|Dreary Domestic Drama
||[Jul. 24th, 2018|07:23 pm]
One of the local favourites here is Cincinnatti chili. This is a type of ground beef chili spiced with unsweetened chocolate and cinnamon, served over spaghetti, and topped with chopped raw onions and shredded cheddar cheese. It tastes several orders of magnitude better than it sounds. The two main brands are Skyline and Gold Star, although lots of restaurants have their own implementation of it.
Anyway, you can buy the chili sauce in cans, at the grocery store, to prepare at home. I went to Kroger's the other night, meaning to get some, but found that they wanted $5.19 for a 15 ounce can of Skyline. They didn't even have Gold Star. This seemed ludicrous to me, and a quick check on the internet confirmed that. I ended up buying it at the nearby Wal-Mart for $3.49 a can.
Kroger's, at least the local one, have been failing in this fashion more and more often. They keep reducing the selection of products, offering for many items only one brand in addition to the house brand. They're especially bad about this for cheese. And, while their prices on most things are about the same as everyone else's, on certain items (Skyline chili, and Dinty Moore beef stew, I know for a fact) they're *way* above the competition.
I started using Kroger for my default grocery after the nearby Giant Eagle (which I loved) closed back in January of '17, some months after it had caught fire and never really recovered. Kroger, like every other company in America, were absolutely pee-in-their-pants desperate to have you install their app on your phone, it apparently being an unquestioned tenet of faith among marketing types that having an app labelled "My [company name]" causes you to feel a sense of proprietorship toward the brand, a "relationship", in branding parlance.
In Kroger's case, they were willing to give you something to make it worth your while. Not only did they have tons of coupons searchable by category that you could add to your account, but they also had "Free Friday", which was a grocery item you could get for free each Friday, provided that you downloaded the coupon to your account. And the Free Friday stuff, while never extravagent, was usually something welcome - a box of taco shells, for instance, or a jar of spaghetti sauce - something you'd eventually buy on your own, plainly intended to drive sales of related items, but a useful free item regardless.
So... over time, their Free Friday item turned into free candy. This seems maladaptive to me, as they lose their chance to get you to buy related items to go with their free product, but it apparently made sense to someone. I wasn't really playing close attention to prices at the time, but I think what they may have been doing was raising prices slightly on the related items to recoup the cost of the giveaway, but people weren't necessarily biting. I know in my own case, I glad to have the taco shells, but didn't use them for almost a month, and bought the accessories at that time, rather than buying them when I got the free shells.
About the time that the weekly freebie turned into cheap candy, I started to notice that their price on Dinty Moore beef stew (a great favourite of mine) was about a dollar more than anyone else's. I did the sensible thing, and started buying that elsewhere than Kroger. Right about that time, they introduced personalized coupons, based on your shopping history. I got one that offered a dollar off on Dinty Moore, *if* I bought two cans. By that time I was starting to pay close attention to their pricing, and seeing that on just a few things, presumably things that people don't buy every week and don't have an expectation for the price, they were sky-high.
Now I'm re-examining all of my shopping practices, which is probably a good thing to do from time to time.
I somehow managed to injure my right thumb as I slept. It's sore, I can't apply any force with it, and the base of the thumb up into my forearm is warm and very slightly swollen. You don't really expect to hurt yourself in your sleep.
Ohio State Fair opens tomorrow.
Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/51238.html