This paper has a twofold purpose.
First, to argue that a combined research on the market and meaning spheres clarifies the modus operandi of large processed food corporations in slums.
In the market sphere occurs the trade of commodities expecting a physical or objective consumption; in the meaning sphere, the subjective experiences of retailers and consumers can be expressed in symbols, referents, codes, identities, emotions, etc.
Second, to show the results of a qualitative research of Filipino Sari-Sari stores’ meanings about corporate packaged food (CPF); four categories of meaning were found: sales-related, business facilitation, favorable attributes, and unfavorable attributes of CPF.
The findings can be further compared by scholars or professionals studying CPF or intervening in slums.