SUMMER FOOD

Gearing up for a picnic? Our price check chart can help you ballpark how much it'll cost you. 

Feeling the urge to picnic in the great outdoors, with a blanket, burgers in buns and bug spray? You’re not alone.

Local parks, campgrounds and backyards are full of grillmasters and campfire chefs who have been waiting for the bliss of summertime meals. And local grocery markets, too, mark the season with occasional deals on typical picnic fare. Are you a one-stop shopper loyal to one store? Are you devoted to certain brands? Or do you store- and brand-hop, depending on where you’re finding the best deals?

For either scenario we comparison-shopped nine Lancaster County grocery stores. We sought a mix of both brand-name and generic picnic eats, made sure to include some local products on our shopping list and visited every store on Tuesday or Wednesday. Keep in mind that some prices may change with weekly specials going into effect today. Some of the stores carry just store brands, or foods that are all-natural or organic, and prices may be affected as a result. Also, some of the prices reflect temporary sales, or the price charged shoppers who use loyalty cards.

Intensifying chain-store competition leaves Lancaster County's independent grocery retailers with slim margin for error

We visited these stores:

— Aldi, 1884 Fruitville Pike.

— Giant Food Stores, 1360 Columbia Ave.

— John Herr’s Village Market, 25 Manor Ave., Millersville.

— Shady Maple Farm Market, 1324 Main St., East Earl.

— Stauffers of Kissel Hill Fresh Foods, 1050 Lititz Pike, Lititz.

— Walmart, 2034 Lincoln Highway East.

— Wegmans, 2000 Crossings Blvd.

— Weis Markets, 2600 Willow Street Pike, Willow Street.

— Whole Foods, 1563 Fruitville Pike.

Hot dog with mustard

KUNZLER HOT DOGS (8-pack, beef)

  • Giant: $3.99
  • Weis: $4
  • Whole Foods: Not available
  • Walmart: $4.28
  • Herr’s: $2.99
  • Stauffers: $4.99
  • Aldi: Not available
  • Shady Maple: $4.99
  • Wegman’s: $2.29

ALTERNATIVE-BRAND HOT DOGS (8-pack, beef)

  • Giant: 2 for $7 (Berks)
  • Weis: $3.50
  • Whole Foods: $5.99
  • Walmart: $2.26
  • Herr’s: $2.99
  • Stauffers: Not available
  • Aldi: $3.99 (6-pack, Parkview)
  • Shady Maple: $5.99 (Oscar Mayer)
  • Wegman’s: $3.29

MARTIN’S HOT DOG BUNS (8-pack)

  • Giant: $3.79
  • Weis: $3.79
  • Whole Foods: Not available
  • Walmart: $3.34
  • Herr’s: $3.79
  • Stauffers: $3.79
  • Aldi: Not available
  • Shady Maple: $3.79
  • Wegman’s: $3.79
What family-owned supermarkets are left in Lancaster County? Yoder's, Stauffers and more

ALTERNATIVE-BRAND HOT DOG BUNS (8-pack)

  • Giant: 99 cents
  • Weis: 99 cents
  • Whole Foods: $2.99 (Vermont Bread)
  • Walmart: 87 cents
  • Herr’s: $1.50
  • Stauffers: 99 cents
  • Aldi: 65 cents
  • Shady Maple: $1.29
  • Wegman’s: 69 cents

FRENCH’S YELLOW MUSTARD (14 ounces)

  • Giant: $1.49
  • Weis: $1.73
  • Whole Foods: Not available
  • Walmart: $1.36
  • Herr’s: $1.85
  • Stauffers: $1.69
  • Aldi: Not available
  • Shady Maple: $1.85
  • Wegman’s: $1.49 (8 ounces)

ALTERNATIVE-BRAND YELLOW MUSTARD (14 ounces)

  • Giant: 99 cents
  • Weis: 97 cents
  • Whole Foods: $2.69
  • Walmart: 58 cents (20 ounces)
  • Herr’s: $1.19 (20 ounces)
  • Stauffers: $1.19 (20 ounces)
  • Aldi: $1.29 (20 ounces, Burman’s)
  • Shady Maple: $1.49
  • Wegman’s: 59 cents (8 ounces)
hamburger

GROUND CHUCK BEEF (per pound, 80% lean)

  • Giant: $3.89
  • Weis: $4.99
  • Whole Foods: $4.49
  • Walmart: $3.30 ($9.92 for 3-lb. packs)
  • Herr’s: $2.99
  • Stauffers: $3.49 (84%)
  • Aldi: $3.29
  • Shady Maple: $2.87

MARTIN’S HAMBURGER BUNS (8-pack)

  • Giant: $3.79
  • Weis: $3.79
  • Whole Foods: Not available
  • Walmart: $3.34
  • Herr’s: $3.79
  • Stauffers: $3.79
  • Aldi: Not available
  • Shady Maple: $3.79
  • Wegman’s: $3.79

ALTERNATIVE-BRAND HAMBURGER BUNS (8-pack)

  • Giant: 99 cents
  • Weis: 99 cents
  • Whole Foods: $2.99 (Vermont Bread)
  • Walmart: 87 cents
  • Herr’s: $1.50
  • Stauffers: 99 cents
  • Aldi: 65 cents
  • Shady Maple: $1.29
  • Wegman’s: 69 cents
Even Shady Maple, Lancaster County's largest supermarket, feels the pinch of chain-store competition

HEINZ KETCHUP (14 ounces)

  • Giant: $2.19
  • Weis: $2
  • Whole Foods: $2.99 (organic)
  • Walmart: $2.23 (20 ounces)
  • Herr’s: $2.29
  • Stauffers: $2.35
  • Aldi: none
  • Shady Maple: $2.69 (20 ounces)
  • Wegman’s: $2.49 (20 ounces)

ALTERNATIVE-BRAND KETCHUP

  • Giant: $1.79 (20 ounces)
  • Weis: 87 cents (24 ounces)
  • Whole Foods: $2.69 (32 ounces)
  • Walmart: 92 cents (24 ounces)
  • Herr’s: $1.75 (20 ounces)
  • Stauffers: $1.43 (20 ounces)
  • Aldi: $1.69 (38 ounces, Burman’s)
  • Shady Maple: $1.79 (20 ounces)
  • Wegman’s: Not available
ice cream chips

UTZ CLASSIC POTATO CHIPS (9.5 ounces)

  • Giant: 2 for $6
  • Weis: $3
  • Whole Foods: Not available
  • Walmart: $2.48
  • Herr’s: $4.29
  • Stauffers: $3
  • Aldi: Not available
  • Shady Maple: $4.29 (BOGO)
  • Wegman’s: $2.69

ALTERNATIVE-BRAND POTATO CHIPS (10 ounces)

  • Giant: $2
  • Weis: $3.29 BOGO (8 ounces)
  • Whole Foods: $2.99 (8 ounces)
  • Walmart: 97 cents (8 ounces)
  • Herr’s: $3.99
  • Stauffers: Not available
  • Aldi: $1.79
  • Shady Maple: $1.79
  • Wegman’s: $2.18 or 2 for $3

TURKEY HILL VANILLA ICE CREAM (48 ounces)

  • Giant: 2 for $5
  • Weis: $3.49
  • Whole Foods: Not available
  • Walmart: $2.98
  • Herr’s: $3.99
  • Stauffers: $2.99
  • Aldi: Not available
  • Shady Maple: $3.99
  • Wegman’s: $2.99

ALTERNATIVE-BRAND VANILLA ICE CREAM (48 ounces)

  • Giant: $2.39
  • Weis: $2.99
  • Whole Foods: $5.99 (1.5 quart)
  • Walmart: $1.97
  • Herr’s: $3.19
  • Stauffers: $3.35
  • Aldi: Not available
  • Shady Maple: $3.69
  • Wegman’s: $1.99
lemonade corn melon

CORN ON THE COB (dozen ears)

  • Giant: $4.98
  • Weis: $7.20
  • Whole Foods: $6
  • Walmart: Not available
  • Herr’s: $7.20
  • Stauffers: $4.99 (5-pack BOGO)
  • Aldi: $5.67 (4 for $1.89)
  • Shady Maple: $5.40 (5 for $2.24)
  • Wegman’s: $4.80 (5 for $2)

WHOLE WATERMELON

  • Giant: $5.99
  • Weis: $4.77
  • Whole Foods: $8.99 (seedless organic)
  • Walmart: $5.48
  • Herr’s: $5.99
  • Stauffers: $4.99
  • Aldi: $3.49
  • Shady Maple: $4.99
  • Wegman’s: $4.99

MINUTE MAID FROZEN LEMONADE CONCENTRATE (12 ounces)

  • Giant: Not available
  • Weis: $2.19
  • Whole Foods: Not available
  • Walmart: Not available
  • Herr’s: $2.39
  • Stauffers: $2.33
  • Aldi: Not available 
  • Shady Maple: $1.69
  • Wegman’s: Not available

ALTERNATIVE-BRAND FROZEN LEMONADE CONCENTRATE (12 ounces)

  • Giant: $1.29
  • Weis: $1.39
  • Whole Foods: $1.99
  • Walmart: none
  • Herr’s: $1.79
  • Stauffers: $1.79
  • Aldi: Not available
  • Shady Maple: $1.85
  • Wegman’s: $1.29