Progressive Grocer Independent

DEC 2016

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December 2016 | Defining the Independent Market | 25 Butter Varieties e Harvest Market-branded butter is packaged in old-fashioned waxed paper with the words "House Churned Butter" featured prominently. It's sold in 1-pound packages in the dairy de- partment and in 12-ounce containers in the cheese department. Currently, the butter is only available in a salted variety with a 36-day shelf life. An unsalted version is used in the bakery, but Walker has yet to make it available for retail sale, due to its limited shelf life of just seven days. However, it can be produced on customer request. e butter also is used extensively by other departments throughout the store, including the aforesaid bakery, the deli, the restaurant and even the seafood department. However, the butter-churning operation has limita- tions on how much it can produce, due to the sheer amount of labor needed to make the butter, as well as how much cream the local dairy can supply. "Our bakery could use 500 pounds of butter a day, but we can't produce 500 pounds a day," Walker notes. "We have to judiciously spread it around the whole store so we can supply our heavy hitters." e butter is used to make the bakery's buttercream icing, as well as in the signature buttermilk biscuits avail- able in the bakery and the restaurant. e dairy department at Harvest Market is the wave of the future. "It feels good, it looks good, it shows the importance of the center plate," Kettler says. "It seems to make sense. Having [the dairy department] right there in the middle, it just feels right." Dairy Rejuvenation Niemann Foods' Harvest Market isn't the only supermarket making changes in the dairy department. e Midwest Dairy As- sociation (MDA) has partnered with IGA as part of its dairy reinvention program. "Dairy departments look like they did 50 years ago. No one's re- ally done anything with them," says Jamie Liebich, business development manager for the St. Paul, Minn.-based MDA. e reinvention program got its start eight years ago, but retailers were reluctant to change a department that they thought was working and ascribed to the "if it ain't broke, why fix it" mentality. However, research conducted by Rose- mont, Ill.-based Dairy Management Inc. supports the need to update the department. "Yes, your dairy de- partment is perform- ing well today; I get it. But if you do this, this is the incremental sales "Think about how much time and energy you've invested into some of these other perimeter departments. Dairy is also a perimeter department and really should be treated the same way." —Jamie Liebich, Midwest Dairy Association

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