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Old 03-05-2018, 07:16 PM   #1
sundialsvcs
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I still remember when grocery stores weren't "trendy™" restaurants


I still hate to be forced to wander into Whole Foods™ stores – as these stores have now recently become. I still hate to watch yuppies, with their still-young young-ones in tow – (they haven't felt the pinch yet ...) – as they wander around the place, tossing store-branded bags of lentils (retail value: 32˘) into their shopping carts and pay $4.00 for them without a second thought.

Or, more likely these days, they simply skip the lentils and buy dinner at what they apparently do not yet realize is "the world's most expensive restaurant."

The first step was the "hot bar," where you could spend $3.00 or more for the same stuff that your mother knew how to whip up out of a dollar's worth of ingredients (and Campbell's cream-of-mushroom soup). But now you can wander over into an entirely separate restaurant section, whose vastly over-priced offerings are mitigated by the fact that you can buy and consume beer there – as long as you promise not to carry it out into the rest of the store.

So, what do you actually get there, in exchange for your beer and your $14? Well, so far as I can see, you get a roasted chicken thigh, a plop of quinoa, kale and assorted vegetables taken from an on-site mini salad-bar, and a small assortment of spicy toppings. My skeptical mind places the market-value of all of these things (excluding the beer) at no more than $3.50 ... if you care to remember how to stand behind a skillet for yourself.
 
Old 03-05-2018, 08:02 PM   #2
jefro
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I went to a school near Dallas and went into a Whole Foods. Figured the price of a steak at $14 would be well worth it. Yuck, worst steak in my life. Guess yuppies don't know beef. Give me Texas Land and Cattle or Longhorn anytime.

The margin on food is razor thin. The way to get people to buy more seems to be keep them in the store as long as you can. They think and maybe so that folks who don't speed shop will linger and buy. I might do that at hardware store but never food store.

Growing up we'd go to A&P and maybe have 10 isles and only 4 or 5 paper bags would feed 6 for a week.

Last edited by jefro; 03-05-2018 at 08:04 PM.
 
Old 03-05-2018, 08:06 PM   #3
rokytnji
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I don't eat out hardly ever anymore. Got tired of food poisoning mostly lately.

http://www.newswest9.com/clip/127341...ants-below-par
 
Old 03-05-2018, 09:26 PM   #4
sundialsvcs
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Jefro, I suppose that I'm still amazed at the influence of "instant-gratification marketing" in this particular market.

Myself ... ... I'm addicted to cookbooks!

So – even if I shopped at your store for the ingredients (which I probably wouldn't, 'cuz you're much too expensive ...) – wouldn't it be much more fun to not only "meet you at your own game," within the humble confines of my own humble kitchen, but to "very-handily beat you there?"

Dunno how to say it but ... "the actual meals that you've managed to come up with" (both in your hot-bar and in your so-called restaurant), while they might arguably be "convenient," is most-certainly not impressive. (In a different decade, I would have compared it, most unfavorably, to an aluminum-foil clad "TV Dinner.®")

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 03-05-2018 at 09:29 PM.
 
Old 03-05-2018, 09:40 PM   #5
frankbell
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I wouldn't shop at Whole Foods on a bet; it's a triumph of form over substance. And that was before Amazon scarfed it up. Trader Joe's, though, is another story. Good product at reasonable prices; sadly, the Trader Joe's is at the other end of town.

My part of the world has recently been graced with Lidls and Aldis. I haven't been to a Lidl yet, but we love our local Aldi. The selection is limited by US supermarket standards and I'm not particularly impressed by their produce--they have lots of bagged lettuce, but not heads of lettuce, for example--but the prices are very reasonable--oh, heck, they are fantastic. The store is small compared to US supermarkets, but a portion of the selection rotates from week to week, so there is also an element of discovery every week.

Sundialsvcs, as regards cookbooks, I've worn out two copies of Craig Claiborne's New York Times Cookbook, and my copy of his New York Times International Cookbook is held together by library tape.

I didn't know that yuppies were still a thing.

Last edited by frankbell; 03-05-2018 at 09:42 PM.
 
Old 03-05-2018, 11:05 PM   #6
Trihexagonal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
My part of the world has recently been graced with Lidls and Aldis. I haven't been to a Lidl yet, but we love our local Aldi.
There is an Aldi store within walking distance of where I live. They do have a limited selection, but if you know what to look for it isn't so bad.

I used to teach developmentally disabled people how to cook as part of the skillset they needed to move into independent living, so I can cook for myself and rarely go out to eat.

Last edited by Trihexagonal; 03-05-2018 at 11:10 PM.
 
Old 03-05-2018, 11:57 PM   #7
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First time we visited my daughter took us shopping at Whole Paycheque (or paycheck), her name for it, and I thought the prices were up a bit, but not horrifically high - until I realised that things were priced by the pound, not kilo. Pre-Amazon days.
 
Old 03-06-2018, 12:02 PM   #8
DavidMcCann
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There's a Whole Foods near me, but the selection of foods has always struck me as limited and weak on basics. As for Aldi and Lidl, in London their branches are all far away from me, not to mention in areas I wouldn't be seen dead in.
 
Old 03-06-2018, 01:00 PM   #9
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
I still hate to be forced to wander into Whole Foods™ stores – as these stores have now recently become. I still hate to watch yuppies, with their still-young young-ones in tow – (they haven't felt the pinch yet ...) – as they wander around the place, tossing store-branded bags of lentils (retail value: 32˘) into their shopping carts and pay $4.00 for them without a second thought.

Or, more likely these days, they simply skip the lentils and buy dinner at what they apparently do not yet realize is "the world's most expensive restaurant."

The first step was the "hot bar," where you could spend $3.00 or more for the same stuff that your mother knew how to whip up out of a dollar's worth of ingredients (and Campbell's cream-of-mushroom soup). But now you can wander over into an entirely separate restaurant section, whose vastly over-priced offerings are mitigated by the fact that you can buy and consume beer there – as long as you promise not to carry it out into the rest of the store.

So, what do you actually get there, in exchange for your beer and your $14? Well, so far as I can see, you get a roasted chicken thigh, a plop of quinoa, kale and assorted vegetables taken from an on-site mini salad-bar, and a small assortment of spicy toppings. My skeptical mind places the market-value of all of these things (excluding the beer) at no more than $3.50 ... if you care to remember how to stand behind a skillet for yourself.
We call Whole Foods "Hipster Mart"

That said, we have a Winn-Dixie nearby, and a Piggly Wiggly about a mile from the house. The Winn-Dixie hot-bar will give you meat and three veg for $6, and its delicious, all cooked at the store.

Whole Foods? I drive past one on the way to the office...I stop RARELY, and only then because of something I discovered there. You can get a pound of shelled, frozen mussels for about $5. Cook with white wine/butter, and enjoy a dinner home. Everything else there is horribly overpriced, and I don't need free-range, artisinal deodorant for $12 per gram.
 
Old 03-06-2018, 08:08 PM   #10
frankbell
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Quote:
First time we visited my daughter took us shopping at Whole Paycheque (or paycheck), her name for it, and I thought the prices were up a bit, but not horrifically high - until I realised that things were priced by the pound, not kilo. Pre-Amazon days.
I had a similar experience when visiting my daughter in Philadelphia. She took me to a Whole Foods.

I was not impressed.
 
Old 03-07-2018, 06:44 AM   #11
sundialsvcs
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To me, these places are the epitome of a generation that has forgotten how to cook, and to me that's a terrible loss. This grocery store really isn't a grocery store at all – it's an ersatz restaurant, and not even a very good one. The selection of product is by now mostly "house brands," expensively packaged but not noteworthy. The company makes its money by selling ordinary chicken soup for $3 a bowl.

The small local grocer in our small town probably wouldn't attract your attention, but they have an excellent meat buyer and they also have a small, separate freezer-case where the meats that are about to expire are discounted ... and featured. Unassuming though they are, they quietly source meats from local farms, not Indonesia. They don't draw attention to the fact that they're beating the "yuppie stores" quite handily at their own game. The people who shop there are just ordinary folk.

Yesterday I spotted a package labeled, "stir fry." Well, that would be a fun thing to do this evening," sez me, so that's what I did. (Turned out to be a little stringy, so I shredded it in the blender. Problem solved.) The process of improvising dinner in the kitchen is enjoyable to me. (Plus, you get to eat the results!) But I visit many people's homes and know that the oh-so spotless stove is never turned on. I think that they don't even know what they are missing.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 03-07-2018 at 06:49 AM.
 
Old 03-07-2018, 07:34 AM   #12
Mill J
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Has anyone tried Rulers (a division of Kroger) yet? They are very comparable to Aldis.

I can tell you what store destroyed small town "mom and pop" stores where ever it built...Wal-Mart, I'm not sure about larger town/citys, but if you ever look at a town that denied Wal-Mart the right to invade, you'll find lots of great shopping, otherwise you basically have one monopoly store and prices to match.

On meat: You will never get real meat from a store. Living on a farm, I have raised and butchered many pigs, chickens and beef. I can tell you that real meat is expensive even if you raise it yourself. For example: pigs must be outdoors on dirt(preferably with vegetation/brush) and must be fed high quality feed and produce scraps, not in a building, where the ammonia erodes their lungs(if you've ever even drove by a hog farm you'd know what I mean), are fed worthless GMO corn, and are pumped with chemicals/medicine so they don't get sick in the insane living conditions.

Oh and enjoy that steak
 
Old 03-07-2018, 08:01 AM   #13
kilgoretrout
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I still hate to watch yuppies, with their still-young young-ones in tow
The term "yuppie" was coined in the 80's IIRC - that was over thirty years ago. If you saw any of the original yuppies with young ones in tow, it was probably their grandchildren! I think the appropriate derisive term you're looking for is either "millennial" or "hipster".

Share your opinion on Whole Foods. I have a niece who believes that the food found there is somehow better in some undefined way. I grew up in a rural area and am intimately familiar with where our food comes from and how it's produced. Farm folks know a sack of beans is a sack of beans but you can make city folks believe almost anything and make them pay more.
 
Old 03-07-2018, 08:54 AM   #14
MensaWater
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You kids get off my lawn!

I don't shop at Whole Foods either but don't worry about those who do.
 
Old 03-07-2018, 09:32 AM   #15
rokytnji
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Quote:
Has anyone tried Rulers (a division of Kroger) yet? They are very comparable to Aldis.

I can tell you what store destroyed small town "mom and pop" stores where ever it built...Wal-Mart, I'm not sure about larger town/citys, but if you ever look at a town that denied Wal-Mart the right to invade, you'll find lots of great shopping, otherwise you basically have one monopoly store and prices to match.
No. In west Texas we have H.E.B. Your Walmart statement misses the mark in my small west Texas town. La Tienda is not a Mom and Pop grocery store. They pretend to be one. But price gouging is rampant and quality of food is poor and service sux. Because they are the only grocery store in Town.
They went nuts when the Oil boom hit out here and raised prices accordingly.

I drive 100 miles one way to hit a good grocery store and a good butcher. I smoke a mean brisket and cabrito.
 
  


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