Changes In Grocery Shopping

August 9, 2023


I am a judgment broker who writes often. Time seems to be speeding up. The world and the economy are changing very fast, and not always in a downward direction. Innovation, financing, and work will always be a potential path toward growth and prosperity; often initially disguised as change.

WebVan, the first popular web grocery delivery company, was wonderful; however they were way ahead of their time, and went bankrupt in 2001. More and more, people are shopping for food online from places like Amazon, and even EBay.

Of course, brick and mortar grocery stores are still very popular. “Newcomers” such as Walmart, Costco, Target, and Grocery Outlet; are taking business from the old guys, for example Safeway and Kroger.

I live in California, and for much of my adult life, I used to do most of my grocery shopping at Safeway. I try to eat healthy and I am very busy, so I look for healthy (often frozen) good-tasting food. For the last decade or so, Safeway has slowly and consistently dropped many products I like. Many of the products I used to buy at Safeway, are no longer sold there.

In my opinion, Safeway made a few mistakes. Mistake one was dropping food items to add “life” items. A grocery store should add or change food items, not eliminate food items to add non-food items.

The second Safeway mistake was to raise their prices and have weekly sales on a few items. Their sale prices are very competitive and sometimes the lowest in town, however their average prices are now among the highest.

The third Safeway glitch is their “Just for U” digital coupon thing. Yes, I have an iPod Touch, however it is an older model that will not load their App. Safeway’s App only seems to work on the newest portable devices. Safeway’s “Just for U” digital coupon thing is interesting, however I think it should work on all iPod Touch models.

One problem with the old school grocery stores is they all sell almost exactly the same things. Variety is the spice of life. I am impressed with the following stores because of their prices and/or variety: Walmart, Amazon, Costco, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Grocery Outlet.

Grocery Outlet is amazing. You cannot count on them to have a specific item, however you can always find something at a great price. I have had very good luck with some strange brands they carry, that I never heard of before.

Some chain stores have consistently great prices for specific items. Target has great prices on whole wheat and white flours, Walmart has great prices on those 33-ounce clear sugar-free sodas (that I used to buy at Safeway), etc.

Some items (for example oat fiber and resistant wheat starch), I can only find online. I shop at places such as KingArthurFlour.com, HoneyVilleGrain.com, and Amazon.com.

The world is changing quickly, and one change is the pen and paper are becoming almost obsolete. I bring my “old” iPod Touch to stores, using it to save my (e.g.) weekly shopping list.

New things are popping up almost every day. I imagine the future will include a lot of handheld device grocery shopping-related Apps; however we are all analog, and actual food and drink will never become digital.

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