Since moving to our new area, about 6 months ago, I have been shopping at the local independent grocery store and the local farmers' markets. For convenience today I chose to shop at one of the two major supermarket chains here in Queensland. After moving through the fruit and vegetable section and then the meat section without much incident and not many products placed into my gigantic shopping trolley, I moved into the pre-packaged and processed sections.
Oh so soul destroying. The lack of variety in products and brands shocked me. Standard brands that I use to buy from these supermarkets chains have either disappeared from the shelves or are well hidden. The chain branded products are everywhere and the amount of processed foods catering for the rush of modern life are dominant. Local products are difficult to find and I felt that much of the food is choosing the buyer not the buyer choosing the product.
I was just mortified. I don't think despite the moves that these chains are doing in an attempt to improve their reputations by stocking appropriately sourced seafood, having only phosphate free detergents, etc will induce me to shopping in their aisles, except for the oddly unavailable products at my local store.
Some of the reasons I will continue to shop at my local grocery store are:
- locally owned;
- some profits being channelled back into my local community and community-oriented initiatives;
- employment of local people at all levels in the business;
- support for other local businesses and community members;
- direct response to requests (eg. direct responses to suggestions by customers for products, ranges or stocking products within a industry - local, organic, etc);
- broader range of suppliers; and
- encourage/support and utilisation of local products.