...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…
• Atlanta magazine reports that in May, one Whole Foods restaurant in the city will feature a new "fast-casual Brazilian restaurant. Tentatively titled the Roast, the restaurant will be the first of its kind for the company."
According to the story, "The Roast will seat about 48 people and feature digital ordering kiosks. There will be a separate bar menu available only in the evening, with beer, wine, and soda on tap, as well as spirits and cocktails. Diners are invited to stay for a while, play billiards, and listen to a DJ set."
I have to be honest. This sounds a whole lot more appealing to Millennials than the 365 by Whole Foods concept, which supposedly is designed to target that generation. But maybe it is a reflection of how Whole Foods is trying to figure out this equation from a variety of directions.
• The Seattle Times writes that "Starbucks, seeing the success of its ice cream menu offerings at the Seattle Roastery, will start serving ice cream at more than 100 store locations ... Starting Wednesday, the 'Roastery Affogato menu' — based on the Italian espresso-poured-over-ice cream dessert and tested first at the Seattle Roastery — will begin rolling out in Starbucks stores that include Reserve bars."
The story goes on to say that "These ice cream menu test runs are an example of how Starbucks’ Seattle roastery is serving as a innovation pipeline for the company ... Starbucks plans to see how well customers respond to the menu before deciding whether to expand it elsewhere."
• The National Grocers Association (NGA) yesterday revealed this year’s top winners of its Creative Choice Awards in the Marketing and Merchandising categories. Over 300 entries were judged based on the criteria of creativity, clarity and effectiveness by a panel of industry experts.
Outstanding Merchandiser was awarded to Festival Foods for its “Eat Well Ad campaign entry, which used a team of registered dietitians to develop a quarterly Eat Well ad that encompassed affordable and healthy recipes.
The title of Outstanding Marketer was awarded to Broulim’s Video Campaign “Hear from Customers Like You.” Broulim's hired a film crew "to visit the homes of five Broulim's Online customers, and produced various customer testimonial spots and interview highlight videos featuring the personal stories of the benefits and convenience of online grocery shopping were produced for the store. Broulim's then launched a video marketing campaign to engage their communities, relay the convenience of grocery shopping online, and to get their audience excited about trying the service."