If you’re a local supermarket chain, stocking your shelves with food and beverage products from the area should be a priority. Instead, it seems as if most retailers are intent on becoming a sales outlet for national brands. This makes good business sense, probably, especially when talking about price and volume. It seems consumers like those two qualities as well.
This is where things start to slip. As chains grow, they become regional, then national (as in the case of Safeway, Kroger and Wal-Mart, among others). Going local becomes even more difficult. But there are still a number of independent retailers out there who thrive in the face of this overpowering competition.
B&R Stores is one example of local connections in action. In the past week, the employee-owned, Lincoln, Neb.-based operator has added the Platte River Ranch Natural Angus Beef program, as well as dairy products from Prairieland Dairy, located in nearby Firth, Neb.
The beef program, debuting this month, features cuts from Greater Omaha Packing Company, Inc., the same local company that provides steaks to a number of top area restaurants. It’s 100% grain-fed beef, just the way Nebraskans like it. The photo above shows a couple of Platte River Ranch T-bone steaks looking good on the grill.
B&R customers are used to finding local foods in the stores they shop. Examples include hydroponically-grown Garden Fresh vegetables from O’Neill, Neb.; fresh steelhead trout from Blue Valley Aquaculture in Sutton, Neb.; pasta sauce from Valentino’s of Lincoln; meat seasonings from Misty’s Seasonings of Lincoln; and more.
Pat Raybould, president of B&R Stores, sums up the importance of selling local foods, especially now with the economy taking its toll throughout the country.
“More of each dollar you spend comes back into the community, and it’s better for the environment since the distance the food has to travel to get to your plate isn’t nearly as great,” he said. “Ultimately, you and your family will enjoy a better tasting, more nutritious meal that supports the local economy.”