Supermarket Perimeter - March 2021 - 9

Are you experienced?
Several years ago, Eric Richard and several
of his colleagues at the Madison, Wis.-based
International Dairy Deli Bakery Association
read an article about the " experience economy "
and the ever-greater role it would play in
luring consumers into retail stores and keeping
them there.
That emphasis on consumer experiences
went on to inform IDDBA's What's in Store Live
displays at its annual conventions, and it's one of
the first things Richard, IDDBA's industry relations
coordinator, thinks about when the topic of the
evolution of the grocery fresh perimeter over the
decades comes up.
" The importance of experience in the fresh
perimeter is especially important, with all of
the new channels competing with grocery, " he
said. " When I was growing up, people shopped
at ShopRite, or Pathmark. They didn't shop
for groceries at the convenience store or a
club store. "
With so much more competition in the market
now, creating experiences consumers will
remember is more important than ever, Richard
said. And supermarkets, while facing intense
competition, still have built-in advantages the
other channels can't hope to match.

" You're not going to smell fresh bread being
baked, you're not going to see sandwiches or
pizza being made, or the variety of cheeses, or
sampling, " he said. " Fresh departments have
greater roles now than they had decades ago. "
Produce butchers preparing just-purchased
whole fruits and vegetables for consumers is one
of the many types of experiential upgrades likely
to be seen more frequently in the new normal,
Stein said.
In retail fresh seafood, which has exploded
during the pandemic, expect seafood mongers
to play an ever-greater role, helping consumers
with cooking and pairing advice.
The same goes for butchers in the meat
department. And technology will continue to
play a big role. Stein said some retailers now
have screens in their departments with videos
showing how to prepare and cook certain cuts.
Sales for those cuts have soared accordingly.
There's no denying the explosion of
ecommerce in the retail grocery space,
particularly in the wake of COVID. But at the end
of the day, Richard said, shopping online is not
the same as shopping in the store, particular in
the store's fresh perimeter departments.
Ecommerce's growth will obviously continue
apace even after the pandemic has finally passed,

Building the perimeter
of the future
A to-do list for retailers from
IDDBA's Eric Richard
* Cater to specific dietary needs
* Engage, engage, engage: find ways
to turn visits to the perimeter into
experiences
* Get cooking: hire chefs and have
them on the floor educating
consumers
* Diversify: find new ways to
combine brick-and-mortar with
surging ecommerce

Albertsons: Perimeter evolutions
1948

The Vons brothers
opened their most
ambitious store
at the corner of
Santa Barbara and
Crenshaw, offering
some of the first
self-service produce,
meat and deli
departments.

1964

Albertsons introduces
the Service Deli, paving
the way for its signature
Fried Chicken.

1966

1985

2017

Randalls founded.
Three entrepreneurs,
Robert Randall
Onstead, Norman
Frewin, and R.C.
Barclay develop the
concept of a discount
supermarket. Among
their innovations are
hot delis and on-thepremises bakeries.

Vons launches the
Pavilions brand in
Southern California. The
first Pavilions opened in
Garden Grove, California,
and catered to families
who were paying more
attention to the quality
of food and valued
freshness, nutrition and
variety in their shopping
experience.

Albertsons acquires
Plated, a premier meal
kit service that makes
it easy for people to
have amazing dinner
experiences at home
by delivering chefdesigned recipes along
with fresh, preportioned ingredients
to customers'
doorsteps.
Source: Albertsons

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Supermarket Perimeter - March 2021

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