Gourmet Grocers Losing Their Edge

March 18th, 2020

Supermarket chains and discounters are selling more natural and organic foods at lower prices


 Today’s blog is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Assistant it SafeSourcing.

 Supermarket chains and discounters are selling more natural and organic foods at lower prices, drawing more traffic from shoppers that frequented specialty grocers. Kroger recently announced they are one of the largest sellers of organic produce, meat and other goods, while discounters such as Audi and Lidl are adding much more fresh foods and opening more US locations. Since Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, the grocer has cut prices on hundreds of items, including organic produce. As a result of these changes, specialty stores are finding it difficult to keep up. In recent weeks Earth Fare and Lucky’s Market have filed for bankruptcy. Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. shares are down about 30% and 50% over the past year. What seemed special ten years ago, doesn’t seem so special today.

There are some specialty grocers emphasizing better services to stand out, but offering better services can push up costs.

“Some executives said Whole Foods became a tougher rival after the chain started offering rapid delivery via Amazon. Green Aisle Grocery closed its two Philadelphia stores in January after sales decreased 30% over the past two years, co-owner Andrew Erace said.”1. Erace indicated that his business could not compete, nor did they have the resources to upgrade their technology.

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Jaewon Kangaroo, WSJ, 3/2/2020



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