Specialty food markets, like Whole Foods and smaller grocery stores are offering customers not only premium, fine products, but also a more enjoyable shopping experience.
Foodable has partnered with the Specialty Food Association to cover this year's Summer Fancy Food Show where guest host and Supermarket Guru, Phil Lempert sat down with leaders from some of the grocery chains elevating the food retail space.
So when these individuals go to a show like this with thousands of different products to explore, what are they looking for?
"The best thing we can do for our customer is find that thing that they don't know they want yet," said Trip Straub, president and CEO of Straub's Markets. "Sure, we want to get the latest trend type items, the best selling type items and bring those to even St. Louis where they will sell. But those items that we can source, that we have tasted, that are phenomenal and we know the story behind the producer...we need to bring that to St. Louis because they may not have heard about that if they don't leave town. Those are the winners we are looking for on the show floor."
Although the Fancy Food Show is a great place to discover new products from all over the world, Whole Foods has a program where the chain partners with local foragers.
"We have a great local program where we have established that credibility in the community and in the regional levels, so right now we have 11 autonomous regions and we have representatives who are out on the field seeking not just produce, but other types of opportunities to integrate into our portfolio of products," said Cathy Strange, the global executive coordinator at Whole Foods Market. "We have had great success with brands that now have turned into big commercial brands and were proud to be a part of that success."
Guests also discuss how important it is to keep the trust of today's highly-educated consumer.
"In the last 10 years, what I have experienced at Kings, is about building that brand trust and that trust with the consumer that when they come into your store they know it's going to be fresh, it's on point, it tastes delicious, it's healthy for them, and it meets their needs, "said Scott Zoeller, vice president of deli, meat and seafood at Kings Super Markets.
Learn more about how food markets have evolved and what the future holds in the video above!