- Consumers are demanding more local products in the places they shop, and Neil Stern, senior partner with McMillanDoolittle, urged Private Label Manufacturers Association Show attendees to consider ways to meet this local trend in a Supermarket News article.
- Using the success of Whole Foods’ partnership with Gotham Greens to sell rooftop-grown leafy greens, herbs and tomatoes and with New York Cutlery to sharpen knives in-store at its locations in Brooklyn, N.Y., as an example, Stern noted other retailers must follow the grocer’s lead.
- A Whole Foods in Austin, Texas is leveraging its 365 private label brand to create a value impression with its new 365 by Whole Foods format, making it the face of the brand. Natural and organic is the No. 1 area where retailers want to expand private label, Stern said.
Thanks to an uptick in “going local,” urban greenhouses, rooftop gardens and hydroponic operations are becoming more commonplace and it seems retailers are finally getting the message that people prefer to buy foods from their own communities—even if it means spending a little more.
A study from the University of Iowa revealed people are shopping at farmers markets and joining food co-ops at record numbers because they enjoy knowing who grows their food.
That’s why more grocery stores are following in the footsteps started by Whole Foods, and embracing the hyperlocal trend as a point of differentiation. Retailers can solidify their position as integral members of the movement by inviting customers to learn more about their sourcing practices, even inviting the farmers and local provders into the store to talk with shoppers.
The pros for the retailer are numerous. In addition to getting better quality goods quicker and easier, they are supporting the local economy and becoming good stewards of the community.