Lesson Transcript

Hi, everyone! Today, we will be talking about everyday culture in the US.
Last time, we talked about American convenience stores and how they are unique. This time, we will be looking at American supermarkets.
A supermarket, also known as a grocery store, is a one-stop location where customers can purchase a variety of foods, drinks, and basic household supplies.
There are currently over 38,000 supermarkets around the United States. These range from small family-owned shops to huge corporate superstores.
The first supermarket was a locally owned shop called Piggly Wiggly. That was 100 years ago. These days, the supermarket industry is dominated by big brands like Kroger, Walmart, and Costco.
These stores are massive. The average size of a Costco store is around 145,000 square feet. That's the size of about 3 professional soccer fields. Because of the size of the stores, a wider variety of goods is available than an average supermarket in other countries.
In 1975, there was an average of about 8,000 different items in the typical supermarket. By 2008, however, that number had increased to 47,000 items.
Supermarkets in the US include huge sections that are hard to find in other countries. These include meats, cheeses, cereals and produce. Many of these sections are unaffected by any kind of seasonal limitations and so you can find these products year-round.
There are several key vocabulary words for supermarkets in the US. The Dairy section is where you can find yogurt, milk and cheese. In the Produce section, you can find fresh fruit and vegetables. Meat sections are usually where you can buy fresh cuts of beef, pork and chicken. Packaged lunch meats can be found in the Deli section.
There is also a huge variety of packaged goods. You can find entire aisles devoted to things like beans, grains cereals and pasta. If you like to cook something quickly, you can also find a lot of things in the Frozen Food section.
Some supermarkets also have bakeries where you can find pre-made breads, pastries and other items.
While in some countries it's common to find a huge selection of fish and spices in the supermarket, in the US, it's very common to find huge selections of cheese and snack foods. Processed foods and dairy are some of the most commonly purchased items at supermarkets in the US.
Despite the huge variety and availability of out-of-season goods, prices at supermarkets in the US have remained low. A gallon of milk is around $3, 500 grams of cheddar cheese is as little as $2. One kilogram of beef is less than $8 and apples are less than $1 each. Some things are more expensive at supermarkets in the US. A great example of this is seafood. For example, in places which are landlocked or surrounded by land with no access to the ocean, good quality seafood is hard to find. Because of this, there's a limited variety of seafood and most of it is frozen.
Goods sold at some supermarkets in the United States are much larger than goods in other countries. At warehouse-styles superstores, you can buy items in bulk. Bulk items are items you can buy a large amount of at one time.
These supermarkets usually offer two ways to check out or pay for your items. The first way is for a cashier to take each individual item from an automatic conveyor belt. The second way is with self-checkout. Customers take their items to a self-checkout machine, scan each item and then pay at the machine directly. At the machine, customers are required to pack their purchases into bags. At the cashier, either a cashier or an attendant will pack the customers goods into bags. These methods are equally popular and you can use cash or a credit card to finish your payment.
So, how do supermarkets in the US compared to supermarkets in your country? What's similar? What's different? And, is there anything else you'd like to know about the culture in the US? Please let us know in the comments.
See you next time. Bye!
Two ways, two ways to check out. Can you see it?
Warehouse-style or superstore style stores--superstore-style stores. I tried to say that and I was not good.
And, is there anything else you'd like to know about culture--
It's time to go home.