Opening a grocery store can be quite a challenge, as customers expect the store to stock a variety of items. Going from zero inventory to a store full of the right items is an essential task when opening a new store. Impress customers with your inventory by making the right decisions when buying products for your new store. Several categories of items are essential in any grocery store.


A produce section full of fresh fruits and vegetables is a must for a new grocery store. Whole fruits like apples, oranges, pineapples, bananas and pears as well as vegetables like onions, peppers, lettuce, broccoli and carrots are popular items on grocery lists and, thus, should always be readily available. Stores can also offer precut items, such as fruit salads and chopped vegetables, which are convenience foods that can pack a profitable punch. Offering organic fruits and vegetables will appeal to health-conscious shoppers.

Prepackaged Foods

Prepackaged food items fill the majority of the aisles of your grocery store. These items come in a range of brands, from generic, or store-produced, brands to well-known national brands. Most grocery stores offer several brands at different price points for each product to appeal to its diverse customer set. Prepackaged foods include soups, pasta, rice, snack foods, foods for baking and breakfast foods.

Store-Made Foods

Grocery stores often house their own butcher, bakery and deli. Offering these specialty services makes the store a one-stop shop for customers. The butcher can offer fresh cuts of meats for customers, while the baker can offer fresh breads, rolls, cakes, cookies and even ready-made dough. The deli can serve lunch meat and sliced cheese and even offer a menu of submarine sandwiches to appeal to shoppers on the go.


Dairy products are an essential part of your start-up grocery store inventory. Milk, eggs, butter and cheese are the essentials that most individuals shop for regularly. Each of these items comes in a range of sizes and types. Offer dairy items include different types of milk, from whole to skim, sticks and tubs of butter or margarine and block and shredded cheese in a variety of types.

Non-Food Items

Non-food items are those extra products that grocery stores sell to appeal to the customer who wants to buy everything in one stop. Toiletries, from shampoo to face wash, are common on grocery aisles. Paper products, including paper towels, napkins, plates and plasticware, as well as cleaning supplies are other non-food items that your grocery store should carry.