To reach more consumers, Massachusetts-based restaurant chain Wahlburgers is taking its hamburgers to the grocery aisle. Through an agreement with beef supplier ARKK Food Co., the restaurant’s burgers will arrive in grocery stores such as Shaw’s as early as this month, The Boston Globe reported.
“It’s just a natural progression for us,” Donnie Wahlberg, who oversees the chain with his brother, Mark, told the Boston Globe. “One thing with our customers, a lot of them are loyal fans [who] can’t always get to a Wahlburgers location … There aren’t locations in every city.”
The burgers in the grocery aisle will contain the same blend of beef that Wahlburgers uses in its restaurants. But, in the future, the company is considering rolling out other branded products. Either way, the company said its name recognition may encourage customers to test out the burgers. But it’s not taking that business for granted.
“We know that with our name on it, we may get a curiosity try,” Wahlberg told the Boston Globe. “But if it’s not good, not only will we not get a second chance, but we’ll hear about it publicly.”
The news comes months after Wahlburgers partnered with an Iowa-based supermarket chain Hy-Vee. According to Supermarket News, Hy-Vee ranked 24th among North American grocery retail providers in 2016. As of last year, the grocer served eight Midwestern states out of 240 supermarkets and did $9.8 billion in annual sales.
Wahlburgers, a family-friendly, fast-casual establishment serving signature burgers and drinks, currently operates 17 locations in nine states. The partnership with Hy-Vee added 26 new stores in seven Midwestern states. It also listed Wahlburgers-branded items on Hy-Vee’s in-store restaurant menu. At the time of that deal, Hy-Vee became the largest single Wahlburgers franchisee.
As news of Hy-Vee and Wahlburgers’ partnership surfaced, Hy-Vee was also partnering with Orangetheory. The companies were working together to provide a fitness experience in or near Hy-Vee stores.