Seeking to make its paper bags look “as grocery baggy as possible,” Richmond-based Ukrop’s Super Markets Inc. announced today a wide-ranging plan to put a long, crispy loaf of French bread in every single brown paper bag that leaves its stores – free of charge.
“No customer will exit a Ukrop’s without making it obvious to those persons around them that they have been to a grocery store,” said Robert S. “Bobby” Ukrop, the president of the 72-year-old family-owned chain. “The baguette sticking out from the top of the bag tells people, ‘I’ve been to the grocery store,’ and we feel is a crucial component of the food-shopping experience, whether you’re a bread eater or not.”
The Ukrop’s “Brown Baguette Bag” pilot program is running at its flagship store at Crossridge off Staples Mill Road. Customers said they are pleased with the new service, and leave the store with their brown bags feeling much more bag-like.
“I shop at Ukrop’s probably three times a week, and I don’t even worry about buying bread anymore because I know I’ll have a few loaves waiting for me at the checkout,” said Angela Trott, whose romaine lettuce and milk were also sticking out the top of her bag at the time. “It’s great to be able to know that the money you just spent on groceries isn’t for naught. People now know that I’ve been to the grocery store, and compliment my bags whenever they see the loaf sticking out the top.”
For customers who do not enjoy bread, have wheat allergies or refuse to make their brown bags look more groceryish, Ukrop’s has invested $17.3 million in a proprietary Baguette Hologram technology, which will strategically beam an image of a French bread loaf into the bags of customers until they reach their vehicles.