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International Aisles or Shelves in Grocery Stores


gulfporter
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I am all for convenience, yet I see his point.  Why not put all sauces together, all noodle products together, rather than by ethnicity.  It may open some eyes (and taste buds) to more culinary diversity if they saw an ethnic product in a "regular' aisle, especially if they don't normally venture to the international aisles/shelves.  

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2019/09/30/to-david-chang-the-international-food-aisle-is-a-last-bastion-of-racism-others-see-it-differently/

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It may make me a racist, but I like things divided by region/ethnicity/whatever you want to call it.  I like knowing where to find rice noodles, ghee, tortillas, Jelly Babies, etc.  I won't die on that hill.  I'm sure I'd get used to finding everything if they spread it all over the store.  I'm just a 60 year old lady that hates change.  😁

 

One thing I used to find funny/sad was that the hometown family owned grocery store that used to be here in the capital of the Confederacy always put kosher food in the international aisle.  🤨 so, no American Jews, huh?

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1 hour ago, gulfporter said:

I am all for convenience, yet I see his point.  Why not put all sauces together, all noodle products together, rather than by ethnicity.  It may open some eyes (and taste buds) to more culinary diversity if they saw an ethnic product in a "regular' aisle, especially if they don't normally venture to the international aisles/shelves.  

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2019/09/30/to-david-chang-the-international-food-aisle-is-a-last-bastion-of-racism-others-see-it-differently/

 

My local Kroger still has an international aisle, but all Asian (including Indian) is pretty much together, and the rest of the "international" aisle is Latino. Kinda sad. I go to Memphis and hit the international market, which has a full aisle each of Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian, and I go to the Middle Eastern market for those delicacies. (Plus I'm intrigued by the nine bazillion kinds of olives!) 

 

On the other had, Kroger did away with the "organic" section recently and dispersed all the organic shelf-stable foods throughout the store with their like kinds. Except the frozen products are still sorta-kinda segregated.

 

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Going a step further the big chains here separate the Kosher products to their own dedicated bit of space. So the matzo  mix, candles, and cookies all packed together.  I prefer the ethnic separation because the general aisles are so so packed with product you can't find stuff that you know is right in front of you...

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It makes more sense to me to group things according to the cuisine. So for instance the soy sauce, the mirin, the dashi powder and even the sake, where allowed, should cosy up to one another on the shelves as they do in the dishes where they are used. I would hate to check four or five aisles to find all of these ingredients.

 

As a sidenote at least one of our Asian grocery stores segregates according to country. There is a Filipino section and a  Japanese section and a Korean section but there’s no section called Western or European or Chinese. The Chinese can be explained in that what isn’t labelled otherwise is Chinese since it is run by Chinese people!  Should I picket them and insist that there be something labelled Western?😂

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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I like having  the international items in their own spaces. My husband tends to wander off when he gets bored in the store.  I know I can ALWAYS go right to the international aisle and find him engrossed in reading labels.  He is like a foodie homing pigeon when it comes to foreign foods.  He's never met a salsa label he didn't want to read!  If the store mixes that stuff in with the other stuff, it may take a search and rescue team to find him.  I'd probably have to bell him like a cat if that day ever comes.    

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The large Asian market near me is divided by ethnicity in aisles.  Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Indonesian (with a lot of Dutch products), Middle Eastern etc... all have at least one aisle dedicated to them.   The noodle aisles are integrated, the beer cooler is integrated, frozen foods are divided by cuisine.   The organic/gluten free product aisle (cereals, canned and jarred goods, snacks) is the most "American" aisle there.   

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Then where does coconut milk go, in with the fruit juices?   Soy sauce with oil & vinegar or ketchup & mustard?  I guess there could be more integration, if they moved the coconut milk or soy sauce I could learn.  All the rices together and all the noodles together, refried beans and tofu in with the garbanzos and kidney beans instead of the Hispanic and Asian areas.  But the picante chicharrons are already in the chip aisle and there are fresh salsas all over the place ...

 

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Logical grouping goes against the supermarketer’s basic strategy of making me wander all over the damn store to find everything. It must kill them to have ethnic sections. 

 

But how else would you locate cocoanut milk or ponzu sauce?

 

 

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46 minutes ago, gfweb said:

Logical grouping goes against the supermarketer’s basic strategy of making me wander all over the damn store to find everything. It must kill them to have ethnic sections. 

 

But how else would you locate cocoanut milk or ponzu sauce?

 

 

 

I had three Shoprite staff helping me find the Mexican Coke the other day.

 

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6 hours ago, gfweb said:

But how else would you locate cocoanut milk or ponzu sauce?

Well in one of our grocery chains the coconut milk is in the aisle with the drink mixes!  Coconut cream? Coconut milk? What the hell?  

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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1 hour ago, Anna N said:

Well in one of our grocery chains the coconut milk is in the aisle with the drink mixes!  Coconut cream? Coconut milk? What the hell?  

Someone at head office probably conflated it with the sweetened "creamed coconut" used in some cocktails, and lumped 'em all together.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Here in the midwest, I find the grocery stores lacking in international and "gourmet" ingredients. There are plenty of small ethnic markets or I could go to World Market/Cost Plus, but I seldom have time to get to those. I end up ordering most stuff online to save time. 

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Deb

Liberty, MO

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