- Specialty grocer The Fresh Market (TFM) has launched its first monthly magazine, the company announced in a press release on Tuesday.
- TFM The Magazine, which will be mailed to shoppers’ homes and available in-store, will showcase products, offer meal inspiration and feature company team members as well as "influential tastemakers."
- The Fresh Market's in-house magazine introduction comes as many other grocers move away from print circulars and similar physical advertising strategies to hone in on digital efforts — though the publication will also be made available online.
TFM The Magazine's debut February issue will feature seasonal inspiration like a cheese and chocolate board to pair with wine, along with a spread featuring influencer chef Michiel Perry, who details her family recipe of shrimp sauté with okra and tomatoes. New products like The Fresh Market's yellow tomato sauce will be incorporated into recipes, offering cross-promotional opportunities.
A physical magazine is an unconventional marketing route in such a digital age, especially when more customers have been eschewing in-store shopping during the pandemic. Many shoppers still value print publications, however, which offer a unique opportunity for specialty grocers to promote their products and brand image in a lifestyle context.
The Fresh Market, which had to pull back from a large-scale expansion a few years ago, has retrenched as an upscale specialty grocer offering unique products and a strong shopper experience.
With the rise of online grocery and pandemic-induced “cooking fatigue," grocers have been rolling out new marketing campaigns spotlighting recipe ideas and offering new tools for meal prep and scheduling. Kroger recently launched an AI-powered digital tool that brainstorms recipes from uploaded photos of a pantry or fridge. The online service eMeals, which helps customers draw up shopping lists based on recommended meals and dietary preference, has partnered with Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, and most recently Albertsons and Safeway.
Natural Grocers offers a store circular that includes health and nutrition content. In a 2020 earnings call, Sprouts Farmers Market CEO Jack Sinclair referred to the relative ineffectiveness of print advertisements for reaching the grocer’s target market. Sprouts moved away its paper-based promotions and reallocated spending toward its digital ads, and between June 2019 and June 2020 recorded a 1,800% increase in digital impressions.