On groceries

We haven’t been making it to our neighborhood Park nShop Megastore all that much lately. Given our changed eating habits (basically no dairy) and the fact that the kids get breakfast and lunch at school (although they have a small breakfast before they leave and a small lunch upon their return for nap) our dietary needs are increasingly met in the small campus grocery, the breadshop outside the south gate, our little convenience store and the pedestrian only traditional market outside the little west gate. I don’t have a great deal of interest in leaving campus for the monstrosity that is the megastore unless I need night-time diapers for Mei-mei, cheese or canned tomatoes for a particular dish we are cooking, or I am all out of moisturizer for my face.

So it had been a few weeks since I was at the ParknShop when I arrived there yesterday. It is amazing how much that place has changed since we first arrived. They have expanded their Western-style food, dairy and organic vegetable options. However, it seems that they actually have fewer Western imports available. For example, it used to be that they sold only land’o’lakes butter, but now they offer domestic butter and the land’o’lakes is conspicuously absent. They used to have imported Jif peanut butter (shortening with sugar and peanut flavor, I know, but beggars can’t be choosers). They still have Jif, but now it is made here in Guangdong province instead of Ohio or whatever. The same thing for jelly and cereal too, the imports are slowly being replaced by domestically produced goods, often under the same label as the imports had been.

Watch out, world. China may be a developing market, but as long as it is so much cheaper to produce here, the only Westerners making money on Chinese consumption of Western goods will be the CEOs moving their production to the PRC. Back when we were in Milwaukee, I noted that even Whole Foods Frozen Organic broccoli was a product of China. Talk ab0ut trade imbalance!

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