In the span of a typical week, Courtney Bush will often visit three, sometimes four, different supermarkets to pick up groceries for her family.
She’ll make a run to Trader Joe’s—closest to her home near the Perkins Road overpass—at least once a week for produce, frozen items and nut butters. Whole Foods is another weekly stop, where Bush buys items like rotisserie chicken, yogurt, healthy snacks and specialty foods like almond flour tortillas.
Every other week, she’ll visit Costco for essentials like meat, produce, eggs and condiments. But Target is where she goes for cleaning and household supplies. She’ll also occasionally stop at the local stores like Bet-R Neighborhood Market and Iverstine Farms Butcher.
What about the new Sprouts at Rouzan? Bush has tried it and could see it replacing her Whole Foods trips, though she says she’s “not ready to commit” to it yet.
While this might sound like a lot of grocery shopping, experts say it’s actually becoming the norm, especially for families like Bush’s. In a dual-working household with two kids, Bush is a big fan of meal prep in an effort to eat clean in their busy lives.
“The clean eating and meal prepping journey naturally led us to shop at multiple grocery stores,” Bush says. “I choose stores based on the types of food they carry—with a bent toward healthier options—the prices and how convenient they are for us.”
The fact that consumers like Bush are shopping around could help explain why Baton Rouge is able to sustain an inordinate amount of grocery stores today. Between the growing presence of national chains and a fortified group of local grocers, the fight for market share has been heating up for years. But, interestingly enough, no one has dropped out of the fray. In fact, within the past year, three new stores opened—Rouses at Arlington Marketplace, Matherne’s at Nicholson Gateway and Sprouts at Rouzan.
Read on for the full story, with comments from local grocery store owners about the trend, in the latest issue of Business Report.