Asian supermarket chain 99 Ranch Market has launched a new format that combines a warehouse-style grocery store with a multivendor dining hall.
Called Cravings by 99 Ranch Market, the 56,000-square-foot store in Chino, Calif., serves up a diverse assortment of local and global foods in individual and bulk sizes and caters to both households and foodservice businesses, all in a spacious environment accented by modern décor.
“Cravings is larger than the typical 99 Ranch Market store, which ranges from 30,000 square feet to 40,000 square feet,” said Laney Chung, a spokeswoman for Buena Park, Calif.-based 99 Ranch.
The frozen section includes a range of frozen dumplings with various fillings as well as a selection of quick meal options and frozen treats.
The meat department carries a broad selection of precut, packaged items, including marinated meat and kabobs for barbecue and thin-sliced meat for hot pot or shabu-shabu. On the seafood side, the store offers packaged fresh fish — including sushi prepared fresh daily — as well as frozen items.
“Cravings doesn’t have the traditional seafood and meat service counters because we really want to provide quick and convenient options for our customers,” Chung said.
In the dairy department, customers can find everything from eggs and cheese to local and Chinese yogurt and juice. The produce area offers Asian vegetables that shoppers can’t find in traditional supermarkets, such as bok choy, yellow dragon fruits and bitter melon, according to Chung.
“Most of the vegetable items here are prepacked, so customers can grab and go and it’s ready for eating or cooking,” she said.
The frozen section includes a range of frozen dumplings with various fillings as well as a selection of quick meal options and a “huge variety” of ice cream and frozen treats, Chung noted. Popular local and Asian snacks are also offered in the grocery department.
“The unique part is that customers can find some popular sauces and snacks in a jumbo pack such as Lao Gan Ma chili sauces — which we heard is American professional wrestler John Cena’s favorite sauce — and giant Pocky and giant Taiwanese pea crackers, similar to Hot Cheetos in the U.S.,” she said.
With nine vendors, the food hall presents a melange of Asian, Mexican, Southern California and American tastes. Oi Asian Fusion focuses on home-cooked meals like rice bowls and simplified Filipino food, modernized and fused with other Asian cuisine, whereas Red Envelope pushes the envelope with modern Asian fusion cuisines such as lobster pho, uni fried rice and katsu bowl, according to 99 Ranch. Madbun, meanwhile, takes the traditional Chinese bao bun to another level with special flavors like matcha.
99 Ranch Market serves up a diverse assortment of local and global foods in individual and bulk sizes.
Dos Chinos blends Latin and Asian food to create unique Mexican-Asian flavors, while Wingman Kitchen combines incorporates American and Asian influences into poultry, offering customers such fare as wings with rice, chicken with fries or chicken served in a cone. Shomi Noods dishes out ramen with a Southern California take.
As far as desserts and snacks, the dining hall houses Cauldron Ice Cream, which serves up liquid nitrogen with sweet, creamy ice cream and OG puffle cones, as well as newcomers Pinky Promise, a modern Taiwanese bakery that makes pastries and cakes, and Tenori, which specializes in Japanese musubi, a Japanese rice snack.
“Cravings really curated these vendors and wanted to attract all the major Asian nationalities,” Chung said. “These vendors offer modern fusion foods that are full of unique and delicious flavors.”
The dining and social area, with seating for 250 to 300 people, is designed for customers to unwind, connect and enjoy the culinary experience. To that end, Cravings also has its own bar, Piju, which serves international flavors of beer and wine.
“Since 99 Ranch Market’s establishment in 1984, the first-generation Asian immigrants have always been its core customer base. We are proud to cater to the more traditional community and satisfy their needs for the past 35 years,” Chung said. “As generations evolve, 99 Ranch Market is inspired to create a retail store that is very accessible for the new generations, whether with families or without.”
Cravings also has its own bar, Piju, which serves international flavors of beer and wine.
Given the strong customer response to Cravings’ debut, 99 Ranch is mulling more locations in the future, she added. Overall, 99 Ranch has 51 stores in California, Washington, Nevada, Texas, Oregon, Maryland and New Jersey.
“We are definitely looking forward to creating more Cravings in the future,” Chung said. “It's a work in progress, but we cannot wait to show everyone what we will be able to offer to our shoppers.”