- Wakefern Food member RoNetco Supermarkets has rolled out store-within-a store sections centered around meal solutions in five New Jersey locations it operates under the ShopRite banner, the supermarket cooperative announced last week.
- The concept, known as “Fresh to Table,” features foods that are ready to cook, heat or eat and highlights items that carry ShopRite private labels, including Bowl & Basket and Wholesome Pantry.
- Wakefern continues to roll out the prepared foods concept it launched in 2020 to more stores as many consumers continue to prioritize at-home eating.
Wakefern’s Fresh to Table sections are designed to make it easy for price-conscious consumers to stock up on products that bring pizzazz to preparing and eating food at home.
The concept, which Wakefern introduced in late 2020, is intended to provide shoppers with a single area in the store where they can find foods that take minimal time and fuss to prepare. Fresh to Table also encompasses items and ingredients selected by store chefs and dietary specialists that come from other parts of the store, such as the meat, produce, bakery and seafood departments.
“The combination of wholesome seasonal foods, an outstanding variety of products and convenience is designed to help our customers find the meal solutions they are looking for at the best possible price,” Dominick J. Romano, vice president and chief operating officer of RoNetco, said in a statement.
The supermarkets where RoNetco has debuted Fresh to Table are located in the communities of Newton, Spartan, Byram Township, Mansfield Township and Succasunna, New Jersey.
A ShopRite store in Warwick, New York, gained a Fresh to Table section last month. Locations in Poughkeepsie and Monroe, New York; Bloomfield, Greenwich and Burlington, New Jersey; and Pike County, Pennsylvania also feature the concept, according to Wakefern.
Supermarket operators have been stepping up their focus on prepared foods as they look to stay relevant with shoppers torn between eating at home to save money and going out to eat after months of being restricted by the pandemic. Retailers have also been drawing attention to premium products that appeal to shoppers intent on buying high-quality foods even as they deal with inflation.
Last week, Midwestern superstore chain Meijer launched two lines of single-serve, heat-and-eat meals, positioning the products as “restaurant-style” choices that can hold their own with shoppers craving a take-out experience. Instacart, Walmart and Schnucks, meanwhile, have expanded access to prepared foods online.