Food Market brings news, talk and insight into the food business, from farms to supermarkets to restaurants. Reporters Mike Hughlett and Tom Meersman delve into the work of Minnesota’s food companies and issues such as food safety and labeling.

Will remaining Rainbows stick together?

Posted by: Mike Hughlett Updated: May 12, 2014 - 10:56 AM

With Rainbow Food’s parent company Roundy’s exiting the Twin Cities market, who’s going to coordinate advertising and merchandising for the Rainbow stores left behind?

The same company that basically put the Rainbow deal together: Supervalu.

Last week, Milwaukee-based Roundy’s announced it would sell 18 of its 27 Rainbow Foods stores in the Twin Cities to a consortium of locally-based grocers led by Eden Prairie-based Supervalu. Ten of the stores will be branded with Supervalu’s Cub Foods banner.

Another two will become Byerly’s, a brand owned by Lunds. The remaining 6 will retain the Rainbow name, but two of them will be owned by Supervalu; one by Lunds; and three by Jerry’s Foods, a Supervalu franchisee.

 The other nine Rainbows are still being marketed and will be closed if they are not sold.

The constant in all of this is Supervalu, since it is a major food wholesaler and will supply all 18 of the former Rainbow stores. “Obviously, there will be collaboration between our wholesale team” and the Rainbows, said Supervalu spokesman Jeff Swanson.

Supervalu’s wholesale business includes a segment that does advertising, marketing, accounting and other business services.  “We do a lot of services for independents,” Swanson said.

So how about the Rainbow name: Will it stick around in the long-run with Roundy’s on the way out?

“The intent right now is to run those stores as Rainbows,” Swanson said. A Lunds spokesman said the same for its planned Rainbow purchase. Jerry’s declined to comment on the deal.

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