Albertsons is a popular grocery store with locations throughout the midwest and southwestern United States.
It boasts fresh food and convenient services to ensure you’re able to save time.
While shopping at Albertsons can make your day more efficient, you may also notice that the prices can be on the expensive side.
Since Albertsons is just a grocery store, you may wonder what makes it so expensive.
Why Is Albertsons So Expensive? (10 Reasons)
Albertsons tends to have higher prices on certain products than other stores.
For example, Silk Almond Milk from Albertsons costs $4.79.
The same amount of the same brand of milk from Walmart costs $3.48.
Clearly, shopping at Albertsons is going to give you a higher grocery bill.
A few factors like the company’s focus on being sustainable, partnering with local farmers, and labor costs have made the grocery store a more expensive place to shop.
Let’s look at these factors in more detail.
1. Focus On Reducing Food Waste
Albertsons knows that, as a grocery store, it plays an important role in adding to the world’s food waste.
When food reaches its sell-by date, a lot of grocery stores simply throw it into the garbage.
This ends up becoming wasteful since all the energy and resources used to make those food products end up getting tossed right into the trash.
There’s no net profit in it that makes producing the food worth it in the first place.
Considering that there are also individuals, families, and children who go hungry every day, there’s even less of an excuse for grocery stores to contribute to food waste.
Albertsons recognizes that and has implemented new strategies to reduce its food waste.
For one, it’s started to offer steep discounts on certain products as they get closer to their sell-by date.
This encourages customers to buy the food.
They also look at giving away food to charities to ensure it doesn’t end up in landfills.
This makes Albertsons expensive because it means the company is taking on more costs.
They’re also not producing as much profit since they’re regularly cutting prices on certain products.
To ensure they’re still able to make the required amount of revenue, they sell at higher prices.
Albertsons is expensive because of its focus on reducing food waste.
2. Reducing Plastic
Another way that Albertsons is looking at becoming more sustainable is by reducing its use of plastic.
Plastic packaging is one of the banes of grocery stores.
They tend to use it a lot since it’s cheap and works well.
The problem with plastic packaging is that it’s contributing to global warming.
For one, because plastic packaging is typically designed for single use, it ends up going in the trash.
Plastic doesn’t degrade fast on its own.
It also releases harmful toxins into the atmosphere as it does slowly degrade.
Since it’s made for single use, it means manufacturers keep using resources to make more.
Albertsons is trying to change that by either using recycled plastic or switching it out entirely for another type of material.
This also adds cost to the grocery store’s overhead since plastic is cheap, but other materials tend to cost more.
Since they’re taking on higher costs, they’re going to need to have higher prices on their goods to cover those costs.
Albertsons is expensive because they’re using more expensive materials than plastic to reduce their plastic usage.
3. Organic Products
When you shop at Albertsons, you’re going to find tons of different brands.
Albertsons has also focused on either making its own organic products or acquiring organic products from its suppliers.
If you’re shopping for organic products at Albertsons, then you’ll find that the price on organic products is usually higher than products that aren’t organic.
There are a few reasons for this.
For one, organic products tend to be more expensive to make.
Depending on what the product is, it usually means the resource didn’t use any type of artificial or modification during its production.
An example is animal products.
Eggs, meat, and other types of animal products often come with an organic sticker if they’re made on organic farms.
In this instance, it means that the animals weren’t given any antibacterials, growth hormones, or anything else that might “taint” their purity.
They’re also usually fed organic food.
Produce that’s organic usually means it wasn’t given any genetic modifications or treated with pesticides.
As such, organic food is often advertised as being healthier.
The problem with organic food is that it’s more expensive to produce.
Since farmers can’t use antibiotics or pesticides, they have to use more expensive means of keeping their animals and crops safe and healthy.
Since they’re taking on higher costs, they sell at higher costs.
Albertsons also sells its organic products at higher prices.
Even though it’s their own brand, they’re pushing the costs of making organic goods onto the customers.
Albertsons is expensive because of its organic products.
4. Focus On Local Farmers
One of the unique things that Albertsons does is that it spends a lot of time sourcing local farmers as possible suppliers.
Albertsons wants to provide fresh food to its customers.
The best way to get that fresh food is to receive it from a farm that’s located close to the grocery store.
The problem with working local farmers is that they don’t always offer the cheapest prices.
They’re different from corporate farms that grow a large number of products to sell at low prices.
Corporate farms are able to make up for their cheap prices by selling their goods in large quantities.
Local farmers don’t always have that luxury.
They might not have the same amount of land to do so, for example.
As such, they sell their food at higher prices to make up for their own costs.
Albertsons then has to take on higher costs to get that food.
The benefit for the customers is that they’re able to enjoy fresh food that came only from a few miles from them.
However, they have to pay a higher price for it.
Albertsons is expensive because it sources expensive food from local farmers.
5. Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing
Palm oil is a frequent point of contention among consumers.
So many industries rely on palm oil to make their products.
It’s found in cookies, makeup, and many other types of food.
The problem with palm oil is that it takes a lot of palm fruit to make the oil.
As a result, palm oil suppliers end up removing large sections of forest to meet demand.
That often leads to deforestation and can even eliminate entire wetlands.
The palm oil industry has also faced accusations of using child labor and engaging in human trafficking.
As such, it’s a problematic industry.
Albertsons is aware of the problems that palm oil provides.
It chose to join the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, which is an organization that looks to provide resources for sustainable farming of palm oil.
It’s a more expensive way to get palm oil, but it’s also more environmentally friendly.
Being a member of the organization means that Albertsons is also taking the more expensive approach of working with sustainable partners of palm oil.
Since they take on higher costs, they pass those on to their customers.
Albertsons is expensive because of its use of sustainable palm oil sourcing.
6. Humane Animal Sourcing
Another point of contention among consumers is the treatment of animals to make animal products.
Whether it’s beef, turkey, or eggs, the treatment of animals matters a lot to some people.
Albertsons is also concerned about the welfare of animals.
That’s why it focuses its sourcing of animal products from humane ranchers.
They spend a lot of time and resources carefully examining the farmers with whom they do business.
If the farmers don’t meet their standards, then Albertsons doesn’t do business with them.
The problem with humane animal sourcing is that it’s also more expensive.
To be humane, the animals have to be free of illness, fear, and several other things.
They can’t live in small cages, and they need to have access to clean water and plenty of food.
Meeting these requirements costs the farmer more money.
While it ensures that their animals are happier and healthier, it also means that the farmer is taking on more costs.
Albertsons has to pay those higher costs.
They then pass those costs on to their consumers.
Albertsons is expensive because it focuses on doing business with farmers that practice humane animal sourcing.
7. Albertsons For U Costs
One of the benefits of shopping at Albertsons is you’re able to join Albertsons for U.
Albertsons for U is the grocery store’s rewards program.
It’s free to join.
The rewards program comes with tons of benefits.
One of those benefits is that you get a free item on your birthday.
You also get a free item every month.
That free item cannot cost more than $10.
That said, you can usually save some money by taking advantage of that free item each month.
You’re also able to get more free items or savings by shopping at Albertsons.
Clearly, there are a ton of ways to get free stuff and discounted stuff by being a member.
That also means that Albertsons ends up taking high costs.
The more people who get free items from their store, the fewer items they have to sell to people who are actually buying them.
That’s money they’re missing out on making.
To ensure they’re able to stay profitable, Albertsons has higher prices.
Albertsons is expensive because of the costs associated with Albertsons for U.
8. Pharmacy Costs
Albertsons also tries to make itself convenient by having a pharmacy in its store.
When you enter the grocery store, you can head right to the pharmacy to pick up your prescriptions.
The pharmacy also provides flu shots and other vaccines.
Having a pharmacy in Albertsons makes it convenient for frequent shoppers to get access to their medicine.
It’s one less trip they have to make.
For Albertsons, it means people are more likely to shop there.
Even if someone is just coming in to pick up their medication, they might buy something on the way out that catches their eye.
The problem with having a pharmacy is that it costs Albertsons a bit of money.
For one, it takes up space in the store.
That’s space they could be using for something else.
Since it means Albertsons has less floor space in which to sell goods, they have to make sure the rest of their products carry the weight.
Albertsons is expensive because it has a pharmacy.
9. Labor Costs
The average amount of pay at Albertsons is $15 an hour for associates.
That’s above the minimum wage for most states.
They’re essentially paying their workers a living wage.
This is beneficial to Albertsons since it means its employees are more likely to stick around and perform well.
Since they’re receiving adequate pay, they want to work hard for it.
That reduces the turnover rate which helps Albertsons save money.
It also means its customers tend to receive better service.
The employees are happier which means they’re more likely to make customers happy, too.
That said, it also means Albertsons is taking on higher labor costs.
To offset those costs, they need to have higher prices on their products.
Albertsons is expensive because of its high labor costs.
10. Focus On Fresh Food
A final reason Albertsons is expensive is its focus on fresh food.
The grocery industry is quite competitive.
To make itself stand apart, Albertsons does its best to provide fresh food to its customers.
However, providing fresh food isn’t cheap.
Fresh food doesn’t stay fresh for very long.
As such, Albertsons has to be mindful of its food waste.
It’s also more expensive to source fresh food.
Frozen food is cheaper since it can store for a longer time.
Fresh food is more expensive to acquire and store since it spoils fast.
Because it takes on higher costs by selling fresh food, Albertsons offsets them with higher prices.
Albertsons is expensive because of its focus on fresh food.
Albertsons is a grocery store that offers familiar brands as well as its own brands.
However, its costs associated with sustainable practices, labor, and food tend to make it an expensive place to shop.