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5 things: Here's who's doing supermarket 'luxury'

5 things you may have missed in grocery.

In the lap of supermarket luxury: For many consumers, the current high prices make grocery shopping painful. But at certain retailers, the experience is something to behold, according to GOBankingRates. The personal finance website named Whole Foods Market, Erewhon, Harris Teeter, PCC Community Markets and Wegmans Food Markets as the “5 Most Luxurious Grocery Stores in the U.S.” Common qualities include better-for-you products (especially organic), food for special diets, focuses on health and wellness and sustainability and high-quality offerings. Wegmans, considered a community asset in the areas it serves, also earned kudos for its open-air market feel, “incredible” food displays, foodservice and in-store dining. —Russell Redman

It’s only a discount until it isn’t: High inflation has seen consumers turning to private label and discount, but now it appears even discount prices are on the rise. According to CBS, new data indicates that overall prices at ALDI for instance are up nearly 17%. At Dollar General, it’s an almost 24% increase. The chief economist behind the data says this: “Once you’re a low income consumer, you are already at the cheapest place that you can possibly buy food. And that just means that these stores have more pricing power.” Some, like the Southeastern grocer Food Lion, are leaning hard into savings, loyalty, and adding more private-brand products to fight the inflation sting. –Chloe Riley

Online grocery sales outlook — Strong and steady: “Digital grocery may no longer be a pandemic-era necessity, but a rising number of U.S. consumers continue to make it a habit,” eMarketer observed recently. “While much of the sales growth in 2022 can be attributed to inflation, long-term gains will be sustained by consumers spending more of their overall grocery dollars online. EMarketer pegs U.S. digital grocery sales to grow in the mid-teens annually from this year through 2026. Online grocery sales overall are projected to climb by 15.8% in 2022 to $140.19 billion and by 14.8% to $160.91 billion next year, reaching $235.86 billion in 2026 under an average annual growth rate of 15.1% over the five years. –RR

7-Eleven Crocs? Yep, that’s a thing: In a partnership with Crocs, the Dallas-headquartered convenience store has rolled out three limited edition shoes, complete with custom charms like a Slurpee and a big Bite Hot Dog. Cute. But also clever. 7-Eleven knows how to speak the language of its social audiences. The crocs were announced Sept. 20 on Instagram and the first window for fans to put their name in the hat to land a pair has already passed — a post from Friday indicating another drop coming in November already has over 11,000 likes. Also, it’s just on brand. What are Crocs if nothing but convenient? –CR

A new Whole Foods ‘Ritual’: If you’re a 30-something woman on Instagram, odds are good that you’ve been shown an ad for Ritual, a multivitamin and supplement company all about transparency and traceability. Whole Foods must have seen that ad too: the company is now stocking the product on its shelves — and will be Ritual’s exclusive retailer. Wellness abounds lately at Whole Foods. At a panel on wellness at the recent Groceryshop industry convention, a Whole Foods VP talked about the winners of the company’s new accelerator program: a plant-based jerky company, another company that makes plant-based skincare. The moderator of that panel broke it down even further. To reach health conscious consumers you need three things, she said. Innovation, digital marketing, and most importantly? Trust. –CR

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