The competition in the organic and natural grocery industry has never been tougher, with major chains like Whole Foods growing and new brands popping up nearly every day. Despite the challenges of the marketplace, however, Avallone says Mrs. Green’s Natural Market has built a loyal following of customers that grows consistently because of the store’s focus on helping its customer’s live healthier lifestyles. As long as the company maintains these commitments, Mrs. Green’s Natural Market should remain a popular destination for shoppers seeking authenticity from their grocer.
Although there are more grocery stores touting their organic and natural products today than ever, Mrs. Green’s Natural Market still stands out from the others. Bass Khoury, senior vice president of merchandising, says one of the biggest differentiators the company has is its 100 percent organic produce. Many of the company’s direct competitors feature a broad selection of organic produce, but even those chains built around the organic concept often feature a mix of organic and conventional produce that may have been exposed to pesticides or preservatives. Khoury says Mrs. Green’s Natural Market remains one of the few retailers to feature only organic produce in all of its locations.
The company’s commitment to the organic lifestyle extends beyond the produce section, as well. In addition to its deli and bakery sections, each Mrs. Green’s Natural Market location features an expanded natural living department. This is where shoppers can find products meant to help them maintain a more balanced lifestyle through health and wellness products including all-natural dietary supplements.
Mrs. Green’s Natural Market doesn’t simply let shoppers plan their healthy lifestyle on their own, however. Ghassan Hourani, senior vice president of health and wellness says many of its stores have a registered dietitian on staff to answer customers’ questions and help them plan meals. “Our mission and commitment is to help our customers live a healthier lifestyle,” Hourani says.
A major component of the natural and organic lifestyle is eating foods that are produced locally, and Mrs. Green’s Natural Market is committed to providing its customers with the widest and best selection of locally grown food possible. Avallone says the company is committed to being a part of the communities it serves and helping out small businesses by sourcing many of its products from local farms and providers.
Mrs. Green’s Natural Market’s buyers are always focused on locating and working with the highest-quality local providers in every community the company serves, Avallone says. This goes a long way toward supporting the company’s mission to provide customers with food they can have confidence in.
Unlike many other organic- and natural-focused grocery store chains, Mrs. Green’s Natural Market embraces technology as a way to connect with customers. Mrs. Green’s Natural Market works hard to strengthen the value proposition it provides shoppers, and greater connectivity through technology is a major component of that.
For example, the company’s newly designed loyalty program offers customers the option to sign up for “treesaver” e-receipts which allows them to not only get special offers and discounts to support their healthy lifestyle, but also allows them to give feedback on local products they would like their store to carry. The company also recently re-built there website to better serve their customers. Technology also plays an important role in helping the company stay connected with its vendors, thanks to a new portal on its website that allows vendors to log in and handle orders.
Avallone says the biggest challenge facing Mrs. Green’s Natural Markets is one the company is happy to take on, as managing the chain’s double-digit growth over the last several years demands a lot of attention. “It’s always a challenge to make sure that your products and service are up to the high standards,” he says.
Although most of the company’s locations are concentrated on the Northeast, Avallone says it hopes its location in Chicago will serve as a jumping-off point for more expansion to the west. The company’s plan is to open 20 stores in the coming year and nearly 100 over the next three to four years. No matter how many new locations it opens in the near future, Avallone says, Mrs. Green’s Natural Market will continue to provide the most authentic organic experience it can for its customers.