Progressive Grocer Independent

DEC 2016

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Cover Story Oliver's Market 14 | Progressive Grocer Independent | December 2016 Humboldt Beef Grassfed, which comes from Humboldt County, north of Sonoma; Oliver's Prime; and Oliver's Choice 100% Angus Beef, which, at the lowest price point, is the option that the stores offer to compete on price. "Even though it's better than our competi- tors, because we're sourcing from one brand and one particular breed, we're still using that as our item that we drive people in with value," says Davis, "the value being not only the product, but also the price." "We're trying to give the customer all the options," Maass adds. e chicken program also features three tiers, all sourced from local farmers. e Sonoma Red, a heritage breed, is sourced from Fallon Ranch, and Oliver's receives only 200 chick- ens a week. e free-range bird offers "a very unique flavor versus more processed chicken," Davis notes. It's the highest-priced selection due to its non-GMO, organic and vegetarian diet. It's also one of the few GAP 5 chickens on the mar- ket, meaning that it meets all five categories of being humanely raised, he adds. e next tier down is Rosie, an all organic, non-GMO and vegetarian- fed chicken program sourced from about nine local ranches. e entry- level tier, which has the most volume, is Rocky, a free-range option that's still non-GMO but isn't organic. About 70 percent of the Rosie and Rocky birds are sourced within So- noma County. Seafood Selections For seafood offerings, Oliver's works with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, which rates different types of fish with red, yel- low and green sustainability codes, equating to "avoid," "good alterna- tives" and "best choices." "It gives customers the ability to evaluate health," Scott notes. "To some, it's important; to some, it's not. We don't make choices for them." "We have a few red 'not-recom- mendeds,'" adds Sara Cummings, director of marketing and com- munications, "but we let consumers choose how often they eat those." Education Matters To help customers make those choic- es, Oliver's is committed to educat- ing shoppers, often through signage. Whether it's letting them know what each of the the stoplight colors of the seafood sustainability program means, or it's the store's own labeling program (purple tags for gluten-free, green tags for local, etc.), the informa- tion is out there to help customers. "If we want them to make an informed choice, which we do, then we have to have our information out there," Scott asserts. MEAT & SEAFOOD Different categories of meat and seafood are offered, meeting customers' environ- mental and price-point requirements. CHEESE While the cheese department offers cheese from around the world, the focus remains on local varieties.

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