Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Crazy pricing at Fairway Market

I paid my second visit to the new Fairway Market in Paramus on Monday and re-affirmed my belief that the Fashion Center is my least favorite mall and the layout of the New York-based store is far from user friendly.

But what really caught my eye was the pricing of produce, dried fruit and Murray's free-roaming chicken. As soon as I walked into the store, I noticed that the asparagus that were $1.49 a pound on the frenzied opening day now were $2.49 a pound. I picked up two pounds of herbicide-free Campari tomatoes for $5, the same price as at ShopRite.

We like Murray's drug-free chicken leg quarters, which were priced at $1.69 a pound, as were Murray's leg-and-thigh combo. But Murray's wings were $2.69 a pound, whether you bought a small or large package. I passed on the wings. A worker putting out pork said the leg quarters, drumsticks and thighs might be on sale, but there was no indication of that on the package or shelf.

At the fish counter, I heard an employee telling a customer that fish is delivered seven days a week, including Sunday. But the prices were high compared with the large seafood selection at Korean supermarkets. I looked for smoked wild salmon and found only 4-ounce packages that worked out to nearly $28 and $36 a pound! And to think a pound of the preservative-free smoked wild salmon I buy frequently at Costco is less than $14 a pound. A remarkable difference.

Then I had to backtrack to produce, because I forgot the dried apricots I need for a recipe. I found California apricots for $9.99 a pound and French ones for $6.49 a pound. I went with the French, and they elevated the pot of chicken and rice I made tonight.


  1. I agree that grocery store pricing does not make sense, but I think you could write this same article about any store.

    Fairway is more likely to have better deals on select items because they source from a more diverse set of suppliers than most chain stores. For that reason, I still think they are a great place to shop for your regular shopping trip, and save Costco for the few specialty items they sell that are priced to move.

    Also, all other things being equal, I am not a fan of Costco because of all the packaging they use. Many of the same items will cost the same, and have much less packaging material at stores like Fairway.

  2. I agree about the packaging at Costco, but we are dedicated recyclers. I disagree that items would cost the same at Fairway. I shopped at Costco today, picking up a pound of organic spring mix ($4.79), a pound of smoked wild salmon ($13.99), mixed dried fruit, dried blueberries, and 5 pounds of Spanish lemons ($4.79). I noticed a 3-pound bag of dried California apricots for under $10; that same quantity at Fairway would cost nearly $30. I don't believe Fairway could match any of these Costco prices.


Please try to stay on topic.