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October 2009 Grocery Outlet

rworange Oct 5, 2009 08:00 PM

San Pablo

79 cents - 1.5 lb bag of small Bartlett pears (good)
99 cents - Cornish game hen (each)
99 cents - Box of Health Valley peanut butter bars
4.99 - Kettle brand potato chips, "create a chip challenge

Here's the previous report about the chips
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/641646#4969049

AND for your holiday gift giving pleasure ....

9 can SPAM Musubi Gift Pack
http://tastyisland.wordpress.com/2006...

It would make a great office gift exchange item if it wasn't so expensive ... a little over $17.

  1. Robert Lauriston Oct 25, 2009 11:18 AM

    "Is it the products that are distressed, or the vendors GO buys them from?"

    It seems clear that some of their stuff comes from manufacturers or distributors who need to unload inventory for one reason or another. E.g. they had a lot of White Lily flour after Smuckers bought the brand and shut down the mill. Those older California wines they had this month might have come from a distributor that needed cash.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      rworange Oct 25, 2009 12:07 PM

      San Pablo

      25 cents - Panda Noodle jumbo ramen cups - chicken or shrimp
      50 cents - can of Vienna sausages
      50 cents - Health Valley microwave cup of lentil soup
      50 cents - Hemp Dream vanilla boxed milk
      99 cents - Clearly organic boxed rice or soy milk
      99 cents - Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing (enough for a large chicken)
      1. 99 - 6lb 12 oz can of Bush's White Hominy
      1.49 - pack of four 4oz cups Brown Cow non fat blueberry Greek yogurt
      1.99 - Fearless franks
      1.99 - Really, really nice looking Pomelos
      2.49 - Price's pimento cheese

      Reading some of the topics about Southern dishes, the pimento cheese caught my eye. It is a rather large container, about the size of a medium deli container, so I passed. Lots of pimentos in it. Only three left.

      I'm not so much for Vienna sausages, but some people like them and that is a good price. Appropriately located near the Spam ... kindred souls.

      I've been wanting to try the Brown Cow Greek yogurt. Itsnice and thick, but they use pectin and is only marginally better than Greek Gods. The blueberries are nice, but fruit on the bottom is messy in those little cups. No stir room.
      .
      The Hominy must be a case of an unpopular size ...almost 7 pounds. They had tw pound cansthere were only 1.49. For 50 cents more the big can gave you 5 more pounds.

      GO usually has boxed soy milk, but this was the first time I noticed rice milk.

      1. re: rworange
        Ruth Lafler Oct 25, 2009 01:46 PM

        I've seen rice milk and even hemp milk. Makes sense -- Grocery Outlet has a high percentage of Asian and African-American customers, and those groups have a much higher incidence of lactose intolerance (for that matter, I see lactose-free milk at GO fairly often).

        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          d
          dump123456789 Oct 25, 2009 08:40 PM

          I've bought quite a bit of rice milk from GO myself. I always stock up when GO sells it for 0.99 because Trader Joe's (the next cheapest option) is ~1.50 per 32 oz box.

          I'm surprised the hemp milk is 0.50 at San Pablo, since it's 1.29 at every other GO I've been. (By the way, the stuff has an odd flavor - it literally tastes like rope.)

          I made my first visit to the Monterey Hwy GO, and found yet another variety of DeCecco - this time, the bronze drawn paccheri at 1.49 for 1.1 pounds.

    2. r
      roster Oct 22, 2009 12:38 PM

      So glad to see a GO post on here.
      Had a close friend to dinner a while back and served some Port i found at GO. When I said where I got it, I was made to feel like a fleabag bottom feeder who should be at WF. I think GO serves a valuable role, not only with great prices, but reducing food waste in 'this great land'.

      17 Replies
      1. re: roster
        Ruth Lafler Oct 22, 2009 01:15 PM

        I agree. To me, it's all about the quality of the product, not where I buy it. I don't see any value in shopping at Whole Foods just for the cachet. I thought we were past the era of excess when people bragged about how much money something cost them!

        I love the treasure-hunt aspect of shopping at Grocery Outlet, which is sort of what these monthly threads are about: helping each other find the treasures hidden amidst the 95 percent of products at Grocery Outlet I wouldn't buy.

        So, to keep this on topic, found any treasures at Grocery Outlet recently?

        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          r
          roster Oct 22, 2009 01:57 PM

          My last was two weeks ago at GO. The Vee Tee Indian mentioned earlier in this post was a great buy. Best packaged Indian I have found actually.

          No that I know, i'll visit this thread more often.

        2. re: roster
          d
          dump123456789 Oct 23, 2009 06:22 AM

          Your _close_ friend made you feel like a fleabag because of where you (legally) bought some Port. Hmm. Sounds more like your friend has an inferiority complex where money is concerned. Does (s)he also look down on people who shop Black Friday sales ?

          The VeeTee is really good for keeping around the office, because it takes up so little space, doesn't require refrigeration, and cooks in its own packaging. I keep a bunch in a filing cabinet, in case I forget to bring a lunch, and I don't have time to go out and buy one.

          1. re: dump123456789
            r
            roster Oct 23, 2009 01:16 PM

            That was what started the conversation, but actually it was about how GO buys "distressed products" and that you don't know what might be wrong with something.
            Personally I don't care if my tamarind soda might be near a pull date. I actually don't think this is much of an issue. I have seen the bread truck come to GO and drop off the same bread that they just dropped at their rounds to other stores. Just as fresh..

            1. re: roster
              d
              dump123456789 Oct 24, 2009 05:42 PM

              Is it the products that are distressed, or the vendors GO buys them from ? Or are we assuming that the vendors are distressing the products, the way people being foreclosed on distress their homes ? And what would distressed port be like exactly ?

              Today at RC:

              1.99 Kerrygold Red Leicester or aged cheddar (8 oz)
              2.69 Sunkist Naturals Glorious Greens (version of SuperGreenFood) (32 oz?)
              1.49 Pom pomegranate orange blossom tea (16 oz)
              1.49 Bolthouse Farms mango lemonade (15 oz)
              0.50 Imagine potato leek soup (16 oz?)
              0.99 DeCecco spinach farfalle (500 g)
              1.49 DeCecco papardelle (500 g)
              0.99 DeCecco bronze drawn spaghetti or sagnette Abruzzesi (500 g)
              1.49 DeCecco bronze drawn casareccia (500 g)

              Where does GO get all these unusual DeCecco pasta varieties from ? They price pretty high online.

              One more thing, the Spam musubi maker gift pack is on the right side of the aisle as you enter from Maple & Broadway parking lot.

              1. re: dump123456789
                s
                sydthekyd Oct 24, 2009 07:15 PM

                I miss David Carlson. What happened to our inside informant?

                1. re: rworange
                  Ruth Lafler Oct 24, 2009 07:39 PM

                  His wife still posts occasionally (as recently as last week). He told us he wouldn't be posting anymore, although he didn't explain why.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                    rworange Oct 24, 2009 07:52 PM

                    Thanks. I fretted about this occasionally. Good to hear. I removed the other post.

                    Anyway, I found the info about how Grocery Outlet does it ... sort of
                    http://www.groceryoutlet.com/Default/...

                    1. re: rworange
                      Ruth Lafler Oct 24, 2009 08:26 PM

                      The article linked on that page goes into a lot more detail: http://www.groceryoutlet.com/Files/RF...

                  2. re: sydthekyd
                    d
                    dump123456789 Oct 24, 2009 07:35 PM

                    I remember a post a while back that he had moved on, and there was a new contact person who has remained rather quiet.

                    That reminds me that the RC GO checkout staff asked for my zip, because they said they were planning on opening a new store, and wanted to know where most of their customers were coming from. I was going to recommend the strip mall at Rengstorff and Middlefield in Mountain View, since it doesn't look like Tesco's Fresh n Easy is moving in.

                    To prevent the Chowhound Team from deleting this post, let me ask about Kedem Grape Juice. A 96 oz jug cost $5 at GO, so I'm sure it's even more expensive elsewhere. I'm not a connoisseur of grape juice, so could someone explain why it is so expensive ?

                    1. re: dump123456789
                      rworange Oct 24, 2009 08:44 PM

                      They do the zipcode thing once a year and a lot of stores. I got fired up about it and someone from GO posted why they did this. I forgot why ... only that it was harmles and temporarty and you can refuse to give your zip.

                      Anyway, the store did have more of an explanation about exactly what they bought. I think it is gone, but while searching around I found an even better article from R&FF Retailer Magazine Article.

                      Really interesting. I learned a lot I never knew about GO
                      http://www.groceryoutlet.com/Files/RF...

                      “Only about 80% of what we sell are closeouts or over-runs. The rest is fast-moving product that is made-to-order for us as a customer convenience. Since we don’t have slotting fees and all,our buyers love to discover new, smaller manufacturers and help them gain early
                      distribution. If a manufacturer calls us today, we negotiate today and take delivery next week.”

                      It goes on to say over 2,500 companies rely on them to buy 'problemic' merchandise. At one time buyers wouldn't touch a product that was over $3.99 but now they just look for value rather than price ... “We never buy cheap for cheap’s sake"

                      When there are no closeouts on frozen pizza, Schwan’s makes fresh items to order. Mrs. Smith's pies are made to order for GO, since they don't have excess inventory. The big cans of refrigerated crab are also a made for GO item.

                      As refrigerated items get within a few days of expiration they are marked down at least 50%, Only about 1.5% of refrigerated inventory gets marked

                      Sometimes discountinued product lines are really populsr with shoppers like a vegan eggplant parmiagana from Rosina,

                      Ice cream is usually excess inventory or unpopular sizes like quart containers. They also discuss yogurt.

                      1. re: rworange
                        Ruth Lafler Oct 24, 2009 08:58 PM

                        The zip codes are usually just so they can identify where their customers are coming from. Are they mostly from the neighborhood, do people actually make a special trip to shop there, etc. If they know where people who shop there live, they can better understand the demographics of their customers and where to locate stores in the future. For example, they would know that I come from Alameda to shop at the GO in Oakland -- if a lot of people from Alameda were shopping at Grocery Outlets around the East Bay, or they knew that people in zip codes with similar demographics to Alameda shopped at Grocery Outlet, they might look into a location in Alameda.

                      2. re: dump123456789
                        escargot3 Oct 25, 2009 03:24 PM

                        The rules of kosher eating require a certain oversight to guarantee the Orthodox Jewish buyer that the food has been supervised by a rabbi thoughout the entire process. For grape juice, one of the issues that they are assuring is that the grapes haven't fermented.

                    2. re: dump123456789
                      Ruth Lafler Oct 24, 2009 07:23 PM

                      Is it the products that are distressed, or the vendors GO buys them from ?
                      **************

                      I think it's both. I think most of the time it's the product: it's nearing the expiration date, or they need to clear out old inventory to make room for new, or they've changed the packaging, or the product has been discontinued, or it was a "limited" item. Sometimes I think it's the vendor: a distributor goes out of business or needs to sell off some inventory quickly, for example.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                        d
                        dump123456789 Oct 24, 2009 07:42 PM

                        When I think distressed, I think damaged - dented cans, banged up or cut/torn boxes, water/fire/heat damage, and of course, near expiration. Basically, where you can easily imagine how the quality of the food itself might be impacted. But that only describes a small portion of what's at GO. Your other categories aren't really damaged goods, just ones that need to be liquidated.

                        1. re: dump123456789
                          Stephanie Wong Oct 25, 2009 12:10 AM

                          Sometimes it's just a labeling change -- remember Tropicana's new look that flopped? Those cartons showed up at GO for weeks @ $1.99 vs. $3.50 in the "regular" stores.

                2. re: roster
                  Melanie Wong Oct 27, 2009 11:16 AM

                  The NV Claustro's ruby porto is quite good, can't think of any wine priced at $9.99 that can beat it. I had picked up a bottle some months ago because a friend wanted to make The Girl & The Fig's port-fig salad dressing. I bought another bottle last week to make Julia Child's Oie Braisée aux Marrons. I served a glass of the "cooking port" to one of my guests who arrive early to help me truss the bird and he was quite satisfied with it.

                  Is this the one you tried? Or the tawny or white port?

                  I'll mention that I bought Boursin with shallots and chives for 99¢ (reg. price $7) that had a pull date of Nov 2. It was nice addition to the french table.

                3. rworange Oct 19, 2009 01:24 PM

                  Sunday seems to be markdown day at Grocery Outlet. Also, the shelves are looking less bare. Lots of yogurt with expiration dates extending well into October. Lots of chips
                  33 cents - Pacific boxd soups 15 oz (Red curry lentil, chicken, onion)
                  33 cents - Health Valley or Walnut Acres organic canned soups
                  33 cents - Dannon yogurt
                  50 cents - Rachael's yogurt or Horizon organic yogurt
                  50 cents - Kaboom organic Infinite Wellness beverages 15 oz bottles (acai, pom, etc)
                  50 cents - Fantastic Foods dried soup bowls
                  50 cents - Nissan large spicy and hot shrimp noodle bowls
                  50 cents - Annies organic pasta loops
                  99 cents - Nature Valley peanut butter bars (box of 12)
                  99 cents - Pringles select chips (bagged)
                  99 cents - Granny Goose cheese puffs 17 oz
                  99 cents - Beuritos lite organic popcorn 13,5 oz
                  99 cents - De Cecco riso or spinach farfalle
                  1.50 - President's brie
                  1.99 - Celestial Seasonings or Yogi organic tea

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: rworange
                    g
                    gordon wing Oct 20, 2009 11:27 AM

                    San Pablo GO ......
                    Haagen Daas Pints - carmelized pear & pecan - $1.49?
                    Hawaiian honey & cream - also $1.49
                    Hebrew National beef franks ........ 24 count for $5.99
                    Vitasoy Lite Chocolate Soymilk - 69 cents for a big box. 32 oz
                    Large cans of whole tomatoes ....... 18 or 21 oz? - 99 cents
                    Bacchus - wine paired chocolates - 99 cents - looks sort of gimmicky but for 99 cents it's a conversation starter!
                    Cucina & Amore Pasta Sauce in a 13 oz box - $1.49 - nice graphics - bought one to try.
                    Cara Mia - 10 oz jar of Piquillo Pepperss roasted whole ......... price ??
                    Wright's Pink Pop Corn brick - 99 cents IIRC - looked weird but nostalgic?
                    The Tea aisle - above the frozen foods is fully stocked .......

                    1. re: gordon wing
                      rworange Oct 21, 2009 02:45 PM

                      Last month i bought both flavors of the Cucina & Amore Pasta Sauce. I liked the olive much better than the red pepper. In fact, I liked the olive much better than the De Cecco Neopolitana sauce.

                      They are both similar - thick sauces with lots of sliced green and black olives. However the Cucina & Amore had a deeper tomato flavor and was thicker with a better all around flavor. The De Cecco is heavier on the olive oil.

                      HOWEVER ... San Pablo got in De Cecco Organic Spaghetti Kamut no 12 ... 99 cents,.

                      This is one of the best boxed pastas I've had in a long time. It even transcended my lousy cooking. Very nice bite to it. Kamut is a variety of Khorasan wheat which according to the website is an Egyptian relative of durum wheat.
                      http://www.kamut.com/en/about.html

                      Tastes better than durum to me.

                      Canned soup is usually not a strong point at GO. Often Target canned soups on sale are less expensive with a larger variety and coupons can be used. However, they just got in 12 packs of Progresso Soup today for $5.99.

                      That's about 50 cents a can. Can't do better than that. Forgot to check out the variety, but with flu season coming up, this is a deal.

                      The Wellington cracked pepper water crackers are back for 50 cents a box. I like these quite a lot.

                      I caved and bought the Nature Valley peanut butter bars which taste good and at 99 cents for a box of 12, that is 8 cents a package with two bars each. They are almost a peanut brittle texture so it takes a while to finsh them.

                      Lots of flavored oreos liked limited edition strawberry milkshake ... 1.99

                      1. re: rworange
                        k
                        kc72 Oct 22, 2009 10:20 AM

                        The Progresso 12-packs were chicken broth.

                  2. e
                    ernie in berkeley Oct 19, 2009 01:11 PM

                    Berkeley

                    Big selection of higher-end Napa cabernets, many bottles available

                    Macayamas 1993 $19
                    Chappellet 1996 $19
                    Clos du Val 1990 $19
                    Clos du Val Stags Leap $24
                    Burgess 1991 $19
                    Livingston 1995 $14 (I think)

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: ernie in berkeley
                      baron45 Oct 21, 2009 07:54 AM

                      Have any of you opened and tried these older reds? I ask since we may never know about the storage of these wines and if they are still drinkable or not.

                      1. re: baron45
                        Robert Lauriston Oct 21, 2009 09:29 AM

                        I've tasted three that a friend bought and they had clearly been stored very well, though one of them was past its peak--as I'd expect for most California Cabs that old.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          g
                          goBeaglego Oct 26, 2009 12:28 PM

                          Any tasting notes?
                          Which ones did you try?

                          1. re: goBeaglego
                            Robert Lauriston Oct 26, 2009 01:10 PM

                            My friend bought cases of two of them, I'll make notes next time.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                              e
                              ernie in berkeley Oct 26, 2009 01:36 PM

                              1993 Mayacumas: Cork seepage and a blast of volatile acidity that mostly blew away. Subtle and fleeting secondaries of leather and dark chocolate, not much fruit left, tannins mostly resolved. OK as a curiosity, mostly.

                              1993 Clos du Val: No VA, still some blackfruit and lots of complexity, eucalyptus, surprisingly brisk tannins. Best of the three I tried.

                              1990 Burgess: Clean, fully resolved tannins, some fruit but a little monolithic with not much going on. Perfectly acceptable, though.

                              The bottles keep coming, with new ones displayed as recently as Saturday. I wonder where they found this stash?

                              1. re: ernie in berkeley
                                g
                                goBeaglego Oct 26, 2009 05:18 PM

                                A company in Napa who stores and resells older vintage wine needed cash flow.

                                The Grocery Outlet in San Jose (on Williams) still has a lot of 1995 Clos du Val.

                            2. re: goBeaglego
                              c
                              Cary Oct 27, 2009 07:16 PM

                              Pass on the 1995 Clos du Val Cabernet.

                              Most of the fruit is gone, leaving some chalky, steminess on the nose. In the mouth it's disjointed sour, thin, with rough tannins.

                              This wine could have been quaffable back in 1998, but now that most of the fruit has gone, there is no balance at all and no interesting secondary (from age) characteristics.

                              The 1999 Burgess Merlot wasn't mind blowing, but is a decent example of what an aged Merlot can be at a cheap price.

                              1. re: Cary
                                Robert Lauriston Oct 28, 2009 10:58 AM

                                My friend said the '96 was at its peak.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                  c
                                  Cary Oct 28, 2009 11:08 AM

                                  That's what I heard too, but all the 96 Clos du Vals are sold out at the GOs I've been too recently. Lots of 95s available.

                                  1. re: Cary
                                    Melanie Wong Oct 29, 2009 11:30 PM

                                    There were at least two cases of the 96 Clos du Val CS, $14.99, on the floor at the Redwood City branch this afternoon (Thursday) when I walked through. Also 95s.

                        2. re: ernie in berkeley
                          girlbaker Oct 30, 2009 07:35 PM

                          lucky you! GO Marin does not get much good stuff, the buyer seems unfamiliar with wine, we get mostly junky imports and spin offs....Exception today- Davis Bynum 2006 Russian River Chard. retail $25, $6.99, Forest Glen 2003 Reserve Merlot, $6.99. both good buys.

                        3. p
                          pockyjunkie Oct 18, 2009 12:29 AM

                          Clos du Val 1996 cabernet sauvignon on sale at the Oakland GO this weekend for $14 - this retails for something like $80. Excellent.

                          Also saw the Spam pack and the create-a-chips.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: pockyjunkie
                            Robert Lauriston Oct 19, 2009 10:24 AM

                            Clos du Val is sold out. Where did you see the Spam gift pack? I couldn't find it.

                            Lindemans cherry, peach, and cassis $2 per 750ml. People were standing around waiting for palettes to come out.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                              k
                              kc72 Oct 19, 2009 11:01 AM

                              Berkeley and San Pablo still have the Spam pack -- Berkeley has Hickory Spam and Garlic Spam also.

                              1. re: kc72
                                Robert Lauriston Oct 19, 2009 11:40 AM

                                I'm looking for the musubi gift pack.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                  k
                                  kc72 Oct 19, 2009 12:13 PM

                                  I know -- Berkeley and San Pablo had it. The other information was for Spam eaters who like the different varieties.

                                  Are you getting it as a gift or for the musubi maker? If it's just for the maker, you can get it at the Japanese dollar stores (Ichiban Kan in El Cerrito has it) or I think Tokyo Fish Market sells one also.

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                    m
                                    ML8000 Oct 19, 2009 12:13 PM

                                    The musubi gift packs at the Oakland store were near the entrance immediately to the right. I think they were $17.xx, 9 or 12 cans and the musubi kit.

                                    Also the Oakland store had Alaska Smokehouse, smoked salmon, 1lb for $7.99, 8 oz for $4.99. I tried it last year, great stuff.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                      l
                                      lamster Oct 21, 2009 04:34 PM

                                      If you're still looking for the musubi gift pack, you might want to check Costco. I've seen it in years past, when they start stocking up for the holidays.

                                  2. re: Robert Lauriston
                                    p
                                    pockyjunkie Oct 20, 2009 07:11 PM

                                    What ML8000 said - on the right with the 'special' items as you enter.

                                    I also got a Livingston 1993 Cabernet - another great Napa Valley Cab that is worth getting if it's still there (same deal - a fraction of the $90 sticker price).

                                2. hhc Oct 17, 2009 10:40 PM

                                  Does Grocery outlet sell expired food on purpose or are we suppose to let
                                  them know? Got a best use by 8/31/09 Lindt Truffle Cake candy bar on Fri
                                  10/16/09 for $1.49, I didn't notice the date until I got home. Also saw hummus that was expired for 99c - didn't buy the hummus - both at Newark, CA store.

                                  -----
                                  Grocery Outlet
                                  36601 Newark Blvd # 25, Newark, CA

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: hhc
                                    d
                                    dump123456789 Oct 18, 2009 02:34 AM

                                    I think they do it on purpose sometimes, as I've noticed extreme price drops on some recently expired stuff (ie. price was $1.99 3 weeks before expiration; 4 weeks later, same items, same expiration, $0.50). Assuming that hummus was the Sabra, I would assume that's what happened since it's usually ~$2 unexpired.

                                    You can always get your money back, no problem. The Lindt, for sure. $1.49 sounds like their usual unexpired price.

                                    1. re: hhc
                                      Ruth Lafler Oct 23, 2009 10:53 AM

                                      I wouldn't worry about the Lindt bar. A "best by" date doesn't mean much except that they have to put some kind of date on any consumable product. If it's been handled properly it should be fine. If it hasn't been handled properly, then it could be "bad" (poor quality, chocolate doesn't "spoil") even if it isn't "expired."

                                      Hummus can spoil, but it should be good for at least a week after the "expiration date"

                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                        choctastic Oct 30, 2009 11:21 AM

                                        Exactly. I've had chocolate bars for a couple of years and they were just fine. My palate isn't refined enough to detect much, if any, deterioration.

                                      2. re: hhc
                                        Melanie Wong Oct 23, 2009 11:24 AM

                                        Here's a link to an article and discussion you might find useful about various sell by and use by dates.
                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/589648

                                        retailers often don't want to accept shipments of goods with less than 30 days or more dating on them. The manufacturerers then sell them at steep discounts to places like GO where savvy consumers who have some common sense snap them up.

                                      3. j
                                        jart Oct 14, 2009 08:56 PM

                                        livermore, today:
                                        1.99 - canada dry 6-pack cans of tonic water. they had the ginger ale also.
                                        3 for 1.00 - small cans of del monte peas, 50% less salt, flip top cans.
                                        2.99 - big 30oz jars of pace chunky salsa. i prefer fresh, but a co-worker mentioned that she puts a big jar of it in a slow cooker with beef stew meat, and it comes out great. i thought i might give that a try.
                                        1.79 - bars of shea butter soap, brand is 'south of france', white in translucent wrapper. i had not seen it in a while, and considered buying from the company's website, where it's over $5 each. great stuff, the cashier said she liked it too.
                                        -
                                        i would agree that it's hard to identify a trend, either good or bad, at grocery outlet. sometimes there's nothing i want, other times there's lots. i think it's the nature of the business. they can only sell what they have access to, and each store mgr decides what to pick from that assortment, i imagine. a clerk in the tracy store told me that when something doesnt sell in one store, that sometimes they'll ship it to another store and see if it sells there. why no store in my path (livermore/tracy/pleasant hill/hayward/san leandro) EVER picks vital vittles bread is a mystery to me! but then i did get a huge 24 oz can of mauna loa macadamia nuts once for 7.99, so i can't complain.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jart
                                          s
                                          sydthekyd Oct 15, 2009 01:11 PM

                                          The Alvarado St. Bakery bread is really good too.

                                        2. c
                                          Columba Oct 13, 2009 04:27 PM

                                          Times they are a changin'.

                                          Autumn at GO. Santa Rosa store has lots of:

                                          Canned and boxed soups
                                          frozen entrees, pizzas, etc. (many organic)
                                          refrigerated meats (disproportionate to cheese)
                                          Celestial Seasonings tea (at least 8 flavors at $1.99 box)

                                          Only one type of boxed Annie's mac & cheese, but first since springtime.

                                          And ice cream selections are low.

                                          Eat for the season.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Columba
                                            The Chowhound Team Oct 18, 2009 03:32 PM

                                            Folks, we have removed some posts here that are out of scope for this board. The regional boards are focused on the discussion of where to find great food and drink. Larger discussion of corporate changes or union impacts, whether speculative or factual, dilute the information value of this board.

                                            Please focus on what is available at Grocery Outlet in this thread.

                                            Thanks.

                                            1. re: Columba
                                              c
                                              Columba Oct 20, 2009 02:11 PM

                                              Much the same at Santa Rosa GO.

                                              Annie's mac & cheese mix gone.
                                              Spam musubi gift box at $17.99 on an end aisle.
                                              Even more organic frozen food entrees to choose from.

                                            2. r
                                              RandallW Oct 13, 2009 01:05 PM

                                              Hot damn! I'm going to check out the San Jose locations and see if I can snag me one of those Spam Musubi gift Packs! I've been meaning to get one of those musubi makers, lol.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: RandallW
                                                rworange Oct 13, 2009 06:23 PM

                                                The Berkeley Grocery Outlet also has the Spam gift pack as well as single serving Spam slices for 50 cents,

                                                10 cents will buy you a pack of 3 vanilla Oreo cakesters. I['ve been wanting to try these but didn't want to commit to a whole package. They are ok. The Oreo filling is there but the cake is really meh. At 110 calories for a single cookie, I'm glad I didn't buy a bigger pack

                                                50 cents will buy a bunch of brocolli that is in good condition.

                                                1. re: rworange
                                                  r
                                                  RandallW Oct 13, 2009 07:18 PM

                                                  Went to the San Jose/Tully&Monterey location today and picked up the Spam Musubi Gift Pack. When I brought it home, I told my wife I got myself an early birthday present. =P She doesn't like me buying spam, but I finally got my musubi maker! haha.

                                              2. Melanie Wong Oct 8, 2009 12:28 PM

                                                Tried the Kaweka Venison, labeled as "new Zealand venison braised in stock and red wine with mushrooms". No preservatives, 10 oz in shelf-stable packing, don't remember the price. Ingredients list looks fine. Includes soy sauce ahead of red wine, and that taste overtakes the flavor impression. I wouldn't buy it again. There are several other meals in the range, maybe another one is good.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                  d
                                                  dump123456789 Oct 11, 2009 07:58 PM

                                                  I had a couple Kaweka products a while back. It was a little difficult to find the meat, and since there wasn't any starch or vegetables to bulk it up, it was mostly a serving of sauce.

                                                  I was surprised to find quite a bit of interesting stuff at RC Saturday. I bought more non-food items than usual. Among the foodstuff:

                                                  0.99 Veetee Indian entrees (single serving vaccum packed)
                                                  0.99 DeCecco kamut spaghetti (1 lb)
                                                  0.99 More Than Gourmet roasted vegetable demi-glace concentrate (1.5 oz)
                                                  1.49 Haagen Dazs Hawaiian Lehua honey & sweet cream (pint)
                                                  1.49 Haagen Dazs caramelized pear & toasted pecan (pint)
                                                  1.99 Dove Irresistibly Raspberry ice cream (pint)
                                                  1.99 Lindt cherry & chili 70% dark chocolate
                                                  1.29 Hemp Dream hemp milk (32 oz)
                                                  0.99 Imagine vegetable broth (32 oz)

                                                  At SJ tonight, all the above except DeCecco and More Than Gourmet, plus:

                                                  1.99 Tillamook walnut ice cream (half gallon)
                                                  1.49 Stonyfield Farms Greek yogurt (4 single servings)
                                                  1.49 DeCecco Napoletana pasta sauce (24 oz)

                                                  1. re: dump123456789
                                                    c
                                                    chowmeaow Oct 14, 2009 12:53 PM

                                                    I always find many non-food items at GO. I like the prices, I hope I am getting a good deal.
                                                    I got a hammock, cast-iron pan set and few other things.
                                                    Last time I got some display cabinets.

                                                    1. re: chowmeaow
                                                      d
                                                      dump123456789 Oct 14, 2009 04:32 PM

                                                      I've bought bathroom shelving units, magic eraser cleaning sponges, CFLs, LED night lights, gardening/BBQ/kitchen tools and more for prices significantly below Ikea, Target, BedBath&Beyond or Macy's even when those stores have end-of-season clearance sales with coupons. My biggest find was 5 piece restaurant stoneware place settings for $1.99 per setting. In other words, 40 cents a piece.

                                                      I just found out the $1.49 DeCecco Napoletana sauce is $5+ online.

                                                      1. re: dump123456789
                                                        Ruth Lafler Oct 14, 2009 05:23 PM

                                                        I saw that DeCecco sauce at Oakland and it looked pretty good.

                                                        I buy lots of non-food stuff at GO. Since the season is approaching, I'm going to mention that last year they had noble fir Xmas trees (the expensive kind) for cheap, especially since it was the same price for all sizes and they had lots of big ones.

                                                2. d
                                                  dump123456789 Oct 8, 2009 10:46 AM

                                                  I notice the GO threads have been getting less active over the past few months. (I haven't been in a GO in at least 2 months.) Is that because the economy is improving ?

                                                  They've given their website a face lift, and this morning, I saw my first GO TV ad during the early morning news. I hope it doesn't mean their prices are going to go up.

                                                  Anyway, I'm planning to go to RWC GO on Saturday to see what treasures pop up.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: dump123456789
                                                    rworange Oct 8, 2009 10:49 AM

                                                    Seriously, since they started advertising and sponsoring events the selection of great buys at great prices have plummetted. Some Einstein at GO just doesn't get what made them great.

                                                    Maybe they picked up one of 'the best and brightest' former Wall Street exec at a bargain to direct the direction of the company

                                                    If they do commercials they could get great play by spoofing some of their actual finds instead of that cheesey song which yes, I realize is name recognition, but that's all it does. it doesn't really lure someone who never shopped there.

                                                    If they played to the quirkiness of the store and the former killer prices for great finds ... come on 50 cents for a box of top quality artisan cookies from England, organic yogurt as low as 25 cents .... etc ... they could have fun and maybe get people curious.

                                                    However, now the breath-taking bargains get harder and harder to find. My New Year's resolution may be to drop GO from my rounds.

                                                    1. re: rworange
                                                      s
                                                      sydthekyd Oct 8, 2009 01:12 PM

                                                      What events have they been sponsoring?

                                                      1. re: sydthekyd
                                                        rworange Oct 8, 2009 01:35 PM

                                                        Don't exacltly recall. The tv is mainly background noise while I'm working. I just know I start grumbling to myself everytime I hear "sponsored by Grocery Outlet". Some local events.

                                                      2. re: rworange
                                                        Ruth Lafler Oct 12, 2009 04:28 PM

                                                        I doubt there's any corrolation of the advertising to the "plummeting" of products you find particularly noteworthy. In my experience, the stock at Grocery Outlet always fluctuates between having nothing I want to buy to a "regular" level to having a plethora of choices. For example for what seemed like months there was no decent yogurt (without HFCS or artificial sweeteners and excessive thickeners) and no butter at the Oakland store, and then in August there were several different brands/types of "good" yogurt. It all really depends on what's available on the close-out marketplace.

                                                        This week, in addition to some of the things noted by other posters, the "find" was Larabar "Jamfrakas" organic "food bars" in several flavors. Although marketed for kids, they're just as appealing to an adult, with all-organic ingredients. Similar, in fact, to the Clif Nectar bars I like: based on dates and nuts, but also with brown rice crispies. They're small, but actually a better size for a healthy, not-too-caloric snack, and at $1.29 for a box of five, a pretty good deal.

                                                    2. j
                                                      jart Oct 6, 2009 09:27 PM

                                                      the san leandro store has Kashi microwave pouches, of a multi-grain mixture, that are quite good. has brown rice, rye, etc. $1.29. has 7 grams fiber per serving. they are located on a shelf over the frozen foods.

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