Friday, March 25, 2016


Safeway continues to misrepresent imported produce as “local”

by Larry Geller

Ian Lind has chronicled pricing issues at Safeway over the years (see these articles) and I’ve noted that imported produce seems to be routinely sold as “local.”

Actually, we don’t usually buy produce at Safeway—everything is so much fresher and often cheaper at the Honolulu Farmers Market or the KCC Farmers Market where we regularly shop. Since vendors at these markets are required to only offer local products, that’s never an issue. So I rarely visit Safeway’s produce section.

Today was one of those rare occasions. We needed a little Italian parsley. So off I went, anxious to complete my errand before the predicted thunderstorms hit. And I was pleased to see parsley in the Local section on a shelf marked Local.

Except it isn’t local, according to the tag attached to the parsley.

Nearby veggies are labeled as Product of Mexico or Product of USA.

The type on the shelf tag is tiny and would be easily missed, while the Local designation is large. So the store is misrepresenting its products to the customer.

Here are two snapshots taken this morning at the Pali Safeway, in the section identified as Local and on shelves marked Local:



This next picture is from an earlier article, demonstrating how blatant the misrepresentation is. The very large sign plainly reads “Locally Grown”:

Product of Mexico[3]

I suppose if everyone read the fine print they’d see that these items came from Mexico, but other shelf tags don’t identify the point of origin. On the parsley I bought I had to inspect the twist-tie tag holding the bunch together in order to see that the item was not local.

Caveat emptor, or should something be done about this?


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