Supermarket Sweep is back & I am here for this

produce with pamela

My kids think I could win just about any game show they see on TV, with the exception of maybe American Ninja Warrior. To be honest, I think they’re right on that one.

I have Jeopardy’s useless knowledge in spades. Wheel of Fortune runs in my blood. And even Ellen has a crazy Game of Games show where she straps people together with bungee cords and makes them fight to reach granny smith and red delicious apples with their mouths. If that isn’t the weirdest produce-adjacent game show out there, I don’t know what is.

But food shows? Oh yeah, that’s my sweet spot. My poor meal planning and random shopping habits often make my life feel like an episode of Chopped. My son Ike is convinced I would destroy the competition on Guy’s Grocery Game because I’m a competent home chef who knows where everything is in any given grocer.

But my real strength? The game show I’ve been preparing for my entire life?

Supermarket Sweep

Originally broadcast from 1965-1967, and revived on the Lifetime Network from 1990 to 1995, Supermarket Sweep is reportedly preparing to make a comeback with former Saturday Night Live cast member Leslie Jones as the host.

The mid-90s version I’m most familiar with featured contestants in dorky matching outfits who answered softball questions to earn time to run through a final sweep to purchase trivia question ingredients, along with the highest price items in the show’s mock supermarket. Think giant hams and turkeys filling grocery carts.

There’s already a UK revival set to start airing Sept. 9, and it looks amazing. They even have a full supermarket set, and regularly donate the food to the food bank, including fresh produce.

“For TV purposes, we want it to be looking pristine, but there’s till three, four, five weeks on that fresh produce, so we donate it,” host Rylan Clark-Neal said on the program This Morning. “All the food is real, we replenish it every three or four days and all of the products are perishable but still best before they don’t go to waste.”

This gives me hope that the new versions of the show will have more fresh produce items than they previously featured.

In lieu of high-dollar canned hams, I have some suggestions for producers:

  • Whole jackfruit, which can easily ring up around $40 each;
  • Truffles and other specialty mushrooms, which I’ve seen cost up to $50 a pound in stores;
  • Random-weight bags of early season Rainier cherries – we all know we’ve gotten up to the checkout with $20 worth of cherries before;
  • Full loaf size avocados, or even a plain old 48s during a shortage;
  • Shoot, asparagus was selling for $6 a pound!;
  • Organic celery, if they can even find it; and
  • First-of-the-season Honeycrisp apples, which will be hitting a store near you, very soon.

While we wait for the official reboot, let’s sit back and enjoy this fun promotion from Bella Vista, AR-based Allen’s Foods, which did its own “sweep” on Facebook, where they let a lucky shopper have a crack at a 2-minute shopping spree. She racked up $269 worth of groceries. I’m so jealous.

If you’re not following Allen’s Foods, and the Associated Wholesale Grocer Store-of-the-Year manager Steve Morrow on social media, you’re missing out. The town only has 28,000 people and one small grocer has 12,000 followers on Facebook.

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.