The other day I was cycling up by Londonderry (attending a meeting) and I was early so I thought I would head over to Superstore to do some price comparisons. Why Superstore? Well a lot of people shop at Superstore and many of the natural/organic shoppers do as well. I assume that a lot of them shop there because of convenience and they assume that they are getting the best deal.
This would be a good assumption to make so I thought I would test it. I had a limited time there so just quickly started writing down random items that I knew we carried. Most were exactly the same brands with the exception of the coffee (we roast our own Fair Trade Certified Organic and we could not provide a price comparison with the Nut’s To You nut butters since the ones they offer are not the organic line – only ‘natural’). I was quite surprised that we were even less than they were on 2% milk (President Choice Organic milk versus Vital Green non-homogenized milk).
There did not seem to be a pattern of who had the better price per specific categories – IE Amy’s pizza and burritos EXCEPT when it came to bulk. Earth’s General Store most definitely had the better prices when it came to organic bulk prices. Our offering is MUCH better than theirs (they only had a handful of bulk containers) and we had stock in ours (each time I have been to Superstore their organic bulk bins of rice, oatmeal, and other items have been mostly empty.
So here is the list of items that I listed on my visit to the Superstore off 50th street and 137th Avenue on June 4th, 2013.
|Amy’s||Pizza – Margherita||$12.99||$10.75|
|Amy’s||Burrito – Black Bean||$2.97||$3.39|
|Bob’s Red Mill||Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal||$4.49||$4.19|
|BULK||Short Grain Brown Rice||Per 100gm||$0.69||$0.46|
|BULK||Basmati Brown Rice||Per 100gm||$0.79||$0.59|
|BULK||Quinoa White||Per 100gm||$1.00||$0.77|
|BULK||Oats – Slow/Regular||Per 100gm||$0.39||$0.35|
|BULK||Sunflower seeds – Hulled||Per 100gm||$0.99||$0.74|
|BULK||Raisin – Thompson||Per 100gm||$0.74||$0.68|
|BULK||Cranberries – sugar sweetened||Per 100gm||$2.19||$1.48|
|Coco Libre||Coconut Water||1L||$4.99||$5.19|
|Fresh Produce||Bananas||per kilo||$0.87||$0.99|
|Fresh Produce||Tomatoes – Roma||454gm||$2.98||$2.29|
|Plastic Clam Shell excess packaging @ SS|
|Kicking Horse Coffee||Fair Trade Organic||454gm||$16.99||$12.50|
|Manitoba Hemp||Beverage – Hemp Bliss||946mL||$4.49||$4.50|
|Mrs. Leepers||Pasta Corn Elbows||$4.99||$4.10|
|Nature’s Path||Cereal – Heritage Flakes||$9.49||$10.39|
|Nut’s to You||Peanut Butter||They don’t carry Organic – only "Natural"|
|President Choice||Milk 2% Homogenized||2L||$5.99||$5.85|
|Silver Hills||Mack’s Flax||$4.29||$5.29|
|Simply Natural||Salad Dressing||$3.49||$3.79|
|Tofurkey||Sausage – Italian||$5.99||$4.95|
|Udi’s Gluten Free||White Bread Loaf||$5.99||$6.95|
|Wholesome Sweetener||Agave Org||900mL||$13.99||$13.39|
- Notes – their Roma tomatoes were packed in a plastic clamshell container (about 6 tomatoes in the container at 454gm). We sell or Roma tomatoes in bulk and so I priced it out for 454gm.
- Bulk Items – Superstore and many other stores price their bulk items per 100gm – this gives a person an impression that they are inexpensive. At Earth’s General Store we price almost al of our bulk items per kilogram even when that seems kind of ludicrous (some items a 400-500 dollars per kilo). Really – who buys 100gm of oats, rice or flour? If this comparison was based solely on the bulk organic items then we would be priced 25% LOWER than Superstore. For bulk items we ask that you bring in your own containers/bags (we charge 5cents per bag to encourage you to bring in your own) – even still we would be less.
- If a person wants to save a little bit more we do offer a bulk purchase discount. When you purchase a whole back or box of something you get a 5% discount.
And possibly more important than lower prices – when you spend your money at a local independent store more money stays in the local economy rather than being shipped away to corporate head quarters and shareholders.
As a consumer, you have to decide where you want to spend your money. You could pick up some items at the farmer’s market, some items at Superstore, some items at Earth’s General Store, some other store OR you can decide you are going to buy everything in one place to save time. No matter where you spend your money there will always be somewhere else that has some of the items in your cart for less.