Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Is Fresh & Easy right for you?

Since I already wrote this "manifesto" on my food blog, I might as well just re-post again. This is a re-post from . Yes. Yes, dears. I AM lazy. :)


On my bus last night, one of the ladies asked the other, “Have you been to the Fresh & Easy market?”

“Oh my god, YES!” I chirped in. “I LOVE the place!”

The lady looked at me, stunned for a second. “Oh, I was going to say the opposite.”

Apparently, that might just be the opinion of most Americans of the brand new “neighborhood markets”, a creation of Tesco. The LA Times reported a few days ago claiming that the sales at F&E were 70% off mark.

Folks don’t want to change their shopping habits. The lady on the bus claimed that F&E has “nothing”. The store was too bare, she said. She wanted more variety and stuff. She hated the self check-0ut. And, she didn’t say it outright, but she wanted the groceries bagged.

I am one of the small number of people who is madly in love with the place because it is the exact opposite of what that lady wants in a store.

I don’t want that much variety because I don’t want to spend an hour in there wading through stuff I don’t need. I’m not stuck on brand to begin with. The less variety, the better.

And when I say the less variety here, it means the less of typical COMMERCIAL variety, but not in the range of products.

For example, last night I picked up a Greek style yogurt, a Swiss style yogurt, and a Goat Milk yogurt on the shelves among a wide variety of F&E brand yogurts. You just won’t find your regular Yoplait in the place. There may not be a fridge full of competing Tillamook and Land O Lake cheeses but there’s a wedge of Cotswold and other delicious cheeses you won’t find in there. And dear god, the meaty and delicious British cut bacon!!! But I digress.

The place is clean and streamlined. No giant display around the corner. No coupons needed. No member cards needed.

The best part? You check out your own grocery. Oh my god! No more wasting time waiting for somebody to bag your stuff while trying awkwardly to be friendly with the cashier. Absolutely no line to fuss with.

It was easy to get in and out of Fresh & Easy and THAT is exactly what I want. Sure, I would spend about the same amount of time going to my local Vons around the corner as driving a mile over to the closest F&E. But I spend a LOT less time in F&E than in a Vons.

Everything you usually come in for–produce, meat, dairy, and booze–are located in the first few rows, not buried in the back of the store like most grocery chains. If you want to stay and browse, go right ahead and saunter through the back parts of the store. Otherwise, you’re in and you’re out.

The quality of the meat from this place is definitely better than my local Vons. The chicken breasts were definitely fresher. The beef? Rival what I can get fresh at Ploughboy in Fountain Valley. (Hey, I said "rival", not better.)

And the price? People assume that because it’s a British chain, or a brand new small fry that it’s going to cost more than the bigger chain. WRONG. The prices are very competitive. They even have a special sign to tell you when certain products are cheaper than anybody around.

Let me just say that Brandon has NEVER ask to go to the grocery store before. Last night, he actually wants to detour from our dinner run to go there. After all, he says they have the BEST pre-cut pineapples outside of Hawaii. He also loves the self check-out.

So while I let this older lady dissing the joint. I can see the younger generations flocking to this place. It’s perfect to pop in on the run.

If you like to spend time in the grocery store and getting your human interaction fix from your cashier, stay clear.

If you value your time and your money; if you’re an adventurous consumer; and if you HATE everything the normal grocery store stands for, you’ll love Fresh & Easy.


unlawflcombatnt said...

Where does Fresh and Easy obtain most of its "Fresh-and-Easy" brand products? What is their country-of-origin?

Stating that it is
"produced for Fresh and Easy, El Segundo, California" is non-information. I couldn't care less where their Corporate office is located. Neither do most Americans.

I do care, however, what country my food comes from. Would it be too much to ask for Fresh-and-Easy to put the country-of-origin on their labels.

As it stands now, I assume most of their goods are from China, Mexico, or Central America, since they refuse to put country-of-origin information on their package labels?

Economic Populist Forum

Fresh & Easy Buzz said...

Hello Oakmonster:

We have a piece on your blog, along with links to it, on Fresh & Easy Buzz. It's currently at the top of the blog:


You should get some new hits today and tomorrow, ect.

Thanks for linking the Fresh & Easy Buzz piece and the blog on your blog. Hope you will keep a link to Fresh & Easy Buzz on your blog.

Keep commenting on F&E Buzz as well; enjoy your input;)

Best Regards

Fresh & Easy Buzz said...

You're welcome...posted your comment to the blog.

Thought you might want to get behind the "homeboys" since you love things of and in the "hood." Nieghborhood that is.

At the link below:Homeboy Bakery


Anonymous said...

Oakmonster, I love reading your blogs. As someone tied to the food business I love reading people's postings. I too want to know where my food comes from. Making products that adhears to a stringent food policies (read F&E's website) No artificials, no hormones, etc, it is very dificult to do for many fresh items outside the country. They have their own kitchen in Riverside where they make many of their prepared fresh items. Also what store does not carry bananas from Central America??? What questions we need to ask our retailers is how often do they audit their suppliers and are they followed up? Are they HACCP certified? What are their traceability standards? All retailers have to be vigilant. No one wants to be the next Jack in the Box.

Fresh & Easy Buzz said...

Can you send your email address to freshneasybuzz@yahoo.com please Oakmaster. Want to drop you a note.


jessie said...

Hi, My name is Jessie. I am a postgraduate student studying MSc Marketing at University of Birmingham. Now I am working on my dissertation which is abut Fresh& Easy. I need to conduct some interviews. If you can help me, please email me at: jjessie0526@hotmail.com. Also please help me to do the on-line questionnaire and foreward it: http://www.my3q.com/home2/234/jjessie0526/68302.phtml
The questionnaire will be anonymous and the result of the questionnaire will only be used for academic purpose. It may take you 5 minutes to complete. Please kindly help me to finish this academic research. Thank you very much for your kindness.

jazzee said...

Have you noticed that the prices of the prepared foods have gradually gone up by quite a few pesos over the last couple of weeks? Waaaaaaaaaaaah!!!! I'm still in love, but I hope the rest of their prices don't take an upward turn or I will find myself cheating on F&E.

b-side said...

I could not agree more. I love Fresh & Easy. With the exception of Stew Leonards on the East Coast, I've never found a supermarket that has made me so consistently happy upon walking in.

Anonymous said...

PRECIATE DA 411, on the FRESHEST products!!

SaveFreshandEasy said...

please help and save your local fresh and easy, we need everyones help :http://savefreshandeasy.blogspot.com/