grocery stores

With Sacha Pfeiffer

Dollar stores are popping up across the country and raking in the profits. Critics say it all comes with a cost to the nation’s poor. We’re on it.

Guests

Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN Business retail reporter. (@nmeyersohn)

Public shame.

That's the tactic one Canadian grocery store used to get customers to ditch single-use plastics and instead utilize reusable shopping bags.

Shoppers who didn't bring their own bags to East West Market in Vancouver, British Columbia, left with groceries in plastic bags that read "Wart Ointment Wholesale," "Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium" or "The Colon Care Co-Op."

Walmart is expanding a program that allows for online orders of groceries to be picked up and paid for with food stamps at more than 2,500 locations.

It's the latest move by a major retailer to give low-income shoppers more options for using food stamps in the modern era of online shopping. Walmart, one of the world's largest retailers, began piloting the use of food stamps for online grocery pickup service in 2017 in a few locations.

Meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron or HelloFresh promise gourmet meals without the hassle of shopping for ingredients. But the environmentally conscious consumer may feel guilty about seeing all the plastic and cardboard it takes to bring that Pork and Veggie Bibimbap to their doorstep.

The retail economy in rural America has been rough for decades. But where thousands of stores have closed in recent years, Dollar General is thriving, sometimes at the expense of local shops. Dollar Generals are discount stores that sell goods from hand tools to hot dogs. They're reshaping the retail landscape in small towns. And making lots of friends — and enemies — in the process.

It's easy to blame someone else for food waste. If this is really a $2.6 trillion issue, as the United Nations estimates, then who's in charge of fixing it?

Turns out, we the eaters play a big role here.

If pushing a cart up and down the lengthy aisles of your neighborhood supermarket — past dozens of brands of packaged cereal and crackers lit by fluorescent lights — feels overwhelming and soul-sucking, you're not alone.

But there's some good news: The days of shopping this way may be numbered.