Wakefern VP of Brand Strategy Laura Kind, center, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Fresh to Table concept shop inside the ShopRite of Greenwich, New Jersey.
ShopRite is testing a meal solutions concept shop inside three stores that will also highlight the grocery banner's Bowl & Basket and newly revamped Wholesome Pantry private brands.
Fresh to Table concept shops are launching in three stores in Greenwich and Burlington, New Jersey, and Monroe, New York. The program is expected to roll out to more ShopRite locations in the coming months.
The store-within-a-store programs aim to reinvent the produce departments, where they’ll sit alongside foods that are ready to eat right there or to take home for a quick prep-and-serve experience.
In Progressive Grocer sister publication Store Brands’ upcoming October issue, Laura Kind, VP of brand strategy at Wakefern Food Corp., the merchandising, logistics and distribution arm for ShopRite stores, discussed the new pilot program: “The concept will provide a seamless digital experience in-store as well as the ability to have meals delivered straight to your door. This concept comes to us directly from customer data and feedback that looks to provide not only recipe ideas and easy-to-put-together meals, but also deliver on a QSR-like experience, but with the freshness and quality that we are able to provide at ShopRite versus true QSR retailers.”
The meal-solution centers are broken down by ready-to-cook items (Prep & Eat), ready-to-heat and -serve items (Heat & Eat), and ready-to-eat meals (Grab & Eat), and evoke a modern aesthetic, with distinct signage to help shoppers navigate the types of items being served. For example, one area will be called out as a One Stop Dinner Shop, highlighting five-ingredient meals crafted by ShopRite chefs and dietitians that will be updated weekly.
The meals are featured on the Recipe Shop on the ShopRite website and can also be accessed by scanning QR codes on in-store digital screens. Meal offerings for the first week include pumpkin soup, turkey-apple grilled cheese and herb-poached salmon.
Another area of the concept shop will highlight Tasty & Trending seasonal foods chosen by ShopRite chefs and dietitians, with items to be updated every two weeks. As Kind noted, the concept shops marry digital and in-store experiences with online ordering through the mobile app, delivery through DoorDash, express pickup options, and access to Fresh to Table meals through ShopRite’s Home online service.
“‘Fresh to Table offers a whole new way to access fresh foods and meals,” said Joe Colalillo, chairman and CEO of Wakefern. “Whether shoppers are looking for fresh from the oven prepared meals and sides, or want pre-prepped ingredients to make every meal come together easily, this new concept promises to offer an exciting shopping experience that’s fun, fast and delicious."
The comprehensive shopping experience will also showcase innovative items from ShopRite’s growing Bowl & Basket and Wholesome Pantry store brands. Kind was one of the architects behind the Bowl & Basket and Paperbird launches, leading their marketing and creative strategies, before moving on to help design and launch this meal solution program.
“The Fresh to Table space is a destination for shoppers looking for a quick snack, those planning to make a gourmet dinner, and everyone in between,” said Steve Henig, chief customer officer at Wakefern . “The combination of wholesome, seasonal fresh foods; state-of-the-art technology; and convenience is designed to help our customers find the balanced meals they are looking for.”
ShopRite is a registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative based in Keasbey, N.J. With nearly 280 ShopRite supermarkets located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, ShopRite serves millions of customers each week. Wakefern is is No. 25 on The PG 100 2020 listing of North America’s top retailers of food and consumables.