Fresh Ideas at Fresh Fields

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Fresh Fields may be a supermarket, but what it’s super at selling is its image: Good for you foods. A New Age grocery store Fresh Fields falls somewhere between a health food store and a traditional supermarket. It is not merely a health food store, because it carries a wider variety of foods including fresh pasta, baked goods, sea food and deli selections. What is absent from the shelves, rather than what is present, for Fresh Fields shoppers will not find foods containing lost of preservatives and artificial flavorings, such as Jell O and Oreos, that they can purchase at other supermarkets. What Fresh Fields offers is “organic and conventional produce, meats, seafood, dairy products, baked goods from an in-store bakery, deli items, gourmet and vegetarian prepared foods, a wide array of cheese, a full grocery department, an extensive selection of supplements skin enriching cosmetics and natural health care products and environmentally friendly household goods. The arrival of Fresh Fields coincides with that of the New age, health conscious trend of the 1990s, and the company has not hesitated in taking advantage of consumers’ new shopping preferences resulting from the trend. According to a 1992 survey by Health Focus, a Pennsylvania based research firm, 90 percent of shoppers say that health has become a factor in determining the food they buy. This perhaps accounts for why many Americans are willing to pay up to 20 percent more for natural foods. Actually, the Fields premium tends to hover closer to 5 percent, and when in season, Fresh Field’s locally grown organic produce can ever cost less than produce sold at other supermarkets. A team of entrepreneurs began Fresh Fields in 1991. The team included 33 year old Mark Ordan, former Goldman Sachs investment banker, as CEO and president; 75 year old Leo Kahn, founder of Staples the prosperous office-supply stores as chairman; and 44 year old Jack Murphy former manager of the Heartland supermarket chain in New...
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