September 26, 2016

“We Are Local” Supermarket Score Card

Utah Stories puts the claims to the test. Who is really offering local products, and who is giving lip-service.

You hear it on the radio “we’re a local!” or “come and buy our fresh local produce”. Locally grown food is important to Utahns because when it is local, the dollars we spend go back into our local economy, and support local growers and businesses. But despite what you hear some grocery stores are doing much better at supporting local businesses than others. Here is a look at some of Utah’s biggest super markets and how well they do on providing local products.

To analyze and grade the grocery stores, we weighed the number and variety of local products carried; the origin, selection, and freshness of produce; the generic brand carried; the natural foods section, and the prices- especially for fresh produce, organic, and ‘natural foods.’ The staff and atmosphere of the stores also factored in slightly.

Whole Foods

Fresh Market

Bread Aspen Mills Bread Prairie Grain Bread Co., Clinton’s Health, Granny’s Delight
Dairy Drakes Dairy Goat Milk and Cheese, Beehive Cheese, Winder Milk Oakdell Eggs, Winder Milk, Shepherd’s Chevre
Meat Mostly from western USA Colisimo’s Sausage
“The Goods” Rico’s Tortillas, Sun Drenchers Raw Vegan Dressing, Z Pasta Co., and Agi’s Own Flaxseed Crackers, Pioneer Valley Jam, Miller’s honey Rico’s prepared foods, Chef Tom’s Garlic Spread, Red Barn Apple Cider, Windmill Farms Grain and Garden Jam, Park City Ice Water Co. (bagged water?)
Junk Food Cox honeyland Popcorn Some Dude’s Fry Sauce, Stephen’s Gourmet Fry Sauce, Farr better Ice Cream, Clover Club Chips, Park City Coffee Roaster

S
PACE

Smith’s

Harmon’s

Bread Prarie Grain Co. SLC, Clinton’s Health., Granny’s Delight Prairie Grain Co. and Clinton’s Health
Dairy Mountain Dairy Milk, Winder Milk, Red Rock Feta, Oakdell Eggs Beehive Cheese, Red Rock Goat Cheddar, Shepherd’s Chevre, Gossner Munster, Oakdell Eggs, Winder Milk, and Harmon’s Milk
Meat Mostly from western USA, Colisimo’s West Valley Utah Territory Meats- Roast Beef and Pastrami, Colisimo’s, Morgan Valley Lamb
“The 

Goods”

Probar, Cox’s Natural Honey, Miller’s creamy butter Lehi Roller Mills Bread Mix,
Junk 

Food

Some Dude’s fry sauce, Clover Club Chips Some Dude’s Fry Sauce, Farr Better Ice Cream, Clover Club Chips

To analyze and grade the grocery stores, we weighed the number and variety of local products carried; the origin, selection, and freshness of produce; the generic brand carried; the natural foods section, and the prices- especially for fresh produce, organic, and ‘natural foods.’ The staff and atmosphere of the stores also factored in slightly.

Grade

Store

Description

A Harmon’s Harmons carries the highest quality and largest selection of fresh local produce and products. Harmons is still a private company and they carry Utah’s largest assortment of locally made products in every category, They even carry local Bubble and Bee organic body products.
B+ Smith’s Has many local products but doesn’t advertise it as effectively as Whole Foods. Also has a huge “natural foods” section and locally prepared foods. The selection of produce is diverse and well-priced, and always fresh. Their produce is from the western region, and their generic brands are made by Kroger, headquartered in Ohio.
B- Fresh Market The quality and selection of the produce is excellent and mainly from the US, but only the country of origin is labeled. Carries the Western Family generic line along with Harmons. Carries the best Selection of snack foods and dry goods but some locations lack a meat counter.
C+ Whole Foods Whole Foods has many artisan products of Utah and tries to label throughout the store with “Whole Foods Supports Local Growers” signs. Their generic brand “365 Everyday” is distributed out of Austin, TX and their produce is labeled by State–mainly California, Colorado and then Mexico. Most of what they carry can be found elsewhere and for much cheaper.

*Edit*

We received the following update from Sondra Stephens of Whole Foods.  She wrote the following:

Good afternoon,

I wanted to write regarding your “We are Local” article in the July 2010 Utah Stories publication. Unfortunately, a number of Whole Foods Market’s local products are not listed in your article. Here is a complete list for your reference:

Grocery:

  • Anjo Nanny’s BBQ Sauce
  • Cox Honey
  • Miller’s Honey
  • CY’s Sauces & Seasonings
  • Dr. Grandma’s Pancake & Muffin Mixes
  • Laurie’s Buffalo Gourmet T. Chips & Salsa
  • Mount Olympus Waters Inc
  • Probar
  • Rico’s
  • Tom’s Gourmet Foods, LLC
  • Z Pasta
  • Drake’s
  • Winder Dairy
  • Oakdell Eggs
  • Applebeer
  • Kathy’s Krackers
  • Agi’s Raw
  • Pioneer Valley Jam
  • Seal Sama sauces
  • Sunnybay Marinade

Specialty (cheese, coffee, chocolate):

  • Beehive Cheese Co.
  • Shepherds Dairy Products
  • Amano Chocolates
  • Caffe Ibis

Bakery:

  • Aspen Mills
  • Crumb Brothers
  • Vosen’s
  • Red Rock Granola
  • Beverly Hills Bakery

Produce:

  • Wyomatoes – tomatoes, cucumbers
  • Adams Orchards – cherries, apples
  • Sunbridge Sprouts
  • Vetere Farms – melons
  • Sandhill Farms garlic

Whole Body:

  • Bubble & Bee
  • Botanica Apothecary
  • Sibu
  • Trace Minerals

Local is very important to our company and the Utah metro and we are continuing our efforts to grow our in-store local vendors.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Sondra Stephens
Store Marketing Specialist
Whole Foods Market Highland Drive