Food musings

3,287
723
Joined May 5, 2010
So, as you may know I'm a produce manager in a small rural grocery. With 46 years of cooking and being a Chef I can't help myself sometimes.

For instance, the other day I got in 25 Lbs. of Brussel Sprouts. I could immediately tell they were harvested from the bottom of the plant making them "mini" cabbages. They had a lot of leaves and stem still on them.
I decided to make a chart of how much waste I got when I cleaned them.
I tray my veggies, then wrap them in plastic, and weigh them. I cost most items 40% markup to cover the overhead, the tray, plastic, labor etc...
I went through the 25# in 3 days. I got 2 .5# of waste at $1.72 cost per pound. Retail is $2.89 a pound. Anyway, doing all the math, at the end, we made approximately $4.40 profit on that 25# box of product.
Markup in grocery stores is as small as a restaurants margins. Food for thought.
 
804
305
Joined Sep 17, 2018
Markup in grocery stores is as small as a restaurants margins. Food for thought.

Tell that to places like Wegmans and Whole foods lol. But yes, I would agree in a place like where you work the profit margin may not be as big, especially with fresh produce. It's hard enough to get people to buy fresh ingredients instead of frozen and charging an arm and a leg for it won't help. Some profit is better than none if you have to throw it away in the end.
 
102
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Joined Apr 26, 2012
Tell that to places like Wegmans and Whole foods lol.
I don't know Wegmans, but Whole Foods, if you notice, has a huge area where they sell prepared foods. Essentially, it is a buffet. It's like a restaurant in the store. These are unbelievably marked up and I am sure they must make tons of profit there. (Yes, I am also sure they have quite a bit of waste as well)

Also, their prices for the grocery items are all marked way up. The milk, for example, is a minimum $1 higher than any grocery store.

Whole Foods sells an image. They attract a certain clientele that want to feel spoiled and are willing to pay for it. (I do like their Parmigiano Reggiano. It's really good).

I don't know the numbers, but I am sure Whole Foods has a healthy profit margin.
 
804
305
Joined Sep 17, 2018
I don't know Wegmans, but Whole Foods, if you notice, has a huge area where they sell prepared foods. Essentially, it is a buffet. It's like a restaurant in the store. These are unbelievably marked up and I am sure they must make tons of profit there. (Yes, I am also sure they have quite a bit of waste as well)

Also, their prices for the grocery items are all marked way up. The milk, for example, is a minimum $1 higher than any grocery store.

Whole Foods sells an image. They attract a certain clientele that want to feel spoiled and are willing to pay for it. (I do like their Parmigiano Reggiano. It's really good).

I don't know the numbers, but I am sure Whole Foods has a healthy profit margin.
They are a giant grocery chain here up on the upper east coast. They have been slowly adding a lot of their own brand items or prepared items in a grab and go style for years now. Something may seem cheap but then you find out the price per pound of the prepared items are like $20+ a pound.
 
89
35
Joined Nov 9, 2020
I don't know Wegmans, but Whole Foods, if you notice, has a huge area where they sell prepared foods. Essentially, it is a buffet. It's like a restaurant in the store. These are unbelievably marked up and I am sure they must make tons of profit there. (Yes, I am also sure they have quite a bit of waste as well)

Also, their prices for the grocery items are all marked way up. The milk, for example, is a minimum $1 higher than any grocery store.

Whole Foods sells an image. They attract a certain clientele that want to feel spoiled and are willing to pay for it. (I do like their Parmigiano Reggiano. It's really good).

I don't know the numbers, but I am sure Whole Foods has a healthy profit margin.

They're huge out here on the left, er, west coast as well... they earned their nickname "Whole Paycheck Foods"... We used to live in Berkeley, then Oakalnd, and I still know people who use shopping there as a status symbol brag, when there are a lot of places locally that are as good or better...

Speaking of Berkeley - we had 2 local stores, one a small, local chain (Andronicos) that were somewhat pricey, but had very good quality... They also had a "deli section" that was really good, as well as a staff of meatcutters on call and would custom cut whatever you wanted if they didn't have it. Unfortunately they went belly-up, but they were usually always good. (I understand Safeway/Vons bought out the name and are bringing it back in some of their stores...).

The other one was "Berkeley Bowl", which I likened to a "combat shopping arena" - high prices, narrow aisles, so-so produce, and literally EVERYONE who shopped there was angry, uptight, and overly entitled... people would ram you with their shopping carts if you were in their way, shove you aside to stand in front of you, etc... The only way to survive was to squint your eyes, wear a psycho grin, and mumble to yourself just loud enough to keep people away... The only reason to go was they had a HUGE and DEEP selection of everything.

Ahhhh.... the good old days!
 

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