Monday, August 01, 2011

A Food Desert in Amsterdam?

This NYTimes piece on Amsterdam praises its accommodation of bicycles:
This in turn relates to lots of other things — such as bread. How? Cyclists can’t carry six bags of groceries; bulk buying is almost nonexistent. Instead of shopping for a week, people stop at the market daily. So the need for processed loaves that will last for days is gone. A result: good bread.
These bits I found by Google says Amsterdam "supermarkets" tend to the small and midsized, no "hypermarkets".  Here's a link to a photo I found of the fruits and vegetables at one supermarket.

Here's some information on trends in fruits and vegetables in the Netherlands: (The source says in 2005 the Netherlands consumed 94 kilograms of fresh fruits and 74 of fresh vegetables, which is about 207 and 163 pounds respectively.  According to this ERS source in 2000 the US consumed 127 pounds of fresh fruit and 201 pounds  of fresh vegetables.)

Trade and Consumer’s Preference

Health concern receives more attention. Organic market is growing Nutritional value and health benefits of 
fruits and vegetables have been well recognized. Consumers are open to new items. Retailers have started offering seasonings and ready-meal packages also.

Convenience trends: people wish to save time. Fruits and vegetables are sold pre-cut, and prepared and packed complete meals and take away are also popular. Fruits are sold from non-food stores like gas station also.

Largest consumers are elderly people. Single household or couples with double income spend most on fruits particularly on exotics. They buy from supermarkets but elderly people and senior citizens buy from retail stores. Elderly and affluent seniors also visit specialized retailers. Bananas are liked by younger generations. Elderly people buy mostly citrus, oranges, grapefruits, and lemons.

Growing interest in local and authentic products- with increasing awareness of the negative impacts on environment on imports (HBD).

Other important features of the market:

I. Market share and importance of supermarket is likely to continue with the increased popularity of one-stop-shopping.

II. Green grocers offers high quality assorted fresh fruits.

III. Number of specialty shops like Indonesian food, Halal food, etc. is growing.

IV. More and more retailers are selling branded fruits such as Tasty Tom tomatoes.

V. Hard discounters and multiple stores are enlarging their offer of organic crops.

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