The Pop-Up Supermarket – Health & Fun Rolled Into One

The Pop-Up Supermarket – Health & Fun Rolled Into One

August 3, 2022
Shari Steinbach
Retail Industry Insights

By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor

Could pop-up grocery stores be the next venue for consumers to discover new products within an exciting retail atmosphere? One retailer, Pop Up Grocer, is currently setting up temporary locations and a new permanent store in New York City. These shopping destinations feature not only shelf stable and refrigerated product discoveries, but bright colors and entertainment all in about 1,000 square feet. Traditional retailers can learn from this new competition, especially in an era where shoppers are looking for personalization and fun.  Consider these possible retail RDN activations:

  • Highlight Health – Wellness doesn’t have to be boring. Think about the ways you can showcase better-for-you products in a more fun and engaging manner. For example, a display of breakfast fixes in 5 minutes, or high fiber finds. A shelf of crunchy snacks with a healthy twist, or RD picks for more protein. You may also think about ways to highlight products that emphasize environmental health in an instore or online 3-minute workshop on how to reduce food waste.
  • Personalize Products – During key promotional timeframes – Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Back-to-School, Family Meals Month, Heart Month – secure an area of the store to focus on new products specifically beneficial or interesting to women, men, children, or individuals managing heart disease or diabetes. Work with buyers and/or your distributor of specialty products to come up with a variety of themes and the unique products that would fit.
  • Creative Displays and Demos – Designate an area of the store where you can create a new pop-up display every week or two. Highlight the area with color, lights and signage. Use the products on display in an easy demo to educate shoppers on product use. Look for ways to bundle food items with other services your stores may offer or are nearby, such as vet services, nail salons, pharmacies, or with products like cookbooks, cookware, grilling accessories or fitness equipment. Encourage social media interactions with shoppers at these displays. Pop Up Grocer, for example, has installed “selfie mirrors” that encourage consumers to take photos.
  • What’s New – Shoppers like learning about new products that promote a healthy lifestyle. Think about Blue Zones® foods, better-for-you beverages, BTS lunch options, or a specific ethnic flavor profile. Curate bundles of these foods online and offer shoppable content linking products to recipes. You could also provide the element of surprise with a “what’s new”, limited quantity, quarterly shopper box. Whole Foods Market, for example, sold a $30 “discovery box” with items signifying each of its 10 anticipated trends for 2022.

There are many ways to create excitement and buzz around better-for-you products and solutions at your stores. At your next team meeting, brainstorm what options and make a plan to test out a few new ideas. Your retailer may be rewarded with increased shopper engagement, visibility and sales.