ALBANY, N.Y. -- Hannaford Bros. is giving organic produce a chance to sell outside the produce department, in a natural foods store-within-a-store at its latest remodeled Shop 'n Save here.
The chain, based in Scarborough, Maine, plucked organics from the department and placed it in a 12-foot refrigerated case dedicated strictly to fresh produce. The case can be found in Nature's Place, the four-aisle-wide natural products section added earlier this year, when Hannaford expanded the store's total square footage from about 70,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet.
Should the section prove successful, the company will install Nature's Place sections, presumably with organic produce included, at stores in some of its other major market areas, said Susan Pierter, a spokeswoman for Hannaford. (See related story, Page 37.)
"In recognition that natural foods is a growth category, Hannaford wanted to create a destination spot for the dedicated natural foods person," Pierter said.
The Nature's Place section is located in the middle of the store, directly behind the checkout lines, and is visible from the entrance. Wooden beams forming a square above the section hold green and brown Nature's Place signs.
The chain placed signs in the produce department informing shoppers that the organic products have been moved to the Nature's Place section.
Located in the first aisle of the 5,000-square-foot store-within-a-store, the organic produce cooler stocks more than 25 items, including a couple of products that carry the Hannaford label.
A sign above the cooler explains that the organic produce products are "pesticide-free and the ground they are grown in has been 'clean' for three years."
On a recent visit to the store here, onions, apples and tomatoes were all offered by the pound, and were priced at 99 cents, $1.49 and $3.49, respectively.
Both the green cabbage heads, which sold for about $1.55 each, and deep root squash displayed small stickers with the Hannaford logo. All unpackaged items carried an orange and blue "organically grown" sticker.
Pavich Family Farms, based in Terra Bella, Calif., supplies Shop 'n Save with cauliflower heads for $2.49 a pound, and a 15-ounce metal canister of Thompson seedless jumbo raisins, priced at $2.89.
Also in the section were bagged carrots and potatoes from Cal-Organic Farms, Larmont, Calif., priced at $1.99 and $3.49, respectively, as well as a variety of items carrying stickers from Albert's Organics, Los Angeles, and Stilwell Foods, Stilwell, Okla.
The refrigerated organic produce section is set across from items such as bagged nuts, organically grown rices and bags of prunes, dates and Turkish apricots.
In addition, a variety of all-natural salad dressings and other produce enhancers is merchandised in close proximity to the refrigerated case.