ORLANDO – I took the early flight to Orlando and had a free day leading up to the Southeast Produce Council’s BB #:191194 Southern Exposure, so of course that means store checks.
Just out of the airport, I met up with Amanda Keefer, managing director for the Healthy Families Project, who took me to some of “her” stores, where she shops most often. I’m being nice and won’t make her pick a favorite.
Our first stop was Publix BB #:110909 in Lake Nona, a newer community (and in my opinion, upscale) community.
At this store they were leading with peak-of-the-season Florida strawberries, with a secondary display as soon as you get to the department. There was also a secondary display of Chilean stone fruit, which I’ve found I see more often in Florida than I do in Austin.
Another change, for me, was a plethora of branded apples displayed in pouch bags. I’m more accustomed to bulk displays at the stores I most frequent in Texas.
This store also has a broad array of value-added fruit and vegetables. This isn’t new for Publix, but the packaging has shifted to a more fiber-based bag with a window.
As we were heading into a convention with a lot of exposure to others, we decided to pick up some fresh juice for an immunity boost.
At my next stop, I decided to choose a favorite: Freshfields Farm BB #:116928.
This store is nearly the opposite of Publix when it comes to assortment. Freshfields Farm, which sells pretty much only meat and produce (with a few other things like dry beans and, local honey, and select cheeses.
Freshfields also led with strawberries, at a knock-your-socks-off price of $1 a pound.
This store is known for mass displays of a key item like this. The rest of what was on display really feels like a curated selection of the best of what’s available for people who love to cook.
And the prices reflect an opportunity buyer mentality. I picked up a Pinkglow Pineapple for $6.99. If you need a refresher, those launched a few years ago at a whopping $50 each.