chapter  13
11 Pages

Food retailers

Food retailing has been the fastest-changing part of the food industry over the past 50 years, especially when a global perspective is taken. In pretty much the entire world except the United States, supermarkets were essentially unknown 30 years ago. Food retailers were small and often specialized. In England, 30 years ago, small, general markets existed that one could shop at for a broad selection of merchandise, but most shoppers went there for dry goods, canned goods, beverages, and non-food items such as laundry detergent. The shoppers bought meat at a butcher, produce at a green grocer, cheese at a cheese shop, and bread at a bakery. This pattern held in general for most of Europe. In less developed countries, markets were even smaller, with much of food retailing occurring at market stalls with an owner selling a single or a few items. Only in the United States were supermarkets, large-format stores selling a complete portfolio of food, food-related, and household items, prevalent.