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This Week in Retail: Grocers Deck the Halls With December Deals

Deck the halls with… wait—it’s December already?

Now that Thanksgiving is yesterday's news, retailers are honing in on Christmas and other holiday demands. This month, several seasonal factors shape both the wholesale and retail markets.

For beef, wholesale prices typically take on a softer undertone towards the year's end once holiday orders are filled. Last year, Urner Barry's Choice cutout value shaved off nearly 10% from the beginning of November to the tail end of December. 

On the contrary, retail prices typically climb to some of their highest levels of the year late this month. This is largely due to increased demand for high-quality beef cuts around the holidays...

Full Story »
Dec 1 8:00 AM, UB Newswires



Pudu Robotics BellaBot Gain Popularity in Carrefour Stores in Poland, Fueling European Growth

Pudu Robotics ("PUDU" or "the Company"), a leading commercial service robot manufacturer, has seen great success in its expansion in Poland with its BellaBot gaining popularity in the country through its collaboration with retailer Carrefour.

Carrefour has deployed BellaBot, PUDU's signature smart delivery robot, in two of its retail stores in Warsaw to deliver Pepsi beverages and chips since Sept 26. The unique shopping experience has been well received by local consumers, so much so that the bot, dubbed "Kerfuś", has won over the hearts of many...

Full Story »
Nov 29 8:18 AM, General News


This Week in Retail: Good Gravy… The 2022 Thanksgiving Rundown

The countdown to Thanksgiving is winding down and consumers are flocking to the supermarkets to secure last-minute needs for the big day.

While it’s hard to ignore the influx of headlines about the higher costs of this year’s feast, some major retailers are still featuring attractive deals on holiday staples despite supply constraints and macroeconomic headwinds. 

Gobble Gobble…

Not to beat a dead horse (or should we say turkey), let’s look another look at the traditional centerpiece. Retail buying opportunities for turkey this week are at 24.5%, up from 21.5% last week. The big bird has seemingly stolen the spotlight from chicken, which plummeted to 2.4% this week versus 12.5% a week ago...

Full Story »
Nov 17 8:03 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Busy Shoppers Seek Convenience; Inflation Eased in October

Busy shoppers are increasingly seeking convenience during the hectic holiday season. This typically increases sales at food service and boosts interest in the prepared and frozen sections at retail.  

The meat case is receiving lots of attention, too, as grocers heavily promote traditional holiday items including ham and turkey. 

The National Retail Federation expects overall holiday spending this year to perform well despite ongoing inflationary pain points. The NRF projects holiday retail sales during November and December to grow between 6% to 8% year-over-year. Last year's holiday sales hit a new high at $889.3 billion, lifted in part by pandemic spending.

This week in retail, pork features climbed to the number one spot in retail buying opportunities with 23.2%. Beef closely follows with about 22%. Turkey features have swelled to 19.1%, compared to just 6.4% the week prior. Chicken ads chime in at 13.7%, while egg features have seen a slight uptick to...

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Nov 10 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


CAULIPOWER Disrupts Multi-Serve Frozen Meal Category With Veggie-Powered Meals Imported From Italy

CAULIPOWER is disrupting the $1B multi-serve frozen meal category with their new frozen pasta meals, available in three flavors all under 300 calories with 2-3 servings of veggies, packed with fiber and with the LOWEST sodium, fat, and sugar content compared to an average of the leading brands in the market

CAULIPOWER, the maker of the #1 Cauliflower Crust Pizza and #1 Gluten-Free Pizza in the US, today announced the launch of Frozen Meals, their latest innovation to set the frozen...

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Nov 7 8:00 AM, General News


Meat District Partners with Los Angeles Rams to Introduce The Champ Burger

Meat District, the creator of butcher-crafted premium fresh and frozen burgers, and the defending Champion Los Angeles Rams are proud to announce a multi-year partnership that kicks off with the introduction of "The Champ" Burger which is now available across Southern California.

The Champ Burger, made from the very best premium steak cuts of Chuck, Brisket and Short-Rib Angus Beef, will be easy to find in the meat aisles as it features Meat District's unique and attractive co-branded packaging with a striking neon...

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Nov 4 8:50 AM, General News


This Week in Retail: Grocers Focus on Holiday Demand in November 

Store displays have been rapidly reconfigured from Halloween decor to Christmas trees and other quintessential holiday items. For retailers, November is one of the busiest months of the year.

Grocers are prepping for an uptick in foot traffic this month as households stock up for Thanksgiving—just three weeks away.

Big Bird’s The Word…

The wholesale turkey market has ascended to all-time highs this year due to supply constraints caused by the current outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Over 6 million commercial turkeys have been lost to the virus in 2022 so far.

Urner Barry’s whole, frozen young tom and hen turkeys are elevated in record-high territory across all regions. Since establishing this year's low of $1.39 per pound in January, 10 lbs hens have increased 33% to $1.85 per pound. This beats out the previous record set...

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Nov 3 10:00 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail:  Turkey is the Talk of the Town

Now that November is within reach, the floodgates have opened for holiday campaigns. The protagonist of the show—turkey—has garnered widespread attention and snatched headlines this year as tight supplies and high prices could make procuring the Thanksgiving centerpiece more challenging. 

However, some retail outlets continue to utilize turkey as a loss leader and have already begun promoting minimum in-store spending deals for heavily discounted or free turkeys, along with hams and other staples for the holiday.

Consumer spending at retail this year is under question as household bills remain high in the face of inflation—forcing some consumers to reconfigure their budgets...

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Oct 27 8:08 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Egg Features Lag; CPI Data Outpaces Expectations

As the leaves change color and cooler weather begins to settle in, more households utilize their ovens for baking and slow-cooking ahead of the holiday season.

Typically, retail egg sales see a boost during the fall since more consumers cook breakfast at home more often. In addition, autumn baking draws attention to the egg case as shoppers stock up on ingredients for cookies, bread, pies, and more.

However, overall egg promotional activity is currently described as non-existent across all regions. Eggs account for 2% of retail buying opportunities this week, up slightly from the week prior but down considerably from this week in 2021...

Full Story »
Oct 13 8:50 AM, UB Newswires


“State of the Industry” Report Evaluates Sustainability Transparency of America’s Top Retailers

The Ratio Institute released its inaugural “State of the Industry” report that evaluates the transparency of top food retailers in North America.

The institute bases its evaluation on its new Food Retail Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Reporting Standard. The group noted that it focused on quality of reporting rather than sustainability performance.

Notably, the report found that there are opportunities for some of the top retailers to become leaders in sustainability through improved transparency. The report looked at where food retailers’ strengths are and also how...

 

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Oct 6 9:49 AM, General News


This Week in Retail: Varying Supplies, Weather Influence Retail Activity

This week, the retail landscape is influenced by an assortment of factors including varying supplies of protein and the weather. 

Looking at pork, hog supplies typically undergo a seasonal expansion from now into the early winter. October is National Pork Month and retailers usually promote pork features to boost sales as more product becomes available.

This year, however, persistent hog disease issues including porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) have kept supplies relatively snug. 

Hog values have depreciated since mid-summer and the national average hog price is currently down nearly 26% from August. Despite a seasonal correction, hog prices remain elevated at near all-time highs for this time of year. Urner Barry's wholesale pork cutout is down roughly 22% from its summer peak and is now 10% under 2021...

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Oct 6 8:10 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Seasonal Trends Start to Shift 

Farewell, summer. Today is the first day of fall and seasonal retail trends are beginning to shift as grocers increasingly showcase autumn favorites like roasts and finger foods for football fans. 

However, temperatures in many parts of the nation have yet to cool off substantially. This could stretch the grilling season for a little longer. As milder weather starts to settle in for the long run, more households may opt to cook indoors and up their oven usage.

Beef roasts have increased in feature volume and currently claim 27.4% of total beef ads. This compares to 22% of beef ads two weeks ago. Steaks still hold the majority of beef feature volume, followed by ground beef...

Full Story »
Sep 22 8:07 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Protein Indices Are Above 3-Year Average; CPI Data Released 

In the face of ongoing inflationary pressures along with animal disease issues impacting the protein industry, wholesale beef, pork, and poultry prices continue to reside at or challenge all-time highs. 

In the retail red meat complex, Urner Barry’s weekly retail feature beef index this week averages $6.34 per pound, down $1.02 per pound from a week ago but 6 cents per pound above the 3-year average.

The boxed beef market is currently moving mostly sideways but has dipped to 52-week lows in recent days. Despite this, Urner Barry's Choice and Select cutouts remain at near seasonal all-time highs, second or third to 2021 and 2014....

Full Story »
Sep 15 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


Real Good Foods Announces Launch of New Asian Entrees

The Real Good Food Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: RGF) (“Real Good Foods” or the “Company”), an innovative, high-growth, branded, health- and wellness-focused frozen food company, today announced the launch of its newest platform, Asian Entrees, including, Orange Chicken, General Tso’s and Sweet & Sour.

Real Good Foods is expanding into Multi-Serve Entrees with a nutritious twist on one of US consumers favorite foods. The Frozen Multi-Serve Entrees category is filled with items loaded with carbs, high in sugar and lacking any nutritional value...

Full Story »
Sep 13 9:13 AM, General News


Kroger Reports Second Quarter 2022 Results and Raises Full-Year Guidance

Second Quarter Highlights:

- Identical Sales without fuel increased 5.8%
- Operating Profit of $954 million; Adjusted FIFO Operating Profit of $1,110 million
- EPS of $1.00; Adjusted EPS of $0.90
- Company is executing its go-to-market strategy to deliver value for customers
      - Our Brands identical sales increased 10.2%
      - Digital sales grew 8%
      - Accelerated our Fresh Produce Initiative with 864 stores now certified, driving higher identical sales

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today reported its second quarter 2022 results and will update...

Full Story »
Sep 9 9:34 AM, General News


Southeastern Grocers to Debut Innovative Delivery and Curbside Pickup Experience by DoorDash

Southeastern Grocers Inc. (SEG), parent company and home of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, will soon offer a new, convenient means to shop for groceries online that will also allow customers to enjoy the same prices as shopping in store. Starting in October, customers can utilize SEG’s proprietary new offering to shop their local Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarket stores online and have their groceries delivered right to them in as little as two hours with the...

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Sep 9 8:37 AM, General News


This Week in Retail: Seasonal Transition for the Meat Case

With Labor Day now behind us, retailers are preparing for the transition from summer staples to fall favorites.

Tailgaiting items like burgers and ribs are being featured in time for the National Football League season, which kicks off today! This could support sales at the meat case as consumers gather to cheer on their teams while chowing down on finger foods. 

A game-time staple, chicken wings are on feature for $2.97 per pound, down 2 cents from a year ago. Wholesale wing prices have gained nearly 7 percent so far this year but are currently well below last year’s record highs, providing the opportunity for retailers and foodservice to showcase attractive promotions. However, boneless breasts have mostly been at record highs so far this year—unwelcome news for boneless wing lovers...

Full Story »
Sep 8 8:06 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Gearing Up for the Last Major Retail Event of Summer

Grocers are gearing up for the last major retail buying occasion of the season—Labor Day weekend. The upcoming holiday signals the “unofficial end” of summer and retailers are making the final push for grilling items.

In the wholesale beef market, Urner Barry’s Choice beef cutout has been largely sideways since mid-May. At present, the cutout is down about 23% from last year's level, which was a seasonal all-time high.

However, the cutout remains at the second highest level in history for this time of year. This has made it difficult for grocers to procure inventory for holiday promotions at lower prices...

Full Story »
Aug 25 8:15 AM, UB Newswires


Consumers Back to Eating at Home, Eyeing Bargains as Costs Continue to Rise

During COVID-19, consumers opted to cook at home, citing concerns surrounding the virus and a new work-from-home lifestyle, making prep more manageable.

Essentially over the past year, consumers have flocked to restaurants again. However, inflation has paused the recovery in the foodservice sector and consumers are deciding to save some cash and cook more meals at home again, according to The NPD Group (NPD) and Information Resources, Inc. (IRI).

“To offset rising food costs, consumers are bargain hunting when...

Full Story »
Aug 24 10:04 AM, General News


FMI Debuts Latest 'The State of Fresh Foods at Retail' Report: A Look at Meat, Seafood Departments

FMI, The Food Industry Association, unveiled the latest findings from the ‘The State of Fresh Foods’ report. The 2022 edition focuses on the “unwavering momentum” for fresh food departments in grocery stores.

The ‘State of Fresh Foods’ stems from FMI’s “The Food Retailing Industry Speaks 2022” report which includes data from a survey of retailers and wholesalers that was distributed in April. In total, just shy of 100 members of the industry responded, representing over 38,000 stores...

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Aug 23 9:57 AM, General News


This Week in Retail: Beef Features Increase Ahead of Labor Day

It may be hard to believe, but Labor Day weekend is just over two weeks away.

Grocers have already completed the bulk of their purchases for the last major grilling occasion of the summer season. 

The meat case could perform well over the holiday with several popular grilling items featured at lower price points compared to last year. Ground beef is likely to grab a large share of circular space as households fire up the grill with burgers and more...

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Aug 18 8:12 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Reviewing the Chicken Complex; CPI Update

This week in retail, we’ll take a deeper dive into the retail chicken landscape ahead of the approaching NFL season, which officially kicks off in four weeks.

Chicken currently ranks fourth in protein buying opportunities with 16.4%. Seafood, beef, and pork hold the top three spots, respectively.

Urner Barry’s Weekly Retail Feature Chicken Index is $2.96 per pound this week, up 10% from the 5-year average of $2.69 per pound. 

Within the chicken complex, boneless skinless breasts hold the most ad volume at 42.5%. Drumsticks are the next highest featured item with 15.5% of total chicken ads...

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Aug 11 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Sizing Up August, Back to School Needs 

With August now in full swing, households are eager to enjoy the final weeks of summer.

Labor Day weekend, which marks the unofficial end of the summer season, is four weeks away while the NFL season officially kicks off shortly after on September 8.

In some states, kids are returning to school in less than two weeks. Circulars are proactively promoting back-to-school staples including snacks along with breakfast and sandwich items—giving a boost to lunch meat sales...

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Aug 4 8:10 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Wrapping Up July; Digesting the Latest GDP Data  

Wrapping up July, grocers are promoting fan-favorite grilling items like steaks, pork chops, and shrimp in an effort to encourage at-home cooking during the dog days of summer—a seasonally sluggish period for meat sales.

Seafood features make up nearly 33% of total protein ad volume this week, marking the fifth consecutive week that it has seized the top spot. Beef comes in second with 23%, closely followed by pork with 22%. Chicken claims 17.5% and eggs make up 1.3% of ad space, down from nearly 5% the week...

 

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Jul 28 8:57 AM, UB Newswires


The Current State of the Economy - Optimism or Recession?

For the past couple of months, the nation has been tuning in once a month at 8:30 am EST for the reading of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) report. Each month, numbers have indicated levels of inflation not seen in decades. Headlines have grabbed the attention of everyone, causing concern and fear for potential recession. But how concerned should market participants be with the current state of the economy...

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Jul 21 8:22 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Extreme Heat and its Impact on Protein Demand

This week in retail, we'll take a look at the widespread heat across most of the country and its impact on protein demand. 

With excessive heat warnings currently in effect for more than 100 million people, consumers will be less likely to cook. This could potentially reduce retail meat sales, which normally slow around this time of year due to seasonal factors including a lack of major holidays following Independence Day until Labor Day. 

While the extreme weather could have a negative near-term impact on meat sales, demand for pork and beef appears to be outperforming seasonal expectations...

While the extreme weather could have a negative near-term impact on meat sales, demand for pork and beef appears to be outperforming seasonal expectations...

Full Story »
Jul 21 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Consumer Spending in Question as Inflation Heats Up

Summer is heating up and so is inflation—clouding the outlook for consumer spending on food, travel, and beyond. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation climbed to 9.1% in June, more than what economists had anticipated. The latest figure was a nearly 41-year high and what some analysts considered to be a peak.

Increases in food and gasoline prices contributed to the relentless surge in inflation, which has elevated the cost of living and forced some households to reconfigure their spending habits...

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Jul 14 8:05 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Travel Season and Foodservice Demand

Following Independence Day, major retail buying occasions are few and far between until Labor Day. While the dog days of summer typically slow retail sales, they can spark interest in retail’s counterpart—foodservice.

The peak travel season, which is roughly from June through August, is usually beneficial for the restaurant sector. This summer, however, there are several variables at play that will influence travel plans, including high gas prices.

According to AAA, the national average for gas ticked lower to $4.80 a gallon, down eight cents over the past week. The downturn was mainly due to falling demand. While demand has softened, it could pick up again as more people plan vacations and hit the road this summer...

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Jul 7 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: This Year's July Fourth Cookout Could be Costlier 

Consumers might sweat when shopping for July Fourth festivities since this year's cookout could be costlier than in years past.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation remains elevated at a multi-decade high with the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rising 14.2% over the last 12 months.

Despite higher retail prices and squeezed budgets, most households are forging ahead with their Independence Day plans. According to the National Retail Federation, 84% of consumers plan to celebrate the Fourth this year.

Of those, 59% of people plan to ring in Independence Day with a cookout...

Full Story »
Jun 30 8:42 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Supermarkets Prep for July 4th

The Fourth of July marks the last major retail buying occasion of the summer until Labor Day. 

This year’s holiday falls on a Monday and the extended weekend could encourage consumer cookouts and gatherings.

Grocers are closely eyeing the forecast as record high temperatures persist in the Southern region of the nation this week. 

This week, beef claims almost 28% of total protein features this week. Seafood and pork each account for 22.2%, while chicken clocks in at 16.7%...

Full Story »
Jun 23 9:50 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Seafood and Beef Lead Father's Day Ads

Feature ads for grilling favorites including steaks, chops, and ribs are abundant ahead of Father’s Day.

Seafood and beef lead Urner Barry's retail activity index this week, claiming 31.5% and 29.3% of ad space, respectively. Pork comes in with 23.6% of ad space and chicken features make up 9.3%. Egg features are up slightly from the week prior at 4.1%. 

Fresh/frozen filets make up the bulk of seafood ads at 30.5%. Cod is featured at $10.27 per pound on average, up 59% from last year. 4 oz. lobster tails run $29.58 per pound, up from $23.96 per pound in 2021...

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Jun 16 9:00 AM, UB Newswires


Beyond Meat Makes Plant-based Grilling More Accessible Than Ever This Summer With Cookout Classic'

Beyond Meat, Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND), a leader in plant-based meat, is making plant-based burgers more accessible this summer grilling season with expanded availability of its Cookout Classic™ value pack. Since last summer, Beyond Meat has significantly expanded the distribution of Cookout Classic to over 10,000 stores nationwide including at Giant Food, Hannaford, Publix, ShopRite, Sprouts, Stop & Shop, Wegmans, Whole Foods Market, and select Albertsons, Kroger, Target and Walmart locations. Cookout Classic helps narrow the price gap between plant-based meat and animal...

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Jun 15 6:57 AM, General News


Sweet Earth Foods Announces Two New Plant-Based Entrée Bowls

Today, award-winning plant-based innovator Sweet Earth Foods is announcing the debut of two new frozen entrée bowls, Korean BBQ-Style Chik'n and Cacio e Pepe, available in the freezer aisle at select retailers starting in June.

Both bowls are Non-GMO Project Verified, vegan, and made with wholesome, veggie-forward ingredients; each serving includes between 15 – 16 grams of protein and 5 – 7 grams of fiber. More details include...

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Jun 15 6:54 AM, General News


Stop & Shop Announces $140 Million Capital Investment in NYC Stores

Stop & Shop today announced a $140 million capital investment in its New York City stores to improve the shopping experience for local customers with a focus on adding thousands of new items from around the globe to ensure the assortment at each store reflects the diversity of the neighborhood it serves. Store remodels will deliver a fresh new look and feel for customers and will also showcase value with deal bins and the addition of the Flashfood program which offers fresh foods at up to 50% off...

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Jun 14 7:35 AM, General News


This Week in Retail: Competing Proteins for Father’s Day

Father’s Day, the second major grilling event of the season, is just 10 days away. Front-page circular ads are showcasing meat and poultry cuts along with other foods for the upcoming holiday weekend.

Grocers will be competing with foodservice for consumer dollars this holiday. According to the National Restaurant Association, Father’s Day is the third busiest day of the year for dining out, behind Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

The most recent National Retail Federation data shows that consumers plan to spend $32.29 million on Father’s Day dinner or brunch this year, up slightly from last year’s figure...

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Jun 9 8:30 AM, UB Newswires


Retailer Lidl Slashes Prices on Multiple Protein Items Amid Inflation

Lidl, a retailer with over 11,550 stores across the globe, will slash prices on over 100 items in all of its stores across the east coast of the U.S, including a few meat, seafood and plant protein items.

The campaign comes amid “inflationary pressures across the supply chain have led to sharp increases in food prices for many retailers, especially on staples including meat, grains, coffee, frozen prepared foods and other key household products.

"As many families contend with rising prices due to inflation, we hope to ease their financial...

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Jun 3 8:00 AM, General News


This Week in Retail: Prepping for the Next Major Summer Grilling Occasion

Grocers will soon be featuring meat and poultry cuts for Father’s Day, the second major grilling event of the season that falls between Memorial Day and Independence Day.

Typically, June is the most active time of the year for backyard grilling as the warmer weather beckons families to cook outdoors. Grocers will try to encourage shoppers to cook at home rather than dining out for Father's Day this year by featuring popular grilling items at attractive price points when possible...

 

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Jun 2 9:00 AM, UB Newswires


UB Consulting: Do Beef Prices Relate to Consumer Sentiment?

The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (MCSI) measures consumer sentiment on a wide range of economic topics, including personal finances, housing, and business conditions. For market participants within the protein markets, understanding consumer attitudes relative to their economic situation can prove to be beneficial in understanding any shifts in market demand...

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May 26 8:40 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Protein Features for Memorial Day Weekend

For Memorial Day weekend, beef features steal the spotlight with 30% of total protein ad volume. Seafood claims 28.5%, followed by pork with 23%. Chicken features account for 15% of retail buying opportunities, while turkey sneaks in with 1.6%.

In the beef complex, steaks have nearly 48% of feature volume. Ground beef ads account for 30%. The steak complex averages $9.18 per pound, up $1.15 per pound from a year ago. All except for top round and bone-in rib are priced higher than a year ago.

The price of 80% lean ground beef averages slightly above a year ago at $3.32 per pound. Burgers are often favored as a cost-effective and easy way to feed large gatherings...

Full Story »
May 26 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Beef Ads Lag Leading Up to Memorial Day

The Memorial Day holiday is just one weekend away and grocers are gearing up for the unofficial start to the summer grilling season.

This major retail occasion typically drives sales from the meat case, with items like burgers and hot dogs stealing the spotlight.

Beef features account for 28% of total protein ad volume this week, up slightly from the previous week. Pork and seafood are tied for second with 25%. Chicken claims 16%, even with the week prior. 

While beef holds the top spot in retail buying opportunities, market participants have reported lackluster beef features for this time of year. May is typically the strongest period of the year for beef demand...

While beef holds the top spot in buying opportunities, market participants have noted lackluster beef features for this time of year. May is typically the strongest period of the year for beef demand...

Full Story »
May 19 8:20 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Protein Demand and Rising Food Inflation

Fueled by rising food inflation, consumers nationwide continue to see higher prices for protein along with other goods, both at retail and foodservice. 

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 8.3% in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—down slightly from the month prior. However, the latest figure was still near a 40-year high and slightly above what some analysts had anticipated. 

The food index increased 0.9% last month, its seventeenth consecutive monthly increase. 

Five of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased in April. The fruits and vegetable category was the only index that declined last month. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 1.4% in April, driven by a 10.3% increase in the egg index...

Full Story »
May 12 8:07 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Protein Features Spring to Life in May

May has finally arrived, sparking spring fever among consumers and retailers alike. With warmer weather beginning to arrive for parts of the country, retailers will increasingly showcase grilling campaigns for the upcoming summer season. 

The month of May hosts several retail occasions that typically heighten store traffic and sales. Baseball season is underway, leading to increased consumption both inside and outside the stadium of hot dogs, burgers, beers, and more.

The National Hog Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) estimates that MLB fans will consume 19.1 million hot dogs and nearly five million sausages at games this season. Fans are returning to stadiums at maximum capacity this season for the first time since 2019...

Full Story »
May 5 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Roast Features Make Room for Grilling Ads

Although some portions of the country are still experiencing cool weather and even snow, various grilling cuts are beginning to surface in circulars as consumers dust off their grills—despite being a month away from the unofficial Memorial Day kickstart to summer.

For grocers, the seasonal uptick in demand typically boosts sales for items like loins, butts, and ribs over the next few weeks as warmer weather drives increased outdoor activity.

In the meantime, retailers are preparing for the next retail occasion—Cinco de Mayo. The approaching celebration could increase store traffic as shoppers stock up on pork, beef, and chicken for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and beyond...

Full Story »
Apr 28 8:50 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: The Lull Before Grilling Season

The next few weeks following Easter are generally uneventful for retailers. With below-normal temperatures lingering in parts of the country, grocers are anxiously awaiting the confluence of seasonal factors that typically boost protein sales during the summertime. 

At present, grocers are securing holiday-oriented needs for May. The peak demand period for meat typically follows Memorial Day—the unofficial start of the summer season.

Leading up to Memorial Day, grocers will utilize springtime activities including baseball season and Cinco de Mayo to help fill the pauses in retail occasions.

Store circular ads will begin to display the change in season as front-page features for cold-weather items like roasts are replaced with steaks, ribs, and other grilling-centric cuts...

Full Story »
Apr 21 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


UB Consulting: Is Rising Inflation Shifting Retail and Foodservice Demand?

Consumer prices continue to rise amidst economic turbulence. Ongoing COVID complications, global supply chain issues, and an unresolved Russia-Ukraine conflict have all attributed to rising prices for the consumer to some degree. As many continue to anticipate further interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve to combat inflation, retailers and foodservice establishments may experience a shift in consumer demand with rising prices...

Full Story »
Apr 14 9:10 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: A Look at Easter Features; CPI Data Released

This week in retail, the discussion is heavily centered on the economy, rising inflation with the latest CPI growth, and the bird flu outbreak in the U.S. Meanwhile, Easter week has arrived and grocers are looking to capture additional spending on the holiday.

USDA estimates that nearly 24 million poultry birds have died from high-path avian influenza since the virus strain was identified in February. The virus has since spread in wild birds to 32 states.

Another outbreak was confirmed Tuesday afternoon in a flock of roughly 2 million commercial layers in Nebraska, lifting the total number of commercial laying hens affected by HPAI to about 20 million head. 

Urner Barry's Midwest large benchmark quotation is currently at $2.84/dozen, down from $3.01/dozen the week prior but a staggering 176% above a year ago. At retail, large eggs on feature for the holiday week are highlighted at nearly $3/dozen while X-large averages $2.86/dozen...

Full Story »
Apr 14 8:03 AM, UB Newswires


Wegmans Food Markets Now Accepts EBT SNAP Payments for Same-Day Delivery and Pickup via Instacart

Instacart, a leading retail enablement company in North America, and Wegmans Food Markets today announced the that they will accept Electronic Benefits Transfer and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (EBT SNAP) payments across its 106 stores in New YorkPennsylvaniaNew JerseyMarylandMassachusettsVirginia and North Carolina. EBT SNAP will be available for purchases made at Wegmans via the Instacart website and mobile app.  

With this launch, Wegmans – known for being an industry-leading, family grocer – is making same-day delivery and pickup available...

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Apr 13 11:19 AM, General News


The Fresh Market Offers Guests An Array of Options to Celebrate Easter

The arrival of spring brings a fresh perspective and a renewed zest for life and all its joyous possibilities. Among those joys: gathering family together for Easter. The Fresh Market, Inc. offers ways to make sure this year's celebration is remembered as much for the happiness it brings as for how deliciously easy it is to pull off—saving time and money. America's Easter Destination is offering several options to make the holiday easier for guests at an incredible value:

Ready-to-serve holiday meals, including...

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Apr 8 1:14 PM, General News


This Week in Retail: Bird Flu and The Easter Outlook

Easter promotions are in full motion and households are gathering staples including eggs, ham, and lamb for the upcoming holiday.

According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, consumers plan to spend an average of $169.79 this year on Easter-related items, with food accounting for the largest spending category. The collective spending on the holiday is forecast at $20.8 billion, down slightly from $21.6 billion last year.

With HPAI spreading throughout the country, consumers are beginning to see higher prices for shell eggs. Roughly 13 million layers have been impacted by the current outbreak—the country’s worst since 2014-2015—while over two million commercial turkeys have fallen prey to the virus...

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Apr 7 8:25 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Looking Towards April

Heading into April, the prospect of warmer weather encourages grocers to revamp their ads to align with seasonal trends. Increased demand for grilling items, especially for premium beef cuts, typically supports sales at the meat case.

Furthermore, the warming trend often translates to increased foodservice demand as more consumers venture out to restaurants. 

Wholesale prices for cuts like strip steaks, porterhouse, and T-bones normally begin to increase sometime in April and peak in the summer months. 

This week in retail, steaks including top round, top sirloin, and T-bone all show a rise in price versus a year ago. The steak complex currently averages 32% higher YoY. Features for 80% ground beef average $3.47 per pound, up from $2.88 per pound last year. Average roast prices are up 42 cents per pound...

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Mar 31 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


PLANT PROTEIN: Get to Know Players in the Plant Protein Market: GWI Foods

The plant-based food arena is growing larger by the day, with companies throwing their hats in the ring, offering what they believe are tasty food alternatives for the consumer. One company that recently commenced operations is GWI Foods, whose parent is Gold Water International Inc.

Gold Water focuses on business research, development, and innovation. With a keen interest in the plant-based food phenomenon, the company started research and development efforts in 2019. From there, GWI came into being and commenced its operations in 2021...

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Mar 30 8:08 AM, Plant Protein


NRF Welcomes EU-U.S. Agreement on Transatlantic Data Flows

The National Retail Federation welcomed the announcement today that a long-sought agreement in principle on transatlantic data flows has been reached between the United States and the European Union.

“Transatlantic data flows are vitally important to global retailers that operate establishments in Europe or sell goods online or by mobile apps to European consumers,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “NRF and our members have long supported a coherent regulatory system for EU-to-U.S. data transfers that works for both consumers and businesses and provides..."

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Mar 28 8:28 AM, General News


Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® Brings Care to the Table with Easter Heat n' Serve Meals

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® is helping families 'take care anywhere' this spring with the return of its Easter Heat n' Serve meals, designed to make any gathering hassle-free. Back by popular demand, this year's Easter Heat n' Serve line-up is anchored by a delectable Prime Rib Family Dinner – the ideal option for making your celebration feel special at a value price guests can appreciate. Plus, gifting for Easter baskets or everyday moments has never been easier with Cracker...

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Mar 25 1:24 PM, General News


JD.com’s SEVEN FRESH Supermarket Rolls Out Autonomous Vehicles as COVID Cases Surge in China

JD.com has rolled out autonomous vehicles in the city of Shenzhen to deliver groceries through their fresh food supermarket, SEVEN FRESH.

The City of Shenzhen, which links Hong Kong to mainland China, saw a spike in COVID-19 cases earlier this month. China has a strict “zero-COVID” policy, so Shenzhen was put under lockdowns and hit with additional restrictions in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. To ensure food supply with no-contact, JD.com introduced their autonomous delivery vehicles...

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Mar 24 10:22 AM, SeafoodNews


This Week in Retail: Steak Features See Boost from Warmer Weather; Eyeing HPAI

Sunday marked the official start of spring. For retailers, that means grilling season is rapidly approaching, and with it—the opportunity for increased meat sales.

Steak features surged this week, accounting for 50.5 percent of total beef ads—up 16 percentage points from the week prior. Feature volume for roasts, meanwhile, has decreased, falling from 38.2 percent last week to 23.2 percent this week.

This week in retail, the steak complex averages $8.12 per pound, up 12.8 percent from a year ago. Boneless strip steaks are widely featured at grocery outlets across the nation and average $11.68 per pound, up 36 percent from a year ago. Top sirloin steaks are up 3.3 percent YoY at $5.64 per pound while bottom round steaks clock in at $5.54 per pound, up a whopping 68.4 percent from this week last year...

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Mar 24 8:27 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Showcasing Brisket Features for St. Patrick’s Day

Today is St. Patrick’s Day and grocers are lining their shelves with Irish staples including corned beef brisket, Irish soda bread, and beer.

The National Retail Federation reports that over half of Americans plan to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year, providing a boost for retail sales as consumers stock up on green apparel, food, and beverages. The NRF's survey found that 34% of celebrants will make a special dinner while 19% plan on attending a party at a bar or restaurant.

Roast feature activity accounts for 45% of all beef ads this week. Of that, briskets claim 42% of total roast features. Features for corned beef brisket this week range from $4.28 per pound to $5.93 per pound, depending on the store and region. Brisket feature prices currently average $4.49 per pound, up 22% from a year ago...

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Mar 17 8:45 AM, UB Newswires


REPORTER: Grocery Shopping Continues to Evolve During the Pandemic

This article was originally featured in the Spring 2022 Edition of Urner Barry's Reporter magazine. Want a FREE subscription? Click HERE.

There are many chapters to the story of the COVID-19 pandemic and grocery shopping. Initially, consumers across the nation began panic buying and running shelves bare of toilet paper and other household cleaning supplies as the country began to learn how to live during a pandemic.

Then, consumers quickly saw their trips to the grocery store change. Retailers began promoting non-contact pickup options, delivery and other methods so...

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Mar 17 8:00 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Grocers Spring Forward; Latest CPI Data

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 7.9% in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—the largest 12-month increase since 1982. The data was in line with analysts' expectations, heightening inflation fears in the markets.

The food index was up 1% as food at home gained 1.4% over the month. Both were the largest monthly increases since April 2020, according to the BLS. 

All six major grocery store food group indexes increased in February. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 1.2%. 

The index for food at home has risen 8.6% in the last 12 months, the largest annual increase since April 1981. The index for food away from home increased 6.8%, the largest 12-month increase in over four decades. 

As the conflict in Ukraine continues, market participants are closely eyeing the risks associated with worsening inflation. The ripple effects of the Russia-Ukraine war could raise consumer prices even further as grocers prepare for the transition to Spring, which is less than two weeks away...

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Mar 10 9:41 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Global Uncertainty and the Food Supply Chain

Headlines are currently dominated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which entered its eighth day today. The Russia-Ukraine war has forced a mass exodus of Ukrainians and upended the global marketplace as market participants brace for potential consequences for consumers, both domestically and abroad.

Russia and Ukraine produce and export an abundance of natural resources including crude oil, metals, and wheat. The Russian assault on Ukraine could have long-term ramifications for the global economy, which is already strained by the ongoing pandemic and enduring supply chain disruptions.

For the United States, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine could intensify inflationary pressures and further increase costs for commodities including fuel and food. 

Amidst the volatility currently engulfing the global landscape, grocers are also monitoring a shift in the retail food landscape. March 2nd signified the start of the Christian Lenten season, which typically slows meat sales as Lent observers switch to other proteins including fish.

Seafood feature volume increased to 36% this week, from 28% the week prior. Currently, most seafood features stem from fresh/frozen fillets. The complex—which includes catfish, cod, and tilapia—averages $7.43 per pound this week, up nearly 41.5% from a year ago. 

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Mar 3 8:46 AM, UB Newswires


Kraft Heinz and TheNotCompany Create Partnership to Accelerate AI-Driven Plant-Based Innovation

The Kraft Heinz Company and leading food tech start-up TheNotCompany, Inc. announced today a joint venture designed to reimagine global food production and advance toward a more sustainable future.

The joint venture, which will operate under the control of Kraft Heinz as The Kraft Heinz Not Company LLC (“The Kraft Heinz Not Company”), will leverage the inherent strengths of both companies. NotCo brings its patented, first-of-its-kind technology and proven artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, while Kraft Heinz offers its iconic brand portfolio and scale...

 

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Mar 1 12:56 PM, General News


This Week in Retail: Farewell February; What's Next?

Wrapping up the final full week of February, wintry weather is in full force as back-to-back storms rip through the Eastern two-thirds of the country. Amidst the havoc, retailers are eagerly looking towards spring demand, which is boosted by seasonal influences including more favorable grilling conditions and holidays like Easter.

Retail protein sales are typically sluggish in February, leaving much to be desired among grocers. However, consumer retail demand for meat has remained strong so far this year despite a normal seasonal lull and higher prices for most items. In the near term, grocers will begin to shift their retail features from red meat and poultry towards seafood as Lenten observers begin a 40-day period of fasting and reduced meat consumption starting on March 2nd.

The seafood complex accounts for 27% of total protein features this week. Beef makes up 26.5% of feature volume, while pork closes in on 21%. Chicken claims almost 13% of ad space, followed by eggs...

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Feb 24 8:00 AM, UB Newswires


Kraft Heinz and J.R. Simplot Company Announce an Exclusive, Multi-Year Strategic Supply Agreement

The Kraft Heinz Company and Simplot Food Group, a division of the J.R. Simplot Company (“Simplot”), announced today that the two companies have signed a long-term agreement naming Simplot as the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of Ore-Ida. Kraft Heinz will continue to own the Ore-Ida brand.

As a leading expert in potato manufacturing and distribution, Simplot is expected to help grow the Ore-Ida brand by introducing world-class innovation and technology to the business as well as creating greater efficiencies through vertical...

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Feb 23 3:10 PM, General News


OZO® Unveils True Bite™ Experience at Expo West With First-of-its-Kind Plant-Based Chicken and Bacon

Colorado plant-based food brand OZO is introducing a True Bite Experience to “flexitarians” and food lovers everywhere with fresh, plant-based takes on classic favorites. For the first time ever, OZO will introduce the True Bite Experience with its new plant-based chicken and bacon products at Natural Products Expo West.

The True Bite Experience brings together everything you know and love about meat, for a complete savory experience, made from plants. With several incredible flavor offerings, the new...

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Feb 23 1:14 PM, General News


This Week in Retail: A Look at Protein Indices So Far in 2022

A common thread currently uniting the retail landscape for most proteins is inflationary pressure prompted in part by strong demand, persistent snags in the supply chain, tight supplies, and increased production costs. At present, Urner Barry’s beef, pork, and chicken retail feature indices are positioned at seasonal all-time highs.

Kicking off 2022, Urner Barry’s Weekly Retail Feature Beef Index displayed a contra-seasonal price movement relative to historical norms. The index normally sees a decline from early to mid-January. However, the beef index this year increased by 4.5% from January 3 through January 17 to $6.92 per pound, an all-time high for that week in history. The weekly index has been well above the 5-year average so far this year...

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Feb 18 9:00 AM, UB Newswires


Ethnic E-Grocer Weee! Appoints Three Executives To Leadership Team and Board of Directors

Weee! (www.sayweee.com), the largest and fastest-growing ethnic e-grocer in North America, today announced three key executive appointments as the company expands to meet the growing demands of its customers nationwide. The announcement comes on the heels of the recent appointment of acclaimed filmmaker, Jon M. Chu, as Chief Creative Officer. New appointments to the leadership team include: Board Members James McCann and Vivek Subramanian, and Senior Vice President of Engineering Rudy Darmawan.

"Weee!'s recent appointments bring a depth of experience in..."

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Feb 16 3:53 PM, General News


Sysco Completes Acquisition of the Coastal Companies

Sysco Corporation, the leading global foodservice distribution company, announced today it has completed the acquisition of The Coastal Companies, a leading fresh produce distributor and value-added processer. The acquisition will operate as part of FreshPoint, Sysco’s specialty produce business, and enables FreshPoint to enhance its service to the important Mid-Atlantic region, strategically diversify its portfolio by adding retail and ready-to-eat capabilities and adds state-of-the-art facilities with capacity for growth.

Founded in 1992 and based in Laurel, MD, The Coastal Companies generates annual revenue of approximately...

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Feb 14 9:44 AM, General News


This Week in Retail: Super Bowl Sales Wrap Up; Latest CPI Data 

The Super Bowl is within arm’s reach and grocers this week are promoting party-centric items including finger foods, frozen pizzas, and beverages. An estimated 184.5 million U.S. adults plan to cheer on the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams this Sunday evening, according to a National Retail Federation survey.

Seafood and beef each secured nearly 33% of promotional activity this week, according to the Urner Barry retail survey. Chicken climbed to 11.4%, up from 9.2% last week. Pork cuts were about even with recent weeks and had a 19% share of retail buying opportunities. 

The National Retail Federation reports that a combined 35% of football fans are planning on either throwing a party or attending a party for the big game this year. In the latest 15 years, 67% to 82% of total spending for the Super Bowl has been allocated towards food and beverages, according to NRF data. Chicken is likely to be a highly sought-after item in the meat case and grocers are anticipating an influx of spending on both fresh and frozen wings...

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Feb 11 7:55 AM, UB Newswires


2022 Marks 2 Decades of "The American Masters of Taste" Honoring Eggland's Best with Gold Medal Seal

For the past 20 years, Chefs In America has awarded Eggland's Best with "The American Masters of Taste" Gold Medal Seal for the superior taste, quality and freshness of its eggs. This prestigious award spans the Eggland's Best portfolio, honoring the brand's Classic Eggs, Organic Eggs, Cage Free Eggs, and Hard-Cooked Eggs. Each product was triple-blind judged and awarded superior tasting compared to other brands within its category.

"There is no surprise that Eggland's Best continues to surpass other eggs year..."

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Feb 10 8:56 AM, General News


New Study Highlights Why Online Grocery Shopping Will Survive In a Post-Pandemic World

Grocery stores were one of the few winners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mandatory lockdowns had people sheltering in place. And while grocery stores were deemed “essential,” there was also a fear of going out and contracting the virus. Those stores that had online shopping in place - or added it early on - found even greater success. 

Lockdowns have ended and restrictions have lessened, but according to a report from Chicory, the interest in online grocery shopping has not waned...

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Feb 9 7:53 AM, SeafoodNews


This Week in Retail: February Lull Lifted by Game Day Food Purchases

Among retailers, February is normally a sluggish period for protein sales since wintry weather foils efforts to grill outdoors (except for the select few devoted fans, that is). A disruptive winter storm is currently blasting through the central, northeastern, and southern U.S. following a Nor’easter that hammered the East Coast last weekend.

Along with the weather, other factors that typically contribute to sluggish meat sales this month include tighter budgets following holiday shopping in December along with the absence of major holidays.

Grocers are looking for ways to increase store traffic this month by featuring attractive prices, when possible, on cuts of meats commonly used by families to stretch their food dollars. This includes pork butt and beef shoulder, which are great for slow-cooking and can be used in leftovers. Moreover, the upcoming Super Bowl presents an opportunity for grocers to drum up additional interest in the meat case. The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals will battle for the coveted Lombardi Trophy next weekend...

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Feb 4 9:02 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: Wing Prices Take Flight Ahead of Super Bowl

Seafood feature volume advanced to 28% this week, taking the top spot across proteins in retail buying opportunities. Beef closely follows with 27%, while pork and chicken features claim 18% and 10%, respectively, of ad space. Egg features climbed to 13%, up from 7% the week prior.

At the seafood counter, catfish, cod, and tilapia fillets average $6.55 per pound, nearly 13% above year-ago levels. Cooked shrimp features are roughly 90 cents higher than a year ago, averaging $8.49 per pound. Raw shrimp is featured at $7.57 on average for various counts, down 8.4% from this time last year.

In the retail beef complex, 80% lean ground beef averages $3.49 per pound, up 7% from a year ago but lower than both boneless skinless chicken breasts and chicken tenders. The steak and roast complexes continue to maintain hefty premiums to year-ago levels. Steaks average $8.47 per pound, up from $7.19 per pound in 2021. Roasts are featured at $6.06 per pound on average, a nearly 34% YoY increase...

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Jan 28 10:00 AM, UB Newswires


Vital Farms Appoints Kathryn McKeon as Chief Marketing Officer

Vital Farms, a Certified B Corporation that offers a range of ethically produced foods nationwide, today announced the appointment of Kathryn McKeon to Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) effective January 27, 2022. McKeon has over 15 years of experience in brand marketing, with a specific focus on building global and emerging consumer food brands. As CMO, McKeon will oversee the Brand, Content, Community Management, Shopper Marketing, Consumer Insights, Communications and Creative Design marketing functions.

McKeon joined Vital Farms in 2016 as one of the first marketing leaders. In her more than five...

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Jan 27 8:41 AM, General News


Campbell Named to 2022 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index

Campbell Soup Company today was named to the 2022 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), which tracks the performance of public companies committed to transparency in gender-data reporting. This year’s index includes 418 companies headquartered across 45 countries and regions. The GEI measures gender equality across five pillars: female leadership & talent pipeline, equal pay & gender pay parity, inclusive culture, anti-sexual harassment policies and pro-women brand.

“Building a winning team and culture is a key element of our strategic plan, with a focus on creating an inclusive and diverse environment for..."

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Jan 26 8:40 AM, General News


This Week in Retail: Wintry Weather Boosts Protein Sales

While major buying occasions are sparse in January, wintry weather helps support sales at the meat case this month as consumers stock up on protein for hearty, comfort food recipes.  At present, the National Weather Service is calling for significant winter weather in the Southern and Eastern U.S.

Buying opportunities for seafood and beef have dominated the protein complex so far this year. Seafood narrowly beats out beef for first in buying opportunities this week, claiming 28% of total ad volume. Beef accounts for 26%. 

Retail feature prices for most beef roast cuts—popular with cold-weather cooking—are higher than year-ago levels. Bottom round averages $4.98 per pound, a 15% YoY increase. 80% lean ground beef is up $1.04 per pound, or 37.4%, from last year at $3.82 per pound on average.  

Pork makes up 24% of total ad volume this week. Hams are featured at competitive price points since retailers are looking to clear out excess inventory after the holidays...

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Jan 21 8:02 AM, UB Newswires







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