Consolidation is something that occurs in every industry. Aggressive, ambitious players grow then merge and either become the dominant player in the marketplace or get acquired themselves by an even larger entity.
But right behind them are upstarts that bring new life to the space by offering niche, creative and inspiring methods of reaching the ever changing desires of the customer. The behemoth corporation can’t or won’t make changes fast enough to accommodate the desires of its clients.
Some retailers in the fresh space can react overnight to excess supply and offer a bargain price to customers during crop flush events. Others need 12 weeks to work it into the future rotation or plan-o-gram. Both business models work as evidenced by giant Wal-Mart and the numerous small, local retailers.
If you have ever been to downtown Boston on a Friday or Saturday and experienced the Haymarket (street farmer’s market) filled with dozens of vendors and thousands of customers, you will understand the concept of market driven economics. As a customer you can find fresh foods ranging from perfect to terrible. As a vendor, they key is to clearly define what space you are filling in the marketplace and to execute better than anyone else.
If your competency is low price than scout your competitors to make sure you are the leader on low price. If it is a particular product that you specialize in, always have plenty of the best available. If it is service, set yourself apart with more intangible offerings than anyone else. No matter what, be the best in the space.