Grocery Stores Have Changed. A Photo Essay.

While looking around for photos for my last post I came across this:
How Grocery Stores Have Changed Over the Years, Good Housekeeping, November 2020

It’s a gallery of 42 images of how grocery shopping used to be. I couldn’t resist commenting on a few of these.

With the advent of personal shoppers, pick-up, and delivery during the covid lockdowns, we have come full circle! Except now we pay for it.

How about that.

Everything had a sticker. Unless it fell off. Then, chaos!

Dried fruit was raisins. They were sold either with produce or in the baking aisle. During the Holidays they stocked the fancy golden ones too.

The beginning of food deserts.

Everything was in a can! Canned creamed corn. Canned peas. Canned fruit cocktail. Canned juice. (We didn’t grow up drinking soda, only in restaurants.) Canned ham. Canned fish (tuna, sardines). Every single canned soup Campbell’s made. If you put it in a can, my mother bought it. Frozen wasn’t a thing until later.

This was a big one. Stores were closed on Sundays for religious services and a day of rest. The Blue Laws. Where I lived in PA stores began opening for a few hours on Sunday starting in the late 1970s. Going out on Sundays though was still frowned upon. (Saturdays at the grocery store was a nightmare.)

My mother never had a driving license. Not unusual. And most places were closed by the time my father came home from work. So, there were milk and bread and ice deliveries during the day. I remember the Bond Bread truck and the Stroehman truck and begging my mother for donuts.

Nothing was organic. But, in a way, everything was organic because factory farms and mass pesticide spraying hadn’t taken off yet. We didn’t pay extra for it either.

Now that was a walk down memory lane.

2 thoughts on “Grocery Stores Have Changed. A Photo Essay.

  1. forumholitorium

    In Austria, stores are still closed on Sundays (and all public holidays) except for a few exceptions. In Graz, Austria’s second largest city, the supermarket at the main train station and the supermarket at the airport are open on Sundays. Sundays at the train station supermarket are a nightmare. I am sure there must be a supermarket somewhere in Vienna that is open on Sunday, but I have no interest in finding it.

    I am too young to remember the milk man, but I remember the “egg lady” stopping by my grandparents’ house in the eighties.


  2. Marj

    Boy! this all takes me way back. All of these things were part of my growing up, I remember them very well. I love knowing that we did grow up eating organic fruits and vegetables and no doubt the dairy products (from the milkman, we always knew his name) were unadulterated as well. Lots of changes . . .



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