The supermarket of today is “not your mother’s supermarket”, as the adage goes. As markets go, the changes have been phenomenal over the past several decades. The supermarket is no longer simply the domain of the mum with her children in tow, making their way down the aisles choosing the items for the week’s meals.
Now, supermarkets cater to everyone, including the busy working mum, the young professional, the single man or woman, and – in general – those who just don’t have time to plan meals, let alone prepare them.
Head to your local supermarket and look around. Today, you’ll see a lot more than just a dozen aisles lined with cans, jars, and boxes. Nearly every profitable supermarket includes the following:
Hot food bars – Many shoppers head to the supermarket daily to select their lunch or dinner, then they bring it home or to work and eat it. This is less costly then eating at a restaurant every day, and it gives the consumer the feeling that they’re still eating something “homemade”.
- Salad bars – With the trends towards healthier eating continuing to grow, supermarkets simply must have a salad bar. Like the hot food bar, salad bars provide an opportunity for the shopper to come in and quickly assemble a good meal for lunch and/or dinner. Some salad bars also include soup options for a more complete and satisfying meal.
- Eating areas – Some supermarket chains have actually installed restaurants inside their stores. Others simply offer extensive seating areas where you can nab foods from the aforementioned “bars” or from concessions/kiosks and eat in the store. This way, your food is piping hot and fresh when you consume it and there’s no mess to clean up.
- Coffee kiosks – Thanks to the designer coffee trend that has swept the world in the last few decades, supermarkets have decided to compete with popular chain cafes by putting in their own coffee kiosks offering creative and seasonal drinks. These can often be found on the bakery aisle or in a location that’s easy to reach from the entrance for quick in and out.
- Top-notch bakeries – More and more supermarkets make their own scrumptious baked items, from bread and muffins to fancy cakes and yummy donuts. As such, they require space for a fully-equipped commercial kitchen and some large ovens. Of course, there’s nothing like the aroma of baking bread wafting through the store, prompting more sales!
- Locally-grown produce – In general, the produce sections of supermarkets are growing as everyone from the younger generation to baby boomers continue their commitment to eating healthier. Many stores also make room for produce that’s grown on local farms as the farm-to-table trend is huge with many consumers.
Supermarket owners who navigate towards these trends are finding that their stores are becoming the place-to-go for shoppers who want it all. Ask your shop fitter how you can take advantage of these trends and how you can fit out your store to offer what customers seek.