h r e e reasons. may be  o f uneven the  p r i c e changes present  argument  f i t s w i t h i n the f o r at least  F i r s t the d e c l i n e i n the r e l a t i v e p r i c e of r i c e  a reflection  of a  l a c k of  demand (though  i t i s more  l i k e l y t o be a r e s u l t of a l a c k of demand and over s u p p l y ) .  151  The  second  argument. be  reason i s  perhaps more c r u c i a l t o the present  The d e c l i n e i n the r e l a t i v e p r i c e of r i c e i s o n l y t o  expected,  as  the  rest  of  the  food market becomes more  c a p i t a l i n t e n s e and c o n t a i n s  more 'value-added'.  in  because of g e n e r a l i n f l a t i o n , but  also  general due  are to  increasing  the  value-addition.  increased  This  levels  of  processing  tendency occurs unevenly.  s t a p l e s l i k e r i c e are not as s u b j e c t t o  Food p r i c e s  Traditional  these l a t t e r  as are other areas such as l i v e s t o c k or more processed  F i n a l l y the c r i t i c a l to This i s  relative decline  the whole  true i n  process  both the  i n the  in  turn  increases  p r i c e of s t a p l e s i s  consumption and p r o d u c t i o n t o the  spheres.  p r i c e of s t a p l e s  the  potential  for shifting  This  consumption  The i n c r e a s e i n d i s c r e t i o n a r y spending a l s o c r e a t e s  available  vendors. staples  goods.  income a v a i l a b l e f o r d i s c r e t i o n a r y spending.  patterns. an  pressures  of i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n / c o n v e r g e n c e .  An i n c r e a s e i n income l e v e l s r e l a t i v e leaves more  and  market  niche  The g e n e r a l i z e d to  fall  c o n t i n u i n g need  over  for transnational  and  national  tendency f o r the r e l a t i v e value of  the  of producers  long-term  is  a  source  of  the  t o add v a l u e , and o f the a b i l i t y  of consumers t o purchase t h a t value-added.  Yet  another  expenditure  data  point i s the  to  come  need t o  out  of  p l a c e them  the  analysis  i n context.  of For  152 example, one can show expenditure i s  that  i n fact  due  the to  decline  in  rice's  share of  d e c l i n e i n o v e r a l l consumption  l e v e l s by examining  data from other elements of the food system  (similar  also  analysis  staples).  Per c a p i t a  plujrimeted.  confirms  the downward t r e n d i n other  r i c e imports  Thus, by examining  the  and l o c a l  p r o d u c t i o n have  'food system* as a whole one  can a s s e r t t h a t t h e r e has been a d e c l i n e i n r i c e  R i c e has been s i n g l e d out because greatest  decline  expenditure  levels  experienced  still  o c c u p i e s a l a r g e p r o p o r t i o n of expenditures) and because  i t is  of the t r a d i t i o n a l meal.  and r i c e i s 'fan'.  Other  (though  the  it  the c e n t r e  in  i t has  consumption.  The Chinese word f o r meal  foods are merely  'sung'--additives.  C l e a r l y , from the evidence on expenditures consumption p a t t e r n s The g e n e r a l nature of staples  are undergoing this  is  away  from  traditional  ( e x e m p l i f i e d by r i c e ) and towards foods c o n t a i n i n g more  international  in  o u t l i n e d above.  Yet  These  nature.  expenditure p a t t e r n s do c o n f i r m  by l o o k i n g  foods  It the  also  tend  t o be  would seem t h a t o v e r a l l  nature  of  the processes  t h e r e i s need t o look more e x p l i c i t l y a t  the i n t e r n a l dynamics of the change.  cohorts.  a r a d i c a l transformation.  change  v a l u e - a d d i t i o n and p r o c e s s i n g . more  Hong Kong food  One way  of  doing t h i s i s  a t d i f f e r e n c e s i n expenditure l e v e l s by  expenditure  153 a.  A n a l y s i s by Expenditure  Cohorts.  Comparing expenditure l e v e l s overtime cohorts  is  extremely,  T h e r e f o r e , the  attempt  if here  not is  for specific  prohibitively to  discern  target  difficult^'  the  impact and  v a r i a b i l i t y of food p r e f e r e n c e p a t t e r n s by expenditure l e v e l a t a g i v e n time.  Beginning w i t h the 1963/64  data two expenditure  c o h o r t s have been a b s t r a c t e d . 1963/64  % of exp. on foodstuffs  1) Upper Expenditure Cohort (UEC) 1963/64-2,000,2/499/$ biweekly  26  2) Lower Expenditure Cohort (LEC) 1963/64-300-399/$ biweekly  56  note: Cohorts d e f i n e d as per Hong Kong S t a t i s t i c s Department.  Table  25  below  illustrates  the  p a t t e r n s by expenditure c o h o r t . very s u r p r i s i n g .  differences  The  emergent  scheme  i s not  LEC expenditures tended t o emphasize  locally  produced, t r a d i t i o n a l s t a p l e s ( i n t h i s they choice).  The UEC  t a s t e s tended  one must a l l o w t h a t the h i g h e r leaves more  but t h i s does not  e x p l a i n the  UEC  show  preferences  l i k e l y had l i t t l e  t o the cosmopolitan.  absolute l e v e l s  room f o r n o n - s t a p l e s (due t o s t a p l e s  preferences tend  i n expenditure  to  a  types of  strong  become  of expenditure inelasticity)  a l t e r n a t i v e s adapted.  international  models  Again,  for  consumption p a t t e r n s t o the r e s t of s o c i e t y .  the  bias. diffusion  UEC of  154  A.  LEC  Table 25 1963/64 D i f f e r e n t i a l A l l o t m e n t of  Expenditures  % exp. n o t a b l y >  % exp. n o t a b l y > LEC  UEC  B.  UEC  Rice F i s h , Saltwater, Fresh F i s h , other Vegetables, Fresh F i s h , Freshwater, F r e s h V e g e t a b l e s , others Beans/Peas  Source:  Sea Products d r i e d Biscuits Poultry Meat, other F r u i t , Fresh F r u i t , other C o f f e e , Soda, J u i c e s Milk, Fresh B u t t e r , Cheese Confectionery Foods, other  D e r i v e d from Report of Household Survey... 1965.  The  reader  25 and 23.  may  note a r a t h e r s t a r t l i n g f i t between Tables  A l l foodstuffs  1963/64 (except  Expenditure  f o r which  data were  available i n  f i s h , other) which showed an i n c r e a s e i n t h e i r  share  of consumption (Table 23) are t o  which  shows  the  1963/64  food  be found  preferences  on Table of  the  upper  do  differ  expenditure c o h o r t .  So w h i l e  consumption p a t t e r n s  between  a  given  time  there i s a l s o an  one  need  assert  cohorts  at  e s s e n t i a l holism. linkage;  this  Though  apparent  no  25,  apparent  direct casual  ' t r i c k l e - d o w n e f f e c t ' conforms t o the  consumption models o u t l i n e d by  Filguera  (1981),  Kumar  (1978),  s p e c i f i c expenditure  cohorts  Armstrong and McGee (1985) and o t h e r s .  The problems (especially  with  extensive that  w i t h comparing the  one can  Hong  Kong  database)  only g i n g e r l y  overtime  are so  p o i n t t o some p e r c e i v e d  155 variations i n  consumption p a t t e r n s  between e x p e n d i t u r e groups  the  for  and overtime.  At  base  tendencies  e x p e n d i t u r e p r o f i l e t o be  are  towards even  changes  in  the  UEC  more expensive branded  'luxury' foods (e.g. c o n f e c t i o n s ) , w i t h i n the LEC the t r e n d has been towards food c o n t a i n i n g trend  is  itself  set  in  consumption  levels  of  necessarily  'traditional'  incomes have  allowed the  coming  more  from  U.S.)  value-added a l s o . a  shift  more  'basic'  e.g.  milk,  poor of  distant  towards  the  web  of  the  foods red  (though  meat).  not  Increased  t o purchase food  (e.g. v e g e t a b l e s from the  They have a l s o brought the poor's  within  g r e a t e r apparent  Hong Kong  sources  However, t h i s  international  consumption food  practices  system and food  transnationals.  The  direct  p r e v a l e n t as more  impact  one moves  prevalent  as  one  of  the  global  food-system  up the e x p e n d i t u r e l a d d e r . moves  forward  through  i s more  I t i s also time.  The  conclusion to  be reached, t h e r e f o r e , i s t h a t one i s w i t n e s s i n g  the d i f f u s i o n  of  consumption  patterns  across  income l e v e l s  w i t h i n the s p a t i a l c o n f i n e s of Hong Kong over time.  In  terms  consumption  of  the  Home  Shopping  p a t t e r n s of the people of  These changes  Basket,  Hong Kong  the  daily  are changing.  are i n d i c a t i v e of much l a r g e r t r e n d s l y i n g below  the  societal  interactive  surface.  These  trends  are  f o r c e s of the world food-system and  ( i . e . the d i r e c t and i n d i r e c t routes  shaped  by  the  ' s o c i a l change'  t o convergence) o c c u r r i n g  w i t h i n the c o n t e x t of the l o c a l m i l i e u .  157 CHAPTER V I I .  IN CONCLUSION...  A.  THINKING ABOUT CONVERGENCE.  A d v e r t i s i n g i s becoming i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z e d r a t h e r than Americanized -- the o n l y t r o u b l e i s t e l l i n g the two a p a r t . (David S. N i c o l l , c i t e d i n Anderson 1984:87)  Despite  the  seeming a c u i t y  of N i c o l l ' s o b s e r v a t i o n  it is  important t o emphasize t h a t convergence i s not w e s t e r n i z a t i o n . T h i s i s so because cultural  the process  domination.  Though  i s not simply cultural  one of u n i l i n e a r  domination  i s an  important i n g r e d i e n t  i n the mix which r e s u l t s i n convergence,  i t s r o o t s l i e deeper  than  whereby  there  is a  that.  Convergence  i s a process  u n i f i c a t i o n of g l o b a l consumption norms.  These consumption norms are  g l o b a l not merely n a t i o n a l .  For  example, i n marketing McDonald's i n A s i a the emphasis i s on the i n t e r n a t i o n a l brand name  not  the  nation  of  origin.  (Fujita  1985)  Despite and  the  g l o b a l nature of the p r o c e s s ,  a c t i o n s a r e not  inconsequential.  c a u l d r o n where g l o b a l trends many sources a t  many  m u l t i v a l e n t process  Local  a r e played out.  levels. and t o t a l i t y  To  local variables  examine  one needs  place  i s the  These trends have this  s u b t l e and  t o use an e q u a l l y  158 s u b t l e framework.  1.  Convergence as  Discourse.  Having worked through the a n a l y s i s i t now r e f l e c t and  t o see  propositions.  A useful  change ( i n c l u d i n g of an e v o l v i n g r e f e r s to  i f one  can d i s c e r n any  way  of  seems  u s e f u l to  broader t h e o r e t i c a l  conceptualizing socio-cultural  s h i f t s i n consumption p r a c t i c e s ) i s i n terms  'discourse'.  the sum  of the  actors within a given  In t h i s usage, i n p u t s and  s e t of  the term  discourse  i n t e r a c t i o n s of  s o c i a l milieux.  As  various  Thrift  has  written, ... s o c i a l a c t i v i t y i n any r e g i o n takes p l a c e as a continous d i s c o u r s e , rooted i n a staggered s e r i e s of shared m a t e r i a l - s i t u a t i o n s t h a t c o n s t a n t l y a r i s e out of one another i n a d i a l e c t i c a l l y l i n k e d d i s t r i b u t i o n of o p p o r t u n i t y and c o n s t r a i n t , presence and absence. ( T h r i f t 1983:38) I t i s the e v o l v i n g i n t e r p l a y of be  seen  passive may  as  agency and an  'dupes'  active but  various  active  reasons. not  analogy of a Firstly, posit  relationships.  structures.  category,  local  discourse  expresses  A discourse  inhabitants  participants.  l a c k i n p r e c i s i o n i t makes up  The  does  t o t a l i t y which encompasses and  the must  are  not  What t h i s concept  f o r i n v e r a c i t y and  utility.  is  number of  useful  for  a  i t i m p l i e s the importance of i n t e r a c t i o n and any  primary  A discourse  and/or  requires  determining  at l e a s t two  causal  participants  159 and  i s the e x p r e s s i o n  of d i a l e c t i c a l  a l s o more than t h i s , i t i s m u l t i p l e l e v e l s of s o c i a l the convergence  interaction.  both the product interaction.  process,  Yet i t i s  and the context of  This i s  a l s o t r u e of  i t i s not simply a matter of western  hegemony, but r a t h e r i t i s the summing of v a r i o u s i n p u t s w i t h i n the context of an e v o l v i n g  More  critically,  the  d i s c o u r s e l i e s i n the way central  dynamics  and  i n t e g r a t e d manner. discourse  in  one  utility  can  use  constituents  linguistic of  vocabulary.  h e l p u n d e r l i n e the b a s i c patterns within  main  of  terms. a  of  These two  draw  out the in  an  c o n c e i v i n g o f the these  to  l i n e s one can  be  c o n s t i t u t e d by  terms may  be employed t o  parameters of  the s e t t i n g  concept of  convergence  Along  discourse  the  i t to  T h i s can be done through  e n v i s i o n the elements grammar and  totality.  converging  consumption  of the d i s c o u r s e t h a t i s the food  system and the more g e n e r a l d i s c o u r s e of l o c a l p l a c e .  a.  The  Grammatical S t r u c t u r e s and Food Systems.  grammatical aspects o f a d i s c o u r s e are b r o a d l y  to those which are some times termed i s manifest i t s roots  i n the  physical structure  l i e deeper  p a t t e r n ' o f a food numerous sub-sets  'structure'. of the  and are more a b s t r a c t .  system i s of grammars.  the r e s u l t  similar  T h i s grammar  food system but The 'grammatical  o f the  i n t e r p l a y of  In t h i s sense, the c a p i t a l i s t  160 p a t t e r n s of r e g u l a t i o n of t h i s paper are one s e t o f grammatical rules.  There are  others.  ecological factors, local preferences.  this  food system.  r e p r e s e n t the  grammar  is  determines the maintained  business  culture,  and  local  local taste  I t i s the mix of these grammatical p a t t e r n s t h a t  s t r u c t u r e s the grammar t o  These i n c l u d e , as examples,  not  One  the concept of  ' l o g i c ' of the food system.  some  shape o f  can u t i l i z e  'super  organic'  the r e s u l t a n t  and a l t e r e d by i t s constant  However  entity  situation.  which  Grammar i s  u t i l i z a t i o n by numerous  'knowing a c t o r s ' .  T r a d i t i o n a l l y the food  systems  was  possibilities.  grammar (or  tightly  That  the s t r u c t u r a l context) o f  linked  i s , the  to  logic  seasonality.  such as  the c a r r y i n g  These parameters  would  productive  of the food system was  l a r g e l y d e r i v e d from l o c a l e c o l o g i c a l f o r c e s of r e g u l a t i o n )  local  (natural patterns  c a p a c i t y of the l a n d and be  fused  through  local  power r e l a t i o n s and i d e o l o g i e s ( p o l i t i c a l and c u l t u r a l p a t t e r n s of r e g u l a t i o n ) t o r e s u l t i n l o c a l consumption p a t t e r n s .  However,  with  industrialization waned.  the  the  coming  dominance  of  of  urbanization  local ecological factors  The b a s i s of t h i s d e c l i n e was the widening  s e p a r a t i o n of  food p r o d u c t i o n and consumption.  as the p o t e n t i a l f o r i n c r e a s e d l o c a l f a c t o r was  emerging which  would take  and  geographical  Paradoxically,  agency developed  another  the p l a c e o f ecology i n  161 o u t l i n i n g the s t r u c t u r a l c o n t e x t s new r e g u l a t o r y  grammar was  of food  availability.  This  more s u b t l e but no l e s s important.  I t was based i n the process of exchange. grammar of the market has come t o be  E v e n t u a l l y , the  etched by  the ' i n v i s i b l e  hand' o f c a p i t a l i s m .  It  is  the  genius  of  the  capitalist  marketplace t h a t  through the ' f r e e ' a c t i o n of exchange the system i s reproduced, in  fact  driven,  by  ' f r e e ' agents making ' r a t i o n a l '  However, as t h i s paper emphasizes, f r e e agents. seemingly  Though  wide  none-the-less  consumers are not completely  the process  range  of  constrained  'concrete a b s t r a c t i o n '  o f 'exchange'  selection, by  choices.  the  allows f o r a  this  selection  is  o v e r - a r c h i n g impact of the  (Harvey 1985) of c a p i t a l i s t  p a t t e r n s of  r e g u l a t i o n which i n c r e a s i n g l y come t o s t r u c t u r e the e n t i r e food system. there  Thus, is  Consumers, agency,  a  paraphrasing 'relative  autonomy'  distributors  but  Poulantzas,  and  increasingly  o c c u r r i n g i n the s t r u c t u r a l  might  say t h a t  consumption  potentials.  producer/processors  a l l employ  this  of  one  agency  c o n t e x t of  needs  to  be seen as  c a p i t a l i s t p a t t e r n s of  regulation.  These p a t t e r n s  are not s o l e l y comprised by the i n t a n g i b l e  s t r u c t u r e of the 'law accumulate more  is  tangible  of  the  t h e i r source). logistics  of  market' They 'how  (though  may a l s o things  the  drive to  be found i n the  get  done'.  The  162 c a p i t a l i s t pattern production  and  of r e g u l a t i o n i s manifest i n the systems of  distribution  example, the marketing convenience s t o r e the p a t t e r n s a l s o may  of r e g u l a t i o n  indicated,  patterns  of  adaptation  adopts  facilitates  the  i n s t a n t i a t e s the grammar of  the  these  economics, but  are  regulation,  and  by  these  they  r e a l i t y of  are  experience.  systems of  he  or  industrial  need  not  key  to  quite  be  which u n d e r l i e the i n d u s t r i a l  T h i s l i e s i n the imperative sector.  The  competitive  that  r e g u l a t i o n means t h a t i n order to  'the  to  the on the  clearly  the  local  she  not  only  foodstuffs  seen  but  Thus, the only  as  an  techniques  palate.  s t r u c t u r e of the food capitalism brings  nature of  as  When  i s a l s o expressed i n the  the grammatical  they  within  the broader framework.  system  the  o f t e n dependent  However i t i s unwise t o suggest t h a t these l e a r n e d are the  For  the parameters of  They are a model of success  i n t a n g i b l e market f o r c e but technologies  paper.  space (though,  'systems'  distribution  food  to  of c a p i t a l i s t  o u t l i n e d , having been honed entrepreneur  this  'science' of the f a s t food o u t l e t or  express an  l o c a l s o c i a l support).  and  in  c a r r y those parameters through  examples  broad  outlined  systems system.  to a  given  the c a p i t a l i s t p a t t e r n of  succeed one  needs t o  adjust  laws of the market' ( i n balance w i t h l o c a l v a r i a b l e s ) .  People must a d j u s t to the marginalized.  'economics* of t h e i r  As W a l l e r s t e i n has  d e c i s i o n s or  written,  the mark of c a p i t a l i s m as a system i s t h a t i t rewards  be  163 accumulation per se, i n d i v i d u a l s or groups who Local  agents  in  the  and tends to e l i m i n a t e r e s i s t i t s l o g i c . (1984:27)  food system must i n c r e a s i n g l y make  d e c i s i o n s w i t h i n the frame of economic ( i n the parameters.  T h i s f a c t was  monetary sense)  seen again and again i n the present  study i n the a c t i o n s of l a r g e t r a n s n a t i o n a l s , Chinese agriculturists, consumers. has come  local  food  The grammar to impinge  of c a p i t a l i s t  restaurateurs  capitalist  reflection market  and  p a t t e r n s of r e g u l a t i o n  on i n d i v i d u a l c h o i c e s more and more.  convergence process i s a Increasingly,  retailers,  immigrant  of  this  rationality,  The  growing  impact.  framed  i n the  context of a g l o b a l market i s coming t o dominate the grammar of the Hong Kong food system as d i s c o u r s e .  Grammar p r o v i d e s  a framework f o r , but does not d e f i n e the  nature and s p e c i f i c i t i e s of a d i s c o u r s e , situ  through  grammatical  differing imperatives  i n c l u d i n g the  perceptions and  through  agency of consumption.  r e c o n s t i t u t e s the s t r u c t u r e of the t e x t u r e of  b.  this i s  of the  the  generated  nature  agency  of  of  in the  locals,  L o c a l agency d e f i n e s and  the grammar  and f i l l s  i t with  vocabulary.  The Vocabulary  The u t i l i t y  of the  of the Food System as D i s c o u r s e .  concept  of vocabulary  l i e s i n the and  way  t h a t i t covers the middle  ground between s t r u c t u r e  agency.  In many ways i t expresses  the m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the i n t e r p l a y of  164  the s t r u c t u r e of grammar and the agency of case  the  act  of  c o n c e i v e o f the  consumption).  'vocabulary'  foodstuffs within  expression ( i n t h i s  In the food s e c t o r one can  as  being  the food system.  analogous  to various  The most important f e a t u r e  of the d i s c o u r s e analogy f o r the g o a l s o f t h i s paper i s the nature of  the  syntactical  relationship  between  grammar and  vocabulary.  c.  The S y n t a c t i c a l R e l a t i o n s h i p Between Grammar and  The provides  grammar the  circulated  Vocabulary.  provides  content  and  goods a v a i l a b l e ) ,  structure;  (in this  consumed).  grammar and v o c a b u l a r y  the  case  There  is  (as w e l l as  yet neither  the  the  vocabulary  foods  produced,  a c l o s e l i n k a g e between  economic s t r u c t u r e  d i r e c t l y determines  W i t h i n the g e n e r a l grammar of the c a p i t a l i s t world the a c t u a l  constitution  (ie.  and the  the o t h e r . food market  the s p e c i f i c goods a v a i l a b l e ) i s  not a g i v e n .  Though i t i s o f t e n g l o b a l marketplace  is a  the case  and Nehru J a c k e t s come t o mind. industrial  'sourcing' of  foodstuffs products.  v o c a b u l a r y of the  r e f l e c t i o n o f 'western  not n e c e s s a r i l y always the case.  of  t h a t the  The examples  input' t h i s i s o f Raegae music  In f a c t , the g l o b a l v o c a b u l a r y  i s particularly  eclectic  in i t s  A t r i p down the a i s l e s of one's l o c a l  165 supermarket by a  w i l l quickly confirm t h i s assertion.  v a r i e t y of  noodle-soups  and  One  f r o z e n (Indian)  samosas, packaged  a  preprocessed  plethora  of  i s beset (Japanese)  (Mexican)  taco  delights.  What i s foodstuffs  of c e n t r a l  r e l e v a n c e i s not simply the o r i g i n of  (though t h i s  acceptability  and  is  important)  marketability,  but  how  their generalized  well  they can f i t the  grammar of the world i n d u s t r i a l i z e d food system. of  ' f i t ' include  (produced),  how  easily  transported  (consumed)  throughout  convergence  l i e s not  consumed, but  how  foodstuff  (circulated)  the  global  simply  they  a  in  come t o  parameters  can be processed  and  food  the  The  thus  system.  specific  marketed The key t o  types  be shaped and reshaped w i t h i n  the c o n t e x t and c o n s t r a i n t s of a world i n d u s t r i a l food  Certain planned  foodstuffs  development,  through  historical  ' f i t ' the  of  This i s  one  convergence reason  s t r u c t u r a l context  but  why of Hong  do  this  These  terms of  the broader grammatical  or  s t r u c t u r e of the goods express the  not n e c e s s a r i l y u n d e r l i e i t . analysis  concentrated  Kong's changing  on the  food system.  s u r f a c e appearance of the types of foods consumed primarily in  system.  contingency  grammatical  w o r l d food system b e t t e r than o t h e r s . texture  of food  The  i s important  t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p and i n t e g r a t i o n w i t h parameters  of  the  industrial palate.  166 These  parameters  placeless  are  rationality  increasingly of  the  etched  globally  in  the  stark,  oriented  capitalist  setting  i s a l s o of  pattern of r e g u l a t i o n .  2.  Discourse  The  specific  critical  i n Place.  nature  importance.  vocabulary) must  not o n l y  but must a l s o be able t o formation  as  a whole.  of  the  This  is  'fit' find  local  because  foodstuffs  the grammar o f the food a  Indeed,  niche i tis  p a t t e r n s of r e g u l a t i o n t h a t the i n d i r e c t  in  the  (as  sector  local  social  i n the dominant  social  and d i r e c t  routes t o  consumption changes o u t l i n e d above meet.  One  can  also  use  the  discourse  analogy  at  the more  g e n e r a l i z e d and a b s t r a c t l e v e l of the s o c i a l f o r m a t i o n . a given  s o c i a l formation  a number o f i n t e r - l i n k e d (e.g.  ecology,  very p l a c e  the o v e r a l l grammar i s c o n s t i t u t e d by grammars  or  tradition/ideology,  Some of these tend t o be specific.  Within  patterns  politics  generated l o c a l l y . Others are  of r e g u l a t i o n or  economics).  These  are o f t e n  less d i s t i n c t l y linked to a  g i v e n p l a c e , t h e i r r o o t s are more d i s p e r s e and/or d i s t a n t .  This l a t t e r p a t t e r n of social  grouping i n c l u d e s  regulation.  system  (Giddens  the g e n e r a l i z e d  Indeed the success 1984)  lies  in  capitalist  o f c a p i t a l i s m as a its  geographical  167 transferability  (see B r o o k f i e i d 1975:26).  to m a i n t a i n t h a t i t i s not c a p i t a l i s m as t h a t has  come t o span the globe.  reification  of  'instantiates'  capitalism  i t and  'superorganic' e n t i t y  Rather, i t i s the i n c r e a s i n g  by  brings  Yet i t i s important  the  numerous  actors  which  internal  dynamics  of  a  c a p i t a l i s t market p l a c e t o bare on l o c a l p l a c e .  There i s a momentum t o t h i s t r e n d , so t h a t the more people a c t i n t h i s manner the more the s t r u c t u r e seems r e a l ,  ( t h i s may  be p a r t i c u l a r l y t r u e i n Hong  a Chinese  tendency t o  Kong  f o l l o w precedence  1979:7).  The  terms w i t h  one's changing  is  matters -- Leeming  primary mode  environment  the  there  i n economic  more i t becomes a  w i t h one's environment,  where  o f coming t o  and thus i n i n t e r a c t i n g  more i t e f f e c t s t h a t  environment.  I f one accepts t h a t we a l l take p a r t i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n of the s o c i a l whole (some much  more than  impact of t h i s development  o t h e r s ) then  becomes apparent.  the r e f l e x i v e  By a c t i n g i n the  c o n t e x t of c a p i t a l i s t p a t t e r n s of r e g u l a t i o n people reshape the nature o f t h e i r m i l i e u and thus themselves  (Marx, C a p i t a l . V o l .  1 p.77, C i t e d i n  ironic fact  although  the  diminishment convergence  Harvey 1982:102).  'world of  of  occurs i n s i t u .  place  system'  provides  specificity  consumption  The  as  a  i s that  context  f o r the  expressed  i n the  p r a c t i c e s , the ' d e c l i n e of p l a c e '  168 In v e r y as being  broad terms  one  i n d i c a t i v e of the  g e n e r a l i z e d , indeed  can view the convergence  increasing  g l o b a l i z e d set  on l o c a l p l a c e s . T h i s p e r s p e c t i v e writers  impingement  of  of grammatical is  echoed  by  process a more  imperatives a  number of  (see as examples, Friedmann and Weaver 1979:168; Harvey  1983:3; Urry 1981:104; or R a f f e s t i n and Bresso 1979) as t h i s  t h e s i s has  suggested, the d e c l i n e of l o c a l  p a t t e r n s can not be seen as because people  do l i v e  parameters, one's not  a  linear  i n places solely  regulatory  progression.  and  based  However,  This i s  i n f a m i l i e s where other  on  economic r a t i o n a l i t y , r  come t o the f o r e .  In  Hong  Kong,  experiencing  l e v e l of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and is  in  a  period  capitalist teleological  of  manner  to  rasa,  study,  Though i t  i s not  Hong Kong, i t seems structuring  of  flux.  wipe rather  the s o c i a l whole  T h i s does not mean t h a t  regulation  capitalist  i n c r e a s i n g l y evident  i t i s , an unprecedented  s o c i a l change,  extreme  patterns  leaving a tabula present  of  as  will  continue  the s l a t e of l o c a l p l a c e that  in  patterns  in  a  clean,  the  context  of  of  regulation  the are  i n the emergence of the i n d u s t r i a l p a l a t e .  the s o l e determinant of i n d i v i d u a l a c t i o n i n to be the  p l a y i n g an  actions  of  increasing role individual  i n the  producers,  d i s t r i b u t o r s and consumers of f o o d s t u f f s i n Hong Kong.  1.69 At p r e s e n t  as Hong  s o c i a l change,  the  Kong i s  tendency  increasing industrialization  has  For example,  the homogenization boutiques,  i n the  of d i e t .  ethnic  c a p i t a l i s t ethos  foods see B e l a s c o 1987) local  variables  in  T h i s may  in  r a p i d phase of there  not  be the  be  an  end of the  public  the  i n the  boom i n food  markets.  Though these  context  of  an o v e r - a r c h i n g  excellent discussion  of e t h n i c f a s t  they exemplify the importance  the  to  West other f o r c e s are r e a c t i n g t o  and  ( f o r an  for  T h i s i s seen  foods,  developments s t i l l occur  been  a  of the l o c a l d i e t , a mass-cuisine  f o r the emergent p r o l e t a r i a t . road.  undergoing  complex  of o t h e r ,  melange of t a s t e and needs;  c h o i c e s and c o n s t r a i n t s t h a t shape the  d e c i s i o n s of  individual  consumers.  Strong l o c a l b i a s e s w i l l continue t o e f f e c t the v o c a b u l a r y of a v a i l a b l e f o o d s t u f f s .  For  example,  when  Kentucky F r i e d  Chicken moved i n t o the Hong Kong market i t enjoyed some i n i t i a l success.  However, when they i n t r o d u c e d the c o r p o r a t i o n ' s u s u a l  p r o d u c t i o n techniques the type of f a t used was local tastes. Kong local  market. tastes.  i n t e r a c t i o n of  W i t h i n months Kentucky Thus, The  foodstuffs discourse  the macro  s p e c i f i c , i n the uniqueness  and the  objectionable to  F r i e d had  l e f t the Hong  as v o c a b u l a r y must a l s o f i t  is  thus  the  micro, the  of each p l a c e .  result  of the  g e n e r a l and  the  170 B.  POLICY ISSUES.  The  trends  discussed  increasing role  p a t t e r n s of  The  I f one  r e g u l a t i o n , then  one  p a t t e r n s of r e g u l a t i o n to counter s o c i e t i e s , the n a t u r a l be  seen  Iran).  t o look  f o r other  the c a p i t a l i s t one.  development  of  this  In some  counterbalancing,  revolutions  would seem to be a p o l i t i c a l  i s not n e c c e s s a r i l y t o (an  Kong)  (notably  neccessary is in  suggest  an  increase  rather  policies  in  v i b r a n c y of  designed  to  the  ' p o l i t i c a l ' counterbalance  p a t t e r n s of r e g u l a t i o n must W a l l e r s t e i n 1984;  a r i s e and  S c o t t 1985;  'laissez-faire' build  1.  E f f e c t s on Poorer Consumers.  The  pervasiveness  of the  up  It i s  to c a p i t a l i s t (Dunleavy  1983)  impact of the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n  the food system i s a very important  point.  As  the  'place', f o r i t  does a r i s e .  and C a s t e l l s  This  direct state  the l o c a l s m a l l s c a l e s e c t o r .  to focus p o l i c y on the s t r e n g t h s of  place that  The most  response.  equally u n l i k e l y probability i n  but  s t r e n g t h and  1980;  needs  does  that capitalism  T h i s e v e n t u a l i t y seems u n l i k e l y i n Hong Kong.  regulation  an  r e g u l a t i o n i n the  accepts  i n explosive fundamentalist  f e a s i b l e approach  Hong  demonstrate  q u e s t i o n which a r i s e s i s how  these t e n d e n c i e s .  i s a system of  can  point  Below, I o u t l i n e some of the more p r o b l e m a t i c a l  r e s u l t s of t h i s process. counter  this  for c a p i t a l i s t  local milieu.  one  to  the process  of of  171 c a p i t a l i z a t i o n and i n c r e a s i n g a r t i c u l a t i o n w i t h the g l o b a l food system moves apace i t e f f e c t s a l a r g e r and l a r g e r share population.  As c e r t a i n  (and shape) the market declines  (e.g.  the  techniques or the number  decline  process may support the  and  status  impact groups who new mode  p o t e n t i a l options  grocers).  these s t r u c t u r a l developments w i t h image-marketing,  goods come t o dominate  of other  in  of the  the  When one  combines  power  of a d v e r t i s i n g ,  then  the convergence  emulation  i n f a c t do not have the income t o  of consumption.  A food system based on  c a p i t a l i s t p a t t e r n s of r e g u l a t i o n i s q u i t e o b v i o u s l y not to be b e n e f i c i a l t o those i n a s o c i e t y who I t i s i n t h i s trend that  one f i n d s  likely  do not have c a p i t a l .  the most  p r e s s i n g problem  r e s u l t i n g from convergence.  The  central  policy  issue  concerning  i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and convergence of i s how  the  increasing  food consumption  they come t o e f f e c t the v e r y poor.  patterns  The a v a i l a b i l i t y of  food types becomes c i r c u m s c r i b e d as the depth of p e n e t r a t i o n of the world i n d u s t r i a l food system grows. groups are support  e x p e r i e n c i n g the  the  increased  s o c i e t i e s t h i s group may Kong a t  p r e s e n t the  C l e a r l y not a l l income  increases i n  purchase i n fact  of  income necessary t o  value-addition.  form the  r e l a t i v e l y widespread  majority.  drawbacks  of  the  industrial  In Hong  b e n e f i t s of growth  have enabled much of the populace to e x p e r i e n c e the  In some  palate.  the f r u i t s  and  However,  the  172 alteration  of  the  local  food  system may come t o e f f e c t the  range o f a v a i l a b l e food c h o i c e s t o the more m a r g i n a l members of a given  society.  These s h i f t s  have a n e g a t i v e e f f e c t on the the poor  i n the  l o c a l food system may  food s e l e c t i o n  p o s s i b i l i t i e s of  of a g i v e n s o c i e t y who can not a f f o r d t o purchase the  h i g h l e v e l of v a l u e - a d d i t i o n found i n i n d u s t r i a l f o o d s t u f f s .  Of  growing  concern  deleterious health  impacts  Behar 1976; Yaprak 1986; p r o f i l e topic  to  i n this  a  of  or  number  of  new foods  Chetley  authors  i s the  (See K a p l i n s k y 1979;  1986).  The  most h i g h  area i s the 'baby food' i s s u e .  a d v e r t i s i n g and marketing  techniques  food  TNC's  Through  ( N e s t l e most  n o t a b l y ) have f o i s t e d on t o many T h i r d World consumers the i d e a that  'west i s b e s t ' .  processed  foods  Increasing  i n the  t o completely  They purchase  inadequate  these h i g h l y  context o f low incomes has r e s u l t e d i n  d i s a s t r o u s h e a l t h consequences. not a f f o r d  consumption o f  T h i s i s because consumers can  buy i n t o the new consumption regime. levels  to  maintain  health.  This  tendency most c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e s the s h i f t away from t r a d i t i o n a l c o s t - e f f e c t i v e , home, and h e a l t h y food.  I n t e r n a t i o n a l r e g u l a t i o n proved t h i s problem. i s i n many ways  ineffective  i n addressing  The i n t e r n a t i o n a l l e v i a t h o n of the world market unmanagable.  s u b s t i t u t e s had t o occur i n s i t u , b o y c o t t s and i n the  The  fight  against  ( i n the core through  p e r i p h e r y through  baby food consumer  e d u c a t i o n campaigns and  173 local organization case  of  --  increasing  C h e t l e y 1986) purchase  questionable n u t r i t i o n a l local  policy  However,  as  other  industrial  foods of  v a l u e and c o s t - e f f e c t i v e n e s s .  frameworks  problem of inadequate  of  So too w i t h the g e n e r a l  are  needed  to  Active  counterbalance  the  consumption l e v e l s among the poor.  the  Hong  Kong  study  has  indicated,  the  e f f i c i e n c y of c a p i t a l i s t d e l i v e r y mechanisms, i n the context of i n c r e a s i n g income  l e v e l s can  Hong Kong have i n c r e a s e d as w e l l .  The  t h e i r consumption  problem l i e s  h e a v i l y processed food system  ' d e l i v e r the goods*.  foodstuffs.  As  I  have  of  the  dominance  alternatives.  (as  seems  T h i s must be done at the l o c a l  The b e n e f i t s of p r o c e s s i n g loss  of  and  techniques  Thus, a  economies  of  key v a r i a b l e i s  a d v e r t i s i n g , and s t a t u s  to  importance  be o c c u r r i n g i n the  level.  (i.e., less  post-harvest  food  p r o d u c t i o n , and advanced d i s t r i b u t i o n  (again the d e c l i n e i n  p r i c e s f o r packaged, processed improved d i e t f o r the poor.  spoilage  and  a  lowering of  foods) can g r e a t l y f a c i l i t a t e  an  I t w i l l , however take 'pro'-active'  p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s ; ones s e t i n the framework of an of the food system as a  though the  i t s nuances are  and i n t r o d u c e an ethos t h a t emphasizes the  healthy  West).  argued,  i s d r i v e n by the p r o d u c t i o n sphere  counterbalance  emulation  of h e a l t h y s t a p l e s  i n the s h i f t towards l e s s h e a l t h y  the r e s u l t of consumption parameters. to  The poor of  whole and  emphasizing  understanding  the  'local' in  174 the d i s c o u r s e potential  2.  between micro and  macro trends t o f u l l y reap  benefits.  Other P o l i c y I s s u e s .  Other  policy  issues an  revolve  around  ramifications  of  r e g i o n a l small  s c a l e market farmers and  western s o c i e t i e s s t r u c t u r e of the for  the  employment  i n c r e a s i n g l y c a p i t a l i z e d food system f o r  saw  an e v o l u t i o n a r y  food s e c t o r  l o c a l hawkers. change i n the  (except, perhaps.some  Whereas  employment might argue  'the e n c l o s u r e movement'), 'developing' s o c i e t i e s , t y p i f i e d  by Hong Kong are undergoing a r e v o l u t i o n a r y  I t i s d i f f i c u l t to  gauge  conservation/dissolution. the  the  economically  the  Is  inefficient  socially beneficial  trend  one (in  'involutionary'  change.  in  the  process of  w i t n e s s i n g the c o l l a p s e  of  neo-classical  terms)  but  distribution  systems?  If  so, do the b e n e f i t s of more e f f i c i e n t food d i s t r i b u t i o n systems c o u n t e r b a l a n c e the can be market  loss i n  argued t h a t they do not. control  of  large  'economically r a t i o n a l ' but they are.  This  r a m i f i c a t i o n s of growing second  employment and  market trend  scale it  control which  of  seems  increasing  reasons.  how  It  impingement  distributers  can be  i s so f o r two t h i s trend  The  local vitality?  may  be  and more  socially beneficial  F i r s t , the  are s e l f - e v i d e n t .  employment  Secondly,  large scale c a p i t a l exemplifies to  accompany  the  process  the a of  175 convergence  in  open  market,  areas -- d i v e r g e n c e , (on Armstrong  In  and McGee  the  urban  and g l o b a l l y  the convergence/divergence  the  Hong  local  Kong  case  i t i s apparent t h a t d e s p i t e the  food  distribution  system  the l i o n s is  c o n t r o l l e d by the two b i g g e s t economic a c t o r s i n 'hongs'  of  Jardine-Matheson  a c t o r s are system.  accumulating Thus, the  divergence.  and  more  the  process  dissemination  patterns'  is  wealth  mirrored  the c i t y :  from  Fewer the food  a  homogenization  of  concentration  and  accumulation of c o n t r o l and wealth i n the hands of a few. i s perhaps  the  seems t o be l i n k e d t o  and by  share  increasingly  Hutchison-Whampao.  of  convergence  The  consumption  nexus see  1985)  growth i n the F r e s h F r u i t and Vegtable s e c t o r , of  articulated  This  not s u r p r i s i n g as i t i s i n the nature of c a p i t a l i s m  as a s o c i a l system t h a t c a p i t a l accumulates.  The s i t u a t i o n i n  Hong Kong i s aggravated by the move of the hongs ' o f f - s h o r e ' t o i n t e r n a t i o n a l f i n a n c i a l c e n t r e s (Jardine-Matheson corporate  headquarters  to  Bermuda).  i s moving i t s  Thus,  the  growing  impingement of c a p i t a l i s t p a t t e r n s of r e g u l a t i o n , expressed f a c i l i t a t e d by ramifications 'regime of process  changes i n for  what  accumulation' at  accumulation needs t o be  this not  the food system, may  the (see  level local  countered.  french  supports  diffuse  have very deep  regulationists  L i p i e t z 1987). global,  accumulation.  and  The  call  the  convergence concentrated  This  tendency  176  The  second  s c a l e producer the Hong  issue, that i s no  of the impacts  less c r i t i c a l ,  Kong c a s e ) .  on the l o c a l s m a l l  but s m a l l e r  i n scale (in  Throughout A s i a t h e r e i s a divergence i n  the d e s i r e s of urban p o p u l a t i o n s f o r the cheapest foreign  foodstuffs  and  traditional foodstuffs. bind.  On the  the  needs  L o c a l producers  one hand  production  local  are caught i n a  techniques;  t h a t seem on  d e c l i n i n g market f o r t r a d i t i o n a l  the  the  other  the  food  system  To address  as  a  whole.  In  are  urban  products  of  vegitables) w i l l found a  regional h e l p the  food  there i s a  of the  resolution  and urban consumers  this  linked.  l o c a l producers.  v i a b i l i t y of  the l o c a l  goods they  light,  the  H e l p i n g the  (i.e., fruits These people  niche i n the Hong Kong food space-economy.  p o l i c y can g r e a t l y a s s i s t i n t h e i r  1986).  hand  the i s s u e one needs to  c i r c u l a t i o n and p r o d u c t i o n spheres sellers  double  foods.  c o m p e t i t i o n between l o c a l producers  e s p e c i a l l y i n a f r e e market. view  of  to accompany modern  There i s no easy answer to the q u e s t i o n of  producers  they are i n c r e a s i n g l y immersed i n the  cash nexus and f a c i n g the debts food  of  and/or o f t e n  and have  Government  v i a b i l i t y , and  thus i n the  tend to s e l l ,  (see B u c k l i n  177 3.  In Summation.  The  i n c r e a s i n g impingement of g l o b a l l y o r i e n t e d c a p i t a l i s t  p a t t e r n s of r e g u l a t i o n i s a d i f f i c u l t f o r c e to  resist.  in  1979)  Hong  Kong,  regional  closure  (Friedmann  i n c r e a s i n g l y unviable p o l i c y option.  One  can  temper the impacts of i n c r e a s i n g impingement.  Today, seems an  only  hope t o  T h i s needs to be  done by enhancing the v i a b i l i t y of other p a t t e r n s of r e g u l a t i o n and  the  expressive  capacity  d i s c o u r s e over the nature  B.  THE  of  l o c a l p l a c e s i n the ongoing  and uniqueness of each community.  HONG KONG CASE IN SUMMATION.  T h i s paper, through an examination of the Hong has  sought  to make the process  p a t t e r n s more i n t e l l i g i b l e I t has  t r i e d to  contingency  maintain  (in fact  fundamental nature then, and  of modernizing food consumption  (though  of  not  deny the  of the b a s i c t r e n d of convergence.  There i s  the  convergence process a b a s i c grammar.  by v a r i o u s  necessarily simpler).  a p e r s p e c t i v e which allows f o r l o c a l  emphasizes  it)  process  of  but  is a This  does  In many ways the  converging  p a t t e r n s l i e i n i t s m u l t i - v a l e n t and  has  not  a coherence to the complexity. depth  Kong case,  food  strength  consumption  m u l t i - f o c a l nature.  complex d i s c o u r s e , y e t the grammar i s  produced and  The  discourse reproduced  agents a c t i n g w i t h i n the c o n s t r a i n t s of a myriad of  micro and m a c r o - l e v e l  s e t t i n g s and f o r c e s .  178 These  forces  and  u n i f i e d ensemble. shaped by  settings  The b a s i c rhythms and beat  c a p i t a l i s t market  and t e x t u r e s  are  produced  c o n t i n g e n c i e s have  f o r c e s , but in  alter  process  produce).  Yet  uniqueness  is  food  (eg.  the  the i n t r i c a t e melody In  Hong  Kong, l o c a l  the marketing  acumen  for  fresh  local  the undoubted importance of  increasingly  and  (eg.  predilection  pervasive  industrialization  system  increasingly  i n other cases served to slow or  the  underlying  capitalization, the  stuffs  e n t r e p r e n e u r s ) , and  the  situ.  are  i n some r e s p e c t s a c t e d t o support the t r e n d  t o i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of food of l o c a l  are fused i n t o a complex but  thus,  trend  local  to  the  and i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of  ultimately  the  tendency  to  convergence.  As t h i s  t h e s i s has demonstrated, the p e r c e i v e d changes i n  consumption p a t t e r n s have a number of sources. the p r o c e s s of  two  of changing  broad  consumption d i v i s i o n s the  types of  of  forces  individuals.  ' d i r e c t ' and  consumption p a t t e r n s .  The  which One  trends  -  experienced surprising  effect  might c a l l  i n d i r e c t route concerns  in then,  local  variations  'industrialized' that  the these  of  goods  or  -  tend  industrialized  to  resemble  countries. techniques  food  the types of  In some important ways the g e n e r a l nature of with  lines  ' i n d i r e c t ' routes to converging  s o c i a l change which f a c i l i t a t e the i n c u r s i o n food t y p e s .  can d i v i d e  consumption p r a c t i c e s along the  generic  patterns  One  It  these those  is  originating  not in  179  i n d u s t r i a l i z e d countries ones.  should f i n d a n i c h e i n i n d u s t r i a l i z i n g  These t r a i t s were shown to be present i n Hong Kong.  I n e x t r i c a b l y a l l i e d w i t h the route'  towards  w i t h the  convergence.  i n d i r e c t route i s the  T h i s route i s much more concerned  s t r u c t u r a l dynamics of the a r t i c u l a t i o n of  l o c a l food  systems.  global  I t i s at the m a c r o - l e v e l where one  the main impetuses t o s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n ; 'world market', but  'direct  i t i s at the  and  the  and  finds  formation  of a  l o c a l l e v e l where t h i s impetus  is realized.  The  direct  competitive  route  advantages  enterprises  and  capitalist  patterns  the  s c a l e producers and from s c a l e  to  convergence and  requisites  ' r a t i o n a l i t y ' of food of  regulation.  distributors  (eg. a s m a l l e r  can  as  well  as  result  of  of  large  the  food  by  large  c e r t a i n advantages  margin per u n i t of s a l e s ) but  in  the  scale  systems dominated  gain  consumption.  o u t l i n e d through examples from the  industry  a  As demonstrated,  t h a t consumers change t h e i r modes of was  is  require  This  trait  food manufacturing retailing  sector  (i.e.  supermarkets).  In t h i s t h e s i s the concern was g e n e r a l i z i n g tendencies w i t h the meso-scale of i n t e r a c t i o n were  i n the  specifically  with  g l o b a l food system, but  interaction.  outlined via  not  The  'nuts  a consideration  and  the  rather  b o l t s ' of  of a number of  180 conduits  (i.e.  imports,  conduits  provide  the  production, framework  and  for  retail).  the  These  direct  route  convergence, and are the c o n t e x t s f o r the more d i r e c t of change.  This  paper has  shown how  catalysts  the nature of the  m i l i e u x , the economies and e c o l o g i e s of d i f f e r e n t p a r t s food system, the  and the  i n t e r a c t i o n of  ' l a r g e r ' l o g i c of  through  import  the  world  local of the  t h i s evolving u n i t y with  food/economic  system (e.g.,  c o m p e t i t i o n , and the t r a n s f e r of techniques  t e c h n o l o g i e s ) leads to a f a m i l i a r process -- convergence. indirect  route  provides  the  setting,  r o u t i n g which i s the most a c t i v a t i n g . does  not  determine  what  people  to  but  and The  i t i s the d i r e c t  Though  the d i r e c t  route  w i l l eat i t h e a v i l y  impacts  dynamics o u t l i n e d  in this  available choices.  At p r e s e n t the r e s u l t s paper have  resulted i n  of the  the emergence of a t r i p a r t i t e  of trends i n food consumption. i n c r e a s e d consumption t h e r e appears to be consume food  At  of s t a p l e s an i n c r e a s e d  o u t s i d e of  there  propensity to  the home. growth  cosmopolitan  foodstuffs.  of  level  among the poor.  p r e s e n t w i t n e s s i n g the mix  one  in  Finally,  At  i s the another,  'eat-out', t o Hong Kong i s a t  consumption These  division  of foods  a  new are  and more  e x p l i c i t l y the f a r e of t h e . i n d u s t r i a l p a l a t e .  Underlying industrialization  all and  these  trends  are  internationalization  the  increasing  of the l o c a l  food  181 system. the  In the context of i n c r e a s i n g  'grammatical'  t o resemble  Cities penetration  l o g i c of  are of  particularly the  population  the  ethos.  'world  socio-economic  base  needed  practices.  for  Hong  c a p i t a l input,  i s i n c r e a s i n g l y coming  auspicious  capitalist  have a v e r y monetized  consumptive  t h i s system  t h a t found i n the world food system  c l o s e l y a r t i c u l a t e d with  the  l e v e l s of  as a whole.  centres  for  the  They are u s u a l l y most  system,'  they g e n e r a l l y  s t r u c t u r e and they p r o v i d e (certain)  productive  and  Kong w i t h i t s 'open market' i s  i n c r e a s i n g l y a paragon of these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s .  Hong Kong p r e s e n t s one w i t h the  p r o f i l e of  a p l a c e where  the v e r y nature of the l o c a l d i s c o u r s e i s changing i n content. local  Increasingly,  discourse  a c t o r s and These  'forces'  externally  determine  is  being  originating  the content of  myriad of  to  and  internationalization,  the  e f f e c t e d by the i n p u t s of e x t e r n a l  ( i . e . the  global  food/economic system)  dynamics  the l o c a l  food consumption p a t t e r n s . with a  due  i n scale  shape  d i s c o u r s e as  T h i s occurs through  micro l e v e l  f o r c e s and  but  do  not  expressed i n  interaction  i s expressed i n the  m e s o - l e v e l r e a l i t y of the Hong Kong food regime of today.  As t h i s t h e s i s has some fundamental system  demonstrated,  changes i n  and the d i e t s of  the  Hong  Kong i s undergoing  the s t r u c t u r a l nature of i t s food population.  These  changes are  182 c h a r a c t e r i z e d by  an i n c r e a s i n g l e v e l of c a p i t a l i n p u t i n t o the  d a i l y meal (from the r i c e f i e l d s t o the of  this  process,  in  changes, i s r e f l e c t e d Hong  Kong's  food  tandem  thus,  more  The  result  w i d e l y based  social  i n the i l l u s t r a t e d s h i f t s i n consumption.  system  embraces are indeed coming globe,  with  kitchen).  resulting  and  the  to  mimic  in,  and  consumption those  found  patterns  around the  r e f l e c t i n g the processes of  convergence and the emergence of the i n d u s t r i a l p a l a t e Kong.  it  i n Hong  183 Notes.  1/  The  term  'patterns  contra-distinction  and  of  regulation'  acknowledgement  of  1984;  this  paper  A g l i e t t a 1979). have  regulationists. phenonmenon.  some  in  French  (Lipietz  1987,  C l e a r l y , the thoughts expressed i n  affinity  They c o r r e c t l y  (Aglietta  used  the  R e g u l a t i o n i s t s ' concept of 'modes of r e g u l a t i o n ' 1986,  is  with view  1979:9;  the work of the f r e n c h capitalism  as  a social  or c f . M e i s k i n s Wood 1981:77)  The c r i t i c a l f e a t u r e of t h e i r approach i s the  a s s e r t i o n of the  importance  capitalism.  of  the  reproductive  employing the concept of at c a p i t a l i s m  nature  'a p o s t i o r i '  of  By  f u n c t i o n a l i s m they look  as a r e p r o d u c t i v e system.  I t e x i s t s and expands  because i t works, (to a p o i n t ) .  The two key areas of the r e p r o d u c t i v e nature of c a p i t a l i s m as a social  system are  what they  'regimes of accumulation'. into a  number of  'departments'  L i p i e t z 1987) what I  the  are f u r t h e r d i v i d e d  permutations (see L i p i e t z  or 'elements'.  (see f o o t n o t e  7, page  207,  These two groupings are the c l o s e s t they come t o  have termed  role  and  Modes of r e g u l a t i o n are f u r t h e r d i v i d e d  p a t t e r n s of r e g u l a t i o n .  an importance d i f f e r e n c e . of  'modes of r e g u l a t i o n '  These headings  sub-groupings and  1987:12-15 and 32-35). into  term  in  the  However, t h e r e i s  They view these departments  i n terms  g e n e r a l i z e d regime of accumulation, not  e x p l i c i t e l y as the c o n t e x t s of  individual  action.  They are  184  elements of a system not the frame of a c t i o n .  Their  focus  is  on  the  f u n c t i o n a l nature of a reproducing  s o c i a l system known as c a p i t a l i s m . 'a  >postiori'  functionalism,  r e s e a r c h focus has l e d functionalist  heuristic  so  device.  economy  is  Rather,  that  them t o  viewpoint.  c r i t i c a l flaw i n  run  far  as  a  to come  as  one  are  In  nature of t h e i r is in  the end a  they argue, t h i s i s not a only  accepts  theory  much  the  'global  maestro'  (Lipietz  1986:17).  t o terms w i t h the e v o l u t i o n of the world adopts one  approach  same  way  that  this  of c a p i t a l accumulation  concept  of  social  interaction.  p e r s p e c t i v e which  patterns  of  questions  paper has d e s c r i b e d the  and market d i s s e m i n a t i o n ,  regulation,  through  Correctly placing  the  examining  consider capitalism  consumption  to  be  a  t o t a l i t y of  emphasis on the p r o d u c t i o n of  key  ( i n p a r t i c u l a r fordism).  to  the  Their  whole  They a l s o ediface  they develop  specifically  the  key  of  perspective overtly  i n t e g r a t e the p r o d u c t i o n and consumption spheres  f o r example L i p i e t z 1987:30) However, the the model  and  regulationists  s o c i a l a s s e t s and the d i s t r i b u t i o n of those a s s e t s .  seeks to  as a  understanding.  symbiosis the  d i s c l a i m e r of  not s u g g e s t i n g t h a t the g l o b a l  c a p i t a l i s t system t h e i r approach helps i n  totalizing  present what  Yet  They by  the  D e s p i t e the  (see  d r i v i n g f o r c e behind  i s c l e a r l y the p r o d u c t i v e sphere, more role  played  by  productivity  levels.  185 Secondly,  though  important address which  they  view  consumption  parameters  i n the m a c r o - l e v e l of mass consumption, they the  are  more so  m i c r o - l e v e l i s s u e s , dynamics and  critical  to  the  whole  process  t o be fail  to  tendencies  of  changing  consumption p a t t e r n s .  Though the framework developed by t h i s s c h o o l seems, a t l e a s t i n t u i t i v e l y u s e f u l f o r the t h i s papers purpose and approach, i t i s not  used e x p l i c i t e l y  for a  number of reasons.  s u b t l e i f vague concept of p a t t e r n s the  research  before  regulationists'  the  agenda.  author  First,  of r e g u l a t i o n became  fully  They are simply a way  the  came out of aware of the  of coming  t o an  understanding of the process of s o c i a l change i n g e n e r a l and i n Hong Kong i n p a r t i c u l a r . h e u r i s t i c device. part  of  a  different  Patterns  Modes  different issue.  of r e g u l a t i o n  of r e g u l a t i o n explanatory  The  on the other hand are  framework  regulationists  focus  one t o understand  is  primarily  productive  sphere  useful  that  in  its  regard,  with  the  evolution.  this  paper  support  useful i n  s p e c i f i c instances.  concerned and  addressing  would  argument ( L i p i e t z 1987:5), t h e o r y i s o n l y i t helps  are a u s e f u l  a  this  s o - f a r as  Their research  dynamics  of g l o b a l  T h e i r framework, i s  addresses  a  different  question.  The  strength  of  their  capitalism i s a social  perspective  phenomenon, one  lies  i n the view t h a t  of many,  and i n t h e i r  186 emphasis  on  the  patterning  reproduce themselves. good  foundation  and  L e f t at  for  w i t h each  p i e c e having  want t o buy  into  o u t l i n e d above, language.  the  an  whole  w i t h which s o c i e t i e s  their  about  perspective  place.  explanatory  i t s place of  i n the this  The  is a French  super-structure,  whole.  As I do  structure  f o r reasons  g o a l of  t h i s paper  i s to  come t o a  a p p r e c i a t i o n of a p a r t i c u l a r p l a c e not t o prove or  d i s p r o v e the l a t e s t  theory  in  vouge.  It  was  felt  that to  u t i l i z e the whole of t h e i r p e r s p e c t i v e too much time and would  not  i t seems unwise t o a p p r o p r i a t e a p a r t of t h e i r  F u r t h e r , the  geographical  that,  thinking  R e g u l a t i o n i s t s have developed  order  have  ramifications  been of  spent the  on  myriad  discussing complex  t r a d i t i o n s t h a t make the d i e t a r y p a t t e r n  of  the  effort  theoretical  forces, actors  i n Hong  and  Kong what i t  i s today, r a t h e r than the trends themselves.  Thus, the paper would have become about the  theory r a t h e r than the  geographical  analysis  of changing food  consumption p a t t e r n s i n Hong Kong.  2/  There i s  a voluminous a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e on  G e n e r a l l y , t h i s s u b - d i s c i p l i n e i s c a l l e d Gastronomy. divided  into  two  types.  s o c i o - c u i t u r a i context of G i f f t et  a l . 1972;  food  Freedman, R.  One choice 1976).  genre (Jerome  al.  be the  1980;  Another looks at the  e x p r e s s i v e nature of food consumption (Douglas 1974; 1964).  I t can  emphasizes et  food.  Mead  1970,  There i s a very s u p r i s i n g l a c k of work, t h a t i n t e g r a t e s  187 these  approaches  economic  realities  consumption, c i r c u l a t i o n and d i s t r i b u t i o n .  A partial  to t h i s 1980)  into  the  who  adopt a m a t e r i a l i s t literature  approach. on  food  Almost  addressed  of the  h a b i t s tends t o focus  on  i s usually  i n a v e r y i s s u e s p e c i f i c manner.  term  ' s t r u c t u r e ' i s used here i n a r a t h e r un-orthodox  manner, c e r t a i n l y i n an and  exception  all  s t a t i c d i e t a r y p a t t e r n s , i f change i s c o n s i d e r e d i t  The  food  a s s e r t i o n i s the work of H a r r i s (1987) and Ross (1987,  Anthropological  3/  of  agency are two  s t r u c t u r e are  a  Structure i s  unorthodox Marxian  manner.  s i d e s of the same c o i n . duality  not  o n l y manifest  a  Structure  That i s , agency  dualism  and  (Giddens 1984:182).  by i n d i v i d u a l a c t i o n (see a l s o f o r  example C a s t e l l s 1983:XVI) F u r t h e r , s t r u c t u r e i s not a complete isotropic social,  surface.  Human  ideological,  contexts.  Action  structures  (though  i m p e r a t i v e s of  economic, is  based  imperfect  is  biological  on  one's  knowledge  of  to  terms  emotional  perseption of  other  of  these  structural  individuals  and  outcomes as  d i f f e r i n g s e t s of  c o n t e x t s o v e r l a p i n space (Giddens 1984:164). come  and  with  may  consequences).  has a wide range of p o t e n t i a l  perseptions  ensconced i n numerous  other agents and s o c i a l or p h y s i c a l systems  r e s u l t i n unintended  Thus one  action  this  complexity  r e s u l t a n t r e a l i t y i n a given l o c a l e .  is  The by  In t h i s way  differing structural  o n l y way  examining one  can  to the  allow  188 the r e s u l t a n t  m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of  i n d i v i d u a l a c t i o n s i n s i t u to  o u t l i n e what seem to be the primary  structural imperitives.  4/  partially  T h i s p o i n t i s of  there  is  a  course  political  only  side  and  Clearly  to the deep r e l a t i o n s h i p between  s t a t e c o n t r o l l e d a g r i c u l t u r e (at PRC  valid.  least u n t i l  the Hong Kong food system.  r e c e n t l y ) i n the  T h i s i s the probable  source  of the low food p r i c e s charged Hong Kong by Chines a u t h o r i t i e s . However, u n l i k e most d e v e l o p i n g  s o c i e t i e s t h e r e i s not a d i r e c t  p o l i t i c a l c o n t e s t between  rural  consumer.  The  the  question  is  producer  r a t h e r more one  and  the urban  of g e o - p o l i t i c s  r a t h e r than n a t i o n a l p o l i t i c s .  5/  T h i s viewpoint,  knowing  actors  (1984:22).  He,  is and  one  which  strongly others  emphasize the importance of  6/  T h i s p o i n t may  f o r the  process.  process.  (e.g.,  to  by  importance of Anthony Giddens  T h r i f t 1983,  1986)  heavily  to the argument t h a t i t  r e g u l t i o n which Those p a t t e r n s  are at  the base of  p r o v i d e a framework  however, i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n which  of the i n d u s t r i a l p a l a t e and  the more t a n g i b l e developments trend  the  ' p r a c t i c a l knowledge'.  It i s ,  f a c i l i t a t e s the expansion  the  articulated  seem t o run counter  i s c a p i t a l i s t p a t t e r n s of the convergence  emphasizes  i n the  industrialization  c a p i t a l i s m are t i g h t l y bound.  food system. and  the  leads to Further,  advancement  of  189 7/  I t i s a mistake t o p l a c e too much emphasis on the i n t u i t i v e  division  of  agriculture  p r e s e n t l y the important  and  division i s  to  clarify  under-going i n d u s t r i a l  industry.  not t h a t  the  explicit.  distinction  processing  crops such as s i s a l or rubber.  and  These two processes  i n t o food products  A l s o i t seems  between  food  traditional  industrial  t r a d i t i o n a l l y food  a c t i n tandem.  Increased  capital  ( i . e . the  labour  theory  of  The balance  Unlike  t h i s means  g e n e r a l , some machinery must be employed t o process  s c a l e producers  scale  (ironically  techniques it  seems  of that  meeting  t h i s by  product  means t h a t the they  economies produce  More i m p o r t a n t l y ,  multiple  advances  t h i s more  enhancing t h e i r  a  are i n g e n e r a l unable to add v a l u e by  p r o d u c t i o n may be making  Because  market  i t must undergo  non-perishables  g i v e n f o o d s t u f f (e.g., Ovens, i r r a d i a t e r s ) .  small  and  research question.  some p r o c e s s i n g t o l a s t .  as l a r g e  input  of these two s e t s of f a c t o r s would seem t o  The key f e a t u r e of food i s i t s p e r i s h a b i l i t y ,  that, i n  crops.  value)  f a c t o r s which are s p e c i f i c t o food and which are l a r g e l y  be an i n t e r s t i n g  crops  i s a r e s u l t of both the nature of c a p i t a l i s t  production i n general  driven.  and  The focus of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n i s  on the i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of what are  8/  Traditionally  of for  a  the t e c h n o l o g i e s of  p o s s i b l e ) they  for  scale  in  market n i c h e s ,  the mass play  an  mass-market,  need t o do  market.  These  important  role.  techniques  of  190 mass-production  are  required.  value-addition drives o f t e n achieved  The  the  i m p a r i t i v e of  the food s e c t o r more than most.  through  advertising.  Further,  industrial  processing,  packaging  9/  Though post-modernism  in  social  geography  i s an  and  amalysis and world  of l a t e i n i n d u s t r i a l geography i t s  Indeed  this  post-modern  of the  this  itself paper  a  useful  might  be  F i r s t one  emergence of  way  of  broadly  a post-modern The  perspective. World who  to  assume  that  all  post modern  analysing s i t u a t i o n s . c a t e g o r i z e d under t h a t  However, there are some r e a l t r o u b l e s  viewpoint  w i t h expanding  people  adopt  For the v a s t m a j o r i t y of the people of  are e i t h e r  an i n d u s t r i a l one the i m p e r i t i v e s  needs  approach t o problem  conflated with p o s t - i n d u s t r i a l ) .  is  heading.  the  the a s s e r t i o n  (often  approach  between  food.  i n c r e a s i n g l y popular approach  widespread a p p l i c a b i l i t y seems h i g h l y suspect. distinguish  and  d r i v e behind these t e n d e n c i e s i s l a r g e l y the  r e s u l t of market f o r c e s i n regards to the nature of  to  This i s  such  the T h i r d  ensconced i n a p r e - i n d u s t r i a l context  their of the  l i v e s are  often only  pre-modern or  a  to s t u c t u r e d  or by  what i s o f t e n worse the  modern world.  10/  One  should  small part  note t h a t  'urban p r o d u c t i o n '  of the food s u p p l i e s of A s i a n C i t i e s i n g e n e r a l  Hong Kong i n p a r t i c u l a r . (Yeung 1985b). this i s  does account f o r a  almost n e g l i g a b l e  level.  However  Further  there  and  i n Hong Kong i s almost  no  191 data on the s u b j e c t , research  question  thus w h i l e i t will  i tis  o b v i o u s l y an  largely  be  ommitted  notable  rise  important from  this  analysis.  11/  There has a l s o  abandoned  been  land.  a  Abandoned  land  was  in the  a g r i c u l t u r a l l a n d use i n 1979. (Wong 1983) for  this  abandonment  e x e r t e d on  seem  to  p e r i - u r b a n land  exaggerated  in  Hong  by  amount of  second  largest  The primary  reasons  l i e l a r g e l y i n the p r e s s u r e s  by r a p i d l y  Kong  the  expanding urban areas,  Government  1985b) and the development of the  new towns  r e g u l a t i o n s (Yeung ( S i t 1981).  For  the purposes  of the present paper t h i s l e v e l o f abandonment i s  particularly  pertinent  in  so  f a r as  i t highlights  i n c r e a s i n g l e v e l of i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n on other  12/  Unfortunately there  the dynamics and depth the  Hong  Kong  assert  production  that  o f the  agricultural  the  techniques  lands.  i s s t i l l very l i m i t e d i n f o r m a t i o n on  coming from, who c o n t r o l s can  the  i n t r o d u c t i o n of  s e c t o r (eg. where the c a p i t a l i s  the means  of p r o d u c t i o n ) .  introduction is  hydroponics i n  likely  of  to  Yet one  such 'high-tech' lead  to  an  food  even more  d i m i n i s h e d r o l e f o r l o c a l p l a c e s p e c i f i c i t i e s i n the f u t u r e .  13/  The focus  on the  r e t a i l side  system i s a l s o a r e s u l t of a l a c k  of the food  of l i t e r a t u r e  sdistribution on the t o p i c .  192 What f i g u r e s wholesale  c o u l d be  sector  p a r t i c u l a r note type.  mirror  The most  Kong  Trades  those  t h a t the p a t t e r n s i n the  in  the  retail  sector.  concentrated sectors ( i . e . confections  Survey  of  Wholesale  are the i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y  and processed f o o d s t u f f s ) . Retail  and  Import/Exort  1984).  14/ There are some r e a l q u e s t i o n s as t o whether the w i l l ever be a b l e t o match scale producers.  the f r e s h n e s s  supermarket  a v a i l a b l e from s m a l l  The shear volume of product t h a t  supermarkets  move t o some extent m i t i g a t e s a g a i n s t t h e i r a b i l i t y c o n t i n o u s premium repurcussions. increasing production. supermarket produce  q u a l i t y produce. First,  it  technological  is  in  as  fact  another  drive  fruit be  and  the  case  of succeeding  discriminating  burgeoning growth  to provide  T h i s f a c t has two n o t a b l e  into  simply i n c a p a b l e  increasingly the  acts  input  Secondly, i t may  to  Vancouver,  of 'Produce  to  15/  the  vegetable t h a t the  i n the s a l e of  consumers.  In  City' outlets i n  the c o n t e x t of the growth of ' s u p e r - s t o r e s ' , suggests t h a t may  Of  i s the v a r i a b i l i t y i n c o n c e n t r a t i o n by product  a r t i c u l a t e d ones (Hong  found suggest  this  i n f a c t be the case.  The  limits  of the expenditure p r o f i l e d a t a , e s p e c i a l l y  over time are of more  than  technical  interest.  u s u a l problems of sampling v a l i d i t y and r e l i a b i l i t y s t a t i s t i c a l work ( e s p e c i a l l y i n  a  developing  Beyond the endemic t o  country), there  193 are a  some concerns  s p e c i f i c t o the Hong Kong data base.  example, one needs t o data.  be wary  o f overemphasis  inclusive  16/  of the 1964/65  T h i s survey had o n l y a 36% response r a t e .  food group c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s used are not  Secondly, the  c l e a r l y d e l i n e a t e d nor  o f a l l food t y p e s .  I t appears  t h a t the Hong Kong expenditure surveys were not  designed w i t h l o n g i t u d i n a l c o m p a r a b i l i t y i n mind. coherent, (even  the  information these  For  continous range on  and  of  varies). tracking  drawbacks  inflation  system  are social  grouping  Nor  any  available  groups over time.  set i n  the  contexts  change  one  needs  c a u t i o n i n a n a l y s i n g expenditure  i s no  expenditure c o h o r t s  i s there  expenditure  There  of  When  differential  t o e x e r c i z e extreme  c o h o r t s ' changing  consumption  patterns.  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