In recent years, traditional supermarkets are moving increasingly into the digital marketplace as consumers switch to buying staples online. But when it comes to wellness, artisanal and organic produce, it seems physical stores still pack a punch. Chains like Mahota Commune, Little Farms and SuperNature offer full-fledged supermarket services while focusing on shortening the distance between producer and consumer, and delivering true farm-to-fork traceability. Smaller outfits like Ryan’s Grocery and UnPackt cater to specific lifestyle needs like special dietary requirements or sustainable, ethical consumerism.
Whether you’re stocking your pantry with healthy options, adjusting to food intolerances, going organic or just out to browse, these five retailers are all about living and eating mindfully, and treating the earth well.
Breathing new life into non-descript heartland malls is Mahota Commune, the restaurant-café-supermarket multi-concept at Kitchener Complex and Century Square in Tampines. Owned by Prime Group International which owns the Prime Supermarket chain, Mahota Commune stocks up to 70% organic products including produce from its own farm in China and other local organic farms like Quan Fa. You’ll also find free-range, hormone-free pork and chicken, as well as organic Australian beef from sustainable sources at affordable prices.
This fast-growing grocery chain is not so little anymore. In just three years, four outlets have sprouted up across the island in Valley Point Shopping Centre in River Valley, United Square mall in Novena, Tanjong Pagar Centre and Holland Village, its latest branch packed with 2,000 square feet of groceries. What you’ll get here is fresh, high-quality, ethical produce flown in four days a week from trusted farmers, artisans and independent supplies in Australia and parts of Europe. Its comprehensive range of tried-and-tested products go beyond sustainable and organic produce to cater to gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and ketogenic diets.
Ryan’s Grocery was born out of a mother’s love and her search for suitable options for her son with serious food intolerances. This retail store in Bukit Timah is a haven for anyone with food sensitivities looking for organic, allergen- and preservative-free produce. Here, you’ll find a range of gluten-free baking products and kid-friendly snacks, spreads and sauces. An in-store butchery also retails organic, free-range meats from Australia and the United States that are free from antibiotics, hormones and preservatives.
Singapore’s first zero-waste grocery store approaches grocery shopping in a completely different way by encouraging shoppers to buy only what they need through deliberate and mindful choices. Make a list and bring your own containers to buy pantry staples like grains, pastas and legumes, as well as cleaning agents such as soap, shampoo and detergents by weight. The minimalist store in the Sembawang Hills estate also carries an assortment of environmentally friendly lifestyle goods, such as bamboo toothbrushes and kitchenware, washable sanitary napkins, beeswax wraps and reusable metal straws.
Owned by the wellness-centric COMO Group, SuperNature is a treasure trove of organic and natural products. The 4,500 square feet retail outlet at Forum The Shopping Mall is as well-stocked as any supermarket with products ranging from fresh fruit and vegetables to home, health and babycare products. A sizeable frozen section carries sustainable seafood, organic Welsh lamb, free-range poultry and baked goods. Those with special dietary needs can look out for icons on items that are gluten-, nut-, dairy-, wheat- or egg-free.