Image description: a woman stands and smiles at the camera, posed in front of a supermarket refrigerated shelf. She is reaching for one of the products on the shelf.
By Stirling Kain
We’ve all seen the new IGA (called The Village IGA Xpress) in the Guild Village, where the old café used to be. RIP old Village Café. I will miss your handouts of Nutrigrain gel packs that I never took even though they were free.
There’s been a lot of hubbub, but what’s IGA Xpress actually like? Is their pricing and range comparable to Broadway IGA, a few hundred metres down the road? Is there really going to be an outlet where they spell the word ‘express’ as ‘Xpress’ in a higher education institution? Editors Bayley Horne and Stirling Kain investigate to bring you the answers. Except for the last one. Stirling says it’s an abomination.
We visited both Xpress IGA and Broadway IGA on Wednesday, the 19th of February to compare the prices of goods that we feel UWA students will commonly gravitate towards purchasing. Here’s how they stacked up:
|Product||Price at Xpress IGA||Price at Broadway IGA||Price Difference|
|Kit Kat (45g)||$2.50||On sale for $1.49 (was $2.10)||$1.01 – 40c|
|Lipton Peach Iced Tea (1.5L)||$4.60||On sale for $1.88 (was $3.99)||$2.72 – 61c|
|Coca Cola (1.25L)||$3.60||On sale for $1.99 (was $3.60)||$1.61 – 0c|
|Cheese Supreme Doritos (170g)||$4.27||On sale for $2.49 (was $3.50)||$1.78 – 77c|
|Chutney Mary’s Authentic Butter Chicken||$9.99||On sale for $7.99 (was $8.99)||$2.00 – $1.00|
|Balducci Penne no. 18 (500g)||$1.80||$1.29||51c|
|Dare Espresso Iced Coffee (500ml)||$3.99||On sale for $2.99 (was $3.57)||$1.00 – 42c|
|Emma and Tom’s Green Power Smoothie (350ml)||$4.49||On sale for $3.49 (was $3.99)||$1.00 – 50c|
|Super Soft Mission Wraps Original||$6.10||On sale for $3.99 (was $5.49)||$2.11 – 61c|
Broadway IGA is cheaper for every single product we compared. And the margins aren’t tiny, either. Apart from the zero-cent price difference for Coca Cola, the next smallest price difference is forty cents. That’s a 16% price difference – nothing to sniff at if you’re counting your loose change for coffee, and had to transfer money from your savings to buy a kebab at lunch. Please don’t judge me I just wanted a hot meal for once.
Note that Broadway IGA has a lot of items ‘on sale’, but we think this is part of their marketing strategy. Considering nearly every single product listed here is ‘on sale’, it’s difficult to think these would be once-offs; we assume they have a rotation of everyday goods that they mark down on a regular basis.
Broadway IGA is three times as large as Xpress IGA, by our visual estimates. Of course, Broadway’s range is going to be larger, but all things considered, it doesn’t have all that much more going for it; you can buy all your essentials at both Xpress and Broadway.
Where Broadway really wins is their vegan, and especially vegetarian, options. There are so many more. They have nearly a whole refrigerated cabinet of vegetarian snacks, pizzas, cheeseboards, olives, dips, pasta, and a salad bar. Xpress simply doesn’t have this range.
Broadway also gets a point for having hot chickens. They also have a larger hot food selection, but both Xpress and Broadway have the same sized hot food cabinets, so I’m assuming Xpress will stock their section a bit more in the coming days.
Where Xpress redeems itself (somewhat) is through its self-serve slushie and soft-serve ice-cream machines. They have Red Bull ($3.99) and Fanta ($2.99) slushies available. Pretty neato if you ask me.
Our very own Bayley sampled what we suspect was the first slushie to come out of the machine. He said it was “fine.” He also had very strong opinions about the lack of structural stability and longevity of the paper straw, but I won’t quote him here because he used a lot of expletives.
Both Broadway and Xpress have fresh orange juice machines, and coffee machines. They also both have the same range and amount of single-serve ice-creams.
Don’t expect to do your weekly shopping at Xpress IGA. Or maybe you can, if you only eat baked beans and coke and ice cream, and money really isn’t a concern for you.
But if you’re looking for a full range of products, then Broadway is the place to go. If you’re also really tight on cash, I’d recommend plugging in your headphones, getting some fresh air, and walking over the Broadway to save some dough. Also, if you want some vegan and veggie options, you’re kind of forced to head to Broadway.*
If all you want is a sandwich and an iced coffee on the odd occasion, you’ll be fine sticking with Xpress for the convenience factor.
*Obviously, there are other vegetarian and vegan food options on campus, too.
Stirling’s neck hurts and she wants a nap.
Image courtesy of Ali Pazani