We’ve told you about a number of specialty stores that have opened up in the past few years, all of them devoted to a particular area of health and wellness. Remember those low-carb stores around L.A. that offered nothing but bars?
These days there are stores dedicated to local foods, allergen-free foods and gluten-free foods. The restricted-diet shops, in particular, fill a niche in the overall retail food spectrum, but they do play a critical role satisfying consumers who are newly diagnosed with a condition, and are seeking guidance and support as they go about changing their shopping habits.
Somehow, these small operators seem to be more approachable — at least initially. Maybe it’s the intimacy or the way these stores are staffed. Consumers with diet-related maladies often come to these outlets first before realizing they can find most of the same products (usually for much less) at their conventional supermarket.
Still, no retailer rolls out a welcome like this: The Simply Gluten Free Specialty Grocery Store — opening this week in Thousand Oaks, Calif. — offers three sizes of “Just Diagnosed” gift baskets, ranging in size from small to large, and in price from $50 to $150. Each is filled with brand name gluten-free products that surely remind the receiver that their days of eating cookies, cakes and snacks is not over.
It’s a neat way of making someone on a special diet feel… well, special.