ATLANTA -- Kroger Co., Cincinnati, and A&P, Montvale, N.J., are spotlighting natural and organic foods with store-within-a-store departments at new units here.
A signed natural-food section in a one-month-old Kroger unit, located on Bethelview Road in the suburb of Cumming, Ga., is placed in the back of the store next to produce. It consists of two freestanding 20-foot-long aisles, and two perimeter walls that form an "L" shape, SN found during a store visit. One of the perimeter walls features 28 feet of dry groceries, while the other has three refrigerated and three frozens doors.
Both freestanding aisles have themed endcaps. For instance, one endcap contains a variety of Health Valley organic cereals along with aseptic packages of 2% organic milk by Naturally Northwest. Cereal bowls are cross merchandised on clip strips.
Another endcap has an "energy" theme, offering items such as Powerbars and "Ultra Fuel," a carbohydrate energy drink by Twinlab. Plastic straws are cross merchandised on clip strips.
The frozens section has a wide variety of entrees and frozen desserts, breakfast and snack items, such as Amy's pizza, Hain French toast, Worthington vegetable patties and Cascadian Farm organic sorbet.
The dry grocery shelves, meanwhile, are filled with products like Westbrae mustard, De Boles pasta, Fantastic Foods hummus and soups in a cup, RW Knudsen organic apple juice and Rice Dream soy milk.
At a newly opened A&P, located on Old Milton Parkway in Alpharetta, the section is also located near produce. It consists of three freestanding aisles filled with dry groceries, and a perimeter wall that includes frozen and refrigerated foods, along with additional dry groceries. Two of the freestanding aisles are 8 feet while the third is 12 feet.
Selections at A&P include Spice Hunter natural spices, Near East boxed mixes, Fantastic Foods cup of soup, Hodgson all-natural spaghetti, Twinlab Ultra Fuel and Gift of Nature rice cakes. A section includes Seventh Generation paper and feminine hygiene products. Frozens items include Rice Dream nondairy dessert, Fruili sorbet, Wolfgang Puck's all-natural pizza and entrees from Amy's Kitchen, Cascadian Farms and Worthington.
Both A&P and Kroger sign the sections "Natural Foods."
Charlotte, N.C.-based Harris Teeter is also using similar signage in testing "Natural Choice" in-line and freestanding departments in 50 of its 138 stores. The concept, launched 18 months ago, is featured in four Atlanta-area stores. In the retailer's new Alpharetta store, located on Holcomb Ridge Road, for instance, the section is in-line and runs about 72 feet.
Chain executives said there is no standard size or layout for the department.
"The size of the department depends on the size and demographics of the store," Leslie Reckler, category manager, told SN. "All sections are not in-line."