Grocery Geek: Mergers, Buy-Outs & a Pantry Challenge

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You know you’re a grocery geek when you spend time researching the origins and founders of certain grocery stores and wonder if mergers and buy-outs are going to have a negative impact on your weekly shopping trip.

I’m sure most people don’t give these things a second thought. But since I rely on  knowledge of each store’s rules and regulations, and yes, even their histories, to help me keep our budget in check, it was a big deal to me this week to hear that Henry’s Markets and Sprouts of California have merged.

And to be honest, this news didn’t make me happy. While the two stores have competing sale prices, I’ve had terrible experiences with Sprouts’ meat and produce over the last year. So much so, that I’ve ceased to shop at Sprouts altogether. It doesn’t matter that it’s the farther store; at one time I was willing to make the treck for their clearance bread. But, a few too many bad apples convinced me it really wasn’t worth great prices on day old bread.

So, I’m not sure about this Henry’s buyout. The manager got a little defensive on my trip there this week, claiming that Henry’s was Sprouts to begin with. But, that’s not what I read.

See? Total grocery geek. But are you going to come to blows with a manager over how Sprouts was really the second company and not the first? Clearly I need to pick up some more hobbies.

Anywho, I did make one grocery stop this week:

$52 will get you all this at Sprouts-the-store-formerly-known-as-Henry’s-which-was-really-always-Henry’s-but-I-won’t-argue-with-you-about-it.

Purchases included conventional berries, cucumbers, lettuce, avocados, tomatoes, lettuce, and broccoli, as well as organic carrots, celery, bananas, and grape tomatoes. Oats were on a killer sale @ $.69/pound, so I had to get some. And beef which rarely goes on sale these days was $2.99 for extra lean Angus beef. And since I love my latest Bleu Cheese burger with Chipotle Mayonnaise, I had to get it.

I had to.

So, I think that brings our grocery expenses to $325 for the month. Yet, our milk supply is dwindling as is the coffee. And we have a date with some smores at the beach, so I need to rustle up some of those fixins. I’m sure I’ll be making a weekend stop at Walmart.

But, so far, so good, eh? We’ve only eaten out once in the last week — and we’re eating like kings. I still haven’t busted out the turkey from the freezer yet, either. Check back tomorrow for my meal plan and how these new purchases are fitting in.

Do YOU care about grocery store mergers?

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  1. I had added you to my reader a week or two ago, but I just wanted to say that I’ve really been enjoying your posts.

    That’s a great haul for $52? I have a Whole Foods and Fresh Market by me, but I always end up going the Kroger/Meijer route because they’re both so expensive (unless I see an awesome sale)

  2. I love it! Grocery geeks rock! Hmmm…..I think that should be made into a t-shirt. I may be on to something here. 😉

    We’re on a super thing budget until our first paycheck in August, so I’m cleaning out my pantry and stockpile. I really look forward to restocking both, but until then I’m trying to be as creative as possible and use up as much as possible!

  3. Oh you make me laugh!! I love it. You are so fun. I must be a real grocery geek!

  4. I had heard that they have been owned by the same corportation for a few months- I don’t know who bought who- but they are merging. They just opened up a sprouts near me and I really like it. The Henry’s is too far from me. I wonder if the problems with the meat are applicable only to the way the employees are handling it at that store or was it the overall quality of the meat that they got in?
    So far, the produce we have bought at Sprouts is better tasting than what we were buying at Ralphs as I think it sits in the refrigerator storage a long time at Ralphs and Sprouts goes through theirs much quicker as they do sell a lot. Let us know what you think once they merge as I hope the quality stays good at our new Sprouts store.

  5. That stinks that your initial Sprouts experiences have been so awful. I adore Sprouts here in AZ. Their meat has always been good and their produce is significantly nicer than any of the other grocery stores. I am there every single Wednesday morning.

    Maybe it will improve for you now that the buyout is official? At least you had a great shopping trip this week! I’m craving strawberries again, so I’m off to find some tomorrow as well.

    1. @BarefeetInTheKitchen, I loved Sprouts for 2 years and then it went downhill. Could be management of that particular location. Who knows? Since Sprouts bought Henry’s, I am kind of expect the quality to follow that of the owner. Perhaps I’m too much of a pessimist.

  6. Bummer to hear about you recent experiences with Sprouts…I was eager to try them out when we move to LA in 5 weeks. Oh, well. I’ll just give Henry’s/Sprouts a try! Love the oats price…:)

  7. So interesting you would comment about this. I am a much bigger fan of Henry’s than Sprouts and when I heard the news this week (I’m a fellow San Diegan) I, too, was underwhelmed and worried about whether my great Henry’s produce would increase in price or go away.
    Also agree with the other post that thinks “Grocery Geek” should be a t-shirt! Love it. I bet a bunch of your readers would totally buy them.

  8. I found this to very very interesting info. as I just had a few words with our Sprouts manager about some customer service issues. But I’ve never had bad meat. If that’s what is coming, I’m very sad to hear it.

  9. In Phoenix, Henry’s closed more than 5 years ago when Wild Oats acquired them. Then Wild Oats was acquired by Whole Foods the next year and we were left with Sprouts and Whole Foods. Then the former owner of Wild Oats opened Sunflower Markets…it’s a market eat market world here…

  10. I am still sticking to our $50 grocery budget per week for our family. By using items from our pantry, freezer and garden, I can use the money I would have spent to get spices and other things to replace what I am using. I am just trying to rotate and replace.

  11. Those stores must definitely be a West Coast thing. I live in NC and have never heard of any of those stores. As for grocery store mergers, I have never had to deal with that. One of the things I didn’t like about moving to NC was to leave behind my favorites which were Bilo and Publix. I have come to like the stores I do have here, although the one closest to me doesn’t double coupons. Boo.