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The New York Times reports on how Target “has expanded to include fresh groceries like steak, chicken, eggs and apples. So far, 350 of the 1,752 Target stores nationwide have been reformatted to include the new food layout, and the company expects to add the arrangement to additional stores at the rate of about 400 a year.

“The campaign to market fresh food includes direct mail, billboards, television, radio and vehicle wraps, among other elements. The ads focus in part on the three daily meals that could be put together with a trip to the store, and the company hopes its efforts will resonate with mothers, who are a prime target of the campaign.”

What’s interesting is that Target is focusing on a kind of shopping trip that may not always been seen as compatible with its large store format - the quick, convenient shop.

“The concept is built around the notion of fill-in trips and convenience trips,” Will Setliff, the vice president for marketing at Target, tells the Times. “There’s a real need for convenient and affordable grocery options.”

The marketing has been aggressive and at time unorthodox. In Chicago, for example, the “campaign included a food truck parked on Michigan Avenue giving away gift bags of groceries and recipes that visitors could make with the ingredients in the bag. In front of the truck, which was decorated to look like an enormous shopping bag filled with larger-than-life bananas, broccoli spears and tomatoes, Giada De Laurentiis, the celebrity chef, gave live cooking demonstrations and handed out signed copies of her book ‘Giada at Home.’ Target also distributed 500 free copies of Ms. De Laurentiis’s book.”
KC's View:
Just another example of how the selling of food is only going to get more competitive, with more players and more formats angling for the shopper’s dollar.

The most important thing for retailers to remember is this: Shoppers don’t care about formats. They only care about what is relevant to their particular needs and desires.