Let’s say you only have a couple of days in a new country and you want to get the ﬂavor of the place and experience some local culture…what’s the ﬁrst thing you’re going out of your way to see? Are you heading straight from the airport to the Eiﬀel Tower, Taj Mahal or the Colosseum? Of course by all means, when in Rome, do as the rest of the tourists and visit the big attractions, but there surely must be another easier way to get a (contemporary) glimpse into the lives of the locals?
If it’s not an option to befriend a local and invite yourself home for their family dinner, there’s another way which is less rude. Go to the local supermarket! If you ignore the Coca Colas & Colgates of the store and look out for the weird and wonderful local products you can quite easily spot the Zeitgeist. Looking at the products the locals surround themselves with is like getting a snapshot into someones lives. Some products are even like national treasures, extremely popular in the country of origin, but fails when launched onto foreign soil. For travelers that travel to see new things and broaden their horizon this is a fantastic thing – just imagine how boring it would be if every store had the exact same products across the globe!