Issue link: http://magazine.progressivegrocer.com/i/689994
25 SOLUTIONS JUNE 2016 Shaye advises retailers to test innovations in a key store location before rolling them out to all stores in a chain. Tis site can serve as a research and development labora- tory for the company, he says. Better product consistency One challenge faced by grocerant supermarket chains with many stores is ensuring prod- uct consistency, says Brian Dunn, former corporate culinary innova- tion chef for Wellesley, Mass.-based Roche Bros. "Many customers shop at multiple Roche Bros. locations," he says. "And sometimes a customer would ask me how come the black bean salad, for example, at one of our locations tasted diferent from the same type of salad at another store." Te variation in prepared foods depended to a large extent on the chef and kitchen staf at a particular store, Dunn says. To minimize the difer- ences, Roche Bros. began preparing a lot of its salads and other products of-site in an industrial kitchen, which evolved into Hans Kissle, a wholesale commissary based in Haverhill, Mass., where Dunn is now the culinary business development manager. Purchasing prepared food from a commissary can also help reduce a supermarket's labor costs, Dunn says. Wholesale industrial kitchens can better take advantage of automation and economies of scale when pur- chasing ingredients, he explains. Although buying prepared foods from a commissary seems to contra- dict the recommendation to make food to order, grocerant supermar- kets can incorporate a balance of both models, says Shaye. He notes that while a pizza station at Price Chopper's Market Bistro would cus- tomize the toppings for each custom- er, the dough was purchased premade from a wholesaler. Even if just the last steps of food preparation are customized and transparent, consumers feel they are purchasing a fresher, more healthful and delicious product, Shaye says. To be competitive, grocerant supermarkets must under- stand their customers and their opportunities, Rosenz- weig says. "You have to be distinct and diferentiated from your com- petition," he says. "You have to amplify your competitive advantages and do something that your customer values." G We make it easy . Call 1-800-4-Robbie or visit RobbieFlexibles.com. From snack time to mealtime... Portable packaging solutions designed for your customer's favorite foods.