Kings Food Markets promises consumers a fresh experience with its Local Fresh 24/7 program.
The program features displays of local produce within 24 hours of harvest. It started May 23 with a pilot and expanded in early June to the Parsippany, N.J.-based retailer’s 24 locations, said Paul Kneeland, vice president of produce and floral. Kneeland said the program will be available through Labor Day.
“At that point, Kings will shift its focus to fall harvest items, but we will continue to source from local growers throughout the fall and beginning of winter as much as possible,” he said.
Kings is working with Plainville, Mass.-based Red Tomato, a non-profit which helps small and mid-sized growers in the region connect with retailers. The Local Fresh 24/7 program features regionally sourced heirloom tomatoes, corn, squash, cilantro, lettuce, parsley, mint, radishes, spinach and other summer crops.
The logistics of the program are “unbelievably heroic,” Kneeland said. Each store has a Local Fresh 24/7 display featuring recently-harvested produce. Once the products have been on display for a single day, they are re-stocked with the general produce.
To alert consumers to what’s available in stores, Kings plans to update its website and Facebook and Twitter accounts. Kings also plans to add a section to its website that will share more detail about the products in the program, including when they were delivered and recipe ideas, Kneeland said.
“We will also be including more regular updates about the variety of products available via the hashtag #farmfresh on Kings’ Twitter feed, starting this week,” he said.