Central Market's New Website Targets Foodies

Texas-based specialty food retailer Central Market has launched a new website, with features designed specifically with foodies in mind.

Concepted and developed by Dallas-based The Richards Group in coordination with its digital and design arms, Click Here, Inc. and RBMM, the new site features interactive content, expert how-to advice and culinary inspiration for those passionate about food.

“We’ve created a really fun, dynamic space to make our customers’ mouths water,” said Cory Basso, group VP of marketing and advertising for H-E-B's Houston-based division and parent company of Central Market. “This is not your typical grocery store website – we wanted to extend the personalized experience of shopping in our stores to online. We’ve created easy access to weekly specials, recipes, entertaining inspiration and our cooking school. It reads like a foodie’s paradise full of ideas and news.”

To provide maximum functionality of the site without compromising the integrity of the creative, developers used “smart widgets” to create a customized content function that lets users select their neighborhood Central Market store and see only relevant information for that location, such as weekly promotions, “Dinner for Two” specials, store events and cooking class schedules. Users also can access more than 1,500 recipes, searching for dishes by keyword, meal type, season or cuisine. Built using HTML5, the site showcases new animation that lets visitors “play with their food” and interact with various ingredients.

Also part of the new site is Central Market's “More, Please!” blog, which features daily posts on everything from seasonal ingredients to party-planning tips. The blog offers practical cooking tips for food like seafood, vegetables and fresh herbs.

The website launch follows a new creative campaign that broke in February 2012. Titled “Really Into Food” and inspired by Central Market’s own customers, the campaign includes radio spots, print ads, online and mobile ad units, in-store and environmental signage, and even a new catering van.

Dallas-based Central Market is known for its open, serpentine-flow, full-view European-style layout that offers a completely new food shopping experience. It features a large produce department with a large variety of high-quality items, an 80-foot seafood case with selections from throughout the world, hundreds of cheeses, 2,500 wine labels, and a cooking school featuring hands-on instruction.

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