One-Stop Shopping

Once upon a time in the not too distant past, the weekly task of shopping for household needs was something of a burden. A duty often relegated to the wife/mother of the home, who was expected to not only determine what was needed, but also to procure those items on a weekly basis, all while wrangling numerous children. If that wasn’t enough, it also involved a rather lengthy process of making the trek to a bunch of different stores for different purchases.

For household items such as paper goods, toiletries and cleaners, Mom had to go to the local supermarket to get her housekeeping staples. Aware of the benefits of organic farming and natural, unprocessed and green-packaged foods, she had to then swing by the closest “health food” store. There, she was able to get the all-natural packaged and dry goods she wanted, but the produce selection was limited and expensive.

This prompted a third stop at a local farmer’s market. Here, she could get high-quality, organic produce at a lower price, directly from local farms and feel confident of the quality and purity of the food that she was feeding her family.

The only problem now . . . Dad’s love of entertaining at home with very culinary or ethnic foods. This required an additional stop at one or more ethnic specialty stores and possibly a trip to a department store to purchase the utensils and serving ware necessary for these types of foods.

Unfortunately, without some careful planning, Mom couldn’t complete all of these tasks in one trip because you can’t leave perishable foods, such as dairy and eggs, sitting in the car while you drive all around town shopping at other stores. On the other hand, you don’t want to leave the bulk of your shopping for the last stop because managing the kids at this point almost makes the entire trip not worth the stress. And by the time all this shopping is completed, the day is nearly gone, and Mom has had to feed the kids fast food at least once because they couldn’t finish everything on her list without crossing over at least one meal time.

A Step in the Right Direction At first, a few of the larger “mega” supermarket chains wisely identified this problem and tried to provide a solution so that people would continue doing all their shopping at their stores. They added an aisle for “natural” cereals and snacks and a rack or two for “organic” produce. This looked like progress, but for many it was not enough. The quality of what was being offered was too low, and the quantity of options was simply not enough. Shoppers still had to make several additional stops to get the kinds of produce and specialty items that they desired.

A More Natural Solution Fortunately, this situation has ultimately led to the emergence of a new breed of “natural supermarket.” These markets offer a wide selection of organic and local produce, alongside high-quality conventional options. They also feature a broad selection of natural dry goods that cater to many different preferences and health needs. Additionally, they offer bulk item sections so that shoppers can purchase as much or as little of practically anything they want. And because these stores are positioned as supermarkets, they are large enough to provide all of these options while still maintaining prices that are competitive with traditional stores.

Now Mom can simply head to her local, natural supermarket to complete all of the family’s shopping needs and still get home in time to relax a little (or more realistically, get a load of laundry done) before starting dinner.

You may or may not have experienced this scenario personally, but aside from being a nice little anecdote, it also serves as a metaphor.

In the past, if you wanted to maintain an optimal level of health, it became clear that simply eating “healthy” food was not enough. Supplementation was necessary to get everything that your body needs. But you had to purchase six or seven (and sometimes more) different products just to cover the many different areas of health and body function.

This process was further complicated by the broad selection of brands, all claiming to be the best, with no documentation or standards by which to be judged. Additionally, the portion and serving size of products varied widely, so it became a chore to keep track of which products needed to be purchased, and when, because each supplement would run out at different times. Add to that the need for child- and adult-specific vitamins, supplements designed for women and men and a dozen other categories, and you’ve got another trip that’s just as frustrating as the shopping experience described above.

What’s the Answer? While some supplement manufacturers have tried to remedy this problem using the same logic as the mega-store approach to the shopping split (i.e., make an “all-in-one” product that has most of what people are looking for), this “answer” was often subject to the same shortcomings: lower quality and less effectiveness.

Thankfully, in the same way that natural supermarkets rose to the occasion and met the needs of the consumer, so too has a specific natural product that addresses our supplemental needs. For more information on what this product is and why it’s so valuable, check out this link.

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