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5 things: The grocery store that never was

Here’s 5 things you may have missed in grocery

The phantom grocery store: Last month, a video was posted on TikTok — a walkthrough of a new Erewhon store in Brooklyn. Only…the whole thing was a fake. Erewhon, the trendy L.A. organic grocer, has no such New York store. Instead, most of the video was of a City Fresh Market. A manager at City Fresh wasn’t having it. “I didn’t take it as a joke,” she told the New York Times. She also attempted to have the TikTok post removed from the platform, but so far has been unsuccessful. Since it was posted the video, which was also shared on Instagram, has received more than 1.1 million views on that platform and more than 600,000 views on TikTok. It’s viral, but it ain’t true. —Chloe Riley

You’re messin’ with the wrong muppet: You do not want to cheat the Cookie Monster. But evidently grocery didn’t get that memo. Cookie Monster took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to complain about how shrinkflation has reduced the size of his favorite chow down meal — cookies. “Me hate shrinkflation! Me cookies are getting smaller!” As a young boy who suffered from OCD, it always bothered me that none of the cookies actually made it into the monster’s mouth, but he seemed to thoroughly enjoy the meal so who am I to argue? President Joe Biden even gave Cookie Monster a blip of fame when he referred to the blue furry’s X page and said he was stunned to hear about the monster’s distress call. “C is for consumers getting ripped off,” the White House said in a response to Cookie Monster’s tweet, er, X. And S is for putting a stop to all this nonsense. —Bill Wilson

Shoppers go ga-ga for Trader Joe’s totes: Trader Joe’s is well-known for having devoted fans of some of its products (full disclosure: my freezer always has at least one bag of Mandarin Orange Chicken), but it appears that even its canvas tote bags have a following. The retailer recently rolled out a line of mini totes, which quickly became a social media sensation, according to the New York Times. The limited-edition, $2.99 bags, which can hold just a few small items and come in four colors, were selling out at Trader Joe’s stores around the country. One fan visited seven Trader Joe’s locations before he found a store that had them in stock, and some stores put purchase limits on the bags, according to reports. A quick browse on eBay found the totes listed for as much as $24.99 each — that’s a 733% markup, and the bags don’t even come with my favorite frozen dinner. —Mark Hamstra

The great condiment invasion: Food companies and restaurant chains alike are turning out a proliferation of condiments, both to the chagrin and delight of U.S. consumers. Kraft Heinz has launched at least a dozen new sauce-related products over the past year. PepsiCo released its bizarre soda-infused “Pepsi Colachup.” And it only gets crazier. At a Kansas City Chiefs football game, after someone tweeted: “Taylor Swift was eating a piece of chicken with ketchup and seemingly ranch!”...within days, Kraft Heinz was marketing a limited-edition bottle rebranding its existing “Kranch” sauce as “Ketchup and Seemingly Ranch.” Are we seemingly sauced out yet? It would seem the sky’s the limit. —CR

No member, no entry: Halt! Who goes there to eat the deliciousness that is the $1.50 Costco hot dog? If you want to enter the sacred space to enjoy the best grub in the country, thou must have-eth a membership card! That’s right, come April it looks like many locations will require an active Costco membership card to purchase items from its food courts. Some took to Reddit about the change, and some commented it has always been the policy that only members received the privilege of eating like a king at a price fit for a peasant. However, the rule is not always enforced. Costco has been cracking down on those who try to cheat the system. Now members have to show a form of ID when checking out, and soon they may have to scan member cards to get entry. Non-members: get your dogs while you can. —BW

Consumers are going gaga for condiments. Are you seeing these kind of sales in your own stores? Let us know in the comments below, or email the SN staff at [email protected]

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