Industry Buzz

Emerging Grocery: The Retailers Leading The Way

These are the retailers who illustrate what emerging grocery is all about. Check out the companies that are leading the way in changing how you buy food.

Emerging Grocery: The Retailers Leading The Way

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Traditionally grocery stores have competed in four categories: Price, Location, Experience and Assortment.

With margins under pressure and consumers' shopping habits changing by the day, grocery is at a crossroads. Sure you can continue to compete on price, but with increasingly tight margins and Amazon entering the market with a brand new store, that is a tough ask. Many grocery execs agree the winners of the next decade will compete on experience and assortment.

Below are the 12 grocery groups we feel best illustrate where F&B experiences and assortment are heading.

Please click to enlarge. Created in December 2019 by Foodboro staff and friends.

In the grocery game? Send us a message and we will include you on our members only Emerging Grocery Contacts list.

Foodboro Members: Check out the new Emerging Grocery Contacts list. Log in, go to the Toolkit and scroll down and look under premium content. We will keep adding to this list so check back often, and let us know if there is a contact you want us to list.

Are you a food and beverage maker? Become a Foodboro Founding Member and take advantage of insights, connections, and exclusive deals to start, scale, or strengthen your F&B business.

>>EXPERIENTIAL<<

Erewhon: HQ : Calabasas California

The mecca of food. A shrine to wellness. No wonder Erewhon looks so good at 50 years old and is ready to expand from their SoCal roots to the East Coast. These folks pride themselves on nurturing and launching smaller brands while creating a highly curated physical world full of product discovery around every corner. Want to make it inside? Everyone does! For starters, be sure what you make has clear traceability, is functional, and tells a story.

Central Market: HQ : Dallas, Texas

H-E-B's Texas based Central Market has taken the slow growth approach, opening 10 stores over the last 25 years. The store is a foodie paradise and a pioneer of experiential, mixing in cooking classes and coffee roasting demonstrations amongst unique produce and specialty items such as hard to find European chocolates.

Wegmans: HQ : Rochester, NY

Earlier this year Wegmans opened their newest store in Raleigh, NC and 3,000 people queued up to get inside, some since 7 PM the previous evening! Such is the life of experiential King Wegman. 30,000 people eventually visited the Raleigh store on opening day, a record, of course.

Wegmans stocks over 70,000 products, double the size of many grocery stores. While it is tough to get your product in, one potential hack is to have your most loyal fans email King Wegman and let them know they would love to see your product inside one of their stores.

HyVee: HQ : Iowa

This employee owned chain with more than 250 stores in the Midwest is doubling down on in-store experiences. They launched Fourth + Court a "grocerant" in Des Moines, offer services like dry clearing and fishing licenses at some stores, and recently launched HealthMarket, a wellness mini-store with an Orange Theory attached to it.

Precycle: HQ : Brooklyn, NY

A single location zero-waste grocery store in Brooklyn, NY. This is the first store in NYC selling package-free produce and bulk food. The open-plan store in Bushwick sells fruits and vegetables, pasta, rice, beans, spices, oils, eggs, as well as some household goods. They are also on top of the snacking trend with dried fruits, nuts, popcorn, granola all stocked and available.

Farmhouse Market: HQ : Minnesota

Farmhouse Market is a small, single location, local foods market that works directly with local food producers and natural foods distributors to make the good food you food available in a small Minnesota town. Like a year-round, indoor farmers market, Farmhouse Market is open 24/7 to members through the use of a keycard entry system and a self-checkout. They also run a two room Inn atop the market, hold make-your-own Kombucha classes, and open the market to the public from time to time.

>>ASSORTMENT<<

Kowalski's Markets: HQ : Minnesota

Ever since 1983 Minneapolis based Kowalski’s has been supporting local products that use sustainable practices. This market isn’t a midwest throwback to the days of family owned and operated neighborhood stores, instead it is and has always been a family owned and operated neighborhood store — they just happen to have 11 stores in the Minneapolis-St.Paul area. One hint if you want to hit KM shelves? Check out what products they are currently featuring and try to find a curation hole your product can help them fill.

Whole Foods: HQ : Austin, TX

Think Whole Foods support of emerging brands waned after the AMZN transaction? Nope. Whole Foods is keeping the “discovered at the local farmers market” dream alive. The leader in emerging brand distribution runs a program with local “foragers” that tasks Whole Foods Market team members to go out an discover the best new products in their geographic area. These foragers explore farmers markets, specialty shops, trade shows and the web to find the right partners to bring into distribution.

Kroger: HQ : Cincinnati, OH

The grocery giant with over 3,000 stores and two dozen chains is going all in on assortment. They recently partnered with PearlRock Partners to create a data driven platform that will help identify, invest in, and help grow emerging consumer product companies. Kroger’s AI approach could help lead to new opportunities for both the retailer and food & beverage makers.

Sprouts Farmers Market: HQ : Phoenix, AZ

Sprouts is sometimes overlooked by makers who only have eyes for Whole Foods, but it shouldn’t be. Sprouts has 300+ stores in the South and Southwest, defines "local" as a product produced in state or within 500 miles, and could present a great opportunity for emerging brands looking for distribution. Sprouts is also in the midst of shifting their strategy to opening smaller stores, and while details are still sparse, the chain wants to get back to focusing on their farmer’s market roots.

Brothers Marketplace: HQ : Massachusetts

Back in 2014 New England Roche Brothers opened their first Brothers Marketplace in Weston MA, to harken back to the time when small neighborhood markets were plentiful. There are now five Brothers Marketplaces in the Boston area, including a brand new store in Kendall Square, and all the products are carefully hand picked and curated by Roche team members. The selection skews incredibly local and team members love working with emerging New England makers and their brands.

The Fresh Market: HQ: North Carolina

The Fresh Market redid their beverage set this year. So how did they curate their list of products? The first stop was talking directly to store employees after team members took a taste test. What made the cut this year? Plenty of kombucha, non-alcoholic beer, ready to drink oat milk lattes, you get the idea. The Fresh Market intends to keep spreading the word about startup f&b companies, as they know if customers love the product they will also love the retailer. One of the first things they do when learning about new products? Check them out online.

Makers: We talked to team members at these places who stated it is easier to onboard emerging brands who are able to provide the following:

  • In distribution with one of their wholesalers
  • Products have a UPC
  • Nutrition facts panel
  • Proper ingredient statement
  • Certificate of insurance
  • W9

[/et_bloom_locked]

 

[et_bloom_locked optin_id=optin_4]

Traditionally grocery stores have competed in four categories: Price, Location, Experience and Assortment.

With margins under pressure and consumers' shopping habits changing by the day, grocery is at a crossroads. Sure you can continue to compete on price, but with increasingly tight margins and Amazon entering the market with a brand new store, that is a tough ask. Many grocery execs agree the winners of the next decade will compete on experience and assortment.

Below are the 12 grocery groups we feel best illustrate where F&B experiences and assortment are heading.

Please click to enlarge. Created in December 2019 by Foodboro staff and friends.

In the grocery game? Send us a message and we will include you on our members only Emerging Grocery Contacts list.

Foodboro Members: Check out the new Emerging Grocery Contacts list. Log in, go to the Toolkit and scroll down and look under premium content. We will keep adding to this list so check back often, and let us know if there is a contact you want us to list.

Are you a food and beverage maker? Become a Foodboro Founding Member and take advantage of insights, connections, and exclusive deals to start, scale, or strengthen your F&B business.

>>EXPERIENTIAL<<

Erewhon: HQ : Calabasas California

The mecca of food. A shrine to wellness. No wonder Erewhon looks so good at 50 years old and is ready to expand from their SoCal roots to the East Coast. These folks pride themselves on nurturing and launching smaller brands while creating a highly curated physical world full of product discovery around every corner. Want to make it inside? Everyone does! For starters, be sure what you make has clear traceability, is functional, and tells a story.

Central Market: HQ : Dallas, Texas

H-E-B's Texas based Central Market has taken the slow growth approach, opening 10 stores over the last 25 years. The store is a foodie paradise and a pioneer of experiential, mixing in cooking classes and coffee roasting demonstrations amongst unique produce and specialty items such as hard to find European chocolates.

Wegmans: HQ : Rochester, NY

Earlier this year Wegmans opened their newest store in Raleigh, NC and 3,000 people queued up to get inside, some since 7 PM the previous evening! Such is the life of experiential King Wegman. 30,000 people eventually visited the Raleigh store on opening day, a record, of course.

Wegmans stocks over 70,000 products, double the size of many grocery stores. While it is tough to get your product in, one potential hack is to have your most loyal fans email King Wegman and let them know they would love to see your product inside one of their stores.

HyVee: HQ : Iowa

This employee owned chain with more than 250 stores in the Midwest is doubling down on in-store experiences. They launched Fourth + Court a "grocerant" in Des Moines, offer services like dry clearing and fishing licenses at some stores, and recently launched HealthMarket, a wellness mini-store with an Orange Theory attached to it.

Precycle: HQ : Brooklyn, NY

A single location zero-waste grocery store in Brooklyn, NY. This is the first store in NYC selling package-free produce and bulk food. The open-plan store in Bushwick sells fruits and vegetables, pasta, rice, beans, spices, oils, eggs, as well as some household goods. They are also on top of the snacking trend with dried fruits, nuts, popcorn, granola all stocked and available.

Farmhouse Market: HQ : Minnesota

Farmhouse Market is a small, single location, local foods market that works directly with local food producers and natural foods distributors to make the good food you food available in a small Minnesota town. Like a year-round, indoor farmers market, Farmhouse Market is open 24/7 to members through the use of a keycard entry system and a self-checkout. They also run a two room Inn atop the market, hold make-your-own Kombucha classes, and open the market to the public from time to time.

>>ASSORTMENT<<

Kowalski's Markets: HQ : Minnesota

Ever since 1983 Minneapolis based Kowalski’s has been supporting local products that use sustainable practices. This market isn’t a midwest throwback to the days of family owned and operated neighborhood stores, instead it is and has always been a family owned and operated neighborhood store — they just happen to have 11 stores in the Minneapolis-St.Paul area. One hint if you want to hit KM shelves? Check out what products they are currently featuring and try to find a curation hole your product can help them fill.

Whole Foods: HQ : Austin, TX

Think Whole Foods support of emerging brands waned after the AMZN transaction? Nope. Whole Foods is keeping the “discovered at the local farmers market” dream alive. The leader in emerging brand distribution runs a program with local “foragers” that tasks Whole Foods Market team members to go out an discover the best new products in their geographic area. These foragers explore farmers markets, specialty shops, trade shows and the web to find the right partners to bring into distribution.

Kroger: HQ : Cincinnati, OH

The grocery giant with over 3,000 stores and two dozen chains is going all in on assortment. They recently partnered with PearlRock Partners to create a data driven platform that will help identify, invest in, and help grow emerging consumer product companies. Kroger’s AI approach could help lead to new opportunities for both the retailer and food & beverage makers.

Sprouts Farmers Market: HQ : Phoenix, AZ

Sprouts is sometimes overlooked by makers who only have eyes for Whole Foods, but it shouldn’t be. Sprouts has 300+ stores in the South and Southwest, defines "local" as a product produced in state or within 500 miles, and could present a great opportunity for emerging brands looking for distribution. Sprouts is also in the midst of shifting their strategy to opening smaller stores, and while details are still sparse, the chain wants to get back to focusing on their farmer’s market roots.

Brothers Marketplace: HQ : Massachusetts

Back in 2014 New England Roche Brothers opened their first Brothers Marketplace in Weston MA, to harken back to the time when small neighborhood markets were plentiful. There are now five Brothers Marketplaces in the Boston area, including a brand new store in Kendall Square, and all the products are carefully hand picked and curated by Roche team members. The selection skews incredibly local and team members love working with emerging New England makers and their brands.

The Fresh Market: HQ: North Carolina

The Fresh Market redid their beverage set this year. So how did they curate their list of products? The first stop was talking directly to store employees after team members took a taste test. What made the cut this year? Plenty of kombucha, non-alcoholic beer, ready to drink oat milk lattes, you get the idea. The Fresh Market intends to keep spreading the word about startup f&b companies, as they know if customers love the product they will also love the retailer. One of the first things they do when learning about new products? Check them out online.

Makers: We talked to team members at these places who stated it is easier to onboard emerging brands who are able to provide the following:

  • In distribution with one of their wholesalers
  • Products have a UPC
  • Nutrition facts panel
  • Proper ingredient statement
  • Certificate of insurance
  • W9

[/et_bloom_locked]

 

[et_bloom_locked optin_id=optin_4]

Traditionally grocery stores have competed in four categories: Price, Location, Experience and Assortment.

With margins under pressure and consumers' shopping habits changing by the day, grocery is at a crossroads. Sure you can continue to compete on price, but with increasingly tight margins and Amazon entering the market with a brand new store, that is a tough ask. Many grocery execs agree the winners of the next decade will compete on experience and assortment.

Below are the 12 grocery groups we feel best illustrate where F&B experiences and assortment are heading.

Please click to enlarge. Created in December 2019 by Foodboro staff and friends.

In the grocery game? Send us a message and we will include you on our members only Emerging Grocery Contacts list.

Foodboro Members: Check out the new Emerging Grocery Contacts list. Log in, go to the Toolkit and scroll down and look under premium content. We will keep adding to this list so check back often, and let us know if there is a contact you want us to list.

Are you a food and beverage maker? Become a Foodboro Founding Member and take advantage of insights, connections, and exclusive deals to start, scale, or strengthen your F&B business.

>>EXPERIENTIAL<<

Erewhon: HQ : Calabasas California

The mecca of food. A shrine to wellness. No wonder Erewhon looks so good at 50 years old and is ready to expand from their SoCal roots to the East Coast. These folks pride themselves on nurturing and launching smaller brands while creating a highly curated physical world full of product discovery around every corner. Want to make it inside? Everyone does! For starters, be sure what you make has clear traceability, is functional, and tells a story.

Central Market: HQ : Dallas, Texas

H-E-B's Texas based Central Market has taken the slow growth approach, opening 10 stores over the last 25 years. The store is a foodie paradise and a pioneer of experiential, mixing in cooking classes and coffee roasting demonstrations amongst unique produce and specialty items such as hard to find European chocolates.

Wegmans: HQ : Rochester, NY

Earlier this year Wegmans opened their newest store in Raleigh, NC and 3,000 people queued up to get inside, some since 7 PM the previous evening! Such is the life of experiential King Wegman. 30,000 people eventually visited the Raleigh store on opening day, a record, of course.

Wegmans stocks over 70,000 products, double the size of many grocery stores. While it is tough to get your product in, one potential hack is to have your most loyal fans email King Wegman and let them know they would love to see your product inside one of their stores.

HyVee: HQ : Iowa

This employee owned chain with more than 250 stores in the Midwest is doubling down on in-store experiences. They launched Fourth + Court a "grocerant" in Des Moines, offer services like dry clearing and fishing licenses at some stores, and recently launched HealthMarket, a wellness mini-store with an Orange Theory attached to it.

Precycle: HQ : Brooklyn, NY

A single location zero-waste grocery store in Brooklyn, NY. This is the first store in NYC selling package-free produce and bulk food. The open-plan store in Bushwick sells fruits and vegetables, pasta, rice, beans, spices, oils, eggs, as well as some household goods. They are also on top of the snacking trend with dried fruits, nuts, popcorn, granola all stocked and available.

Farmhouse Market: HQ : Minnesota

Farmhouse Market is a small, single location, local foods market that works directly with local food producers and natural foods distributors to make the good food you food available in a small Minnesota town. Like a year-round, indoor farmers market, Farmhouse Market is open 24/7 to members through the use of a keycard entry system and a self-checkout. They also run a two room Inn atop the market, hold make-your-own Kombucha classes, and open the market to the public from time to time.

>>ASSORTMENT<<

Kowalski's Markets: HQ : Minnesota

Ever since 1983 Minneapolis based Kowalski’s has been supporting local products that use sustainable practices. This market isn’t a midwest throwback to the days of family owned and operated neighborhood stores, instead it is and has always been a family owned and operated neighborhood store — they just happen to have 11 stores in the Minneapolis-St.Paul area. One hint if you want to hit KM shelves? Check out what products they are currently featuring and try to find a curation hole your product can help them fill.

Whole Foods: HQ : Austin, TX

Think Whole Foods support of emerging brands waned after the AMZN transaction? Nope. Whole Foods is keeping the “discovered at the local farmers market” dream alive. The leader in emerging brand distribution runs a program with local “foragers” that tasks Whole Foods Market team members to go out an discover the best new products in their geographic area. These foragers explore farmers markets, specialty shops, trade shows and the web to find the right partners to bring into distribution.

Kroger: HQ : Cincinnati, OH

The grocery giant with over 3,000 stores and two dozen chains is going all in on assortment. They recently partnered with PearlRock Partners to create a data driven platform that will help identify, invest in, and help grow emerging consumer product companies. Kroger’s AI approach could help lead to new opportunities for both the retailer and food & beverage makers.

Sprouts Farmers Market: HQ : Phoenix, AZ

Sprouts is sometimes overlooked by makers who only have eyes for Whole Foods, but it shouldn’t be. Sprouts has 300+ stores in the South and Southwest, defines "local" as a product produced in state or within 500 miles, and could present a great opportunity for emerging brands looking for distribution. Sprouts is also in the midst of shifting their strategy to opening smaller stores, and while details are still sparse, the chain wants to get back to focusing on their farmer’s market roots.

Brothers Marketplace: HQ : Massachusetts

Back in 2014 New England Roche Brothers opened their first Brothers Marketplace in Weston MA, to harken back to the time when small neighborhood markets were plentiful. There are now five Brothers Marketplaces in the Boston area, including a brand new store in Kendall Square, and all the products are carefully hand picked and curated by Roche team members. The selection skews incredibly local and team members love working with emerging New England makers and their brands.

The Fresh Market: HQ: North Carolina

The Fresh Market redid their beverage set this year. So how did they curate their list of products? The first stop was talking directly to store employees after team members took a taste test. What made the cut this year? Plenty of kombucha, non-alcoholic beer, ready to drink oat milk lattes, you get the idea. The Fresh Market intends to keep spreading the word about startup f&b companies, as they know if customers love the product they will also love the retailer. One of the first things they do when learning about new products? Check them out online.

Makers: We talked to team members at these places who stated it is easier to onboard emerging brands who are able to provide the following:

  • In distribution with one of their wholesalers
  • Products have a UPC
  • Nutrition facts panel
  • Proper ingredient statement
  • Certificate of insurance
  • W9

[/et_bloom_locked]

 

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