Local Doesn’t Need to Cost More: Comparing Grocery Carts with the Supermarket

Some people tell us that the Co-op has a price perception problem, that The Mustard Seed seems expensive. The fact is, when you compare shopping carts 🛒 we really are competitive in price. And local! In the coming weeks we are going to try to #mythbust this misconception with a series of cost comparisons with the local supermarket.

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This grocery cart comparison of vegetarian & vegan products was 5% LESS expensive at The Mustard Seed compared to the local supermarket, and 10 of the 14 products were the same price or less.

In this first image, you can see a comparison of a typical grocery cart of vegetarian (or vegan) products at The Mustard Seed (top image) vs. the same or similar products from a nearby supermarket (lower image). While we did not know what the results would be before doing the comparison, we are happy to share that the Co-op shopping cart costs 5% LESS, and 10 out of the 14 products were the same price OR LESS at The Mustard Seed. In addition, many of the products were more local, or had another value i.e. Fairtrade Canada certified organic bananas vs. just organic.

Items in the comparison included: artisan multiseed bread loaf, corn tortillas, fair trade coffee, vegan cheese (Gusta vs. Earth Island), organic tofu, hummus, hemp seeds (Richardo’s are from Ontario and no spray), vegetarian sausage (Gusta vs. Tofurky), Veggemo plant-based milk, organic bananas, local apples, sweet potatoes, organic kale, & local peppers.


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Produce in the Local Bounty Box for the sample week of March 15th was 30% LESS than the same selection from the local supermarket.

The image above is a comparison of a small #localbountybox with the same produce from the supermarket. The supermarket was 30.2% MORE than the Local Bounty Box at The Mustard Seed —and that was with conventional celery and broccoflower (instead of Romanesco cauliflower) as they didn’t stock #organic

The small Local Bounty Box for the week of March 15 ($24.99) included the following:
Organic Celery, 3lb bag of Local Bosc Pears, 2 Avocados, Organic Golden Bunch of Beets, Local Green Cabbage, Organic Black Kale, Organic Romanesco Cauliflower, 2 Sweet Mangoes, Organic Green Leaf Lettuce, & Organic Green Onions.

There was actually a bonus pineapple , melon & mango that were added later and not part if the comparison, so in fact the savings would be even GREATER.

The #localbountybox was also much fuller, fresher, with more #local produce. Remember, you don’t need to be a member to shop at The Mustard Seed – so come check us out and support local.


Please share this post to help us continue to spread that word that local does not mean more expensive. Our local food options are often more delicious and certainly unique. Come check us out if you have not been the the Co-op in a while – you don’t need to be a member to shop at The Mustard Seed! Stay tuned for our next cost comparison of pantry basics.

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