I took advantage of Media Day at the new Ukrop’s on Franklin Road today to get a sneak peek at the store and do a little comparison pricing between Ukrop’s and the nearby Kroger at Tower’s Mall.
While our business reporter, Jenny, did a very efficient job of interviewing Ukrop’s personnel and shooting a video interview with Ukrop’s president Bobby Ukrop, I basically wandered around the store, ogled the food and jotted down prices for a very unscientific comparison with the nearby Kroger.
When I left for Kroger, I had no preconceived notions about which store would be more affordable. I’ve already said that I think the two will match up pretty closely on typical grocery items, but Ukrop’s will top Kroger’s prepared foods in both quality and price.
Here’s how my shopping list turned out. Keep in mind that these are REGULAR prices on everything and that both stores run weekly sales on certain items. I can’t tell you whether one store puts more food on sale more often. I have bold-faced the winning store on each comparison:
Boar’s Head roast beef– Kroger, $8.49/lb; Ukrop’s, $8.99/lb.
Boursin cheese– Ukrop’s, $4.59; Kroger, $5.99
Alouette cheese spread– Kroger, $4.99; Ukrop’s, $5.79
Shadybrook Farms ground turkey– Ukrop’s, $3.48 per package; Kroger, $3.99
Kashi Go Lean! Crunch cereal– Ukrop’s, $3.29; Kroger, $3.99
Crest Whitening Expressions mint toothpaste– Kroger, $2.68; Ukrop’s, $2.99
Pantene Pro-V Shampoo and Conditioner– Tie at $4.29
Light Done Right salad dressing– Tie at $1.99
Near East couscous– Kroger, $2.39; Ukrop’s, $2.69
Garden of Eatin’ tortilla chips– Kroger, $2.59; Ukrop’s, $2.99
Splenda 200-count packets– Ukrop’s, $7.49; Kroger, $7.99
1/2 gallon store brand skim milk– Ukrop’s, $2.25; Kroger, $2.39
Tidy Cats scoopable litter, 14 lb.– Ukrop’s, $5.79; Kroger, $5.99
Gain detergent– Tie at $5.79
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream– Kroger, $2.99; Ukrop’s, $3.39
So, assuming that you bought these exact items and you bought a whole pound of deli meat, your grocery bill would run $66.54 at Kroger and $65.80 at Ukrop’s. That’s less than one dollar’s difference.
If you decide to do your own price comparison after Ukrop’s opens, I’d be interested to hear how it turns out.
Most of the new grocery store is already stocked and ready for tomorrow’s 7 a.m. grand opening. Only the meat department, bakery and prepared foods have yet to be stocked.
I took particular interest in the specialty cheese counter, where I found Stilton with blueberries and Stilton with lemon zest– YUM. They also had a Champignon brie with mushrooms and a Welsh cheddar with chives and shallots.
Ukrop’s meat and seafood departments are probably going to give competitors a run for their money. I found out they’re probably going to stock blue crabs in the seafood case whenever possible. Lord, give me strength. They also have more turkey products than I’ve seen at any other stores. Of course, I regularly shop at the Crossroads Kroger, which has far less variety than most of the other Kroger locations for some reason.
For the most part, the interior aisles of Ukrop’s look very much like any other grocery store around, and I think that’s where you’ll find the most comparable deals. Shop on the outer perimeters of the store, however, and it’s a whole new game.
For more information about Ukrop’s Grand Opening, check tomorrow’s Business section.