By Meghan Byrnes and Morgan Brang
Wegmans has long been the super power of grocery stores in Central New York. However, the addition of a new Trader Joe’s store on Erie Boulevard may hurt Wegmans’ domination of the grocery store market. What started as a small chain of convenience stores in California is now known as the nationwide grocery store, Trader Joe’s, who guarantees products with no artificial flavors, no genetically modified ingredients, and that have been approved by a tasting panel.
Because there has never been a Trader Joe’s in the Syracuse area before, many students at Jamesville-DeWitt High School were excited to see what the store was all about. For the most part, students were impressed with what Trader Joe’s had to offer. “Trader Joe’s has a wide variety of products that they don’t sell at Wegmans,” said freshman Abby Baumgartner. Juniors Joanna Butler and Melissa Murphy agree with Baumgartner about the store offering different products than most grocery stores. Their products are unique because the store only sells Trader Joe’s brand products that can’t be found anywhere else. Senior Haley Ripich was very pleased with her first Trader Joe’s experience, saying that “the workers seemed a lot friendlier than they are at some other stores.”
“I like the store because it has really good treats,” said senior Julia Slisz. The favorite and most popular treat Trader Joe’s has to offer is cookie butter. Trader Joe’s describes their product as “spreadable Speculoos cookies.” The product looks like peanut butter and even has the same consistency. However, it tastes like classic melted Belgain cookies with a hint of carmel and gingerbread. Cookie butter is unique to Trader Joe’s and comes in four different flavors; original, crunchy, cocoa swirl, and cookies and cream. Frank likes Trader Joe’s only because that’s where he can buy the product. “I love to dip Oreos, animal crackers, and pretzels into my cookie butter,” said Frank.
Aside from Trader Joe’s products, the size of the store is something that many prefer over Wegmans. “I like the space because Wegmans is too big. It’s small, comfortable, and easy to find things,” said senior Essence Britt. Junior Matt O’Connor also said that the store is small, but according to O’Connor, this might be good for the store, because he said that “it is the store with the most revenue per square foot.”
The consensus at Jamesville-DeWitt High School is that Wegmans and Trader Joe’s will not impact each other’s success. “They will both survive because they are both so different,” said senior Josh Frank. Baumgartner, Britt, and O’Connor all agree, saying that Trader Joe’s is very popular right now and it has a niche market, so it will at least be successful in the immediate future. When it comes to Wegmans vs. Trader Joe’s, Wegmans is still the clear winner at J-DHS. “Wegmans won’t have a problem with Trader Joe’s because everybody loves Wegmans,” said Slisz. “Wegmans has more necessities,” said Butler.