Monday, May 24, 2010

food lion vs kroger


back when we switched to organic foods, i searched high and low to find a "kid cereal" that was BHT/BHA free and also sans food dyes.  in particular, i was looking for one LIKE fruit loops.  one day on a trip to whole foods, i found three versions - i bought all three boxes and we taste tasted them.  anyway, cascadian farm fruitful o's was hands-down the winner. 

so, for quite some time now, i've been driving to whole foods once a week to buy two to three boxes of this cereal.  i haven't been able to find it around here.  not that i've searched that hard... but the stores i usually shop at (food lion, target, lowe's foods), they have cascadian farm brand cereal, just not that type of cereal.  (the purely o's and honey nut o's are also really good if you are looking for an organic version of cheerios or honey nut cheerios.)

SO, this past weekend, i drove to raleigh to buy more fruitful o's.  i got my reusable bags, walked in whole foods, went to the cereal isle, and began to search frantically for the cereal.  there was none on the shelf.  not only was there none, but there was not even a label for it!  customer service offered to order a case for me. 


our local food lion has a good organic section.  i've asked the store manager about carrying the FO's and they indicated that i needed to call corporate and make a request.  so, i did about a month ago (with my story about having to drive about an hour to whole foods to buy 2 to 3 boxes a week...).  so, not having a UPC, i called the store again (the local FL) to see if they have heard anything yet (the woman knows me by this point, i'm always requesting stuff for their organic section - of which nothing as been obtained yet.) she said she's not seen anything so to call corporate again.

so, first, i needed the UPC from the box.  since we were out, i had to call cascadian farms.  they were so helpful, they told me two krogers in raleigh that "supposedly" had the cereal.  of coarse, when i hung up with her, i called the closest kroger (in wake forest) to verify, she held 3 boxes for me (they were on sale), we loaded in the car, and i went to get them.  would you believe that i got the last 3 boxes - if she hadn't held them for me i wouldn't have gotten ANY???  they had 8 in stock when i called.  the check-out lady also gave me a rain-check so i can get more boxes at the sale price.  incidentally, kroger also has a pretty good "natural" section.  i may be back...  kroger also has kid-sized carts, which kendal and holly love. (well, they actually fought over who got to push it.  it was a little bit of drama.)

so i called food lion later in the afternoon (corporate) explaining that i'm requesting it AGAIN.  i further asked her what i had to do to get it on the shelf - like did i need to call every day and request it - and she said that it would depend on how many people called and requested it.  THEN i told her how whole foods offered to buy it by the case for me and, since i preferred to buy it by the box IN a store, the cascadian farm customer service line indicated that a kroger 3 miles away has the cereal on the shelf, which i verified by going there that morning and buying all they had on the shelf - which was 3 boxes and within 1 hour they had 8 boxes and i got the last 3 only because they held them for me.  i then told her that i preferred to do all my shopping in one store and that my mom always shopped at food lion and that i guess that is why i always preferred shopping at food lion.  AND, that i would hate to move my business over to kroger over a simple box of cereal.

she changed her tune really quick and decided to enter my call as a SEPARATE call/request.

so, i wonder if it will actually make a difference.  i still prefer shopping at FL. i will, however, use one evening to go to FL and then over to kroger and compare prices on their "natural foods" because, really, the bottom line is price, price, price.  i'm gonna shop at the store that has the cheapest prices.  they have the same brands of foods.  in the past, food lion has always won out on price.  so i wonder where i'll be shopping in the future!??  food lion or kroger!!!???!???!?!??!?

**disclaimer** walmart is excluded from the price comparison!  i will not shop at walmart except on a rare or desperate occasion (or by a lack of choice - you know, like when you live in washington and there isn't really any other choice). 


  1. nah, smart people in Washington shop at The Pig... ;) Although, when I actually do go grocery shopping, I've lately been splitting my trips between the FL closest to me (on the way to Bath), and the PW behind the office...

  2. The Wal Mart near Brier Creek is actually quite nice.

  3. After all the recent "incidents" at Targets (and that whole bathing suit episode), I'm thinking I might bag Target all together!



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