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Dec 11, 2013 04:07 PM

Is Safeway changing?

We have a small, somewhat run-down Safeway in Menlo Park (Sharon Hts) that surprised me when I found Bud's Eggnog, Liberte yogurt, Organic Valley and some non-Lucerne brands they previously didn't carry, which is why I shopped elsewhere. Is this only in this area of Draegers, WF, and updated Piazza, as well as a splash of new places, like Sprouts, Fresh Choice, Grocery Outlet,etc.? And Willows Market, which has an unbelievable beer selection!

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  1. I first shopped at Safeway almost sixty years ago, and they have changed quite a bit over the years. The trend is not unique to Safeway. All mainstream groceries have increased the selection of fresh produce, increased the selection of "organic" products, and increased the selection of "gourmet" items to keep up with consumer trends. If your Safeway is small and run-down, it is only because they have not yet got around to updating or eliminating it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: GH1618

      My local Nob Hill recently increased the selection of organic produce and moved it to a more prominent position.

      Over the years I've also noticed that chain supermarket stores are not as uniform as you might think. There's actually a fair amount of differences in what stores stock and how much attention they place on it depending on the neighborhood. I don't shop there anymore, but there was a big Albertson's (now a Lucky's) in Oakland's Fruitvale district that had a huge Latino products section (not just food, but Mexican brands of detergent, etc.) in the center front of the store.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        I believe that Lucky store turned into a FoodMaxx. Same company.

        1. re: ML8000

          I'm trying to remember. Our Lucky became SaveMart. IIRC it got split into two companies. Seems like Al Gore was part of one.

    2. The Safeway in Kings Beach, CA, at Lake Tahoe has recently started carrying A LOT of Latino/Mexican food products. I was surprised and pleased. While this is a resort area and has lots of wealthy (not us, dammit!) second homeowners, this particular nabe has a lot of Latino folks living here. I'm guessing that Safeway is looking at the demographics of the particular area and adjusting inventory accordingly.

      1. The new Millbrae Safeway has a section of produce that has things such as celery roots, chanterelles, wood ears, round zucchinis, thai eggplants, lemongrass and generally things I had not seen at other Safeways. Of course, the cashiers often have no clue what those items are.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Kirk_T

          That reminds me that back in July I was lucky enough to be in the produce dept. when the area manager for produce was there. I wondered why they didn't carry locinato/dyno kale. He immediately told the dept manager to order it and it's been there ever since.

          I understand they have a new CEO so that may be what's driving some of this. BTW he was in that store on 4th of July (one of our HUGE tourist times) and he was calling in people from other parts of the region to work. Sounds pretty hands on.

          1. re: c oliver

            The reason the CEO was at the store and so hands on was that was the weekend of the grand opening after being closed for an entire year.

            1. re: poser

              Sorry I mis-wrote. The CEO was at the Safeway in Kings Beach on 4th of July.

        2. I live in Walnut Creek where there are 3 Safeways--all stocked differently. My husband likes a certain frozen breakfast sausage and only one stocks that brand. One store (Countrywood) has much better produce than the others. One is small and outdated but will soon be abandoned because a new HUGE Safeway will be built in a whole new development across the street. Whole Foods will move into the old.

          1 Reply
          1. re: walkoffdinner

            Totally agree with WalkOffDinner; I live in Montara and sometimes go to the Safeway in Pacifica (one of two) or Half Moon Bay.

            The Half Moon Bay store is tiny by comparison and has a very limited selection. The two in Pacifica are much larger and are stocked very differently.

          2. I'm new to Safeway, so I only know a little about those in our area. They closed a big, older Safeway in Portland. I don't know if they will put in another or not.

            Across the river in Vancouver, the big newer Safeway has better organic produce than the older one. I bought my turkey there and most of the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner. I'll be watching for newer and better products. I consider their lines to be narrow. Not the variety I would expect in a West Coast chain. Not even the variety I could get in St. Louis markets.