"When Dollar General pioneered the 'dollar store' format in 1955, few food products were offered. With continual growth and changes to the company's business model, our product selection has evolved," said Jackie Li, senior vice president of private brands and global sourcing. "Customers shared that they believe in the quality and equity of Clover Valley and were receptive to more innovative products. We have put 'Food First' this year because we see a need and to fulfill the desire for even more options."
Introduced in 2009, Clover Valley now encompasses approximately 600 items. Some of the latest additions include Lobster Bites; Crab Cakes; Chicken Dipping Sauce; Siracha Chili Sauce; Cookies 'n Crème and Turtle Sundae Trail Mixes; BBQ, Dill Pickle or Ranch Sunflower Seeds; Spicy Nacho Cheese or Chili & Lime Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips; Mandarin Orange or General Tso's Chicken Bites with Rice; Black Bean & Corn Salsa; Berry Blast or Tropical Fruit Flavor Snacks; and 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread.
Dollar General's "Food First" initiative is intended to provide customers with healthier options including more food products and fresh food. While not a grocer, approximately 80 percent of the company's stores serve communities of 20,000 or fewer people, meaning many Americans, especially in rural areas, may rely on the retailer for basic household essentials, according to the company.
The retailer's recently announced plans for new stores incorporate a larger format design into 80 percent of its new builds, as well as nearly all store relocations for 2023. The bigger footprint will provide space for a significant increase in cooler count, as well as the ability to add fresh produce in many stores. Dollar General currently offers fruits and vegetables in nearly 3,900 stores, with plans to have produce in 5,000 locations by January 2024.