“Grocery – The Buying And Selling Of Food In America”

At Nosh Live 2017 Smith Design picked up a copy of “Grocery-The Buying And Selling Of Food In America” by Michael Ruhlman.


Michael Ruhlman has been writing books (mostly) about food and cooking for over twenty years. (For a more in depth into Ruhlman’s life and carrier check out his website here)

“Grocery” takes us on a history lesson of the evolution of the modern day grocery store, and inside the inner working of Heinen’s Grocery.

“Grocery” is a colorful account of Ruhlman’s opinions on the link between the grocery store and our society’s relationship with food.

The book kept me entertained and at the same time made me think of the grocery store in a way I never had before.

“Let The Food Be Thy Medicine And Medicine Be Thy Food”- Hippocrates

Ruhlman is straightforward about his belief that the quality of our health is directly linked to the quality of our food. “Grocery” dives into the healthy eating movement that is currently reshaping the products available at the grocery store.

Consumers today are more educated about how their food is produced and where it comes from. As a result, there is an increased demand for less processed and non-chemically altered food. In response, grocery stores like Heinien’s have to find companies to supply the products their customers demand.

We get to go on a journey with Heinien’s as they seek out these types of products, and upon discovery, the challenges that often follow.

The Amazon Takeover

Ruhlman brings up Amazon several times through out the book, mostly how he foresees the retail giant reshaping the grocery industry.

Coincidently, around the time I started reading “Grocery” Amazon purchased Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion. This Purchase greatly increased their distribution capabilities.

Amazon’s purchase could be signaling yet another major change in the future of grocery.

Amazon also recently introduced another innovation, the Dash Wand.

The Alexia powered Dash Wand is revolutionizing the way we shop for groceries. The magnetized refrigerator friendly wand enables customers to update their shopping list via word commands or by scanning product barcodes.

Amazon Fresh delivers the items right to the customers door.

I can appreciate the convenience an at home delivery services offers.

On busy weeks I have used Stop and Shops Peapod delivery service.

I am also a newbie to Blue Apron, and so far, I love it.

My subscription handles three dinners a week for me. If I decide to use Peapod I can fill in my needs for the rest of the week and never step foot inside a grocery store.

The more on the go our society gets, the more people, like myself, will take advantage of these conveniences. With Amazons price cutting abilities, this convenience may be more affordable to everyone.

Two Thumbs Up

Book Cover

“Grocery” is enlightening and spot on with the current trends evolving grocery stores.

The story telling was entertaining and endearing, especially the stories shared about his father.

I am both fascinated and curious to see how much more will change over the next few years.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Grocery” from start to finish.





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