Visit to the Berkeley Bowl

Market Study and Nourishment

by Keith Agoada

Berkeley Bowl Produce
Berkeley Bowl Produce

Every time I arrive back in California following an international trip, I head straight to the Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley, California.

In all my travels and visits to supermarkets and fruit markets around the United States and Latin America, I still am yet to find a place like the Berkeley Bowl.

Berkeley Bowl is a legendary supermarket located in Berkeley, California. The original Berkeley Bowl store is located in North Berkeley. What was once a bowling alley, it was converted into a supermarket. The second, and much larger Berkeley Bowl West is located in West Berkeley.

The store is most well known for its produce section. It features organic and conventional produce from local harvests in California, around the United States and internationally. The organic produce section at Berkeley Bowl is larger than most supermarkets entire produce section. Due to the tremendously high volume of foot traffic (i.e. consumers) Berkeley Bowl is able to constantly rotate its produce and ensure that everything out on the floor is fresh.

As a professional in the produce industry I spend a lot of time walking around the organic and conventional produce sections and checking out what's in season, if there are new varieties of fruits and vegetables being sold, or new brands of produce entering the market. As a consumer it is my heaven. I am lucky to have lived a mile or less away from Berkeley Bowl or Berkeley Bowl West for the last nine years.

I've included some photos from a recent visit to the Berkeley Bowl.

What is a PLU code?

How is it used?
by Keith Agoada

A Price Look Up Code is a number often used in the North American and other retail industries. The code or 'number' is found on individual pieces of fresh produce (fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, etc) and serves to make store check out and inventory control more efficient. It's a system that has been in place since 1990 an