The Alltown Fresh experience is a “heightened” one compared to traditional convenience stores. There is fuel and basic provisions, but there’s a lot more, too. Through a combination of packaged goods, a mini fresh food market and an extensive foodservice area, Alltown Fresh focuses on specific segments of the population. The convenience brand targets Millennials who aren't afraid to eat where they fuel.
Kroger unveils new eating experience
The Kroger Co.
The first Kroger supermarket with an in-store food hall opened in November in Cincinnati. The On The Rhine Eatery houses five restaurants, providing another customer destination to the new urban-format Kroger store.
Save Mart opens first fast-casual restaurant
The Save Mart Cos. debuted a fast-casual restaurant concept in October as part of the opening of a Save Mart flagship store in Modesto, Calif.
Called The Tipping Point, the in-store restaurant features a signature entrée of tri-tip barbecued steak served in a wet or dry sandwich, torta, taco or salad, as well as whole. The menu also includes street corn and other side dishes, handmade churros with chocolate and caramel dipping sauces, soda, water and a range of local beers and wines on tap.
Price Chopper’s proving ground for food concepts
Schenectady, N.Y.-based Price Chopper’s 90,000-square-foot Market Bistro includes not only a full-service, sit-down restaurant, Chef’s Grill, but also an array of individually branded foodservice stations in the adjacent Bistro Boulevard area. These concepts include Back Bay Fish Fry; Custom Burgers; Veggies & Greens; Stone Fired Pizza; Ladle & Spoon Soup Shop; Out of this World Burritos; and others.
Dean’s Café delivers natural, organic experience in a restaurant format
Dean’s Natural Food Market has found a way to bring its natural-and-organic ethos to a new format. The four-store, New Jersey-based operator in February opened its first restaurant, a 1,500-square-foot, 30-seat outlet called Dean’s Café that specializes in high-end, single-origin organic coffee and offers a menu of smoothies, bowls, juices and other health-conscious fare.
Rouses adds menu variety with Mongolian Grill
It likely comes as no surprise that the in-house barbecue concept called the Chop Shop is a popular venue for prepared foods at Rouses Markets, the Thibodaux, La.-based chain known for its fresh, local offerings.
But Southern-style barbecue isn’t the only attraction for customers seeking a prepared meal at the chain. Customers also flock to an Asian stir-fry concept called Mongolian Grill, which is operated inside several Rouses locations by AFC Sushi, a provider of turnkey sushi stations in supermarkets around the country.
Longo’s makes mealtime easier
Canada’s Longo Brothers Fruit Market in July unveiled Meals Made Easy, a program that enables customers to go to one place in-store to put together all of the components for a meal. The concept is being piloted at Longo’s Maple Leaf Square store in Toronto and is slated to go chainwide this year.
Jungle Jim’s makes room for kombucha on tap
Jungle Jim’s, the experiential retailer operating two massive stores in Eastgate and Fairfield, Ohio, has opened kombucha bars in its stores in recent years.
“The customers treat the bar not only as a great resting point in a long shopping adventure but as a personal help desk as well,” said Andrea Cook, natural foods manager at the Jungle Jim's in Fairfield. “The central location of the bar ensures that we are able to provide superior customer service and introduce hundreds of people each week to the benefits of living a whole body wellness lifestyle.”
Eataly’s ‘La Cucina del Mercato’ fuses retail, foodservice
Perhaps no operator has more extensive synergies between its foodservice and retail offerings than Eataly, the Italian food hall/market concept. At its La Cucina del Mercato location in Las Vegas, opened in January 2019, the retail-restaurant hybrid has fused the two segments of its business more thoroughly than ever.
Stop & Shop brings wing bars to nearly 200 stores
Stop & Shop
Ahold Delhaize USA’s Stop & Shop chain rolled out chicken wing bars to stores across its Northeastern market area in 2019. The Quincy, Mass.-based retailer began deploying the wing bars at stores in October and had added them at 187 locations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey by November.
Raley’s new café a hub for foodservice exploration
Raley’s is using a remodel of its Bel Air Market in Folsom, Calif., to test new foodservice concepts, including an in-store coffee shop under a partnership with Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters.
The West Sacramento, Calif.-based retailer said that the redesigned café, which opened in October, has seating for about 60 to 70 people and will serve as a “hub for foodservice exploration.” New prepared items include a made-to-order pizza bar, Sambazon acai bowls, fresh-pressed juices and smoothies, and what the retailer called “a modern take on traditional hot wok” offering fusion bowls, ramen bowls and Mongolian-style options made fresh to order.