Comments for: High price of groceries in Maine due to lack of competition, expert says

Posted Jan. 15, 2012, at 4:40 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 16, 2012, at 8:45 a.m.

RUMFORD | Finding deals and sales has become a game for some, but in Maine, some grocery stores are stacking the deck. Teri Gault, CEO of The Grocery Game, an online company that combines store specials and grocery coupons, and tracks sales to help shoppers, attributes the high price …

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  • cougar 64

    all has to do with price of fuel and the commodities futures

    • Baloney. Fuel Prices are marginally higher than most of the country (and cheaper than some regions). Commodities are traded internationally, and have zero regional effects. 

      • Guest

        I think Cougar was referring to the cost of fuel to schlepp the stuff up to this corner of the country.  Your commodities remark is, of course, correct.   :)

        • Anonymous

          And I’d believe Cougar, if I didn’t travel the state as part of my job.  How come I can buy some products at the IGA in Houlton or even Presque Isle for less than the same product at Hannaford in Disgusta.  It should cost more in the County ’cause it had to be transported further.  Quick example: Dole’s frozen juice (take your pick Pineapple or Pine-or-banana or Pine-Or).  Last time I was in the IGA (about a year back) it was $1.49.  It’s closer to $2 at Can’taford.

          • Guest

            Good point to make ,with all your traveling and I’m sure you are likely correct, although with a year’s time span and the volatility of juice prices  it may not be the best example.
            I do notice the overall price (and quality of produce) difference  between SE Mass.and whenever I travel back to Houlton, though. I’d guesstimate that it’s 1/3 more expensive up there for many staples.

          • Anonymous

            IGA is always cheaper. I’m fortunate to be near one.  Damned near passed out last time I shopped at a Hannaford’s.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, those are factors, but not the only or most important ones. Lack of competition and efficiencies of store concentration are other factors, too.

  • EVERYTHING is more expensive in ME.  I was pretty surprised but I don’t think most Mainers are aware they are paying more.  Electricity alone is about 42% higher than the rest of the country and so is fuel.  I realize it costs money to get the goods here but the lack of competition sure doesn’t help.  It’s not like you can go down the block to the next market.  ;(

    • Anonymous

      I’m sure they pad the profit margin far above what it costs them to haul food/goods up here. I’ve lived in other places around the country. Everywhere you go they have an excuse for the ever rising cost of goods. 

    • Anonymous

      there’s  always Walmart

      • Anonymous

        For some of us in the rural areas of The County, the local WalMart is 50 miles and an hour one way. And the Paradis shop n save, which is more aptly named Shop n Rob is the only game in town.
        It will never happen, but I would love to see the Publix chain arrive in Maine.

        • JD

          The closest walmart to my town is also an hour away . . . (53 miles one way in Calais)

          • Guest

            Walmart isn’t the answer. How about Olympia and Collins giving the agricultural grants to the USA citizens to help open stores instead of all the middle eastern folks that now run the small stores and gas stations and motels. That was all free money for them!!!!! Take a look at that scandal since the 90’s

        • Anonymous

          I’ve heard Publix is awfully expensive?

          • Anonymous

            Publix is a “southern states” company, corporate HQ in Lakeland, FL. When they first started out, their only competion was Winn-Dixie, which has now been bought by some other nickle dime outfit and is low end scale.
            Publix was more expensive for a time, due to their higher quality products and store cleanliness. They also paid their employees a much higher wage than other grocery chains, with better benefits, etc.  Of late they are more in line with the competion, which is negligible.
            I seriously doubt you would ever see them this far north, but if you ever get the chance to visit a Publix store, you would be impressed.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, Sir:   Publix is my main place to shop.  The veggies are really fresh and the meat, bought on sale, is cheaper than Walmart and it’s USDA choice without that nasty 10% solution Walmart soaks their old milk cow meat in..

          • Anonymous

            Publix now has 755 stores in FL, GA, AL, SC & TN.  They are constantly expanding. When we head south, we can always find a Publix.

          • Anonymous

            I would pay more to shop somewhere that treats their employees well 8)

          • OldWench

            I never cared much for Publix and did think it was more expensive than stores like Winn Dixie, Kroeger or Piggly Wiggly.

          • Everytime we vacation in Florida we pay about 25% more than at any grocery store here in Maine.  Simple law of supply and demand.

          • Guest

            Everytime we vacation in Florida we pay about 25% more than at any grocery store here in Maine. Simple law of supply and demand.     
            ****************************************************
            If you are in a tourist spot (Orlando, Sarasota, etc) then they take advantage and gouge you. Same thing happens up here in “tourist” spots like at Swan Lake or in Bar Harbor, SW Harbor, NE Harbor, etc.

        • Anonymous

          And my understanding is that WM in Houlton,for one example,will never be a superstore.But Bangor/Brewer has multiple superstores PLUS a Save A Lot.Sigh.

          • We go to Sam’s once a month, is an hour and a half down there, but is definitly worth the trip down. Then we pick up what we need at our IGA, Andy’s always has good sales.. So is worth for us to take a day out, and have lunch and visit Sam’s.. But will never leave Andy’s..

          • Anonymous

            Sam’s ditched the one day coupons they used to have so you didn’t have to buy the card.Too bad.I’ve been told Andy’s is a great store.

          • If you are a Sams Plus member they also have their savings program,  Many times meats are on that,   Last time i stocked up on meat there,  I ended up getting $5 off of the various meat products, saving even more.    Being in Bar Harbor, I ‘ve got to make sure the gas cost doesn’t outweigh the savings though.

          • What you posting about the cost of gas, plus the wear on your vehicle can outweigh any savings.

          • You’re absolutely right,   But if you are buying in Bulk, and only have to shop once a month, I think the savings does outweigh the cost,  Plus,  I just HAVE to get out of BH from time to time in the winter or i’ll go NUTS!   lol

          • I get what you are saying. Both about buying in bulk and getting out of a place.

          • gaily

            I haven’t been to Save-a-lot for quite awhile now but always check the expiration dates on the can goods.  We use coupons and check for specials.  We have Hannaford, Shaw’s, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, and IGA in Old Town which has good specials.  Wish there was an IGA in Bangor.  It’s the heating oil that’s a killer.  I just took my 93 yr. old Dad to pay his fuel bill.  Almost $500.00 in one clip.  That’s more than my Mom’s monthly Social Security check.  Sad.

          • Guest

            IGA in Brewer, North Main Street…Paradis

          • Anonymous

            That’s because, every the mighty Wal-mart has to bow to the power names in Houlton. You see, if you don’t have the proper last name, you don’t do business in Houlton. Unless, the business you want to open doesn’t compete with any of the power families. A WM superstore would punch them in the guts, and that won’t happen in Houlton.

        • Every time I go visit my Folks in Florida,  I look forward to shopping at Publix,  Their prices are quite competative,  the stores are bright and well organized,  I’ve always had great employees at the ones I shop at.    Their meat section is fabulous!    Heck, last time I was there they even had Maine Lobster for less than I’d pay at Hannaford!

        • I try to make a presque Ilse run once a month to Save-a-lot and Walmart. I freeze alot and save. for the remainder i shop a Paradis shop-n-save and John’s. I drive an hour and a half but it is worth the savings.  I live in St.John.

        • Guest

          What? Asking for chains? Unreal.

          How about demand local produce and beef!

          Indoor vegetable production is a reality today in the winter.

          • Anonymous

            Yes! Exactly!!! There really needs to be a “Buy Maine 1st campaign”! It’s a great way to stimulate the economy with out relying on the government to do it. The right will love it because it will create/sustain jobs, the left will love it for the same reason; and the occupiers and tea partiers will love it because it takes the power away from the corporations….and to top it off; everyone eats better.

          • Guest

            Indeed. I just learned about what they are doing in silicon valley–growing vegetables indoors with LED lights. 

          • OldWench
      • Guest

    • Anonymous

      We are at the “end of the food chain”.

    • Anonymous

      Good reason to learn to grow and perserve food.

    • Anonymous

      Inflation up, gas prices up, national debt up. Obama..one and done in 2012.

      • Guest

        How can you blame this disaster on someone in office for only three years? Amazing how brain washed the GOP TV and radio can make you folks. Wow

        • Anonymous

          How can something that is nonexistent be washed?

        • Anonymous

          For those who are listening to the liberals propagating the fallacy
          that everything is “Bush’s Fault”, think about this: January 3, 2007, the day the Democrats took over the Senate and the Congress: The DOW Jones closed at 12,621.77. The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5% The Unemployment rate was 4.6%. George Bush’s Economic policies SET A RECORD of 52 STRAIGHT MONTHS of JOB CREATION!

          January 3, 2007 was the day that Barney Frank took over the House
          Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate
          Banking Committee. The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in what part of the economy? BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES!

          THANK YOU DEMOCRATS (especially Barney ) for taking us from 13,000
          DOW, 3.5 GDP and 4.6% Unemployment…to this CRISIS by (among MANY
          other things) dumping 5-6 TRILLION Dollars of toxic loans on the
          economy from YOUR Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac FIASCOES!

          And who took the THIRD highest pay-off from Fannie Mae AND Freddie
          Mac? Senator OBAMA! And who fought against reform of Fannie and Freddie?
          OBAMA and the Democrat Congress, especially BARNEY!!!!

          Democrats controlled the budget process for 2008 & 2009 as well as 2010 & 2011. In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases. For 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the 2009 budget.

          And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete 2009. If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets. If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself.

          In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is, “I inherited a deficit that I voted for, and then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 2009.”

          • Anonymous

            How about you stop blaming OBama, and start blaming the GOP Congress that got us this way from 1993-2006?

        • Anonymous

          Wow I sure how you have the same view when it comes to our current Governor, and he’s been only been in office a year..  Because there is  no way that you are a brain washed BDN, MPBN, Portland Press Herald and whatever that new talk radio station in Bangor folk.  Gee wiz why isn’t everyone as smart as you?

        • Anonymous

          Meanwhile you progs will blame LePage for everything short of a comet strike..and maybe even that too.

      • Anonymous

        And I suppose you think the president controls everything from the price of gas to how much you pay for your local taxes?  Go somewhere else and do your Democrat baiting.

        • Anonymous

          What about “President Bachmann” who guaranteed $2 a gallon gas?That worked out well.

    • Anonymous

      Obama….the food stamp president.

      • Anonymous

        Bush —-the food stamp creator with his policies only the top 1% can afford to buy food.

      • Anonymous

        If Grandma did not have her Food Stamps, she would starve to death.

        • Guest

          Dude, they don’t care if Granny starves.

    • Anonymous

      What is odd about the whole electric protion is that we supply most of the grid and use the least amount and pay the most!!!!!  We need to get out of this electric co-op Baldacci put us in!

    • Anonymous

      If people made themselves aware of what is going on in the world besides just in Maine, they would Have to be aware that people here pay way more for most anything then other states!!  Every week at Hannaford’s, things are at least 25-35 cents higher then the week before–It’s crazy, and I don’t know how folks can even afford to walk down the aisles at Shaws!    I’m still trying to get an honest answer from somewhere as to why in the name of God a few groceries cost so much that you have to make “choices”!–Food , heat, medication—Which do we pick this month??

      • Anonymous

        RICE AND BEANS FOR EVERYONE

    • Guest

      Maine isn’t out in the middle of the Atlantic.  Goods have to get to Minnesota, North Dakota…you see what I mean. 

  • Anyone who has ever shopped at a Market Basket in MA/NH will tell you that they would make a killing here in Coastal/Downeast Maine. Hannaford has a monopoly in this state, and they know it. There is nothing I would love better than to have them come to my hometown and give  “Hannibals” a lesson in quality.

    • Anonymous

      As I’ve posted previously on these boards, I’ll make the trip with my mother 3 or 4 times a year from Disgusta to Portsmouth to shop Market Basket.  We’ll fill the car and save so much $$$ that it more than off sets the cost of fuel and tolls round trip PLUS a meal out on the road.

      • Anonymous

        I wholeheartedly agree. Market Basket is big where my brother lives (Dracut, MA). I wish they would have stores up here in Maine. It’s a great chain, and they’re always cheaper (their slogan is so true:”More For Your Dollar”).

        • Anonymous

          As long as the Maine Milk Commission sets the price of Dairy products, you will never see Market Basket in Maine.  They use milk as a loss leader to get you into their aisles to buy some of the higher priced goods.

          • Anonymous

            Only state I’ve lived in where the milk is subsidized and still costs so much.

        • Anonymous

          I can’t hurt to contact the company to see if they’re interested in expanding into Maine. They’ve built several new stores in NH and MA recently.

    • I love Market Basket!

      • OldWench

        I like Price Chopper better.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone living in Rumford and shopping for anything at the Highest Priced Hannaford I have ever seen is nuts!! And now with their hamburger making people sick, and the truth that they have no paperwork on where it came from to know where the bad meat came from? And you still shop there? With a Super Walmart right down the road in Mexico Me? What a 4 min drive?  I shop down in that area at least once a summer usually twice when we camp on the Swift River.  For 6 or 7 bux you can get a whole pork roast the seasoning packet for the gravy the vegs all in one package! Throw it in the crock pot go gold panning all day and come home to a wonderful home cooked meal.  Besides that … Walmart price matches everything. So even if one thing was on sale cheaper at Hannaford ( highly unlikely at that Hannaford ) you could price match it and NOT have to stop at Hannaford for one thing!

    • Travel a few more miles and go to Naples Packing Co.  They have better meat at better prices and great service!

  • Anonymous

    Why do you all think we call it: “Cantaford”

    • Tom

      Used to call it “Shop and Starve”….

      • Anonymous

        how about hemmorrhoid bros.??

      •  Shop for Slaves

      • Guest

        a friend used to call it “Slop & Slave”

    • Sue

      I’ve heard it called Shoplift and Save.  ;-)

      Particularly for those of us on the micdoast it’s tough…nearest WalMart superstore is in Augusta or Brunswick, either way about 30-40 miles from me. I’m looking forward to the new Superstore in Thomaston, which will be about 1/4 mile from where I work.

  • Anonymous

    Also  – the lack of variety and the poor availability of high quality meats and produce is the result of lack of competition.

    • Anonymous

      You’re right about that.  The meat quality in most of the local stores is awful.

      • Anonymous

        Who cares about quality?  You have to take a a second mortgage for a steak anyway.

      • Anonymous

        Try buying from Maple Lane farms….it’s in Charleston…..pay one big price in the beginning then a quick trip to your freezer is easier than driving every week for your meats!

        • Anonymous

          I just checked their website.  There’s no prices.  Are their products reasonable?

          • Anonymous

            Maple Lane Farms has a Facebook page…….click “like” and prices are in the pictures, I believe….

          • Anonymous

            Yes their prices are great! Their number is: 1-866-279-9775 have them send you their prices thru your e-mail….you won’t be disappointed!

      • Millicent

        there’s a little store in Thomaston that I go to and their meat prices are 1/2 of Hannaford’s and the quality is better. 

      • Anonymous

        rideout’s, millinocket, excellent meats, small store, great people!

      • Anonymous

        Remeber they are owned by the same company that owns “Food Lion”  the store with all the tainted, remarked, and old meat.

    • Sams has the best meats around.. Bring home the big packages rewrap them in parchment, and seal them in ziplock bags, and Freeze. I know it is easier just to unpack the food and put it away, but honestly when you break up a 10 lb bag of tater tots, into 10 meals, that is good savings.. and a whole chicken for 3.69, you can’t beat it, just get out your kitchen shears and cut down the belly break the back bone and grill the whole bird, nothing like it.. Not much on packages foods, so this is really great for us.. just be prepared to work a little before you get to take a break from putting things away..

      • Anonymous

        Have you been to Six Mile Falls for meats? They have pretty good prices. The meats are good and they have freezer packages too.
        WA Beans in Bomark industrial park isn’t bad either. They also have freezer packages. Prices are higher than Six Mile Falls but still a good deal.

        • Guest

          I have shopped at WA Bean for years. They are a local company and I prefer to give them my money as opposed to Sam’s Club. I get 93% hamburg for 3.29 per pound and comes in 10 pound bag. I get boneless skinless chicken breasts for 1.69 per pound when they are on sale, not on sale 1.99 per lb. Come in 10 pound bag and I do the same as above, break them all down into hamburg patties and freeze in ziploc and cut up chicken breasts and freeze in ziplock. Big savings…

  • Just compare the prices between Hannaford and WalMart. We spend $1000 per month on groceries for my family. We easily save over$100 per month at WalMart. It used to be worth it to go to Hannaford because of the good service. Not any more. The pharmacy has horrible customer service and everyone is always grumpy.

    • Anonymous

      millinocket maine is SUPERB!, HANNAFORDS, THAT IS1

  • Tom

    Hannaford is owned by Delhaize, a Belgian company. A portion of every dollar you spend there ends up overseas.

    Shaw’s, however, is a subsidiary of a US company – SuperValu out of Minnesota. I shop at Shaw’s whenever possible. Keep our $$ here.

    • Anonymous

      Perhaps so but Shaw’s has those STUPID over the top list prices insisting you use one of their shopping cards to get the normal high price. For that reason alone I stopped shopping there years ago.

      • Tom

        The Belgians thank you.

        • Anonymous

          Those rotten Belgians! Every dollar spent at Hannaford subsidizes the notorious waffle mafia!

          I’ll continue to shop where service is good and prices are fair, thanks.

          Is it tough to harmonize the drum beat of conservative nationalism with a cry for a “free market”?

    • Anonymous

      I didn’t realize that about Delhaize. Thanks I’ll keep that in mind.

    • Anonymous

      I used to work at Shaws (for 5+ years)…the parent company “albertsons” got bought by a company supervalu which was bought by an overseas company – hate to rain on your parade…

      • Anonymous

        then I will rain on your parade supervalu is a US company based in Eden Prarie MN and is not a foreign company

      • Tom

        SuperValu is a US company headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota and has been in business for 100 years. Look it up!

      • Anonymous

        I think you would be wrong.

    • Anonymous

      thats good, but! i ve been in shaws warehouses,and in hannafords. guess which has the better, cleaner warehousing?and their transport trailers?

    • Anonymous

      I just hope that you go to the store in an American car or truck, not a rice burner or European snob-mobile.  My factory closed due to foreign car sales, so I am a very biased FOR American made items.  I will also avoid Cant-Afford for this now known fact.  Thanks for info.

      • Anonymous

        Cars.com’s annual American-Made Index ranks the most-American vehicles based on
        percentage of their parts that are made domestically, where they are assembled
        and how many are sold to U.S. buyers.

        The two most American cars aren’t, well, American, according to a new ranking by
        our friends at Cars.com. For the third straight year, Toyota Camry, a product of
        Japan’s largest automaker, is the “most American car,” as determined by
        Cars.com’s formula. Honda Accord, the flagship of Japan’s second largest
        automaker, is second.

        The highest car on Cars.com annual ranking from a Detroit Big 3 maker is General
        Motors’ Chevrolet Malibu.

        http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2011/06/ranking-the-two-most-american-cars-are-from-japanese-makers/1

    • Anonymous

      I find that Shaw’s is ALWAYS more expensive then Hannaford…but there promotions are better.

      • Anonymous

        Shaw’s promotions are ridiculous. You have to have that stupid card to get the deal, then you have to buy a ridiculous number of items. On one of the few times I have been in a Shaw’s, I was amused to see a manager poring over a flier with a customer at a shelf as they both tried to figure out what the promotion required the customer to buy.

    • Anonymous

      Unfortunately, Shaw’s never replaced the Hogan Road store.  I’ve heard that it was curtailment in building at Super Value.  The new store would have been in a lousy location anyway, with ridiculous access (or lack thereof).   It isn’t as handy for us to go to the downtown store so we only go there about once a month.  We still have our Shaw’s card and use it whevever we do go.  I’ll bet that they often raise the price of an item in order to drop it on sale or special.

  • Anonymous

    I study the weekly circulars. If I spot a sale item that I want, I won’t waste my money buying the rest of my groceries just because I’m in the store. Even the super Walmart isn’t always the best buy these days. Coupons are of limited value because they force you to buy multiples and most items are for processed foods.

  • Anonymous

    At least here in the Bangor area we have Bell’s IGA in Orono and Sav a lot in Brewer.  

    • Anonymous

      Save-a-lot has great produce prices and it is fresh also.

  • Anonymous

    Hannaford is so full of it. Everything that I have compared in their store is higher. Cereal $1.00 more a box, Swans honey $1.00 less at the high priced health food store in Bangor. Jelly another dollar per item, herb tea close to a dollar again.  The produce in the store where I live is horrible, wilted, old nasty and expensive. When I get to Walmart I buy BULK.

    • Anonymous

      you people think hannaford is Caro??  albertson’s, i travel the country, this chain is very expensive. livingston, montana.and many of the others in other western states as well
      out in those places, it’s bend over, they’re driving!

      • Anonymous

        I spent time in exile (grad school) in Lubbock, TX.  We had four choices at that time (WallyWorld hadn’t introduced super centers yet): Albertson’s, United (a TX chain), Lowe’s (local chain that carried SureFine products) and IGA.  Pricewise, lowest to highest: IGA, United, Albertson’s and Lowe’s (we called it “Hi’s”).  I shopped all but Hi’s depending on what was on sale and what I was looking for ’cause they didn’t all carry the same stuff.  I’d peg Albertson’s prices similar to what Shaw’s charges…and LOWE’S was even more expensive, but always busy.  I could never figure that one out as a poor college student.

  • Anonymous

    (Sarcasm)
    Shop And Spend, Spend A Lot Cantafford Etc they have been always more expensive in this state than any other Ive been in.. Lol i always blamed it on the people in Maine being poorer than People in lets say Massachusetts..  The 1 percent like the ones that own Cantafford would be getting richer on the poor people. than the others.. Cause like Liepage says there is no one percent in Maine…

  • Anonymous

    Lack of competition,  high prices.  What a genius.

  • A few months ago I checked out the price of Lipton green tea 40ct.  It was about $2.50 cheaper at walmart than shaws. Shaws said it was due to the distributor. I told them that you need a new distributor.

  • JimmyJ

    What?  A big corporation stacking the cards deck against the consumer?  Call in Gov. LePage to slap their hands silly – oh wait, scratch that – in  LePage’s world no corporation can ever be reprimanded. It’s those pesky humans who demand to eat food that are at fault.

    • Anonymous

      If Hannaford had a monopoly then you would have a point, since they don’t the government has absolutely no right to come in and tell them how much they can charge for their goods.

      • Anonymous

        No, but consumers CAN avoid the store since it is over priced.

        • Anonymous

          Not when the nearest competition is 20 or more miles away.

          • Anonymous

            Your right. I try to bulk up on certain items when I get to Bangor.

          • Anonymous

            Grow a garden. Can vegetables. Freeze food. That’s the way my parents did it, that’s the way their parents did it. It’s the Maine way. Find a way to not have to buy over priced sub par food that you can’t really afford anyway. It’s sad that a lot of people are to lazy to do that these days.

    • Guest

      Our Governor Paul LePage is creating an enviroment for business to come to Maine, so that people will have jobs and be able to afford to eat… The libs, along with the enviro freaks have helped discourage businesses from set up shop in Maine.. It’s you guys who hate the poor and middle class by regulating factories out of business, the people have to choose between heat or food.. I bet that swamp you saved thanks you…

      • Anonymous

        Speaking of “over the top”.

      • So you’re saying to hell with things like clean drinking water, cleaner rivers and clean air as long as we can still get cheap quality groceries?

        • Guest

          No never said that.  Humans have a place on this planet. I just don’t think swamp grass should stop people from developing or expanding a business…  as to dumping in rivers I’m against that as we all are… No you’re beloved John Baldacci along with thousands backed the west old town dump which was placed right on top af the largest natural aquafer in penobscot county,  I guess it’s OK with you to destroy the largest water supply in this part of the State because unions supported putting it there.  Someday soon Jen there won’t be any rules, because the rule makers destroyed this country and people will go hungry because you killed 1000 jobs to save a frog. We will never have EDEN, it doesn’t exist..

      • Anonymous

        Your governor lepage feeds you his lies and you eat them up. 

        • Guest

          Nope, he has done things I don’t like and have spoke out against.. Unlike Dems who always 100% of the time vote together, I  question our Governors Ideas…  If all you dems think alike 100% of the time,  do you think it’s possibile that someone is doing you’re thinking for you??? 

      • What’s he done?  Not being smart, genuinely curious.

    • Anonymous

      I wrote a letter to Olympia Snowe and asked why prices are so high in Maine and why the weekly coupons and sales are so poor. She never answered the question. So then I wrote to Proctor Gamble and asked the same question. The answer I received was that our legislature mandates the coupons we receive in this state.

      • Anonymous

        Really?! You wrote your Senator about weekly grocery coupons? And you say P&G said the legislature mandates coupons? My, my, how gullible you must be (or those who would ever believe your dribble)!

  • Anonymous

    Does Hannaford price their items all the same in every store?   I am wondering if they charge more where people are stuck and have no competition.   Also it seems they send their worse produce to the stores in the boondocks because those people have no choice.  This is simply unacceptable and unfair.
    When I talk about differences in produce between stores I mean for example Bangor vs. some other small town in Maine. with no competition,

    • Anonymous

      No my cousin brought a flyer from hannafords up here one year from mass. just prove it to us and the only thing cheaper here was cabot cheese. We checked all the fliers and found that Swan Lake Grocery not only offered the best quality of meats but they also had the best price. I told my cousin from Mass. “you might be able to beat Robs prices but you can’t beat Robs meat.”

      • Anonymous

        hahahaha

    • Anonymous

      Produce quality is low because it takes a long time to get it to the stores.  They are either getting it from mixing houses in Boston or they are getting the direct loads themselves and splitting it up for each store, leading to the product being in their forwarding warehouses longer.  

      No one store can push through the volume of a “field direct” load.  

    • Anonymous

      Just go on their website, enter your local zip code, note the prices in the flyer.  Then change the zip code.  You might be surprised.  You won’t find much of a difference across Maine, but enter a NH zip code and there will be a difference.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think its necessarily the lack of competition. I’ve traveled around the country quite a bit and have written in the editorial of the BDN and on here a few times about it – most things ARE cheaper out of state. I lived in Virginia in 2010 for a couple months and found that gas was almost 50-75cents cheaper (often $2.89) than here, food was about average. If you go to walmart the prices are pretty much steady throughout the country – but you add in Maine’s tax rate, and the price of fuel for companies to drive products to places like Bangor, Houlton, Presque Isle, DoverFoxcroft etc…companies have to up the prices.

    I don’t think its a problem about competition – in Dover-Foxcroft/Guilford for instance there are 4 grocery stores plus many other “speciality” stores (Herring Bros, Country Meat Market, etc.)….and each have their own unique brand of shoppers…Shaws brings in people who are richer (and I rarely shop there because its so outrageous!), Hannaford is kind of reasonable and Save-A-Lot – the quality is low, but there are some deals – especially on rotten meat…

  • Hannaford + Wal-mart + Shaw = GREED

    • Anonymous

      At least Walmart gives the average Joe a break too. I have checked out at Walmart with a loaded cart and haven’t been able to believe that it costs so little as compared to other stores.

      • Guest

        Nobody should shop at wally world for anything,, they helped move more factories overseas and ruined whole communities… and you reward them by shopping there

        • I can own stock in Walmart, an American-owned company based in Arkansas.
          .
          I cannot own stock in Delhaize/Hannaford, a Belgian-owned company based in Brussels.
          .
          If you prefer to send your money to Europe rather than Arkansas, so be it.

          • Anonymous

            Why send your $$$ to Arkansas?  Why not shop as much as you can at local independent stores and keep your $$$ in Maine?

    • Anonymous

      It is easy to make that claim whenever anyone sees something that they think is too expensive, there is a lot that goes into when setting the price of a good. In general, although groceries can be expensive, the profit margin on them is next to nothing.

      If you want something to blame then blame poor monetary policy from our federal government driving up the price of commodities. 

  • Hannaford is no longer a ‘local’ company.  It is owned by a corporation based in Belgium and could care less about the people shopping at their stores.  They are out to make a profit at any cost.

  • Anonymous

    Market Basket is a really good deal here in NH, the place is always packed, which if in a hurry can be a bit of a pain.  Hannofords right up the street is usually cleaner, better checkouts, and empty for the size of the store.

    • Anonymous

      The Hannaford is empty ’cause they can’t compete with Market Basket.  I went to undergrad in NH and I observed many a Hannaford close/pull-out as MB moved in.

  • Anonymous

    Food prices have been going up gradually all over the country, along with many other things. Even in the little AF commissary I shop at the prices have gone up quite a bit the last couple of years. It affects restaurant and caterers also. It is caused by the fed government manufacturing so much money that it inflates prices across the nation. We need a new president to fix this.

  • Anonymous

    We grow our own veggies, pot. carrots, peas & beans…I make pickles….we buy our meats from a farm…only buy other goods, paper towels, toilet paper with coupons. Go to Marden’s to stock up on pasta and other stuff. Only buy the things you need not the things you want. When times are tough, which now they are and have been….cooking from scratch is always cheaper…we buy our turkeys when they are $.49 at Hannaford…otherwise we won’t buy one. Only shop the sales and eat only what’s on sale. It takes a little work to be creative…but you can do it! Happy shopping!

  • Guest

    Competition yes & no.

    Its the BS multitude of separate licenses there are, its the nonexistent small business help, its the outrageous liability insurance packages for small business that are required, its the possible ObamaCare or RomneyCare that would crush small business, its the zoning crap from everyone— including LURC that all kills small business ability to be competitive, and thats why Hannaford and others can get away with high prices.

    FYI- Hannaford has treated its Millinocket staff very poorly, its only the dedicated workers there that make it a quality store— corporate sucks…! And anyone that knows me knows I hate unions, but its companies like Hannaford that create the need for unions…!!!

  • Anonymous

    Any of us can move away. I probably will.

  • Anonymous

    Walmart’s prices are better on staple items – canned goods, pasta, baking needs, paper goods.  But their produce is absolutely horrible (bananas go bad within 2 days) and their meat prices are very high.  I tend to buy meat at Hannaford and look for the markdowns – fine if you cook it that day or freeze it.  I got 2 packages of 4 turkey burgers today for $2.24 each.  Plus I had a $1.00 off of meat coupon from their website.  That’s 2 meals for my family for $3.48.
    Shaw’s is absolutely ridiculous.   The prices are so much higher than anywhere else, it’s not even worth it that they double coupons.   I compared cans of Campbell’s Healthy Request soup one week, it was a full dollar more at Shaw’s than Hannaford.  Once in a while they have a really good deal but it’s not worth it for me to drive over there for one item.

    • Anonymous

      You can also get really good deals on cleaning supplies and paper goods at Rite Aid and Walgreens, if you hit the right sales.

    • DonHorchKingofMen

      IF you save the receipt from Hannaford,and their produce or meat is bad,or goes bad too quickly,they will give you DOUBLE your money back.I was stunned when I took some oranges back and got twice what I paid for them. Wasnt there an old episode of ‘I Love Lucy” based on this premise?

    • Hannaford does seem to have some better prices on meats, but not all meats have lower prices. I also look for markdowns when I buy meat there. I have gotten a four pack of pork chops for just over $2 there and get a five pack of pork chops at Bangor Walmart for $5.

  • luvGSD

    Just think of the high price of groceries and the low quality of fruit and vegetable produce as a tax on Maine’s poor, working and middle classes.  One-third of every dollar that comes out of your grocery budget goes into the pockets of the corporate class.  And don’t forget all your tax dollars subsidizing the corn and oil industries! You’re paying for it twice over.

  • Where is IGA in all of this ?

  • Anonymous

    The best thing we did was get a half a steer, and a whole freezer pig this year, plus raise our own meat birds & rabbits (plus laying hens). The beef was $2.50/lb cut wrapped and frozen, yes it’s a big bill up front for 300lbs+/- but we saved a large amount over the course of a year. That and putting up veggies from the garden and we can almost tell Wal-Mart to stick it!

    • Guest

      You deserve a pat on the back!!! Congrats!!!!

    • Anonymous

      I also buy home grown beef by the half ( this year a whole calf) .  I know what it was fed and it is very tender. Last year my garden was a flop, but I usually have veggies fir the freezer. 

  • lynnette mclaughlin

    We need Trader Joe”s to spread across Maine! 

    • Anonymous

      Trader Joes is amazing, they have a great selection, and it is super cheap. I would love one up here in Bangor!

    •  see my post above on Aldi

      Aldi owns Trader Joes

      • Anonymous

        But their selection is terrible.

    • I love Trader Joe’s like I love Market Basket. Clean, good quality products and wonderful customer service!

  • Anonymous

    We have no way to compare. Groceries are very expensive everywhere.

  • Anonymous

    It does not take an “expert” to figure this one out! Come to Machias, where it is a one horse town and the “horse’s” name is Hannaford. They can charge whatever they want for products. And they do. No surprise that it is one of their top grossing stores….

  • Anonymous

    How about the lack of competition in our currency for starters?

    A devalued dollar is what is primarily responsible for all rises in price…

  • JD

    If you think Hannaford is expensive, try IGA, especially in Washington County. At our IGA, the chicken that costs $6.49 at Hannaford and $4.99 in NH is probably $9. It is the only grocery store in town, and it is ridiculous that a jar of miracle whip costs $2.75 at WalMart and $6.29 at our IGA. 

    • Bell’s IGA in Orono is (or at least used to be) pretty cheap though. I don’t know if you have ever checked that one out.

      • Anonymous

        If he’s in Washington County, Orono is a bit of a drive, but he could try the one in Calais, which has the same/similar prices (or at least the same sales) as the Orono one according to their website.

  • Anonymous

    Some of us who live near NH have Market Basket as an option. I try to go once every six weeks. Most food items less expensive than in Maine.

  • Anonymous

    Thank goodness for IGA in Calais.  POtherwise, I’d be stuck having to shop at the CanT-Afford in Calais or Machias which has no competition.  

  • Anonymous

    Well, we ARE at the end of the pipeline here, prices just are not going to be cheaper than they would be down in the middle of the country somewhere. “Fair” has not got a lot to do with it – everything we get must come up on a truck. In Blue Hill, we are lucky to have Tradewinds Marketplace, an independent Hannaford store. Clean, brightly lit, and the best staff I have ever encountered in a grocery store. I know I sound like an advertisement, but it does take  the sting out of Maine food prices. No complaints from me.

  • Anonymous

    The “expert” is not entirely correct.

    Many of our high costs are due to our geographic location and lack of viable backhauls.  Trucks come up here and their options for a backhaul are McCain fries, Jasper Wyman berries and toilet paper.  Possibly milk for ice cream.  That’s it.  Because there are few viable backhauls and they end up going home empty, they have to charge more to deliver north of Boston.  

  • Anonymous

    You have to go over the weekly flyers and shop where the prices are the best. Tozier’s Family Market in Searsport has some really good specials (Kraft Mac & Cheese 10 for $10 when on special) and lower prices on many meats.  Tozier’s- Plumrose Bacon  $2.79, Hannaford- My Essentials bacon $4.19 this week. Gotta shop around but stick to your shopping list!.

  • Anonymous

    WHAT?  An international conglomerate has positioned itself to take as much money as possible from the people that can afford it least?  No way!!

  • Walmart does NOT have the lowest grocery prices in the United States. Aldi does.

    Who is Aldi ? Walmart open 84 stores in Germany  10 years ago to try and make Aldi go out of business. . Walmart CLOSED DOWN  all those Walmart stores because they went bankrupt. Aldi kicked Walmart’s behind.

    Aldi is getting ready to open 10,000 stores in the United States. Aldi will kick Walmart’s behind in the US too.

    Aldi
    http://aldi.us/index_ENU_HTML.htm

    ps Aldi owns trader joes

  • Anonymous

    I am a loyal shopper of an independent Hannaford store-Bud’s Shop & Save.  I will gladly pay a few more dollars a week to get the excellent customer and personal service that is what this store is all about.  Am I rich? Do I have a food stamp card?  No but I feel a few extra bucks spent at Buds benefits the entire community.  Food prices in Maine,  like taxes, rentals, and everything else is exorbitant in relation to wages paid.  If I have to be screwed I might as well have a smile and I get that at Buds.

    • Do you go to the one in Newport, or the one in Dexter?

      • Anonymous

        Newport

    • Anonymous

      You are right! Customer service and a smile are almost as important as the price, and no competition encourages arrogance and lack of cooperation. “Absolute power corrupts.” I have asked over and over again for Hannaford to carry a certain line of product, and OK, they don’t want to, but they don’t even answer me! I prefer to go to IGA, and OK for Walmart, EXCEPT that in the Bangor store there is a big sign at the customer service desk telling people to come there to send money to MEXICO!

    • Anonymous

      I shop at Paradis Shop and Save, a Hannafords affiliate.  I find that my grocery bill is lower there than in the other store in town.  Their produce is good, and the customer service is great.  Perhaps it is reflected by _what_ I buy, but over the years I have consistantly found Shop and Saves prices to be best. 

  • READ MY POST BELOW

    WE NEED TO GET ALDI’S TO OPEN UP IN MAINE

    • Anonymous

      Your right, bring your own bags, no problem with that.

  • Anonymous

    Shopping list

    > Beer
    >snacks
    >weed
    >peanut butter sandwich

    The way maine should and will always be!

  • Guest

    One reason for the difference in Maine Hannaford stores vs Walmart is that Hannaford pays its employees more.

    • Anonymous

      Hannaford has to deal with at least two unions when they negotiate wages.  You are correct, Walmart is nonunion.

      • Anonymous

        Must be weak unions.  A relative of mine who works for Can’tafford let me know that they are no longer matching employee contributions to retirement, among other cuts to benefits.

        • Anonymous

          According to Hannaford’s own benefits brochure there is a 3% 100% match and 50% match up to 5% meaning If you contribute 5% they will contribute 4%.    This may be less than before but more in line with other Delhaize banners.  The match is still there.  I hope that this employee takes the time to log on and actually read the summary.

      • Guest

        I didn’t know that Hannaford had unions. Based on folks I know who have worked in both stores, Hannaford pays about $1 more per hour and wages vary by job/department, just like Walmart. Neither is a dream job!

    • In regards to Walmart employees’ pay, the department they work in also depends on how much pay they get. Cashier (for the most part) make more per hour than other employees in the store, except for those who are customer service managers, dept managers, etc. I made $8.85 an hour when I worked in softlines (clothing depts) in 2006-2007, but I knew of cashiers at the time making twice that.

  • Anonymous

    Imagine that…

    People posting here whining about free market capitalism.

    The problem must really be all those people “on food stamps” shopping at “out of state grocery stores.”

  • Anonymous

    I’d like to have the money that Hannaford company-owned stores rake in by leasing display shelf space to vendors every month.  And I’d like to not have to wend my way through the maze of vendor bozos stocking bread, chips, soda, crackers, and other high profit snack ‘foods’ who seem to do a great job of blocking the aisles so paying customers cannot get through Hannaford’s narrow cluttered aisles(exception – Airport Mall Hannaford). There seems to be less of this nonsense at Walmart.

    • Anonymous

      From my understanding, all the corps charge for product space on their shelves.

  • Anonymous

    Hanniford must think we are stupid.   Read this and weap.    SCARBOROUGH, Maine — Hannaford Bros. here said sales and earnings rose in the third quarter and nine months ended Sept. 28, though quarterly income was lower than expected.illion. Year-to-date sales increased 16.2% to $2.19 billion from $1.89 billion a year before; same-store sales increased 3.3%. Net earnings rose 1.5% to $54.08 million from $53.3 million.Quarterly income was below expectations

  • Anonymous

    This article is spot on. I have shopped the east coast from Ct. to Maine and can tell you that you go to Walmart in Presque Isle you can save a pile over shopping at say Hannafords in Lincoln. No competition is right. If you are the only game for say 50 mile around, you can charge what you want. And they do. I don’t shop Hannafords any more. I do all my grocery shopping at Walmart. Either Presque Isle or Bangor. Why they never built the Super Center in Lincoln I will never know. I am sure it would be swamped and I would really like to see Hannaford lose the closed market advantage they enjoy now over the consumers. They would either have to become competitive or close up shop. And this is how business is supposed to work. I fairly resent Hannafords for the exploitation of the Maine consumer through being the only game around. Make a profit yes, but to gouge the way I see is just dirty. If and when Walmart ever levels the playing field, Hannaford better not expect too much customer loyalty. They haven’t earned any in my book.. 

  • ” Best Answer – Chosen by Voters
    Aldi has killer prices. Most of their foods are less expensive than WalMart.
    Aldi also runs specials on their already low prices. Their canned
    goods can’t be beat, they have frozen meats and fish. The have fresh
    vegetables and most all other items. Like cereals, preservatives,
    baking goods, paper goods, soda pops. (( Their produce selection is
    probably not as good as WalMart, but everything else is great )). I
    would think that going once or twice a month on a 50 mile trip would be
    worth it.”— Garacaiu.

    Yahoo Answers

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080129220832AAP1kFu

  • About Hannafords versus Walmart

    Have you ever noticed Walmarts fruits,lettuce,oranges and vegetables do not seem to have full flavor like Hannafords and other grocery stores?

    Hannafords fruits,vegetables are fresh, that is why they have signs ‘fresh produce’
    Most of Walmarts fruits,vegetables and oranges were “frozen” then unfrozen and placed on the shelves. You dont see ‘fresh produce’ signs at Walmart for a reason.

    Previously frozen fruits,lettuce,and vegetables sold at Walmart do not have full flavor like fresh produce at Hannaford. Also,previously frozen produce lose their nutrients from being frozen.

    • Jason Simonds

       ??? Name a produce or vegetable you can freeze and then rethaw and just put on the counter as if if were near fresh….  You cannot freeze bananas or other fruits and vegetables….  and not have them come out loking really bad… so I am not sure what you are talking about.??>?

    • Anonymous

      You and I agree on a lot of things, but I can’t agree that Hannaford has better fruit.  I’ve bought some of the lousiest(sour, underripe) citrus from Hannaford over several months that I’ve ever seen recently.  It should be criminal for them to sell that stuff.  I realize that all the stores’ citrus is gas ripened and picked underripe but the stuff recently from Hannaford that I bought over several months is ridiculous.

      • Anonymous

        Not only that, many items that should be in refridgeration are not, thus they are actually “old” before you take them home.

  • If we hac allowed the Sear’s Island Cargo Port, it would have helped prices. This seems like an area tha Governor should address, and could be a much greater benefit to Maine then pursuing gas.

  • Anonymous

    time for a few more big  box stores to set national prices,no more mom and pops stores.When lowes can build a store in ellsworth keep it open for four years,then walk away like nothing was ever there bet you wish a mom and pop were still here,were nothing but profit now no longer customers

  • Anonymous

    with all the shopping stores in maine we should have competition but those company’s either don’t care they say it is lack of competition but i look at it like this i live in a small town and there is 3 shopping places shaw’s ,save a lot, and hannaford’s and they say no competition yeah right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    We are also at the end of the transportation corridor. This adds to the cost of all goods sold in Maine that are not made here.

  • Old Bear

    The only thing cheap in maine is if you are on welfare and do not have pay for your EBT cards. What about the tax on gas. and heating oil. highest in the country. Why is Maine the highest tax state in the union? The sign coming into Maine should say the way life should be vacation and welfare state.

  • Anonymous

    65% or more of the cars in N. Conway New Hampster Friday were from Maine. Nuf said.

  • Anonymous

    the paridis shop and saves are horrible  – when they get competition they will go under

  • Anonymous

    Ps  Hannaford aka delhaize corporation recently dropped the 401 k for employees , not only did they drop the match they dropped the whole retirement program. employees have to pay to keep thier 401 k account and the fees are high .

     Really good  media followup would be why/ how the savings on the backs of employees relate to profits or income from the higher prices  for the corporation.

    For example are times tough for them? Or are they seeking to use the economic downturn to take from employees – plenty of people out of work? Are they seeking to expand profits taking both from employees  and customers?

    Is Hannafords advertising using mothers and related fluff  representative of thier true philosophy or its a facade ?

    • Anonymous

      The “mom” ads are totally annoying — I can’t watch them without eye rolling.  A bunch of expensively dressed women sitting around, sipping lattes and talking about how great Hannaford is and how as mothers, they need such a store– Yeah Right!  Then they say in the fast spoken equivalent of fine print, “These busy moms were compensated for their time.”  Mmmm hmmm.

    • Anonymous

      I would like to see some proof of this.  I work for another banner under the Delhaize umbrella.  Delhaize America recently got all banners aligned under a single benefits system.  The only thing that changed with my retirement plan was who administers it, JP Morgan instead of Merrill Lynch.   I just logged in and looked at the Hannaford plan and it is exactly the same as mine.  401k is still intact, and is the same as it has been for the last 6 years.  We also have an annual deposit into the account as profit sharing.

      • Anonymous

        I reviewed the employees documents at their request. They work in the central maine area. It is exactly as I say for them , it was very disturbing and cutthroat. Perhaps you either are in another state – which is exactly the point of the article on higher prices- or  perhaps you are a delhaize  manager/pr person

        • Anonymous

          I am not management for Delhaize, not even a department manager, and I like it that way!  While writing my reply I logged into the benefits system and I can see Hannaford benefits as well as benefits for my company, the info for the 401k was there, clear as day and the same as what I have here.  These are 401k benefits for FULL time employees.  If you are talking about part time employee benefits, you may very well be correct, I don’t now how Maine part time benefits worked.  The banner that I work for has never had retirement benefits for part timers.

          • Anonymous

            full time workers  in the deli department no longer have any 401 K retirement as of 1/1/12. If they want to keep thier funds  in the managed plan they have to pay for it themselves. The fees are expensive.  Maybe they havent updated the web site but this is the real deal.

  • Guest

    That’s a bunch of horseshit coming from the GOP who have all small businesses up their hiney butts!!! There are many grocery stores around this state!! If you believe this…………….sucks to B U

  • acadiawoods

    So most of the responders to this article feel Hannaford prices are too high for their budgets.  The first thing to combat this bite in your budget is to go back to basic ingredients and cook it yourself. The second thing to do is plan, if at all possible, to raise your own vegetables or buy into a CSA or go to the farm to buy veggies and can or freeze.  If you can’t raise your own meat buy from your local farmer. It will be more nutritious, less shrinkage and you’ll be helping the local economy.  If you think I’m crazy, compare the nutrition and cost of prepared items vs made from scratch in your own kitchen.  Those frozen entrees are very expensive and loaded with things that you won’t find in your homemade entree.
    It is pretty hard to say food is too expensive for the consumer when you look around and see how many people are overweight or obese. They are obviously spending too much money on food.

    • Anonymous

      “They are obviously spending too much money on food.”.  Amen, and the wrong foods at that – highly processed, high fat content, low nutrition. 

  • Anonymous

    Don’t believe the Duel Surcharge, it all has to do with Hannaford’s idea that they are the only supermarket in town, and that WalMart only checks the price in Hannafords Stores.   We in Southern Maine are lucky that we can go to Market Basket in New Hampshire.  Maine’s Milk Commission has the responsibility of making Milk products so expensive.  They set the prices Stores have to sell milk for.

  • Anonymous

    It’s about time that someone realized what I have known for years. Go to Walmart and price a brand name item, then go to Hannaford. How do they(Hannaford) warrant charging as much as 100% more for something., for example a package of Splenda sweetner at WM may be $4 at Hannaford $6+. That’s only the tip of the iceberg checckout many items and you’ll see that both they and Shaw’s stick it to you on many , many items. Sometimes it is only 20-50 % more , but the $ amount may .50 to several dolaars depending on the item.I avoid shopping at both only buy when they sell on sale and it is truly a good price. Recently at Thanksgiving I needed some shelled walnuts tto make a dessert wen to Hannaford in Gray  8-10 oz bag was $9.49, later bought a 2lb bag at BJ’s for $9.99- wise-up folks they are srewing us!!!!

  • hey-I’m-your-man

    What surprises me is that when we shop in Calais, food is often cheaper then it is in Bangor. Bangor is very expensive – aven more expensive then most stores over in New Brunswick, with the exception of milk.

  • Wholefoods!

  • Anonymous

    Try finding double coupons,let alone triple.My friends who visited last summer pitched in for food and they were stunned at how much higher everything was.As one said”This is what the convenience stores near us charge and you guys pay this every week?”And I am a long way from a tourist trap.

  • Anonymous

    What is a WM discount center?Are those the Sam’s stores?If Sam’s opened up in the County,they would make money hand over fist.

  • acadiawoods

    So far no one has mentioned Mardens, Renys, and Ocean State Job Lot for some real bargains on food.  I often peruse those stores for deals on organic soups, salsa, pasta and olive oil to name a few.

    • I find great prices on some basic items at Renys and Mardens are much lower. One thing I factor into my cost is am I going out of my way to save a few cents. In other words I plan my trips. I will be going to NH soon and I will stop into a Market Basket. I have never been in the Trader Joe’s in Portland ME, is it really as good as some of you are posting here.

      • Anonymous

        TJ’s is different and difficult to describe.  They carry their own products.  There are specific things I’ll go in for that I like when I’m down that way.   The quality is definitely better.  The prices are on par or a little more.  They are a competitor to Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck) natural food, but are much better in price compared to that chain.

        • I will pop into Trader Joe’s at some point in the next few weeks. I am taking a mini class at USM so they are near by. Thank you for your input.

      • Anonymous

        Trader Joe’s speciality is fresh, fully prepared,  separately packaged  ingredients.  So, if you want a chicken pot pie  for dinner you pick up a package of unfrozen bite sized, ready to cook chicken breasts and a package of peeled and cut potatoes, a package of fresh ready to cook mixed veggies a can of thickened chicken gravy and a ready to use pie crust.  The advantage of this type of cooking over simply buying a frozen pot pie  is that you can add your own seasonings, it tastes a bit better and is guilt free because you have made dinner.  LOL

      • Anonymous

        Trader Joe’s niche is natural foods.  You will not find any items with high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils (trans-fats) or genetically modified ingredients.  They offer a lot of unique products, many just for a limited time.  They also have unbeatable prices on gourmet cheeses.  I get a wedge of parmesan  for $5.49 per pound, that’s cheaper than the Kraft in the can grated stuff and so much better.  This is the only place that I will buy processed foods (I cook mostly from scratch), their frozen foods are high quality, for instance if you get a frozen meal containing chicken, you will get large chunks of real unprocessed chicken, not some processed chicken product with “grill marks”.  They have really good reasonably priced wines.  Trader Joe’s is kind of a bridge between a regular grocery store and a health food store, almost always having better prices than both, for example, their brand of natural roasted garlic marinara is cheaper than Ragu or Prego.  At least 95% of their selection is their own brand.

        They do this in a very casual upbeat and quirky atmosphere.  If you need a question answered just look for the person carrying around a giant question mark on a stick. 

  • Anonymous

    Agreed if you can buy local that is almost always better.But obesity is helped along by the fact that cheap food is not nutritious.I worked with someone who bragged that he wouldn’t cook and always ate microwaved things for lunch-until he had a heart attack.THEN he got nutritional counseling,etc. and lost weight.Penny wise,pound foolish(in more ways than one)

  • Anonymous

    The economics of supporting a local business are tried and true.  To the degree you can do it, do it. More money stays in your community and facilitates a broadening of offerings.  Processed food is literally deadly–see Food Incorporated and the like for a glimpse of the perils of mass produced food.  Markets respond to demand so put your demand where you will get the most return for your community and a healthier eating lifestyle.   

  • Anonymous

    The people can fix the problem with over pricing by boycotting the places that have extremely high prices!  Simply buy somewhere else even if it means traveling a bit further!  If the people were to “Unite” and boycotted all stores, be it WalMart, Hannafords or even gas stations such as Cumberland Farms or Irving’s, they would have to lower there prices or start closing stores!  We have the power if we unite and stand firm!

  • Anonymous

    It is not uncommon for a store to set up scheduling so that only a certain number of vendors are on the floor at any one time.Also,from a distributors’ standpoint,it allows the vendor to interact with customers.Many times a customer will ask a vendor where an item is,etc.simply because they are the closest person.I know from personal experience with one vendor.Their sales were poor,they changed jobbers and sales jumped by 20%.The new jobber said”I say hello to everyone even if they buy my competition’s product.It might be the first or only hello they get all day.”

  • The answer,

    Grow a garden, plant a winter cover crop and buy a rifle

    • Anonymous

      My lemon tree’s aren’t working out too well in my back yard.

  • Anonymous

    A acshier at WM making $18/hour???You ARE kidding right?

  • Anonymous

    This is what happens when places like Wal-Mart put smaller businesses out of business. When there’s only 2 main grocery stores, they can charge what they wish because they’ve got consumers by the man-grapes. I’m glad I’ve moved out of state.

  • Anonymous

    They have around a dozen stores in ME.I went to my local one and asked about a specialty item.Not only did they have it in three days,but offered to call me when it came in.

  • Anonymous

    pot.=potatoes or ?? Just asking:)Thanks for the tips though.

  • Anonymous

    How do you explain groceries even more expensive in CT and NY…???

  • OldWench

    Maine needs Price Chopper….best grocery chain ever!

  • gaily

    We have a perferred membership at Sams.  Pay 100.00 yearly and put all our groc., gas, everything on the card and pay it off every month.  We earn 2% cash back which has been quite a savings for us.

  • Anonymous

    Locally our Hannaford is an average of 60 cents more for many items compared to the other local IGA.  It’s highway robbery.

  • Anonymous

    Hannaford and Shaws should be ashamed of themselves!!!

  • Anonymous

    Hannaford.at arf you going to do about this discrepency?

  • Anonymous

    The price of limited manufacturing in the state is staggering. The roads and highways are in poor condition. These are some of the many factors that strangle the transportation industry in Maine . The cost to bring groceries to each store is a large part of the cost at each store. There is a cost to those that choose to live in Maine and a huge cost becoming a federal park.

    • Anonymous

      Maine is no further from the source of bananas than Indiana.  Why are Indiana bananas cheaper.  Beans, grown in Maine are cheaper in Indiana than Maine.  The produce flown into Anchorage from California is cheaper  than the produce trucked from Florida to Maine.  

      It’s not the cost of transportation that keeps prices high in Maine.  It’s lack of competition.  A Costco, a  Kroeger, a Fred Myers would go a long way toward reducing prices.  

  • Guest

    Uhm, oh,I don’t know, grow locally?

    It’s a good thing we got rid of all the farmers.

    Eat local. F@&$ hannafords.

  • Anonymous

    I wrote a letter to Olympia Snowe and asked why prices are so high in Maine and why the weekly coupons and sales are so poor. She never answered the question. So then I wrote to Proctor Gamble and asked the same question. The answer I received was that our legislature mandates the coupons we receive in this state.

  • Anonymous

    I shop at Krogers here in southwest Ohio.  I like them but have no clue how they stack up against any competition.  In Florida where my daughter lives I go to Publix.  When I lived in Maine, and will be moving back upon retirement, I shopped at Shaws.  I don’t think there was a Hannafords when I was there.  As a kid I worked at a place called Economy IGA on Union Street in Bangor.  From what I’m reading in these comments it is gone now?  I probably should look at prices but as a single guy I don’t bother, but I do buy store brand veggies, etc.  Ha, if I ever ate real homecooked food my stomach would revolt!  Now, if someone up there could find me a nice shack in the woods for my retirement I’d appreciate it.

  • Anonymous

    These stores feel all they have to do in hard economic times is raise prices.

  • Anonymous

    To say that higher prices in Maine are due to “lack of competition” is total anti-capitalist BS!  The reason everything in Maine is more expensive is because energy prices are way, way higher (Thank you democrat / environmentalists with your renewable mandate nonsense), and because the delivery routes are farther away from the regional distribution hubs, which means higher transportation costs.  Couple that with higher gas prices and heating prices due to fuel prices being high (Thank you Obama for shutting down the gulf and not allowing expedient oil exploration in the U.S.) and you’ve got your answer.  Basically liberal Democrats are to blame for much of this, plain and simple.  Not “Greedy corporate type” who want to fix prices as this idea suggests – complete nonsense!

  • Anonymous

    Get a clue folks. Americans pay so little for high quality food compared to the rest of the world it’s ridiculous. And when you punch in % of income it’s even more ridculous. Feel blessed it’s there …. Think Sudan.

  • Anonymous

    The groceries are getting out of hand here in Maine and it’s the working people who are struggling to put food on our tables.  We make a decent living but with the price of gas, oil and food we are just now getting by.  It is ridiculous on how the prices have gone up at the grocery stores over the past couple years and they continue to go up and something needs to be done.  It’s not the low income struggling, they receive food stamps and many have low rents.  It’s  the working people in this state that have families and recieve no assistance we are the ones that are feeling the prices increased at the grocery store!!!

  • Anonymous

    We ought to all just rally in front of Hannafords and Shaws here in Maine to boycott their prices!!

  • Anonymous

    There is something to be said for taking the time for clipping-printing coupons and watching Sales Fliers and knowing your prices.  I went to Shaws last week and purchased $205 worth of groceries and spent $91.00 (Shaw’s doubles manuf. coupons up to .99c)  Granted it took me 3 hours of clipping ans research, but well worth the savings.  There are some things that I get at Hannaford or Walmart that are cheaper still. I make my list and plan my trips accordingly and try to get everything in one outing.

    •  Getting and printing coupons off the internet  IS ONE BIG PAIN for a zillion reasons.

      They are expired,you often got to register–including confirming your email [so you can get spammed later] , the coupons have headache guidelines,you spend hours hunitng donw a $1 coupon…then they dont print and or you got to download software that places tool bars on your browsers. Then if does not print right, you have to reprint—using up expensive ink.

    • Anonymous

      So true, It does take time but I figure your wallet will thank you for it. I still refuse to buy meats and chicken at Wal-Mart but everything else I buy there. I still think Shaw’s is the way to go for when I have to buy certain things like my meats. One trick I learned from shopping at Shaw’s is that if you go 1 hour before closing on Wednesdays, they put the manager’s specials coupon or discount on the meats and the rotisserie chicken will either be way cheap or free.

  • Watch out for Caswells ,everything is expired. I lost count how many times i got serious heartburn and diarrhea before i finally learned my lesson.   One time i bought peanuts and i almost chocked to death eating them they were so dry—it was like i put rocks in mouth to eat.

    • Anonymous

      Gee, that is good to know!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve  finally had enough of Hannaford’s sales, quality, consumer and employee policies that I no longer shop there.  The last straw was one hectic day, rushing in to pick up three items, I found that once again Hannaford had changed the locations of all items and I had to spend three times longer in there than I had planned.  

    Hannaford knows that  the longer you have to spend looking for an item the more items you will pick up, a selling technique used by corporations that have a total disregard for the customers time and convenience.  

    I shop at WalMart, now.  Stuff stays put.    My favorite items don’t just suddenly disappear because they aren’t making the % profit the store wants. The store brand is the same quality as labeled brands.  The vegetable selection is bigger and fresher. Their service is better.  And, WalMart has better employee pay and employee policies than Hannaford.  Neither are great but Hannaford’s are just plain cruel.

    Hannaford believes that if they redecorate with phony bistro awnings, lowered lighting, stack  French  boules coyly  beside the wine and gourmet cheeses people will be overwhelmed by this “European shopping experience” and forget that,  the veggies died last week, the canned beans have been moved for the third time this year, that you can ask till you’re blue in the face for a product and never get it, the prices are higher and that  Hannaford just took away the 401K program from it’s wage earners but not from the executives that thought it was a really clever way to improve the bottom line.

  • Anonymous

    My family who lives in the South Cannot believe how much we pay for fruits and veggies here. She spends like 50% less for her produce and not to mention the bread, eggs and milk, staple items that we need during the week. She pays 89 cents for a bag of wonder bread and we pay about 2.50 for the same loaf. Ridiculous. I also believe that the SNAP program should make it to where if you want to buy junk and processed foods, then you have to pay out of pocket. The junk and processed foods should be more and the fresh and healthy foods should be less expensive.

  • Guest

    I have shopped in may grocery stores around the country when I have been traveling. Other than Alaska, Maine’s groceries are the most expensive I have seen. Like the oil companies they take the opportunity to gouge because then can…..

  • Anonymous

    I am doing some research in an old issues of the Lewiston Sun Journal when times were really tough. Here is an item I cam across this morning that intrigued me. Lewiston Daily Sun – November 3, 1949 – page 22 – LEWISTON: “The rise in the cost of coffee is being reflected in local restaurants. Several have already jumped the price from five to tens cents a cup. Now go buy a cup of coffee at Barnes & Noble today and see what you have to pay.

  • Anonymous

    Often visit with relatives in Anchorage.  Heavy things like canned goods are somewhat more expensive.  Fresh produce if it comes from California Oregon or Washington is actually about the same price as in Maine, and the variety and freshness are way better.

  • Anonymous

    at the bottom of some big box stores flyers it states that at end of sale prices will depend on competition  Also isn’t Shaws owed by Albertsons????

  • It stands to reason that things that are being shipped from other states and coming all the way to Maine are going to be more.  This farce of an online company that “compares” prices to help customers should really come here and live and shop.  EVERYTHING is more expensive.  I don’t agree with it but if you paid attention to Freshman economics you should be able to figure it out.  This article is a little bit misleading and definitely against Hannaford.   Thank you so much CEO of the grocery game for blasting one of the largest employers in this state and thank you BDN for printing it.  Sarcasm definitely.  Kind of biting the hand that feeds so many and no pun intended.  Like I said, I don’t agree with it but travel around this great country of ours and you will see that we pay just about the same as everyone else. 

    • Anonymous

      Explain why bananas are cheaper in Indiana than they are in Maine. While you’re at it explain why beans grown in Maine are cheaper in Indiana than they are in Maine.  

    • Anonymous

      Perhaps if the prices were more reasonable people would buy more at their store instead of stocking up at other stores.

  • Anonymous

    Our State Government makes a difference, they are the ones who pass laws and impose taxes on us.(1964-2011 Maine Democratic majority) Our gas tax is one of the highest in the nation and this must be passed along to the consumers, also the larger chains have a bit of advantage because they buy in larger bulk. Also, the size of population sometimes have something to do with it (example Florida, Georgia & South Carolina have cheaper grocery prices), not the case for California, they are one of or most taxed states in the US.

     states in the US.

    • Guest

      One of the reasons for the high gas tax is that Maine has a lot of roads relative to our population density. Gas taxes pay for road maintenance. When you live in a large state with a sparse population, things cost more and taxes are higher to cover that reality. There are those who say they would like to live in Maine but don’t because of the taxes. I, on the other hand, won’t move to a more densely populated place just for lower taxes.

  • Anonymous

    Here in MACHIAS, we have OUR FINGERS TIED, literally to the ding-bats at
              “HANNAFORD..CAN’T AFFORD”                                         previouly know as
              “SHOP/SHOT & RIPPED OFF ….again!!”  
    We actually used to have a few other grocery stores here to MACHIAS…and some great places.

    I now make an extensive effort to take a drive sporadically towards  “4 CORNERS” OR CALAIS..

    Good-bye to the grocery BEASTS!

    JIM OF MACHIAS!~!

  • Anonymous

    Beans & Rice… Rice & Beans….

  • Guest

    ….

  • Anonymous

    All this shows is that the grocery chains have figured out that they can price gouge us like the oil companies have been doing all along. In Maine you need to buy four major items. Gas, food, electricity, and heating oil. Guess what? We get price gouged on all four. Big surprise.

    • Anonymous

      and up here in the county we get  charged 20 to 30 cents more a gallon to heat our homes and operate our vehicles

      • Guest

        The price of living in paradise?

  • Anonymous

    If you don’y like the prices start your own store

  • hannaford has a definite monopoly here in maine.  there are no other major supermarket chains in my area of brownville.  i have to drive at least 40 minutes to the IGA in orono to shop any other place that offers something other than hannaford products.  doesn’t matter where you shop in new england, my experience as a seasoned shopper, hannaford products are the most expensive everywhere.  when i lived in new hampshire, i had a choice where i wanted to shop.  shaws, walmart, market basket, hannafords, and iga plus the warehouse outlets, sam’s club and bj’s.  hannafords was the most expensive.  market basket was the least expensive.  i think you can guess where i would do my shopping, market basket.  we need some major grocers to come to maine and step up the competition against hannafords.  there is a very big need to shake them up.

  • when you are the only game in town you can set your prices as high as the market will bare and for us in the county ,couple that and factor fuel prices and great distances between stores discourage comparative shopping in person since the prices between the two walmarts are not the same as well as between the three shop n saves. As far as save alot the prices here in the county have some savings in can goods and boxed products but meat and dairy are comparable to the other stores

  • tag

    As any liberal will tell you, it is time for single payer groceries. Why should those who eat more be forced to pay more? Big Grocery is killing poor people. The government should take over food and eliminate all competition. Eating is a right. People should be allowed to eat regardless of income or immigration status.  

  • DowneastMaine

    IGA!

  • I have always been in a local community where the access to grocery stores was limited, so I laugh when I see people like Mrs. Obama speak of communities that  need competition so there can be fresh produce at reasonable prices. We always have had to swallow whatever prices the grocers mark on the shelves unless someone takes the chance to buck the trend and opens a store to try and go against the big guys. Then the gas prices go up enough you cannot afford to drive to save on the products that are cheaper as gas per gallon is over 3.60 in Down East Maine. No double coupons, scan cards for extra savings or Wal-mart stores that aren’t 50 or more miles away. It was always shop and spend when there was an A & P in the town and now it’s even worse.  Don’t know why we can’t get decent competition for grocers, as there are two pharmacies and soon the shop and save will have a pharmacy as well. There is an empty building that could be utilized for a shaw’s or other grocery store, but no one has dared think of going against the shop and save across the street.

  • Northwoods_Girl

    Prices are extremely high in Maine.  Period.  My family and I own a microfarm and produce alot of our own food – but we can’t sell it due to USDA and Maine laws.  Special permit to slaughter our poultry, special facility to make cheese, inspections and licensing for selling raw milk, kitchen permit to make jelly…we can’t afford these.   This is what keeps the monopoly in the food business and the small producers from fair competition. 

    So I coupon and track my expenses.  If I don’t have a coupon and the item is not on sale, I don’t buy it.  My monthly trip to Bangor, visiting the commissary, and buying feed netted me a savings of $75.00 in my pocket and a comparative savings of nearly $120.00 from Ellsworth and Machias pricing.  We buy essentials only.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, those permits have nothing to do with keeping people safe or anything.

      • Guest

        Good point. I will pay extra for safety and knowing that food labelled organic really is organic. Having said that, Hannaford’s recent tainted meat problem shows how little power the public has to get information and be protected. What seems to be being protected is the grocery chain’s bottom line.

  • Anonymous

    Well I think I know what the problem is here,eh?

    see link for full obscenity
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/blog/2012/jan/16/goldman-sachs-pay-top-london-staff

    Goldman Sachs forced to reveal pay of top London staff

    EU rules have forced Goldman Sachs, which publishes full-year results on Wednesday, to disclose it pays its top UK staff an average of £4m

    Ahead of the full-year results from Goldman Sachs on Wednesday it is worth taking a look at what the Wall Street firm paid its top flight staff in London in 2010. For the first time it has been forced to disclose, under EU rules, how it pays so-called “code staff” – those who are judged to be responsible for taking or managing risks – in its UK-based operations.

    Monday 16 January 2012 14.53 EST

  • Old Bear

    I was in a small store Topsham the other day and loaf of bread aand dozen eggs and it cost me $7.88 know that is high prices. Same thing it Hannaford’s would have cost me $5.29. So where is the problem not with Hannaford’s or Shaw’s. Find a new story and the hamburg recall did it even come from Hannaford’s??? It could have come from another place but Hannaford’s took the blunt of  it and did the right thing.   

  • Anonymous

    Wal mart has higher prices than Shop and Save lots of times and the produce is not as fresh I do not think our Shop and Save owners in the Newport area are getting rich on their consumers.

    • Guest

      ….

  • Anonymous

    Hannaford also varies prices by locations in Maine. If I buy limes in Rockland, they can be priced twice as much as in Portland, where there is more competition for such “exotic” items. What amazes me is how Hannaford can never seem to keep some simple items in stock. It’s like they decided in 1975 that two cans of coconut milk was enough for any store, so it’s always sold out and you have to go to a small ethnic store to buy any quantity. And you can buy ground espresso coffee (like Illy) in corner shops, but not in even the biggest Hannaford.

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