Longo Brothers Fruit Market is testing a new meal-based shopping program inside its Maple Leaf Square location at 15 York St. in Toronto in response to shoppers' changing needs.
The retailer said it developed the new meal concept "to make life a little easier ... and cater to the changing needs and behaviors of today’s shoppers ... with a unique and personalized style of grocery shopping" via a foodservice kiosk area where customers can hand-select their produce, meats, starches and garnishes to create a specific meal or recipe.
Customers can select from single-person meals and up to meals for a party of 10; each comes with recipes and step-by-step cooking guides available in-store and online. The program launches June 24, and Longo's plans to expand the model to all of its 33 stores by spring 2020.
"As the grocery store model continues to evolve, we must focus on developing programs that are both customer-centric and designed for the future of retail," company spokesperson Rosanne Longo said in a release. "As we carefully examine consumer trends, we know that customers are certainly seeking convenience, but we firmly believe that they also want a human-centered experience where they can browse, see, feel and compare ingredients before purchasing."
Longo's says the program has great potential to not only attract and engage new customers but to also help its existing customers discover better ways of shopping that provide both ease and convenience.
"Everything we do at Longo's is about enhancing the overall experience that customers have with our brand both in-store and online," Longo said. "Above all else, we strive to be a place that offers something for everyone: for those who love grocery shopping and browsing the aisles to the individual who wants to gather their ingredients quickly and conveniently."
Earlier this year, Longo's became one of a handful of smaller grocery retailers to pilot an app designed to help shoppers plan, save money and reduce food waste. Meanwhile, other retailers such as Walmart have leveraged technology to capture market share within Canada.