Target’s new produce aisle: worth it?

Produce at Target. Photo courtesy of The Midwood Blog.

You may or may not have heard that the Target in Flatbush has produce now, and it appears likely that the Atlantic Center store is soon to follow. We’ll use any excuse for a Target run, and bananas and apples are certainly less dangerous than the forthcoming Missoni collabo. Our big questions, of course: is the produce any good, is it cheaper than the local supermarket, and if so, is it worth a trip?

To find out, I first went to the two markets nearest my Greenpoint apartment: Key Foods on McGuiness Boulevard and the Associated on Manhattan Avenue, chosen here to represent the average Brooklyn supermarket. I recorded the prices of 10 common fruits and vegetables, then went to Target to compare.

I was impressed by the selection of fresh produce (and other fresh foods) available at the Brooklyn Junction Target, but I also discovered that a majority of the produce in stock was prepackaged. For example, apples at the Target were sold in 5 pound bags only, no mixing and matching, and the grapes and tomatoes came in their own boxes.  So if you needed a small quantity of fruits or vegetables, this isn’t the place.
Also, despite that Target is officially a Certified Organic Produce Retailer, I did not see any organic fruit or vegetable offerings at the Brooklyn  Junction Target.  So if this is a priority to you, consider yourself forewarned.

The one upside of the Target produce that I found was how fresh everything looked. Nothing in the cases looked like it was past its prime — not even the onions. And the cases and shelves in the stores were impeccably clean as well.  Score one for good product rotation!

But this is a frugality site, not a produce-freshness-rating blog. So… was the produce at Target any cheaper? Not really, as the following price graph reveals.



As you can see, most of the prices for the produce were about the same, give or take a few cents per pound. So unless you live in Midwood or have a burning desire to get your apples and beach totes at the same store, its probably not worth the trip to Target to buy your produce. We’ll let you know about the Missoni when it comes out.

5 Comment

  • Target is not so cheap when you take into account their big anti-union push:

  • You may want to be careful….the “fresh” produce isn’t always that fresh. The stuff that is out in the open and can be inspected (like onions, tomatoes, bananas, etc.) are generally good, but beware of items like broccoli and bell peppers that are shrink-wrapped, as I’ve bought them and they’ve been moldy on the side that you cannot see thru the clear wrapping.

  • Target at Atlantic Center wont be a fresh store, because of the Pathmark downstairs. It was part of the agreement not to sell fresh products, meats, etc.

  • The fresh store at Gateway is nice with prepacked meals too including Panera Bread soups.

  • I finally went last night and I thought the produce was basically weak, but the packaged and frozen goods were extremely well priced. They had a great selection of stuff I shouldn’t buy on principle ($2 lean cuisines) but wound up getting anyway because they were so cheap.