“Groceries and glutes,” CNN reported in 2019 about a food store combining a gym in the store.
While grocery stores have been embedded various fitness options into their brick-and-mortar footprints long before the pandemic, there’s a new riff on fitness at the grocer coming to Augusta, Georgia: grocery and golf.
FreshTake, a new grocery store from a family-owned food chain, will open its doors in 2024, located in a Whole Foods location that closed in 2017.
In addition to many modern amenities common to new-build suburban grocery locations, FreshTake will also feature a five-hole putting green.
Along with outdoor seating, a juice and smoothie bar, and Jackson’s, a beer and wine bar, this FreshTake will also have a beer cave called the “Ice Box.”
Note that the site is just over a mile away from the Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters tournament.
The project is led by a fourth-generation born into the Mitchell Grocery Corp. family, which started a food distribution business in Alabama in 1945. Fast-forward nearly 80 years, the great-grandson of the founder Jackson Michell is leading the FreshTake retail store in Augusta.
Relevant to regular Health Populi readers, the FreshTake enterprise will also embed a pharmacy in the 42,000 square foot store footprint. This will be the first pharmacy the Jackson Mitchell Holdings company will operate.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: Food Network recently asked, “Are supermarket gyms the next big thing?”
The Food Industry Association explored the food-as-medicine opportunity for grocery stores in 2021. Research has shown that roughly one-half of U.S. consumers see fitness and health clubs along with their primary grocery store as touchpoints in their personal lives that are “on my side” for health, shown in the chart here.
Years before the pandemic, Hy-Vee launched a partnership with the fitness group Orangetheory to co-locate the gym/workout experience with the food shopping trip. Before that, Hannaford in upstate New York started up a wellness center with exercise classes and health services to complement its pharmacy. Since then, more grocers offer yoga, nutrition counseling, and various well-being services that complement the food-as-medicine missions many food chains are adopting in an increasingly competitive grocery marketplace.
Now, we have golf as part of this food/life/health portfolio. You can expect more such innovations that seek to bring food shoppers into the store for more than, well, the food. It’s about whole life and living for those folks identifying themselves and their families as health and well-being consumers.