MegaMart Ups The Shopping Ante

Food

MegaMart Ups The Shopping Ante

Thursday, July 23, 2020

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Supermarkets have always played an essential role in our lives in good times and bad. Cue: White overproof rum, Red Label wine, raisin and currants, Easter bun and cheese, and now, as a result of COVID-19, Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Disinfecting Wipes and antibacterial handwash, our grocery stores have stood the test of time.

Having moved from sheltering in place to the cumpulsory wearing of masks in public we have cautiously stepped out and are spending a longer time perusing supermarket shelves as we plan menus for family members who have suddenly developed lots more discerning palates (what else has there been to do than watch and be inspired by the famous and not so famous as they exposed our palates?).

Fresh food, food security and food safety are trending topics. Canned foods are essential hurricane commodities, but the global pandemic has placed the word “fresh” top of mind.

Gassan Azan, principal, MegaMart, clearly got the memo and has literally doubled the space allocated for fresh produce. It is currently at an impressive 3,200 sq ft hosting a range of mangoes, assorted sweet peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, scallion, garlic, onions, potatoes, plantains, corn, pineapple, etc. It's a veritable farmers' market!

“This will bring a higher level of quality, higher level of food safety into the stores because we now control it from the field... no other supermarket can lay claim to such a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and ground provisions as MegaMart,” stated Azan. Indeed, the end game is to have the store filled with the highest-quality Jamaican products. Be warned, the prices will not be rock-bottom! Fresh high-quality farm-to-consumer products will be priced accordingly.

An improvement in the packaging is already evident.

In the article “The future of grocery shopping”, Forbes predicts that grocery stores of the future will display the latest trends across health, ingredients, dishes and cooking styles. The goal? To make it easier for customers to find the foods they want and get inspiration as they shop.

Plus, Thursday Food underscores, trace food to its source. In our case we are supporting our farmers, and take comfort in knowing how for the most part our food has found its way to our tables.

Supermarkets are also experimenting with colour coding, exciting displays that bring together certain foods or tap into current trends, such as vegan meals or party foods. Jamaicans love to have people over and entertain at the drop of a hat! Our caterers understand this only too well and were quickly able to pivot in the early days of the pandemic and dropped off exotic platters and decadent desserts.

Baking bread became a thing, both here and overseas. The ultimate comfort food was in great demand. The team at MegaMart got that memo, too! There's 2,200 sq ft for bread and pastry and the bakery occupies 2,800.

From French baguettes and batards to loaves of rosemary olive oil, garlic, wheat loaf, sourdough, and multigrain ciabatta rolls, the phrase “Let them eat bread” is an understatement at MegaMart! La Brea Breads can be purchased straight out of the oven or frozen to allow consumers to bake at their convenience. Deli offerings include Athenos Hummus Original/Roasted Garlic, Delallo Roasted Pepper Bruschetta, Roland Pesto, Roland Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Al Fresco Spinach & Feta with a hint of Rosemary Chicken Sausage, Land O'Frost Deli Shaved Chicken Oven Roasted Turkey & Smoked Turkey, assorted ready-sliced cheeses, and Mozzarella wraps.

Few can lay claim to slimmer waistlines since COVID-19 found our shores. It might be a blessing in disguise! The sweet treats are beyond decadent, but consider this: Your dessert trolley at home will elicit wide smiles. Sweet treats include David's Triple Chocolate Cheescake, David's Chocolate Marble Swirl Cheesecake, David's Carrot Cheesecake, David's Plain Sugar-Free Cheesecake, David's Strawberry Cheescake, David's Cookies & Cream Cheesecake and David's Amaretto Cheesecake. Add Annie's Bananas Foster, tiramisu, Key West Key Lime, and the always-in-demand red velvet cake. Selfishness is not a bad word in these times. Perhaps a better choice of word is self-care.

It is imperative to stock up on such things as chocolate mousse and profiteroles. A word of caution, if you allow other family members or guests to taste them there won't be any left for you!

With Emancipendence around the corner and staycation now a thing, Thursday Food suggests you stock up at MegaMart. Feel free to thank us later.


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