There’s a lot you can tell about somebody by where they shop.
Specifically, I want to take a look at the key differences between those who prefer supermarket chains and those who prefer the local market.
What sets these people apart in their personalities, lifestyles, values and priorities?
What about people who shop at both? (People like me!)
Let’s dive in!
1) They are conscientious
Let’s face it, even in a small town it is usually easier to go to a chain grocery store than it is to seek out a small market.
Furthermore, when you go to a local or small market you may have to go to more than one then to find all the products you need.
This indicates the personality trait of conscientiousness, meaning that you seek out what you want even if it takes more time and attention.
In other areas of your life you are also conscientious and take the time to make sure things are done well and done fully.
2) They are highly health-conscious
Smaller local markets often have more organic food and products (although not always).
Those who prefer to shop local are much more likely to be health-focused and passionate about health topics.
They are online reading about the benefits of fenugreek or how to boost kidney health.
They’re checking carefully about what they put into their body and looking up unique recipes with unique ingredients.
Smaller markets are often the best place to find such things.
You’d rather take the time and energy to seek out exactly what you want than just grab whatever’s on sale.
3) They are discerning
Large supermarket chains tend to have larger signage and clear markings of where all the products are located.
When you prefer to go to a local market it means that you are a more discerning person who is willing to put in the time and attention to find what you’re looking for even if it takes you a bit longer and requires more attention to detail.
You also are one of those people who are more likely to read the ingredients on a product instead of just putting it in your bag which relates to the aspect of health consciousness that I mentioned earlier.
4) They question official narratives
The kind of people who prefer local markets are also those who question official narratives.
They seek out answers and ideas that are out of the mainstream, and their YouTube playlist likely has some fairly unique content on it.
This is not to say that everybody at a local market is alternative or politically or culturally progressive.
But they are questioners broadly speaking, and they want answers that aren’t just the same old story.
They also want products that aren’t just from the same giant processed food companies like Unilever or Kellogg.
5) They tend to be more patient
Large supermarket chains are usually easier to find what you need:
There are big signs, clearly marked aisles and everything labeled and organized.
Smaller markets tend to be a bit more mixed together with things put in little corners and niches.
You have to have patience to find what you’re looking for.
Furthermore, you need to sometimes go to multiple markets and specialty places to get everything: a fruit store, a deli, a butcher, and so on.
That takes time, and it all takes patience.
6) They are self-sufficient
Those who prefer to shop local are usually more self-sufficient.
For one thing, they like to shop around for the specific ingredients they’re looking for and are more inclined to be gardeners and into organic foods and products.
For another thing, they are often more avoidant of the kinds of processed foods and products that proliferate in the big chains. Those who shop local know how to look after themselves.
Shopping is a kind of additional activity and way to fill in, not the only way they get food, and they like to stop by the fresh egg stand on the way home and talk to their friend who has milk cows.
Even in the city, you may find an urban garden, community-supported agriculture group (CSA) or other opportunity to become more self-sufficient.
It’s not only that you like the health aspect of shopping local, you also like that it connects you to your local food supply chain and nearby producers.
7) They prize community
Local markets tend to be much more community focused.
Of course you can still socialize with somebody at a large supermarket chain, but it is much more ubiquitous and you never know who might be there at any time.
Local markets, by contrast, tend to be places where you run into similar people many times.
That is why those who are drawn to shop in more local places tend to be more community-minded and more interested in socializing with their neighbors.
8) They care about self-care
The kind of person who goes to a local market tends to be big on self-care.
He or she likes to buy artisanal soaps and soak in the bubble bath with some Bach in the background.
They could just go to a large chain and find some Proctor and Gamble bubble bath mix, but they saw a video explaining how unhealthy some of the ingredients are and they’re not interested.
They’d rather go buy natural bubble bath mix at the local market and pick up some fresh vegetables while they’re at it.
It might take a bit longer and a few pit stops, but they care about self-care and getting the best of what’s out there.
9) They’re quite independent
The kind of person who prefers a local market is often more on the independent side.
Whereas those who go to large chains often look for discounts and buying in bulk, those who shop locally usually buy in smaller quantities and often at higher prices.
Those who prefer to go to a smaller local store are usually looking for something specific. Sometimes it may be for themselves and their family or loved ones.
But overall the smaller local markets tend to attract those with a stronger independent streak.
10) They think a lot
I’m not saying that smart and thoughtful people do not go to large supermarkets, however if you are one of those who prefer to go to a local market, you’re probably more of a thinker.
This relates to the discernment that I mentioned earlier and the fact that smaller markets require a lot more analysis in terms of where you can find the products that you want.
At a market you also need to be careful that they have the kind of prices that are still affordable within your budget.
All of this requires a lot of thinking!
What about people who shop at both?
I prefer shopping at mid-sized supermarket chains or local markets, but occasionally I’ll also go to a larger place if they have some good sales or are on my way home.
I admit it:
I’m a double-dipper.
You don’t have to be one or the other, to be fair, although most of us do have a preference for a larger chain store or a smaller locally-owned market.
But if you tend to prefer local markets most of the time then you can likely relate to a lot of the character traits I mentioned in the list above.