She is like the ships of the merchant, she brings her food from afar.
We see a metaphor for a Goodwife's cooking abilities in international trade. The point of the metaphor is not in the financial aspect of trade deficits or a declining dollar, but in the range and breadth of her food provision capabilities. Out of a net spread wide come rewards, passed through her selection and efforts, in what she puts on the table. While nobody wants nor expects that every day's menu must be replete with arcane food groups, the Goodwife's menu shall not be limited to a pedestrian “hamburger helper” and a rotation of the easiest, most accessible items. We must realize that nobody thinks (like the family in the commercial seems to), that the woman whose cookies came mixed, sliced, and on a ready-to-bake pan is going to any effort, past foisting on the unemancipated offspring her mundane self-absorption. “Let’s all pretend that I cook and please credit me with a reputation!” These are called "convenience foods" for a reason. If a box of Stouffer's Lasagna is pulled out of the freezer because you just returned from a vacation and you have no time to do anything else, God bless it for being convenient. If your life needs a stockpile of convenience foods because every moment of that life is playing "Real Housewives from Whatever God Forsaken Culdesac You Live In" or you can't be bothered to learn how to cook because you like reading romance novels, the convenience it provides has been demanded by your world-without-end inadequacy.
Is “world merchant” the metaphor for your kitchen? Or would it be, “Mom, you are as intriguing as, Oh, I dunno,... as tap water.”