Supermarket versus food market

By Malcolm Oglesby

Editor’s note: Students from Michigan State University and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources are exploring frugal market innovations in Malawi. This is one of their reports.

While living in Malawi for two weeks to study their food markets, it was a good experience. It was amazing to firsthand observe the livelihoods of many families, and the factors that hinder them. As a consumer that purchases goods at supermarkets, I easily deciphered the differences and the similarities they share with food markets.

As there are possibly more similarities and differences between supermarkets and the food markets in Malawi, these are the ones that stuck out to me.  The bigger question is: are supermarkets or food markets better?

The answer of that is neither. Both supermarkets and food markets cater to the needs and wants of their expected consumers. Also they both assist in the livelihoods of many. As both are helping within the lives of others, there are both equal. People would probably say that supermarkets are better since the produce are safer. Even if that is true, there were some cases of produce being tampered or consumers being ill from contamination of produce.

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