Where do you buy your Fresh ?
Picture this: an elderly lady dressed in expensive silk saree, gold bangles, diamond ring, platinum earings, wearing an exquisite pashmina, gets down from her chauffer driven Audi A6 and starts walking on the dusty road. It is crowded in the street.There are vendors on the pavement. Then there are hawkers with push-carts. There are sellers on bicycles and rickshaws. It’s a crowded weekly market. Product – fresh fruits and vegetables. The lady asks for the prices of certain items at a stall. After much haggling she finalises the purchase – by this time the driver has parked the big car and has rushed back to help her. He carries the bag for her. She goes bargaining from stall to stall and makes her purchases of various fruits and vegetables. Then the driver walks back towards the car loaded with fruits and veggies. The lady is beaming with satisfaction and delighted over the evening purchase.
If you think this is a far-fetched scenario – think again. This is how we Indians still buy our fresh. It doesn’t matter which economic strata or social class we belong to – most of us still cling to the old fashioned way of buying the fresh produce from the pavement markets, street vendors, pushcart sellers and all sorts of unorganized players. If you don’t believe me – please visit the next weekly market for fresh produce. If should not be too difficult to find one – there are plenty of them all around Delhi.
Some of the arguments for:
Myths around the weekly pavement market:
- It’s a farmer's market: Farmer’s market my @$$! These markets has got nothing whatsoever to do with farmers. The vendors procure it from wholesale markets (mandi) and sometimes even from a broker who has procured it from mandi. The vendors have no connections with farmers. They don’t know how much is paid to the farmers.
2. Employment for poor: Well there is some truth in the fact that these markets are source of livelihood for small vendors. But think again – what sort of employment? It barely helps them survive and subsist – and it also provides them an excuse not to seek serious employment which will be a fair economic payment to them. Most of the vendors are desperately poor and the cut throat nature of competition in these market only adds to their misery.
3. Convenience: Really? That’s news to me. If by convenience you mean lack of parking space, high decibel levels, bending your spine by 90 deg to sort and pick your fresh, breathing the lantern smoke, pushing and shoving, groping for change in your wallet and carrying your purchase in polybags which will bite into your fingers during all the haggling and waiting period, well, it is convenient then. For me convenience is – having a trolley cart to shop, clearly mentioned prices, transparent weighing and billing, acceptance of cash and cards, well lighted, clean and air conditioned environments of a modern retail store.
4. Prices are low: Prices are low – yes that’s right, prices are low for the vendors. Low enough to give them meagerest of returns. For the customers the prices are not low. If you masses are flocking to these markets under the impression that they are saving thousands, well, what can we say. Its pure ignorance. Occasionally there will be items which will touch rock bottom in these markets and add to the impression that the prices of fruits and veggies there are low. But the truth is that overall inflation in the prices of fresh has multiplied manifold in recent times despite the widespread (almost universal) existence of these markets.
Why ? because these small vendors have no bargaining power whatsoever while buying their produce from the large wholesalers. That’s why the vendor simply buy at whatever price the wholesalers sells to them and then add a margin (a veneer of margin) on top to arrive at a sales price. They compete with each other to buy from wholesalers and compete with each other to sell to the customers (do you now recall the full throated cry for the cheapest bhindi or potato there).
Despite a perception of low prices, the prices in these markets keep increasing unabatedly and the customers merely accept the newer prices as a reality of life.
These small vendors can not (are unable to) offer genuinely, durably low prices (and certainly not good value for money) due to the following:
- Tremendous wastages in their supply chains
- No economies of scale
The truth about pavement markets:
- Unorganised: These markets are unorganized, poorly managed and inefficient, offering poor value for money
- Inconvenient – Neighbourhood convenience is an illusion and amply demonstrated in the point related to “convenience myth” above
- Unhyegienic – The produce gets sold on the footpath. Now washing and cleaning your fresh at home is one thing but does it not strike you odd, that you buy your shoes from the plush showrooms and for your food you are shopping in dust, dirt, pollution and poor hygiene !!!! Please visit this link
- Illegal: Well, despite what the government or MCD will have you believe these markets are illegal. They are on public land – without payment of any Rent or Property tax. There are a group of organisers which collect some sort of protection money from each of the vendors and let them set up their stalls. MCD and police guys are taken care of by these organisers. Do you ask how? Well, it’s a puerile question.
- Unscrupulous : You bet these vendors will take any shortcuts they can to make a few extra bucks. They will sell you underweight, mix two grades of quality, show you something else and pack something else and so on. They will also have no conscience about ripening your fruits by carbide or selling you veggies grown in Yamuna bed (veggies from dirty drain – gande nale ki sabzi) They are not to blame – you are ! They are so squeezed of every penny by the market (by market here I mean the corpulent aunties haggling endlessly) that they simply have no qualms left about cheating you if they can.
- Not cheap: See my point on the “prices” in myth.
- Unethical – Please read my note on the “employment” in myths again. Do you get me now?. Let me elaborate. Due to our keen desire to exploit the short term price benefits and regularly buying from these markets, the sellers keep engaging in employment which is economically not rewarding for them, or for farmers or for you. By buying from these markets you are not allowing these people to find meaningful jobs which will lead to their economic growth and the development of the country.
For any market, only buyers need be there- sellers will automatically appear (whether in an illegal way or unscrupulous way doesn’t matter – remember the prohibition). Similarly for any market to disappear, the buyers need to be absent. The sellers will automatically disappear and engage them in something else.
Next time you have an urge to grab that bag with wheels and go strolling to the local weekly market for fresh, hold yourself for a while. Give it a thought – can I find equally good fresh produce at an organized retailer in the neigbourhood. If no neighbourhood retailer serving you quality produce exists, next best option is the vendor in the local shopping complex who is semi-organised and pricier than the street market but serves good quality. If that too doesn’t exist within a convenient distance from your home, say your prayers and commit your sin. You have no option but to buy your fresh from the weekly market. But at least you can resolve to change that, the moment you have an “organized” option.
And in NCR, an excellent option exists now – its called Frugivore. Read about us on our website. You can get your fresh from us. Conveniently, legally, scrupulously, ethically, hygienically and economically.
The #1 Best Fruit for Your Heart, Say Dietitians
Why berries are the #1 fruit to protect your heart.
While all fruit is good fruit, and there are plenty of reasons to enjoy a couple o…
Mar 19, 2022
The Best Foods to Eat for Omicron Symptoms, Says Doctor
The Omicron variant caused COVID-19 numbers to skyro…
Jan 08, 2022
Fibers in Your Diet
Whenever you take advise from anyone to switch into a better diet for weight management, you always get an answer to eat more fiber rich foods! Hi…
Aug 24, 2021
Hormone Balancing Foods
Feeling stressed lately, with some weird symptoms like fatigue, migraines, painful periods, mood swings, anxiety, depression, sexual health issues…
Aug 16, 2021
Frozen Fruits: Adapting to the Modern Lifestyle
Fresh v/s Frozen – is there any difference nutritionally?
Texture and nutritional deterioration of Frozen during long shipping and st…
Aug 02, 2021
Breathtakingly Beautiful - Our Cold Pressed Juices
These days people are aware of their health needs and are conscious of their fitness more than ever. Therefore, they tend to switch to healthy foo…
Jul 14, 2021
Striking the Balance with Exotics!!!
Have you ever thought how Broccoli is more preferred than Cauliflower nowadays?
Ever given a thought about how the Indian fresh fruits &…
Jan 31, 2021
Fats - Not Bad!!!
We have always been confused about eating fats, as we think eating fats would lead to weight gain and considered it as the root cause of heart pro…
Jan 19, 2021
Know Your Sugar Better!
We came up with this topic because it is the basic step to start the healthy journey which is the new year resolution of most of the people! To un…
Jan 06, 2021
Picture an old - fashioned see saw, with plenty of ups and downs. That’s how our blood sugar level goes over the course of day. That all dep…
Dec 28, 2020
Not So Sweet!!!
Drinking 12 Oz of regular Coke with 140 calories is a big no when compared with Diet Coke which contains zero calories. Do you know, wha…
Dec 09, 2020
Dry Fruits - The Ultimate Powerhouse!
Remember receiving those colourful and decorated boxes packed with different types of wholesome delights? The popular and most loved superfood, kn…
Dec 04, 2020
C.H.E.E.S.E - Your Favourite Food
Yummmm!!!! that stretchy mozzarella on pizza and those fragrant pieces of deliciousness and goodness that changes the food into a heavenly treat! …
Nov 25, 2020
The Modern Milk Variants
Have you ever wondered, why milk is considered as the most important and healthy drink for the human body? Packed with calcium, p…
Nov 18, 2020
The New Age Meat!
Imagine a dinner table which has Bacon Caesar Salad, Chicken Florentine, Prawns in Brandy Sauce, the grand Pork Pepperoni & the epic Bruschett…
Oct 26, 2020
Whole Foods - The Way Forward!
The more we get to know about healthy eating and nutrition, the more we think we should eat the way people did a hundred years ago!
Oct 07, 2020
Bravocado Recipes - Part Two!!
So the previous blog was just not enough. Avocado as a superfood is quite versatile. From Pancakes to Ice Creams, from Toasts to Tacos this super …
Sep 28, 2020
Bravocado Recipes - Part One!!
Struggling to make your meal delicious with super healthy Avocados? How to make your family change their not-so-healthy lifestyle and get them on …
Sep 19, 2020
The Legend of Guacamole
How to make your kids eat healthy or incline them towards health foods in their growing years has always been a challenge. And not only kids, it i…
Sep 12, 2020
Fresh Roasted Coffee!
Here's the thing, nothing is more alluring to us than the freshest form of products we consume, and we step onto the same boat when we talk ab…
Sep 07, 2020
Covid-19: A few myths busted!
The world came to a halt with the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 popularly feared by the name of Coronavirus.
The World Health Organisation…
Jun 09, 2020
The Quintessential Fresh Story !
The year is 2016. We have brands like Nike, Toyota, Mc Donald’s, American Express, Vodafone, and many more, well established in India, provi…
Feb 05, 2020
The Millennial Greens.
All Millennials have completed atleast two decades of their lives. Although, in this social media era, where eyes meet screens more than other eye…
Jan 27, 2020
Your Avocado Story !!
Hey there fellow Avocado-lover, we literally feel the same for this superfood. Avocados, now a staple in West have gained immense popularity in In…
Jan 18, 2020
New Decade: New Responsibilities !
Greetings from Frugivore for the New Year!
2020 is not only a new year but commencement of a new decade. The difference is that this new…
Jan 14, 2020
The Christmas Dinner - Part Two!!
This is with continuation where we left – A room full of happy faces and tummies anticipating on what’s there in the main course and f…
Dec 24, 2019
The Christmas Dinner - Part One!
Let’s face it! Festivities are here and so is our ever not satisfied craving to hit that sweet spot for Christmas Dinner. Surrounded by fami…
Dec 23, 2019
Bugs in your Greens? Tragedy? – No, it’s a love story!
Picture this - you are preparing for a Sunday salad in your kitchen happily slicing your carrots and chopping the leafies when Mr. Bug creeps in u…
Nov 30, 2019
Apple - The one God gave, not Jobs!
The most sold fruit in the whole wide world - Apples are one of the most popular and loved fruit globally. Apples are mostly eaten raw but have va…
Nov 25, 2019
Mamma Mia Mushrooms!
For the love of Mushrooms let’s dive in for some amazingly delicious and easy to make recipes. If your kids do not really like Mushrooms, yo…
Nov 12, 2019
Blueberry Bonanza !
There’s a fad going on around all the food items involving Blueberry already. Cheesecakes, Muffins, Pies and the list goes on with the…
Nov 08, 2019
Vegan's the way!
Going Vegan is not as big as it seems. It’s a matter of choice. Everyone has the right to choose what they want to consume. What has come to…
Oct 18, 2019
50 Shades of Avocado ;)
Avocado is a fruit usually grown in equatorial regions; it has a thick rough skin, and a soft gooey pulp. An Avocado has 5 stages of maturity.…
Sep 19, 2019
Reasons to Buy Grapefruit Online in Delhi
Grapefruits have shot to popularity with more and more people becoming aware of its amazing health benefits. To enjoy grapefruit, one has to acqui…
Jul 26, 2019
Exotic Fruits in Delhi - Stay Healthy and Young
If you are a fruitlover, you can enjoy the goodness of your chosen fruit along with multiple benefits it brings to you. The major benefit of addin…
Jul 26, 2019
Best Foods for Your Skin and Hair
Ever heard of the saying you are what you eat? Turns out, Science has proven it Time and again, as Research consistently find healthy food to be g…
Jul 13, 2019
Going Green – Why are Green Vegetables Recommended?
Obesity and being overweight are major problems plaguing many of the world’s nations, and this unhealthy weight problem has also been leadin…
Jul 13, 2019
Buying Imported Fruits Online ? Read this !!
The fresh-fruit sector of India is now facing changes with the presence of stores selling products and even imported fruits online. And this is al…
Jul 06, 2019
Safety & Hygiene
We are delighted to share with all our patrons that Frugivore is ISO:22000 certified and has HACCP (Hazard and Critical Control Points) in place t…
May 17, 2019
Just like the killing spell of the greatest fictional movie series – ‘Harry Potter’, Avocado is a super effective health fruit w…
May 11, 2019
How fresh are you!
When we commissioned this website recently, the question arose - should we have a blog. And it was decided we should because that’s how we c…
Jan 14, 2019
Winter Warm-Up Recipies
Hey folks, its that time of the year again with cold nights and chilly, foggy mornings setting in. Our blogpost today is all about keeping you cos…
Jan 14, 2019
Thailand is famous for many things. Thai Fruits is one of them – fruits are an immensely popular export of Thailand (next only to Thai massa…
Dec 31, 2018