The better-for-you 7-Eleven has arrived with organic slushies
Healthy snacks have never been so convenient.
The Goods Mart, a new health and eco-conscious convenience store in Silver Lake, Calif., is shaking up snack goals with its more than 300 better-for-you alternatives to processed chips, cookies and soda.
The 900-square-foot retail space, laid out just like a 7-Eleven, is committed to serving healthy products: All items from pressed juices to granola bars are GMO-free and growth hormone-free, and they are made without artificial colors, sweeteners and flavors.
“Right now, if you go to a traditional convenience store, you likely have to choose between what’s better for you out of things that are not the best,” founder Rachel Krupa, a Los Angeles-based food and wellness publicist, tells Moneyish. “From snacks to butter, and toilet paper to shampoo, every item we stock has been hand-curated for amazing taste or function and ethical, eco-responsible practices.”
Shoppers can expect La Colombe drip coffee, organic slushies, kombucha and chocolate bars made with ingredients like chia seeds and quinoa. There’s grain-free tortilla chips, organic Starburst candies, paleo-friendly pork rinds seasoned with pink Himalayan salt, and more recognizable products like Annie’s Homegrown mac ‘n cheese, Amy’s organic burritos and pizza, Cliff Bars and Kettle Brand chips. There’s also household essentials like toilet paper and soap that you’d find in any corner store.
Krupa grew up in rural Michigan, where the closest convenience store was at the Sunoco gas station in her town where her family grabbed staples like bread and milk. It was also a meet up spot to catch up with friends. But when presenting her idea of The Goods Mart, Krupa said her friends were “shocked” she’d want to open an actual brick and mortar store just as supermarkets like Whole Foods started ramping up their delivery game. But she hopes her store will serve as neighborhood staple the way that Sunoco from her childhood did.
“With so many of our everyday experiences going high tech, and no matter how ‘convenient’ we want things, we’re all instinctually yearning for community,” she said. “I live in Silver Lake. We don’t have that neighborhood bodega you can walk to and pick up the essentials.”
There’s certainly a need for healthier markets. Fifty-two percent of organic consumers are millennials, according to the Organic Trade Association.
And that particular age demographic buys 52% more vegetables than any of their older counterparts, a study from market research firm NPD group shows.
The Goods Mart also feeds into the greater trend of health consciousness and food transparency. As more consumers question where their ingredients are coming from and how they’re grown, they are buying more sustainable products. The fast food market is catching onto this, too. In 2017, nearly half of all convenience stores expanded their fruit and vegetable items with bites like packaged salads and hard-boiled eggs, according to a National Association of Convenience Stores survey. And in January, 7-Eleven, one of the world’s largest convenience store chains known for its sugary Big Gulps and Slurpees, also began selling organic cold pressed juices.
The Goods Mart also has the makings of a successful snack stop, particularly for twenty-somethings always hungry for a nosh: out of the 94% of Americans who snack at least once per day, millennials account for the largest group, often snacking four or more times in 24 hours.
To make it feel like a true neighborhood market, Krupa partnered with local eateries like Bakers Kneaded for pastries like flaky almond croissants, and Banh Oui, the Silver Lake-based Vietnamese baguette sandwich shop. And the PR guru got some of her own former clients from the neighborhood involved, like Botanica restaurant (also in Silver Lake) which provides banana bread and cookies.
There’s also a strong anti-food waste component. Americans waste approximately 1.3 billion tons of food each year, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The Goods Mart will hawk fresh produce and fruit from L.A.’s local GrubMarket, which sells “ugly fruit” that may get overlooked at supermarkets. And it’s stocking shelves with brands like Barnana, a company that uses scuffed up and too-ripe bananas to create snacks like plantain chips and banana brittle. She’s also partnered with Lunch on Me, which will give any food on The Good Mart’s shelves that is nearing its expiration date to feed the homeless.
And customers have another chance to do good before leaving the store: at checkout, the “tip” function becomes a way for shoppers to give to local charities that will rotate each quarter.
Krupa hopes to expand The Goods Mart across the country. “I don’t want to stop with it just in Silver Lake,” she said. “The goal is to pop up in areas that need better food that’s more accessible.”
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