Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cheers to Target on its Grocery Revamp

As you may have read, Target has announced that it will shift its grocery offerings to minimize it's reliance on packaged foods from large conglomerates toward a mix of fresher foods from smaller manufacturers and providers.  The move is said to be undertaken to allow Target to better compete with Whole Foods, which is a smart business choice.  After all, the customer base of Target, who often jokingly refer to the store with the French pronunciation "Tar-zhey," are more likely to do their grocery shopping at the affluent consumer destination like Whole Foods and even Costco than they are big box stores like Wal-Mart.

This is good news, though, for those of us hoping to influence food production with our food dollars. I know I cannot generalize from just my own area, but our suburb has seen the opening of several organic and fresh food-focused grocery stores in just the past year.  Adding Target to the mix of options for those of us wanting more control over what we consume is another triumph.

Of course, it still pays to read labels and do your homework.  We try to buy as many organic and local options as possible.  But, in the past six months alone, I have seen an influx of organic blueberries available in our area grocery stores where before I didn't even know if it was possible to grow blueberries organically on a large scale.  And I have seen several signs on traditional brands committing to no GMO ingredients and no HFCS.  Those are major wins for our health.

Although large grocery and store chains still have the problems of large distribution networks to deal with, it is nice to see them committing to providing better, more local, and more sustainable options.  I'll be looking more favorably at the Target grocery section from now on, and I hope you also support these stores taking positive steps toward making safer and healthier food available for everyone.
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