2019 Outstanding Independents, Store Brands: Sendik’s Food Market, Milwaukee

Kat Martin
Former Senior Editor
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Every operator approaches store brands slightly differently.

“At Sendik’s, our approach to own-brand item development is somewhat unconventional,” says Joe Wood, chief marketing operator for Sendik’s Food Market, which operates 13 full grocery stores and four Fresh2Go convenience locations in the Milwaukee area. “We base our entrance into a given category based on where we believe there exists a quality-gap opportunity and where we can offer a superior product. Rather than offer tiers of own-brand products with varying degrees of quality to gain mostly a price advantage, our goal is singular: to provide the best quality in the category.”

To that end, the stores offer a variety of products with the Sendik’s label, including pasta imported from Sardinia, Italy, which is where the best wheat in the world is grown, according to the company. The wheat is then combined with carefully selected ingredients to create a finished product of outstanding quality.

Several products also are made fresh in-store, including potato chips that are made in the Mequon, Wis., location daily. The production process is open to customer view, so anyone can watch the item being made and sample freshly fried chips. Sendik’s uses triple-washed fresh potatoes from the Midwest that are then sliced — skin on — and fried in allergen-free, triple-filtered peanut oil. The chips are then seasoned and packaged for a truly unique product.

Many of the Sendik’s-branded products can also boast of their local origins, including the coffee, which is available in bags and as single-serve K-cups, and is packed in nearby Madison, Wis. Plus, it wouldn’t be a Wisconsin store without locally made Sendik’s beer brewed by the craftsmen at Milwaukee Brewing Co.

About the Author

Kat Martin was senior editor of Progressive Grocer. Read More