OPINIONRetail Foodservice

Restaurants and Supermarkets Join Forces in Pandemic

Consumers identify with restaurant brands and products

The Lempert Report

For decades we have seen supermarkets lining their shelves with foods from restaurant chains. White Castle, Marie Callender’s, TGI Friday’s, Wolfgang Puck, Emeril, Cracker Barrel and others have made their packaged foods available for at-home use.  

SpartanNash of Grand Rapids, Mich., has taken this concept of selling restaurant foods to a new level as it partners with local restaurants to help them survive through the pandemic, proactively reaching out to these restaurants.

Grand Rapids’ Fox 17 News went to the Family Fare in Grandville, Mich., to speak with Christina Post from Anna’s House to learn more.

"We’ve been closed for six weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Post said. “It really was heartbreaking for us to have to shut down our restaurants for that long, and when SpartanNash approached us, we were given the opportunity to finally open our doors for takeout in addition to the grocery stores.”

SpartanNash’s Meredith Gremel gave the news station a status report on how things have progressed since launching the new program.

“We have eight restaurants participating in the partnership right now, and they're distributing their products into our 25 stores,” Gremel said. “So that's select D&W Fresh Markets, Forest Hills Foods, Family Fares and Ada Fresh Markets.

“The cool thing about it is just to be able to create this opportunity for families to have an easy and unique cuisine at home. We've got everything from German-Bavarian to Cuban to the Americana gastropub to iconic comfort foods, like all kinds of cool mac and cheese, ribs and Anna's even has a meatloaf breakfast meatloaf.”

Since making foods to sell with packaging and labeling in supermarkets is very different than serving on a plate, SpartanNash has been offering a step-by-step process of how to package food and offered a lot of great guidelines.

Kudos to SpartanNash for helping their local businesses and communities. It’s a move other supermarkets should follow.


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