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SANDUSKY, OH – Retail Prices vs. CSA

June 15, 2009

DSCF6750.JPGAfter the first week of the Erie Fresh CSA, The Erie Wire did a price check for all of the items included in the CSA to see how the prices measured against the top 3 retailers: Kroger, Meijer and Walmart. The prices were gathered using the lowest cost in retail organic items at all 3 locations. This was done since all produce delivered through the Erie Fresh CSA is produced under organic standards, and is certified Erie Fresh Organic (a branch of Erie Fresh Sustainable). Some items at the 3 locations were not available as organic, in this case the item is marked “N/A”, for not available, and the next available chemically grown produce was used to price the item.

CSA items often were much larger in size categorically. For instance, one bunch of chives in the CSA equaled 2 or more bunches/packages from any of the 3 locations. The most astonishing difference came in the CSA herb selection, where one bunch of CSA spearmint cost $1 and at any of the 3 locations had to be purchased in small packages with unreasonable costs.

The “CSA savings of $8” was calculated by averaging and dividing the total cost of the 3 locations.

It is important to note that 2 items inside the CSA were not available (N/A) at any of the 3 locations, and there is no price given to these items inside of the spreadsheet. Although, even without a price for these 2 items the CSA still cost less than any of the 3 locations.

It is also important to note that Walmart did not have the lowest prices for most of the items on the list when compared to the other 2 locations, even though a sign reads “Unbeatable Prices” every ten feet in their store.

*One dozen CSA free-range and grass fed eggs are $2 each week, while retail eggs averaged around $3.50.

Retail - Week 1 _Page_1

Retail - Week 1 _Page_2

Click on images for PDF of Spreadsheet

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