Kroger is one of the oldest legacy operators of traditional supermarkets is evolving and evolving fast.
They have been on a grocerant niche buying/growth streak for several years gobbling up the likes of Harris Teeter, Mariano's Fresh Market, and building a test grocerant concept store Main & Vine.
Recently according to a Bloomberg report Kroger may be interested in buying of some of the 500 stores that will likely be put up for sale prior to the merging of Walgreens/Rite Aid. That makes a lot of sense according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® as those Walgreens/Rite Aid locations are typically in prime urban spots and grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food would complement the existing pharmacy business.
Walgreens continues to expand the depth and direction of its own Grocerant niche offering. The grocerant niche is a result of the blurring of the line between restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, and drug stores all selling fresh prepared, portable convenient meal solutions.
Walgreens via Duane Reade has successfully targeted the time-starved consumer with Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food components that are “better for you”, portable and portioned for one or two. Walgreens gets it and is positioning for a much larger share of the food retailing dollar. At 4PM you may soon be picking up dinner on your way home from work at Walgreens this just might be a defensive play for Kroger.
Walgreens has rolled out fresh food from coast to coast in the San Francisco bay area you can now find fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, sushi , sandwiches and Heat-N-Eat meat loaf. In addition Walgreens spokesman Robert Elifinger stated “ Our San Francisco area customers are already buying a lot of food in our stores, and there are requests for more product offerings,"
In addition to the items listed above - and Walgreens' more traditional offerings, including candy, potato chips and soda - there'll be meats, wraps, soups "and other on-the-go meal options, as well as convenient alternatives for tonight's meal," according to Elifinger.
Walgreens is has expanded grocerant niche fresh food in New York, Chicago, LA, and the San Francisco bay area. For all of my regular readers you have heard it hear all of this before but this trend is sweeping the country from coast to coast. These expanded points of distribution may well challenge many a legacy fresh food retailer including chain restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores for market share.
Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Steven Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® Bing or Google Grocerants or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, twitter.com/grocerant or Facebook Steven