Northgate Gonzalez Market to promote produce to SNAP participants


Northgate Gonzalez Market said Thursday it will offer programs through its produce departments to promote long-term health among low-income shoppers as part of a program with the Center for Community Health at the University of California, San Diego.

The Anaheim, Calif.-based retailer said it will offer financial-incentive rebates on fruit and vegetable purchases using the chain’s customer loyalty card, as well as special produce promotions, in-store cooking classes, store tours and education on food labeling, to encourage additional purchases for healthy food options.

The retailer also said it will share data with researchers at UC San Diego, including per capita spending and changes among SNAP participants, as they gain more knowledge about healthier food options.

The program evolved from a $3.4-million grant the university received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase affordable food access to low-income shoppers who receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

“We are honored to work with UC San Diego to support the USDA in the development, implementation and evaluation of a nutrition incentive program,” said Victor Gonzalez, co-owner and VP of Northgate. “It is our goal to develop an effective, efficient and replicable financial-incentive rebate system that can serve as a national model for retailers and contribute to the enhanced health and well-being of low-income community members.”

The chain operates 40 Hispanic-focused stores throughout Southern California.

Similar incentives for SNAP participants have been piloted at Kroger, Balls Food Stores and SpartanNash.

2016 Top 50 Small Chains and Independents USA


Sales numbers are listed as estimates, although SN (SUPERMARKET NEWS) did attempt to obtain accurate figures by contacting every company on the list.
    1. Vallarta Supermarkets 2016
    2. Rouses Enterprises 2016
    3. PAQ 2016
    4. Jerry’s Enterprises 2016
    5. Marsh Supermarkets 2016
    6. H Mart 2016
    7. Redner’s Warehouse Markets 2016
    8. Festival Foods 2016
    9. Fairway Market 2016
    10. Niemann Foods 2016
    11. King Kullen Grocery Co. 2016
    12. Foodland Super Market 2016
    13. Glass Gardens 2016
    14. Harps Food Stores 2016
    15. Dierbergs Markets 2016
    16. Homeland Stores 2016
    17. Lewis Food Town 2016
    18. Lund Food Holdings 2016
    19. Cardenas Markets 2016
    20. Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage 2016
    21. Cosentino’s Food Stores 2016
    22. Heinen’s 2016
    23. Roche Bros. Supermarkets 2016
    24. Kings Food Markets 2016
    25. Pyramid Foods 2016
    26. Reasor’s 2016
    27. All American Quality Foods 2016
    28. Brown’s Super Stores 2016
    29. Ball’s Food Stores 2016
    30. Martin’s Super Markets 2016
    31. Sedano’s 2016
    32. Earth Fare 2016
    33. Harmons 2016
    34. Gelson’s Markets 2016
    35. Perlmart 2016
    36. Fred W. Albrecht Grocery Co. 2016
    37. Good Food Holdings 2016
    38. Mi Pueblo Food Centers 2016
    39. RoNetco 2016
    40. B&R Stores 2016
    41. Miner’s 2016
    42. Tawa Supermarket 2016
    43. E&H Family Group 2016
    44. Nugget Markets 2016
    45. Stew Leonard’s 2016
    46. C&K Market 2016
    47. Market Basket Foods 2016
    48. Town & Country Grocers 2016
    49. PCC Natural Markets 2016
    50. Mars Super Markets 2016

2015 Top 50 Small Chains and Independents.


    1. Fareway Stores 2015
    2. Inserra Supermarkets 2015
    3. Marsh Supermarkets 2015
    4. Northgate Gonzalez Market 2015
    5. Lowe’s Market 2015
    6. PAQ 2015
    7. Rouses Enterprises 2015
    8. Vallarta Supermarkets 2015
    9. Cardenas Markets 2015
    10. Redner’s Warehouse Markets 2015
    11. Festival Foods 2015
    12. Fairway Market 2015
    13. Jerry’s Enterprises 2015
    14. King Kullen Grocery Co. 2015
    15. Niemann Foods 2015
    16. Homeland Stores 2015
    17. Harps Food Stores 2015
    18. Foodland Super Market 2015
    19. Dierbergs Markets 2015
    20. Lund Food Holdings 2015
    21. Lewis Food Town 2015
    22. Cosentino’s Food Stores 2015
    23. Glass Gardens 2015
    24. Roche Bros. Supermarkets 2015
    25. Kings Food Markets 2015
    26. Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage 2015
    27. Heinen’s 2015
    28. Martin’s Super Markets 2015
    29. Gelson’s Markets 2015
    30. All American Quality Foods 2015
    31. Ball’s Food Stores 2015
    32. Reasor’s 2015
    33. Sedano’s 2015
    34. Harmons 2015
    35. Brown’s Super Stores 2015
    36. Pyramid Foods 2015
    37. Perlmart 2015
    38. Fred W. Albrecht Grocery Co. 2015
    39. Haggen Inc. 2015
    40. Good Food Holdings 2015
    41. Miner’s 2015
    42. RoNetco 2015
    43. Stew Leonard’s 2015
    44. Earth Fare 2015
    45. B&R Stores 2015
    46. Tawa Supermarket 2015
    47. E&H Food Group 2015
    48. Mi Pueblo Food Centers 2015
    49. Town & Country Grocers 2015
    50. C&K Market 2015

Northgate Market aims for ‘platform of respect’


Helping underserved communities have access to fresh foods is about more than just the food, said Oscar Gonzalez, Northgate Gonzalez Market co-president, at a panel at the Expo West show in Anaheim, Calif.


“It’s more than just having the food there, having the fresh produce, fresh meat, fresh breads. It’s really about creating an environment where people feel safe, where families feel safe and where there’s a platform of respect,” Gonzalez said.

Two examples Gonzalez gave were keeping bathrooms as clean as expected in high-income communities and making sure the parking lot is lit properly at night so customers feel safe shopping in the store.

“A lot of our success and our growth has really been about success at making sure those things we all take for granted become important,” he said. The Anaheim-based chain has also focused on educating customers about the pillars of healthful meals. Last year the retailer hired its first dietitian. The store is also known for its “Viva la Salud” wellness program.

Gonzalez described his chain’s approach to opening new stores in a new community as “holistic.”

“We really feel that by opening a store in an underserved area, that we can make that community better,” noting that Northgate reaches out to faith groups and programs for children to become integrated into the community.

One challenge, Gonzalez argued, is that natural and organic foods are still out of reach for his shoppers.

Whole Food Market co-CEO Walter Robb, the moderator of the food access panel, noted that a newly opened Detroit Whole Foods worked hard to make the pricing and assortment affordable to the Detroit community. The Austin, Texas, chain is also opening a new store in the Englewood community in Chicago’s South Side.

Other panelists on the food access panel included Will Allen, CEO of Growing Power; James Dukes, bishop of the Liberation Christian Center; Robin Emmons, executive director of Sow Much Food; and Clint Smith, an educator and poet.

2015 Top 50: Independent Spirit


The independent market remains vibrant and growing, as SN’s annual list of the Top 50 Small Chains and Independents demonstrates.

The 10 companies that top the list account for combined sales of $9.95 billion, compared with $8.6 billion for the 10 companies on last year’s list.

Whether urban or rural, the list demonstrates the diversity of the independent operators that serve their respective marketplaces.

FIVE STARSSN profiles five notable independents in the 2015 Top 50

Roche Bros.: Survival through innovation

Northgate Gonzalez: Modernizing stores

Fairway Market: Fresh food with attitude

Redner’s Warehouse Markets: Controlling costs

Festival Foods: Grows naturally

Of the two companies that lead the list — each accounting for $1.2 billion — No. 1 Fareway Stores, Boone, Iowa, serves a less urbanized demographic with 108 stores, while No. 2 Inserra Supermarkets, Mahwah, N.J., serves a more populous base with just 22 stores. (In the case of a tie, retailers are listed in alphabetical order.)

The next two operators — each of whom does $1 billion in sales — also serve diverse markets, with 79-store Marsh Supermarkets, Indianapolis, neck-and-neck with Northgate Gonzalez Markets, Anaheim, Calif. (see related story), whose 40 stores cater to an ethnic Hispanic base.

Moving further down the list, Lowe’s Markets, Littlefield, Texas, was No. 5, with 145 stores serving a variety of smaller Texas communities, while No. 6 PAQ, Stockton, Calif., serves a more populous base in both Northern California and Hawaii.

Coming on strong are two companies of roughly equal size serving very different demographics — Rouses Enterprises, Thibodaux, La., with 46 stores in the New Orleans area, and Vallarta Supermarkets, Sylmar, Calif., with 44 stores serving a primarily Hispanic clientele.

Year-over-year comparisons with last year’s Top 50 are impacted by a change in methodology in SN’s list of the Top 75 grocery retailers in the U.S. and Canada. With the addition of consumable sales at drugstores and, three chains that used to be on that list now head the Top 50: Fareway, Inserra and Marsh.

The big gainers among the top independents this year were companies that expanded their store count during 2014, including Rouses, which added six new stores; Festival Foods, Onalaska, Wis. (No. 11) (related story), whose volume benefited from new stores opened at the end of 2013 plus two new stores last year; and Harps Food Stores, Springdale, Ark. (No. 17), which opened three new stores; while companies near the top of last year’s list that found themselves running more or less in place were PAQ and Redner’s Warehouse Markets, Reading, Pa. (No. 10) (related story), both of which saw volume dip slightly.

The biggest anomaly in the Top 50 is Bellingham, Wash.-based Haggen — at No. 38, but not for long. If all goes as planned, the 18-store Pacific Northwest operator will acquire 168 Safeway and Albertsons locations across the West when those two giants merge, boosting Haggen into a major regional chain with sales approaching $3.5 billion.

California; Cardenas Northgate Group Ranch, Sanders tapped to run Hispanic retail partnership.

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Dan Sanders has been named to oversee operations at Cardenas Northgate Group Ranch LLC, the joint venture that acquired 11 Pro’s Ranch Markets last month, local sources told SN.

Sanders was president of Acme Markets, Malvern, Pa., when it was owned by Supervalu after serving as CEO of United Supermarkets, Lubbock, Texas. He could not be reached for comment Friday.

CNG Ranch LLC — encompassing seven stores in Arizona, two in New Mexico and two in Texas — was created in early February to acquire the 11 stores by two Hispanic operators who compete in Southern California: Cardenas Markets, Ontario, Calif., and Northgate Gonazlez Markets, Anaheim, Calif.

California: Northgate Gonzalez wins Unified’s Ben Schwartz Award

5. Northgate Gonzalez

Unified Grocers, Los Angeles, has presented its 2014 Ben Schwartz Retail Grocery Visionary Award to Northgate Gonzalez Markets, Anaheim, Calif.

The award is named after Schwartz, a former chairman of Unified and a board member for over 40 years, who received the first visionary award in 2005. Schwartz in his 90’s, was present at the awards dinner.

According to Unified, the award recognizes independent retailers who, “by their practice and example, have consistently demonstrated initiative, creativity and leadership within their businesses and have inspired others to think and act creatively and with passion in the grocery field.”

In presenting the award, Bob Ling, Unified president and chief executive officer, said, “The award carries the name of a true retail visionary. The idea behind it is to recognize someone who exemplifies Ben Schwartz’s spirit, character and ultimately the vision he demonstrated throughout his long career.”

Referring to the Gonzalez family that owns the 38-store chain, Ling said, “Their passion toward customers and retailing is clearly evident as you walk through their stores. Northgate Gonzalez Markets is a great company, and the best is yet to come.”

Previous winners have included Mike Provenzano Jr., Pro’s Ranch Markets; Lou Amen, Super A Foods; Dick and Rick Wright, Market of Choice; Gelson’s Markets; Town & Country Markets; Superior Grocers and Mollie Stone’s Markets.

Gran éxito de las cadenas de supermercados “étnicas”, en Estados Unidos.

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Algunos de los más rápidos crecimientos en las cadenas minoristas de alimentos en Estados Unidos son los dirigidos a grupos étnicos, como los hispanos y los asiáticos , como lo demuestran los números,  SUPERMARKET NEWS TOP 75 mejores minoristas y mayoristas en América del Norte y el SUPERMARKET NEWS TOP 50 pequeñas cadenas e independientes.

El TOP 75, publicado en enero, incluye SUPERIOR GROCERS, con sede en Santa Fe Springs, California, que marcó un estimado de $ 1.6 mil millones en ventas de sus 42 supermercados el año pasado, casi el doble de su tamaño en los últimos cinco años. Aparece en el  No. 60 en la lista de este año .

Junto Superior Grocers entre los Top 75 de este año está EL SUPER – Bodega Latina , con base en Commerce, California , que hizo su debut en la lista en el puesto número 72 . La empresa, una división del Grupo Comercial Chedraui con sede en México , había estimado  las ventas de 1,2 millones en sus 45 supermercados.

En la lista de las 50 mejores , tres de los 10 más grandes de cadenas Hispanas de supermercados – Northgate Gonzalez Market , n º 3, con un estimado de $ 918 millones en ventas ; Cardenas Markets , N ° 5 con un volumen estimado en $ 856.000.000 , y Supermercados Vallarta , N º 7, con ventas estimadas de $ 800 millones.

Otros operadores de cadenas étnicas que están mostrando un crecimiento incluyen Sedano´s con 33 supermercados, operador hispano con sede en Hialeah , Florida , y Tawa Supermarkets, Buena Park , California, operador con 37 tiendas encaradas al mercado asiático.

Lo que muchos de estos operadores tienen en común es su cada vez más amplio atractivo más allá de las características demográficas que apuntan ostensiblemente . Superior Grocers , por ejemplo, se posiciona como un destino para los “caza-ofertas” de cualquier grupo étnico, pero otros también pueden ser beneficiados por el recurso cada vez más corriente principal de las cocinas étnicas .

En una entrevista con SN sobre sus proyecciones para el 2014 , John Rand , vicepresidente senior en el Cambridge Mass, oficina de Kantar Retail, dijo que existe una gran oportunidad para los minoristas tradicionales para abrazar un posicionamiento multicultural que se centra en productos populares , independientemente de su etnia u origen.

“Se trata de la comercialización a un grupo de personas que han adoptado esa cultura como propia “, dijo a SN . ” La gran victoria para los minoristas y los proveedores es lo que va a ir a la corriente principal. “

Los siguientes cuatro formatos étnicos – dos independientes y dos que son divisiones de grandes compañías de supermercados tradicionales – muestran la forma en que están evolucionando para satisfacer las necesidades de sus respectivos clientes.

Basha’s Food City banner, con 48 ubicaciones en Arizona, ha dado lugar a innovaciones que han sido adoptadas por su empresa matriz en las tiendas Bashas tradicional ” . Food City ofrece menús con chiles verdes y pollo fuera de sus tiendas , por ejemplo, una característica popular que ha sido adoptada por Bashas ‘ . Bashas ‘ también ha traído algunas grandes exhibiciones de productos más visuales del formato Food City EDLP a la Bashas.

• Rhee Bros.’ Assi Plaza, una cadena de seis tiendas con sede en Hanover , Maryland, fue fundada como un concepto que ofrece alimentos básicos como el arroz de Asia , el aceite y el kimchi coreano preparado para cocinar , y está trabajando para maximizar su atractivo para los diferentes grupos étnicos y para inmigrantes asiáticos de segunda generación . “Hoy tienes modernos conceptos [ étnicos ], equipos modernos y lo que buscas en productos hoy en día tienen etiquetas en inglés , ” dijo el co -propietario Robin Rhee en una entrevista con SN .

Net Cost Market, con sede en Nueva York , se centra en la tarifa de Europa del Este – los artículos populares entre los inmigrantes procedentes de Rusia y Ucrania en el mercado nacional de la empresa de Brooklyn – pero se ha ampliado para ser más una cadena de tiendas especializadas que ofrecen  las importaciones difíciles de encontrar a precios asequibles. Entre ellos se incluyen artículos procedentes de Francia, Alemania, Italia , Bulgaria y Grecia , así como los estados de Europa del Este , como Ucrania , Rusia y Letonia y Uzbekistán en Asia occidental. Además , NET COST MARKET,  importa una gran selección de hierbas , especias y otros productos de la India , China y Vietnam.

• • United Supermarkets’ Amigos banner, tiene previsto abrir su primera ubicación  en agosto en Hereford , Texas , pero el concepto podría ampliarse a otros mercados , ahora que UNITED ha sido adquirido por Albertsons , Boise, Idaho. La tienda de United Supermarkets planeado en Hereford será la primera en un mercado que no tiene otros formatos UNITED cerca y se trataría de alcanzar un amplio demográfico. “Esto va a ser un lugar divertido , festivo para hacer compras, para una amplia gama de clientes “, dijo Juan Enchinton , director de iniciativas hispanas de UNITED SUPERMARKETS .

Ethnic retailing: Targeted formats expand amid shifting tastes, demographics.

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Some of the fastest-growing food-retailing chains in the country are those targeting ethnic groups such as Hispanics and Asians, as illustrated by the numbers in SN’s 2014 lists of the Top 75 Retailers and Wholesalers in North America and the Top 50 Small Chains and Independents.

The Top 75 list, published in January, includes Superior Grocers, based in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., which tallied an estimated $1.6 billion in sales from its 42 locations last year, nearly doubling in size over the last five years. It appeared as No. 60 on this year’s list.

Joining Superior Grocers among the Top 75 this year is Bodega Latina, based in Commerce, Calif., which made its debut on the list at No. 72. The company, a division of Mexico-based Grupo Commercial Chedraui, had estimated sales of $1.2 billion from its 45 locations.

On the Top 50 list, three of 10 largest small chains on the roster target Hispanic customers — Northgate Gonzales Market, No. 3 with an estimated $918 million in sales; Cardenas Markets, No. 5 with volume estimated at $856 million; and Vallarta Supermarkets, No. 7 with estimated sales of $800 million.

Other ethnically focused operators on the list that are showing growth include Sedano’s, a 33-store Hispanic operator based in Hialeah, Fla.; and Tawa Supermarket, Buena Park, Calif., operator of the 37-unit 99 Ranch Market banner seeking to serve Asian consumers in several states.

What many of these operators have in common is their increasingly broad appeal beyond the demographic they ostensibly target. Superior Grocers, for example, positions itself as a destination for bargain hunters of any ethnicity, but others may also be benefiting from the increasingly mainstream appeal of ethnic cuisines.

In an interview with SN about his projections for 2014, John Rand, SVP at the Cambridge, Mass., office of Kantar Retail, said a significant opportunity exists for traditional retailers to embrace a multicultural positioning that focuses on popular product, regardless of its ethnic origin.

“It’s about marketing to a group of people who have adopted that culture as their own,” he told SN. “The big win for both retailers and suppliers is what’s going to go mainstream.”

A clickable list of the 2014 Top 50 Small Chains and Independents

On the following pages, SN profiles four ethnic formats — two independents and two that are divisions of larger traditional supermarket companies — to show how they are evolving to meet the needs of their respective customers.

Basha’s Food City banner, with 48 locations in Arizona, has spawned innovations that have been adopted by its parent company in traditional Bashas’ stores. Food City often grills green chilies and chicken outside its stores, for example, a popular feature that’s been adopted by Bashas’. Bashas’ has also brought some larger, more visual product displays from the Food City EDLP format to the Bashas’ stores.

Rhee Bros.’ Assi Plaza, a six-store chain based in Hanover, Md., was founded as a concept offering Asian staples like rice, cooking oil and prepared Korean kimchee, and is working to maximize its appeal to different ethnicities and to second-generation Asian immigrants. “Today you’ve got modern [ethnic] concepts, modern equipment and you’re looking at products today that have English labels,” co-owner Robin Rhee said in an interview with SN.

Net Cost Market, based in New York, focuses on Eastern European fare — the items popular among the immigrants from Russia and Ukraine in the company’s home market of Brooklyn — but has expanded to become more a specialty retailer offering hard-to-find imports at affordable prices. Those include items from France, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and Greece, as well as Eastern European states such as Ukraine, Russia and Latvia, and Uzbekistan in West Asia. In addition, Net Cost imports a large selection of herbs, spices and other products from India, China and Vietnam.

United Supermarkets’ Amigos banner is planning to open its first ground-up location in August in Hereford, Texas, but the concept could be expanded to other markets now that United has been acquired by Albertsons, Boise, Idaho. The planned Amigos store in Hereford will be the first in a market that does not have other United formats nearby and will seek to target a broad demographic. “This will be a fun, festive place to shop, for a wide range of guests,” said Juan Enchinton, director of Hispanic initiatives at United.

— Mark Hamstra

California: Northgate Markets & Cardenas partner to buy Pro’s Ranch

logo_northGate 5. Northgate Gonzalez859124_650165248356758_1575763386_oTwo Hispanic-focused retailers based in Southern California said Monday they have formed a partnership to acquire Pro’s Ranch Markets out of bankruptcy.

Anaheim, Calif.-based Northgate Gonzalez Market and Ontario, Calif.-based Cardenas Markets formed Cardenas Northgate Group Ranch (CNG Ranch LLC) to acquire and operate the 11-unit Pro’s Ranch Markets. The purchase price is $55 million.

Pro’s, based in Phoenix, operates seven stores in Arizona, two in new Mexico and two in Texas. It filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy last May. It had estimated sales of $350 million in 2013.

CNG will also obtain the use of the Pro’s Ranch Markets corporate office — adjacent to one of the Phoenix stores — and a 151,000-square-foot warehouse in Phoenix. Operationally, the companies said Northgate’s team will take the lead, providing overall management, and direction for daily operations, all under the supervision of the CNG board of directors that includes members from both the Cardenas and Northgate organizations.

“We are confident that Cardenas’ and Northgate’s financial strength, supply chain structure and commitment to family values and integrity will reenergize these stores, and allow them to continue providing the wide-range of products, high-level of customer service and competitive prices that Pro’s Ranch customers have come to expect. We believe we can build upon the legacy of well-established values and the strong market presence that Pro’s Ranch is known for,” said Northgate Gonzalez Market co-president Oscar González Reynoso.

Audio slideshow: A store tour through two generations at Northgate Gonzalez

“Even though Pro’s Ranch has experienced a number of operational and financial difficulties over the last few years, it has continued to foster a fiercely loyal customer base — one that took years to develop — and was even voted Arizona’s Retailer of the Year in 2012,” said Jesus Cardenas, president of Cardenas Markets. “On behalf of both the Cardenas and González families, we recognize the loyalty and patience of the 2,500 Pro’s Ranch employees and are happy to provide some closure and peace of mind for them moving forward.”

Cardenas Markets currently own 26 stores in California and three in Nevada. Northgate Gonzalez Markets operates 38 stores in California.

“We are very pleased that two of the most successful Hispanic grocery store chains in the United States, Cardenas Markets and Northgate Gonzalez Market, will be acquiring our stores,” said Pro’s Ranch Market EVP and CFO Michael Provenzano. “These are two fine operators with whom we have had a 20-year relationship. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

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