Will burger and fitness partnerships reinforce Hy-Vee’s mission?
While many larger retailers are partnering with digital start-ups, Hy-Vee has formed separate partnerships with Wahlburgers Restaurants and Orangetheory Fitness.
The Midwestern grocer described the moves as ways to diversify its business model “while reinforcing its mission of making customers’ lives easier, healthier and happier.”
Hy-Vee plans to build, own and operate 26 Wahlburgers restaurants — nearly doubling the brand’s current locations. Wahlburgers menu items will also be introduced in all of Hy-Vee’s Market Grille in-store restaurants.
The burger-themed restaurant with 17 locations, which was co-founded by actor Mark Wahlberg and his brothers Paul and Donnie, has its own reality show on A&E. Hy-Vee already had a deal with Mark Wahlberg to sell his Performance Inspired line of protein powders and nutrition bars. Along with burgers, Wahlburgers serves haddock, chicken, sloppy joes, onion rings, tater tots and vegetarian entrées.
Hy-Vee noted that in 2016, eating meals outside the home surpassed meals consumed in the home. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, grocery spending trends began to shift in 2014, driven by Millennials. But overall spending in restaurants and on take-out meals has increased significantly over the four decades, Hy-Vee noted.
At the same time, Hy-Vee will partner to offer Orangetheory workout classes inside or adjacent to Hy-Vee stores. The high-intensity cardio and strength-training routines typically last 60 minutes. In addition, Hy-Vee dietitians will work with Orangetheory members to offer dietetic services, provide samples of nutritional products and lead store tours to showcase items that align with member needs.
Hy-Vee said the partnership creates an integrated fitness component to bolster Hy-Vee’s other health and wellness initiatives, which include in-store dietitians, HealthMarkets, chefs, fresh and organic produce and pharmacies.
“These unprecedented collaborations reinforce our company’s longstanding commitment to health and wellness, culinary expertise and customer experience,” said Randy Edeker, chairman, CEO and president of Hy-Vee, in a statement. “However, they also represent a bold step to deliberately evolve our business to meet the change in our customers’ lifestyles and spending habits. These partnerships keep us on the leading edge as the retail grocery industry evolves.”
- Hy-Vee Announces Innovative Partnerships with Wahlburgers Restaurants and Orangetheory Fitness – Hy-Vee
- Hy-Vee partners with Wahlberg on string of burger shops – Des Moines Register
- Hy-Vee announces burger restaurant rollout, fitness partnership – Supermarket News
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see more potential benefits or risks from Hy-Vee’s collaborations with Wahlburgers Restaurants and Orangetheory Fitness? Should other grocers be forming similar partnerships to address changing shopping behaviors?