A number of studies on the Canadian market have shown that it is more expensive to shop at your local grocery store than it is to shop at the farmers’ market, even though you will have to buy wholesale at the market most of the time. Canada was hit hard by the recession as most countries were, and saving money is important to many of us. Thus, shopping at the farmer’s market is something you may want to start considering.
Studies have compared prices of fresh produce at grocery stores and farmers’ markets during the same months, at the same locations, and on the same days. The products were surveyed in the forms they were most likely to appear in grocery stores – for example, slicing and not mini cucumbers. Other products that were compared included blueberries, cantaloupe, corn, eggs, peppers, lettuce, peas, string beans, squash, and tomatoes. Actually, some typical products such as cantaloupes, lettuce, and tomatoes were very close in terms of cost. Other products like potatoes and eggs were much more expensive at the stores. As for organic products, they were always found to be much cheaper at the market – as much as 40 percent cheaper on average, that is. Only potatoes were an exception in that certified organic potatoes were cheaper at the stores. However, this is because most farmers selling organic produce do not take the time and money to get a certification. They do not need a certificate because they have direct contact with their clients and talk to them about their farming and development practices. Those who sell through the stores do not have this direct contact and need a certificate as a warranty of quality and origin.
It definitely makes a lot of sense that fruit, vegetables, and other food products would be more expensive at the grocery store. The grocery store is a middleman, a mediator between the producer and the client, and his fee is in the higher prices. It is very simple and self-evident. Yet, why is it that people still favor the store over the market in so many cases? This is usually because of the added convenience. The store is much closer, and you can get just what you will need in the next few days instead of having to buy in bulk. It would help to take the time to plan what you will need in the coming month, even if you do not have a large family, and buy wholesale. It will be tons cheaper than just stocking up day by day and having to drive to the store again and again. This way, you spend money on gas on top of paying higher prices for groceries. The store also accepts credit cards, while you’ll have to pay in cash at the farmers’ market.
Another added convenience where farmers’ markets are concerned is that many of them accept food stamps; so, this can be quite helpful for low-income shoppers. All in all, the said above helps eradicate the myth that only rich people can afford good, high-quality organic produce.