>>investigative journalist, author of shopped - the shocking power of british supermarkets

The hunt is on and you’re the prey

I expect the anti-supermarket backlash to intensify in 2005. Tesco and Asda are first in line to get it in the neck.

Their ads with Prunella Scales and Julie Walters portray them as down-to-earth, reassuringly normal British institutions. But people are beginning to realise that Asda is part of Wal-Mart and that neither it nor Tesco is a homespun grocer any longer.

Rather, they are both giant global corporations motivated purely by profit.

And people are increasingly blaming supermarkets for turning high streets across the land into deserts.

As smaller chains in London have become smaller-format Tescos, the capital is getting a taste of the food shopping monotony that has swept through more provincial places.

Consumers are waking up to the fact that supermarkets are expensive places to shop for fresh unprocessed food and are beginning to blame them for contributing to obesity by giving shelf and promotional space to junk rather than healthy food.

Meanwhile good independent food shops are thriving and mail order, home delivery and box schemes are booming.

Every farmer’s market has a long waiting list for stalls. Supermarket alternatives have never been so popular.