There seems to be an emerging trend in the way people grocery shop. More and more higher end grocery stores are providing gourmet food courts. Two grocery stores that seem to be doing this very well are Wegmans and Whole Foods. I am sure there are more, but where I am in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area, these are the major contenders in this business.

Grocery stores are really tapping into the Starbucks mentality of making things about the experience in addition to selling a product. I think that both Wegmans and Whole Foods have transitioned out of the just selling food for preparation into the full food providers.

I have friends that go out to dinner at Whole Foods or go to Wegmans for a wine tasting event. Traditionally, grocers thought their customers would drive no more than 3 miles to get their produce and other food items. I know that Wegmans and some Whole Foods Markets have broken this mold completely. The Wegmans in Hunt Valley, Maryland was drawing people from 40 miles away who wanted to have the experience of grocery shopping at Wegmans. As a result, Wegmans is rapidly expanding to better serve the large customer base.

The bottom line is that people are really embracing this new trend in the grocery business. Its great a convenience and experience for the customers and these grocers a likely to continue to expand to better service their growing client base.