Wegmans Whips Up a Winner With Cauli 'Cream'


Wegmans Food Markets' inventive culinary experts have whipped up a creative, healthy, adaptable new product that's bound to be embraced as a godsend by the grocer's many nutrition-minded and weight-conscious shoppers.

Created by Executive Chef John Steinhoff and his team to replace more fattening options like heavy cream, butter or crème fraiche, the new recipe ingredient, dubbed Cauli “Cream,” is an indulgent-tasting purée made from cauliflower, lemon juice, water and salt. Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans will give customers a taste of Cauli "Cream" this weekend (Sept. 19-20) at all of its stores, along with free demos on how to make it and instructions on how to use it in recipes featured in the chain's in-house magazine, Menu.

"The day may come when we offer Cauli 'Cream' ready- made as an extra convenience to our customers," said Steinhoff. "But we're so pleased with how this recipe for a basic pantry staple turned out that we wanted to share it with customers right away."

Other retailers should be taking note of Wegmans' ingenuity in coming up with a healthier, veggie-based alternatives to dairy ingredients, as well as its willingness to bring its latest creation to the public. Indeed, Wegmans has built its reputation on innovation, superior product quality and a high level of engagement with its customers, and Cauli "Cream" further reinforces those positive attributes.

A final takeaway for grocers envious of Wegmans' relationship with its shoppers: Get busy innovating – you don't have to come up with your very own version of Cauli "Cream," but a streamlined deli-ordering system, or a way to recognize loyal shoppers on their birthdays, or an evening wine- and cheese-tasting event – anything that sets you apart from the herd, makes customers value the connection they have with their go-to grocer, and keeps them coming back – could do the trick. If, however, in the process of invention, your chefs hit upon a no-calorie, no-fat, no-cholesterol, sugar-free ice cream that tastes exactly like Ben & Jerry's, that would be good, too.

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