This is not your normal Publix, but it looks like it won’t be your normal GreenWise Market, either.
As the Lakeland-based chain prepares to open a new GreenWise stand-alone location for the first time in a decade next month, more details are trickling out about what the next generation of the organic store will look like.
And it seems like they will be a lot less like Whole Foods — which you could argue the 2008 GreenWise wave was built to combat — and a lot more like speciality niche stores Lucky’s Market, Earthfare and Sprouts Farmers Market.
In addition to October’s GreenWise Tallahassee opening, the new organic stores are slated to open in Lakeland and South Carolina in 2019. In August, Publix announced it would open a new GreenWise in Boca Raton, which is also home to one of the three original GreenWise stores. The other original GreenWise stores are in Tampa and Palm Beach.
"The new GreenWise Market concept features a simplified environment designed to show off our unique and house-made offerings," said senior vice president of retail operations Kevin Murphy in a statement. "We believe our customers will appreciate our curated selection."
GreenWise is also the private label Publix uses on all the organic items it sells in its standard stores.
Tampa Bay’s GreenWise Market — a roughly 40,000-square-foot center at 2401 W. Azeele St. in South Tampa —opened along with the other first-generation locations in 2008.
The GreenWise planned at Lake Miriam Drive and West Pipkin Road in Lakeland is about 25,000 square feet and the other new locations will be about the same.
Publix says the stores will play to foodies and health-conscious shoppers. The Florida chain hasn’t released exactly when its Tallahassee GreenWise will open, but it has been promoting the store heavily on Facebook.
The new GreenWise ad campaign features fresh-cut fruit, artisan coffee, sushi, kale salads and hip 20-somethings.
One image shows a shopper flipping her hair with the promise of "natural soaps, shampoos, nutritional and nutritional supplements." GreenWise is calling it the "CARE" section, but it’s similar to Lucky’s apothecary department.
Lucky’s has emerged as a serious competitor, opening more stores in the Sunshine State than anywhere else this year. The Colorado chain has financial backing from grocery giant Kroger, which is likely using its deep pockets to give Publix competition via a speciality chain rather than a traditional supermarket.
With the Tallahassee’s location proximity to Florida State University, it’s not shocking the new ad campaign is targeted toward a young shopper seeking out foods that are begging to be shared on Instagram.
The new store’s "EATS" will have burrito bowls, sushi and smoked wings, the "POURS" section will offer local craft beer and Kombucha on tap and the "FINDS" section will offer cheese and wine tastings.
Lucky’s Market is known for its "sip n’ stroll" that allows shoppers to drink while they browse the aisles.
"This is not your typical grocery store, and sometimes you may not even go there to shop for groceries," Publix said about GreenWise in a news release.
Those speciality sections don’t exist in the South Tampa GreenWise, which does have hot bars with multiple cuisines, soups, salad and antipasto. The local GreenWise is large and packed with high-end and organic groceries, but doesn’t have the trendy and cool vibe Lucky’s and others have captured.
So that prompts the question: Will Tampa’s GreenWise get a fresh makeover to be more like GreenWise 2.0?
Publix spokesman Brian West said the chain isn’t ready release any more GreenWise news just yet.
"We may have more to share after we open our first location in Tallahassee," he said in an email Friday.
Contact Sara DiNatale at [email protected] Follow @sara_dinatale.