Fresh Food Market is a gourmet food store brand in Cairo, owned by Mansour Group, bringing a refined fresh food experience into the heart of the Middle East. The store design, in-store communications and visual merchandising concepts were all developed by Switzerland’s Interstore design. Egypt’s The Brand Bees altered the Arabic version of the logo and fledged the internal branding and packaging. After the successful debut of the first store in New Cairo, the brand has decided to open a door in Zayed, one of the new suburbs of Cairo. Our Berries, US’ Andres Nicholls of Prophet and Egypt’s Taimour Othman of The Brand Bees, have reviewed the brand.
Not too long ago for all of us, going to the grocery store was a major chore. Something we all avoided as much as we could. Today, while running out of orange juice is still not great, the way we buy it and where we buy it has changed dramatically.
In the hyper-convenient world in which we live today, you can order anything you want online, and grocery stores have not been immune to this dramatic transformation. They have been moving from simply being a place that stocks food you need to buy, to the place you want to go because they offer you an unique shopping experience.
The Fresh Food Market is an interesting example of this. This newly designed store illustrates how to create an experience for people while they shop for groceries.
I must admit that I’m a bit puzzled by their new identity system. In a place where fresh queues are abundant, the design of their identity lacks any of them, and instead they chose to use a dot matrix system that resembles a “digital” board. This graphic treatment has been used quite successfully at other places, like Toronto Pearson airport, where the dot matrix system was used to create a gorgeous and simple visual system.
But for the Fresh Food Market, this approach feels a bit random and disconnected with the experience people will have inside the store.
The use of black and white on the store fascia helps a bit because it adds some visual connection with the fixture system used inside the store, while still communicating a premium offering.
The contrast of materials and colors, from the light palette used for flooring and fixtures to the black ceiling treatment, add lots of food theater and allows FFM to create focal points that enable a more exciting shopping experience.
The use of wood fixtures and the location of fresh food at the front of the stores gives FFM the food credentials people are looking for in a new grocery experience. The store layout provides great, clear sightlines across the store, and customers can easily identify where they want to go once they enter.
The merchandising approach seems to offer a nice combination of convenience and inspiration. There are lots of food theater moments across the store. Moments that are critical in today’s grocery shopping.
Overall, FFM has created an interesting retail environment, and an experience that feels modern and quite cosmopolitan. At the end, when we go to the grocery store we not only go to buy what we need, but also to get inspired, learn and enjoy food in a way that is more attuned in how we live these days.
FFM seems to have done a good job at creating that type of experience in Cairo.