Brownies, huh? We need to talk about this. But first, some context.
It’s that time of year again when major retailers are taking inventory of their 2017 trends and making colorful maps and infographics that people can share on social media.
Ubiquitous retail giant Wal-Mart has released its list of some of the most popular items sold online in each state in 2017, and to be clear, there are some significant qualifiers to mention here.
The retailer doesn’t seem to have also published the number of units it sold of each of these items in the states where they’re so popular. And if you look at the fine print on one of its colorful infographics, you see that Wal-Mart actually looked at the top 25 most popular items sold online in each state, then picked one of those 25 to highlight, based mostly on how “interesting” that item is.
So the resulting list is desirably quirky and sharable, and doesn’t show something kind of boring like gift certificates or vacuum bags for all 50 states.
Instead, we have things like cinnamon-flavored toothpaste (the New Hampshire pick) and the farmer Barbie doll (Hawaii).
But OK, given all that, we were still curious what came up for Maine. I mean, we’re still talking about one of the most popular items purchased online here.
And Mainers, it turns out, are buying a lot of brownies from Walmart.com. This represents a shift from the previous year, when we were buying a lot of peanut butter and jelly from the site.
So, to recap, we’re now going online to a big box store in order to make some of the most basic food staples.
Want a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich, Jimmy? I’ll just click here for overnight shipping and you’ll have your lunch tomorrow.
There are 25 brick-and-mortar Wal-Mart stores of various sizes in Maine, along with many, many other places that sell brownies and peanut butter.
This is why Amazon bought Whole Foods, I guess. These retailers are betting that online grocery shopping will take off, despite a recent survey finding that 75 percent of online shoppers say they rarely or never buy groceries on the internet.
What do you think? Do you shop online? What types of things are you comfortable buying online? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook.