Wegmans Blog Woos Supermarket Customers with Organic Farm Charm

Last Updated Jul 17, 2009 11:37 AM EDT

Retailers are finding novel ways of using the Internet to establish bonds with their customers, and Wegmans has developed its own variation through a blog that gives customers the chance to learn about its organic research farm in Canandaigua, N.Y.

Otherwise, the farm operated by the Rochester, N.Y.-based supermarket chain is closed to the public. The blog arose as Wegmans customers expressed curiosity about the operation, and the retailer, famously sensitive to its customers preferences, wanted to respond. Now, by going to http://wegmansfarmblog.wordpress.com, customers can learn about how Wegmans is using the farm to improve its organic products. The farm was never meant to be a major production facilities, although a couple of Wegmans stores do receive products grown there. Primarily, it is a way to test best practices that Wegmans can share with its organic growers. Yet, the blog's content isn't strictly limited to developments at the research farm. Wegmans uses it to showcase initiatives that address the range of concerns customers have about how and where their food is grown. So, a recent post looked at the company's locally grown produce initiatives and introduced someone who is involved in advancing them, Robert Dodd, a Virginia farmer who supplies Wegmans stores in that state. Written by current summer intern Courtney Briggs, the Dodd post accomplished in words and pictures something a lot of supermarket chains have been less successful in communicating, how the passion of the farmer might translate into better food for the customer.

Wegmans is recognized for combining innovation and execution with old-fashioned familiarity and friendliness and, in doing so, has won a reputation as among the best supermarket chains in the United States. The blog takes what Wegmans does best and presents it neatly in cyberspace.