The Sunshine Economy: The Grocery Business

Oct 28, 2013

Credit Tom Hudson

Would you pay $12 for this jar of pluot jelly?

It's a combination of apricots and plums. Plenty of people are shelling out the $12 for the 10-ounce jar at independent grocery store Joanna's Marketplace on South Dixie Highway in Miami.

This jelly is just one way the small store looks to compete in an increasingly crowded grocery store industry in South Florida.

Tune In: Oct. 28 at 9:00 a.m. on WLRN 91.3 FM

On Monday's The Sunshine Economy: Price Check, the Grocery Business in South Florida, Joanna's is becoming a rare phenomena; a single store, independent grocery operator. While the industry continues to grow, and big-box stores continue to get larger, we hear from the two generations running Joanna's on how they compete.

In a much-hyped event, the California-based Trader Joe's opened its first store in South Florida as crowds waited for the doors to open. The chain has inspired its own kind of loyalty to its specialty products (and famously cheap wine). We meet one superfan from Doral who trekked across the Everglades every few weeks to what had been the nearest Trader Joe's in Naples to stock her cabinets, refrigerator, freezer and garage with the in-store products.

Join host Tom Hudson every Monday at 9:00 a.m. for WLRN's ongoing series, The Sunshine Economy, a weekly look at the key industries transforming South Florida into a regional powerhouse.
Credit WLRN

Navigating a traditional grocery store is not for the unfamiliar. The Miami Herald's Karen Rundlet explores her neighborhood supermarket with the help of retailing environment expert Paco Underhill to hear about the science behind shopping.

Linda Gassenheimer opens her kitchen cabinets and refrigerator to us. As a chef, grocery consultant and cookbook author, Gassenheimer is a professional grocery shopper. She acknowledges that the increasingly competitive environment has improved service for grocery shoppers, especially if they ask for it.

As Wal-Mart and Target continue expanding into the traditional supermarket business, there may be too many grocery stores, worries industry expert Jim Hertel of retailing consultant Willard Bishop. But in Dania Beach, we visit a project associated with the Broward Regional Health Planning Council that's designed to bring more fresh foods to neighborhoods lacking grocery options for local residents.