1983: Cub Foods makes Indy debut, triggers grocery price war

Cub Foods Opens
Posted at 5:32 AM, Aug 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-31 12:11:26-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Kroger, Marsh and A & P: The Indianapolis grocery market was the place to be, which is exactly why Minnesota-based Cub Foods came to central Indiana 40 years ago.

Cub, an acronym for Consumers United for Buying, touted lower prices on more than 15,000 brand-name items.

President and co-founder Charles Hooley explained how the retailer could cut prices by 20 to 30 percent to WRTV consumer reporter Barbara Boyd.

“The volumes we buy and the procedure we use to buy, makes us cheaper,” Hooley said. “We ship straight to the store.”

Reaction from shoppers was positive.

“I think it’s very nice. Very good prices.”

“The buys are fantastic.”

“I like it because now I can walk out with 7 bags instead of three.”

But not everyone was happy. Picketers were on hand for the grand opening celebration at the chain’s Lafayette Road store. Signs asked shoppers to boycott Cub Foods because the retailer didn’t employ union members.

The supermarket competition proved too much for Cub Foods and the retailer left central Indiana in 2001.