The rise and proliferation of supermarkets has coincided with the rise in global markets in which it has become much easier for food to be sourced from all over the world. In your local supermarket you will find food from every corner of the world; oranges from Florida, bananas from Ghana and chillies from Devon, to name but a few choice examples.
Supermarkets quickly took over from local greengrocers, butchers and bakers in the post-war period when food suddenly became a lot less scarce and the world became a more open place. Such establishments sought to provide everything a person could want in one place when it came to their weekly food shop. Being able to find everything a person needed in one place was a boon as it allowed people to visit once a week and collect all their weekly shopping.
The watchword was and is ‘convenience’ – instead of having to trudge around four or five different shops to gather and purchase everything one might require to feed one’s family, it can all be done in one place. Add to this the supermarket’s ability to provide a whole range of different suppliers’ and producers’ products in one place and you have the perfect marriage of convenience and choice.
Supermarkets’ ability to source vast quantities of every product enables them to sell their products at cheaper prices, thus saving the consumer a great deal of money week-on-week. Once it became clear that these establishments saved people money and provided all they could need to provide for their families there was a boom in the number of people who visited them.
The other advantage to supermarkets, as mentioned above, is that they source their products globally and so the customer can find products from every corner of the world. This means that if you want to cook something with an Eastern flavour one night, something of an Indian flavour the next, and then a good old hearty British stew on the final night, you can source all the ingredients you might need in one place at your local supermarket.
This in itself has encouraged people to be more adventurous with their cooking and has enabled them to explore different cultures’ cuisines in the comfort of their own homes and made by their own hand, which can only be seen as a good thing.
Supermarkets have saved people time and money, given them the freedom of choice, and have enabled them to be more adventurous in what they cook and eat.