Well, it seems the grocery giant has done it again with a concept store that offers a whole new level of commitment to today's conscious consumers... think sustainable, natural, organic niche brands and an in-store health café to boot.
Naturally, the PLAY Sydney team had to head down to the store in Double Bay to bring you the (green) juice!
Juice, coffee and flowers
Walking into "The Kitchen", I was greeted with an array of fancy bouquets that could rival a florist. Team this with a fresh juice and coffee bar (complete with recycling facility), and you've got yourself a very warm welcome.
FYI, I tucked into a "Workout Recovery" smoothie with vegan hemp protein from the juice bar... would highly recommend it if you're in the area.
The Market Kitchen
The next area of the store (referred to as "The Market Kitchen") is a café featuring many of the meals and drinks you'd expect to see in a healthy Bondi eatery: poke bowls, smoothie bowls, kombucha, detox teas, grass fed burgers, and - of course - smashed avo.
The kitchen is open plan and the menu cover reads "celebrating fresh ingredients grounded in goodness", reinforcing the store-wide messaging around wholesomeness and health.
Trollies made from milk bottles!
This is a small but significant point. Each trolley is made from 74 recycled milk bottles! I don't know how that's possible, but it's awesome.
Kombucha has officially taken over
Just look at the ratio of kombucha to "other" drinks in the takeaway section of the café. The humble juice can't seem to stand up to the force of this major gut health trend!
Key ingredients and claims
One thing you don't see in this store is the usual barrage of mainstream brands gracing the shelves. It's most definitely a niche player and supermarket own-brand feast!
The store has entire sections dedicated to superfoods and "en vogue" ingredients such as hemp, apple cider vinegar and coconut water, as well as the nutrients and "macros" that consumers are seeking out, like protein.
#treatyourself... but only if it's sugar-free!
The "Pick and Mix" products are a far cry from the sweet stuff I remember getting at the cinema back in the day! Everything here is packed with fruit, protein, nuts or superfoods.
The "Indulgence" section is full of sweet alternatives like coconut sugar, date syrup, cacao butter and quinoa flour.
Both of these nods to the collective sweet tooth tap into the shift consumers are making towards conscious snacking and "guilt-free" treats.
Local and personal
All around the store there are products from local businesses like Spring Wholefoods (pictured below), who had a seeded, allergen-free bread tasting stand (don't mind if I do!).
The Woolworths team had also placed personal touches around the store like a note on the bread saying "I love Spring Foods sprouted bread because it promotes great gut health and tastes amazing".
Breakfast goes brunch club
The breakfast aisle is full of inspiration. An organic nod to corn flakes is stacked next to some quinoa porridge, a superfood mix, granola created by a naturopath, as well as a plethora of grain-free, gluten-free, paleo granola alternatives.
You won't be calling breakfast boring or predictable again!
Wellness isn't just a buzzword
Have you ever seen a beauty or personal care aisle labelled "Wellness"?! This store has a whole aisle dedicated to bamboo toothbrushes, marine collagen, fluoride-free toothpastes, detox masks, natural deodorant and tea-tree galore.
It seems the self-care trend is more than just a hashtag.
Organic and eco
From the seasonal fresh produce to the homeware, personal care products and even baby food - organic is EVERYWHERE.
Homeware items reflect many of the recent eco, "homemade" trends like reusable coffee cups, coconut bowls, nut milk bags, metal straws and huge water bottles to help consumers stay #hydrated in 2019.
Over to you
It looks like Woolies are all over the latest food and drink trends, and they're committed to bringing consumers what they want.
Download our white paper now to find out how the FMCG industry can adapt amidst the lifestyle shift towards healthy, natural products. PLUS discover our three future predictions for the "naturals" industry.