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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of supermarkets.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Supermarkets

Many supermarkets are selling more and more products that are imported from other countries instead of selling food that is locally sourced.

What are the reasons for this?

Is this a positive or negative development?

Some feel that supermarkets today sell too many imported products compared to the number of locally produced ones. In my opinion, this is a result of changes in consumer tastes and it is a negative overall.

The main cause behind this phenomenon is an exponential shift among consumers. Over the last century advances in sea and air transport have allowed supermarkets to import products from all over the world. As a result, an individual living in New England can try exotic fruits like mangos and pomegranates that cannot normally be grown in a four season climate. Once a person tries a new food and enjoys it, they are more likely to sample other new fruits and vegetables. They then recommend those foods to others and shifts in taste quickly become mainstream and irreversible.

This change is negative as it hurts local farmers and the environment. Local producers must now compete with large companies that source products such as bananas at lower prices and undercut farmers. Consumers naturally buy the cheaper products and the result is that local farmers often cannot survive without government subsidies or must close their operations. Moreover, this development leads to greater consumption of fossil fuels. Imported products allow consumers to shop out of season, for example eating asparagus year round, but this requires shipping products globally and increasing the burning of fossil fuels involved in transportation.

In conclusion, though supermarkets now enable shoppers to have more varied palates, this poses tremendous risks for local producers and the environment. Therefore, tariffs on imports should be high.

Analysis

1. Some feel that supermarkets today sell too many imported products compared to the number of locally produced ones. 2. In my opinion, this is a result of changes in consumer tastes and it is a negative overall.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. The main cause behind this phenomenon is an exponential shift among consumers. 2. Over the last century advances in sea and air transport have allowed supermarkets to import products from all over the world. 3. As a result, an individual living in New England can try exotic fruits like mangos and pomegranates that cannot normally be grown in a four season climate. 4. Once a person tries a new food and enjoys it, they are more likely to sample other new fruits and vegetables. 5. They then recommend those foods to others and shifts in taste quickly become mainstream and irreversible.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Finish development.

1. This change is negative as it hurts local farmers and the environment. 2. Local producers must now compete with large companies that source products such as bananas at lower prices and undercut farmers. 3. Consumers naturally buy the cheaper products and the result is that local farmers often cannot survive without government subsidies or must close their operations. 4. Moreover, this development leads to greater consumption of fossil fuels. 5. Imported products allow consumers to shop out of season, for example eating asparagus year round, but this requires shipping products globally and increasing the burning of fossil fuels involved in transportation.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  5. Develop the example fully.

1. In conclusion, though supermarkets now enable shoppers to have more varied palates, this poses tremendous risks for local producers and the environment. 2. Therefore, tariffs on imports should be high.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Some feel that supermarkets today sell too many imported products compared to the number of locally produced ones. In my opinion, this is a result of changes in consumer tastes and it is a negative overall.

The main cause behind this phenomenon is an exponential shift among consumers. Over the last century advances in sea and air transport have allowed supermarkets to import products from all over the world. As a result, an individual living in New England can try exotic fruits like mangos and pomegranates that cannot normally be grown in a four season climate. Once a person tries a new food and enjoys it, they are more likely to sample other new fruits and vegetables. They then recommend those foods to others and shifts in taste quickly become mainstream and irreversible.

This change is negative as it hurts local farmers and the environment. Local producers must now compete with large companies that source products such as bananas at lower prices and undercut farmers. Consumers naturally buy the cheaper products and the result is that local farmers often cannot survive without government subsidies or must close their operations. Moreover, this development leads to greater consumption of fossil fuels. Imported products allow consumers to shop out of season, for example eating asparagus year round, but this requires shipping products globally and increasing the burning of fossil fuels involved in transportation.

In conclusion, though supermarkets now enable shoppers to have more varied palates, this poses tremendous risks for local producers and the environment. Therefore, tariffs on imports should be high.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

supermarkets places where food is sold

imported products foods from other countries

compared to in contrast to

locally produced ones ones made nearby

result consequence

consumer tastes what people like to eat

negative overall bad in general

main cause primary source

phenomenon development

exponential shift getting bigger and bigger change

consumers people who buy things

over the last century the last 100 years

advances new developments

sea and air transport boats and planes

import products from all over the world bring in foods from other countries

as a result the consequence is that

New England New York and nearby states

try exotic fruits eat foods from other countries

normally be grown usually can be produced

four season climate spring, summer, fall, and winter

sample eat

recommend tell others to have

mainstream popular

irreversible can’t be changed

hurts local farmers not good for growers in that country

compete fight with, sell against

source origin

undercut farmers offer lower prices than farmers

naturally of course

survive live

government subsidies state money

close their operations go out of business

development change

greater consumption of fossil fuels using more oil and gas

out of season not grown now

year round the whole year

requires shipping products globally must send out products around the world

burning of fossil fuels involved in transportation using oil and gas to send products

enable allow for

varied palates different tastes

poses tremendous risks cause big problems

tariffs taxes

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ˈsjuːpəˌmɑːkɪts 
ɪmˈpɔːtɪd ˈprɒdʌkts 
kəmˈpeəd tuː 
ˈləʊkəli prəˈdjuːst wʌnz
rɪˈzʌlt 
kənˈsjuːmə teɪsts 
ˈnɛgətɪv ˈəʊvərɔːl
meɪn kɔːz 
fɪˈnɒmɪnən 
ˌɛkspəˈnɛnʃ(ə)l ʃɪft 
kənˈsjuːməz
ˈəʊvə ðə lɑːst ˈsɛnʧʊri 
ədˈvɑːnsɪz 
siː ænd eə ˈtrænspɔːt 
ˈɪmpɔːt ˈprɒdʌkts frɒm ɔːl ˈəʊvə ðə wɜːld
æz ə rɪˈzʌlt
njuː ˈɪŋglənd 
traɪ ɪgˈzɒtɪk fruːts 
ˈnɔːməli biː grəʊn 
fɔː ˈsiːzn ˈklaɪmɪt
ˈsɑːmpl 
ˌrɛkəˈmɛnd 
ˈmeɪnstriːm 
ˌɪrɪˈvɜːsəbl
hɜːts ˈləʊkəl ˈfɑːməz 
kəmˈpiːt 
sɔːs
ˈʌndəkʌt ˈfɑːməz 
ˈnæʧrəli 
səˈvaɪv 
ˈgʌvnmənt ˈsʌbsɪdiz 
kləʊs ðeər ˌɒpəˈreɪʃənz
dɪˈvɛləpmənt 
ˈgreɪtə kənˈsʌm(p)ʃən ɒv ˈfɒsl fjʊəlz
aʊt ɒv ˈsiːzn
jɪə raʊnd
rɪˈkwaɪəz ˈʃɪpɪŋ ˈprɒdʌkts ˈgləʊbəli 
ˈbɜːnɪŋ ɒv ˈfɒsl fjʊəlz ɪnˈvɒlvd ɪn ˌtrænspɔːˈteɪʃən
ɪˈneɪbl 
ˈveərɪd ˈpælɪts 
ˈpəʊzɪz trɪˈmɛndəs rɪsks 
ˈtærɪfs 

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Some feel that s______________s today sell too many i__________________s c_____________o the number of l_________________s. In my opinion, this is a r______t of changes in c________________s and it is a n_________________l.

The m_____________e behind this p________________n is an e__________________t among c_____________s. O___________________________y a__________s in s____________________t have allowed supermarkets to i__________________________d. A__________t, an individual living in N__________d can t_____________s like mangos and pomegranates that cannot n______________n in a f______________e. Once a person tries a new food and enjoys it, they are more likely to s_________e other new fruits and vegetables. They then r_____________d those foods to others and shifts in taste quickly become m_________m and i____________e.

This change is negative as it h_______________s and the environment. Local producers must now c__________e with large companies that s______e products such as bananas at lower prices and u________________s. Consumers n__________y buy the cheaper products and the result is that local farmers often cannot s_________e without g________________s or must c__________________s. Moreover, this d________________t leads to g_______________________________s. Imported products allow consumers to shop o_______________n, for example eating asparagus y_____________d, but this r______________________y and increasing the b_____________________________________________n.

In conclusion, though supermarkets now e_______e shoppers to have more v___________s, this p_______________________s for local producers and the environment. Therefore, t______s on imports should be high.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching from YouTube below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Shopping

  1. What do you usually shop for?
  2. Do you often go to malls?
  3. Do you shop online a lot?
  4. How common are shopping centers in your country?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Many large supermarkets are being built today while the number of small shops is decreasing.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?


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