Neighborhood Goods puts CPG brands on the menu
Neighborhood Goods, which claims to be reinventing the department store model, is also exploring doing the same for consumer packaged goods (CPG) retailing, and its solution is using an on-premise restaurant for sampling.
“From our earliest days, we’ve been thinking about how to thoughtfully feature CPG products in our spaces,” said Matt Alexander, co-founder and CEO of Neighborhood Goods, in a statement. “Like so many others, we find the CPG space to be exciting and compelling, but, as with many of our other brands, hard to find and sample in-person.”
The start-up’s three locations in Plano, Austin and New York City showcase digital native brands as well as a number of local brands in apparel and housewares categories.
Like a pop-up space, Neighborhood Goods features a rotating group of about 15 brands at a time. The company emphasizes a communal aspect, not only with a bar and restaurant, but through event programming, a speaker series, art installations, a publication and a podcast.
CPG recently joined the mix through an in-store shop, called The Marketplace, which the retailer first opened at its Austin store, as well as its own online storefront.
“With The Marketplace, we bring our same curatorial philosophy — balancing established and up-and-coming names with local partners — to a new category. And, most of all, we introduce it in a wholly unique way, as an extension of our restaurant and its menu,” said Mr. Alexander.
For the CPG launch at the Austin location’s restaurant, Prim and Proper, beverages like Swoon’s Zero-Sugar Lemonade and Aura Bora Sparking Water, as well as recipes featuring Bohana croutons, a Parlor House Coffee-Rubbed burger, and a hi! Protein Snickerdoodle Smoothie are featured on shelves and on the menu.
“For so many of these brands, customers become aware of them through fleeting moments on Instagram. With our restaurants, we saw the opportunity to reframe these products in a more social context, allowing for people to enjoy some of the products through an elevated menu or, simply, while shopping our space with friends,” added Mr. Alexander. “It’s a chance for us, our customers, and our brands to present and experience these products like never before.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are mainstream grocers missing an opportunity by not actively using and marketing on-premise restaurants as a means to sample CPG products?