Natural Foods Merchandiser
Food bars fill Whole Foods Market renovation

Food bars fill Whole Foods Market renovation

Whole Foods Market store or food court? That might be the question as Texans step into the chain’s made-over flagship Austin store.

CultureMap Austin has a rendering preview that looks at renovation highlights featuring pull-up-a-stool themed bars, including tacos, stir-fries, juices, coffees, sushi and Italian dishes. The project started earlier this month and will take four to five months.

See the slideshow at

Meanwhile, Whole Foods Market continues its nationwide expansion with its recent opening in Savannah, Ga. The local newspaper offers a video tour on its website. Store highlights include a fresh-cut pasta bar, olive and pickle bars, and a parlor serving sandwiches, beer and wine.

Whole Foods Market’s prepared foods offerings create an experience and build on the growing consumer demand for more grab-and-go offerings.

Packaged Facts, a division of, points to prepared foods as an important part of “The Future of Food Retailing in the U.S.,” according to its recent report entitled as such. Sales of prepared and ready-to-eat foods were expected to grow 7.5 percent in 2012, according to the research group.

Two keys to prepared-food growth in supermarkets, according to Packaged Facts:

  1. Such selections draw traffic and ring up sales.
  2. Higher gross margins (just under 45 percent compared with center store’s 21 percent) prove their value.
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