Sunday, November 12, 2006

In my next life I should design grocery stores

Is being able to purchase decent organic produce, specialty flours and grains, and Diet Coke all in the same location too much to ask? Because it seems to be all or nothing. I can head to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's to buy the organic stuff and the funky flours and the soybean butter, or I can head to the regular grocery store and buy Diet Coke and other crappy food. I can't be the ONLY health conscious consumer who makes an exception for Diet Coke, right?

In case you couldn't guess, the new best thing to hit the grocery store scene in my neck of the woods was a serious disappointment. Rebecca, when you get back there is NO NEED to ever set foot in the place. Even if they send you $5 off your order coupons. The aisles are narrow, narrow, narrow, the food is very oddly placed (baby food and the Mexican selections side by side. It never would occur to me to look in the baby aisle for salsa.) It took me 45 minutes to get out of the produce section because they made you walk all the way around each section to find the produce bags. It was like they took every single rule of how to get the consumer to buy more and implemented them times seven. Candy in the cold cereal aisle. Chips in the paper towels aisle. Bread right next to the cookie selections. It was so blatantly obvious that I refused to buy many things on principle.

I recognize that I am a picky grocery shopper. Not everyone needs to buy organic rye flour and soybean butter on a weekly basis. And not everyone insists on buying low-sodium everything because they can't stand the taste of salt. But can't someone make a few concessions? Like offering up a low-sodium option on a few choice items, like vegetable broth and canned beans?

Sigh. I had such high hopes for the new store. And there wasn't even a shrink wrap chicken in sight.