Home > Consumer Driven Trends, Specific Industry Trends > Connect With Your Grocer

Connect With Your Grocer

Written by Kim Graff

Are you aware that in the grocery business they are finding that customers want a more connected relationship with their grocer? The interest is in the “local” and “sustainable” movements.  This is what consumers across all demographics are looking for.  Something more than just a supplier to consumer relationship.  And some grocery stores are living up to the task.

Most of us want our local grocery businesses to make relationships with local farmers and producers so they support our local growers.   We all want to know where our food is coming from, and how it is getting there.  Even the local government is getting involved in advertising buying local in any capacity to get this county back on track.

One government report discusses opening a Central Agriculture and Food Facility that would be a brick and mortar facility that local farmers could store their produce and provide a smaller distribution network.  This allows farmers better access to provide their goods to local grocery stores, restaurants and other types of institutions.  Another local point of interest is in artisan cheese makers in Wisconsin. Customers are looking for locally made cheese choices in the grocery stores. Wisconsin is highly rated in cheese making.

Being a dairy state, we want local dairy products in our local grocery stores.  Whole foods does this by offering Stella’s cheese bread which is normally only offered through the farmers market.  Now it’s offered it through their bakery department. This bread utilizes Wisconsin cheeses. They pride themselves on their local produce and an assortment of Wisconsin cheeses.  They are even offering beer and wine with a local flair.

Everyone wants extended services from their grocers.  Everyone is supporting the use of food trucks from their local grocer.  76% of people surveyed said they are interested in this service.  You can schedule Whole Foods to deliver your groceries by calling and they utilize a delivery service called Go for Folks errand and delivery service.  Grocers can really expand and grow into these new trends and seize the growth opportunity it presents.  It’s an interactive community they are building with the consumer.  A local grocery store owner in De Forest is willing to find products they don’t carry and get it to the store within 48 hours if a customer requests it. Another grocery store in Madison that offers a plethora of services is Whole Foods.

Grocery stores are being used in new ways, giving cooking classes, and taste testing.  If you have ever been to whole foods there is a surplus of foods you can taste test. The Red Onion has offered mother/daughter cooking classes as a specialty service.  Whole foods actually have a Cooking School & Community room where they offer cooking classes.  Youth cooking school is very popular with their hands on environment.  Want healthier choices for your lifestyle?  Stop in and they help you shop in the store to make healthier choices. Remember making gingerbread houses as a child?   Another workshop is family oriented in teaching how to build gingerbread houses, aiming to build traditions and family togetherness.

They also are looking at using grocery stores in new ways supporting local charities.   People like to see that local business stays community oriented and invest in the community they serve.  Second Harvest Food Bank is serviced by many local grocers such as Pick ‘n Save, Metcalfe’s Market, Woodman’s, Hy-Vee, and Copps.   In cases such as Hy-Vee the corporation allows stores to tailor their contributions to meet the community’s needs they reside in.

It is easy to see that many grocery stores have evolved into a whole new service industry.  They are local friendly as consumers are demanding, and community oriented.  We as consumers are purchasing with a conscience.  To sustain and grow their business grocers must show responsibility to the community they serve.

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  1. December 17, 2011 at 5:42 am

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