One travesty of lockdown was the huge extra profits flowing to the supermarkets.
These huge – in some cases global – mega-chains drive many unwelcome effects of Big Food. Whilst protesting the public should not be so squeamish as they supposedly drive prices down. A claim demolished by the reality of quality and independent food and drink providers.
Many of whom, are the local pub, restaurant and cafe. That have had their livelihood cruelly decimated. All now diverted to the pockets of corporations. With jobs disappearing that cannot be replaced by extra warehouse picker, shelf-stacker or delivery driver shifts. As wonderful as those filling these roles have proved themselves (unlike others, yes, looking at you, teachers…), too many ‘small business’ jobs that were and can still be viable, rendered now misguidedly imperiled.
The relentless homogenisation surely has a limit. Plurality must be encouraged. A raft of legislative measures can be enacted by a brave government. Small outlet tax relief, giant supplier windfall charges, town centre infrastructure changes. Playing fields must be levelled.
I was comforted to see so many manager-owned stores fight back.
One cafe local to me used its network of suppliers to provide alternatives to the social distance roulette of any nationwide supermarket visit.
Enticing shoppers in with its pavement A-frame blackboard:
Get Your Essentials Here:
There’s plenty of heartening examples of what now seems generally labelled ‘pivoting’.
From changing your entire model from wholesale to retail, software to services, or curation to creation, pivoting emerged as a Millennial term for a complete about-turn from one activity to another, unrelated.
This cafe always used to sell brownies and muffins and cupcakes. Now they are takeaway only, With added option to take a daily staple. Without suffering the nearby giga-grocer turned electrical, clothes, alcohol and all-sorts general trader.
Adding extra products into their mix feels a winner. The kind of ‘pivot’ deployed by countless other cafes, restaurant and pubs. Welcomed throughout their community.
What is particularly noteworthy from the above handmade sign, is the gentle humour.
Is bacon a daily need? At least it goes with eggs. But you never see a t-shirt slogan built around eating eggs, though, unlike the humble rasher.
Then there’s the punchline.
Cake, of course is indeed a coronavirus isolating essential.
What essentials does your product supply?
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