Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Your Grocery Flyer (And Store) is a Mine Field


Every week I get out the sales flyers for my local grocery stores.
And every week I prepare to do battle with my bad habits/inclinations and what the marketing department of said grocery store wants me to spend money on.

Remember that grocery store flyers are above everything else a marketing tool for the store to make a profit on you the customer.

The only reason they have to put items on sale is to either lure you into the store with "loss leaders"(and then get you to buy high profit for them items besides the lls)or because they got a deal from a manufacturer on an item so they lower their price a little bit(but they never pass on the bulk of any savings to the customer)or because someone overbought on an item and they need to move it out of the stockroom because it's taking up too much real estate in the store.

Do any of these reasons sound to you like the store has your best interests at heart?
No, I don't think so either.

Your grocery store flyer is riddled with bad prices and/or items that aren't any good for your health and/or your pocketbook.
Browse your local sales flyer and you'll soon find that it's truly a mine field for your body and your wallet.

*Please note that this post isn't in any way, shape or form about bashing your personal foods choices.  It isn't also about making any health pronouncements on what you do or don't eat.  I am not the food police.  This is just my perception of "healthy foods" with help from the current national standards of nutrition.

I often wonder with what stores stock and push......do the choices of food stem from what their customers say they want(and vote with by spending their money on) or do stores and companies "guide" us with the foods they suggest to us, to get us to change our spending habits toward foods that they profit the most from?
It's all a fascinating subject, is it not?

Anyway, back to the mine field.....or should that be Mind Field?...... ;-)

Let's take a look at the flyer for one of my local grocers, Weis(PMITA)Markets, for next week, shall we?
(I am not singling out Weis Markets with this post.  I could do this experiment with ANY grocery chain ad.)

Items on this page......
canned beans
Manwich sauce
brownie mix
spaghetti sauce
Kool-aid
canned dog food
more canned beans
tomato sauce
veg. oil
coffee
Yoohoo boxed drinks
cat treats
toaster pastries
Slim Jim sticks
olive oil
oatmeal
Quaker cereals
cat litter

Now let's remove the stuff that isn't food-pet items and junk food, or processed foods with questionable ingredients.....

What is left is.....

canned beans
spaghetti sauce
more canned beans
tomato sauce
veg. oil
coffee
Slim Jim sticks
olive oil
oatmeal
Quaker cereals

Now let's remove the "borderline questionable" foods.....

What is left is.....

canned beans
more canned beans
tomato sauce-depending on sodium content this might not be healthy
veg. oil-many people don't consider this healthy but I left it on
coffee-this is more a vice than a food that is a source of nutrition, but I left it on
olive oil
oatmeal
Quaker cereals-depending on the cereal, this might have too much sugar to be considered healthy

Out of the 18 products on the page 8 or less(depending on who you believe)are actual food and not full of chemicals of natural things(sugar and/or salt)that aren't very good for you.

And here's another page with mostly junk food on it.....




Items on this page........

in house baked goods like cakes, pies, cookies and bread
salty snack foods
potato chips
popcorn
cookies
soda
cheese crackers w/filling
donuts
bubble gum
cookies
more soda
pretzels
even more cookies
chocolate
rice Krispies treats
flavored bottled water
bottled water

Let's remove the "not real food".....




popcorn
pretzels
bottled water

Some would argue that popcorn and pretzels aren't real food either as the bad may outweigh the health aspects(mainly salt! and we eat too many corn products anyway as it's an additive in many processed foods).
Which would just leave bottled on this page of grocery items.

Ok so some of the already prepared breads may be ok and perhaps the fruit pie are semi-healthy.
But really, can't you make that stuff yourself for less and feel better because you know exactly what went into them?
Plus prepared foods made in-house are one of the highest profit areas for the store! 

Look, I am not trying to tell anybody what to eat.
Lord knows I have my own demons when it comes to food and diet!
Plus the "experts" on eating are forever changing their views.

I'm just saying the next time you pick up your grocery store sales flyer be conscious of what they are trying to sell you!

They are in the marketplace to make a profit and they don't CARE if what they promote is good for you or not....even though a lot of markets now have dieticians on staff and make great claims that they care about your health.  If they really cared more for your well being over making a profit there wouldn't be aisles in the store dedicated to junk foods and processed foods!

They push prepared foods(their in-house bakery, deli, hot foods, etc.)and processed foods because that's where their best profit markup is.

Like the old saying, "Shop the perimeter of the store" when at all possible.  Buy foods that are the least processed and in their natural/raw state.
You pay for convenience with your wallet and sometimes with your health as well.

Sluggy


 

9 comments:

  1. I agree with you 100% - I don't use flyers at all as I don't buy any processed food with the exception of cheese once in awhile. With my vitamix, blender and juicer I can make whatever I want myself and control the ingredients. Last night I made organic popcorn in an air popper and seasoned with organic coconut oil and a dash of sea salt. Delicious - sorta tastes like "kettle corn" as the coconut oil is a bit sweet but such yummy flavour on popcorn :) I shop at an Asian grocery store and produce and fish is about 2/3's of the store - the rest is stuff like rice, beans, nuts, lentils, etc. Not a jar of cheese whiz to be seen!

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  2. I'm going to double check the grocery flyer in my area. I don't think it has that much junk. The deli is very small in the store with the ad here. They always have a lot of produce on sale. Maybe cause I'm in the Midwest in a small town? Pop and juice is always on sale here though and that's very bad for you. Usually potatoes and pasta are on sale on the frony page which are good for you. (Ok, you could argue that but I regularly buy them to cook with).

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  3. I usually shop "the perimeter" of the ad - the first page with the best deals and the last page with produce :) I do look through the rest of the ad but that's how I mostly shop...

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  4. Sluggy I am right there with you. I do buy canned beans when they are on a great sale. Say 3/$1 then I stock up. Right now I have at least 4 cases of various beans in the pantry and we will use them.

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  5. The only thing I ever used the flyers for was lessons in my ESL class! People often use them as well to compare prices between the mainland and Hawai'i (i.e. at Safeway), but why? The real way to save here is to avoid all that processed food and buy at the farmer's markets,Costco or other local stores!

    Is there any chance of getting my new blog/address on your blogroll? I had to change when Facebook decided (for a while) that I could no longer access the old one. New address is: http://lifeisgoodkauai.com (The View From the Treehouse). Thanks!

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  6. I do love loss leaders but I find that I get suckered in and buy stuff I don't need. Sigh, I'm a sucker.

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  7. I check the sale flyers when I am watching for a particular thing to go on sale. For a while I was looking for fish. It went on sale at one store and I went and bought a case of it. I don't have to go back to that store for 5 or 6 months. But we DO buy some junk sometime!

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  8. If you think the food ads are bad just take a close look at the Sunday newspaper inserts. It is all new items, junk food, health/beauty or pet items. When I was a sales rep for a food company customers would ask for coupons for their favorite products. They would say that I buy (whatever it was) all the time. I rarely had coupons for that type of item. The food company is not going to reward your loyalty with a coupon.....You just told me that you are already buying it at full price! The coupons are to get you to try new items. New high profit items!

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