Consumers like price comparisons of supermarkets. Which grocery store costs less: Cub or Hy-Vee? Target or Walmart? Lunds/Byerlys or Kowalski's?
KARE 11 did a small price comparison over the weekend on about a dozen items for a Thanksgiving dinner. They saw an ad from Walmart saying that it could feed a group of 10 for $33.83, about $15 less than the national average. So they took Walmart to the test and then price shopped Cub, Hy-Vee, Target and Lunds/Byerlys against Walmart.
They went to each store and shopped for the cheapest version found on the shelf for a 16 lb. turkey, stuffing, cranberries, veggies, sweet potatoes, and fixings for pumpkin pie. Who won this survey? Most Twin Cities shoppers can easily guess the results so let's make it a challenge. Put these 5 local supermarkets in order from least to most expensive in 10 seconds: Cub, Hy-Vee, Lunds/Byerlys, Target, Walmart. Results near the bottom of the post.
The surprising thing about the survey isn't which retailer was lowest or highest--it's that Walmart's total in the Twin Cities was $37, nearly 10% higher than Walmart's $34 estimate. Here's Walmart's shopping list that KARE duplicated:
- Frozen Self-Basting Young Tom Turkey [16lbs]
- Fresh Cranberries [1lb]
- Fresh Sweet Potatoes [3lb]
- Fresh Carrots [1lb]
- Fresh Celery [1 bunch]
- Frozen Green Peas [two 10oz bags]
- Frozen Green Beans [two 10oz bags]
- 9” Frozen Pie Shells [2 per package]
- Cube Stuffing, Herb Seasoned [14oz]
- Dinner Rolls [1 dozen]
- Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix [30 oz can]
- Whole Milk [1 gallon]
- Whipping Cream [1/2 pint]
Here are the totals from low to high:
Lunds & Byerlys: $48.25.
What can we take from this? First, that Walmart's prices in the Twin Cities may be higher than in other parts of the country. Second. Lunds & Byerly's prices are lower than the national average. Walmart estimated that its prices of $33.83 are lower than the national average of $48.90. Lunds/Byerlys came in below that.
Maybe next year Aldi will do its own price comparison with Walmart. Past price surveys from the nonprofit consumer agency Checkbook have shown Aldi to be almost 30% less than Walmart when using private label products.
The takeaway for all of us in this lesson is being able to feed 10 people a Thanksgiving feast for about $40! That's something to be thankful for, especially to the nation's farmers.