Open Letter to Econofoods (and all of Walmart’s competition)

I think you are missing bet in the competition for grocery business in southeastern Minnesota. My local store doesn't appear to either know there are local farm suppliers for apples, eggs, meat, and other staples, but seems to be dumping the few local food sources they recognized; like Sturdiwheat. I live on the west end of town and my closest grocery is the Tyler Road Econo Foods, but right up the hill is Walmart with most of the same groceries slightly to substantially cheaper. 

Since an actual local grocery, Buchanan Grocery, stocks local products, including Wisconsin and Minnesota cheese, Sturdiwheat products, Pepin Heights apples and cider, and other locally grown products, I am starting my grocery runs there. The way back first takes me past Walmart then our Econo Foods store.

There is no convenience advantage to spending more money at Econofoods and without a local food motivation you've made it difficult for me to follow my natural opposition to shopping at Walmarts. I think someone in marketing needs to get fired and whoever is making the distribution decisions should be next.

In the battle for grocery customers, it’s pretty amazing to see that a small, sort-of-locally-owned chain would be so clueless about locally produced food. The Econo Foods' website makes the claim, "We offer a full service grocery store and take pride in carefully selecting the best meats and hand picked produce from local farmers." The reality is that most of the products that could be sourced locally come from Michigan and the Kroger Company distributors: including apples and other seasonally available fruits and vegetables, apple cider, cheese, milk, eggs, meat, grains and flour, and, as I mentioned in my letter, Sturdiwheat products. I am willing to pay a reasonable premium for locally grown foods and a smaller price to avoid shopping at Walmart, but if the so-called local store is no more willing to buy locally produced foods than Walmart, why would I care which one gets my money? I’m just sayin’.

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