A Supermarket in California takes place primarily in and outside of a supermarket in California. As a poem that critiques capitalism it could not be better placed. A food supermarket is an indication of the fact that capitalism is spreading at an enormous rate and commercialization has seeped into the basic levels of our existence, even the food that we eat is served on a consumerist platter. The supermarket is full of choices and yet it is difficult for the narrator to know what he wants, the choices do not make life easy, they make it far more difficult. This is important since choice is otherwise portrayed as one of the greatest assets of capitalism.
The placement of the supermarket in California is also very interesting and certainly intentional. California is the center of commercial farming especially of avocados and tomatoes. It is also the primary location of Hollywood, and ideal for projection of the idea of the American dream. The rich and the famous have designated money as a source of happiness and that is why the supermarkets of California are always brimming with the rich families even at odd hours.