This blog normally writes about food, not food retailers, but I can;t resist saying something about the news today that Kroger, the country’s largest supermarket chain, is buying Roundy’s, a Midwest operator that’s become known for its new store concept, Mariano’s, which is taking the Chicago area by storm.
Mariano’s is one of the new wave of supermarkets — it has more produce, more prepared foods and a smaller center store footprint, in industry parlance. That’s because people are buying less and less processed, prepackaged foods, no longer trusting big brands to give them healthy products in such formats.
Rather than try to copy the Mariano’s concept, Kroger is simply buying it. That’s what big companies do. The question now will be can Kroger continue to grow Mariano’s, perhaps taking it national, or will it kill it as big companies often do when they buy up smaller, more innovative brands. Continue reading “Kroger buying Roundy’s — how the big food boys play”