i2i: Raising the bar on fresh in small format stores

By Margie Proctor
Hillphoenix Marketing & Design Specialist

Small format grocery stores — and convenience stores, in particular — are taking fresh foods to a whole new level. Once a place to gas up the car and grab a soda and bag of chips, convenience stores are becoming part of the “What’s for dinner?” solution by offering fresh and healthy grab-and-go meals. And small format grocers appeal to shoppers with a middle-ground alternative to traditional supermarkets and convenience stores. One thing all small format stores have in common is a desire to meet shoppers fresh and fast expectations without sacrificing quality, food integrity and profit — all within a limited footprint. Merchandising technologies and strategies are evolving to make all this possible.

Hillphoenix’s new Island 2 Innovate (i2i) modular island system makes it easy for retailers to offer creatively merchandised, healthy food selections within a small footprint. The i2i island system is a multifunctional, modular display cases that can be configured to include heated, refrigerated, wet and dry products in virtually any combination. With i2i, even small format retailers can create fresh Destination Centers regardless of store layout or size.

High-performance, modular design

The modular end cap units and center inline cases of i2i give grocers numerous options for building an island configuration that mixes hot and cold, wet and dry offerings — all in one Destination Center island. Each section is available in a variety of lengths and depths to fit the space available.

A Hillphoenix convenience store customer recently installed an i2i case stocked on one side with fresh meats including ground beef, bratwurst and sirloin steaks. Another section featured pre-packaged fresh vegetables; a third displayed prepared meals including lasagna that customers could bake at home; and a fourth module rounded out the meal with dessert choices. Imagine customers stopping for gas on the way home from work and picking up an entire freshly prepared, competitively priced meal while they’re at it. No more fast-food drive-thru; no additional supermarket trip.

One destination for impulse purchases

i2i modular island displays allow grocers to build flexibility into their food offerings on a daily, weekly or seasonal basis. For instance, a refrigerated module normally stocked with prepared take-and-bake meals can be easily reconfigured for Father’s Day or Super Bowl with interesting beer selections and game-day appetizers. A hot foods case might offer a variety of Southern entrées and sides on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays, Italian-inspired dishes on Tuesdays and Fridays, and Mexican fare on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Retailers who take full advantage of i2i’s flexibility to offer rotating fresh food selections create more engaged and curious customers.

Click to learn more about i2i modular island systems and Destination Centers by Hillphoenix.

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