Founder of Pacific Foods, Chuck Eggert, is partnering up with Errol Schweizer from Whole Foods and many other natural industry experts to bring Portland a new natural grocery shopping experience. Rather than shopping by ingredient category, items will be grouped by recipe. To further encourage shoppers to take on new recipes, a large portion of the space will be dedicated to an educational kitchen. The idea is to get more people cooking healthy meals at home using local, seasonal ingredients. ““When you have the skills to cook your own meals and a little nutrition guidance, you’re really taking your health into your own hands,” said Store Manager Erin Leiker. “What’s important to all of us is fostering heath and connections in the store, around the table and at the farm” (Business Wire).
This grocery store format is breaking ground in new territory, and if ever there was a city to give it a go, it would be Portland! All jabs aside, it is on par with the rising popularity of fresh meal kit delivery services, which are expected to grow to $10 billion in revenue by 2020 (from $1 billion in 2015) and with the back to the farm movement (CSA revenue was $8.7 billion in 2015, and that doesn’t include farmer’s markets or other sales; agcensus.usda.gov). The store will likely draw a similar crowd: urbanite millennials, although the concept bridges the gap between meal planning and picking your own produce, as many people still prefer to do. Of course, Basics Market will have incredible traceability of ingredients, with many originating at Eggert’s farm, and will prioritize local and sustainable suppliers wherever possible.
Combining the farm-to-market experience with nutrition-focused meal planning that is already done for shoppers will make for a totally new experience. Cheers to them, and best wishes!