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Where Do You (Really) Buy Groceries?

July 2, 2012

An interesting article about where people buy food came to my attention this morning. Now I admit when we need something quick I have a love/hate relationship with Dollar General. It’s nearby, but the dishonest practices are annoying. The number of items that are deceptively marked or priced (“It just went up” or “That sale is over – even though the sign is still up) is something I have an issue with. Still, if it’s for an item or two it’s cheaper than a 20 minute drive one way to town…and they count on that!

We’ve often said people buy on price and convenience. “We get less than half our groceries at traditional grocery stores now.” Add to that “The dollar store segment is now the fastest-growing place shoppers turn for food, up nearly 12 percent last year compared to the prior year, the study shows. The gain is partly because this segment is exploding in size — unit count grew nearly 5 percent to 24,000 U.S. stores last year. We’re snapping up $24 billion in edibles at dollar stores already, Willard Bishop reports.”

Now think about that just a moment folks. This isn’t fresh food. This isn’t for the most part “real food” we keep hearing people are switching to. By action to the tune of billions – that’s with a B – it’s processed box dinners, cookies or snacks, on the go food. Walk in a Dollar General and what’s at the front? Chips, coolers with quick food, nuts, snacks, candy.

In many of the dollar stores it’s smaller containers to make you think you’re getting a good deal. It’s only a dollar, after all, although some foods have gone up in price because of – yes – demand! The box dinners and other items aren’t a bad thing and we use them sometimes, especially when time is short. An easy meal is something Connor can fix when I’m preparing for #agchat or when there are chores that take longer than we planned.

We hear in the media of the increase in farmer’s markets, food concerns and other issues. We all have food choices, and despite the media attention it’s surprising to experts to learn that – as we’ve said for some time – price and convenience drive America’s spending purchases.

Where do you buy your groceries? We buy most things at the locally owned grocery store, grow some of course, and do buy some things at dollar stores. We seldom eat out and even less often buy the brands and items that appear in advertising. Grocery store or dollar store? Convenience or other factors?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2012 7:53 PM

    Interesting as I just came in front work & travel and was thinking to myself that in the past I would be going to the freezer or a box, but tonight I have a big ole box of fresh foods from the folks at fruit my cube. (I wrote a post not too long ago about them expanding into veggies http://janiceperson.com/food/soda-ban-new-york-coke-addict/ ) I love having the availability of fruits & veggies without making a trip to get them. That said, I regularly pick up a couple of cans of soup, a dozen eggs or something at a nearby drug store between grocery visits. And as you know, I am looking forward to CSA meats later this year! I have a variety of sources and enjoy them all for different reasons.

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