Spiral Food Co-op is excited to announce that we are, as of July 1, 2020, full members of National Co+op Grocers (NCG). This means that there will be a bunch of shifts and changes coming for our store, very soon.
National Co+op Grocers (NCG) is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops located throughout the United States. (Read More) Essentially, Spiral Food Co-op now belongs, as full members, to a cooperative of cooperatives. This gives us a number of benefits that helps us stay competitive in the grocery business, provide better products and services to our community, and have access to a network of cooperatives who all share the same values.
In 2014 Spiral’s former General Manager Bard Webster was able to finish all of the paperwork in order to become Associate Members of NCG. This meant that we had access to certain marketing materials, price breaks, and the network of cooperatives. The Associate Member program was established to help small or emerging cooperatives. This intermediate program has been dissolved by NCG in favor of maintaining a path to full membership for all interested cooperatives.
In May of 2020 six of the Associate Members were unanimously approved for full membership and NCG has been working with Spiral Food Co-op over the last two months to establish ourselves as full members.
We already have co+op deals coupons available on the shelves. This small change has already saved shoppers quite a bit of money during their shop. These coupons are available across several departments and usually give shoppers a discount on the things they buy the most. Make sure you take a close look at them, too. Sometimes they have pictures of a particular product, but will work for the entire line of products. Taking an extra second to read the terms of the coupon can be extremely rewarding.
You can also expect new everyday low prices as we are able to purchase products under NCG pricing. In August we will be launching our first step toward everyday low prices, the Co-op Basics Program. This is a program that is specifically designed to keep a select set of items that people buy most often at a price point that can be counted upon. This means that the products that you buy most often will be seeing a dramatic price decrease. Basics include products like pasta sauce, beans, bread, yogurt, milk, meat, and cheese. For each of these categories there will be a few items that are in NCG’s basics program. They will be denoted with a little purple flag that says “co+op basics.” Don’t worry, we will be doing a full launch of the program, complete with a detailed explanation as August approaches.
In October another NCG program will be implemented at Spiral. The full Co-op Deals program. (As I mentioned, we already have co+op deals coupons throughout the store.) If you are familiar with other Co-ops, you will have seen this program before. It is a twice-monthly sale cycle. These sales provide price cuts on products that are relevant to the season, holidays, and other considerations throughout the month. This means that there will usually be a condiment sale or a deal on ice cream during the summer, and a number of baking goods will be featured during the winter.
Other NCG programs will help us make our signage clearer, unify the look of the store, and help us provide better products and services to you as the shopper.
However, this is still going to feel like our store. Our partnership with NCG is for our benefit, and although there are requirements for membership, Spiral Food Co-op always has the final say about which products and services to use in our store. Being an NCG member will help us on our path to expansion and serves as one of our first steps in making the dream of a bigger store a reality.
We are excited to have this expanded partnership with NCG and we can’t wait to tell you more about all the wonderful things that we are doing as a result of having these resources at our disposal. The next time you are in, please take a look around and see if you can spot some coupons on the shelves and be ready for those little purple signs to start appearing in August.