Pushing into new hybrid territory in-between retail and foodservice.
A fresh approach to food in all senses
Fresh the Good Food Market has developed a phenomenal reputation, bearing in mind it's a small Dublin based chain with just a handful of stores.
A multiple award winning retailer, it’s captured the imagination of many through its focus on combining foodservice into a retail format. Fresh categories and meal solutions underpin the offer, and this, combined with a focus on categories that align neatly with its fresh meal solutions, such as beer and wine, mean its proposition is very well aligned with changing shopping patterns towards smaller, more frequent shops.
A store concept that pushes the proposition on further
Its latest store opened in October and takes the offer to new heights. Given the location, in what was once set to be the U2 Tower, the concept pushes deeper into premium territory than others. It also is more focused around dining in, with more focus on creating a differentiated internal and external seating area, alongside the introduction of a breakfast menu, counter-ordered but delivered to table. When developing the format, the Fresh team also took the opportunity to drive new points of difference in counters.
A gelateria that compares well with Italy’s finest
A significant new feature in this store is the gelateria, and considerable focus has been put on this to make it one of the focal points in the store. An abundance of colourful flavours combine with similarly colourful M&M toppings, specially imported from the M&M Store in London.
Innovation in sweet treats - bring on the cruffin
The focus on quality runs through the store, and while Fresh hasn’t added an OffBeat donut counter into this store, in contrast to previous recent openings, it’s nonetheless continued to work with OffBeat in its product offering. And significantly it’s experimented with the creation of the cruffin, half croissant, half muffin, which brings theatre and innovation to the in-store bakery counter.
More focus on premium gifting
The store sits amid some high end apartments, with many ex pats, working in Dublin on a temporary basis, living very close by. So there’s some flexing in the range around this with specific products, and a focus on premium gifting lines, for example in chocolate but also extending to a range of other items.
Daily specials remain a focus
Fresh has however maintained all that makes the business great, for example continuing to run its daily cuisine specials, a great way of driving repeat missions through the week. Mexican was the focus on our Friday visit, but on other days of the week the focus shifts to other cuisines, such as Italian, Indian or Asian.
Overall summary: an impressive format and a business that may can learn from.
Watchouts: at this stage, the bulk of the model is well-tested and operationally slick. The location, at the end of a quay facing out onto the water, limits its catchment and reduces access, but actually the vistas, outdoor seating and proximity to the water could give this Fresh store a different type of appeal to its other stores and help it meet more leisure missions.
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