Loblaws & Grocery Shopping [General]

2008 Feb 14
The postings about Loblaws have gotten interesting, so I thought we might continue here.

I shop at Loblaws primarily because it is convenient and has a lot of selection.

It looks like others here have encountered different issues than I have had with Loblaws. (I'm talking just Loblaws here, not other stores that are part of the Loblaws chain such as Real Canadian SuperStore).

My biggest gripe has been freshness, not selection / stocking issues. (If one is comparing freshness to say my local Farm Boy).

In the burbs the Loblaws stores that I frequent seem to have a better selection than say the local Independent or Sobeys. Part of that is because of the Presidents Choice line. And certainly better freshness than the latest arrival of discount stores such as Food Basics, Price Chopper etc. So for me it is the best choice for me out of all the chains.

I can't say I've found issue with things being out of stock, although I can't comment on the "weekly specials" because I'm at a point in my life with the kids gone, that I don't watch the flyers as closely as I once did. I generally now just go in and get whatever it is I need or want.

As I said I shop at Loblaws mostly out of convenience and overall price. I know I make some trade-offs for this convenience. And I have to be alert about freshness (because you can find items that are past dated) so I check expiry dates on dairy, fresh packed goods like cheese and bread, and am very picky about the pre-packed meats in the butchery area. And since the "sushi incident" I avoid fresh fish & seafood at Loblaws, because I know that these items are more prone to being off by being mishandled / stored. Picking thru produce is fairly easy (although I'm amazed how many people just take the first thing and put it in their shopping cart... hence I don't end up with those pasty white tomatoes that Marno mentioned, and yes I have see them. To me they just seem to be part of the large chain grocery experience... I figure that is because so much of our produce is shipped here by truck from the southern USA, Mexico and South America). That said, though I haven't encountered any mouldy or rotting produce (perhaps the staff at my store does a good job sorting... or perhaps the food doesn't have time to sit on the shelf very long... they seem to be restocking all day long, and the store is always busy). Only occasionally have I seen outages... most often around a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, when say they may sold-out of fresh cranberries in the day or two before the holiday.

Could it be possible that the Loblaws stores in the suburbs (Barrhaven, Kanata, Orleans) get more attention than say the urban ones? Has anyone enough experience at both to see a difference? Are their differences between the small, medium and large stores (large ones like College Square, Barrhaven, etc). I personally know there are enough differences between Loblaws and the Real Canadian Superstore, that in my opinion, they are indeed two different retailers.

2011 Jun 1
I finally found "liquid smoke". It was on sale at the IGA on St. Joseph, just up from the car dealerships. I was hesitant to try it before, because I thought, well "that can't be good for you" . . . but it's actually made very naturally by bubbling hickory smoke through water, and afterwards filtering out any carcinogens. Because of the that, it's actually safer than real smoke.