LUBBOCK, Texas -- United Supermarkets here expects sales of Center Store products with certain health attributes will get a shot in the arm from the introduction of shelf labels and the launch of its Living Well Expo fairs.
The chain earlier in March held the first of 12 expos that are planned for this year at all five of its Market Street stores and its newest United Store, in Abilene.
The three-day-long expo at the Lubbock store included sampling of products from all departments, by suppliers like Arriba coffee, Blumetti's Gourmet Foods, Bolthouse Farms, Earthbound Farm and Gourmet Trading Co. Customers also could attend cooking demonstrations and seminars on health issues.
Each day's events and sampling were centered around one health issue: diabetes on the first day, heart health on the second day, and allergies on the third day.
In conjunction with the expo, the Lubbock store rolled out color-coded shelf tags for products that United's nutrition specialists had identified as low-glycemic, heart-healthy, gluten-free and organic: categories in which store focus groups indicated high interest.
All those items are integrated in their respective categories, said Eddie Owens, marketing director for the chain. The tag program is slated to roll out in all Market Street stores, which has more prepared and gourmet foods than United's two other formats: United Supermarkets and United Supermercado.