Retailer to host first-ever food festival in NYCBy Natalie Taylor on May. 10, 2018Emerging from a tumultuous period of bankruptcy and restructuring, Fairway Market has launched a new marketing initiative, branded as not just a grocery store but also “the place to go fooding.”
The New York-based retailer will debut its new brand identity at its first-ever food festival on June 10 at the Armory Track Arena in Manhattan, located at 216 Fort Washington Ave. Drawing inspiration from the local foodie culture and events such as Smorgasburg—NYC’s popular weekly outdoor food market—the one-day event will feature live entertainment, cooking demonstrations and about 80 vendors from participating brands such as Chobani, Big Gay Ice Cream, Murray’s Chicken, Earthbound Farm and Atalanta.
Under ownership of Blackstone Group’s GSO Capital Partners following its Chapter 11 filing in 2016, the initiative serves as a turning point in Fairway’s mission to differentiate itself in a crowded market, identifying as “an experience for the senses” while exposing consumers to new and unique items.
“It’s something that’s always been there, but we’re positioning ourselves where we know what our strengths are, and we know how we’re going to compete,” says Alina Rodriguez, Fairway’s director of marketing. “Now we’re really focusing on how we can turn this ship around and create an experience of the senses, whether you’re shopping online or coming into our store.”
The retailer has already begun introducing its new brand identity with updated store signage at each of its 15 locations, featuring images of people enjoying food.
In addition to partnered vendors, Fairway Food Festival will host the retailer’s own booths, highlighting signature products among its more than 60,000 SKUs, including specialty cheese, olive oil, coffee and olive varieties.
Fairway Food Festival tickets are available for $5 each via the company’s website and in-store purchase. The retailer anticipates 6,000 to 9,000 attendees, and plans to continue hosting the event in the coming years.