ON THE MARKET
Grocery shopping, reimagined
Grocery prices are skyrocketing, with food-at-home prices jumping 11.9% over the past year, the largest 12-month increase since 1979. Given the increase in cost, it’s little surprise that consumers are seeking alternatives to their usual grocery routines. Today, we’re taking a look at three emerging businesses changing the way we shop for food.
POP UP GROCER
Pop Up Grocer is a roving grocery shopping experience that – true to its name – pops up in major cities, bringing with it a highly-curated selection of innovative products across all sorts of categories, from food to drinks, pets to body care. Putting discovery at the forefront of the grocery shopping experience, Pop Up features a mix of local and national indie brands, over half of which are women-owned, and a quarter BIPOC and queer-owned. The concept (which itself is woman-owned) first launched in 2019, and has since opened locations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, Miami, and D.C. Could your city be next?
A new grocery store has opened in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood selling frozen food – and only frozen food. The concept was opened by Mosaic, a DTC startup that delivers healthy frozen meals created by an in-house team of chefs (in other words, these are not the TV dinners you grew up eating). Mosaic’s 700-sq ft Brooklyn location is a showcase of sorts to test-drive new products before they hit the online store; it’ll also offer sampling events in-store, so customers can try before they buy. Frozen food is a product category that’s ripe for reinvention, and consumer interest is already there. Frozen food sales rose 21% in 2020, double the rise of fresh food sales.
The Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn now has its own “low-waste refillery” called Maison Jar. Nearly everything in the store is sold in bulk, by weight and self-service; in addition to selling food – and not just dry goods, but also dairy, eggs, even Bien Cuit pastries – they also carry home essentials and personal care products. Customers are encouraged to bring in reusable containers; products that are harder to sell in bulk (like hand cream) come in reusable jars. Best of all, you don’t have to be in Brooklyn to experience this new kind of green grocery shopping. Similar stores are popping up around the nation: Ethikli opened last month in Long Beach as the city's first refill grocery store, and The Realm Refillery just opened in Portland.