by Patrick Schroeder, Prepared Foods Category Manager
Innovation in food is important. I believe it is what has made our Prepared Foods program successful. Innovation in the Deli, Bakery, and Juice Bar has historically been driven by a singular, creative force: our staff. That same staff has struggled to get their amazing ideas turned into regular offerings as we’ve gotten larger and our focus has been on meeting demand and sustaining, rather than creating new things that excite us.
In order to get back to a place where innovation happens, we have had to study what it takes to make a new product. At first take, it seems simple: find a recipe and make it. Our analysis shows that it actually takes about 30 individual steps to bring a new Prepared Foods product from conception to successful introduction in our stores! We’ve spent the past year honing our skills, building the systems, and spreading out the knowledge to our staff of how to execute these 30 steps. Now we’re ready.
This spring we will be releasing new products in Prepared Foods every month. You will hear about those products here, in the Reader, in the stores (look for signs with “NEW”), during samplings at the end of each month, and over social media. You’ll even get to hear directly from those who are doing the creating. We can’t wait to share our creations with you. Stay tuned!