Would organic grocery stores do better if they were coupled with conventional food stores?


August 30, 2022

In 2020, Schnucks opened EatWell, a Schnucks health food store in Columbia, MO, with a focus on natural, organic, local and specialty products. Last week the company open a mini-Schnucks Express next door featuring many of the customer favorites available at traditional Schnucks stores throughout the Midwest.

The Schnucks Express occupies approximately 11,000 square feet of the 42,000 square foot building. It has its own entrance but is also accessible through the EatWell store. The average Schnucks is around 60,000 square feet.

“After listening to feedback from our customers, we’ve learned that they appreciate the natural and organic offerings available at EatWell, but also seek the convenience of conventional groceries,” said David Isinghood, senior manager of EatWell/ health and wellness at Schnucks. . “We invite our customers to stop by and view both the expanded selection of traditional customer favorites as well as the enhanced shopping experience of natural and Good For You items at EatWell/Schnucks Express.”

Americans’ appetite for natural and organic foods has grown steadily over the past few decades, but price has long been seen as a barrier, and many Americans retain a strong affinity for their favorite conventional foods.

A consumer reports investigation of 2,200 US consumers, taken in April, found that fruits and vegetables continued to be the dominant category where consumers were looking for organic options. When asked in which categories they buy food labeled “organic”, fruits and vegetables were cited by 62%, followed a distant second by eggs, 37%; meat and poultry, 35%; dairy products (i.e. milk, cheese, yogurt), 32%; packaged foods (i.e. cereals, pasta, rice), 20%; bread and other bakery products, 16% and frozen meals, 11%.

When asked to compare organic foods to conventional foods, organic foods received a favorable rating for being better at limit exposure to pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, their impact on the environment and the treatment of farm animals. However, 44% felt that organic food had about the same nutritional quality, compared to 41% who considered organic food to be better. When asked about taste, 52% consider organic to be about the same as conventional food, and 31% consider organic to taste better.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does Schnucks Express, which offers traditional favorites, complement the EatWell concept of Schnucks? What is the probability that the Schnucks Express/EatWell combination will be more successful than EatWell alone?


“Yes, the two should complement each other. Consumers are cross-shopping, visiting three to five stores per week depending on a variety of factors.”


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