Where do you usually go for grocery shopping? The neighbourhood grocery store, mid-market chains such as Giant Hypermarket, Cold Storage, NTUC FairPrice, or upscale supermarkets and speciality stores like the Market Place?
Like most of you, the bulk of my grocery shopping happens in mid-market chains where every aisle has a number and every product has a code. If you actually noticed, even the neighbourhood grocery store isn’t really a grocery store anymore.
All the mid-and-big chains seems to have gone upscale, for example; NTUC had introduced FairPrice Finest and formerly Shop-N-Save stores have already been rebranded into Giant stores to create a better brand focus and maximise sustainability.
JASONS The Gourmet Grocer, owned by the pan-Asian retail conglomerate Diary Farm recently celebrated it’s 40th anniversary and the very first thing JASONS want to showcase to its discerning customers is the relaunched of JASONS Orchard with a total facelift and more than 750 exclusive products, including a stellar range of exquisite gourmet offerings are already available in-store.
Some of the products and brands that you might think are hard to find in Singapore, impossible, even. But not anymore, at JASONS Orchard you should be able to discover the most unique and unusual items across seven continents under one roof.
Here are some of the highlights during my tour at the media preview.
WHERE: JASONS FRESH SEAFOOD
BIG NUMBERS: New Zealand King Salmon, Australia King Prawn & Half-Shell Scallops, Oysters of the Month, Boston Lobsters.
WHAT JASONS DOES BETTER: JASONS provide Fish Filleting service, as well as Oyster Shucking and packing service.
WHERE: JASONS FRUITS AND HERBS GARDEN
BIG NUMBERS: New Zealand Jazz Apples, Aomori apples from JA Tsugaru Mirai, Japan.
WHAT JASONS DOES BETTER: The picks of the crops are not limited to the normal greengrocers’ produce. Some of the fruit imports such as the very top grade Shizuoka melon can command an eye-watering price and raise a few eyebrows.
WHERE: JASONS DELICATESSEN
BIG NUMBERS: Exclusive brands such as Comtesse du Barry – has won several awards for its foie gras made from free-range ducks and geese fed on whole grain maize.
WHAT JASONS DOES BETTER: This section of the store features the widest selection of gourmet delicatessen including a myriad fine pâté and terrines such as the Duck Terrine with Orange and the Gascony Terrine; these are perfectly paired with Guiseppe Crostinis with Rosemary & Sea Salt or Cheese.
WHERE: JASONS CHARCUTERIE
BIG NUMBERS: More than 30 selection of speciality cold cuts.
WHAT JASONS DOES BETTER: Unparalleled European producers with names such as Joselito Jamon Iberico, Ferrarini (Aged) Parma Ham and Truffle Salami making the hit list.
WHERE: JASONS GOURMET CHEESE ROOM
BIG NUMBERS: An exceptional range of 80 varieties of cheese that include the Landana 1000 Days Gouda lauded as the jewel in the crown of Dutch Gouda, Tartufo Truffle Gouda and the rich, unctuous French Delin Cremeux de Bourgogne (Burgundy Triple Crème).
WHAT JASONS DOES BETTER: Only premium quality Cheese products – rated PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) have been handpicked and can be found at the well designed walk-in Cheese Room, kept at a constant 0 – 4 degrees celsius to help preserve the aroma, texture and condition of the stock. Visitors will also find posters and charts with wine pairing suggestions to go with their cheese selection.
WHERE: JASONS BUTCHERY
BIG NUMBERS: Prime cuts include Angus beef ribeye, Australian grain-fed wagyu and Kagoshima Wagyu from Japan.
WHAT JASONS DOES BETTER: JASONS provide Meat Marinating Service for parties and get-together.
WHERE: JASONS JAPANESE FOOD
BIG NUMBERS: Seasonal sashimi and fresh seafood imports
WHAT JASONS DOES BETTER: A sushi bar with fresh seafood and live sushi prep that could be woe to those Japanese supermarkets.
WHERE: JASON COFFEE – THE ROASTED BLEND
BIG NUMBERS: Close to 20 single origin and custom blend of coffee beans available
WHAT JASONS DOES BETTER: Customers can purchase the aromatic coffee beans by weight, instead of a standard pre-pack.
WHERE: JASONS BAKERY
BIG NUMBERS: Over 15 European-style artisanal bread and pastries including two signature breads – Sundried Tomato Ciabatta and Rosemary & Thyme Herb Bread are made fresh everyday and created exclusively at JASONS Orchard.
WHAT JASONS DOES BETTER: The baked goods are crafted by the expert bakers at Nick Vina and run the gamut of traditional loaves such as focaccia, ciabatta and French baguettes.
WHERE: JASONS CONFECTIONERY
BIG NUMBERS: New Zealand Proper Chips, Mr Filberts Nuts, Monbana Chocolates
WHAT JASONS DOES BETTER: Only to be found at Jasons, some of these exclusive snacks such as the hand-selected and hand-cooked Proper Chips are made from the finest South Island Agria Potatoes and cooked in the finest quality sunflower oil before being seasoned with Marlborough Sea Salt from the Lake Grasmere salt flats.
WHERE: JASONS EXCLUSIVE
BIG NUMBERS: Tar10 Sticky Iranian Figs; Luscombe Soft Drinks; Aix & Terra Olive Oil, Jam Spread; Casa Paradiso Truffle Polenta, Risotto Grains, and other accompaniments.
WHAT JASONS DOES BETTER: In addition to their extensive offerings, JASONS bring in special produce selection that can be found only in this store.
WHERE: JASONS WINE CELLAR
BIG NUMBERS: More than 1000 wine producers from more than 100 wine regions worldwide, including 250 labels exclusive to JASONS like the 1975 Chateau Croizet Bages Grand Cru Classes, the French Cellar range that has won over 52 awards in major international wine competitions, and over 50 vintage Champagnes spotlighting one – the 2002 Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Brut Rose which is made with the best fruit sourced from Cremant, Avize, Oger, Le Mesnil, Chouilly and Pierry.
WHAT JASONS DOES BETTER: Customers can expect talks and winemaker dinners showcasing premium and exquisite labels paired with food prepared by stellar restaurants in Singapore. Customers are also welcome to book the cellar for private events with one month’s advance notice.
Though it is arguable that JASONS is geared towards expat demands and international palates, you will not be surprised to see more Asians including local Singaporeans shopping at this marketplace for their grocery needs, because the revamped store still support about 30% local and regional brand products.
While others may rate upscale supermarkets and speciality stores like JASONS for profits and efficiency, I actually trust them for quality and selection. JASONS is fast becoming the new top leader in this niche sector; if there were ever an award for grocery store, JASONS customers would certainly love to throw in their votes, and so would I.
Jasons The Gourmet Grocer Orchard
Address: 1 Claymore Drive, Orchard Towers,
#01-01, Singapore 229594.
Opening Hours: Daily 8.00am to 10.30pm
Other JASONS Outlets
Jasons ION – 2 Orchard Turn, #B4-17-19, ION Orchard
Open 10.00am to 10.30am
Jasons Quayside – 31 Ocean Quayside Isle #01-26/27
Open 8.00am to 8.00pm