As I sit down to sift through the weekly saving offers from Pathmark, Key Food, MetFoods and other nearby grocery chains, I can’t help but think how differently grocery chains are operated in India – the country of my origin. Of course, the end goal of grocery chains in both countries remains the same – best price purchase for consumers, and maximum sale for the store, but approach and execution is what makes grocery chains experience in the US more successful as compared to India. The category of supermarkets varies in India, as it does in the US. Big Bazaar, SRS Value Bazaar, RelianceFresh, Apna Bazaar and More are the Indian equivalents to Wal-mart, Kmart, Target, Pathmark and Trader Joes.
Although the supermarket culture is growing steady in India, the traditional way of shopping i.e., visiting local shops, still dominates the market. This can be attributed to habit as well as convenience. Local shops stock all necessity products, and are easy to access whereas making a trip to the supermarket chain requires advance planning, clear schedule and the availability of transport. People, in general, prefer to purchase need based items from local shops even if it means spending a few more dollars out sheer convenience.
The glaring difference between the grocery chains in India and the United States, however, is the organization and management of the weekly offers. In the US consumer convenience is priority. I, as a consumer, have the option of visiting the grocery store to view the deals, or get the weekly mailer delivered to my home, or opt for a weekly email, or check the offers on the website. The grocery value stores in India unfortunately do not offer any of the above conveniences. The lack of the deals and discounts online, I believe, is a major setback for business. In addition to factoring in the above convenience, the websites should also incorporate elements of interactivity with viewers by adding relevant content. KeyFoods, for example, lists recipes and also allows users to buy the recipe ingredients online on the same page!
Since that is off my chest, let me tell you of the incredible offer at Pathmark. Four pound Domino Sugar (Premium, Pure Care, Granulated) for $1.68 with card. Unfortunately, I only could get to Pathmark yesterday late evening, and by then the sugar was sold out!
However Birds Eye Select Boxed Vegetable is still in stock – 98 cents for a 10 oz packet. And, it is worth every cent. Coming up in my next blog is a recipe for ‘Chicken and Broccoli in White Sauce’, using Birds Eye Broccoli, and of courses a few other ingredients! Do you have a trademark recipe made from frozen vegetable? I’m all ears…