Wal-mart experiments

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jena, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    As I was sitting on my street corner, watching all my potential customers pull into Wal-mart's parking lot, I had lots of time to think.

    Wal-mart's cheapest burger is $1.29 (last time I checked). It is a tube of burger with 30% fat. I'm not sure if the tube has the typical wal-mart label of "injected with 8-12% mystery solution". I will assume it does, just for kicks.

    If you take off 27% for fat, 10% for mystery solution, you actually get .62 pounds of real meat. At $1.29/lb, you are actually paying $2.08/pound for meat!!!

    Besides the burger, they do inject their other meats. So if you pay $3/lb for something, you are paying .30 for WATER!!!!

    I think I'm going to get a postal scale, some nasty wal-mart meat and start cooking. I'm going to weigh it, cook it, weigh it, then do the same to my own. I am going to freeze the results, compile my info in true scientific fashion and use it for a sales tool. I'll go through all their meat until I hit the one that equals mine and I bet it cost just as much, if not more.

    I really don't want to be a negative advertiser, but watching all those folks go in there, thinking they are getting a bargain bugs me. They just don't think about it. They see the price/lb and think it's cheaper, but it's not.

    Besides, I won't bash wally world, just tell the truth.

    What do you all think?

  2. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    So Cal Mtns

  3. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

    Aug 4, 2003
    Zone Unknown
    I think you're right on target.

    One thing I quickly discovered is the chicken I now buy (organic, grain fed, free ranged) may cost a few more cents at the store, but yields much, much, much more actual meat, meaning it's actually cheaper than factory chicken.

    I switched to organic because the factory stuff literally nauseates me (and I hate Tyson :D ), but this was a VERY pleasant thing to discover and one reason I just won't buy anything else anymore.

    I also buy locally processed sausage and pork, and have found the same thing. When I cook the pork, it yields an amazing and rich broth - completely unlike the typical store stuff. The sausage doesn't wilt to a tiny little wilted thing -- instead, it loses basically only some fat and that's it.

    It's worth it for you to emphasize this for potential customers. Although many will buy from you because of a desire for truly fresh and organic products, I'll wager even more will see the real savings involved.
  4. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

    Sep 1, 2004
    Jeromesville, Ohio (northcentral)
    Yes, sounds like a great idea to me. I'd love to hear your results when you get them!
  5. evilbunny

    evilbunny Well-Known Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    Awesome idea Jena. Please do let us know how your results turn out.

    I am still enjoying the chickens I raised this year. They truly taste better. I made chicken soup like I do every fall and couldnt believe the difference in taste. I wont buy another store chicken unless I absolutely have to, next year or year after I am going to branch out and raise my own beef or pork maybe some goat. LOL

    Good luck.
  6. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

    May 11, 2003
    Yep, I believe ya. Do let us know actual number once you're done. Might be a good convincer for people I know. :rolleyes:

    Same way with the dog food I sell. someone thinks it's better to pay $15 dollars for a 20 lb. bag than $28 (with tax already added), but when you have to feed twice as much and end up paying vet bills, it just doesn't pay to buy half corn cobs.
  7. 9Pines

    9Pines Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Hey Jenna, if you can, use a George Forman grill to study your burger difference with. Thats how I learned what the water/juice/fat content difference is. That little bowl was FULL with a burger made from a local chain store. I then bought local beef from a farmer and barely get a tablespoon of water/juice/fat in that little Forman bowl.

    If you let that bowl chill down..you will have the hardened fat on the top and under that is alot of water from the store bought burger.

    I get the same results from frozen chkn breasts or using breast meat off my home grown chickens.

    Same for bacon and sausages too.
  8. Donovan K

    Donovan K Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    I understand your frustration Jenna.. but I should warn you that you need to
    be extremely careful with any advertising, especially in print, when you name another company, especially somebody like Wal-Mart.

    And yes, you can say, "but everything I am saying is true and I can prove it" yes, you can. but as corporate america knows so well, it doesnt matter if you can win a lawsuit, just bringing one is usually enough to ruin your little competitor. Is using their name enough to make it worth a few thousand dollars for a lawyer? It is a good idea to never pick on someone that has lawyers on staff.

    Comparative advertising, when you show your product is directly better than a competitors project, is full of legal hurdles and you can get yourself into a lot of trouble if you dont tread carefully. If you are set on doing it, I would suggest you do not name wal-mart by name but rather more vaguely as 'leading discount megachain'. I am not a lawyer but have been through these kinds of ads when I was a broadcaster.

    Don't let emotion influence a business decision. Vent your anger here or elsewhere and save your sanity, and maybe your business.


  9. HoosierDeb

    HoosierDeb Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    N. Indiana
    Maybe you could advertise it as compared to "meat bought at a local supermarket" and not get into the legal thing. It could come from any one of the local chains.
  10. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2004
    Western WA
    I would strongly recommend you check with your legal council on this idea first. Particularly if you plan on having ANY ties with the Walmart name, or their PRODUCTS in your new marketing plan. You really need to be very, very careful with these guys.

    They can squish you like a grape, and make your life extremely miserable. Might be kind of a fun fight, but you might be better served spending your energy on other methods to attract customers. As with all things, one must pick their battles. With any business decision you should be very aware of the opportunity costs associated with such decisions.

  11. ThreeJane

    ThreeJane Me Love Your Face

    Nov 5, 2004
    North Idaho
    Isn't this depressing, though?

    If she could actually prove that the "other store" is ripping off customers, isn't it a bummer that she has to actually worry about being "squashed like a bug" by their lawyers for saying something is absolutely true?

    For example: I hate McDonald's chicken McNuggets. They taste slimy, spongy, and weird to me. I've decided they're chopped chicken with other mystery ingredients. However, my own "chicken nugs" at home are fantastic.

    My claim is based on both scientific data (though not many points) and subjective data. Yet technically, McD's could sue me for simply saying on a public forum that I hate their Chix Nugs.

    Doesn't make any sense.
  12. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Apr 30, 2002
    North Alabama
    Be careful how you present the adverisment. We sold walmart closeout merchandise at the flea market that I purchased wholesale from the local supercenter the previous season. Initially I used the higher priced walmart green price tags as and advertising angle to promote my 60% less prices. I recieved a notice to cease using their name recognition to avoid litigation after the local manager came to our market and saw my ad campaign. While they may not be able to legally halt your ad campaign, they do have a larger legal dept than you do and may be able to overwhelm you in court.
  13. Barb

    Barb Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2002
    West River SD
    You might consider that anyone who buys that hamburg in a tube just doesn't care or can't afford to pay more (even if it is better). It's the people who buy the 92% lean who would be interested in your product. Aim for the upper end customer.
  14. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    Central New York
    I'd be careful about using their name in your ads. They have the power to sue you even if you are right. A lawsuit can get mighty expensive
  15. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    South Dakota
    We just had a "Super" Wal-mart open up in town. Took the three children there and was in a bit of a hurry. What a horrible experience--could not find anything, children touching everything, no clocks to be seen....

    I was counting all the local businesses that will be effected or closed because of this super store--grocery stores, auto repair? (not sure what they do), hair salon, restaurants, not to mention all the other main street stores that try to compete. In the name of convenience we are destroying a part of what makes the US a great place to live.
  16. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 6, 2004
    Michigan's thumb
    I have to agree with Barb, that people who typically buy most of their stuff at Walmart are not into quality.

    About twenty eight years ago I saw a consumers program on PBS about being a wise homemaker and followed it with my own experiment. I cooked up one pound of hamburger and compared it with one pound of cooked ground chuck. Amazing. By the time you drained off the grease, the ground chuck was less expensive than the hamburger.

    I think if you picked up hamburger (or ground chuck) at at least three different stores and compared them to yours, it would be more impressive. More importantly, if you called the comparisons A, B, and C, you might not **** Walmart off. I don't know that Walmart would consider you a threat, but they are not as friendly as their ads would lead one to believe.

    Make 4 hamburgers the same size (say, 1/4 pound or 1/2 pound) from the same store, choose the poorest. Make each one a little flatter, so it spreads out more (using the side of a spatula to tap them into submision works well), and cook them. Which one makes the most obvious statement by shrinking in diameter? That is the size you want to make burgers from each of your samples, then you can photograph them side by side before and after. If you did that, you don't even need to explain about the added water and higher fat content (which means you don't have to reveal which one is the Walmart meat)
  17. Chas in Me

    Chas in Me Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    Around here someplace

    She was not quite what you would call refined.
    She was not quite what you would call unrefined.
    She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.
    -Mark Twain

    What a hoot!!!
  18. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

    Jun 29, 2002
    River Valley, Arkansas
    QUOTE=Barb]You might consider that anyone who buys that hamburg in a tube just doesn't care or can't afford to pay more (even if it is better). It's the people who buy the 92% lean who would be interested in your product. Aim for the upper end customer.[/QUOTE]

    This was my thought exactly. Shoot for the big money so to speak. Instead of badmouthing a competitor just advertise how much better and healthier your product is. It's just good business. Have you ever seen BMW, Mercedes etc bad mouth ford or chevy?
  19. Mommalee

    Mommalee Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2003

    I often buy meat in a tube because I convince myself I can't afford better, but when someone comes along with a topic like yours, if it grosses me out enough and gets me thinking about my health and my family's health again, I will make a change in my habits. Same thing happened when we watched the movie "Super Size Me" -- Everybody needs to see this movie. I wonder how they got away with what they said about McDonald's in this film. I would not worry about a lawsuit as long as you don't specify the name Walmart. I do think that your idea would be a GREAT way to advertise and to affect people who sorta need a wake-up call anyway.
  20. stormwalker

    stormwalker Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2004
    If economy is a real factor, I suggest buying the superior product and supplementing with vegetable proteins. Tastier and healthier! I'm afraid of what they put in those tubes of meat.
    Me, I need no convincing- I've always tried to buy my food from a person, not a corporation.
    Jena- Is there a local television station who might be interested in doing a profile on you?