The New Supermarket: Not Your Mother’s Grocery Store
Today's markets emphasize quality, variety, and convenience.
Convenience at the New Supermarket
There are lots of double-income families and single-parent households out
there. And stay-at-home parents are often busy shuttling kids to and from
various activities. The bottom line is that most people today are either
pressed for time, or simply not interested in spending lots of time in the
Supermarkets and food companies have answered this call for convenience by
selling ready-to-eat items, like rotisserie chickens, deli salads,
salad-in-a-bag (many even include the croutons and dressing), presliced apples,
ready-to-bake or ready-to-eat pizzas, and prepared gourmet dishes. Many markets
have help-yourself salad bars, fruit bars, olive bars, sandwich bars, and hot
Need to pack bag lunches in the morning? It's a snap with individually
wrapped items like presliced fruit, cut-up veggies with dip, snack bars, and
preportioned cookies and crackers.
Of course, the ultimate in convenience is one-stop shopping. And if you
think about it, the modern grocery store is really 10 stores in one. When you
enter a supermarket in most any city in America, it's like going to a sandwich
shop, a Starbucks, a pharmacy, a restaurant, a bank, a bookstore, a bakery, a
florist, a liquor store, and a movie rental store -- all in one place.
Prices at the New Supermarket
While all this quality, variety, and convenience often comes at a price,
bargain shoppers don't have to be left out.
Some of the big supermarket chains now offer offering "premium"
house brand items, with exotic flavors or organic ingredients.
And there's at least one supermarket chain whose focus is offering unusual
gourmet food items at bargain prices. At Trader Joe's, $50 will buy you bags
full of groceries. But you won't find many of the items sold there at other
stores -- the vast majority are the Trader Joe's store brand.
This is a dream supermarket for college students or young adults, because it
has lots of "hip" convenience items like Middle-Eastern-flavored veggie
burgers and frozen Thai appetizers -- but with an eye on cost. Although the
company is based in California, you can find Trader Joe's stores all over the