5 Supermarkets Share the Secret Store Policies You Should Be Taking Advantage Of
We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
These services will change the way you shop.
Almost every week, you can find me zipping through the aisles of my local Trader Joe's as I look for the healthiest food to pile into my cart.
Given the unending crowds that Trader Joe's is famous for, I often whiz right past the new products that the retailer puts out (like those butternut fries). But recently, an employee saw me eyeing some sliced oven-roasted turkey that I hadn't seen before, and he asked if I wanted to try it.
Eating healthy should still be delicious.
Sign up for our daily newsletter for more great articles and tasty, healthy recipes.
I was shocked when he ripped open the package right on the spot and offered me a slice. Then he explained that Trader Joe's customers can actually try most products before buying them. For free. I was floored. This is on a whole other level than those sad samples they plop into paper cups at most stores.
New Year. New Food. Healthy eating starts here, with the Cooking Light Diet.
Before you go hog-wild: The policy doesn't apply to alcoholic beverages (alas), or to frozen foods or raw items that you would have to cook, of course. But the amazing hack lets you sample many of Trader Joe's best items—snacks, produce, cheese, deli products, salads, sushi—before you decide to spend cash on it.
It completely changed the way I planned my visits to the store, and I couldn't help but wonder: what other free benefits and services are available to customers at national grocery stores?
So I did a little digging and reached out to other major supermarkets across the nation and compiled this list of must-try (and free!) services that you should be taking advantage of:
In addition to the life-changing (for me, anyway) "try before you buy" policy, Trader Joe's has a return policy that is astoundingly generous. You're able to return, well, anything you'd like to. Didn't enjoy the new loaf of bread you picked up last week? You're free to return it for a full refund or exchange.
Though this German-based retailer is a relative newcomer to many areas, strong word-of-mouth (and some good press) has helped Aldi successfully integrate into the American supermarket landscape, with more than 1,750 stores in 35 different states.
Let's say you pop into Aldi for a box of water crackers to accompany your cheese plate, but after ripping them open and trying a few, you realized you would rather have a heartier cracker instead.
You'd be able to use Aldi's Double Guarantee, where you can bring back those crackers for a full refund, no questions asked. And, on top of getting your money back, you're able to pick out a new box of similarly-priced crackers to take home with you at no additional cost. What's better than a full refund and a free comparably priced item?
Kroger's customer loyalty program not only rewards the shopper with benefits, but it enables shoppers to give back to the community as well. Kroger shoppers can enroll in the Community Rewards program and earn money for a local organization of their choice every time they shop, which is definitely something to feel good about.
You'll also be interested to hear that Kroger is a meal-planners paradise: the chain offers an "Easy for You" program in their seafood department, where you can purchase a piece of fish and have it prepped with seasonings and garnishes, before it's placed into an oven-safe bag. You can choose from 12 different seasonings such as lemon pepper, rosemary garlic, or sesame ginger, and finish off your purchase with fresh dill, cilantro, thyme, or lemon. Did we mention this is completely free?
Unlike Aldi, Kroger doesn't rely heavily on privately held products in their stores—which includes brands like Private Selection and Simple Truth— but there is also a money-back guarantee on all of their privately branded products.
Diehard fans of this Southeastern-based grocery chain will immediately tell you that Publix employees are notoriously friendly, often handing you free deli samples or bakery cookies for children without being asked. You may have already heard of Publix's guarantee policy, where customers are able to return any item that doesn't provide "complete satisfaction" and get a full refund immediately.
But you'll want to pay attention at checkout, because another benefit is the Publix "Promise"—if the price of an item rings up as more expensive than the shelf label or the advertised price in the weekly circular, Publix will give you that item for free and charge the lower price for any additional items you're purchasing.
This also applies to BOGO (buy one, get one) items, which means you can still enjoy a deep discount on the single item without having to buy both.
Backyard Production/Getty Images
Navigating Whole Foods can be complicated, but there are countless services that you'll want to start capitalizing on if you haven't already. Like Trader Joe's, Whole Foods is willing to give you a sample of nearly every product in the store when you ask a team member. Simply grab someone and point out the product you'd like to try, and they'll open it for you, free of charge.
If you end up liking the item, but only want a certain potion of it, Whole Foods team members are willing to sell you the exact amount you need. Only need half a cabbage? Not a problem.
You can also hack meal prep by asking the Whole Foods' butcher to cut your purchase exactly the way you want it. You can save time by having it cut into perfect 2-inch cubes of beef if you're heading home to make stew, for example. And while you're at it, you also can ask for your meat to be seasoned or marinated at no additional cost. For extra thrifty shoppers who love homemade stock, the meat department will often hand out leftover bones or sell them for a very low price if you ask—nicely, of course.
The same is true when you purchase seafood at Whole Foods: the team there will custom cut and debone any piece of fish you'd like to purchase, including peeling and deveining shrimp, free of charge.
Finally, Whole Foods offers mass sales on items during national food holidays—like on goat cheese for National Cheese Lover's Day, just this year. The store announces these sales just about a week before they begin, so be sure to ask about them. And also ask about a 10 percent discount for buying items in bulk, including wine and alcohol.
A trade secret is any practice or process of a company that is generally not known outside of the company. Information considered a trade secret gives the company a competitive advantage over its competitors and is often a product of internal research and development.
To be legally considered a trade secret in the United States, a company must make a reasonable effort in concealing the information from the public the secret must intrinsically have economic value, and the trade secret must contain information. Trade secrets are a part of a company's intellectual property. Unlike a patent, a trade secret is not publicly known.
- Trade secrets are secret practices and processes that give a company a competitive advantage over its competitors.
- Trade secrets may differ across jurisdictions but have three common traits: not being public, offering some economic benefit, and being actively protected.
- U.S. trade secrets are protected by the Economics Espionage Act of 1996.
Many professional thieves work in groups of two or more to distract sales staff while they steal. Shoplifters learn to take advantage of busy stores during peak hours, or they may strike at times when employees are likely to be busy, such as opening, closing, and during shift changes.
Hiding merchandise is the most common method of shoplifting. Items are concealed in the clothing of the shoplifter, in handbags, strollers, umbrellas, or inside purchased merchandise. Bold shoplifters may grab an item and run out of the store. Other methods include price label switching and attempting to short-change the cashier. Some shoplifters might even try to return stolen merchandise to a store for a bogus refund. Whatever their methods, it is difficult to determine who is or is not likely to be a shoplifter.
STOP YOUR REFLUX!
And start addressing the real cause once and for all! 12 heartburn-busting recipes included.
LEARN THE BASICS!
Get started today with simple recipes, time-saving tips and must-have resources!
SOUP LOVERS UNITE!
Sign up for my newsletter and get weekly recipes, videos, health tips, and more.
4 Tasty Ways to Use Precooked Shrimp for Effortless Meals
This convenient protein is the savvy shortcut you should definitely be taking advantage of.
Boiled (and usually peeled) shrimp with a side of cocktail sauce is a ubiquitous summer finger food that’s easy to serve at just about any warm-weather gathering. It takes little effort to prepare and most people (barring those with shellfish allergies) tend to enjoy the simple appetizer. However, simple boiled shrimp have far more potential beyond being a classic and classy snack in fact, the precooked shrimp you can pick up at the grocery store offers ample possibilities for quick, everyday meals.
Basic boiled shrimp—which can be chilled and peeled for a classic shrimp cocktail—involves cooking fresh shrimp in a seasoned cooking liquid. The cooking liquid typically includes water, lemon juice, black peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic, and salt. Once the liquid comes to a boil, it is reduced to a simmer and whole shrimp is simmered in the liquid for about 2-3 minutes. When the shrimp turn pink, it is then removed from the pot and shocked in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. From there you can peel the shrimp and eat as is.
This method is simple enough, but it’s also a bit easier (and for many, less intimidating) to purchase shrimp that have already been cooked—in a bag from the freezer section, by the pound at the seafood counter, or even in the form of a cocktail shrimp ring𠅊t the grocery store. It’s a simple, savvy supermarket shortcut that a busy home cook should feel absolutely no shame in utilizing. Prepared shrimp, particularly the frozen options that are already peeled (we suggest looking for tails-on, though) seriously cuts down on the time that you would spend on tasks such as peeling, deveining, and even bringing the poaching liquid to a boil, which makes throwing together these easy-to-assemble dishes all the more manageable. Here are 4 ways to integrate store-bought 𠇌ocktail” shrimp into delicious meals that you won’t mind putting together.
Toss into a salad or grain bowl.
Tossing boiled (and thawed if necessary) shrimp in a leafy green salad or grain is an easy meal prep hack to keep in mind. Bonus: Because this use is best consumed chilled anyway, you won’t have to worry about being the one at the office with smelly seafood that you warmed up from last night’s dinner. For an extra dash of flavor, toss your shrimp in a dash of a spice blend such as Old Bay seasoning, Tony Chachere&aposs Original Creole Seasoning, or lemon pepper seasoning. You instantly add personality to your salad and it’s a fun/simple way to switch up the flavor profile of your lunches throughout the week.
Add to soup (hot and cold).
Being that your shrimp are already cooked, you won’t need much heat to warm it through, so no need to thaw frozen shrimp before adding it to a pot of hot soup. The gentle heat from the soup will warm the to shrimp to the perfect temperature without overcooking it into a rubbery state. Just give the shrimp a few minutes in the pot to warm through before serving up your soup. Soups such as a corn chowder, tomato soup, and Coconut-Red Curry Squash Soup would benefit greatly from the addition of a handful of shrimp. If you go with a cold soup, thaw frozen shrimp under running cold water before stirring in. And if you purchased a form of already thawed shrimp, simply stir the chilled shellfish right in. Add to your favorite warm weather soups such as gazpacho, sweet pea soup, or avocado soup.
Make spring rolls and lettuce wraps.
Spring rolls and lettuce are a fun and fresh food to assemble for lunch or to serve as an appetizer to guests. Pack them tight with your favorite fresh vegetables and add in a few shrimp (tails removed) to eat roll/wrap. (Depending on the size of your shrimp, you may want to cut into smaller pieces.) To prepare the spring rolls, purchase 8-inch round rice paper wrappers and individually soak the wrapper in warm water to make them pliable. The wrappers can be filled with sliced carrots, cucumbers, radish, jicama, and cabbage. In terms of the lettuce wraps, butter and bibb lettuce leaves are solid options to go with.
Bulk up cold pasta and noodle dishes.
Precooked shrimp are ideal for easy chilled noodles dishes. A pasta salad is a great place to mix in a handful of cooked shrimp, especially in flavorful recipes such as a pesto pasta salad, Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad, and Orzo Salad with Zucchini and Feta. You have the flexibility to play around with different types of noodles and flavor profiles, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Soba noodle dishes are often served chilled and adding your handy shrimp to a well-dressed bowl of noodles is the perfect way to incorporate protein.
We Tried 12 Brands of Kombucha and There Was a Clear Favorite
I promised myself that I would focus on my gut health as a new year’s resolution and because I am a woman of my word, three months in, I think I’m doing pretty well. Given the hype surrounding fizzy fermented teas, drinking kombucha was the obvious route to start on my gut health journey. The kombucha craze is relatively new to the U.S., but this drink has been consumed in Eastern cultures for centuries. Kombucha boasts a myriad of health benefits, and its main claim to fame that it carries gut-healthy probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that help maintain a balanced digestive system. (These are the “good” bacteria that are often found in other fermented foods like kimchi.)
At its most basic, kombucha is a sweetened black or green tea that’s fermented by using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, a.k.a. a SCOBY. The fermentation process transforms the tea into a carbonated beverage that is often further flavored with fruits, spices, herbs, or flowers. Since this is a fermented drink, small traces of alcohol can be found in each bottle however, the bottles labeled “non-alcoholic” have only up to a 0.5 ABV.
As I began trying different brands, I quickly realized that not all kombuchas are created the same. And as fun as it is to “get into” a new-to-you food item, it’s also costly and annoying when you buy a product during your discovery journey, and it turns out to be… unsatisfactory. After trying out several brands myself, I decided I really wasn’t about continuing this expensive guessing game of searching for “the best” kombucha.
To definitively settle the matter, I gathered 12 brands of kombucha that were readily available in local stores (spanning from standard supermarkets like Publix to more specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods). And with the help of the MyRecipes squad, we put them to the taste test—taking into account flavor, price, availability, sugar content, and carbonation strength. Most brands offered a some variety of ginger flavor, so we went with that as the common denominator for comparison purposes. While a clear (and unsurprising) crowd favorite emerged, there were a few that we felt deserved mention (not to mention, a few that were so offensively bad, we will never mention them again). With that said, here are the kombucha brands actually worth dropping your hard-earned dollars on.
# 1: The All-Around Best Kombucha: GT&rsquos Living Food
GT’s Living Food kombucha is, by many standards, the OG of commercial kombuchas, holding its place in the U.S. market for 22 years. GT’s Living Food was the first company to bring quality kombucha, that’s made with 100% pure love (literally, it’s on the label), to grocery store shelves. We found that the Gingerade variety offers a well balanced level of ginger spice, acidity, and fizz. Many of the bottles that didn’t make the cut had a watery-weak ginger presence and lacked sufficient carbonation. GT’s delivers on all aspects of a good kombucha, and it’s convenient to purchase. This brand can be found virtually anywhere that sells kombucha.
#2: Runner Up: Kevita Master Brew Kombucha
Coming in second place with a close run for first is Kevita Master Kombucha. The fresh ginger flavor is spot-on and the bubbly-level was just what we we’re looking for. However, this brand lacks slightly in the signature kombucha tang we crave this acidity (which GT’s nails) balances out the sugar and any other flavorings present in the kombucha, keeping the beverage bright and satisfying, as opposed falling flat. Even though it wasn’t our #1 pick, we recognize it as a totally legit kombucha option. This brand has also developed something of a cult following, and should be relatively easy to find in many stores.
#3: Honorable Mention: Brew Dr. Kombucha
Brew Dr. Kombucha brand was one of the more delicately flavored kombuchas of the bunch. The company focuses more on the initial tea blends and fermentation process, and does not add further flavoring or juices after the kombucha is fully fermented. This likely explains why their kombucha is lower in sugar than some of the other options and more gentle on the palate. That said, we don’t say licate” to imply bland here. The ginger variety we tasted offered a subtle hint of cayenne pepper that paired delightfully with the ginger, but neither overpowered the taste of the tea. This would be a great beginner kombucha for someone just starting to acquire a taste for the probiotic beverage.
#4: Honorable Mention: Health-Ade
Of all that we tasted, Health-Ade brand contains the lowest amount of sugar per serving, making this brand ideal for anyone actively concerned about their daily sugar intake, as well as their gut health. Additionally, this brand offers strong acidity and vibrant bubbles, but the team was not overly impressed by the flavor (we tried a couple from this brand, actually), as it generally lacked depth or intensity, and was overall too vinegary. However, this may very well just be the price you pay for the impressively low sugar numbers.
#5: The Wildcard: Wild Tonic
The Wild Tonic brand was our wildcard kombucha pick due to its interesting use of honey. Naturally, honey is commonly used to sweeten tea, so sweetening a bottle of kombucha with honey seems like a logical association—however, you rarely see it being done. The honey and prominent tea flavor distinguish this brand, as these rounder flavors overhauled most of the sharp tanginess that typically comes with kombucha. This brand was also gentler on the carbonation front. If you are new to kombucha and so far, not the hugest fan, we think Wild Tonic could be a good place to start your 𠆋ucha journey.
The Secret To Successful Global Expansion
If you are on the leadership team of a growing business, one of the most exciting milestones is the point when you’re ready to expand into new international markets. You are looking at a greenfield of new revenue opportunities whether direct or through partnerships. This kind of expansion can also give new life to mature products that have reached the end of their lifecycle at home, but could still be competitive in another country. The trick is to quickly beat competitors that may also want to expand to this new territory, capturing all the benefits of the first-mover advantage.
Navigating global expansion can be daunting, especially depending on what countries you are moving into.
Being first sounds simple – just move fast right? But it’s not that easy. Navigating global expansion can be daunting, especially depending on what countries you are moving into. There are a plethora of legal and regulatory requirements to consider. Hiring even one employee can require setting up a subsidiary or regional presence, registering with tax authorities, opening local bank accounts, acquiring local commercial certifications, and administering payroll and employee benefits in accordance with local laws and regulations. Typically, organizations will need to hire local accountants and attorneys to ensure compliance in all these areas. Depending on the country, it could take anywhere from three to 12 months just to establish a foothold. Twelve months is not exactly first-mover friendly.
Given the challenges associated with global expansion, it’s not surprising that many companies turn to a model in which they contract with a third party for international employment instead, typically referred to as global employer of record.
An employer of record can handle onboarding a company’s chosen candidates in other countries, take care of payroll and offer benefits packages in line with local requirements. The employer of record assumes all responsibility for compliance with legal requirements, which is highly attractive and significantly mitigates risk for the company. They can also handle assignments ranging from setting up a single employee to staffing an office or facility with hundreds of employees.
A recent survey by CFO Research found that some of the top benefits of an employer of record model include the assurance of legal and HR compliance, cited by 51% of survey respondents, followed by the assurance of being in regulatory compliance (42%) and the ability to leverage local knowledge (40%). On that last point, a global employer of record can offer things like onboarding videos in the local language, which can be important in building a better long-distance employer-employee relationship.
A global employer of record should have experts on the ground in many countries, and that local experience helps to ensure success on all fronts. It gives the new employee the security of knowing that their employer understands their specific needs and expectations of their country, which can vary substantially from one country to the next.
No matter how good new employees are, or how committed they may be to a successful partnership, their enthusiasm will inevitably wane if their employer isn’t able to manage the fundamental nuts and bolts of setting up shop in the new country. This is proven by a recent survey that found that employees who report their companies are not able to align with and be sensitive to local culture and regulations are more likely to have turnover intentions. This means it’s not enough for companies to simply study the local market and ship a few expatriate employees to another country. Local cultural and legal knowledge must also be prioritized.
Expanding internationally has become less optional and more imperative. The secret to successful international expansion doesn’t need to be a secret any longer. Many companies that have taken the more challenging path – that have opened subsidiaries in multiple countries and tried to navigate complex legal, tax and regulatory environments on their own – wish they had known about this alternative a long time ago. It would have saved them a lot of time and money. Global expansion can be exhilarating, but fraught with challenges. It doesn’t have to be any more.
Pricing strategy template for wholesalers
Once you have your suggested retail price (SRP), you can move forward with creating a wholesale pricing strategy for your products. This is a necessary process for retail brands that want to delve into business-to-business (B2B) sales. B2B buyers usually are more informed than B2C customers—more product aware, competitive aware, and more focused on value (price/service/etc.).
Retailers will sell their products at a discounted price to another business to resell to their own customers. This can increase a brand’s reach and introduce its products to new audiences.
If you’re selling wholesale and setting a pricing strategy, start with the following steps:
1. Compare the profit you make for individual items and then contrast that to 100x the volume. The difference impacts how much discount you want to provide for bulk purchases. (Then you have the steps to think about what 1,000x looks like.)
2. Calculate the cost of goods manufactured (COGM). This is the total cost of making or purchasing a product, including materials, labor, payment method and terms, and other additional costs necessary to get the goods into inventory and ready to sell.
Costs can be divided into two distinct categories:
- Overhead and capital costs: This is things like building, equipment, utilities, etc.
- Direct costs: This is labor, materials, shipping and insurance, and other costs of goods sold.
Overhead costs are divided by the estimated volume you think you’re selling. Direct costs are easier to assign to the cost of selling a product.
Shipping is a hard price to measure here, where depending on the product, bulk quantities impact weight and increase costs to ship.Another key consideration is shipping speed. When selling B2B, you’re part of another merchant’s supply chain, and as a result, you may need to pay for guaranteed or faster shipping, which increases costs.
A product’s COGM can be determined with the following calculation:
Total material cost + total labor cost + additional costs and overhead = cost of goods manufactured
3. Protect your profit margin. Keep in mind that when setting a wholesale pricing strategy, the profit margin should be 50% or more.
Retail margin percentage can be determined with the following formula:
Retail price - cost / retail price = retail margin %
4. Set your direct-to-consumer and business-to-business prices. Create an external retail price for your products listed on your website that your direct customers see and a separate wholesale price you share with wholesale or potential wholesale accounts in the form of a line sheet. When you sell wholesale, you’re likely selling a higher quantity in each order, which allows you to sell the products at a lower price.
FURTHER READING: For more details on setting a wholesale pricing strategy, read this step-by-step to product pricing for wholesale.
B2B customers are likely returning customers if the quality/service is good. As a result, it could even make sense to price at initial discounts to “win” the contract/customer over. Doing this as long as you’re transparent is a useful way to get long-term sustainable revenue streams.
Free Guide: Shipping and Fulfillment 101
From deciding what to charge your customers, to figuring out insurance and tracking, this comprehensive guide will walk you step-by-step through the entire process
Get the free reading list
Get our Shipping and Fulfillment 101 guide delivered right to your inbox.
Almost there: please enter your email below to gain instant access.
We'll also send you updates on new educational guides and success stories from the Shopify newsletter. We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe.
Thanks for subscribing. You’ll start receiving free tips and resources soon. In the meantime, start building your store with a free 14-day trial of Shopify.
The Ability to Read and Act on Signals
In order to adapt, a company must have its antennae tuned to signals of change from the external environment, decode them, and quickly act to refine or reinvent its business model and even reshape the information landscape of its industry.
Think back to when Stirling Moss was winning Formula One car races: The car and the driver determined who won. But today the sport is as much about processing complex signals and making adaptive decisions as about mechanics and driving prowess. Hundreds of sensors are built into the cars race teams continuously collect and process data on several thousand variables—ranging from weather and road conditions to engine rpm and the angles of curves—and feed them into dynamic simulation models that guide the drivers’ split-second decisions. A telemetric innovation by one team can instantly raise the bar for all.
In this information-saturated age, when complex, varying signals may be available simultaneously to all players, adaptive companies must similarly rely on sophisticated point-of-sale systems to ensure that they acquire the right information. And they must apply advanced data-mining technologies to recognize relevant patterns in it.
For example, a leading media company that was suffering from a high rate of customer churn revamped its analytic approach to customer data, applying “neural network” technologies in order to understand patterns of customer loss. The company found hidden relationships among the variables that were driving churn and launched retention campaigns targeting at-risk customers. The accuracy rate in predicting churn was an impressive 75% to 90%—a huge benefit, given that every percentage point in churn reduction added millions of dollars to the bottom line.
Jockeying for Position: The Media Industry at a Glance
This chart shows changes over the past half century in the number of players in the U.S. media industry and their revenue rankings in relation to one another. (Each line represents a company.) Comcast and Sirius XM Radio are among those that have adapted. Playboy and United Artists Theatre Circuit are among those that haven’t.
A similar pattern can be observed in many other industries (see hbr.org/slideshows/turbulence).
Companies are also leveraging their signal-reading capabilities to make operational interventions in real time, bypassing slow-moving decision hierarchies. The UK-based grocery retailer Tesco continually performs detailed analyses of the purchase patterns of the more than 13 million members of its loyalty-card program. Its findings enable Tesco to customize offerings for each store and each customer segment and provide early warning of shifts in customer behavior. They also supported the development of Tesco’s hugely successful online platform, which has extended the company’s business model, enabling Tesco to become a store without walls and to offer a broader range of products and services, including media and financial services. To put the icing on the cake, instead of being purely a cost center, the rich databases and analytical capabilities produce a stream of direct revenue: For a fee, Tesco allows other enterprises to access its technologies and insights.
Google is another example. It uses algorithms to update the position of an ad on the basis of the ad’s relevance to an individual search or website as well as the advertiser’s bids on key words. The more relevant an ad, the higher the click-through rate—and because advertisers pay per click, this means more revenue for Google. By linking its advertising data directly to its operations, Google can respond to changing ad conditions on a split-second basis, without the intervention of human decision makers.
How Is Short Selling Different From Regular Investing?
Shorting a stock has its own set of rules, which are different from regular stock investing, including a rule designed to restrict short selling from further driving down the price of a stock that has dropped more than 10% in one day, compared to the previous day's closing price.
In theory, the risk of losses on a short sale is infinite. A stock price could continue to rise with no limit. The short-selling tactic is best used by seasoned traders who know and understand the risks.
The Balance does not provide tax, investment, or financial services or advice. The information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.