Target Opts for Salads Over Hot Dogs

The Lempert Report
September 11, 2015

Target is refocusing its cafes and making a new commitment to health.

Starting in October, Target shoppers in 14 test stores, will have to do without their unhealthy staples like hotdogs and nachos when they need a store pick me up. As an alternative, the retail giant will now be offering an array of healthier items like "artisan style" pizza, fresh salads with ingredients like kale and edamame, and pressed juices with beet and carrot.

This is all a part of the companies new cafe concept, currently 1,700 out of Target's nearly 1,800 stores have cafes, and so in the test markets,  cafes will be replaced with either a Freshii, a D'Amico & Sons, or Pizza Hut. Fast-casual chain Freshii will go into nine stores, while Pizza Hut will open restaurants in three stores featuring a limited menu of "artisan" pies, and two stores will get  D'Amico & Sons, a local Italian restaurant whose founders have been semifinalists for several James Beard awards and whose menu includes organic cheeses and fresh salads.

Tina Tyler, Target's chief stores officer, told USA today that this move is about showing customers that the brand is serious about health and wellness, and since CEO Brian Cornell stepped in last year, he has made  food a bigger priority for Target, with plans to increase its offering of natural and organic food products and local brands. 

For supermarkets the competition for customers who are looking healthy, fresh and local produce is tough. With consumers, particularly millennials becoming increasingly interested in food products that are healthy, sustainable, fresh and local retailers are all looking to amp up their offerings and refocus their efforts.  Even drugstores like CVS are beefing up food aisles with organic products and health conscious options. Supermarkets need to keep this in mind when targeting customers. health and wellness is a priority and retailers who do not recognize this may find themselves being left behind.