The world is full of status symbols, from what car you have, to how big your TV is, or what Mobile phone you sport, but food always seems to be way down that list for most people. Take the car for instance, we buy more brand new cars than ever before and why?
Because we can get them on the Never Never (The Never Never when you pay for something but you never actually own it) for only £250 P/M and make everyone think its yours. The must have 60inch energy guzzling TV to watch our expensive satellite TV channels on. We all do it and its not a bad thing to have aspiration its what drives us on.
So where does food come into our aspirations? What with the rise of the low frill supermarkets it seems to come low on the list of must haves. We drive to these German supermarkets in flashy German cars to buy cheap food. Yeah I know it sounds crazy right but that’s what we do?!?
So how do they do it? Well as a Greengrocer the Fruit and Veg is what I focused on straight away, its so cheap that I can’t even buy it that cheap at the market. So how do they do it, well it has a name and its called a ‘loss leader’ which Wikipedia describes as –
A loss leader (also leader) is a pricing strategy where a product is sold at a price below its market cost to stimulate other sales of more profitable goods or services. With this sales promotion/marketing strategy, a “leader” is used as a related term.
So they sell their fruit and veg at a loss. Now where’s the harm in that I hear you say! Well the Supermarkets won’t be harmed, the Farmer maybe, but I doubt it. Someones got to pay somewhere along the line.
Well the people who must pay, must be us. Like the guys and girls who pick the fruit and veg they are on low income and small shops like ours becomes less busy. Or New Spitalfields market (which employ hundreds of people) start closing it’s stalls, as they can’t sell the product wholesale as cheap as the supermarkets are selling it for!
WE WHO SHOP AT THE SUPERMARKETS, WE SUFFER BECAUSE THEY’RE GOING TO GET THEIR MONEY BACK ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.
Also for me it really devalues food as a whole, so we don’t hold it in high enough regard. What we put into our bodies and feed our families should be the highest of all of the status symbols.
So lets all stop shopping at supermarkets. NO! I shop in them it’s part of the modern world now as they also create loads of jobs and are needed. You just need know what they are doing and shop smart.
We don’t have to only shop in them, lets spread the money around, maybe start by getting your weekend meals from you local independent shops, its better quality than you’ll find in a supermarket because the distribution chain is shorter, ie the produce gets to you fresher and quicker.
I know time can be a factor in our busy lives, but if you can spend a couple of hours zombieing (as Shelly calls it) around a supermarket then an hours shopping in the smaller shops on the high street is nothing and I guarantee you it will be a much more pleasant experience.
So why not try it this weekend and then boast about it to your friends about how you’ve found this lovely little shop because Food is a status symbol after all.