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Let’s be perfectly honest, kids would much rather have the option to eat “kid-friendly” foods than what grown-ups are eating. That pre-packaged snack meal or peanut butter and jelly sandwich are much more appealing than a salad, hummus, and vegetables or yogurt with fruit. Eating a healthy meal is imperative for growing children and providing that conveniently and on-the-go can sometimes be a challenge.

With grab-n-go on the rise and the more time-starved consumers have become, eating healthy and eating foods we LOVE was recently served up at IDDBA19!  The perfect lunch concept was presented for “Work Lunches” targeted to adults and “School Lunches” for kids.  How are they different? Seeing that the average person has about 10,000 taste buds which are replaced about every 2 weeks, the flavor was key; however, as people age, some of those taste buds aren’t replaced so the older we get the less working taste buds we have. That’s where the need for spicier foods come into play, and while adults like their food to have a “little kick,” kids are saying “Yuck!” Well, why not make the whole family happy? 

You can pack your flavorful “Work Lunch” and the kids can be equally as excited with their “School Lunch” with one stop to the grocery store!  How does this concept work? 

1.  Choose the right menu items to intrigue the age-appropriate “Eater”. 

2. Pick the right compartmentalized containers to package the food. 

3. Ensure you have the right type of display case to merchandise products.  A great display case is a refrigerated, multi-deck self-service case to appeal to shoppers of all ages

4.  Don’t forget to have signage. This is a must to communicate what is happening inside the display case!

5.  Choose display ware that fits in with the concept. Tell your merchandising story and draw customers in with a well-displayed product

Convenience and flavor are key to make both audiences happy! Focus on your audiences and make it easy, fun and YUM!

Shown is the Hillphoenix QTM self-contained display cases  

The post Simplified Lunch – Where Flavor and Convenience Collide to Appease the Family Divide appeared first on Hillphoenix.

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The supermarket fresh prepared area is finally going to the dogs, but in a good way! Earlier this month, the What’s in Store booth at IDDBA showcased a unique variation on meals kits, and yes, it’s going to the dogs and cats!  While meal kits for humans are on the rise, the pet meal kits are a viable option for those retailers looking for ways to maintain a sustainability platform within their operation. By 2024, the global dog food market is projected to reach $100 Billion so this may be a great opportunity for retailers to gain additional sales in their pet food aisle.

Retailers attending the show went bonkers over this pet sustainability concept and wanted to learn more about it! Here’s how it works: produce items that are damaged or perishables that are about to expire can be utilized as items to build meal kits for your pet. Vegetables like carrots, corn, green beans and sweet potatoes as well as chicken, fish and rice are some of the staples that are healthy and safe for our furry friends. The pet meal kits were created by Chef Chris Koch and his staff to show retailers how they can easily create these for their own operation. What a great way to create a nutritious meal for pets while utilizing these perishable items that would have otherwise have gone to waste!

This concept was shown in a Hillphoenix HSC-S-K self-contained, 4’, low-profile mobile merchandiser…perfect for any pet food aisle!

#mealkits #selfcontained #sustainability #dogs #cats

The post Supermarket Fresh Prepared is going to the Dogs (and Cats)! appeared first on Hillphoenix.

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Unique food merchandising displays elevate a supermarket’s fresh prepared, deli and bakery departments. These displays help sell the delicious and savory products retailers pride themselves on creating, but also give shoppers a taste of something new and different that they may not normally eat or buy. The IDDBA 19 Show and What’s in Store Live Booth offered creative merchandising ideas for retailers to bring back to their stores and put into action!  So, when they showcased the front of the deli with 16’ of Hilphoenix SMG service cases focused on life-changing eating programs such as Keto, Vegan, Whole 30 and Paleo, they put healthy eating and meal planning front and center.  What a great idea to provide an easy way for beginners on these special diets trying to figure out what they can and cannot eat but also for people that have been on these programs for an extended time and looking for convenience with premade items they can purchase in the deli!  Honestly, it is hard to find time to plan meals and when you are on a strict diet, it makes it even more of a challenge. This concept dishes up easy ways a retailers can serve up solutions and meal options that help their customers maintain the commitment to themselves to get healthy.

Let’s take a closer look at how this concept as effectively executed — the bowls and dishes are color coded to the signage for each eating plan.   Whole 30 is displayed in white dishes, Keto in red dishes, Vegan in green dishes and Paleo in orange dishes.  This makes it so simple for the shopper to easily understand what foods match the diets they are on.  Imagine the possibilities this concept can inspire retailers to bring to their delis and fresh prepared areas for other life-changing eating plans.  Earn your shoppers loyalty by showing you CARE, helping to EDUCATE them, and provide CONVENIENCE.  This concept does all that and more! 

The post Promoting Healthy Meal Options in Fresh Prepared Departments appeared first on Hillphoenix.

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Many businesses in recent years have been looking to “future-proof” their operations and the food-retail industry is no exception. Supermarkets, convenience stores, and other food retail establishments have been turning to products and services that offer an environmentally friendly alternative for their business. Refrigeration systems and display cases are no exception.

Companies are seeking equipment that withstands the impact of climate change, is energy efficient and can accommodate technological and regulatory changes for the foreseeable future. When it comes to refrigeration systems, advances in technology have given manufactures the ability to build and create systems that stand up to those changes. A natural refrigerant, CO2 is a great option for many operations and makes it a viable option across a wide range of applications.

Since the middle of the last decade, CO2 has gained traction as a refrigerant in both secondary and direct expansion systems across the grocery and supermarket industry. One system, in particular, CO2 Transcritical Booster System, has gained notoriety because it relies solely on CO2 as a natural refrigerant in the system and removes the needs for traditional refrigerants with various GWPs.  And with increased regulations being put in place, food retailers are shifting towards putting these systems in place in an effort to rejuvenate their operation and put their best foot forward.

Other benefits of this particular refrigeration system are their higher heat reclaim opportunities which improve the overall store energy performance that challenges food retail establishments today. In most cases, CO2 booster systems can have a lower installed cost as it is more efficient in a cooler climate which allow for smaller compressors and reduced refrigerant line sizes and with the advancement of newer technology becoming more efficient is all climates. CO2 has the flexibility to vary from a traditional centralized system to distributed CO2 with a wide range of applications from small format to supermarkets to industrial and ice rinks operations.

Learn more about CO2 Booster Systems and how this system, as well as other Second Nature Refrigeration Systems products, can provide that next step to future-proofing your business.

The post Capable of Making a Difference -Give Your Refrigeration System a Boost appeared first on Hillphoenix.

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As busy lives get busier, more consumers are moving away from traditional meal times and toward unscheduled snacking that can occur at any time of day.  They’re increasingly interested in snacks with the same high level of quality and freshness they expect from other prepared foods, and that creates opportunities for retailers.

Fresh packaged snacks are a space where restaurants and convenience stores can’t easily compete. A snack program can be expanded with limited space, and repackaging existing food offerings in snack portions can build on your existing processes. Value can be added to simple snacks using fresh ingredients or additional flavors.

Supermarket News recently reported on the “salad toppers” offered by Roche Bros., a 20-store chain based in Wellesley, Mass. These small containers of shrimp, chicken, steak tips, hard-boiled eggs and other proteins sell for about $2.50 to $3.00 and can also be eaten as standalone snacks. The company also sells charcuterie snack plates for one or two people featuring sliced meats such as prosciutto with bite-sized cheese pieces and pickled vegetables. Another creative choice comes from Libbie Market in Richmond, Va., which offers tuna and chicken salads in two- to three-ounce containers.

The fundamental element of snack packaging is, obviously, portability. “Forty-two percent of Americans say that portability is the convenience-related feature they prioritize the most when they are choosing food and drink products to consume while traveling,” says Tom Vierhile, innovation insights director at research firm Canadean, which provides industry analysis on international food and beverage trends. However, Bryce Rutter, CEO of Metaphase Design Group, sees much room for improvement, as growth in the category creates opportunities to combine innovations.

Rutter believes that consumers will be seeking out packaging that is environmentally conscious, ergonomically friendly, and engaging as a complementary aspect of the snacking experience.  Consumer willingness to wrestle with packaging that is difficult to open or reseal will rapidly decrease as their options expand. If you’re on the move, you may not have a random sharp implement close at hand to carve a short cut through a nonintuitive package design.

It certainly seems logical to pursue ways of eliminating the need for utensils generally in this category. If consumers aren’t driving while they’re eating, that other hand is probably holding a device. Vierhile points to a recent development that combines that convenience with another priority for snackers, easy portion control. A ready-to-eat popcorn product called Poptacular comes in a “bag… shaped somewhat like a funnel… openable (and resealable) at both ends. Opening the top of the bag allows the consumer to eat a pre-measured portion of popcorn…. Opening the bag from the bottom allows access to the entire bag.”

Rutter cites pulp-based designs as sturdy options that can provide sensory inputs that subtly enhance the snacking experience. For example, the texture of pulp will feel very different from plastic as a consumer opens a package and produce a different sound. While plastic might offer, for example, a clear view of a package’s contents, pulp might be a better choice for certain foods.

Dr. Keith Vorst, director for the Polymer and Food Protection Consortium at Iowa State University, emphasizes that retailers, as the customers of packaging manufacturers, are every bit as entitled as their own customers to shop elsewhere if their needs aren’t being met. Retailers are not obligated to accept what’s offered to them but should feel free to work with their suppliers to obtain packaging that will not only address traditional concerns about temperature and food safety but also allow them to customize their snacking options.

Sales might be increased even more by tracking customer behavior and rotating snack offerings throughout the day. Relaxing of traditional associations between certain foods and specific times of day are part of the definition of this trend, but retailers could still benefit from considering whether certain items are more daypart-sensitive and rearranging accordingly.

The post Grab-and-Go Packaging – Convenience is King appeared first on Hillphoenix.

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The opportunities to share images offered by social media sites and apps like Snapchat, Pinterest, and Facebook create an insatiable demand for new content, and one consistent object of users’ interest is expected to attract even more attention this year: cakes. New decorations and designs will incorporate influences from both modern technology and 80s nostalgia. The holidays are a time of the year where inspiration is most sought after.

“If you look at platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, one of the most popular categories of ‘pins’ is cakes,” says Tom Vierhile, innovation insights director at research firm Canadean, which provides industry analysis on international food and beverage trends. “Cake designs can easily go viral, something that was virtually impossible before social media came onto the scene. Because of this influence, I think you are going to see much more emphasis on high voltage cake decorating and other efforts to take its design up a notch, attempting to generate sales momentum with some help from social media.”

Shawna LeMott, creative marketing manager at Lucks Food Decorating Company, uses the term “high-voltage” to describe the combination of a neon color palette with pop culture references to produce eye-catching innovations. Fortunately, as image-sharing technology has progressed to allow popular cake designs to spread rapidly across the country and the world, advances in cake decorating allow the almost infinite customization that the era of social media demands.

Merchandising for maximum impact

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of appropriate merchandising for these products. Jewelry-style display cases such as the Hillphoenix GMD allow the wide-screen view that these cake creations deserve. And the right lighting is critical.

Research supports the bottom line benefits of complementary lighting and color choice for supermarkets products. Ninety-three percent of consumers place visual appearance and color above other factors when shopping, while 85 percent place color as a primary reason for why they buy a particular product.

Sometimes cool tones (white, blue) work best with lighting food products, while other items are enhanced by warmer tones (yellow, orange). The good news is that advances in lighting technology are giving grocers have more choices than ever. LED bulbs with different colors and different color temperatures allow for broad customization.

Whatever platform and lighting option is chosen, know that a picture paints a thousand words and customers will be drawn to that cake that looks the most appealing. Relying on creativity and strategic design will draw customers in, but quality will keep them coming back for more!

The post Market Trends – HIGH-VOLTAGE CAKE DESIGN – Choosing a Display to Make it Shine appeared first on Hillphoenix.

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When you hear about the latest food trends, one message will be clear to you — it’s time to step out of the standard sandwich, pizza, and sushi comfort zone and explore new possibilities.  Don’t let your inspiration to play with new flavors or try new trends go to waste.  Instead, learn how to design your retail space for trends while maintaining flexibility to consider other options in the future.  Think about developing menu options based on food trends, select equipment, which would allow you to create a venue that will draw in shoppers.

As you ponder upcoming trends, it’s important to note if they are relevant to your geographical area and shopper demographics.  Not all trends fare well in every space.  While it’s important to expand options in your store, you’ll want to do so in a way that compliments local interests.  Creating a menu that makes sense draws in the customers and, in turn, the revenue.

A set menu leads the way to proper planning and working with a professional will guide you through how to select equipment that not only serves up your latest menu but also allows for flexibility as trends change and shopper needs evolve.  Making the most of your floor space is the key to efficient use of your investment and faster returns.

Now that you’ve planned your menu and designed the space to create your tasty offerings, it’s time to decide how to sell it.  Will you sell the menu only as a service?  Will you sell it just as a self-serve option?  Or will there be a blend of both?  Answering these questions will drive the decisions of cases and counters you’ll need, as well as how to drive traffic within your store to your new menu.

Selling a trendy menu can be a piece of cake with the right insights, planning tools, and execution plan.  It will also help in setting your sights on expanding your offerings and your revenue for years to come.

The post Execute Menu Trends with Smart Space Design appeared first on Hillphoenix.

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Modern supermarkets bring new demands — perimeter planning, shopper engagement, shrink management, and more.  When attention is divided into so many areas it’s easy to forget who the star of your store really is:  the food!  Shoppers come to your store simply seeking foods they can easily purchase and eat.  It’s time to put food back in the spotlight and pop-up kitchens may be the solution you’ve been seeking.

The back of your store is no place for all the food, especially when it comes to prepared meals. Gone are the days of shoppers being content with picking up a prepared meal and leaving the store quickly.  They want an experience. They want to know who is cooking, what’s being used and see what’s going on.  Your chefs want to engage with your shoppers, hear what they like, and be a part of your food community.  Pop-up kitchens allow you to meet these human desires while giving you the chance to offer customers that experience they are looking for: chefs cooking their favorite dishes right in the middle of the store.

Imagine a cook station in your perimeter where customers can hear the sizzle, see the colors, and feel their mouths watering.  Use creativity with the flexibility of a pop-up kitchen to drive traffic to where you want more eyes and shopping carts in your store.  Make it memorable and you can increase customer loyalty, retention, and sales.

There’s more to pop-up kitchens than enticing your customers. They can reduce shrink, too.  Instead of reducing the price of meats, you would have the option to charge more by selling them as prepared foods.  Rather than disposing of end-of-life-produce, turn it into a side or cross-merchandise it with your main dish. Daily specials are a great way to maximize what’s on hand while reducing your shrink, all while keeping shoppers wondering what exciting dishes you could be serving up next.

Pop-up kitchens are what’s hot in your perimeter and Scott Heim of Evo America will be sharing insights, strategies, and more at Supermarket Sense.  Join us to learn how a simple shift in how you prepare foods can make food the star of your store again and help solve modern challenges simultaneously.

The post Pop-up Kitchens Put Food Back in the Spotlight appeared first on Hillphoenix.

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Kim Camp – Learning Center

No one likes to think about shoppers falling ill after buying something from or visiting your store.  But the threat is real and needs to be addressed with education and proper protocols.  Food safety should be top of mind for any store owner or manager.

Start your education by joining ServSafe Certified Trainer Michael Williams for his talk about foodborne illness prevention.  Knowledge of basic food safety, the importance of employee personal hygiene, and what types of pathogens and toxins your store is exposed to can go a long way in avoiding the spread of illness.  Acknowledging the trickiest areas of your store can open your eyes to opportunities for risk reduction.  After educating yourself, it’s key to pass this on to your store staff in the form of regular updates and store audits.

Protocols have been developed by industry experts as a way to save you time, money, and risk.  You don’t have to experiment with how to receive and prepare food or sanitize workstations.  Take advantage of proven protocols that will allow you to implement them right away in your stores and keep your shoppers contagion-free.  Michael will share food handler insights and methods to control temperatures during his session.

If you aren’t familiar with abbreviations like PHF or HACCP, then your store may be in danger of cross-contaminating batches of foods and surfaces.  From produce to meal prep, meat to grocerant, knowing critical foods and points of contact can make a difference in how safely you serve your shoppers.

Managing foodborne illnesses and other health-related food issues don’t have to be scary or worrisome.  It can be inspiring, educational, and motivational with the right tools.  Join us at Supermarket Sense for a glimpse of how food safety is done right.

The post Food Safety: Kryptonite or Superpower? appeared first on Hillphoenix.

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Wide island configuration offers increased product capacity either alone or with OWEZV endcap. Double bin design for frozen food, ice cream and medium temperature applications with dual-temperature capability. Endless merchandising opportunities to create fresh.

The post What Makes the OWIZV Island so Great – Infographic appeared first on Hillphoenix.

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