How Dollar General Is Winning The Dollar Store Food Game

Kentucky-based discount retailer Dollar General has long been known as the go-to place for craft supplies and last-minute party decorations. Still, the low-cost shop has been making waves in the grocery industry in recent years. The chain got its start in Scottsville, KY with a mission to help serve other store owners during the Great Depression, back when it was known as J.L. Turner and Son Wholesale (via Dollar General). Over 80 years later, the company has expanded its mission to help Americans save their pennies by offering groceries at an affordable price.

Since 2019, Dollar General has begun integrating fresh food into their stores and is on its way to becoming one of the country's top grocery chains (via Progressive Grocer). With one study stating that 75% of US residents live within 5 miles of a Dollar General location, and the company's impressive growth in recent years, it's not hard to see why the dollar store is giving its grocery competitors some serious anxiety. Even though the company doesn't necessarily offer the lowest prices in the discount groceries market, reports have shown that shoppers may still prefer to shop at Dollar General than at other comparable chains (per Yahoo).

Dollar General stores are more organized and offer fresh produce

By investing in more items priced at $1 and under, Dollar General has been able to cater to low-income shoppers in the wake of recent inflation. Talking about the company's target customer, Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos said, "She has told us, 'I really need that $1 price point to bridge, to be able to feed my family.'" Vasos has also said that the retailer will continue to add to its $1 offerings, as well as its DG Fresh produce line, translating to more affordable food options for shoppers. The store also allows guests to buy certain items in bulk, a cost-saving move reminiscent of traditional grocery stores (via Yahoo).

In addition to its commitment to affordable products, the company has taken steps to ensure its stores offer a welcoming environment for shoppers. According to Yahoo, an outside investigation found Dollar General stores to be cleaner and more organized than their competition. The inviting environment may also be a contributing factor in the brand's recent surge in customers who make over $100,000 USD per year. No matter the customer base, the retailer's innovations in discount food items have secured its spot as the grocer to watch during the coming years.