But at the Spar in Borrowdale Brooke - a suburb of the capital, Harare, near the President's palatial home - almost anything is available, including focaccia, sun-dried tomatoes and cigars.
The difference typifies a nation where a ruling elite enjoys wealth and privilege, while the vast majority exists in grinding poverty and struggle to survive....
Its ownership may have something to do with it. The proprietor is Ray Kaukonde, the Governor of Mashonaland East province. He is a close lieutenant of Solomon Mujuru, a former army commander whose wife, Joyce, is one of Mr Mugabe's two vice-presidents. The clientele is similarly well connected.
In the sprawling dormitory suburb of Chitungwiza, the TM superstore is a forlorn contrast. There is no bread, no fresh meat, no maize meal. Few shoppers bother to go. What they can afford is unavailable and what there is, they do not want.