Health-Focused ‘KaleMart24’ to Launch in Canada to Disrupt Convenience Store Retail [Interview]

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A fresh new concept—positioned to become “the Whole Foods of convenience stores”—is ready to make its market entry and tap into a new generation of on-the-go shoppers.

KaleMart24 is being spearheaded by Oussama (Sam) Saoudi, who is the founder and CEO of Montreal-based Toro Beverages, which revolutionized the energy drink industry by introducing Canada’s first matcha-powered energy drink. Toro Matcha is made in Canada with Japanese Uji matcha and only good-for-you ingredients, it’s 100 per cent natural, sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan.

Sam Saoudi

“I am a millennial and a busy entrepreneur, time is scarce for me, and convenience stores (c-stores) play an important role in saving me time. I belong to an on-the-go generation that is driving the trend for increased visits to c-stores. We make frequent trips to smaller stores just to grab a quick and fresh lunch/snack in time to make it back to the office or to class,” said Saoudi.

“Our generation is becoming more conscious about health, however, natural food and beverage options in current c-stores are very limited or non-existent.

Image: KaleMart24.com

“KaleMart24 is breaking through the mold of c-stores being associated with junk food by offering healthier choices that cater to a mobile savvy younger generation.”

He described KaleMart24 as the “Whole Foods Market” of convenience stores. KaleMart24 is a sustainable c-store chain that makes shopping for organic and healthy foods incredibly fun, with the homey feel of a market, yet the modern elegance of an upscale c-store. 

“Curating specialty brands and products, KaleMart24 includes all the usual sections of a c-store, along with a small personal care section, and a small organic pet section,” he said. “We are fostering connections between people, food and the neighbourhood. We are conscious about our customers’ health and believe that we contribute to a healthier diet than conventional stores.

“We are also leveraging tech by offering self-checkout, contactless and mobile payments to encourage shoppers to shop easily and buy often. We’re located close-to-home or on the way to work to take advantage of the important food on-the-go category.

“After the COVID-19 pandemic, younger generations are more conscious about their health, but are looking for quick and accessible healthy foods. They are increasing their visits to c-stores, but healthy options are lacking. Thus, KaleMart24 is necessary at this point in time.”

Example of Convenience Grocery Store Concepts (Image: AmazonGo)

Saoudi said the company is planning to open several locations in major Canadian cities before expanding internationally to major cities in the USA, UAE, Europe and Asia. He sees this brand as an international brand that will dominate the better-for-you convenience food market.

Tony Flanz, CEO of Montreal-based Think Retail is helping the brand launch the concept. The ideal store size is about 1,500 square feet in high-traffic areas and near universities.

Tony Flanz

“Stores have a modern, upscale look, while still maintaining an earthy, homey market-like atmosphere. Expect all the usual categories, but with specialty brands and products that include not only food and beverages, but also personal care items and even organic pet food,” says Think Retail on its website.

“Stores will leverage technology with a strong loyalty program, as well as self-checkout, contactless and mobile payments options that encourage shoppers to shop easily and buy often 24/7.”

It says the concept will have wide-appeal for time-strapped health-conscious consumers, but zeroes in on Millennials, who desire a high-quality food experience, with a unique narrative and global flavours.

“This demographic is looking to save time and they’re always on the go, which makes them the ideal c-store shopper. Now, KaleMart24 is filling the gap for BFY (better for you) convenience products that shoppers can grab easily close to home or on their way to and from work or school,” says Think Retail.

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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