ORLANDO – I rounded out my store check trip to Orlando with a visit to Walmart and Bravo Supermarkets near Lake Nona.
Amanda Keefer, Managing Director for the Healthy Family Project had raved to me in the past about “her” Walmart BB #:143789, and how great the produce department was.
Where I live, Walmart goes head-to-head with a very strong low-cost retailer, H-E-B. In this area, I’d consider Walmart to be the dominant player in the low-cost space, especially compared to Publix. I’m not sure anyone would categorize Publix as a place to get inexpensive produce (though there are deals to be had with coupons and BOGOs).
This Walmart Supercenter produce department was massive. Displays were fresh and full on a Thursday morning, with multitudes of shoppers milling about. This is quite a change from the locations I most often frequent in Central Texas.
The wet wall was easily twice the size of “my” stores, with a much broader range and much fuller displays.
Tropicals were prominent, with multiple mass displays of pineapples, mangos, and root vegetables.
Where the store I typically frequent has a small endcap of refrigerated berries, this one had a huge island display.
Other retailers take note of this location. This is what Walmart is capable of, and it is impressive.
My last stop with Amanda was Bravo Supermarkets BB #:302757. This is a Hispanic banner that took over an Earth Fare location in 2020.
As expected, ethnic items were prominent, with mass displays of multiple ripeness levels for plantains, Caribbean root vegetables like name and yuca, and a huge selection of sofrito. There were even sofrito kits similar to what I’d see for caldo (soup) in Austin, with peppers, onions, and garlic on an over-wrapped tray. Their version of caldo kits – a Dominican stew called sancocho – included tray-packed chunks of pumpkin, yuca, carrots, plantains, and potatoes.
I want to make that soup, especially after seeing the diverse variety of vegetables it offers.
There was less emphasis on things like berries and apples, though I did notice local strawberries were on ad for $1.99 a pound.