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Old 01-22-2018, 01:05 PM
 
13,714 posts, read 22,843,488 times
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If you look at the reaction that MOST Americans have had to European grocery stores, they have generally been pretty negative.

Carrefour - closed after opening four stores.
Tesco - shuttered Fresh and Easy
LIDL - Disappointing results in first few markets, reducing expansion plans


In Canada, Marks and Spencer closed down a decade ago.

ALDI has done pretty well BUT ... they still control less than 2% of the market share.



As for the article, I think that New York City stores with the real estate prices in the Metro are so atypical. However, when the media in this country is so based on both coasts, how can you really expect honest and balanced journalism since these fold NEVER get out to "flyover country."
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
As for the article, I think that New York City stores with the real estate prices in the Metro are so atypical. However, when the media in this country is so based on both coasts, how can you really expect honest and balanced journalism since these fold NEVER get out to "flyover country."
I don't think anyone expects the journalist to get out to "flyover country" for this type of story. Just get out of the City. Heck, they can hop on a train a couple hours in any direction (except east, of course) and get a more "typical" experience ... and be back the same day.
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Old 01-22-2018, 02:18 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,600 posts, read 51,826,099 times
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For me - compared to Germany - the US had too many choices. Yes, sorry, IMHO.
Now, to eliminate confusion - I am talking about big grocery chains, compared to chains in Germany but also the availability of smaller, specialty stores.
E.g. laundry detergent: several rows of it, same company, same size, different package, pretty much the same detergent. Till I learned to not pay any attention to it, I would spend hours trying to make sense of it. There is no sense. People make choice depending on price/size or brand they favor.
Same with shampoo and many other health/beauty products.
Produce - lets say apples: again too many kinds, most taste the same (actually have very little taste). Big box coffee or tea - a disgrace, if comes to quality/taste. Toast bread - different companies, same cardboard taste.
Not enough quality products, mainly because most Americans want big and cheap. Too much processed food - most grocery aisles are occupied by different brands of junk. Expensive juices and mineral water.

Seasonal products. Almost always available in the US. Not always ripe or tasty, because of the long storage in the warehouse coolers.
This is not the case in Germany, as produce is typically only available when it is in season. Germans love local, organic produce, and many Germans prefer to buy their produce at the local farmers market instead of a chain store.
The size: most everything is huge in the US. I saw apples the size of handball. Again - taste like a cardboard. Huge containers of many products, like made to feed family of 10. Probably contributing to waste.

I miss the quality, the food regulations and inspections, the abundance of healthy food.
Grocery prices in Germany are cheaper overall compared to the USA.

I like the shopping hours in the US. Got used to stores that are open 16-18 hrs. I also like the availability of free parking at the shopping stores.
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Old 01-22-2018, 02:48 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
9,495 posts, read 13,353,236 times
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What an idiotic comparison. The US store they chose sounds nothing like any store I've ever done my grocery shopping at, soft drinks and sunglasses at the front with produce section in the back? That's not typical!
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Old 01-22-2018, 03:14 PM
 
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US grocers just have too many choices with similar items. I find it frustrating and a waste of my time.

Maybe others see it as an opportunity to try 1 of 87 different kinds of mustard, I look at it as overwhelming and makes it harder to select a single item.

I recall about a year ago going into the store to buy a few items for the house sitter who was watching my place for a week while I was out of town. She wanted pancake mix. Something I really had never purchased so it was tough for me to even find the section in the store. I locate the pancake mixes and I swear there must have been 30-40 different kinds ! I could not believe it !!

Another is salad dressing ... are you serious ?? Do we really need 200 different choices ? I purchase refrigerated dressings so I do not have to walk down the aisle and be faced with a wall of 5000 bottles of salad dressing
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Old 01-22-2018, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Islip,NY
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Never shopped in a grocery store outside the USA or even been to a foreign country. My guess is the prices are higher outside the US for the typical stuff we buy here.
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
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Compared to the US, Danish grocery stores are much smaller (by law), closer to consumers, and offer less variety. There was a day in Denmark, 30-40 years ago, when there was only one brand of many products for sale and not many varieties of vegitables or fruit. That is improving for the better. But the regulated size of grocery stores plays a big role in this. Also, Denmark has nothing like Whole Foods/Amazon, a result of the way in which food is marketed in Denmark and the emphasis on the traditional, not very healthy (in some aspects), Danish diet and low price over food quality. that is primarily due to Danish food preferences and to excise taxes and VAT, which increase the cost of food.
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:49 PM
 
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I guess that is one thing I can really appreciate about US stores, and it is a recent thing, the large variety they offer in many stores. No longer is the selection between Kraft BBQ or Kraft BBQ Smoke flavor, now I have a large selection of different types of sauces; just a small example of the variety that is available. Love it.

I can find varieties of cheese, bread, beer, sauces of all sorts, deserts, grains, etc. I have never encountered such a wide variety of items in any store outside the US I have shopped in.
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Old 01-22-2018, 05:15 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
18,019 posts, read 17,167,297 times
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You can't generalize too much about US stores because there are so many regional chains. A chain that I shop at probably hasn't even been heard of in other US regions.

I enjoy grocery shopping in England. The stores are attractive, bright, and clean. I found a lot of reasonably priced organic foods and so much of the food is locally grown. When you drive around the country you always see cows and sheep--that probably accounts for the fresh meat. You see fields of produce and in the US you just don't see that very much because it's not usually grown locally, it's grown a thousand miles away and by the time it gets to where I live, it's on its way out.

I enjoyed knowing that the food quality was more closely regulated in England. They don't have hormones in their beef or antibiotics in their chicken. There didn't seem to be so many preservatives in the prepared foods. Even the chocolate tastes better because of the regulations against putting so much junk into the food.

Prices were cheaper in England for better quality food. Maybe my part of the US is just expensive for food but I loved buying food in England, getting better quality, and paying less for it.

On the road, I liked M&S Simply Food--it is brilliant! A tiny grocery store but I could find just about everything that I would get in one of the giant American stores. I liked getting a quinoa salad with lots of romaine and nuts--healthy and cheap, especially for roadside food.

I guess climate might account for some of our low quality food over here. Where I live you can't grow anything in winter. However, most of the small family farms have been destroyed anyway so it may be a moot point. I don't know how they do it in the UK but the minute you get out of the city, you are in the country, and farms abound.
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Old 01-22-2018, 05:33 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
18,019 posts, read 17,167,297 times
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Okay, now I've read the second article. I am not going to disable my ad blocker so that I can read the first one.

I agree 100%. The prices here are higher, the quality lower. And there is all kind of junk food and extra "stuff" that we don't want. Always some greedy corporation pushing "new" and bigger and better.

And the part about what you first encounter upon entering the store is spot on. When I enter my local grocery stores I see cheaply made donuts and cakes and pies--I wouldn't eat that junk because of the mile long list of ingredients, mostly artificial, including artificial colorings and flavorings. So that's about the last thing I would want to see upon entering a food store.

I've noticed that in the expensive stores over here (Whole Foods, which I can't even afford) you do see beautiful loaves of bread when you enter. You see nice fresh vegetables, cheeses too.

And another thing I forgot to mention is that we can barely get decent bread over here. It's soft and spongy. In England the bread is more like home baked.

We are starting to get Aldi and the prices are usually half of what our regular stores charge. HALF! If we get Lidi too, then maybe our food quality and our prices will get better.
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