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    Ahold to Unveil Small Concept bfresh Sept. 18

    Fresh format targets 'neighborhood foodies'

    By Meg Major, EnsembleIQ
    Ahold's new 10,000 sq. ft. bfresh concept market in Allston, Mass., will hold its grand opening on Sept. 18.

    Following a community preview of its new, small format bfresh concept market, Ahold USA will officially take the wraps off its first-ever bfresh market located at 214 Harvard Ave. in Allston, Mass., on Friday, Sept. 18. 

    Touting fresh foods, smart value and local convenience, the 10,000-square-foot market is the first such concept from Ahold USA's Fresh Formats subsidiary, which was established in 2014 to explore and develop new growth opportunities for its store formats.

    Describing bfresh as "a test model that’s a complete departure from traditional brick-and-mortar grocery stores," the small format store, according to company officials, "will target neighborhood foodies who value fresh, healthy food options and pricing that doesn’t break the bank."

    Suzi Robinson, marketing magus for Fresh Formats and a developer of bfresh, said: “Today’s grocery shoppers face several challenges including balancing food needs with tight budgets, finding convenient shopping options to fit tough schedules, and feeding a strong desire to support local businesses. We sought to provide an easy-to-shop solution for the Allston community," continued Robinson, noting, "bfresh is designed for anyone who loves food and wants healthy, affordable, locally-sourced options in their neighborhood.”

    Cozy Convenience, Affordable Indulgence

    The store will emphasize natural and organic options and a wide selection of vegan, gluten-free, and international items alongside full-service meat, seafood, and deli departments stocked with organic, antibiotic-free meats, and fresh, sustainable seafood. bfresh will also play up indulgence items and a selection of locally relevant household, health and beauty items to make it a one-stop shop for many neighborhood customers.

    In addition, bfresh will also boast freshly prepared foods in its Little Kitchen, which is based on a model from La Place, a renowned fresh food restaurant business in the Netherlands and Europe. Little Kitchen is a fresh-on-the-spot customer experience that brings scratch-made, always fresh, seasonal meals into the store. Menus change daily, showcasing simple recipes, and all the food preparation is done in front of customers. Shoppers can choose to order fresh smoothies, salads, pizza, Asian stir fry, breads, desserts, coffee and more.

    For its design, Fresh Formats sought to create a visually appealing, inviting, flexible and fun look to “freshify” the grocery experience with a streamlined, simple layout.

    Prior to debuting in Allston, Fresh Formats developed an independent learning lab in Center City Philadelphia where teammates and customers experiment with and evaluate new ideas to change the grocery shopping experience.

    bfresh hours will be Sunday–Thursday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Friday - Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

    By Meg Major, EnsembleIQ
    • About Meg Major Veteran supermarket industry journalist Meg Major brings a wealth of experience to her role as Chief Content Editor of Progressive Grocer. In addition to her editorial duties, Major also spearheads the retail food industry’s premier women’s leadership recognition platform, Top Women in Grocery. Follow her on Twitter at @Meg_Major, connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/megmajor, or email her at [email protected]

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