Progressive Grocer Independent

OCT 2016

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October 2016 | Defining the Independent Market | 19 A s shopping patterns have changed, the perimeter fresh departments in the supermar- ket have become increasingly important in differentiation from the competition. Produce is such a department. e No. 1 concern for retailers in the produce department is profits, followed closely by quality of products, according to the Progressive Grocer 2016 Produce Survey. Last year, qual- ity ranked as the top concern. Weather has always wreaked havoc on crops, but the continuing drought in Califor- nia, one of the major growing regions in the country, is causing a lot of con- cern, as well as forcing some retailers to find new sources for produce. Retailers also have to keep in mind consumers' increased concern about carbon footprint and the push for local sourcing. is can put some produce directors at cross-purposes, depending on their location. A solu- tion that more retailers are turning to is hydroponics. Locally Sourced McCaffrey's Market began sourcing hydroponic pro- Water (?) to the Rescue "[Hydroponic produce] was the perfect solution where we could get together a local program 52 weeks a year." —Tony Mirack, McCaffrey's Market duce due to customer demand for local products, but it has reaped the rewards of all of the other benefits as well. "It was the perfect solution where we could get together a local program 52 weeks a year," says Tony Mirack, produce/floral director for the six-store independent retailer based in Yardley, Pa. e stores began selling hydroponically produced products about four years ago, with the items grown in a green- house near the Yardley location. Departments Produce Explore the benefits and challenges in sourcing hydroponic produce. By Katie Martin

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