Friday, November 09, 2007

Fresh and Easy, but also pre-packaged in plastic

Duck liver or chicken liver pate for $4.98, along with Calabrese salami

It's a little hard to wrap your head around Tesco's Fresh and Easy stores. Eating L.A. stopped by the Glassell Park location early this morning, when opening day's crowds had abated, to find a strange mishmash of a store, with a sprinkling of Trader Joe's and a dash of Ralph's. But I suppose it fits the neighborhood, which is a mostly low-income Hispanic area adjacent to gentrifying areas of Eagle Rock and Glendale. Other stores are in Arcadia, Anaheim and several other locations. A yuppieish couple checked out the Stilton and pate selection, but observed that there's an awful lot of packaging on every item. "It will just be good to have a market down the hill again," said the hubby.

We bought quince membrillo, flan, fresh-squeezed oj, organic Earl Grey tea ($1.99) and espresso fudge ice cream ($2.19)

Meanwhile, an older woman complained to her son in Spanish that the prices on name-brand goods like crackers seemed high to her, although today's L.A.Times article says many prices are lower than elsewhere. Many of the items, like Meyer Lemon cake mix and organic boxed mac 'n cheese, are clearly from the same manufacturer as Trader Joe's products, but with Tesco's rather boring plain-wrap style packaging. The best part is that prices do seem quite low, especially for Fresh and Easy brand items. The grab and go meals are higher, about $5 for single serving fresh meals and $8 for two-serving frozen meals. Although there's only few British items (back bacon, the Stilton with cherries), there does seem to be a higher proportion of Indian food than the area would necessarily indicate, although Trader Joe's has a similar amount. Mini baguettes, at 97 cents each, are plastic-wrapped like all the products
Even the pita bread is made by an Indian bakery, rather than a Middle Eastern one. As everyone else has said, everything including all the produce is thoroughly encased in plastic, for the ease of the self-serve checkout stations, and the feel of the store is rather industrial, like a mini Costco. Overall, it's nothing to make a special trip for, but probably a welcome place to pick up toilet paper, ice cream and quince paste and cabernet sauvignon wine vinegar if you're in the neighborhood.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love Fresh and Easy. I have grown bored of Trader Joe's selection, so this is like having a new Trader Joe's with all new stuff. I also appreciate having a selection of items from the regular grocery store. So far what I've tried of the prepared foods has been really good, and definitely "fresh". I find Trader Joe's stuff is often a little wilted and old. To top it off, the prices are great. If you like Trader Joe's I'd highly recommend checking it out.

Anonymous said...

A curious place.

I, like many people in ER, was looking forward to the F&E opening. But initial impressions are confusing. 1) They sell themselves as environmentally friendly yet there's more plastic and styrofoam packaging than a McDonald's franchise. 2) A package of boneless, skinless chicken with a container of BBQ marinade in it hardly qualifies as "easy." It's just expensive sauce. 3) The self checkout is a disaster. Every third item had an error message of some kind. Not an activity you want to be doing while clutching a three year old. 4) The selection of products seems to be the result of a lot of conflicting focus groups. How else do you explain an "organic" vibe with Raid Bug Spray in the next aisle? 5) Like a general store, there's a little bit of everything and not much of anything. Need some raspberry jam? Hope you like the Fresh & Easy brand. Because that's all they have. 6) A store opening with union pickets? Not such a good sign. 7) On the plus side: The staff were very friendly and helpful if a little addled by all the attention.

Anonymous said...

What a letdown visiting the Anaheim location after all the hype. A cold, sterile, antiseptic retail environment that reminded me of a hospital cafeteria. A sea of plastic containers, regimented, robotic, formulaic, uninviting. Couldn't find anything attractive, appealing or welcoming about the layout that underestimates what would interest anyone in returning.

Jenny said...

I found the simplicity of Fresh & Easy(Arcadia location)a positive vacation from the nonstop razzmatazz of the usual TJ's/Bristol Farms/Whole Foods/Pavilions/Gelson's circuit. Spare design and simple packaging didn't bug me one whit. Happened to check out the jams & preserves selection, and in the Arcadia store there were at least 5 different brands on display(including Smuckers)in addition to the F&E ones, which looked good and if locally produced as promised are probably great.

In fact, everything looked good. I bought some desserts that to my eye were trifles, though labeled "parfaits"; they certainly were fresh and tasty. Also got a takeout "butter chicken and biryani rice" entree which my husband & I ate with relish; it was delicious. For near future consumption I got some greek yogurt that costs much more at BF, some interesting cheese--and some of the fresh potato salad, of which there were samples to try--generous samples, and it was both delicious and inexpensive. I looked at the fruit and other produce, and all looked much better than the same stuff at TJs--incidentally, I haven't bought any baked goods at TJs since not one but two incidents in as many years with a loaf of "fresh" bread molding literally overnight, and the breads offered at F&E looked much less dodgy.

I thought the mainly cardboard and (professed as) recycled displays and packaging seemed leagues more green than anything at your average supermarket...guess I just had a totally different vibe.
I also thought the prices were quite low for their prepared, intersting takeaway meals--less than half what they'd cost at either WF or BF.

And lastly, they have some imported UK items for bath and hair that looked alluring--I came away with a glass bottle of bath milk with a lovely scent(the UK excels at toiletries imho).

Anonymous said...

THEY DON'T ACCEPT AMEX!!!!

jamie McMurray said...

I've visited two locations so far, once in Upland and once in West Covina, the store I preferred. I had a great experience...take it from one who loves to food shop. This company does their homework and it shows. If employees at other markets were anywhere near as friendly as they are at Fresh & Easy I prolly wouldn't have found this place. Everytime I leave Whole Foods I've had an awful shopping experience.
The Fresh & Easy product line has been great so far.
Not crazy about the vanilla soy milk, but I tend to have a sweet tooth. Everything else I've tried has been terrific. Checkout was easy and smooth.
I'm crazy about Fresh & easy

Anonymous said...

Visited the West Covina store and left feeling like something is missing from this place...oh yes, personality and selection. I've experienced better a atmosphere in the morgue. Careful of the managers, a handful of them are from Trader Joes and they are not liked too much within the TJ's community. Stick with TJ's where we actually listen to the customers!

Anonymous said...

Went to the store on Eagle Rock Blvd. The place was empty of customers and stock. Looks like a large 7-11. Good luck, I'll stick to TJ's.

greenberd said...

Fresh and Easy is a wonderful store, and a concept that has really been lacking. I love the small stores, and the lack of all the nonsense you find at traditional stores. (Who needs aisle after aisle of preservative-filled junk, after all? Who needs all these annoying "discount" cards, and the sleazy practice of the big corporations buying product placement?) I do all my shopping at the Arcadia F&E store, and the quality and prices are excellent. The 'ready to cook' meals are a dream. I agree that the amount of packaging is a bit daunting... but consider that even at the traditional markets many of us put our produce into plastic bags, and the meat and other items come with styrofoam or plastic containers-- so F&E's packaging is not that different. I hope F&E makes a big success, because what they're offering is a good thing for all of us. (And shaking up the traditional markets is a good thing too!)

Kanani said...

I'm not impressed. Trader Joes is the result of first starting as a small store, and keeping to the same formula to ensure the ambience is something more than what you'd find at Ralph's.

I noticed that for a place that says "fresh and easy" that they have a lot of canned and pre-prepared foods. Mind you, both of these are high in fat and salt, and there's nothing "fresh or easy" about that.

The packaging is bizarre. I don't like it at Trader Joes. I understand that it reduces in-house labor (meaning both have done away with the traditional green grocer who used to stock, clip, and rotate stock), however, it just looks like something out of a vending machine.

Now this isn't to say that the produce isn't fresh --it is. Nor to say that it isn't meticulously kept. But all the plastic, the cans, the pre-pared foods, the industrial look has it veering in a niche between 7-11 and Trader Joe's.

Anonymous said...

I'm from the UK where Tesco originates. Here Tesco are everywhere, my town, which is a very small town, is encased by no less then 3 Tesco supermarkets. It's like they form a grocery wall around the entire town.

One comment I picked up on regarding Fresh and Easy was the one about brand items being expensive. Well, be warned. Tesco are the masters of "doing away" with brands and replacing them with their own brand which will be cheaper but also a very inferior quality product.

The good news for you Americans though is that you don't need to tolerate any funny business from Tesco, you can simply shop elsewhere. Us Brits on the other hand have an infuriatingly small choice of stores other than Tesco to which we can go because of their questionable land grabbing tactics that have been the secret of their expansion here. Unlike you we don't have the vast geographical space needed for true competition to flourish.

Tesco are a deceitful company, don't fall for the green image they're trying to portray. In the UK last year they stopped handing out plastic bags at check out to "help save the environment". Then when people complained they brought them back, and now plan to start charging for them, exposing their true motives behind the move in the first place. They're sneaky. My advice is avoid shopping at Fresh and Easy, support your local businesses by using local small stores and businesses whenever possible.

Anonymous said...

Packaging: Some of you say it's too much. I took a look at my cart of groceries put away earlier tonight and wondered how it's any worse than any other store. If it's in paper, you would bitch about tree cutting. If it's wrapped in banana leaves and fresh jungle ferns..hey..now that's green but you'd probably bitch about the environment and killing plants. A plastic packaged dinner is the same whether it comes from Whole foods. trader joes or Fresh and easy in my opinion.

Selection: I happen to like someone else researching popular items and prices and offering ONLY those things that they knows sell. I must be in the majority because when I shop at F&E I -find- what I want...the prices are also much less than any WF. Their produce is fresh and inexpensive. Their meats are fresh looking and read to cook in decent portion sizes. I can get my funky ethnic treats AND pick up a can of "raid" bug spray. I cannot believe someone faulted them for carrying Raid. Come on. I suppose you like wasting gas to visit more than more store to pick up your bug products from a place that meets your "non-organic unwholesome" needs instead of being able to get healthy food and household necessities. How wasteful of gas and time...how ridiculous.

It's also funny to see the Trader Joes diehards and Wholefoods Diehards rally their stores as if this is a football game. Gossiping about the staff. I suggest people look at the quality of their food and the price instead.

Decor: How is it you think the prices are so low? Do you think they spend it on cashiers? No. Do you think they spend it on mood lighting for the veggies and fashion shoot ready aisles of meat with a butcher giving you a big friendly smile? No....

You have low prices because they very intelligently staff the store with people to bag your groceries only. Stock the shelves only. To get the carts lined up again..only.

Look at the perks and make a decision. Stop bitching. You save money. You get fresh food. They have staff that helps you bag. You have to lift your arm and scan then pay. Oh my god wha a workout. Everyone is fat in america. That might help everyone lose a few pounds a year. We can't have that.

If I sound negative..it's simply that I find most of america acting like teenagers instead of adults and I'm doing what my mom would do if she ever caught me mouthing off simply to point out meaningless negatives just to hear myself complain. She would tell me what an idiot I was and to grow up soon.

If a sterile and clean and....wow..simple environment puts you off...then show somewhere that makes your shopping experience more rock and roll. If you want to be entertained by the grocery store..pay a chain that is happy to MTV your mind.

Everything is packaged a certain way with a code to make it easy to scan btw. I hate the self scanning aisles at the regular grocery stores...know what you do with your loose veggies and fruits at a smith's? You have to do look ups that waste your time.

-Happy F&E customer for some things, Trader Joe's for others, and Whole Foods market for specialty things I cannot easily find. I like all 3 stores. Why choose one. It's not a football team.

Anonymous said...

I am waiting for Fresh and Easy to make it to Florida where I live.Ikea opened in Orlando which attracts rich and poor people looking for different things.I like self checkout and wish for a robot haircut.Orlando gets lots of Puerto Ricans needing work.Orlando has outrageous levels of shoplifting perhaps workers at other major employers.

Anonymous said...

I am a Trader Joe's shopper and I like their good prices and unique organic selection. Recently there is a Fresh and Easy store in the close neighborhood of where the TJ I normally shop at. I like the F&E store because it looks very clean and organized. Trader Joe's is a more friendly environment except when the crews are restocking the shelves. Both stores have prepackaged products on everything, and I don't see why people complain about Fresh and Easy only. Items at F&E are definitely very fresh just like their name. Their prebaked pizza crust is good and make easier to make pizza. Dark chocolate gelato is very delicious. Specialty breads are delicious. Desserts selection match the need for couple and family. If anyone wants big portion, go to Costco (I am Costco shopper too). Even though I am a constant shopper at TJ, I always find fruits and veggie (non-refrigerated) to be molded. So everyone, please check carefully. I like both stores with a little more love to TJ because of their diverse selection. Both stores have friendly and polite crew members. Go check out F&E and you might fall in love with them as well as you do to TJ!

Anonymous said...

I found Fresh & Easy to be a great new idea in shopping. My son and I normally bought and Albertson and Trader Joes. Now we shop at Fresh & Easy and Trader Joes. Selection is adequate but not complete. There bread is the best of all the stores in my area. There prices are amazing.
Strongly recommend you gice it a try you may like it too.

Anonymous said...

I found F&E a vast difference from where I usually shop. The new Upland store was clean and the staff very helpful. My only concern came when I checked my bank statement online and saw a debit charge from Palm Desert. Guess they route the charges through there as the amount and date matched my purchase at F&E and there is a F&E at the location in Palm Desert. Shook me up for a minute, though.

Anonymous said...

Here in the Coachella Valley, we just got our first Fresh & Easy.

The coupon for some money off of the toal purchase was definitely and enticement.

I arrive at F&E at 9:00PM expecting them to be closed/closing...instead, I found helpful, friendly staff without the Costo and TJ arrogance that appears to be infecting the valley.

I walked each aisle to see what I could find, but before I made it past the registers, I found Lactaid 2% milk for less than $3.00!

I just paid over $3.00 the night before for Dairy Ease at Wal-Mart.

I spent just over $20.00 and had a $5.00 off coupon which brought my total to $15.55.

My basket: Sourdough bread, F&E Peanut Butter-Creamy, provolone cheese, a french roll, coffee filters, blackberry preserves, roasted red peppers, maple-pecan granola, and the container of Lactaid.

Through out the store, there was always someone around to answer questions and guide me to the right aisle. Go find that at Wal-Mart. I remember one night in November when I needed breadcrumbs and asked four different Wal-mart employees including the assistant manager where they were stashed.

I ended up meeting someone who was looking for some Sazon, took her there and her friend knew where the breadcrumbs were and subsequently got me to the right aisle....four aisles different than orignally told by Wal-mart's workers.

I also found that they are community conscious-all of the day old meat and bread was going to one of the local recovery centers in the morning.

While I have read here that there is too much plastic packaging, we need to look at the other marts. The only difference: brands and attractiveness of the the packaging.

There have been many returns to Trader Joe's, especially in the warmer months here as the dairy and fresh food cannot get off the truck fast enough to not sour or rot. I stopped buying that sort of stuff at TJ's and stick to pre-pcakaged things like soup.

Since I was also pretty damn hungry when I got home, I toasted up some honey wheat bread and got out the F&E peanut butter. It required a small amount of stirring to mix it all back together. I also popped open the blackberry preserves.

This is one of the BETTER peanut butters on the market. Taste, texture and pallatability made it seem as if it were almost fresh ground.

Bravo on the Peanut Butter F&E!!!

As for the naysayers: go where you feel comfortable.

With gas nearly $4.00 out here, I need to conserve money and I seek out the best in each store, whether it is Von's, Pavillion's, Wal-Mart, TJ's or F&E.

rossman1rb said...

A few F&E's just opened up here in Las Vegas. There are a ton of Rite-Aid stores closing here and word is F&E is buying up the lot. After being forced to shop at TJ's or Whole Foods (where I routinely walk out with 4 bags of groceries and a whopping $200 checkstand receipt) F&E seems like the greatest thing to happen in years. Ill admit the look of the place is a tad sterile, but Ive noticed that the sterility is just a sign of an exceptionally CLEAN marketplace. In the past I could hardly afford to consume fresh fruit, juices and other perishables my body really craves. Now I make daily trips to the F&E, where at the minimum I can drop a measley 5 bucks and get my 1/2 gallon of carrot juice (I was used to paying $9 for an inferior brand name juice product at Albertsons, so it was only an occasional luxury). If on the other hand, I do walk out with my 4 bags of groceries- Im only out 60-70 dollars for a decent supply of tasty, healthy treats trucked in fresh from California. I havent yet eaten anything from there that I didnt actually like. Thanks F&E!!

Anonymous said...

They are half price on some of the produce compared with Ralph and Vons. 18 cents a banana..box of grapes $1.70 it was $120 and we got sooo much food...turkey, bread, pastas more than the competitors.
THEY do take Amex now by the way and it was an extra $5 off with the coupons.
I am sold...the food is fresh and not overpriced.
BC

Anonymous said...

I shop once or twice a week at the hollywood location and love the freshness, convenience, friendly staff...and great prices. Normally spend around $50/visit...Ralphs would be $100 or more easily!

Anonymous said...

I was very disappointed with the Hollywood Fresh and Easy. The place was empty and the employees not very helpful. Everything in the store seems like a contradiction. They are suppossed to be green but there is plastic everywhere. The whole store lacked personality, I think Trader Joe's has nothing to worry about. I will NEVER go back into that let down of a store. Let's stick Amercian owned companies.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Fresh and Easy in Arcadia. It's cheap, clean and fresh. The prices are low and the food is easy to prepare. The staff is always friendly. I love the $5 coupons! Highly recommend!

Anonymous said...

It's a little thing, but it put me off even before I go through the door, but the one I went to had "family parking" or some such nonsense marked closest to the door. I guess I'm a second class citizen. That said, I liked the greater selection of staples than TJ's, didn't find the prices to be anything special, and would prefer the option of cashier instead of being forced to use the selve checkout. If one opens close enough to me, I might shop there before a traditional supermarket, but wouldn't go out of my way.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to note how conservative some of these shoppers are.Anything different is bad? I suspect they were not the target market anyway. My local F&E is friendly,very inexpensive,convenient and good quality.The F&E branded items are invariably good value and good quality. The staff are amazing compared to a regular store -helpful and cheerful.I actually look forward to going there whereas Ralphs/Vons was a chore.
The plastic- it is hygenic and can be recycled so what is the problem?

Anonymous said...

One simple fact rarely stated in the TJ vs. F&E debate... TJ = 10 minutes of driving around the block looking for parking because the lot is full, F&E = pull in and park. TJ = constantly bumping into other shoppers in overcrowded isles, F&E = casually stroll and shop in wide open spaces.

Both stores have pros and cons but the convenience of parking and less crowded shopping makes F&E my #1 choice.

Anonymous said...

I'm really liking the F&E close to me. The coupons are just the icing on the cake, but they have TJ's prices without the TJ's "Let's make every store it's own unique maze! Let's make the aisles really narrow!"

Plus, Trader Joe's won't build a store near mean. I have a 15 minute drive in every direction to get to one. Now, I don't really need to.

Anonymous said...

I love this store! It is thoroughly committed to helping the environment and providing delicious, organic food at reasonable prices.

It's so clean and quiet, too.

And as for the people griping about the abundance of plastic in the store, here is a statement directly from F&E's website:


"All our display and shipping materials are recycled or reused. This includes materials like cardboard, paper, plastic shrink wrap, pallets, totes, crates or damaged hand baskets."

Anonymous said...

Fresh and Easy rocks!!! The prices are good and the quality of the fresh stuff is great! The employees are pretty friendly as well. Keep it up...it is good to shop in an easy going envirnment w/o the long Stater Bros. lines!!!

Anonymous said...

Fresh and Easy in Leisure World (Laguna Woods) Prepared and frozen meals are outstanding, I don't cook so this is a godsend. Fruits and veg are fresh. I always pull from the back with the oldest expiry date. Staff is friendly but if you go early in the morning, aisles are cluttered as they are still stocking shelves

Anonymous said...

I love Fresh and Easy!!! I worked a job fair about a year ago and F&E were the table next to mine. I checked out the information and spoke with some of the reps. Sounded interesting and yummy! One year later... I went to mom's for lunch where she served an amazing salad with a fantastic raspberry vinaigrette. She raved about this new store, how EASY it was to navigate and how REASONABLE the prices were. 3 months later... My boyfriend and I checked out the one that opened in our neighborhood...and LOVED IT!!! The fruit is amazing, the peach actually tasted like a peach! We bought a Tri-tip roast for 8 bucks!!!! and some little lamb chops that were to die for! Organic mango lemonade that is one of the best things I ever tasted!
The checkout was a breeze! As for the "plastic packaging" what else is there? That's all I see at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and Ralph's. As far as I can tell, packaging is kept to a minimum. Everything was Fresh and Easy. especially the prices. I can see why Trader Joe's is nervous and trying to put F&E down!
One last thing...DON'T GO UNION F&E!!!!! HANG IN THERE AND STICK TO YOUR IDEAS...it might take a little longer than expected, but people will start to get it!!!

MaddeningCloud said...

recently moved back to california from texas; discovered F&E a block down from where i live (Long Beach)and i think it's awesome! clean, organized, no clutter, friendly & helpful staff, their fruits & veggies are local and delicious, and their doing what they can to stay green AND stay in business.

drive a few miles to go to a crowded, unpleasant, and overpriced store with hormone induced produce? no thanks.

they're still new, growing slowly but surely. no, they don't have 50 different brands of peanut butter, but hey, i only need one jar!

will i "exclusively" shop F&E? no, simply because some shopping trips will be bigger than others, but it is the replacement for other stores.

RDD90802 said...

Fresh & Easy is a nice alternative to the other large grocery chains. I love Trader Joe's but they decided that my neighborhood didn't fit their "demographic" (too many blacks & hispanics in the neighborhood I guess) so I will support F&E since they are willing to take a chance in underserved areas. Just a note to the person who was going to support American companies, Trader Joe's has been owned by a German company since 1979.

Anonymous said...

All of you people are haters! This place is amazing, everything I have tried so far tasted amazing. Keep shopping at Trader Joe's and enjoy all the Asulfame Potassium they put in 90 percent of they're foods!!! Godbless you all, but F&E won my heart.

Anonymous said...

I don't live in LA, but herald from San Diego. The Fresh & Easy here is 40 minutes away from me, but I will go there as opposed to the overpriced Albertson's and Stater Bros 20 minutes from me, and here's why:

1. The staff is so friendly, helpful and kind. I can't remember the last time I got a smile from a checker at Albertson's.

2. They do take Amex and all other credit cards. The self checkout was easy and they will bag for you. I was even told that if you don't feel like doing the self check out that day, just ask and a friendly staffer will do the whole thing for you.

3. I got something like 10 bags of groceries for $100. A similar sized buy easily $150.00 at Albertson's.

4. What's all the hub-bub about the plastic packaging?? It's recycled or recyclable. I don't know - this objection just seems foolish. EVERY store has plastic packaging. Duh.

5. No union - I'm not big on unions.

6. The selection is minimized but still wonderful. Who needs so many choices? We Americans are sooo spoiled. Who needs all those choices between 20 different boxed macaroni and cheese dinners? Look at the selection that Fresh & Easy has. Phenomenal.

7. As a vegetarian I was skeptical going in - but they have a fairly large selection of vegetarian foods as well. The only thing on my list that I couldn't find was Veganaise. They will be bringing it in for me.

8. They keep their prices down by not having all the bells and whistles. Again - what is being considered cold & sterile by some - is actually a "less is more" idea. Who needs all the manufacturer end caps - cardboard, metal, plastics, advertising etc.

9. Their carbon footprint is fairly small. Look at all the hormones, pesticides, preservatives, petroleum based, one use products the large chains have.

I could go on, but who'd want me to!!

Check Fresh & Easy out. Keep an open mind. Get out of your comfort zone. The economy will eventually force you to. Wasteful stores like the large chains will be a thing of the past.

Anonymous said...

I hope you fresh and easy facts people see this.

When you are trying to get support for your cause do not piss off the people you are trying to convert. The store I visited for the first time had a wall of protesters trying to turn people away. The first thing that pissed me off was you idiots were flipping carts in the parking spaces. Next I get some smartazz idiot in my face asking my why I'm here. Next I get a flyer and am told to read it before I enter the store. This combo made me rush in the store and spend twice the money I had planed to spend and will send me back more often. I don't even care what your arguments are at this point, as I don't pay much attention to people acting like children.

Oh and if you really want to tell people how bad a new grocery store chain is don't make the flyer signed by someone that works for Ralphs... You lose a lot of credibility. Just like Dodge saying Ford makes horrible trucks...

Oh and of all the items I bought everything has been delicious and priced well.

Anonymous said...

Fresh and Easy is exactly it. I hate grocery shopping and the food at the local Trader Joes is either rotten or almost there. It only takes about 25 minutes to buy the groceries for the week. The selection is not great but the products are. For someone that is always on the go and likes home cook foods is the best place to go. The prices are very good and there are no lines.

Vegasdude62 said...

Fresh and Easy ROCKS !

LOVE the place, awesome food, their store brand items are outstanding.. Great produce, meat, SALMON, breads, you name it..

I work graveyard at a casino, so love to hit the 1/2 off sections when they open... Where else can you buy $30 worth of meat for $15, just because it hit "sell by date".. Chuck it in the freezer, good to go !!!! Love their $5 off coupons too.... and their staff is so friendly...

Used to shop at Walmart and TJ's, and probably will still pick up a few items there.. but for 99% of my shopping - It's F&E baby...

Having worked in a union grocery store for 19 years my first job, I can honestly say the UFCW are a bunch of greedy money grubbing do nothings.. I found UNION is actually more like a codeword for "MAFIA"

Anonymous said...

OMG! LOVING THE FRESH AND EASY! For a single person who LOVES fresh food and HATES to shop, this place is Heaven! I don't even like when it is compared to Traders Joes as I feel TJ's carries weird, foreign, spicy, experimental items that are mostly not my style. F&E offers regular, good, fresh, Continental food I can cook or freeze easy. And the TASTE is so good I crave it! The spinach and ricotta ravioli w Basil pesto sauce... The fresh feta cheese stuffed chicken w marinera, rosemary potatoes and lemon/cilatro hummus. Not to mention the yummy choices of cheese and wine! Very gormet and good for tasting! I highly recommend! Even if DONT like Trader Joes! :)

Timothy said...

I call it Fresh and Sleazy. My mom came home with three fruit based snacks, all with Hydrogenated Oil as first ingredient, and over 10g saturated fat, gross! EVERYTHING there is sold in huge plastic containers. Some of you don't understand the complaint about this, so I'll explain. At a grocery store you can buy a potato and put it in a reusable grocery bag. In F&E that potato comes packaged in a huge plastic (oil based, non biodegradable) container. For a company that tries to appear green, this is a joke. Paper is much greener than plastic, a lot of you posters are very confused. I agree that if you buy things like Lunchables they will be in a plastic container. I do not buy that stuff, and when I go to Vons many times I leave with little plastic

Anonymous said...

I've been to about 3 different stores out here in Vegas and loved them all. The food is cheap, great quality, and the staff is friendly. I love this store

anuralawson said...

I had the opportunity to visit the Fresh and Easy in Hollywood.

I have a family of six and was told that the prices were great and that the quality of the food was good.

We usually, shop at the local Trader Joe's walking distance to our home in Culver City. We also shop at Whole Foods in Beverly Hills.

I was excited upon arrival, I am an ingredient checker and too many of their products contain MSG hidden as textured vegetable protein.

They all so have products that contain High Fructose Corn Syrup which cause an array of health risk in adults and in children. The number one health problem associated with HFCS is Diabetes.

I also noticed their products contain Soy Lecithin which is filtered with Carcinogenic pesticides, this ingredient causes CANCER.

The last straw for me was when I looked at the cold cut meats and noticed that they contain dextrose, here are some of the side effects associated with dextrose: ringing in the ears; seizures; severe dizziness or drowsiness; shivering; tremors; urinary retention.

The meats also contain Sodium Nitrate. Sodium nitrite (or sodium nitrate) is used as a preservative, coloring and flavoring in bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, corned beef, smoked fish and other processed meats. These additives can lead to the formation of cancer-causing chemicals called nitrosamines.

Some studies have found a link between consuming cured meats and nitrite and cancer in humans.

We as Americans are going to have to start checking very closely what we are eating and feeding our families.

When was the last time you actually checked the side effects of one of your favorite treats or meals?

A mother, wife, and teacher.

Anonymous said...

Fresh Healthy Vending Machines for Schools and Money for Schools. Fresh Healthy Vending donates up to $500 for each Fresh Healthy Vending Machine a school takes. Fresh Healthy Vending Machine Products meet or exceed all state nutritional guidelines.

Anonymous said...

I am very disappointed with Traders Joe with selling food products containing GMO ingredients (e.g. modified corn starch, etc.). I will not shop at a store that does not watch out for the health & well-being of their customers.

Anonymous said...

Time to revive an old post.

Wow, a lot of you are really snooty, typical socal glamgirls. The point of all the packaging is obvious - the store is self checkout; everything that is packaged has a upc. Makes it easy, keeps costs lower by not having checkers and baggers. Don't like the environmentally unfriendly bit of all that packaging? Well, why not be balanced and stop driving your car? I would bet the same people that whine about all that plastic waste more water every day than many impoverished bush tribes are afforded for a week. Get a life, you live in America where industry runs on polymers.

So, does the "sterile, industrial environment" turn you off? You must be a Whole Foods yuppie wannabe. How terrible, that you can't just walk into a store and have it tailored to your liking...now that's just not democracy, it's grocery totalitarianism!!

By the way, I shop regularly at F&E, and other than their theme colors, nothing about their advertising tries to "sell" anything like "environmentally friendly." Nothing about a grocery store is friendly to the environment; the entire industry is based on diesel-powered shipments, and no amount of 10% post-consumer recycled content paperboard on your box of Puffins is going to reduce that carbon bigfoot cast. If you want to save the environment, again, stop driving your car and grow an urban garden. Oh but that's too hard, so it must not be that important to you...well let's just take it out on F&E then, because they use GREEN PAINT on their buildings!!

People are missing the premise of this grocery store. Most of their house brand fresh food items are, just that, fresh. As in not frozen. I.e., this stuff is perishable, which segues nicely into the best part of F&E: the clearance isle!! The "sell by" items are sold off really cheap, and I have stocked my fridge on decent food for a fraction of what they normally charge for. I'm talking sandwiches, take-n-bake pizzas, pasta bakes, poultry, salads, etc. Try finding that at Whole Foods. Is it guaranteed I'll find something on a particular day? No. Is that a reason to get my panties in a bunch about how much F&E sucks? No.

Also, they have decent cheap beers, although now they have stopped carrying Taurino in favor of some crap Mexican lager, which by the way is only 11oz bottles (meaning in a 12pk you are ripped off one whole beer).

Bottom line, you are more than welcome to drive your prissy little self on to another store.

Anonymous said...

anuralawson:

What are you talking about??

"too many of their products contain MSG hidden as textured vegetable protein."

If it's hidden as a protein, than how do you know it's MSG? Did you run a chemical assay to determine this? Do you even know what MSG is? It's a naturally occurring amino acid salt, originally derived from seaweed. IT IS A PRODUCT MADE IN NATURE. SOME people experience negative gastrointestinal symptoms with foods containing high MSG content. It's not going to kill you. Am I an MSG champion? Absolutely not, but at least I know what it is. Hiding it as a protein is still confusing me, I have no idea what you mean by that, and I don't think you do either.

"The number one health problem associated with HFCS is Diabetes. "

Can you cite a peer-reviewed study to back this up? Probably not. HFCS is nothing but a synthesized polysaccharide. There is nothing inherently dangerous about it. Does it cause diabetes? No. Is it associated with diabetes? No. Diabetes (do you know which diabetes you are referring to? Again, probably not) type 2 is associated with CHRONIC BLOOD GLUCOSE SPIKING, which causes the insulin receptors on the beta islet cells to become resistant to insulin binding. If you have diabetes, the cause is not HFCS, the cause is erratic carbohydrate consumption. Can HFCS be a part of that? Yes, but so can nearly everything else in the average diet. You should really educate yourself about this stuff so you would know how to properly address the issue. "I don't like it because it's bad" doesn't fly very far.

"Soy Lecithin which is filtered with Carcinogenic pesticides, this ingredient causes CANCER."

...where is the peer reviewed study? This sounds like something from a fringe documentary film-maker who got inspiration from Food, Inc.

"Sodium nitrite (or sodium nitrate)"

Nitrite and nitrate are two distinct compounds. Nitrite is NO2-, and nitrate is NO3-. These compounds have distinct chemical properties, get it straight.

"Some studies have found a link between consuming cured meats and nitrite and cancer in humans."

What studies?!? I presume that you are just repeating what someone else said, who was just repeating someone else, etc. Cancer is an extremely complex disorder of uncontrolled cell division. We're talking about a systems-level disease that multiple-doctorate scientists cannot yet find a cure for yet...what in the world makes you think that you have some kind of inside information about nitrite preservatives causing cancer? Did you know that diesel exhaust is a known carcinogen? Yet how often do you drive behind or around semi-trucks and cholos with jacked up 3/4 ton diesel pickups?

Reading labels will not save your life, but reading an academic book just might!