Longo Brothers Fruit Market has begun testing a new in-store program to make it easier for customers to assemble all of the components for a meal.
Under the pilot, launched Monday at Longo’s Maple Leaf Square store in Toronto, a centrally located kiosk merchandises the fresh ingredients needed for a meal. Shoppers can hand-select their produce, meats, starches and garnishes to create a specific meal or follow a certain recipe.
Meal sizing is adjustable so customers can buy ingredients to feed a single person or a dinner party of 10 people, according to Vaughan, Ontario-based Longo’s. Recipes and step-by-step cooking guides are available in-store and online.
"As the grocery store model continues to evolve, we must focus on developing programs that are both customer-centric and designed for the future of retail," Rosanne Longo, consumer spokesperson and brand ambassador at Longo’s, said in a statement. "Through this program, we hope to create greater value for our customers that will keep them returning to their favorite Longo's location."
Longo’s noted that the program offers a more personalized shopping experience that reflects the needs of today’s on-the-go consumers. Plans call for the retailer to expand the concept to all of its 33 stores in Ontario by the spring of 2020.
"As we carefully examine consumer trends, we know that customers are certainly seeking convenience, but we firmly believe that they also want a human-centered experience where they can browse, see, feel and compare ingredients before purchasing," Longo explained, adding that the program has the potential to attract new customers.
"We strive to be a place that offers something for everyone, for those who love grocery shopping and browsing the aisles to the individual who wants to gather their ingredients quickly and conveniently,” she said.
Longo’s stores also offer a range of chef-made meal options through a department called The Kitchen. Customers can choose from a rotating selection of family weeknight dinners; family-size items or party trays; heat-and-eat entrees and sides; $6, $8 and $10 individual meals; and lunch sandwiches and salads.