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Media reports have painted Publix GreenWise Market, the new format from Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets, as a jazzed-up natural food store. But a recent visit by Progressive Grocer finds that healthy foods are only part of a much bigger story.
The first Publix GreenWise, located in a swanky shopping center in beautiful Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., looks much different from any previous concepts from this employee-owned local powerhouse. The selling area appears to be much larger than its actual 39,000 square feet. The decor includes spacious ceilings with skylights (just one of the environmentally friendly design components), arty signage constructed of metal and other natural materials, and a roomy mezzanine area where customers can sit down to enjoy fresh meals offered in 10 culinary venues.
The store features abundant organic and natural assortments. About half of the produce selection is organic, and a dedicated body care section centers on homeopathy, herbals, aromatherapy, and natural HBC. The Publix GreenWise private label line is also on prominent display throughout the store.
In addition to healthy options, however, another clear branding message at Publix GreenWise is indulgence. The deli department, for instance, includes more than 300 varieties of artisan cheeses. Customers can sample a bite from a Razza Bianca ("white cow") cheese wheel imported especially from Italy.
In bakery, meanwhile, Publix offers a chocolate dipping station and to-die-for desserts such as a six-layer torte covered in chocolate or white ganache. And the wine department offers an expanded selection of premium and specialty wines, including a $517 bottle of Biondi Santi Greppo.
While the store's primary thrust is to offer healthy and indulgent products, Publix also wants shoppers to be able to do their full shop here, says Maria Brous, director of media relations and community affairs. "There's no other store where customers can find both conventional products and such a large range of organic and natural products," she notes. "We're offering our customers the best of both worlds here."
The chain expects to open its second Publix GreenWise Market, in Boca Raton, Fla., during the first quarter, confirms Brous.
To read (and see) much more about Publix GreenWise, check out the April 1 issue of Progressive Grocer, and then visit progressivegrocer.com.