More than a little BRIT different in how we eat and shop

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UK Giant Tesco is opening its first “Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market” this fall in my ‘hood, actually in nearby Arcadia at the corner of First and Foothill. I got to experience the “Tesco Express” which is vaugely similar to the “Fresh and Easy” stores in London last Month and was impressed with both the quality and the value for food on the run.

Why is this news or should anyone notice? Plenty of reasons. First off put aside your concerns that this huge retailer has beaten Walmart at its own game in the UK. The “Fresh and Easy” stores are going to redefine how we look at convenience food. The stores will be around 10,000 square feet, bigger than 7-11 and much smaller than the usual grocery store. It will be stocked with the good stuff for quick meals when you are too rushed to cook yourself.

Hmm….Convenience Store News and Forbes have reported that our domestic chains better be ready for this huge change in how we look at convenience food. (I think they need to come up with a better name than convenience as it rings of roach coach grub).

The initial plans are that this is going to be big, in the hundreds of stores very quickly in So Cal, NV and AZ and is even hinted at in Financial Times it could rival the 1,900 stores in the UK.

My neighbor has been working with them for just about a year down in the US Headquarters located in El Segundo. The concept behind “Fresh and Easy” is simple…great food for the family on the go. Getting past the usual PR stuff what I have seen so far impresses me. ITs going to be set up with a lot of fresh made food and the bits and pieces to finish off a nice dinner you can toss on the table when you get home.

The food will be made with good fresh ingredients and only stuff you find on the grocery store shelf that you would use yourself. So unless you are adding good old BHTA, preservatives and RED Dye40 on a regular basis this stuff will be a lot healthier than a lot of the “service deli” type stuff we usually see. The food will be made fresh at a huge, environmentally friendly facility out in Riverside and trucked into the local stores within 8 hours of being cooked.

So far we haven’t seen much in the mainstream news on them. They are environmentally friendly. Their local CEO
Tim Mason stated in an interview with PRINside “Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is in a unique position to deliver fresh, affordable, high quality food into the neighborhoods in which we operate and to do so safely and in the best interest of the environment,…”

According to Eric next to nothing makes it into the trash at the El Segundo Headquarters. Virtually everything is sorted and recycled. The same goes for their Riverside distribution hub. The Riverside facility is built out on the old Air Force base and has enough solar electricity generating capacity to just about cover its basic needs. Even their delivery trucks are going to be set up so that they not only aren’t clogging our streets with daily delivery’s, but are even quieter and less polluting as they are the lastest in clean technology.

So here we go a company starting up new with a green edge in what they sell us and how they get it to us. Not a bad way to do business, certainly never hurts to be a good neighbor when you are the new kid in town.

8 Replies to “More than a little BRIT different in how we eat and shop”

  1. Hey Jozjozjoz you got me with Famima, saw them around here and the UK….short version is they are a bit pricier and a bit too fancy for my picky eaters. Its kind of like comparing a Pavillions to a basic Vons. Some cross labels shared but different customer base and price points. Hope that helps.
    PS…thanks for the note on my personal blog. See there is more to me than is posted here.

  2. There was a little old lady,
    who was walkin down the road,
    she was struggling with bags from Tesco.

    …sorry, i just had to.

  3. dearcatastrophecarlos thanks for the odd little haiku-esque entry. Another reason why I love LA

  4. I have been reading about Tesco coming to LA and I can’t wait! I was in London for business last fall with a Tesco’s Fresh and Easy around the corner from my hotel and I LOVED it. Compared to Famima it had a lot more to offer, much bigger selection of delicious prepared foods and a pretty decent produce department. The wine selection was nice as was the regular groceries aisles. I would love to have one in my neighborhood. Famima seemed really more like an expensive sandwhich/sushi/soup place with a lot less choice than Tesco. And Tesco is focused on being green? HOORAY! Can’t wait for them to show up on the westside (I won’t be holiding my breath.)

  5. How did Tesco get its name? I’d always heard that the founder, Jack Cohen, named it after his wife Tessie Cohen (combining the first three letters of her first name and the first two letters of her last name). How romantic! But alas, Wikipedia says otherwise: “Founder Jack Cohen who, from 1919, sold groceries in the markets of the London East End… acquired a large shipment of tea from T. E. Stockwell and made new labels by using the first three letters of the supplier’s name and the first two letters of his surname. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_company_name_etymologies

  6. I read recently that they were going to put two stores in Upland. Does anyone know when and where in Upland? Thanks

  7. I read recently that they were going to put two stores in Upland. Does anyone know when and where in Upland? Thanks

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