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Researchers from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV)is out with a study saying that “the quality of fruits and vegetables at dollar stores is just as good as regular grocery store produce.”

According to the study, “The findings are especially good news for the 17.3 million people nationwide who live in low-income areas more than one mile from grocery stores — areas referred to as food deserts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dollar discount stores may exist in these areas and be an alternative for residents who currently access fast food or sugary and savory nutrient-deficient snacks found at gas stations which can lead to obesity or other health problems.”

The research study says that “UNLV’s study compared the color, cleanliness, freshness, and firmness of fruits and vegetables in 14 dollar-discount stores to 40 traditional food outlets across the Las Vegas metro area.

“While there was slightly less variety of produce at dollar stores (for example, none of the dollar stores carried pears), there was no significant difference in quality … Eighty-four percent of produce and 89.5 percent of non-produce items were significantly less expensive at dollar stores. The only items that were more expensive at the dollar stores were whole wheat and white bread.”
KC's View:
If I were a dollar store, I’d make this study a centerpiece of my marketing efforts. I’m not sure that what the study describes is a national phenomenon - I’ve generally found that the farther west you go, the better the produce tends to be (though I’m sure I’ll get some blowback on that one) - but I’d take these results and run with them.