grocery stores

Supermarkets and restaurants serve up more than 400 million pounds of food each year, but nearly a third of it never makes it to a stomach.

With consumers demanding large displays of unblemished, fresh produce, many retailers end up tossing a mountain of perfectly edible food. Despite efforts to cut down on all that waste, in the U.S., the consumer end of the food chain still accounts for the largest share. It comes down to shoppers demanding stocked shelves, buying too much and generally treating food as a renewable resource.

Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management has offered to buy Safeway, Inc., the nation's second-largest grocery chain, for a reported $9.4 billion. Cerberus plans to merge Safeway with another grocer, Albertson's.

"Safeway has been focused on better meeting shoppers' diverse needs through local, relevant assortment, an improved price/value proposition and a great shopping experience that has driven improved sales trends," Safeway CEO Robert Edwards said in a statement. "We are excited about continuing this momentum as a combined organization."

Grocery Unions Prep For Strike As Talks Heat Up

Oct 16, 2013
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

As they debate their contracts, grocery workers insist they’re serious about striking: Picket captains have been tapped at hundreds of stores throughout the region, and strike headquarters have popped up in five counties.

Pirate Joe's, the grocery store that made waves — and attracted a lawsuit — for selling Trader Joe's items in Canada, has won a battle in its legal fight with the supermarket chain. A U.S. district court judge has granted the Vancouver store's motion to dismiss a trademark infringement lawsuit.

After the lawsuit was filed, Pirate Joe's took on the name _Irate Joe's. The store's owner, Mike Hallatt, says he began his enterprise on a small scale last year, driving groceries across the border from Washington State to Vancouver. Trader Joe's does not operate any stores in Canada.

Grocery workers at QFC, Albertsons, Safeway and Fred Meyer have been in contract negotiations since March. Workers take issue with the grocery stores' current contract proposals: their lack of health care coverage, their holiday pay policy and stagnant wages.

The union member bargaining team has recommended a strike vote. The grocery unions, United Food Commercial Workers Local 21, Local 367 and the Teamsters Local 38 are holding strike authorization votes this week. David Hyde talks with UFCW Local 21 communications director Tom Geiger about the potential strike.

Michael Hallat

Unauthorized, unaffiliated and unafraid reads the sign outside of Michael Hallatt's store in Canada. He is the owner of Pirate Joe’s, a small reselling store in Vancouver, Canada, that sells, among other things, Trader Joe’s products. He began by buying items from a Trader Joe’s in Bellingham and trucking them across the border to stock his shelves.

When Trader Joe’s realized what Hallat was doing, they were not very pleased. Now Hallat is fighting a lawsuit filed by Trader Joe's while continuing to smuggle peanut butter-stuffed pretzels across the border. So how does a store like his operate? The pirate himself explains.

At $2.50 a pound, broccoli may seem too expensive. But cut the price by 25 percent, and our thinking about whether we should buy it may change.

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concludes that rebates on healthy food purchases lead to significant changes in what people put in their grocery carts.

How To Find A Food Desert Near You

Mar 13, 2013

Want to know where you can't buy fresh, healthful food? The USDA has the map for you.

The feds' new Food Access Research Atlas lets you find out just where it's difficult to buy broccoli or bananas in counties across the U.S. Forget walking to the store in St. Louis, Minn., where most people live more than a mile from a grocery store. Ditto for Hyde, N.C., and Pushmataha, Okla.