Pop Up Grocer has revolutionized the retail landscape by providing a platform for emerging brands to flourish. Emily Schildt, the founder and CEO, recently shared insights on the company’s curation process during a presentation at the Summer Fancy Food Show. Over the past four years, Pop Up Grocer has garnered acclaim as a destination for discovery, captivating consumers with its unique approach.
A Concept Designed for Exploration
Four years ago, Pop Up Grocer introduced the concept of an experience-oriented grocery store, setting up temporary shops in major cities across the United States. The company recently expanded its horizons with a permanent location in Manhattan’s West Village.
With a quarterly rotation of items and additional offerings like a coffee bar and bakery, Pop Up Grocer continues to captivate shoppers. Furthermore, the company has partnered with Nordstrom to feature temporary marts in select department stores throughout the summer.
Empowering Emerging Brands
Pop Up Grocer has become a haven for over 700 emerging brands, primarily in the food and beverage sectors, as well as home, pet, and body care categories.
By limiting its assortment to approximately 400 products per rotation, as opposed to the overwhelming variety found in traditional supermarkets, Pop Up Grocer ensures that every item receives the spotlight it deserves. The company’s 1,500-square-foot stores are meticulously designed to showcase products at eye level, eliminating the need for top or bottom shelves.
A Platform for Possibility
For founders and operators, Pop Up Grocer offers more than just shelf space. It serves as a platform for possibility, enabling brands to assess their product-market fit, gain exposure to industry leaders and tastemakers, and potentially attract major retailers, influencers, celebrities, investors, and media attention. While Pop Up Grocer cannot fix subpar products, marketing, or operational skills, it provides an environment ripe with opportunities for success.
Unveiling Consumer Trends
Emily Schildt highlighted recent product trends observed at Pop Up Grocer. Asian and Southeast flavors, mushroom-infused products, and a departure from specific diets in favor of specialty items and ingredients are gaining popularity. Shoppers are eagerly embracing indulgence, with upscale brownies, cookie dough, and potato chips emerging as top sellers. Pop Up Grocer continually adapts to consumer preferences, ensuring its shelves reflect the ever-evolving desires of its target audience.
Curating with Care
Pop Up Grocer meticulously curates its assortment based on three key criteria. Firstly, products must be new, accompanied by a compelling founder story and a sustainability component. Secondly, they must align with the company’s ingredient standards, which prioritize responsible, thoughtful, and conscious choices.
Lastly, packaging and branding play a crucial role. Pop Up Grocer has discovered that today’s shoppers are drawn to bold colors, typography, and illustrations that resonate with their desire for brands with a clear identity and character.