Today I got a little taste of New Orleans during the Fresh Summit retail produce tour. We visited four very different retailers, but each location distinctly represented the area’s distinct culture and the surrounding neighborhood’s preferences.
Breaux Mart’s store director said the chain bases its locations offerings around what the consumers in that area prefer. At the Magazine Street location we visited, Breaux offered more organic, local and specialty gourmet items, he said. The store even lets shoppers make their own orange juice or buy the freshly made juice off the shelf.
Rouses distinguished itself with its extensive local offerings — although I will say that many New Orleans chains seem to pride themselves with providing opportunities to buy local products. Rouses has 60 to 80 local produce SKUs each season, according to Produce Marketing Association materials. The local program also extends to other departments.
Read More: A Photo Gallery From the Show Floor
Hong Kong Food Markets product offering also caters to its customers preferences. The Asian specialty store makes sure to keep its produce department stocked with its most popular sellers — young coconut, Chinese vegetables, mango, bean sprouts and bitter melon. Here’s a photo gallery from Hong Kong Food Markets.
At Robert Fresh Market — a chain that is still recovering from damage from Hurricane Katrina — Nuval scoring is promoted with large overhead banners and shelf tags. Customers are regularly reminded that a fruit or vegetable has a lot more going for it nutritionally than some less healthy options.
No matter the retailer, each store I visited uniquely represented New Orleans.