- Chicago-based Mariano’s has launched an online platform with cooking classes, tastings and live music, according to a company announcement.
- The platform, called Mariano’s Meet Ups, features interactive classes and demonstrations with chefs and sommeliers and four Mariano’s culinary personalities, known as "Tastemakers." During the online classes, customers can learn tips and tricks on preparing meals and cocktails like an Icelandic Espresso Martini at home. The grocer will also post a grocery list before each class so customers can order the products and follow along with the class instructions.
- The grocer will also host live musical performances from local artists every Friday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and entertainer Miss Jamie from the Farm will host live performances for kids every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
With Chicago’s stay-at-home order coming up on three weeks and many people social distancing prior to the legislation, cabin fever has settled in with the city's residents. To keep its loyal shoppers entertained at home, Mariano’s is taking its unique store experience online.
The grocer previously offered free tickets to its in-store events, but with a virtual presence Mariano's can reach an even wider audience and promote its online shopping services. If new customers purchase groceries through Mariano’s enough times during the pandemic, they could become long-term shoppers.
Since the retailer can’t promote with the typical in-store signage, it is relying heavily on social media to spread the word. It created an EventBrite registration for each event as well as digital flyers for its Live at Mariano’s featured artist. It also posted an announcement in the Daily Herald, which reaches readers in suburban Chicago.
Although no other grocers are offering online experiences to the extent as Mariano’s, Publix has dozens of YouTube videos customers can cook along with. Hy-Vee, which offers its own online video platform, HSTV, last month kicked off a free series of fitness videos for kids.