Whole Foods Market Taps New Produce-Forward Eateries
AUSTIN, TX - Whole Foods Market is introducing new restaurant concepts to its brick-and-mortar locations as a means of broadening the retail experience for consumers. Last week, the specialty grocer welcomed two new in-store eateries to two of its stores in California and Florida: Nekter Juice Bar and Bird in the Hand. This puts Whole Foods on the map with competitors Kroger and Hy-Vee, both of which also operate fast-casual eateries in stores across the United States.
Nekter Juice Bar will open in a Porter Ranch, California, location at the end of May, bringing freshly made, clean, nutrient-rich acai bowls, superfood smoothies, fresh and cold-pressed juices, and coffee roasts heralding from Coffee Manufactory to more consumers, according to a press release.
“The opportunity to offer our customers a larger and more exciting food experience is really gratifying,” Whole Foods’ Porter Ranch Store Team Leader, Kevin Helfend, said. “This store offers the community a unique place to get together, shop for high quality groceries, and enjoy delicious food—all of the things that Whole Foods Market represents."
Steve Schulze, Co-Founder and CEO of Nekter Juice Bar, added, in a press release, “Aligning with Whole Foods Market, a brand that is synonymous with high quality and uncompromising standards, underscores our commitment to providing the best-in-class and authentic juice bar experience.”
In addition, Bird in the Hand already made its debut at a West Palm Beach, Florida, location this month. Bird in the Hand is part of Whole Foods’ “Friends of Whole Foods” program—a program working to offer innovative, in-store experiences with community chefs, culinary brands, and lifestyle brands in more locations.
“We’re very excited to welcome Bird in the Hand to Whole Foods Market in West Palm Beach,” said Rashne Desai, Whole Foods’ Regional Vice President, Florida, in a press release. “They have curated a delicious menu with cutting-edge rotisserie flare that forms the perfect bite to appeal to all palates.”
Bird in the Hand offers a menu with an American cuisine theme that features both plant-based and meat-forward protein options, like fire-roasted cauliflower, maple-roasted Brussels sprouts, lemon rosemary bird, twenty spice bird, black truffle prime rib, pretzel mac ‘n cheese, and more.
“While the ideas and flavors are timeless, the interpretation is modern and fresh. It’s delicious, accessible, and designed to be great both in-stores and delivered,” said Manuel Bornia, CEO of Collab Hospitality, the company that developed Bird in the Hand special for Whole Foods’ shoppers.
Which retailer will be next to integrate restaurant eateries into the brick-and-mortar store concept? AndNowUKnow will continue to report.