While the major brands dominate the global food supply, there has been a noticeable shift in recent years of consumers who look to source greater amounts of their shopping locally.
We looked at some of the most popular grocery sectors across the world and evaluated whether going for a global brand or a local source was best.
Sauces and Condiments
These are some of the most common items that are sourced locally. Some sauces, such as pesto, can even be made at home with your own ingredients. Many recipe books are now published ready prepared with recipes for producing your own sauces and other condiments. These are proving to be hugely popular on the back of more people looking to eat healthier, organic foods and to support the local community and economy and buying from nearby businesses.
The alternative to making the sauce yourself or buying locally is of course usually the supermarket. Many sauces, including pesto, market themselves a lot of the time in being authentic and from the country of origin. In the case of pesto, this would mean that the sauce has been shipped or flown in from Italy.
While there is a unique satisfaction when you make your own recipe ingredients, there are also other factors to consider, such as the carbon footprint of transporting an “authentic” product such as pesto from Italy to the destination country.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are two of the major product groups that come under close scrutiny, particularly in the case of bananas and other fruits that are transported from far away locations such as Brazil and South Africa. These are also the subject of concerns in relation to fair trade, and child labour concerns in faraway countries. These factors combine to make a strong case for those who prefer us to buy organically and locally. Of course, you are unlikely to be able to grow bananas and some other exotic fruits in the United Kingdom, but you can offset this by buying fair trade goods.
In terms of shopping locally, outlets such as pick your own farms are starting to become more popular again. With regards value for money, they often offer far more for consumers, who can have the enjoyment of a day out picking their own produce, rather than simply buying it ready packaged at the supermarket. With the supermarkets being criticised for selling fruits and vegetables based on external appearance, farms and other organic outlets offer a great alternative to the local superstore.
Doing it Yourself
Of course, the practice that beats both of these easily is to grow certain foods yourself. If you do not have a lot of garden space, you can still grow vine tomatoes and other vegetables from a normal plant pot placed indoors.
Not only will this save you a great deal of money overall, you do not need to choose between where to shop, and have the satisfaction of being self-sufficient in regards to the foods you choose, or are able to, grow.
Robert has been a business blogger for years, and has specialised in business turnaround in the food industry in the UK changing the fortunes of many small and medium sized companies from financial losses to profit margins that kept the shareholders happy.
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