The Post has done a little investigating (or “Pulitzer-bait,” as they themselves would call it), and hey, turns out that basic goods tend to be more expensive in fancier, higher-priced neighborhoods. Even goods like FreshDirect, which is already a little pricier than an actual trip to the grocery store, which is fine: the whole point here is to pay for the convenience. Regardless, the Post is pissed.
The article breathlessly cites regional price differences— “a half-pound of rosemary ham went for $3.50 on the Upper West Side and $3 in the South Bronx and East New York, Brooklyn”—feigning concern for less well-off residents of traditionally wealthy neighborhoods, like residents of the Upper West Side’s Frederick Douglass housing project.
It all feels pretty over-the-top and disingenuous, though they do have sort of a point. While FreshDirect points out that they “use the same pricing practices as the large brick-and-mortar supermarket chains” and adjust costs to be competitive in any given neighborhood, their food all comes from the same Long Island City facility, meaning it’s actually more expensive for them to deliver to Newark, where prices are relatively low than to Manhattan, where they’re still charging more.
A little sketch, perhaps, but ultimately, a policy that means they’ll be charging at least a little bit less in Brooklyn. We’ll take it.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.