Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weekend Blog Assignment #8: Makin' Groceries

For this assignment, I decided it would be most interesting to visit two grocery establishments that serve the community in a similar, but very different, way.  The two stores I chose were Whole Foods Market and Winn Dixie.  Both of these businesses are super market chains that aim to provide the majority of grocery and household needs in one place.  However, they have two extremely different cliental demographics.  Whole Foods is known for being expensive, often labelled "Whole Pay Check" as a joke. Winn Dixie on the other hand is known as being the more casual, less expensive grocery store.

One of the more interesting things I discovered was that the price difference was not quite what I was expecting.  Whole Foods' "conventional" ground beef was only 40 cents more per pound than the ground beef offered at Winn Dixie.  In addition, many of the organic or "specialty" items at Winn Dixie were actually more expensive then the same items at Whole Foods.  However, one thing that would set Winn Dixie apart from Whole Foods in the meat department is the fact that they offer a plethora of "buy one get one free" sales with the use of a Winn Dixie card.

On the topic of atmosphere, Whole Foods has Winn Dixie completely blown out of the water.  Winn Dixie has disgusting fluorescent lighting that made me confused on whether or not I was having a nightmare or had accidentally ingested LSD.  The lighting made everything less appealing and was especially good at highlighting the equally disgusting flooring.  In addition, the aisles at Winn Dixie are all completely identical and monotone.  For being a place that feeds people and gives life, it sure felt a lot like death.  Whole Foods, on the other hand, is somewhere in between art museum and farmer's market.  The lighting is soft and relaxing; the produce is vibrant and inviting; and the flooring has an "Old New Orleans" feel to it.  Even though I obviously disliked my experience at Winn Dixie, I can't honestly say which store is "better". They both serve a purpose; they both have their pros and cons; and they both are considered community establishments.
                                  Winn-Dixie                          Vs.                   Whole Foods

Finally, the last thing I visited in each store was the salad bar.  I chose to take a look at the salad bar because I feel like the freshness/turnover rate of the vegetables might be an indication of how much care is actually put into the appearance of each store.  Winn Dixie had a much smaller salad bar that only offered the bare essentials of a salad such as lettuce, tomato, cucumber, peppers, cheese, and chicken.  Whole Foods had a massive salad bar with an extensive variety of vegetables as well as finer cheeses, nuts, and berries.  

Winn Dixie                                          Vs.              Whole Foods

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