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    FRESH MEAL TRENDS: <br />Supervalu&#8217;s Mixing Up In-Store Meal Deals

    A little over a year after it first began testing the concept in the deli department of select stores in early 2008, Supervalu made good on its bid last week to bring its “Simply Good Meals” merchandising initiative national across its network of stores from coast-to-coast via a branded destination category that houses easy-to-make meal components in one handy spot.

    A little over a year after it first began testing the concept in the deli department of select stores in early 2008, Supervalu made good on its bid last week to bring its “Simply Good Meals” merchandising initiative national across its network of stores from coast-to-coast via a branded destination category that houses easy-to-make meal components in one handy spot.

    The expanded “Simply Good Meals” program will initially feature up to four destinations, including two in the produce area, one in the meat section and one in the deli department. Some stores will also have additional meal and soup destinations in the deli area, one of which — known as “4:15” — that will feature a selection of items that allow busy shoppers a quick means of creating an easy, tasty home-cooked meal for a family of four for under $15 and, in many cases, in 15 minutes or less.

    While many retailers have been fine-tuning similar value-based meal solutions stations to help shoppers eliminate the tedious hassles readily associated with the “what’s for dinner” quagmire, I especially like the built-in cross merchandising possibilities and multi-departmental placement the meal stations offer throughout different parts of the store, which lends handily to giving Supervalu’s multi-banner retail brands a chance to capture customers attention – and purchasing power – at different points in the store.

    The Simply Good Meals menu, which will initially change every other week to ensure a variety of different menus, is in the midst of rolling out in more than 1,300 corporately-owned Supervalu stores, which serve more than 22 million customers weekly and represent approximately 1.14 billion transactions every year.

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