According to a 2017 study by market researcher ingredients-helping-redefine-food-industry, 68% of US Millennials will pay more for organic food, and 66% will pay extra for sustainable food. According to a study conducted by Matchbox in 2017, 68% of US-based millennials are willing to pay more for organic foods and 66% for sustainable foods. This shows that this consumer group is helping to mainstream organic and locally sourced products.
Goods Mart opened in Silver Lake in Los Angeles last month. It carries over 300 eco-friendly products, such as organic slushies served in paper cups and sustainable cleaning supplies. The goal? The site claims that it wants to shake up the “archaic 7-Eleven store model” with a new, socially-conscious convenience store.
Rachel Krupa, a food and wellness expert, curates the health-first environment. As I learned about ingredients and developed my eating habits, I discovered that most minimarts had a limited selection. I had to pick between mediocre mixed nuts and preservative-filled jerky. “Why am I compromising?” I asked myself. —The answer was The Goods Mart,” Krupa told JWT Intelligence.
By partnering with local companies, the store offers all-natural products for affordable prices. A box of water and an eight-ounce La Colombe go for $1.25 each, while organic fruit and vegetables that are “cosmetically challenging” only cost 50 cents. The store has also installed iPads on the walls to inform customers about the origins of the products and the history of the brands they stock.
“We are a people who live a life of constant motion.” Krupa says that “stop and go” is the way of life. We also live in an era of increased awareness —of our bodies and the Earth. Convenience shops of the past didn’t take into account these two important aspects of modern life. “Sustainable convenience stores are an evolution from our love of stopping in to chat and grab items quickly — only this time, they’re stocked up with better-for you products that are also better for the environment.”
The Goods Mart, in addition to its wholesome products for sale, also supports the community through social initiatives. Customers can leave a tip at the checkout, which is donated to local charities. The store also presents food to people experiencing homelessness that’s nearing the expiration date. Even local chefs are featured at open neighborhood dinners.
Other convenience stores strike a balance between healthy snacks and processed snacks. Choice Market opened in Denver, Colorado, last October. It offered organic Cobb salads as well as packets of seaweed along with Doritos and M&Ms.
Mike Fogarty is the founder of Choice Market. He says, “We created a product range that reflects that many people still enjoy Snickers, and they want Diet Coke. We chose 70% natural products and 30% indulgent, nostalgic treats.” “Our target consumers don’t just shop at natural or organic stores. They also frequent conventional grocery stores. “We don’t limit ourselves to what we carry, and we also consider the price because, for some people, buying 100% organic products is not possible due to their income and salary. But we still have better alternatives than the corner store.”
The fast-casual brand is also associated with the change in convenience stores. Sweetgreen, an American salad chain, worked with the LA Food Policy Council in South Los Angeles to transform Hank’s Mini Market into a healthier corner store. Sweetgreen’s design and supply chain experts worked with Hank’s Mini Market to help them succeed in their community. They also provided advice on merchandise and partnerships.
Matthew Kenney, a chef in Los Angeles, was inspired by the growing market for vegan products to open a plant-based convenience store named New Deli. This project is a one-stop shop for all plant-based products and treats. Kenney told JWT Intelligence that the open area at the back of the store is a great place to relax while enjoying a superfood cheesecake and a latte, as well as take your groceries home to enjoy later.
The younger generations are particularly demanding that they have access to healthy food and sustainable brand ethics. The fresh, local, organic, plant-based food movement is by no means a fad. Fogarty says that it’s a big trend and a huge shift in the way people eat. This has affected various food and retail industries, including supermarkets, alcohol brands, and freeze-dried foods. The new convenience store will become a 24/7 wellness destination as consumers place natural and nutritious food first.