Eat, Sleep, Science

Samantha Veltrie, Staff Writer

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Many people have a supermarket they prefer.  Benefits, shopping rewards, prices, cleanliness and a company’s ethics can all influence this opinion.  Here are some facts from a side by side comparison of Three Rivers’s Walmart and Meijer based on selection, price, quality, and overall shopping experience.

Many locals prefer shopping at Meijer for a variety of reasons, from “the prices are better,” to “the people are nicer.”  Walmart frequenters may claim better selection as their reason for their preference.

In reality, Walmart’s prices are significantly lower when side-by-side with the same products at Meijer.  However, Meijer offers more sales and clearance items than Walmart.   This means planning ahead is key to getting the best deals.  Also, Meijer products may be of a higher quality than their Walmart brand counterparts, but since this results in a higher price tag, they are then competing with name brands that have prices that are only a bit higher at Meijer.

On my data visit to both stores, Meijer ranked higher on store cleanliness, but the public facilities were not as clean as Walmart’s.  Walmart had more employees out on the floor, and more employees smiled at customers than at Meijer.  There were no employees on the floor when I visited Meijer, which might be difficult when trying to locate assistance.

Walmart has more brand variety than Meijer on staple products.  Meijer’s produce section has a more abundant selection than Walmart.  Their bakery sections were similar, so this comes down to personal preference.  Meijer also has a more open floor plan compared to Walmart.

Meijer also offers a better variety of  home goods and clearance items (which caused me to walk out with a few purchases more than I intended, since I didn’t expect to find such dramatic markdowns on items I couldn’t pass up).  Walmart’s “rollback” program is more standard, and sales mostly happen after holidays on seasonal items if there are any.

For most families, price is usually the largest factor when grocery shopping, when trips can easily ring up at hundreds of dollars.  Below is a table with the prices compared at both stores.  Since they are so close, it is not unreasonable to stop by both places for certain items, which many families do.

To conclude my research and data, I found that Walmart has better overall variety and prices while the quality of some items is potentially lower; Meijer has a better produce section and a more pleasant shopping atmosphere, but prices for its generic brand are higher which may not distinguish certain products from name brands since the price difference is relatively little.

PRODUCT & SIZE NAME BRAND WALMART HOUSE BRAND NAME BRAND AT WALMART MEIJER HOUSE BRAND NAME BRAND AT MEIJER
Toilet Paper – 12 Roll Scott $6.84 $9.28 $7.99 $8.99
Paper Towel – 2 Roll Bounty $3.64 $4.97 $3.29 $3.89
Napkins – 220 ct. Bounty $2.52 $5.47 $3.89 $2.99
Diapers – 120 – 140 ct. Pampers $17.57 $24.27 $24.99 $34.99
Tall Kitchen Bags – 40 ct. Glad $5.14 $7.12 $5.99 $8.49
LED Lightbulbs – 2 ct. * G.E. $17.97 $20.62 $14.99 $15.99
Window Cleaner Windex $1.98 $3.12 $2.79 $3.29
Acetaminophen – 100 ct. Tylenol $2.48 $9.27 $3.89 $9.99
Ibuprofen – 50 ct. Advil $0.98 $3.48 $2.39 $6.19
Flour Pillsbury $1.43 $2.26 $1.49 $2.99
Sugar Domino $1.64 $1.94 $2.49 $2.59
Milk DairyPure $1.28 $4.58 $1.29 $3.99
Butter Land O Lakes $3.56 $3.58 $3.49 $4.99
Eggs Eggland’s Best $0.74 $2.98 $0.89
Bread Sara Lee $0.88 $1.98 $2.09 $2.79
Cheese Kraft $1.74 $2.50 $2.39 $2.99
Bananas $0.52/lb. $0.54/lb.
Lettuce $0.98 $1.29
Cucumber $0.52 $0.66
Orange Juice Tropicana $1.74 $3.37 $2.89 $3.69
Apple Juice Mott’s $2.08 $4.48 $2.89 $4.49
Mayonnaise Hellman’s Best $1.94 $3.98 $2.69 $4.19
Ketchup Heinz $1.94 $2.48 $2.69 $2.89
Mustard French’s $0.58 $1.36 $1.29 $1.65
Hot Dogs Oscar Mayer $2.68 $2.79
Frozen Pizza Digorno $2.87 $5.47 $4.99 $5.79
Chips Lay’s $1.00 $2.48 $3.29 $2.79
Green Beans Green Giant $0.50 $0.76 $0.69 $1.00
Frozen Mixed Vegetables Bird’s Eye $1.44 $1.36 $1.25 $1.49
Soda Coca-Cola $0.82 $1.56 $0.88 $1.67
Chocolate Bar Hershey’s $0.78 $0.87

 

*Meijer did not carry wattage higher than 60 for their LED lightbulbs, so the Meijer pricing is 60 W while the Walmart pricing is 100 W lightbulbs.

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Eat, Sleep, Science