My local Dominion store recently changed its name and became a Metro. I grew up with Dominion (my uncle was the manager of the location in our neighbourhood, and my aunt – his sister – ran the butcher shop and bakery), but the Metro name is new to me. We don’t do a lot of shopping at Dominion because it tends to be more expensive that the other nearby chains, and their line of house brand stuff just isn’t as good, but I do end up there for health food and organic items, because they have a small section of basics that regularly saves me from having to make the trek to the nearest health food store, which is a mile or so away.
As a Dominion store, the health food had its own aisle; all the organic stuff was together. When the store switched to a Metro, they took out the health food aisle and spread the organic and health food items throughout the store into the different sections.
So now the cereal aisle has a special section marked off where customers can buy Nature’s Path products right next to the Kelloggs. In the frozen aisle, the Eggos sit beside the Van’s gluten-free waffles. Green banners indicate the section of Bob’s Red Mill grains and cereal items and Dr. Oetker organic cake mixes from the Betty Crocker stuff, but they’re technically side by side.
On the one hand, I think this is a great idea, because it means people who might never otherwise wander down the health food aisle are now exposed to the organic brands, and might be inclined to check out these healthier products instead. But in direct opposition to that, the organic products are typically more expensive. So now the $4.99 organic waffles have to compete with the $2.99 Eggos and the $1.97 no-name brand. Which, in belt-tightening times like these could mean lower sales numbers for the organic items.
I’m curious as to how many people will be inclined to try the other version of the products they buy. Will the folks who normally buy Eggos switch to the fancy flax and whole wheat Nature’s Path waffles because they didn’t know they existed before, or will customers who normally bought organic at any price start to compare and switch brands when they realize they can get a mainstream brand at half the price?