Kale chips, anyone?
The discount grocer is also gearing up to open its Madera store this week, but more on that in a second.
First, all the Grocery Outlets discovered that customers really liked the NOSH items. Sales of them grew 14% last year.
The downtown Grocery Outlet, for example, has a NOSH section of foods in the back of the store that includes Annie’s organic mac and cheese, sugar-free energy drinks, flax seed and several gluten-free items.
That and similar sections in each Fresno-area store will be expanded to include more of the items you would find at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or Sprouts. Grocery Outlet stores will also create separate organic produce sections. The company has hired a natural/organic director to lead the effort.
Typically, Grocery Outlet “buys opportunistically,” meaning it gets excess food from manufacturers or food with packaging changes or mistakes that it can resell at a discounted price. In a slight tweak of the business model, Grocery Outlet will buy some staples the typical way so that the store can have items such as organic milk, quinoa, kale chips and coconut oil always in stock.
The newest Grocery Outlet will open at 1930 W. Cleveland Ave. in Madera on Thursday after an 11 a.m. ribbon-cutting. A grand opening runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The first 100 customers will get $5 gift certificates, along with free coffee, reusable bags and other giveaways.