The above information will be used only by Outpost Natural Foods for the express purpose of sending an e-newsletter. Outpost shopper information is never shared with other organizations or businesses.

See what’s happening at your local co-op - Sign up for the Outpost Newsletter!

Not a user yet? Sign up Now  |  Forget your password? Click here
Your Board

Hi, I'm Your Board

Outpost's Board of Directors will use this blog to discuss issues the board is exploring as it envisions Outpost's future. Can't make it to a meeting? Check here frequently to read what the Board is up to. Your current Outpost Board of...
Your Board

No Comparison: Cooperatives Versus Traditional Retail

Board Beet
By Your Board on December 18, 2012


A recent study released by the National Cooperative Grocer’s Association (NCGA) should make you feel pretty good about shopping at Outpost.



Well, because the report underscores the many ways that coops surpass the competition when it comes to creating economic and social impact on their communities.


That’s no surprise, right?

Well, that’s true.  But, you might be surprised by some of the cold, hard statistics.


For example, did you know that for every $1,000 a shopper spends at their local food co-op, $1,604 in economic activity is generated in their local economy—$239 more than if they had spent that same $1,000 at a conventional grocer?


Even more dramatically, a  co-op with $10 million in annual sales generates $16 million of local economic impact.  A conventional grocery store of  the same size, in the same community, would have an annual economic impact of $13.6 million – meaning that simply by choosing to support and shop at  a food co-op, a community can increase its total economic activity by over $2.4 million a year. 


That’s because coops support LOCAL.

Where conventional grocers work with an average of 65 local farmers and food producers, food co-ops work with an average of 157. Likewise, locally sourced products make up an average of 20 percent of co-op sales compared to 6 percent at conventional stores.  Two thirds of NCGA co-ops define local as either within their state, within a  multi-county region, or within 100 miles. In the conventional grocery sector, slightly less than half of  operators use this same definition.  


And coops think about their environmental impact.

Co-ops recycle 96 percent of cardboard, 74 percent of food waste and 81 percent of plastics compared to 91 percent, 36 percent and 29 percent, respectively, recycled by conventional grocers.


Best of all, they win with organics.

And did you know that, when it comes to organic foods, coops win every time? Conventional stores actually won’t do you much good if you’re trying to switch over to organic. In fact, only 12% of the produce they sell is organic. At co-ops, a whopping 82% of the produce sold is organic. AND, at Outpost, 92% of the produce is organic!


Which means, comparing Outpost to another retail chain is like comparing… conventionally grown apples to organic peaches. 


So, next time you consider where to spend your cash, consider supporting your local cooperative. There’s simply no comparison.


- Lori Fredrich, board member



co-op stronger together
Outpost is part of an international movement. Learn all about cooperatives now.

Archived Columns