A recent study by consulting company Gemines showed that 98% of Chile's food shoppers consider price to be the most important consideration, closely followed by product range (96%) and customer service (95%).

Just 4% of those questioned said they never shopped at supermarkets and 9% did not regularly return to the same store; but for those who did, cleanliness, location and clear aisle signs figured lower down on customers' priority lists. Parking was a significant element, and only 21% said this was of little importance.

When asked to name major supermarkets, Lider and Ekono, both chains owned by the largest Chilean supermarket company Distribucion y Servicio (D&S), were the first to come to 78% and 63% of people's minds respectively.

By Steve Anderson, just-food.com correspondent