The Kroger Co. opened its biggest "Fresh Fare" store this week, with plans to open more of the stores to serve the eat-at-home and natural foods shoppers, according to the Associated Press.
In addition to typical supermarket fare, Kroger’s Fresh Fare store in Kenwood, Ohio, features high-end meats and seafood, gourmet cheeses and natural and organic foods, as well as chef-prepared meals to take home, the AP reported.
The 82,000-square-foot store is the first of its kind in Kroger’s home region, Cincinnati.
Kroger plans to open another store in Dayton next year with others to follow. The concept began with Kroger’s Ralphs stores in California, and has grown to 83 such stores, including one opened last month in Atlanta’s tony Buckhead neighborhood, according to the AP.
Kroger officials say they think the Fresh Fare stores will do well in a worsening economy as people cut back further on restaurants, while sales are slowing for specialty food chains.
Prepared meals increasingly being pushed by Kroger and other grocers offer people quality food with convenience as well as lower prices than restaurant dining, Marcia Mogelonsky, senior research analyst for Mintel International, told the AP.
The Fresh Fare store near Cincinnati has a sushi bar, tortilla bar and a Murray’s Cheese department with cheeses from Italy, France and elsewhere.