7 Reasons Why Southerners Love Piggly Wiggly
Yes, we dig the Pig. Here's why.
This story originally appeared on SouthernLiving.com.
Piggly Wiggly may not be the biggest grocery store chain in the South, and it may not have the widest selection of commercial brands, but we’ve loved it ever since 1916, when Clarence Saunders founded the world’s first self-service supermarket in Memphis Tennessee. He named it Piggly Wiggly. When asked why, he replied, “So people would ask that very question.”
Over 100 years later, Southerners are stil frequenting the Pig. Here's why we love to cruise the aisles of this market.
It’s Just as Local as a Farmers’ Market
Stepping into a Piggly Wiggly is a little like stepping into a farmers’ market, but even better. It’s not 9am on a scorching Saturday morning, and you can browse the local, mom-and-pop products any day of the week. In Alabama, the Pig features products like McEwen & Sons Organic Blue Grits, Birmingham’s Best Salsa, Aunt Mae’s Roasted Peanuts, King Brand Stone Ground Corn Meal, and Ja Wanda’s Sweet Potato Pie—all created and manufactured in-state.
It Doesn’t Skimp on the South’s Regional Specialties
Need to find Tennessee Pride Hot Country Sausage, or Zapp’s Potato Chips Limited Edition Sweet Pimento Cream Cheese flavor? Looking for a place to grind your own fresh Community Coffee beans or satisfy your urgent King of Pops craving? Offering everything from an overwhelming selection of regional barbecue sauces to pickles, Piggly Wiggly brings the best of the South into one store.
Its Extraordinary Craft Beer Selection and Wine Cellar
Pigs across the South are bulking up their craft beer and wine selections. Some franchises have dimly lit, wooden wine cellars; others have growler stations where customers can refill their 64oz bottles with local brews. In Homewood, Alabama, the draft wall has over 20 beers on tap, and the wine cellar even organizes tasting nights.
Related: 10 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill
The Deli Department
From a quick sandwich to buckets of fried chicken, the Pig’s delis offer cheap, good lunches to-go, dinners, and party trays. A premade Pimento Sandwich (white bread with in-house made pimento cheese) sells for only $2.50.
The Branded Merchandise
Featuring famous lines like “Big on the Pig” and “I Dig the Pig,” Piggly Wiggly’s t-shirts are nearly beloved as the chain itself. Local franchises sometimes even print their own unique shirts.
The 75-cent Sodas
It’s not very often that you come across a vending machine that still sells soft drinks for less than $1. But at Piggly Wiggly, you can pop open a Coke for between 50 and 75 cents a can.
Related: 7 Reasons Southerners Shop at Publix
The Weekly Specials
The Pig sends out a 4-page weekly ad sheets with deals on seasonal items that you were probably going to buy anyway, from organic blueberries to boneless chicken breasts. There’s no shame in planning your weeknight meals around what’s on sale at The Pig.