The Fresh Market is doing research on consumer preferences, talking to both customers who shop at Fresh Market and those who don’t.

“And one of the things that kind of has come out of the research is that people are more and more shopping more than one location. So, more frequently, they are more prone to shop more than one location,” Jeffrey C. Ackerman, CFO and EVP at the Fresh Market, said at the Oppenheimer Consumer Conference in Boston.

Ackerman noted that 50% of shoppers make more than one stop when on a shopping trip and go to at least five food channels per month.

“And one of the things that that does for us is, we don't need to be all things to all people because that would be just trying to swim against the tide on a consumer trend that that's how they want to do their shopping,” he said.

The company's research has shown that shoppers look to the Fresh Market for unique, high-end offerings, the store atmosphere and the retailer's focus on customer service, he said. 

The Fresh Market is also making progress on its real estate research on smaller markets. The retailer will share information on Fresh Market’s opportunities in the Southeast in the next few months.

“It appears there's more opportunities in the Southeast than originally thought. We're seeing less cannibalization than what we had anticipated, what the company had assumed, say, three or four years ago,” Ackerman said.

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