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A good time to be in the business of crafting things

Remember Gourmet magazine? Everything imported; if it wasn’t French or Italian, it pretended to be. Today the magazine – as well as that kind of thinking – have gone the way of Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hat. Since Alice Walker opened Chez Pannise in Berkeley in 1971, restaurants have moved away from the Gourmet idea of fine dining – toward the newer, healthier local food movement. Case in point: The Farmhouse restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee. Chef and entrepreneur Trey Cioccia opened The Farm House, his first restaurant, in the SoBro neighborhood in 2013. His concept focuses on traditional Southern cuisine and

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Are energy upgrades worth it to grocers?

By Jonathan Tan, VP Energy Services The AMS Group, Hillphoenix Download Infographic Food retailers inherently know reducing energy consumption reduces operational expenses and boosts the bottom line. Few, though, have a clear picture of the industry’s energy profile and the magnitude of savings to be realized by strategic energy upgrades. Without taking on the additional role of energy manager, this information isn’t readily transparent. Neither is knowing which upgrades make the most sense and how they justify the expense. Each dollar cut from the electric bill is equivalent to increasing sales by $18. According to the U.S. Department of Energy,

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Goodbye, gourmet: Artisan is the new buzz word

By Hannah Thompson Educator & Trainer for ANCO Fine Cheese Looks like the word “artisan” has been hijacked! Subway sandwich shops now offer artisan sandwiches, and Domino’s offers artisan pizza. What does “artisan” really mean? It’s meant to refer to foods that are hand-crafted in smaller batches and made with high-quality ingredients, such as ice cream, cheese and bacon. The dairy farmer was once the producer, processor, distributor and marketer of his own milk; that trend is returning as today’s consumers ask for farmstead-made cheeses and other dairy products produced locally with minimal processing. Beyond the cheese, fresh fruits and

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Mapping shopper’s eye leads to 22% sales jump

By Jack Sjogren Hillphoenix Design Center Specialist Here’s a great story about the power of lighting and proper merchandising. Driscoll’s, one of the world’s largest distributors of fresh berries, wanted to amp up sales from its “Berry Patch” displays, which it creates for select partner retailers. Each Berry Patch features strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries merchandised in a refrigerated display case designed to maximize berry freshness and longevity. The berries were selling well, but Chuck Sweeney, Driscoll’s Director of Category Development, thought they could be moving out the door even faster. At an industry trade show, he saw a demonstration

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Planning an effective retrofit strategy starts with benchmarking

By Jonathan Tan, VP Energy Services The AMS Group, Hillphoenix Download Infographic Supermarkets are the most electricity-intensive commercial buildings, using an average of 51.5 kilowatt-hours per square foot per year at a cost of about $3.70 per square foot per year. In terms of operating budget, energy is the second largest expense for food retailers after labor. In fact, given the industry’s thin profit margin, it’s estimated that it takes $18 in sales to pay off $1 of the electric bill.* The good news is there are several system retrofits and other energy upgrades that significantly improve electricity efficiency –

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Restaurant trends create opportunities for supermarkets

By Mark DiDomenico Datassential, Inc. Today’s consumer is much more engaged with the foods and beverages they consume. Subsequently, they are driving faster adoption of trends. Nowhere is this more evident than in the restaurant channel, where operators are challenged with developing new and enticing menu options for their patrons’ ever evolving tastes. Those trends are also providing great challenges and opportunities for supermarkets, which are increasingly competing with restaurants. Datassential recently published an in-depth analysis of how supermarkets can grow their prepared food departments and become popular and profitable food service destinations in their own right. Here are some

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Retailers and industry experts gather for Hillphoenix’s Supermarket Sense

By Henry Pellerin Hillphoenix Vice President of Marketing As traditional food-selling lines crisscross and blur — think grocerant — retailers increasingly seek insights from vendors with a view across multiple environments. At Hillphoenix, we have that broad view because our people are on the ground in traditional supermarkets, convenience stores and meal-oriented small-format operations. We transform what we learn in the field into institutional expertise and strategic intelligence for customers. Our people have deep knowledge about merchandising, store design, lighting, food safety, meal programs, shopper engagement and more. You can meet some of our experts at the upcoming Supermarket Sense,

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Shedding light on cost-effective energy reduction in convenience stores

By Jonathan Tan, VP Energy Services The AMS Group, Hillphoenix There are more than 152,000 convenience stores in the U.S. and about 80 percent of them sell gas. The food retail part of the business alone makes these stores energy intensive. Across the industry, food stores use an average of 51.5 kilowatt-hours per square foot  – more than any other commercial building. For C-stores that sell gas, energy intensity can soar to as much as 94 kilowatt-hours per square foot or higher due to greater plug loads (e.g., coffee makers, slushy machines), outdoor lighting, and gas canopy lighting, all compressed

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Show-and-sell strategy leads to hot foods program success

By Kim Camp, Learning Center Programs Manager and Justin Webster, Hillphoenix Design Center Specialist Grocery shoppers love the convenience and variety of ready-to-eat meals. In response, about 75% of food retailers plan to set up self-service bars by early next year, according to a Supermarket News survey published in April. But hot food program newbies have a few things to learn — like the fact that a high-quality hot foods program involves both art and science. Displays must be attractive. Food should look moist and freshly prepared, and also be safe and healthy. At our upcoming Supermarket Sense conference, Sept.

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The right lights turn closed cases into ‘food galleries’

By Jack Sjogren Hillphoenix Design Center Specialist Using proper lighting inside and around closed-door refrigerated cases turns glass-fronted coolers into gallery-worthy display spaces. That increases the value of your investment in high-visibility cases, such as the Clarity line from Hillphoenix. And it ensures your closed cases not only offer energy savings and product longevity, but also show merchandise at its best. Here are a few tips for putting merchandise behind doors in the best light: Use warm-colored LED lights in cool spaces. Avoid white and blue-tinged light inside refrigerated cases. Instead, use blubs on the “warm” red-to-yellow color spectrum to

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Are energy upgrades worth it to grocers?

By Jonathan Tan, VP Energy Services The AMS Group, Hillphoenix Download Infographic Food retailers inherently know reducing energy consumption reduces operational expenses and boosts the bottom line. Few, though, have a clear picture of the industry’s energy profile and the magnitude of savings to be

Continue Reading

Goodbye, gourmet: Artisan is the new buzz word

By Hannah Thompson Educator & Trainer for ANCO Fine Cheese Looks like the word “artisan” has been hijacked! Subway sandwich shops now offer artisan sandwiches, and Domino’s offers artisan pizza. What does “artisan” really mean? It’s meant to refer to foods that are hand-crafted in

Continue Reading

Mapping shopper’s eye leads to 22% sales jump

By Jack Sjogren Hillphoenix Design Center Specialist Here’s a great story about the power of lighting and proper merchandising. Driscoll’s, one of the world’s largest distributors of fresh berries, wanted to amp up sales from its “Berry Patch” displays, which it creates for select partner

Continue Reading

Restaurant trends create opportunities for supermarkets

By Mark DiDomenico Datassential, Inc. Today’s consumer is much more engaged with the foods and beverages they consume. Subsequently, they are driving faster adoption of trends. Nowhere is this more evident than in the restaurant channel, where operators are challenged with developing new and enticing

Continue Reading

Show-and-sell strategy leads to hot foods program success

By Kim Camp, Learning Center Programs Manager and Justin Webster, Hillphoenix Design Center Specialist Grocery shoppers love the convenience and variety of ready-to-eat meals. In response, about 75% of food retailers plan to set up self-service bars by early next year, according to a Supermarket

Continue Reading

The right lights turn closed cases into ‘food galleries’

By Jack Sjogren Hillphoenix Design Center Specialist Using proper lighting inside and around closed-door refrigerated cases turns glass-fronted coolers into gallery-worthy display spaces. That increases the value of your investment in high-visibility cases, such as the Clarity line from Hillphoenix. And it ensures your closed

Continue Reading
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