Eye on the Market: Beverage Pricing in East L.A.

vallarta logoChalk this up as something you’d have to see to believe. But we did.

At the Vallarta Supermarket on Whittier Blvd. in East Los Angeles, Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta Mexicana sell for 4 cents a bottle. But those aren’t the only beverages that the retailer offers with a price point below the market standard.

  • Monster Energy (Original, Lo-Carb, Zero Ultra, Ultra Red, Ultra Blue): 69 cents

  • Red Bull (Original, Red, Blue, Silver, Total Zero): 15 cents

  • Sparkling Ice: 25 cents

  • Vitaminwater: 59 cents

  • Glacéau Fruitwater: 59 cents

  • Hubert’s Lemonade (Cherry Limeade, Strawberry): 74 cents

  • Gatorade (32 oz. bottles of Lemon-Lime, Orange, Fruit Punch): 85 cents

  • Body Armor (Fruit Punch, Mixed Berry, Tropical Punch, Orange Mango, Grape): 29 cents

  • Bai (Malawi Mango, Panama Peach, Brasilia Blueberry, Ipanema Pomegranate): 40 cents

There is some comparatively normal pricing. Even with the assortment of sub-dollar beverages, Foco Coconut Water checks in at $2.49.

It should be noted that the population in East Los Angeles is 97 percent Hispanic/Latino and the median household income sits just below $37,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Beverage executives have long expressed an interest in targeting the demographic.

So how do Vallarta prices stack up to Jons Marketplace on N. Vermont Ave in Hollywood, where 32.6 percent of the population is Hispanic/Latino, 47.5 percent is white and the median household income is approximately $46,000?

  • Monster Energy (24 oz. cans of Original): $2.99

  • Sparkling Ice (Pink Grapefruit, Orange Mango, Black Raspberry, Kiwi Strawberry): 4/$5

  • Rockstar Recovery (Orange, Lemonade): 2/$3

  • Hubert’s Lemonade (Original, Strawberry, Raspberry): $1.79

  • Aloe Gloe (15.2 oz. bottles of Original, White Grape, Coconut): $1.99

We don’t know that this comparison speaks to anything definitive, except that, if you’re bargain hunting, it appears wise to head East.