• March 9, 2022

Good Food CEO says Innovation creates Differentiation

Good Food CEO says Innovation creates Differentiation

Good Food CEO says Innovation creates Differentiation 700 500 Michelle Breyer

When Bristol Farms opened its new concept Santa Barbara store last summer, the retailer aimed to create a destination that delighted the senses and made shopping an experience rather than a chore. According to the company’s mission statement, “our stores are the theatre of retail.”

In addition to attracting shoppers, this philosophy also has made it a sought-after destination for emerging brands.

“We want to be the place where brands want to come first,” Neil Stern,
CEO of Good Food Holdings, said during during the panel “Innovation Through the Eyes of the Independent Grocer” at the 2022 National Grocers Association show in Las Vegas.

Good Food is the holding company for five high-profile brands: Bristol Farms, Lazy Acres Natural Market, Metropolitan Market, New Seasons Market, and New Leaf Community Markets. Like the new Santa Barbara Bristol Farms store, each of the Good Foods brands has reputation for innovation, offering the a unique item assortments, high-quality meat, seafood, and bakery items, as well as a broad assortment of quality and organic produce and a broad assortment of prepared foods.

For each of the company’s stores, there is a focus on bringing in the most unique, highest-quality products as well as the broadest assortment of quality and organic produce available. Each brand also has a broad and high quality offering of prepared foods. There also is an emphasis on being a part of the communities where they are located, and foragers are always on the look out for innovative local brands.

These have been challenging times for grocery retailers, with labor shortages and supply chain issues other pandemic-related challenges to deal with, says Stern.

“There’s a lot of noise that retailers have had to deal with,” says Stern. “You need to remind yourself of what your bigger strategy is.”

For Good Food, this strategy includes three key components: efficiency, effectiveness and experiential. And the experiential part of that strategy is especially important, says Stern.

This strategy has been an effective one for the company, with two-year comp store sales up 16 percent at Good Food’s stores.

One of the areas where Good Food has been focusing is on is the online side of the business, accelerating the need for innovation.

“We are transforming as fast as possible from a bricks-and-mortar retailer to an Ecommerce retailer,” says Stern. “We’re an online retailer that just happens to have stores.”

All of the company’s innovation is focused on their customers, staying in tune with the latest trends and providing the best experience possible.

“We really know our customer,” says Stern. “We want to give them what they’re looking for.”
Neil Stern