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Hotdogs out, salads and 'artisan' pizza in as Target trials café overhaul

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Target will launch a trial at 14 of its stores – 3 of them in Minnesota – that will see its cafés replaced by "fast-casual" restaurants offering fresher, healthier meals to shoppers.

The Minneapolis-based retailer earlier this year revealed plans to revamp its grocery and food offering, changing its focus to cater for the growing demand for more natural, organic options.

As part of that transformation it will roll out this October new concepts at 14 of its stores, with California-based salad and soup chain Freshii, Pizza Hut, and Wayzata-based D'Amico & Sons Italian Kitchen opening eateries intended to replace the traditional Target café.

"This touches three important priorities at Target – Wellness, Food and Localization," a Target spokesperson told BringMeTheNews. "This test demonstrates how Target is addressing our guest's changing mindset by thinking differently about an important in-store experience."

Three Minnesota stores will be involved in the trial, with its store at The Quarry in northeast Minneapolis getting a Freshii location.

D'Amico & Sons will set up shop at the Super Targets in Maple Grove and Edina.

USA Today reports the move represents an end to Target customers "munching on big-box staples like hotdogs and gooey nachos" while they shop; instead they'll have a wider choice of healthy salads, pressed juices, and freshly-made pizza.

Although Pizza Hut doesn't necessarily scream healthy eating, the newspaper notes that the new ones in Target's trial will be revamped versions offering "artisan pies."

Target told BringMeTheNews that more than 40 percent of Target shoppers use its café options while they shop, so maximizing the potential of its food service options could be a big win for the retailer.

The company posted positive 2nd Quarter results earlier this week, another step forward in the company's ongoing transformation after a turbulent few years' trading, but admitted its next set of results won't be as positive and highlighted that empty shelves in stores are hampering progress.

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