Neighborhood Goods puts CPG brands on the menu

Discussion
Photo: Neighborhood Goods
May 18, 2021

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.

Neighborhood Goods puts CPG brands on the menu
Photo: Neighborhood Goods

“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?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"While most grocers give away free samples to promote sales, I think it is a wonderful idea to do the same in a much more engaging way through an on-prem restaurant."
"It never ceases to amaze me how much press this brand gets for having three stores. What other retailer do you know of like that?"
"While it may not increase revenues for restaurants in grocery stores, it is a noble thing to do and it will appeal to locavores."

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12 Comments on "Neighborhood Goods puts CPG brands on the menu"


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Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

Wonderful idea and concept that kills two birds with one stone. First, it showcases innovative and interesting brands that consumers are likely to engage with. Neighborhood Goods isn’t alone in this, Target has also had fantastic success from showcasing new CPG brands in the beauty space. Secondly, however, Neighborhood Goods takes this one step further by allowing consumers to try out products via a restaurant. This adds an experiential element to the store, which is attractive in and of itself.

David Naumann
BrainTrust

Historically, large restaurant chains have featured CPG ingredients for some menu items as a way to receive promotional funds from manufacturers. Using a similar approach for local brands is a great way to help increase the awareness of small businesses and their products. While it may not increase revenues for restaurants in grocery stores, it is a noble thing to do and it will appeal to locavores.

Matthew Brogie
BrainTrust
1 month 4 days ago

Many of the mainstream stores are now crowded with pickers fulfilling online orders. While that’s great for the volume pushed through the store, it leaves all of the opportunities for marketing to the “hungry shopper” at the time of purchase off the table. Giving shoppers more reasons to come into the store creates more opportunities to capture their attention and influence other purchases. On-premises restaurants give shoppers the chance to try CPG products, and are a piece of what I believe is a trend towards building out the overall in-store experience to attract more traffic.

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

If a grocer has an on-premises restaurant I don’t see why they should not use it as a sampling opportunity for unique products they sell — as long as the customer can satisfy their desires with regular menu items. “No thank you I am not interested in a coffee rubber burger. Just bring me a regular one.”

Not only will it spark some interest in the featured products, it may just make reading the menu much more interesting for the customer.

Ken Morris
BrainTrust

Brilliant! The ability to cross-sell ingredients featured on the restaurant menu or even at the bar will increase engagement on both sides. From a marketing mix perspective, this multiplies the number of opportunities for social posts that can now become more multi dimensional. Wegmans does a good job with their in-store restaurant theme where I have shopped and eaten but Neighborhood Goods takes this to a new level.

Venky Ramesh
BrainTrust

Neighborhood Goods is known for embracing experiential retailing in a unique way and for providing a physical outlet for digitally native brands in an engaging manner. While most grocers give away free samples to promote sales, I think it is a wonderful idea to do the same in a much more engaging way through an on-prem restaurant. I am not sure if they are already doing it or thinking about it, but they could extend the concept further by having on-prem as well as social media cooking/baking classes. I am hearing about CPG companies getting on to platforms like Yumly and Whisk to promote social cooking and baking.

Lee Peterson
BrainTrust

It never ceases to amaze me how much press this brand gets for having three stores. What other retailer do you know of like that? Sure it’s a good idea, but you can do just about any experiment you want without the tremendous burden of having to scale said idea. Hate to be a buzzkill, but I know of many brands here in the middle of the country that are just as innovative but get literally NO press. Anyway, let’s discuss NGs when they hit 25 to 40 units and all the issues most retailers in the U.S. are familiar with start to tumble down and the real fun begins.

George Anderson
Staff

Stew Leonard’s? Harrods? B&H Photo? Abt?

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

Sounds like a pretty good description of experiential shopping. And it sounds like a dialed back version of Eataly, directed at CPG product. Show me. Teach me. Help me learn. Explore + Experiment = Experience.

Andrew Blatherwick
BrainTrust

Many retailers do tastings of CPG products using the store as a promotional space. It is a way of bringing a bit of theater into the store and provides some interest to the consumer. It’s not a major revenue earner but can lift sales during the time of the promotion. To simply have a display of CPG products is nothing more than using gondola ends to promote products “off-shelf” and is not exactly revolutionary.

George Anderson
Staff

I think it’s the connection with the restaurant and the demonstration of how these products can be used in the creation of great tasting at-home meals that separates this from an everyday end-cap display.

Bindu Gupta
BrainTrust

Great idea! Adding the experiential element helps create a lasting impression.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"While most grocers give away free samples to promote sales, I think it is a wonderful idea to do the same in a much more engaging way through an on-prem restaurant."
"It never ceases to amaze me how much press this brand gets for having three stores. What other retailer do you know of like that?"
"While it may not increase revenues for restaurants in grocery stores, it is a noble thing to do and it will appeal to locavores."

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