Tuesday, November 22
My Holiday Grocery Tour
In preparation for Thanksgiving, yesterday I spent the bulk of the day going to grocery stores ... four of them to be exact. Why four, you ask? Because to really be smart about spending and to really get the best "goods," I literally had to go to four different stores. Didn't realize that would be the case, but in reality to do it "right," that's what had to happen.
Costco: to get the good deals. $.99 per pound for turkey is worth a fourteen mile drive and the price on Tide would blow your socks off.
Trader Joe's: to get hard to find items and fresh produce. Pumpkin cream cheese pancakes has become a family tradition. Plus they have the best pinot grigio on the planet.
Whole Foods: to get the organic stuff like real crystalized ginger and fresh mushrooms. Why? Exactly.
Genuardi's: for the normal stuff. Like milk, eggs, and holiday colored M&Ms.
My biggest observation? Actually my biggest shock? Packaging!
I couldn't believe the amount of packaging I saw at Costco. Holy cow!
I've never seen so much packaging. Boxes on top of boxes on top of crates that are on top of crates. Primary packaging with secondary packaging. Small little items with huge amounts of cardboard around them ... presumably to prevent "slippage."
But I couldn't help but feel a little guilty. It's so counter-culture to have so much packaging. Now granted, there were no plastic or paper bags at check-out, you had to bring your own so that was good. But I still felt like I was dragging home a paper plant with me, which was in sharp contrast to the other grocery stores I visited.
All in all, the best shopping experience? Whole Foods. Fabulous merchandising and store layout. Had an organic lunch in the food court. No long lines ... pleasant staff. Of course the prices compensated for it, but it was still the best shopping experience.
All in a day's holiday work!
What's your experience? Jim.
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect