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Published: 4 Dec 2018

Grocer Natoora Takes Radical Seasonality to the High Street


Upscale British grocer Natoora, which supplies “environmentally responsible” fruit and vegetables to almost 1,000 restaurant partners, is directing its focus on seasonality towards a direct-to-consumer retail concept – an upmarket grocery boutique in west London that solely sells seasonal produce.

Disrupting the non-natural homogeneity of fruit and veg found in mainstream supermarkets, Natoora’s new retail space on Fulham Road in the affluent Chelsea district offers a rotating assortment of fresh, exclusively seasonal products. It clearly targets west London’s wealthy residents – a demographic with an appetite for sustainably sourced items of the variety used by the capital’s influential chefs (many of whom are Natoora’s wholesale clients). It’s the third standalone store for the brand; other locations include Sloane Square and Chiswick.

Affirming its deviation from traditional supermarkets, all the fruit and vegetables are tastefully merchandised on warmly lit concrete and timber terrazzo terraced shelves, with no plastic packaging.

Beyond only selling in-season produce, Natoora also sorts goods according to three seasonal stages (early, peak and late), meaning goods move between the respective display categories. Determined to re-educate consumers accustomed to purchasing based on a product’s cosmetic appearance (often unaware of what ripe produce should really taste and look like), the store encourages consumers to sample. The current ‘peak’ autumn selection includes pomegranates from Sicily and pumpkins from Lombardy (Italy), as well as collard greens from Cornwall (England).

Natoora also emphasises the transparency of its supply chain. Working with a curated global network of small-scale growers, which it calls craftsmen, it displays the seed, soil and source of everything it sells. Pushing the power of provenance, each grower is spotlit via documentary-style content on its website and product origin maps in-store.

The space was designed by Argentinian architect Noé Golomb and furnished by London-based cabinet makers FincH.

See also Future Supermarket Strategies and Boom of the Boutique Grocery Store.

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