The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

How do Lower and Simon’s prices measure up?

Photo by Ari Ismail for The Lafayette
Prices at Lower Farinon and Simon’s Market were consistently higher than off-campus vendors across categories.

Severely inflated pricing persists at Simon’s Market and Lower Farinon despite Parkhurst Dining‘s efforts to remedy concerns raised by students and employees after a rough transition to Lafayette at the start of the semester. Though there are a range of products available at both on-campus locations, choosing either usually ends up a more expensive endeavor than shopping at outside retailers.

To determine if there were any discrepancies between on-campus and Easton grocery shopping, The Lafayette took a look at the two retail options on campus alongside three stores accessible to Lafayette students — Wawa, Target and Wegmans.

Ramen cups are a well-known staple in the diet of college students for their cost and easy preparation. For Cup O’ Noodles, a popular brand, a cup retails for $1.69 at both Lower Farinon and Simon’s Market, 60 cents more than the price at Wawa.

A package of Maruchan ramen offered at Simon’s Market is also more expensive than at outside retailers, retailing for 99 cents. That is 10 cents more expensive than Wegmans and 60 cents more expensive than Target.

Frozen meals are no different, as the prices are consistently higher on campus compared to off campus.

Lean Cuisine Cheese Ravioli, for example, is $5.79 at Lower but sells for $2.99 at Target and $3.29 at Wegmans.

For Amy’s Kitchen bowls, using the pad thai bowl as a direct comparison, there is a $4.70 discrepancy between the Lower and Target price — a difference that extends to all Amy’s Kitchen products.

Mac and cheese cups, another popular microwave option, are also priced higher on campus.

Velveeta Shell Cups are 50 cents cheaper at Wegmans than at Lafayette. Boxes of Shell Cups are $3.90 cheaper at Target and $3.60 cheaper at Wegmans.

For Barza Pasta, the same portion of shells costs $1.50 more at Lafayette compared to Wegmans.

Larger items, such as boxes of food, tended to have the largest price delta.

Triscuit boxes cost $8.39 at Simon’s, $4.50 more than their price at Target. Wheat Thins, which are also sold for $8.39, are $4.90 cheaper at Target.

This is not unique to food items, as the toiletries available in Simon’s are also sold at a hefty premium.

Head and Shoulders Classic Clean 2 in 1, which costs $9.45 at Simon’s Market, costs only $5.99 at both Wawa and Wegmans. Neosporin is another such example that is $2.10 cheaper at Wawa compared to Simon’s.

The discrepancies also exist clearly when comparing drink prices.

Sixteen-ounce Body Armor sports drinks normally are $3.99 at Simon’s Market. However, not only are drinks of the same size $2.50 cheaper at Target, but shoppers can get a 28-ounce bottle of the same drink at Wawa for 60 cents cheaper.

There were select items that were a few cents cheaper or the same price at Lafayette, such as 16-ounce Monster energy drinks, Campbell’s On-The-Go creamy tomato soup and Hershey’s milk chocolate bars. 

In an email, Parkhurst resident district manager Christine Blaha wrote about several factors that go into pricing — specifically the cost of purchasing for the school, staffing and overhead costs.

Retail prices are determined by scale and purchasing power,” Blaha wrote. “Larger chain stores, like Wawa or Target, are able to purchase products at a significantly lower cost.”

Audra Kahr, executive vice president for finance and business, echoed Blaha and said that national inflation also affects prices.

“The goal is not to upcharge students significantly on that,” Kahr added. “It is to make it a meaningful avenue for them to get food at a fair price. If students are concerned they can reach out to Geoff Labe in business services and he can look into that specifically on those costs.”

Ben Risley ’26 will stick to shopping elsewhere.

“I don’t spend money at [Lafayette], it’s not worth it,” Ben Risley ‘26 said. “I’d rather go to Wawa.”

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About the Contributors
William Gutiérrez, Assistant Culture Editor
Ari Ismail
Ari Ismail, Staff Photographer

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