This article argues that investing in foreign markets by exploiting intellectual property has increasingly become an important expansion strategy for TNCs in the processed food sector in the past several decades. I suggest that this process is closely related with changes in food consumption patterns and growing segmentation in food markets. I analyze the operations of Unilever and Nestlé in Turkey in the post-war era as examples of changing forms of investment by food TNCs in a peripheral context. Parallel to the increasing market segmentation and emergence of post-Fordist food consumption norms in metropolitan Turkey, Unilever and Nestlé have expanded their production range and focused on producing and marketing high value-added processed foods in the last two decades. Joint ventures with and acquisitions of locally strong food companies have been a major way for Unilever and Nestlé to gaining access to the Turkish market and to cash in on intellectual property.
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