“The idea is to give Indians the lowest price everyday,” he added.

Wal-Mart has just announced that it’s moving into India, partnering with Indian telecoms giant Bharti Enterprises. The Financial Times today reports that

Allowing in Wal-Mart through the back door will test the government’s determination to open the economy. By some
estimates, the Indian retail sector is worth $250bn, roughly a third of India’s entire gross domestic product.
With sales of more than $312bn last year, Wal-Mart benefits from massive scale economies and an ability to procure
globally, squeezing suppliers.
Indian “mom and pop” stores, by contrast, tend to be below 50 sq ft in size, run from stalls and mobile handcarts
and scattered across more than 5,000 towns and 600,000 villages. They are adept at holding the political class to
ransom.
“Over the next two-three years, the development in the retail sector may not have a significant impact on the
existing mom and pop shops,” says Morgan Stanley economist Chetan Ahya. “However, in the medium term, as the
reach of chain stores increases, some adverse impact on mom and pop shops is inevitable.”

Continue reading ““The idea is to give Indians the lowest price everyday,” he added.”

Whose food is junk, exactly?

The BBC, quite rightly, asks “Are fast foods really any worse for us than posher alternatives?”. Comparing similar meals at KFC and Nando’s, Domino’s and Pizza Express, and McDonald’s and Ed’s Diner, the second, more upmarket chain comes in more expensive, and wiht more calories. So why is it that the cheaper option gets a bad rap?

Paul Campos and friends have a good answer. In an important article in the International Journal of Epidemiology, Campos et al note that:

Continue reading “Whose food is junk, exactly?”