Caught in the soup

Caught in the soup

Unpalatable veggies

Caught in the soup

With prices of most vegetables skyrocketing, supermarkets and online retailers too have hiked their rates adding to the misery of the common man. The prices of some vegetables in supermarkets and online portals are at least 10 to 20 per cent more than the local vendors, who often quote low prices to empty their stocks of the perishables.

‘Metrolife’ spoke to a few Bengalureans to find out if they still shop at supermarkets and through online retailers in spite of the spiralling rates.

Aparna K, employed with an e-commerce portal, says, “The prices are exorbitant online but I still go for it because it is convenient. For instance, while an uncut pineapple costs Rs 50 online, the cut and cleaned one costs Rs 80. I find the prices at local markets more reasonable but my tight work schedule doesn’t offer me the luxury to go to a shop and purchase them,” she says.

However, she admits that she finds the vegetables and fruits in local markets cheaper and of a better quality.

Some are, however, keen on buying fresh stuff at low prices and swear by their neighbourhood vegetable vendors. Vrinda Neeshath, a product engineer, never shops for vegetables at supermarkets because she finds them exorbitantly priced. She prefers to pick them up from a local vendor. “I shop from a local vegetable vendor who is known to me. He brings fresh vegetables and also gives me a small discount. I’ve never seen a drastic variation in prices at local markets,” says Vrinda.

It is the freedom to bargain at local markets that prompts Roopa Rao, a homemaker, to shop only from local vendors. “Packed vegetables look good but the moisture trapped in it spoils the vegetables and you have to consume them almost immediately. I never buy vegetables from a supermarket because of the unreasonable pricing. Peeled garlic costs Rs 80 in some supermarkets which is quite unreasonable. Anything that is cleaned and neatly packaged costs more,” she says.

Arun Padki, an IT professional, resides in Kengeri and chooses to shop online most of the time because he has to travel at least four kilometers to reach the local vegetable vendor. “While supermarkets add their establishment cost, rental and packaging price to the prices of products, online portals have their own criteria for pricing of a product. The rates differ from one portal to another,” says Arun, who points out that it is not always possible to do a comparison of prices before shopping.

The owner of an uptown supermarket, who didn’t want to be named, admits that there is at least 20 percent difference in the prices of vegetables sold at a supermarket and by the local vendor. “We have a local vendor who has been supplying vegetables for the last 10 years. He gives it to us at a reasonable rate but decides on a certain price because he needs to make his profit and we need to make ours,” he says.

He clarifies that they don’t unnecessarily hike prices of vegetables till the prices go up in the market. “We also include packing charges because that requires the use of materials and manpower.”

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