A&P ADDING MEALS TO GO AND CHICKEN RESTAURANT

MONTVALE, N.J. -- A&P here is adding to its prepared foods menu, with grab-and-go whole meals and a takeout chicken restaurant.The chain is introducing both new programs at its newest store, in Kenilworth, N.J.The whole meals are single servings comprised of an entree and two side dishes, available in compartmentalized microwavable tray packages and displayed in a shop-around self-service case that's

MONTVALE, N.J. -- A&P here is adding to its prepared foods menu, with grab-and-go whole meals and a takeout chicken restaurant.

The chain is introducing both new programs at its newest store, in Kenilworth, N.J.

The whole meals are single servings comprised of an entree and two side dishes, available in compartmentalized microwavable tray packages and displayed in a shop-around self-service case that's set perpendicular to the in-line service deli.

The chicken restaurant, not yet open, will be positioned in the store lobby, with consumers facing it as they move through the checkouts.

The whole meals are prepared by a chef in the store, and are apparently an extension of the grab-and-go offering at other A&P units. At other stores, the chain merchandises self-service, freshly prepared entrees and sides that are packaged separately from one another. The strategy had been that consumers would want to select their own side dishes to go with a chosen entree, said industry sources familiar with A&P.

The Kenilworth unit is serving as a test pad for the whole meals, a store-level source told SN. Entrees and sides packed separately are also available, in the same shop-around case as the self-contained meals.

The full meals feature turkey breast, meatloaf, roast beef, spaghetti and meatballs, and chicken and beef fajitas. They come with rice or potatoes, and a vegetable. The meals' everyday price is $3.99. An in-store circular at the Kenilworth

store's grand opening offered the meals at a special price of $2.99 each.

The component entrees in the self-service case, meanwhile, include a variety of Italian entrees, fajitas, quiche, lo mein, eggplant rolls, pepper steak, meatballs, garlic potatoes, fried rice, macaroni and cheese, and pot pies.

The service deli is situated at the end of the first traffic aisle after the produce department in this 64,000-square-foot store. It is divided into two distinct sections, "Cold Cuts" and "The Corner Deli."

Besides the grab-and-go options, a large array of chef-prepared salads and entrees is offered from the service counter.