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5 things: Whole Foods vs Wegmans

Here's 5 things you may have missed in grocery

Whole Foods vs Wegmans: Hey, someone needed to pit these two against one another, and someone did! Business Insider did a store-level comparison of the two grocery giants…and the clear winner? That is, according to the writer. Wegmans, hands down. The writer says the layout and larger footprint at store level are much more conducive to buying grocery necessities, with private label brands being more affordable, and overall just more space dedicated to non-specialty groceries. Plus, that prepared foods section! It’s hard to go wrong. —Chloe Riley

Payback from the pandemic: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service is funding a program that will provide a one-time $600 payment to frontline grocery store workers. Catholic Charities USA, one of the organizations handling applications, said the benefit, which also is available for workers in the meatpacking industry and frontline farmworkers, “is to help offset expenses and loss of income to this critical workforce that helped keep food on our tables during the pandemic.” Beneficiaries must have worked in the industries for a minimum of one day from Jan. 27, 2020, through the present. ‘Tis the season. —Richard Mitchell 

Costo considers raising its fees: Following in the footsteps of Sam’s Club, Amazon, and many streaming services, Costco’s chief financial officer said recently that the company will raise its membership fee. But CFO Richard Galanti remained elusive about exactly when that would be. Given the state of inflation and concerns around recession, he added that “there’s no rush” to raise the membership fee. Whenever it actually happens, the move will follow in the footsteps of Costco competitor Sam’s Club, which just raised its Club membership fee for the first time in nine years. —CR

The gift of holiday meal convenience: Recent data indicates consumers are seeking hybrid holiday meal solutions, combining scratch-made dishes and prepared foods to put a feast on the table with less time and effort. Retailers such as Metcalfe’s Market in Wisconsin recognize this, and are promoting meal components, rather than strictly focusing on ingredients or whole prepared dinners. The chain’s “Build Your Holiday Feast” promotion touts the ability for customers to mix-and-match and to shop for their meal components in-store, online or from a special “holiday buffet” Dec. 22-24. And, of course, being in Wisconsin, you can bet your boots they’re promoting lots of local cheese. —Mark Hamstra

A Kroger in Jersey? In an article titled, “Why There Will Probably Never Be A Kroger In New Jersey,” The Daily Meal goes on to talk about how there are exactly zero Krogers in the Garden State, and probably won’t be. Although the merger deal could easily change that. The biggest reason there haven’t been any to date? Steep competition. The state is always full of well known grocers and brands, like the food cooperative Wakefern, and Kroger just hasn’t stood a chance. But stay tuned…the tides are changing. —CR

Whole Foods vs Wegmans! What’s your gut reaction?? (And why!) Let us know in the comments below, or email your thoughts to SN Executive Editor Chloe Riley at [email protected].  

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