business news in context, analysis with attitude

Yesterday we took note of a Wall Street Journal story about how GOP plans to cut funding for food stamps is of concern to retailers that get a lot of business who use the program.

One MNB reader wrote:

Kevin, as I have said before, the food stamp program is the biggest government handout by far to any industry. Ending it, or reducing it would substantially harm the majority of grocery stores in the US. I don’t understand why you would have a problem with this. Just last week you were worried about the influence the NRA has on the government. Aren’t you worried about the influence of the grocery lobby? Food kills far more people then guns, I would think you would be for better regulation.


On the subject of edible glitter in food, which now apparently is a thing, one MNB reader wrote:

Glitter savory food doesn’t sound like something I want to try. I know the glitter is not supposed to impart much flavor, but I find anything like this (including the edible photos) add an unpleasant taste to the product, it gives it an artificial something that I just don’t care for. I will pass.

From MNB reader Chris Utz:

Wouldn’t consume sprinkles…  With a possible exception made for Goldschlager.

On another subject, from another reader:

You expressed some skepticism that Aldi and Save-A-Lot could be a couple of the top scorers in the annual Temkin CX ratings (and that Whole Foods could score so poorly).

At least one plausible explanation is that some chains have a very clear value proposition and consistently deliver upon it. That Value Proposition isn't always based on (higher) price points and/or vast selection. These Temkin CX results are reasonably consistent over several annual iterations. (Please see attached). Scores of most chains are also fairly tightly grouped. I'll leave it up to the Temkin folks to explain the margin of error.

As it happens, Aldi has scored well in other customer-facing measures such as recent Net Promoter Score (while Whole Foods has fared poorly), American Customer Satisfaction Index and Consumer Reports.

And from another:

Your comment questioning the merits of a survey that would put Aldi as the #4 retailer deserves a response. As a food industry professional, the last half of a 40+ year tenure spent in grocery, I shop my local Aldi before my local Ahold and Wegman’s locations. Why? I know the Aldi products are the exact same quality as the other retailer’s private brands but at 20-30-even 50% less. The stores are smaller, and there is none of the nonsense around coupons, “special buys” or complicated pricing models. Just quality products at reasonable prices. Butter is butter, eggs are eggs, milk is milk. Why pay more just because you can? I can’t wait for Lidl to come to my area to continue to shake things up.
KC's View: