Ramen bars. Wine cellars. Digital ordering for meals.
Those are a few of the innovative concepts happening in Whole Foods stores that co-CEO Walter Robb highlighted in his address at Dairy-Deli-Bake on Sunday.
“There is a revolution in foodservice and bakery happening out there,” said Robb.
Traditional processes like smoking, brining and fermenting are back en vogue at Whole Foods. So are traditional products.
“Doughnuts are back. Or maybe they never left. But they weren't at Whole Foods for a long time. But they're back in Whole Foods now,” said Robb.
Whole Foods doughnuts are made from scratch. Some of them are made from whole grains.
As a way to offer transparency in the bakery, at one of the retailer's newest stores bread packaging lists the farm, the type of grain, the miller and the flavor of the product (see photo at right).
Whole Foods has also returned to its roots on some concepts.
“The juice bar is back. Back when we started, in the old days, we did juice bars, but they're coming back again in new sorts of ways. You can try them in different places in your store. People are responding to that,” said Robb.
Also in beverages, some stores are selling spa water, which is just water mixed with slices of cucumber or orange. This simple product has a high gross margin.
“I think one of the answers to moving your company forward is to give your team members room to create and innovate,” said Robb.