ANAHEIM — The organizers for the Retail Tour at the 2012 Fresh Summit presented a wide range of retailers.
We saw ethnic, from shelves piled high with Hispanic favorites like peppers and cactus leaves at Northgate Gonzalez Market, to jack fruit, packaged greens and live crabs snapping next to the produce department at 99 Ranch Market.
We also saw upscale at the Newport Beach Pavilions, a Vons/Safeway banner. At this smaller format store, the produce department carried the most SKUs we saw all day, along with many grab and go meal solutions and an expanded premium juice section.
Dick Spezzano, tour leader on the bus I rode, said he’s seen stores like this Pavilions dedicate much more space to the premium juice category over the past several years. Retailers continue to see double digit growth in this sector, he said.
We also got to poke around in a Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, the Tesco banner that’s celebrating its 5th anniversary next month. While there were way fewer SKUs at Fresh & Easy, the offerings were diverse. I saw fresh shrimp ceviche, salads and meal solutions, and a large selection of pumpkins for Halloween and fall decorating.
The crowd on the retail tour also was diverse, with many international attendees.
If you didn’t get a chance to go, stay tuned to the PR blog as I plan to share photos from the visit as soon as I get them uploaded.