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Aug 31

Hy-Vee to partner with Wahlburgers Restaurants, Orangetheory Fitness – Quad City Times

As the retail landscape changes, Hy-Vee plans to partner with Wahlburgers restaurants and Orangetheory Fitness, in a move the grocery chain says reinforces its "longstanding commitment to health and wellness, culinary expertise and customer service."

Hy-Vee Chairman, President and CEO Randy Edeker announced the strategic partnerships Wednesday.

The grocery store chain plans to build, own and operate 26 Wahlburger restaurants, nearly doubling that brand's locations. It also plans to put Orangetheory Fitness outlets in or adjacent to Hy-Vee stores.

These unprecedented collaborations reinforce our companys longstanding commitment to health and wellness, culinary expertise and customer experience, said Edeker, in a news release. However, they also represent a bold step to deliberately evolve our business to meet the change in our customers lifestyles and spending habits. These partnerships keep us on the leading edge as the retail grocery industry evolves.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, grocery spending trends began to shift in 2014, and last year, more meals were eaten outside the home than were consumed at home. Millennials spend 44 percent of their food dollars annually on eating out, according to the Food Institutes analysis of the USDA food expenditure data from 2014. Income spent in restaurants and on take-out meals has risen from 34 percent in 1974 to 50 percent in 2014.

There is a changing landscape in the retail industry, Edeker said. Hy-Vee has a responsibility to our customers, employees and communities to look for new ways to strengthen our company. With this type of progressive action, Hy-Vee is well positioned for future growth.

Wahlburgers is a family-friendly burger chain that operates 17 locations in nine states and Canada. Its owners include Executive Chef Paul Wahlberg and celebrity brothers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg. Mark Wahlberg already has a partnership with Hy-Vee, which sells its his Performance Inspired Nutrition line.

Hy-Vee plans to franchise the 26 Wahlburger units in seven Midwestern states, with its first franchise opening in West Des Moines in mid-2018.

Orangetheory Fitness, an intensive group training workout center, operates 750 studios nationwide, and plans to open an additional 1,500 in the next two years. The first Hy-Vee partnered center will open this year in the Twin Cities.

In addition to placing the studios in or near its stores, Hy-Vee dietitians will offer fitness center members dietetic services, along with samples of nutritional products and store tours that showcase products that meet Orangetheory Fitness customers' needs. The partnership bolsters Hy-Vees focus on health and wellness, company officials said, which currently includes in-store dietitians, HealthMarkets, chefs, fresh and organic produce and pharmacies.

Like our members, we know that many Hy-Vee customers are looking for more convenient ways to access fitness and healthy eating options in one location this partnership solves that need," said Orangetheory Fitness Chief Brand Officer Kevin Keith, in a news release.

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Hy-Vee to partner with Wahlburgers Restaurants, Orangetheory Fitness - Quad City Times

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