If you frequent this website you know that I shop mainly at natural markets like co-ops and Whole Foods. I stopped shopping at Trader Joes because of all the packaging and lacking organic options, though I do enjoy the occasional visit. However, these stores are all quite expensive due to their high quality offerings, and I realize that not everyone can afford to shop at them and may not have a location nearby. So I've decided to start visiting bigger chains with lower price points in search of healthy foods - focusing on vegan items of course.
This week I visited Foods Co. twice - it's owned by Kroger, which is a massive chain that also owns Ralphs and Fred Meyer (the latter two have a decent variety of healthy foods). Foods Co. is considered a "Price-Impact Warehouse Store" - they are quite big and have very low prices. At first glance, the healthy options look pretty grim. Sure, there's a huge produce section, but I didn't see a single organic item. Processed, salty, sugary foods dominated the aisles - all at great prices. I studied a few shopping carts and noticed a lot of canned foods, and I overheard a lot of talk about food costs/deals/coupons, which made me feel lucky to be able to afford organic.
Kroger as a company does support organic and natural companies, so in the midst of all the junk food I was able to find some good products:
There was a surprising amount of gluten-free and vegan foods, like Mary's Gone Crackers, Bob's Red Mill, Glutino, Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta, and Lundberg's Brown Rice Pasta.
The organic selection was weak, but I found some marinara sauce and frozen berries
Their non-dairy milk options were vast - several brands of soy, almond, and rice milks.
MorningStar, Boca and Gardenburger in the frozen aisle
Random things that happen to be vegan include bottle juices by Odwalla and Bolthouse Farms, Pop Chips (addictive!), Tapatío and Top Ramen (Oriental and Chili flavors). Of course various breads, pastas, tortillas, beans, rice, etc
The limited selection would prevent me from regularly shopping at Foods Co., but it's nice to know that there are some items I could buy if it was the only store around. Other Kroger stores like the Kroger Supermarket, Ralphs and Fred Meyer have much better organic and vegan selections, so I would recommend them if they're nearby you. Buying healthy foods from these stores is a way of voting with your dollar - show the big wigs that it's in demand!
Next stop on my grocery chain journey - Safeway! Stay tuned for that and feel free to suggest others.
Have you or do you shop at Kroger stores? If so, what healthy foods have you found? Share photos (link in a comment or post on Facebook)!
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Last modified on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 05:17