Fresh inspiration

01/02/2013 11:02:00 AM
Pamela Riemenschneider

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — Everywhere you look in the newly remodeled Kings stores, there are subtle suggestions that take the shopping experience to the next level.

And it all starts with produce. Baskets of fresh pears complement a gourmet cheese display. Fresh basil sits atop a mobile meat display. A spillover shelf of lemons greets you at the seafood case.

click image to zoompaul kneeland kings food marketsPamela RiemenschneiderKings Food Markets continues its company-wide rebranding and remodeling of stores, says Paul Kneeland, vice president of produce, floral and seafood.

300">Parsippany, N.J.-based Kings Food Markets launched a company-wide rebranding and remodeling of its stores last year, starting with Bedminster. As it closes in on its first anniversary in February, Paul Kneeland, vice president of produce, floral and seafood, reflects on the changes and what’s to come.

The whole process revolves around the tagline “Where Inspiration Strikes,” and Kneeland says it’s reflected everywhere in the store, especially in produce.

“We wanted to tie in all food components to people’s thoughts and the way people go about their shopping, and that includes fresh produce,” he says. “Everybody had to get into the game.”

That meant taking signature categories and enhancing them with new products.

“And that included merchandising as well,” Kneeland says. “We put in all brand-new equipment, things we’ve never used before, making the departments more of a market.”

The Bedminster store serves as an inspiration and launch point for ideas taken throughout the company.

Bedminster’s produce department moved to the front of the store. The company took over three adjacent businesses for the expansion, which allows the department to use natural light from the windows during the day for a fresh market feel. Grocery lighting also was replaced with spotlights throughout produce.

The department leads off with the best of what’s available in seasonal organic produce, paired with complementary items from other departments.

In early December, that meant apples paired with New York cheddar cheese. Further in the department, a display of red, ripe tomatoes was complemented with premium buffalo mozzarella, balsamic vinegar reduction and fresh herbs.

“We only bring in the best ingredients when we cross-merchandise,” Kneeland says.

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