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NFT: Whole Foods- Awesome Grocer Or Pretentious BS?

CRinCA : 8/8/2017 9:03 pm
I'm in the latter camp by a mile. To me, the whole "organic" topic is arguable at best. So there....
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It's whole paycheck  
mattlawson : 8/8/2017 10:15 pm : link
And I'd rather support wegmans or our local markets that offer similar items - my head isn't so far up my ass that I'll pay 20$/lb for fish I can get rather locally for fraction of the price, fresher and better.
Wegmans is better.  
81_Great_Dane : 8/8/2017 10:38 pm : link
But I live in Los Angeles, so that's not an option.

Jim in Fairfax is right: It's both awesome (in some ways) and pretentious (in most ways). Expensive. Mostly (but not always) high quality. Good beer, cheese selections. Pretty good quality produce and prepared food.

And at some locations, a great place to people-watch, if you're more into that than, you know, groceries.
Two words  
RobCarpenter : 8/8/2017 10:52 pm : link
Asparagus water.
Great for people with money to waste  
Terry in CO : 8/8/2017 10:53 pm : link
on an effective marketing scam.
It's for pretentious douchebags who don't understand the value of  
Lawrence_Taylor_56 : 8/8/2017 10:59 pm : link
money or science.

Might as well just pay an arsonist to burn down the science department at your local h and university then go drink some non GMO fair trade vegan water instead. The net effect would probably be the same.
$7 for a gallon of "organic" milk  
jnoble : 8/8/2017 11:00 pm : link
If anyone is OK with paying this much for milk and actually thinks they are helping the environment and/or eating healthier than regular ol' milk that we grew up with, I ask if I may come over your place or a location of your choice to give you a swift kick in the nuts.

One of my friends bought into the organic/anti GMO gluten bullshit and I don't want to know how much she's wasted on the fad
RE: It's for pretentious douchebags who don't understand the value of  
Overseer : 8/8/2017 11:54 pm : link
In comment 13553488 Lawrence_Taylor_56 said:
Quote:
money or science.

As indicated on this thread, the generic brand they carry is rather affordable. Haven't done the math, but I suspect "365" brand OJ is comparable to if not cheaper than e.g. Tropicana - which seems to have ever shrinking packaging - at Stop & Shop or Shop Rite whatever other common market there is.

Many of their items are less about organic/non-GMO, etc. and more about just being high quality. e.g. farmed salmon tastes like shit and is shot full of food coloring - I'd rather spend an extra $2-3 on a real piece of fish (usually at Costco rather than WF, but the points stands). Taste buds != pretense. It's Dominoes v Lombardi's.

Mackey had a really hard time navigating between the ultra high end consumer and the budget conscious one who nonetheless sought higher quality items (they started opening "365" branded stores with mixed results). I'm sure he was more than happy to be bailed out by Bezos because he became lost as "organic" became more widespread and hence a less pronounced draw to his stores.

Based on what your blanket characterization of their clientele says about your ability to grasp nuance, that may have been too much information all at once so let me know if you need anything further parsed out.

As always....  
lono801 : 8/9/2017 12:24 am : link
There ain't a topic that won't be polarized on BBI....

I love going to WF...for what I need or want...

As I said before...I'm not buying TP at WF.

It's always so objective
7.00 for a gallon of organic milk?  
Giant John : 8/9/2017 3:52 am : link
That's a deal here in Northern NJ. Just saw it at stop and shop for 7.99. We like their fish, meats veg. and fruit. Cheese is the best around too.
Prefer Kings myself  
Sec 103 : 8/9/2017 6:55 am : link
...
Like I said earlier  
Bill L : 8/9/2017 7:08 am : link
I mainly go there to buy scallops. The stuff you get in the grocery store is injected with...water (I think)...which is why they look whiter than scallops should be. It makes them harder to sear correctly. I would rather pay (a lot) more at WF because at least your paying for scallop and not H2O.

That's my exemplar for how a few things are worth it at WF. Cheese and charcuterie are others. But for the main things, I wouldn't and couldn't buy there.
If I at each seafood and red meat  
UConn4523 : 8/9/2017 7:16 am : link
I'd probably stop in, but for normal everyday dry goods and fruits/vegetables I see no reason to get sucked into going to Whole Foods. We primarily eat chicken and I can get good quality chicken at almost any grocery store. I have no interest in doubling my grocery bill for the things we typically eat.
RE: As always....  
madgiantscow009 : 8/9/2017 7:29 am : link
In comment 13553509 lono801 said:
Quote:
There ain't a topic that won't be polarized on BBI....

I love going to WF...for what I need or want...

As I said before...I'm not buying TP at WF.

It's always so objective


the only thing I buy at Wholefoods is TP. It has to be made from a wild forest and not one tainted by man.



look at all those extra steps in your toilet paper.
Mackey was forced to sell by investors  
RobCarpenter : 8/9/2017 7:35 am : link
I heard him speak a week before the sale and he was complaining about activist investors. I think they pushed for the sale and he was unhappy about it.

Pretentious or not,  
GiantFilthy : 8/9/2017 8:09 am : link
their buffalo tofu at the food bar is a dream come true.
I go there when it's convenient  
pjcas18 : 8/9/2017 8:33 am : link
don't find them any more awesome or pretentious than any other market.

I'm not a salad bar guy (I don't eat at any buffet they nauseate me just thinking about them, and sometimes at a market where they have salad bars/food buffets I find myself mesmerized watching how disgusting people are around food and sometimes I stare and puke a little bit in my mouth).

I do find their produce to be better quality consistently than Shaw's or Stop & Shop or Price Chopper or Hannaford's depending on when you hit those other stores.

But IMO it's not worth a special trip (if it's not convenient)
RE: Prefer Kings myself  
njm : 8/9/2017 9:02 am : link
In comment 13553529 Sec 103 said:
Quote:
...


Aren't they strictly New Jersey? But the service is even better than WF, the food itself close and the prices are high but lower than WF.

Story about the service. My parents shopped Kings in Ridgewood for years. And after my father's first stroke, which left him with badly impaired short term memory, they'd still go together and he'd push the cart. About a week after his second, and fatal, stroke my mother went back alone. First stop was the produce aisle where the produce guy asked about him and found out what happened. Before she got to the end of the aisle the store manager was there, walked with her through the entire store while she shopped and made sure everything was carried to the car. That's worth an extra 5-10% on price.

As to the original question, both.
I worked at Kings growing up...  
Dunedin81 : 8/9/2017 9:09 am : link
I enjoyed it, they treated their people well and their products (produce, prepared food, groceries) were all quite good. It also wasn't as intimidating because it was still a conventional supermarket, just high end.

We started with a co-op for fruits and vegetables last year. It works out better for us than it would for a lot of people because our children are homeschooled, so even during the school year a morning at the farm is a positive experience. We've enjoyed that and price-wise it's probably been a wash (quality-wise no contest). Where an option like that exists it might be worth looking into.
Obviously goes with the shopper as well  
jcn56 : 8/9/2017 9:21 am : link
There are people who wouldn't know the difference between tilapia from China or wild caught Chinook salmon, and those are probably the same ones that have the biggest problem with price.

And although I agree with the 'you don't buy your TP there' sentiment, even if you did I don't think the price difference is as much as you might think. For me, with a family of 5 and 3 kids who consume an entire car full of groceries every week, the difference would be noticeable and it's not happening any time soon, but if I were single or newly married, I could easily see myself doing one stop shopping there at a premium so that I could get top quality produce and not have to make multiple stops.

Can I find better items individually through separate stores? Here in NYC, absolutely - plenty of good fresh fish markets, cheese stores, butchers, etc. - but look at the supermarket model and how it has impacted these shops all over the country, for some there simply isn't a good alternative if you're looking for high quality.
RE: 7.00 for a gallon of organic milk?  
Deej : 8/9/2017 9:33 am : link
In comment 13553521 Giant John said:
Quote:
That's a deal here in Northern NJ. Just saw it at stop and shop for 7.99. We like their fish, meats veg. and fruit. Cheese is the best around too.


Yeah in NYC at Keyfood I pay $5+ for a half gallon. I wouldnt buy it except it's really recommended for toddlers. When I can get to Costco I load up since they're ONLY $11 for 3 half gallons.

I do a big shopping trip to Costco, Aldi, and Target that sets us up for most of the staples (plus Arthur Ave. for Italian supply). In the neighborhood (Upper East), we supplement with Keyfood (me) and Fairway (wife). There is a WF between me and the subway, but the only thing I ever buy there is seafood and occasionally meat/poultry. Their fresh protein is fairly priced when on sale.
RE: The only reason to go to WF  
Jim in Scranton : 8/9/2017 9:57 am : link
In comment 13553444 Diver_Down said:
Quote:
is for the yoga pants.


pretty much, it's a wonderful place just to woman watch.
I don't really get why..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 8/9/2017 10:07 am : link
there is often outrage at the way things are priced. And then once communities are ruled by the Wal*Mart principle, people then complain about being sold cheap shit.

Whole Foods has a niche. It sells quality produce, meats, cheeses and seafood at a premium price. But it often delivers better quality than the average supermarket. While Food Lion, Bi-Lo and Wal Mart in my area race to the bottom, if I want a good steak, I go to a butcher shop and get one.

We don't have to be beholden to the cheap guy, nor should we expect the stores charging more to stoop down. If enough people dislike paying a lot - Whole Foods will cease to exist, so some people (in fact a shitload of them) are indeed using Whole Foods.

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I shop at a variety of places. Local Farmers markets, Harris teeter, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Aldi (and soon Lidl), as well as BJ's. They all have strengths and weaknesses.
RE: RE: The only reason to go to WF  
Dunedin81 : 8/9/2017 10:09 am : link
In comment 13553662 Jim in Scranton said:
Quote:
In comment 13553444 Diver_Down said:


Quote:


is for the yoga pants.



pretty much, it's a wonderful place just to woman watch.


Happily married though I am, I am also not blind. And the best places to admire without being creepy are 10Ks and 10 milers. Anyone can run (or walk) a 5K, and people who run marathons are, by and large, crazy and disgusting. So 10K through the Half is a pretty solid distance for watching.
i have a Wegman's 5 minutes from me  
Jim in Scranton : 8/9/2017 10:09 am : link
and a Whole Foods 5 minutes away from me. I love both for different reasons. Wegman's by far kicks the crap out of any other local grocery store that I have been too. They have great quality, but I found that some of their fish is priced a little higher than Whole Foods. It really just depends on what you are looking for. I also like WF's ready made food more, especially the samosa's. I do prefer WF's, because of the variety and quality of some of their products. Oh and the woman of course.
Yes  
Ron Johnson 30 : 8/9/2017 10:14 am : link
.
RE: i have a Wegman's 5 minutes from me  
Dunedin81 : 8/9/2017 10:15 am : link
In comment 13553684 Jim in Scranton said:
Quote:
and a Whole Foods 5 minutes away from me. I love both for different reasons. Wegman's by far kicks the crap out of any other local grocery store that I have been too. They have great quality, but I found that some of their fish is priced a little higher than Whole Foods. It really just depends on what you are looking for. I also like WF's ready made food more, especially the samosa's. I do prefer WF's, because of the variety and quality of some of their products. Oh and the woman of course.


Wegman's is interesting because their generic store brand is usually cheap, often cheaper than Walmart. So if you go and are disciplined you can save money. But the store is laid out so as to prevent you from being discipline. Quite brilliant, really.
This is pretty much us too  
RinR : 8/9/2017 10:18 am : link
In comment 13553681 FatMan in Charlotte said:
Quote:
Maybe I'm in the minority, but I shop at a variety of places. Local Farmers markets, Harris teeter, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Aldi (and soon Lidl), as well as BJ's. They all have strengths and weaknesses.


Except I went to Aldi's once and see no reason to go back. Havent been to the Lidl's just opened near us but will check it out soon.

As for WF, there seafood dept is outstanding. Both in quality and variety. But you get what you pay for.

And they really dont compete with TJ. Aside from produce and wine (and WF is much better for that), there is very little overlap.
RE: I don't really get why..  
Deej : 8/9/2017 10:23 am : link
In comment 13553681 FatMan in Charlotte said:
Quote:

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I shop at a variety of places. Local Farmers markets, Harris teeter, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Aldi (and soon Lidl), as well as BJ's. They all have strengths and weaknesses.


Me too. That way I get exactly what I want.
RE: ^ It actually really is a great place to meet women, Dive  
Bill in UT : 8/9/2017 10:30 am : link
In comment 13553462 Overseer said:
Quote:
Lots of good looking chicks shop there (think Julie Bowen in Weeds) and it's pretty easy to strike up a conversation without being creepy:

"Scuse me, have you ever tried this brand before? Any idea if it's good?"



Yeah, but then you end up with a chick who shops at Whole Foods
Capital Region, NY  
Bill L : 8/9/2017 10:38 am : link
Sucks.

No Wegmans

No Costco.

Both threaten to come; neither delivers.
I can honestly say I rely on Costco for so much of what I buy  
jcn56 : 8/9/2017 10:57 am : link
on a yearly basis that not having one nearby would be a dealbreaker if I had to relocate.
RE: It's both...  
Rover : 8/9/2017 11:14 am : link
In comment 13553412 Chris in Philly said:
Quote:
They have very good prepared foods, cheeses, produce, etc. The one by me has a great beer selection. You shouldn't go there to buy cheerios and dish soap. But it's good for certain things. Like Trader Joe's.

Agreed.
I go there for theier deli meat.
It is THE best.
It puts Boar's Head to shame.
I get the Applegate Lemon Rosemary; I swear it is so good, I have it at breakfast like I would with bacon.
RE: I don't really get why..  
Greg from LI : 8/9/2017 11:14 am : link
In comment 13553681 FatMan in Charlotte said:
Quote:
Maybe I'm in the minority, but I shop at a variety of places. Local Farmers markets, Harris teeter, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Aldi (and soon Lidl), as well as BJ's. They all have strengths and weaknesses.


Same here. If I can get something at Aldi, I'll get it there. Staples like ketchup, mayo, cooking oil, salt and pepper, etc. I'll buy some meats there, others not so much. Same with produce. Can't buy everything there, so I go to Kroger for other things. If I want baked goods or other prepared foods, I'll go to Publix now that we have one. Tom Leonard's Farmers Market (people in CT may be customer of his dad, Stew Leonard's) is great for produce and deli meats - they sell only Boars Head and everything is $6.99/lb.
RE: RE: ^ It actually really is a great place to meet women, Dive  
Dunedin81 : 8/9/2017 11:36 am : link
In comment 13553709 Bill in UT said:
Quote:
In comment 13553462 Overseer said:


Quote:


Lots of good looking chicks shop there (think Julie Bowen in Weeds) and it's pretty easy to strike up a conversation without being creepy:

"Scuse me, have you ever tried this brand before? Any idea if it's good?"





Yeah, but then you end up with a chick who shops at Whole Foods


Only temporarily. Easy to lie your way to an exit. If they believe that organic red hibiscus root tea improves one's yoga posture for $16 a bag, they'll believe anything.
Went to one  
mitch300 : 8/9/2017 11:50 am : link
a couple years ago to see what all the fuss was about. I could not believe the prices. Ribeye steak was 21.99 a pound. You have got to be shitting me. No it was not wagu(SP?)
Either my tastes changed or  
Deej : 8/9/2017 12:12 pm : link
Boars Head changed recipes, but I dont like their meat products anymore. Particularly the Ovengold Turkey.
RE: Went to one  
Jim in Fairfax : 8/9/2017 12:33 pm : link
In comment 13553796 mitch300 said:
Quote:
a couple years ago to see what all the fuss was about. I could not believe the prices. Ribeye steak was 21.99 a pound. You have got to be shitting me. No it was not wagu(SP?)

Most beef at Whole Foods is grass raised and hormone free. It takes about twice as long to raise a calf to slaughter weight this way, thus the extra cost.
The two things..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 8/9/2017 12:58 pm : link
that I don't understand about the grocery prices down South vs. up North - Deli meat and milk are ridiculously priced.

Boar's Head is usually $8.99 a pound and up. Milk is usually $3.49 on sale.

The sad thing is I can go to a meat place or deli in my hometown in NY and get meat for half that - that is better quality. I can go to a dairy and get milk more cheaply.

Then again, it seems like most everything else is less expensive. Not sure why those two are out of line.
RE: The two things..  
Dunedin81 : 8/9/2017 1:02 pm : link
In comment 13553875 FatMan in Charlotte said:
Quote:
that I don't understand about the grocery prices down South vs. up North - Deli meat and milk are ridiculously priced.

Boar's Head is usually $8.99 a pound and up. Milk is usually $3.49 on sale.

The sad thing is I can go to a meat place or deli in my hometown in NY and get meat for half that - that is better quality. I can go to a dairy and get milk more cheaply.

Then again, it seems like most everything else is less expensive. Not sure why those two are out of line.


Skim milk is $2.10-$2.60 a bottle here, Walmart or Wegmans. IDK why yours is higher.
We buy whole milk for $2.60 a gallon  
Greg from LI : 8/9/2017 1:07 pm : link
Skim milk is around 2 bucks.

Boars Head is usually 10 bucks except at Tom Leonard's, though.
New Wegmans opening in Montvale  
NNJ Tom : 8/9/2017 2:33 pm : link
You won't be able to get near it until 10 PM. The traffic is going to be ridiculous.

I like the small Kings in Ridgewood. I can get everything I need and not walk 2 miles in the process.

Only place I can get milk  
pjcas18 : 8/9/2017 2:37 pm : link
for under $3 per half gallon is at BJ's.

They sell Land O'Lakes milk for $2.50 per half gallon.

I'm not walking in to BJ's for milk. When I go though I always pick up a half gallon.

I usually buy almond milk anyway now, I like it better. Sometimes we'll get regular milk, but only on occasion.
False dichotomy. It is both awesome and pretentious BS.  
Heisenberg : 8/9/2017 2:42 pm : link
.
RE: False dichotomy. It is both awesome and pretentious BS.  
short lease : 8/10/2017 11:05 pm : link
In comment 13554043 Heisenberg said:
Quote:
.


... and over priced (imo). "Whole paycheck" is what I have heard them called. However, there is 1 about 1 block from my house. It's proximity is enough of a lure to get me in there at least once a week for certain stuff - prepared foods etc ...(aka dinner). I don't think I would ever use a shopping cart in there though.
Wonder what Bezos is going to do to it?  
short lease : 8/10/2017 11:14 pm : link
Like I said there is 1 very close by to my house and it has been there for at least 25 years. I'm wondering if there will be a complete facelift or business as usual?

not at all a fan  
well...bye TC : 8/11/2017 9:22 am : link
Trader Joes for packaged and Fairway and local farmers mkt for produce.
RE: not at all a fan  
Mike in Long Beach : 8/11/2017 10:28 am : link
In comment 13555799 well...bye TC said:
Quote:
Trader Joes for packaged and Fairway and local farmers mkt for produce.


Glad I scrolled to the end. Game, set, match.

Save your money.
RE: RE: not at all a fan  
Jim in Fairfax : 8/11/2017 11:43 am : link
In comment 13555923 Mike in Long Beach said:
Quote:
In comment 13555799 well...bye TC said:


Quote:


Trader Joes for packaged and Fairway and local farmers mkt for produce.



Glad I scrolled to the end. Game, set, match.

Save your money.


Good for you, but many don't have those options. Fairway is only available to a few areas near NYC. Trader Joe's is available to more, but is a destination trip that's not always convenient and they have a limited selection. Farmers markets are great, but they have a limited season and limited tines that don't work for everyone.
Fak you Whole foods  
bigschott : 8/11/2017 4:45 pm : link
Trader Joe's all day...
RE: False dichotomy. It is both awesome and pretentious BS.  
Mike from SI : 8/11/2017 4:49 pm : link
In comment 13554043 Heisenberg said:
Quote:
.


This is the correct take. Also, the Whole Foods in TriBeCa has a ton of talent. And a decent beer selection.
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