The Reckoner!

Trader Joe's vs Whole Foods!

Everyone's got their supermarket (or if they live in a city, their 5-6 smaller places they go to collect their groceries). But I would argue that there are two alternative chain grocery stores fighting for dominance in the hearts of hipsters and yuppies everywhere.

I mean, of course, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

Now, they technically have differing areas of specialization: Trader Joe promises to cut out the middle man and sell you groceries (especially staple items and frozen foods) cheaply. They are constantly expanding their offerings and make a careful effort to bring in internationally inspired options. There are very few brand names in the store, and he seems to have a network of like-minded pals: Trader Jose, Trader Giotto, and, of course, Trader Ming. For the price you pay, the quality can't be beat (with the exception of the fresh produce which varies a lot in quality). They have great prices on meats, deli, and especially frozen fish, but there are no individual counters and everything comes pre-packaged.

Then there's Whole Foods (and it's store brand 365), which specializes in organic, green, crunchy fare. Their produce looks great and they've got meat, fish, deli, bakery, and cheese counters, all of which allow you to pick your portions and get service. Their prepared food made by chefs everyday are a lunchtime favorite. Not to mention the salad bar. Things are a little pricier here, but what you lose in quantity, some argue, you make up for in quality. 

Now I, like many of you I'm sure, go to both of these alternative grocers regularly: Trader Joe for staples and Whole Foods for produce. But if I had to give one them up, I know damn sure which one I'd want to stay in my city, and I think chances are, you know in your heart too. 

Sorry, I know Wegman's is a paradise on earth, but you'll have to extoll it's virtues in the comments section.

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Trader Joe's
Whole Foods
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Reckoning Comments!

Fresh produce and swell and all, but Trade Joe's is bachelor heaven.  Decent frozen food for peanuts?  Things that seem classy but actually come out of a box?  Joe's O's of all sizes and stripes?  Sign me up!

Granted, Whole Foods does the fresh produce thing better.  But the dry-goods aisle is a dead-zone, filled with crunchy non-entity brands trying to trick you into eating things that look like the output of a wood chipper.  That may be exactly what a hacky stand-up comedian would say about Whole Foods, but it doesn't mean it isn't true.

Fairway pwnage.

As someone who values fresh, organic or locally farmed produce above all, I chose Wholefoods (I shop at the one in Cherry Hill often). We don't get very fresh (organic) produce in these here parts, and I'm addicted to the place.

Even though they've buckeled under to the pressure of selling genetically modified produce and products, it's up to the shopper to be knowledgeable and choose accordingly. 



The Reckoner!