The Boston Globe reports: Whole Paycheck no more!  »

In the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, a Whole Foods is set to take over the a Hi-Lo that currently serves as the neighborhood’s grocery. People got concerned that “Whole Paycheck” would be too expensive for the locals so The Boston Globe did an investigation of pricing at the stores. Results? Whole Foods is average!

Homeboy was thorough:

Some points about methodology: When gathering prices, I did my best to pick similar products at each store, and went for the cheapest option, when available. If stores stocked different quantities of a product, I did the math to be sure I was comparing the same measurements of the same or similar products. Last, while there’s no guarantee that the Jamaica Plains Whole Foods will have the exact same prices as the chain’s other stores in the area, I did check the prices at three different Whole Foods—Beacon Hill, Cambridge, and Symphony—and the pricing was identical at each.

After this first study, people complained that the writer failed to include fruits and veggies, which they insisted were more expensive at Whole Foods. They did a follow-up, turns out that’s not true either:

Fruits and vegetables at Whole Foods can get pricey if you buy the wrong items. But if you’re a smart shopper, buying produce there turns out to be the same as buying produce at the other stores. For example, regular tomatoes at Whole Foods were $3.99 per pound, which is a dollar more than at Stop & Shop, Shaw’s and Foodie’s. But plum tomatoes were generally cheaper at Whole Foods than they were at other stores (Whole Foods, $1.99; Stop & Shop, $2.99; Shaw’s, $2.49; Foodie’s, $1.99). Likewise, while oranges were 50 cents more expensive per pound at Whole Foods, green peppers there were a dollar cheaper than at the other stores. If a shopper happened to be buying tomatoes, oranges and green peppers this week, the price fluctuation at the store would have evened themselves out.

He did note that meat was definitely more expensive at Whole Foods—guess who doesn’t care?! THIS GUY! Meat should be expensive, if there are any attempts to raise the animals responsibly (I know, a ridiculous concept on its own, but you know what I mean). Sorry they don’t sell grade-Z chuck.

An important thing to note about this second investigation is that Hi-Lo apparently doesn’t even sell meat and vegetables anymore. WTF? It’s a sad, far-too-common occurrence. In my opinion, it’s one hell of a good thing that a grocery store where you can actually get vegetables is moving in. Welcome to the neighborhood!

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