STORES Magazine - June 2011 - (Page 10)

trends Feeding Frenzy T he latest example of why supermarket retailers can never stop looking over their shoulders features a company called Graze. The Vermontbased online start-up delivers all-natural dairy, meat and chef-prepared meals from 29 farms and artisanal food producers to homes in parts of Vermont, Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. Co-founders Christy Colasurdo and Julianna Doherty say the company’s mission is to support small farms by bringing grocery staples — fresh milk, cage-free eggs, yogurt, cheese and grass-fed beef and other pasture-raised meats — to families who regularly purchase these items at specialty grocery stores or farmers markets. Right now, the small but growing business delivers once a week — targeting a different area each day. Shoppers place orders online from an ample and ever-growing list of products, and the “fresh, wholesome and sustainably produced foods” arrive on shoppers’ doorsteps a few days later. The company reports that it has grown from 30 customers when it started last September to “several hundred” today — building the business mainly by word of mouth or via the company’s website. The farm-to-table movement is growing, and small businesses that sync up with shoppers’ desire to know the origins of the food they’re eating have great potential. hile Graze delivers locally grown food right to consumers’ front door, new research from Mintel Menu Insights finds that the “locavore” movement is taking root in national restaurant chains. According to Mintel Foodservice, the “local” claim on U.S. restaurant menus has grown 13 percent in the past year alone, and it’s no wonder. Restaurant operators are responding to the evolving palate of diners fed a steady diet of positive information about the benefits of eating foods grown organically 10 STORES / JUNE 2011 Restaurants Go Local W and closer to home. Mintel finds that more than half (58 percent) of restaurantgoers are interested in seeing more locally grown products on menus. Kathy Hayden, foodservice analyst at Mintel, sees the push toward indigenous ingredients — a trend identified in the 2011 foodservice trends — steadily gaining in importance. “This extends the idea beyond geography to include other important attributes such as ‘seasonal,’ ‘traditional’ and ‘authentic,’ especially as it relates to global cuisines,” Hayden says. “Serving the best of the season communicates freshness and a ‘get-it-now’ urgency. Perhaps most importantly, indigenous ingredients help the migration away from overly processed food toward more recognizable and simpler ingredients sourced closer to home.” The trend also recognizes that many consumers have come to know the best sources for some regional dishes and ingredients, such as Maine lobster and New Orleans po’boys. Meanwhile, Southern-style collard greens and black-eyed peas are showing up everywhere from Brooklyn to Chicago. Hayden feels this regional pride is where national chains have made the most of indigenous ingredients and local foodways. Burgerville, a Vancouver, Wash.based quick-service restaurant, prides itself on serving Oregon and Washington berries, meats, cheeses and vegetables. On the opposite coast, fried chicken chain Popeyes has aligned its brand more closely with its New Orleans roots, with a menu that emphasizes Louisiana spices, sweet cane tea and Cajun- and Creole-inspired dishes. When “locavore” was chosen word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary in 2007, there were those who thought the movement was little more than a flash in the pan. Today the pan is sizzling and one-time critics are eating crow. WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - June 2011

Stores - June 2011
Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail People
CEO Compensation
Customer Service
Business Strategy
What We’ve Learned
Loss Prevention Supplier Directory
Customer Rewards
Business Management
Social Media
Planning Solutions
Loyalty Programs
Business Intelligence
Store Operations
Divisional Update
NRF News
Point of View
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - June 2011