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The reports that Public has now opened its first meal preparation venture, inside one of its Jacksonville, Florida, stores. The Ledger notes that this concept – called Apron’s Make-Ahead meals - seemed like a natural evolution for Publix, which has ventured into organics, Hispanic-themed stores, and even restaurants.

"Our competitors aren't just other supermarkets anymore,” Shelly Carroll, director of Publix's meals and cooking school programs, tells the Ledger. "They're restaurants, they're meal-assembly stores. We want to keep Publix on top of customers' minds."

KC's View:

While it is hard to know whether the meal preparation concept has any legs – I meet as many people who think it is the future as I do people who believe it already is on the downside of the growth curve – it seems to me that Publix is defining its market the way it ought to be defined by companies in the food business. The folks at Publix see their world in terms of share of stomach, and they are trying everything they can to own as much of that market as possible.