Posts Tagged ‘Canal Market District Farmers Market’

Local Market Place

November 16, 2016

Kroger, the world’s largest food retailer, recently reopened at a new location in Newark. The previous site of Meijer is now the Kroger test model for a revamped experiment in food retailing. It is no coincidence that the store name is “Kroger Market Place.” The geographic relocation was not far from its previous address, just down the road actually. It also did not mark a rehab for better competition with the world’s number 2 food retailer, Walmart, as that store is still its neighbor on the city’s north side. It does, however, mark a definite strategic move by Kroger to go head to head with the local farmers markets, The Canal Market District Farmers Market and the Granville Farmers Market. The interior design and lay out of the new store reveals Kroger’s intent. The similarity to a farmers market is uncanny. The visual focus and “inviting” center of attention is on the southern third of the interior. Gawking listless shoppers are immediately drawn to the brightly colored flowers on one side and fruits/vegetables on the other. This is surrounded by satellite nooks of Starbucks, “Pan Asian” offerings (Asia is a continent. Would you say “Pan North American”?), a bar (with entertainment), baked goods, deli, seafood, etc. etc. etc. The grocery part of the grocery store is rather nondescript, along narrow aisles in the middle section. It is not as roomy or airy, cheery or festive. This is the land of day to day hard core canned good necessities (better check the price). The north part holds Kroger’s recent expansion into retailing as well as its grip on healthcare and a bank to pay for it all. Along with the Canal Market District Farmers Market, Granville Farmers Market and the plethora of Ohio Proud farmers markets in city’s and small towns across Ohio (and the US) Kroger’s Market Place offers immediate on-site consumables (bakery, coffee, etc.), boutique foods, entertainment, and variety. And, of course, the emphasis is on “local.” Being indoors under one roof creates the competitive edge that ultimately makes Kroger’s Market Place, like the North Market in Columbus, so attractive. Eventually it will win out (besides, you can score the hard core day to day stuff without an added detour). Sure, on a nice day, it is quaint to “be like New England” and jostle through the crowds at an out of doors market. But on a rainy day or windy, unpleasant one….? Same “local” offerings! Besides, you get a cart to push around while you go from stand to stand instead of lugging it with you like airport luggage. Analysis finds it is the “local” moniker that dilutes the difference. The very trait meant to distinguish the small from the mighty now allows for the mega food marketer to do what Walmart has already done. For last century’s unsuspecting country bumpkin without a brand to his name, “local” meant being within the vicinity where one’s children compete against each other at “local” school athletic events, where the churches are within a reasonable Sunday morning commute (“Hurry up or we’ll be late”), and where one votes for a “local” politician to govern (what else?) “locally”. But buying Zanesville baked goods only available in Licking County at The Canal Market District Farmers Market or Granville Farmers Market (but not at the Zanesville Farmers Market, or the bakery itself) doesn’t differentiate those markets’ “local” much from the Kroger Market Place’s “local”. High school sports and politicians in Brinkhaven articulate little, if at all, with central Licking County. And attending church in Louisville would be an all day Sunday drive for Newark’s devout. Analysis finds that “local” has gone from (Webster’s) “pertaining to a city, town, or small district rather than an entire state or country” to just another quality of brand identity in the marketplace. Analysis finds little difference in whether Kroger or the Market Master makes the “local” designation.


On An Aspirin Regimen

September 16, 2016

The appeal that Donnie Trump has for many voters is that he is a businessman, ostentatiously big business. Repeatedly, in media street and diner interviews one hears “it would be a good thing to have a businessman in the White House (not a politician).” In Newark, Grow Licking County, a public/private partnership administered by the Licking County Chamber of Commerce (the largest such in central Ohio) but funded by the county government, is lauded as the success driver for attracting “jobs” to this area (business knows business!). Another public/private partnership in Newark is the Canal Market District Farmers Market, an updated enhanced version of a previous Chamber sponsored market. The new Farmers Market is touted as a success by the Market, the Chamber and local politicians. Customers are reassured that all the vendors have been thoroughly checked out by the Market master and can be trusted to provide safe and reliable products. Central Ohio consumers like to know where their food is coming from, we are told (by the same market master). After all the Dole produce recalls, Chipotle contamination and Jeni’s Ice Cream repeated shut downs, it is heartening to hear that someone is being stringent in requiring that food be handled properly. After all, food is a very BIG business. 9-15-16 Carey Gillam posted “FDA Finds Monsanto’s Weed Killer In U.S. Honey” (Huffington Post). Some excerpts: “In examining honey samples from various locations in the United States, the FDA has found fresh evidence that residues of the weed killer called glyphosate can be pervasive – found even in a food that is not produced with the use of glyphosate. All of the samples the FDA tested in a recent examination contained glyphosate residues, and some of the honey showed residue levels double the limit allowed in the European Union, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. There is no legal tolerance level for glyphosate in honey in the United States. Glyphosate, which is the key ingredient in Monsanto Co.’s Roundup herbicide, is the most widely used weed killer in the world, and concerns about glyphosate residues in food spiked after the World Health Organization in 2015 said its cancer experts determined glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen.” “In addition to honey, the records show government residue experts discussing glyphosate found in soybean and wheat samples, “glyphosate controversies,” and the belief that there could be “a lot of violation for glyphosate” residues in U.S. crops.” “In the records released by the FDA, one internal email describes trouble locating honey that doesn’t contain glyphosate: “It is difficult to find blank honey that does not contain residue. I collect about 10 samples of honey in the market and they all contain glyphosate,” states an FDA researcher. Even “organic mountain honey” contained low concentrations of glyphosate, the FDA documents show.” “The FDA routinely looks for residues of a number of commonly used pesticides but not glyphosate [an herbicide]. The look for glyphosate this year is considered a “special assignment” and came after the agency was criticized by the U.S. Government Accountability Office in 2014 for failing to test for glyphosate.” “Like the FDA, the USDA has dragged its feet on testing. Only one time, in 2011, has the USDA tested for glyphosate residues despite the fact that the agency does widespread testing for residues of other less-used pesticides. In what the USDA called a “special project” the agency tested 300 soybean samples for glyphosate and found more than 90 percent – 271 of the samples – carried the weed killer residues.” “Both the USDA and the FDA have long said it is too expensive and is unnecessary to test for glyphosate residues. Yet the division within the USDA known as the Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) has been testing wheat for glyphosate residues for years because many foreign buyers have strong concerns about glyphosate residues. GIPSA’s testing is part of an “export cargo sampling program,” documents obtained from GIPSA show. Those tests showed glyphosate residues detected in more than 40 percent of hundreds of wheat samples examined in fiscal 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.” Monsanto, the business, markets Roundup in conjunction with Roundup ready seeds as intellectual property, requiring a signed contractual agreement to abide by company terms for its use (much as software is sold). Too many instances have been recorded of transgressions, intentional or unintentional (like the wind blowing pollen unto a neighbor’s field producing traceable varieties in violation of the intellectual property agreement), where Monsanto, the business, has sued to protect their brand. Where have we seen that before? Currently Monsanto is being bought out by Bayer, the aspirin folks.