Kroger Deep Sixes Salad Bars
Salad bars are labor intensive. Packaged grab-and-go meals are not.
a spokesperson for Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic region, told The Roanoke
Times, “You’re constantly working it. It’s not like grocery, where
you put it on the shelves.”
Salad bars are popular with some customers. Grab-and-go
is even more popular.
Mr. York added, “Our business is dictated by our customers’ wants and desires.”
Simply put, salad bars no longer make business sense for Kroger in many locations
and the chain has moved many of them out of stores and replaced them with packaged
meals or expanded produce sections.
According to Frank Dell, president of Dellmart & Co. and a member of the RetailWire BrainTrust,
salad bars are a relic of the twentieth century. Mr. Dell told the Times,
salad bars were part of “first generation home meal replacement.”
He also pointed out that steps such as the elimination of salad bars and the
rising popularity of salad bags is part of the evolution of supermarket produce
Consumers, Mr. Dell said, “don’t want to chop up a head of lettuce. They
want to grab a bag.”
By replacing salad bars with heat-and-eat items, Kroger is tapping into the
trend that has seen prepared food sales grow between six and eight percent
in grocery over the past year, based on research by Technomic.
Questions: Are salad bars on the way out at grocery stores? What are your observations
on the evolution of the produce department in food stores?