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Purchase Priorities – Convenience, Price

July 31, 2012

Convenience and price is far and away where processed foods gain popularity. The volume cuts the price down, and convenience of heat and eat saves time (or many think it saves time!) in the kitchen.

Example – potatoes. I can buy a 50 pound bag of potatoes and we can have them mashed, baked, diced, shredded, cubed, sliced and many other ways. Or I can buy a box of flaked tomatoes that one adds water and butter to (mashed), tater tots, frozen hash browns, frozen french fries, forgo the baked potato and look to boxed potatoes for casseroles or side dishes. That 50 pounds of potatoes will cost me $16-20 depending on type of potato, time of year etc. That’s maybe 15-20 boxes or bags, if buying generic.

So when it comes to saving money, hands down the bulk bag wins. Convenience – well it takes a few more minutes to shred, dice, or otherwise prepare potatoes for the skillet rather than opening a box or bag.

Many have said they don’t buy a farm package because of convenience. It’s not at their local store. They don’t shop at the farmer’s market because it’s out of the way and it’s a hassle to stop for those farm fresh eggs. Not uncommon at all – and those *are* food choices. It might be settling for what’s the least effort, but it’s choices.

Modern appliances allow for putting the ingredients into a machine, walking away and coming back to fresh made bread, but some say it’s just too much hassle to do that. Just buy at the store. That’s a choice.

Price and convenience are the biggest considerations for consumers, overall. It’s what people buy. Yes there are some that buy free range, grass fed, bison, fresh caught fish etc but in volume for the majority of the market look at what people buy. There’s more potato chips than rabbit, there’s more 99 cent instant <whatever> than canning jars to preserve your own.

It’s important, then, for those who do want more choices to understand it is a niche item you’re seeking. It might be all the farm you buy from does, and like us it is a serious quest, but it cannot compare or maintain on a volume level.

Watch your food selection habits. Why are you buying that, honestly, instead of another choice? It’s easier or available? It’s a better price for a tight budget? It’s tastier than alternatives? Look at your honest answers. The selection is within – be it something you’re ok with or something you want to change.

Be aware of your food choices.

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