Acorn Nuts About Foodservice

Retains GroupRed to enhance offering, experience

WELLSBORO, Pa. -- Acorn Markets has retained brand strategy and retail design firm GroupRed LLC to upgrade and redesign the look and feel of the company's foodservice departments. The first location to reflect the GroupRed design will be a new store in Wayland, N.Y., scheduled to open its doors this fall.

Acorn Markets' stores, which primarily serve smaller rural communities, have established themselves as the' place to meet on a Friday or Saturday night, said GroupRed senior partner Ralph Sloan. Our objective is to elevate the total foodservice experience [image-nocss] to a level more closely aligned with their high-quality food offer and to bring in even more business, around the clock, by positioning Acorn Markets as a professional food destination.

The 16-unit chain's current approach to foodservice varies from location to location, with 10 stores offering Friar's Homestyle Chicken, the company's proprietary fried chicken brand. In addition, 10 of the locations offer pizza and sub sandwiches, including one with a successful Subway sandwich franchise, while three also sell Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

As part of its project, GroupRed will design interior graphic elements intended to consolidate disparate foodservice brands under a more consistent look from store to store and to develop a branded foodservice identity that more favorably competes with traditional fast-food feeders.

Although the foodservice department will initially be designed for incorporation in a new store construction project, the design is specifically being developed to facilitate retrofits in the chain's existing locations, Sloan said. This strategy supports Acorn's plan to eventually have all stores reflect the new foodservice branding.

Wellsboro, Pa.-based Acorn Markets, owned by the Putnam Co., operates convenience store locations in northern Pennsylvania and southern New York.

New York City-based GroupRed is a retail environment development design agency that serves merchants of all sizes. It is dedicated to assisting clients in generating increased business through the integration of design and strategic activities aimed at growing core brands. Services include market diagnosis, brand strategy formulation, product branding, corporate identity conceptualization, retail program development, facility design and merchandising consultation.