Monday, January 17, 2011

New York Times: Drug Stores Move Into Food Selling

I’ve always been amazed at the range of packaged foodstuffs offered by drug stores like CVS, Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Now, according to an article in today’s New York Times, these stores (plus more diverse retailers like Target) are diving deeper into the food game by offering fresh(?) produce and specialty items.

"Walgreens is devoting up to 40 percent of the space in its redesigned stores to fresh and frozen groceries as a test to see how well food sells. It offers items like cut fruit or sushi in office locations, and staples like lettuce, bananas and meat elsewhere."
It’s an obvious money play, with the goal of getting more people into more stores more often. In addition to the quality issue (how good can lettuce at a Walgreens be?), I believe this move further downgrades food to just another disposable, no different than a razor or bar of soap.

And this comes at a time when the connection between what we eat and our health is making so much news. Drug store food shopping runs counter to the exploding number of farmers’ markets and the improving nature of school food being offered to our kids.

Sure, it may be convenient, but at what price to our physical and psychological well-being?

Click here to read the entire New York Times article.

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