Saturday, 12 June 2010

Supermarket Home Delivery - A step too far?

We're supermarket tarts, no not the lemon ones, we like to shop in different places now and again and are not particularly loyal to one company.

The weekly run to Tesco can become a bit, well - dull. Same old products in the same old place. Interleaved with a bit of excitement when they put in self service tills or move the aisles around a bit. So now and again we go wild, and go to Asda instead. Green is a bit more calming than Red and Blue anyway and I quite like a bit of calming every now and again.

We use online food shopping, delivered to our door for a few pounds and that can be a real time saver. Yesterday we had a delivery from Ocado at 10.30p.m because it's only £2.95 delivery charge at that time of night. As I unpacked the various coloured bags and read the label on the lamb chops which said "Specially prepared for Mrs Susan *****" I began to think......This doesn't feel quite right.

This is really as far removed from Man(kind) being hunter gatherers as you can possible get. Exotic foods from around the world, all available at the touch of a button and two for the price of one at the same time. No effort, no thought, just order on a whim. Our parents simply could not have imagined this utopian state of affairs during the dark far off war days of the 1940s when buying a banana was impossible, you joined the end of a food queue without knowing what you were going to get and a lamb chop was something you saw walking around in the field. Internet shopping would have seemed like the most far fetched Science Fiction in those days.

It's almost too good to be true. So how is it possible? The Supermarkets must be making a very good percentage on their cost prices. If the items are supposed to be so cheap with Roll Back, two for one and offers offers offers, how come our grocery bill is so large?

Sir Terry Leahy is retiring having massively increased Tesco's profits, I like to think that we have played our part in his success. It's a high performing British company and we do need more of those.

Candidly, Susan and I must be paying more than we need for the food we buy. Perhaps it is simply that we are buying more higher priced items than we should. With so much good local quality produce available, perhaps we ought to be widening our scope somewhat. We do buy local produce as much as possible for our B&B business, guests rightly expect it - but we are not so principled when it comes to ourselves.

The (U.K. Government) budget looms large, we've all been warned that things are about to change in the U.K. for generations to come. Belt tightening is bound to be the order of the day.

So, market stall vendors, low cost supermarkets that you actually have to go to - and those who sell vegetable seeds for the garden, hold on - hold on - your day is coming.


  1. I do so agree with you about this. I try quite hard to support local food producers and then find I am in Tescos again because it is just so easy! What I need is a place which brings them all together so that I can shop in one visit!

  2. elizabethm :- One stop shop. Jungle drums are saying that just such a place is being considered.