Albertsons Debuts Pandemic-Friendly Salad Bar Concept


From Progressive Grocer, Dec. 22:

After many aspects of the self-serve categories were deemed unsafe during the height of the pandemic, Albertsons Companies has big plans on safely bringing high-tech healthy salad bars to its banners by partnering with Swedish food tech company Picadeli.

Picadeli makes fresh healthy food accessible and affordable for today’s on-the-go consumers. Its modular store-within-a-store salad bar concept is customized for each location, with ingredients specifically selected for a particular market. It prioritizes food safety, with the design comprising hygiene-first materials, technology-enabled shielding hoods, and automatic hand sanitizer and bowl dispensers. The mounting system for utensils ensures that the grip is never in contact with food, and that products aren't mixed. Its digital management system allows for full traceability of its supply chain and operation, as well as QR code scanning to ensure products don't stay out longer than allowed, signaling the need for refilling and artificial-intelligence reordering.

“Picadeli has created an innovative technology-forward solution to address the strong demand for healthy affordable foods that can be customized quickly,” said Jewel Hunt, group VP of deli foodservice at Albertsons Cos. “Fresh meal solutions is a category where we are continuing to differentiate our offerings, and by introducing Picadeli, we are giving our customers a great option for healthy meals at an affordable price.”

Picadeli is making its U.S. debut in six Safeway, Acme and Kings locations in Washington, D.C.; Maryland; and New Jersey.

“The lack of convenient, healthy fresh food at an affordable price has created a unique opportunity for grocers to win over consumers who have been left behind by the growth in cheap, less healthy fast food, and expensive fast-casual concepts,” noted Patrik Hellstrand, CEO of Picadeli U.S. “Albertsons is a leader in recognizing the demand for healthy and affordable food by its customers, and we are thrilled to work together to introduce our offering to the U.S. The fast fresh food market is ripe for disruption and innovation, and Picadeli’s proven offering has demonstrated it solves this need for consumers and leading retailers across Europe. We look forward to continuing to deliver on our mission here in the U.S.”

Since its start in 2009, Picadeli has enabled the grocery and retail industries to offer customers a fresh salad concept. Its turnkey salad bars are in more than 2,200 stores across seven countries throughout Europe, and sold more than 45 million salads in 2019. According to Picadeli, its technology creates efficiencies that reduce food waste while reducing labor, lowering break-even and increasing profitability.