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News Briefs for January 26, 2015

January 26, 2015

•Whole Foods will add in-store dining options and bars to six new stores opening in the Chicago area, Crain’s reports. The expanded in-store amenities are intended to increase the appeal of Whole Foods’ brick-and-mortar stores as home-delivery grocery services grow in popularity. At the Whole Foods set to open January 28 in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood, the Austin, Texas-based grocery chain has partnered with outside operator Raw Foods to open a branded, in-store location to feature raw foods and vegan dishes as well as a full-service bar and a larger coffee stand. The expanded stores follow the success of Whole Foods’ Lincoln Park mega-store that features three full-service bars, one of the first locations to include that option. The chain has since expanded the concept to 110 of its 406 stores and is looking at the potential for more. Upscale grocers have been exploring more beer, wine and alcohol sales to drive traffic in recent years. Chains like Hy-Vee, H-E-B’s Central Market and Wegmans feature bars and prepared food.

•Healdsburg, California-based Ramey Wine Cellars has unveiled Sidebar Cellars, a new wine range targeted toward younger LDA consumers. Sidebar Cellars is set to roll out in April, initially featuring a Rhone-style red blend sourced from Mendocino County’s Redwood Valley, a Russian River Valley Syrah rosé and a Kerner—a white hybrid varietal—sourced from Lodi, the Napa Valley Register reports. The brand, priced at $25-$36 a bottle, will be positioned as a more contemporary and accessibly-priced offshoot to Ramey Wine Cellars’ flagship range, which retails at around $40 to $185 a 750-ml. and includes Chardonnay, Claret, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah varietals sourced from both Sonoma and Napa.

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