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Grocery Hit-Or-Miss News Packaged Food

Why Costco’s ‘Kirkland Signature’ Controls the Generic Brand Market

Costco has become a household name across the US. People have often seen my home and said, “Oh, so you’re a Costco family”. It’s true, we are, and it’s because Costco cannot be beat on almost any level. Here at Foodbeast we have often rejoiced at Costco’s ability to fulfill our mac n’ cheese dreams, and provide us with the finer things in life.

Photo: Signs.com

The question is, what exactly makes Costco such a powerful force in the market? Surely the average person doesn’t need 12 cans of tomato paste or 390 servings of emergency foods (at least, we hope not), but there’s more to Costco than that. They cleverly created their own line of competitive products at lower prices and higher quality, pressuring other brands to keep up, or fall under the competition.

We’re talking about the ever present Kirkland brand.

Kirkland products are sold at Costco for 20% less than national brands on average.

For example, CNN reported that in 2018, Costco dropped its price of 40-pack half liter Kirkland water bottles to $2.99, forcing brands like Polar-Springs to adjust and keep up. “Kirkland acts as a universal club marshal. It keeps suppliers honest,” Timothy Campbell, analyst at Kantar Retail said in the report.

Photo: Signs.com

Generic brands are popular customer choices when it comes to medication and milk, according to data from Signs.com. However, Kirkland Signature products are unique in the way that “the Costco consumer is very loyal to the KS brand. They will always give the item a shot” stated Costco’s wine, spirits, and beer buyer Annette Alvarez-Peters in Wine Spectator’s article.

Of course, Costco doesn’t get every generic product right, as evidenced by their light beer flop. However, Costco is very aware of this and takes it seriously. They understand that loss of customer confidence means loss of sales and keep their products at a high standard. Despite warnings to investors that their profit margin depends on customer loyalty, there’s no loss in confidence.

Kirkland Signature brands are constantly being improved, year after year. Costco Connection detailed the process for selecting the best of the best and emphasizes that KS brands are constantly reevaluated and upgraded to maintain their reputation. This goes for everything from their fitted sheets to their baby wipes. Costco buyers never get too comfortable.

Speaking of their high standards, it is a not so well known fact that many of Kirkland brand products are manufactured by national brands, with the demand that those brands hold Costco products to a different standard. For example, Bumble Bee Foods supplies Kirkland’s canned tuna, but they are required to make sure that the tuna is far more substantial than flaky. In doing so, Costco spent a year overseeing the Bumble Bee Foods plant in Puerto Rico.

At the moment, Costco’s canned albacore tuna is sold at $16.99 for eight tins, weighing 7 oz each. Conversely, Bumble Bee tuna is sold at Staples for $37.69 for 12 tins weighing 5 oz each.

To break it down: Costco sells only 4 oz of less fish for less than half the price. Bumble Bee supplies its own competition with a better product, for cheaper.

Costco is the biggest alcohol retailer in the US, with Kirkland Signature Wines notable enough to stand alone as their wine is sourced from name-brand wineries. Some of these include Kunde Estate, Girard Winery, and Champagne Jansson & Fils. Because Costco offers big money contracts, and a guaranteed buy of thousands of bottles these wineries are enticed to sell their fruit to produce Kirkland wine at a lower price than they would sell their own bottles.

Costco is the number No. 1 choice for consumers in the US, and it’s no surprise. Their business model is striving and I will happily continue to buy too much peanut butter and enjoy a hot dog on the way out.

Categories
Design Grocery Health

A Guide On Exactly How To Pick The Freshest Produce

I’m only a few days into the New Year and still feeling pretty good about my resolution to eat healthier. Whether or not I’ll stick with it in the weeks to come remains to be seen, but until then I’m eager to stuff myself with as many fruits and vegetables as I can get my chubby mitts on.

One hurdle I’ve come across, is that I’m not entirely sure at times whether or not I’m picking the freshest produce. I don’t want to have a bowl of fruits sitting around waiting to ripen at home.

Pounds to Pocket, a UK-based money saving blog, created this fresh infographic that helps you know how to select the freshest produce possible every time you’re at the grocers.

The infographic details things to look out for like color, firmness, texture, and smell. It also covers a diverse list of fruits and vegetables including strawberries, mangos, pineapple, apples, grapes, watermelon, avocados, blueberries, cherries, tomatoes, kiwi, rhubarb, broccoli, corn, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, and mushrooms.

Next time you’re shopping in the produce aisle, you can strut with confidence knowing that there’s a cheat sheet like this ready to jump in if you’re ever feeling uncertain.

Check out the fruit-picking guide below.


Courtesy of: Pounds to Pocket
Categories
Culture Deals Feel Good Grocery Health Hit-Or-Miss News

Lyft Offering Cheap Rides To Help Families In Food Deserts

Photo: Kevin Grieve on Unsplash, Unsplash License[/caption]

The food desert problem in the U.S. originates in socio-structural issues that will require work from the ground up. For those of us who are new to the term, food deserts are defined as parts of the country that lack easy access to grocery stores containing healthful foods and vegetables. This is a complicated issue primarily affecting poor socioeconomic neighborhoods where transportation and resources are limited. Fast food restaurants litter these neighborhoods and contribute to the obesity epidemic as the only readily available, affordable, and easy options.

Wards 7 and 8 of Washington, D.C. are a perfect example of this, with only three grocery stores unrealistically expected to serve over 150,000 residents. About 81% of these residents are living in a food desert, more than the rest of D.C. combined. The majority of these people are living under the poverty line with Ward 7’s median income at $45,469 and Ward 8’s at $32,967. There’s plenty that needs to be addressed, but the rideshare company, Lyft, is taking the first step by partnering with Martha’s Table to try and bridge this gap.

Beginning January 1, Lyft will be offering grocery rides for only $2.50 to qualifying families. Families only need a child that is attending one of the seven participating elementary schools or is a part of Martha’s Table’s educational programming to be eligible for this program. Five hundred families will be selected to receive 50 rides each over the course of six months in an attempt to alleviate some of their daily stresses. The estimated cost for a family is $5 for a roundtrip a week.

Though Washington D.C. is a small reflection of the millions of people in the U.S. living in food deserts, this program has the potential to do a lot of good and hopefully inspire more action in the future.

More details can be found on Lyft’s Grocery Access Program website.

Categories
News Restaurants What's New

Italian Food Wonderland Eataly Finds New Home In Las Vegas

PRNewsfoto/Eataly USA

The first time I visited Southern California’s Eataly location in Century City, I was floored by all the wonders the Italian marketplace and food hall had to offer. They had authentic Italian meats, pastas, cheeses, as well as a bevy of restaurants that highlighted the spirit of traditional Italian cooking. It was a veritable playground of sorts for anyone in love with the culture and its expression through food.

Now, one of the most iconic cities in the country will be getting their very own spot to boast.

Eataly is opening its first-ever location in Las Vegas and the authentic Italian market place will find a home at the new resort Park MGM in December.

“Eataly Las Vegas will showcase our continued evolution,” Nicola Farinetti, CEO of Eataly USA, said. “We are integrating our retail store and restaurants further than ever before to create a more immersive and interactive experience surrounding premier food offerings.”

Las Vegas will be the sixth US location for Eataly, with 35 total locations worldwide. The new Park MGM will feature culinary programs which include Roy Choi’s Best Friend, Bavette’s Steakhouse, and NoMad restaurant.

With the hundreds of activities that Las Vegas has to offer, Eataly’s newest spot has just climbed to the top of the list

Categories
News Packaged Food

Kroger Is Selling Boxes Of Food At Cost To Feed The Hungry

Photo Courtesy of Kroger

With the holidays coming up, I often remind myself to take a beat and think of those less fortunate. Whether that means donating any cash I can spare, some old clothes, or even some canned food laying around the house, every little bit helps.

To help the process of feeding the hungry go a lot smoother, Kroger stores assembled boxes of food that can easily be purchased and donated to those in need.

All 107 Kroger locations in the Mid-Atlantic Division have begun selling boxes of non-perishable and nutritious food that customers can buy and donate to Feeding America food banks as a part of the company’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Initiative.

At $7.99, the boxes are filled with items like oats, beans, canned veggies, canned meat, peanut butter, rice, canned fruit, and juice. Each box is able to provide enough food to last 10 meals.

Photo Courtesy of Kroger

Since 2013, Kroger has donated one billion meals through a combination of food and funds donations. Kroger plans to eliminate food waste entirely within the company by 2025.

Customers can find the boxes on display at the front of 107 stores, with more than 10,000 boxes donated to Kroger locations and will be available for purchase through December 31.

Categories
Packaged Food

Man Finds ‘Condom’ Like Prize In His Jar Of Jam

There are only a few expectations one has when opening a fresh jar of jam for the very first time. A used condom, is probably one of the few things you’d expect to see once that lid pops open.

Troy Hawkins, Mashable reports, posted on his Facebook a photo of an opened jar of jam he had apparently purchased from a Co-op Food in the United Kingdom. Inside of the jar, he found something that suspiciously looked like an un-rolled condom.

Co-op replied to the image, claiming it was “production foam” that solidified during the bottling process. Upon his initial complaint, they even compensated him a bit for his grief, though not enough to silence his frustration.

CoOP-Condom-Response

So what do you think? Is is a freak production occurrence made from the residual white foam? Or did some one have a little too much, albeit safe, ‘fun’ with the sweet jelly product?

The real tragedy is that single slice of un-jellied toast just sitting on Hawkins’ kitchen table.

Categories
Health Hit-Or-Miss Humor

Whole Foods Completely Botched Their Ad By Not Understanding Shadows

wf-ads-shadow

We’ve seen quite a few marketing blunders in the last year when it comes to popular food brands. Whether it’s a noticeably fake CGI burger or ridiculous editing, companies should know by now that keen consumers will surely spot and put on blast any error in Photoshop.

Take this Whole Foods ad for example.

In a recent Reddit post, a user received a flyer for a new Whole Foods that just opened in the Santa Clara Square Marketplace. In it, five people are walking to and from the health food store. The problem, the shadows of the drawn people are facing three different directions.

Hopefully, Whole Foods puts more of their money into their stores rather than their designers. Clearly this was a rookie mistake.

Photo: Reddit
Categories
Packaged Food

S’mores Klondike Bars Are Coming And Our Bodies Are Ready

Smores-Klondike-2

Klondike has announced a sweet new flavor for its 2016 line of additions. The new flavor coming soon will be S’mores, based on the popular campfire snack of graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate.

The staple Klondike bar is typically a square of vanilla ice cream that’s covered in a layer of milk chocolate. Klondike S’mores, however, will have a creamy marshmallow ice cream laden with graham cracker swirls. It’s then covered in a milk chocolate shell.

Look for the new frozen dessert in your local grocery shelves soon.

Maybe keep this one away from campfires.