The rising cost of living has hit everyone, especially lower- and middle-income families. So markets like Souq Turki (Turkish Market) in Shuwaikh have sprung up to fill the gap in family budgets. The market is a legitimate market for foodstuff close to their expiry date. It is located in Shuwaikh Industrial Area behind London Shopping Center off Canada Dry Street. Frozen items include minced chicken/beef, whole chicken and parts, mutton and even fish. Since they are nearly expired, they are sold at half price or even cheaper.

Products being sold at the Turkish Market usually come from supermarkets and grocery stores across Kuwait. “In supermarkets and hypermarkets, items that are nearly expired must be discarded before municipal inspectors see them. If they are displayed on shelves, grocery stores are told to remove them or they will be penalized,” said a salesman at the Turkish Market who asked that his name be withheld.

There are approximately 20 stores in the area buying and selling nearly expired items. The relatively compact area is frequented mostly by low- and medium-income families and people searching for a better deal. But according to the salesman, the market is now being visited by customers from all walks of life from as far as Fahaheel and Jahra.

In one store you can find chocolates, candies and nuts, while another store sells a variety of cooking oil, spices, pasta, sugar and salt at a very cheap price. There are plenty of choices – cold cuts, sausages, mortadella, salad dressing, frozen fruit, dry products like rice, shampoos, body soaps, detergents and much more.

“I come to buy items here once in a while, especially items I know I can use right away. These are all consumable items – they’re not harmful to health because they are not expired yet and can be consumed immediately,” said a shopper. But be warned – all items should be examined carefully and dates studied. If frozen items are not stored properly, they can pose a health hazard. Nonetheless, there is a large selection of food items in the market and it’s up to customers to buy them or not.

By Ben Garcia