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May’s Retail Sales Show Consumer Resilience and Confidence in the Economy

Retail sales rose 0.5 percent in May seasonally adjusted from April and up 3.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year, the National Retail Federation said today. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“Today’s retail numbers, and upward revisions to prior months, reinforce the ongoing strength of the consumer and are consistent with a pick up in the pace of the economy in the coming months. The strong job market, recent income gains and elevated confidence translates into ongoing support for spending. Households, in the aggregate, are in solid financial condition but an escalation in trade tariffs will undoubtedly create a considerable downdraft to confidence and spending, or lead to...

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Jun 14 2:58 PM, General News



Affluent Food Shoppers More Likely to Purchase Natural and Organic Products

The belief that natural and organic practices produce foods that are tastier, more nutritious, and healthier continues to germinate in the minds of key consumer demographics. The result has created a pervasive and enduring trend that spreads to virtually every corner of the food and beverage industry.

Wealthy Americans are among the most influential and active participants in the natural and organic food market, according to Affluent Food Shoppers, a new report by market research firm Packaged Facts.

Packaged Facts’ consumer survey data found that affluent food shoppers are increasingly moving in the direction of eating more organic and natural foods. They are more likely than non-affluent food shoppers to respond that they are eating more natural foods or organic certified foods compared to...

 

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Jun 14 7:53 AM, General News


Consumer Disloyalty is the New Normal

Assume the people you consider to be the most loyal customers on the planet are, in fact, disloyal. Because 92% of the time, you’ll be right. New Nielsen findings demonstrate that just 8% of consumers consider themselves to be firmly committed loyalists.

Yet the marketing tactics and investments rarely reflect these realities. A whopping 46% of consumers tell us they are more likely to try new brands than they were five years ago; a clear signal to a trend we should expect to intensify. Yet we see few signs that adjustments have been made to marketing initiatives or innovation pipelines to match these numbers.

The implications of not dramatically rethinking campaigns that focus on winning or retaining loyal customers are meaningful. The drag effect of consumer demand for choice and...

 

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Jun 13 11:40 AM, General News


Kroger and Ocado Break Ground on America's First High-Tech Customer Fulfillment Center

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), America's largest grocery retailer, and Ocado (LSE: OCDO), one of the world's largest dedicated online grocery retailers, today broke ground on America's first customer fulfillment center (CFC).

"Kroger is incredibly excited to reach this meaningful milestone in our Restock Kroger vision to serve America through food inspiration and uplift," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Our partnership with Ocado will introduce transformative ecommerce, fulfillment and logistics technology in the U.S. and bring customers fresher food faster than ever before, accelerating our ability to provide anything, anytime, anywhere...

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Jun 13 10:23 AM, General News


Tyson Foods Unveils Alternative Protein Products and New Raised & Rooted Brand

As part of efforts to expand its protein offerings, Tyson Foods, Inc. (NSYE: TSN) today introduced the company’s first plant-based and blended products, along with its new Raised & Rooted® brand. The initiative makes Tyson Foods the largest U.S. meat producer to enter the growing alternative protein segment with its own products.

TheRaised & Rooted brand was created to provide great-tasting plant-based and blended foods that are rooted in how people eat today. The initial products under this new brand, which will launch with several major retail customers this year, include plant-based nuggets as well as blended burgers made with a combination of beef and plants. In addition, the company’s existing Aidells® brand has launched Aidells Whole Blends™ sausage and meatballs, made with chicken and plant-based ingredients.

Tyson Foods expects to introduce additional alternative protein products through multiple customers and sales channels. This includes...

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Jun 13 9:27 AM, General News


Perdue Foods Launches Chicken Plus Products 

Plant-based food may be one of the hottest trends in grocery today, but for parents trying to get their kids to eat their vegetables the struggle is still real. To help flexitarian families who are hungry for new ways to fill the vegetable void without sacrificing flavor or nutrition, Perdue is introducing first-of-its-kind nationally distributed new PERDUE® CHICKEN PLUS™ Nuggets, Tenders and Patties blended with vegetables.

Perdue’s latest innovation PERDUE® CHICKEN PLUS™ blends cauliflower, chickpeas and plant protein to create the next generation of frozen chicken nuggets, tenders and patties, and each serving is complete with one-quarter cup (half a serving of vegetables) and is made with 100 percent all-natural ingredients and no antibiotics ever white meat chicken...

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Jun 12 9:03 AM, General News


Walmart is Taking Grocery Delivery One Step Further

Consumers have more options than ever before when it comes to how they receive their groceries. Customers can shop in stores, order online for free pickup, or have groceries delivered to their front doors. Now, Walmart is on track to offer Grocery Pickup from 3,100 stores and same-day Grocery Delivery from 1,600 stores by the end of the year. To make grocery shopping an even easier experience for customers, Walmart is offering the option to order fresh groceries and have them be delivered directly into their refrigerator.

Walmart InHome Delivery is a new service designed to help consumers save time and offer another convenient option for grocery shopping. Customers can place a grocery order and then select InHome Delivery and a delivery date at checkout. Then, consumers can go about their daily routine while a Walmart associate completes their grocery shopping for them, from aisle to fridge...

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Jun 7 9:48 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: Looking Ahead to Father’s Day Spending

Father’s Day is coming up on Sunday, June 16th, and retailers are prepping for the second big grilling holiday of the summer.

According to the National Retail Federation, Father’s Day spending in 2019 is expected to reach an all-time high of $16 billion. That’s up from last year’s $15.3 billion. This monumental spending figure still, however, pales in comparison to spending for Mother’s Day, coming in at a whopping $25 billion.

Mother’s Day has long been known as a foodservice holiday, but Father’s Day tends to favor grilling at home with some quality steaks, burgers, chops or ribs. The NRF also reports that spending for Father’s Day has grown 70 percent over the last decade, with special outings playing a big part of that growth, accounting for a projected $3.3 billion. With 76 percent of...

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Jun 7 8:14 AM, UB Newswires


United Natural Foods Inc Reports Third Quarter Fiscal 2019 Results

United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE: UNFI) (the "Company" or "UNFI") today reported financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 ended April 27, 2019.

Third Quarter Fiscal 2019 Highlights

  • Net Sales Increased to $5.96 Billion, Including $3.24 Billion from SUPERVALU
  • Earnings Per Diluted Share (EPS) of $1.12; Adjusted EPS of $0.61
  • Integration of SUPERVALU Progressing; UNFI Now Operating As One Company with A National Leadership Team and Structure

"Our transformational journey continues, and I'm proud of what our team has accomplished this quarter," said Steven L. Spinner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "I am excited about our next chapter and the acceleration of value creation we expect to...

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Jun 6 8:57 AM, General News


Good Eggs Releases Results of Family Food Fix Survey 

Good Eggs, the online market that delivers absurdly fresh groceries, today announced the results of its Family Food Fix Survey, which takes a pulse on the perspectives and behaviors of today's consumers when it comes to the necessary task of grocery shopping. Additionally, the findings reveal insights into meal kit usage, the reality of preparing multiple dinners every night, and what families across America want most for dinner.

"From grocery shopping to getting dinner on the table, feeding a family has become a time-consuming struggle for today's busy parents," said Jaime Nessel, Vice President of Assortment of Good Eggs. "Online grocery delivery services can provide significant time savings to families. At Good Eggs, we provide a complete, yet curated assortment of local products, absurdly fresh local produce and meat...

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Jun 5 11:26 AM, General News


SpartanNash Appoints New President of Food Distribution

SpartanNash (Nasdaq: SPTN) announced today that Mr. Walt Lentz has joined the company as Executive Vice President and President, Food Distribution, effective May 31, 2019. Mr. Lentz has 32 years of logistics and supply chain experience in roles of increasing leadership responsibility, including serving from 2017 to 2019 as Acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Supply Chain Officer of Peapod LLC, the grocery eCommerce business division of Ahold Delhaize.

As President of Food Distribution, Mr. Lentz will have full responsibility of SpartanNash’s $4 billion food distribution segment and responsibility for the total company supply chain. He will work with the SpartanNash team in developing and executing strategic plans to grow the wholesale distribution and food manufacturing businesses’ profitability. Mr. Lentz will report to SpartanNash’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David M. Staples...

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Jun 3 3:23 PM, General News


Butterball Launches New Flavor In Premium Deli Portfolio

In 2018, Butterball launched its premium deli portfolio, featuring specialty and seasoned items with category-driving flavors that were selected specifically for the premium set. This year, Butterball is adding to this premium line with its new flavor option, Herb Roasted Thanksgiving Style Turkey Breast, to build on the Thanksgiving flavor Butterball is most recognized for. Joining Butterball’s signature Thanksgiving Style Roasted Turkey Breast product, the Herb Roasted Thanksgiving Style item will deliver a unique and complimentary flavor profile to any deli case. Oven roasted with a topical herb seasoning, this product allows consumers to enjoy the savory flavor combination of holiday stuffing and oven roasted turkey year-round.

Each of the following deli turkey and chicken items provide consumers with a premium eating experience and wholesome ingredients...

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May 31 2:19 PM, General News


This Week in Retail: Wholesale vs. Retail Action

There are two sides to every story, and the retail meat situation is no different. This week in retail, we look at some of the dynamics at play in the wholesale arena for beef and pork and how retail has responded.

There seems to be a contra-seasonal trend happening in the wholesale boxed beef market, for grilling items in particular. The loin complex—where we get strip steaks, T-bones, porterhouse steaks and filets—is currently moving in a contrary direction to its historical norms, residing at multi-year lows.

When we look at the retail items derived from this market, bone-in rib steaks are featured nearly 19 percent below year ago levels, at an average $7.19 per pound. Boneless strip steaks are down a whopping 29 percent from this time last year! Porterhouse steaks are right about on par with year ago levels, while T-bones are down 20 cents per pound. Tenderloin filets are down nearly...

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May 31 8:45 AM, UB Newswires


This Week in Retail: The Memorial Day Rundown

It’s finally here, the unofficial start to summer and the very official start to the grilling season. In the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend, the beef category claims the top spot for protein feature volume at 27 percent, followed by seafood at just under 26 percent.

Chicken managed to knock out pork for the number three spot with 22.5 percent of ad space, leaving pork with 18 percent. Cheaper grilling items like thighs and drumsticks helped boost chicken featuring volume this week. Meanwhile, the beef segment presents the ultimate showdown between ground beef and steak. In the pork complex, we see an increase in pork chop featuring, up nearly 8 percent week over week.

Taking a closer look at the beef complex, Urner Barry’s weekly retail beef index is right on par with the 3-year average at $5.85 per pound. This is down from the previous week’s index of $6.47 per pound. Ground beef features are modestly lower year over year at an average...

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May 24 8:35 AM, UB Newswires


BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc Announces First Quarter Fiscal 2019 Results

BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: BJ) (the "Company") today announced its financial results for the thirteen weeks ended May 4, 2019.

“We are pleased with our solid start to the year,” said Christopher J. Baldwin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BJ’s Wholesale Club. "We delivered merchandise comparable sales of 1.9%, improved margins and continued to grow earnings by executing against our strategic priorities. Looking forward, we continue to see momentum across our business and are encouraged by the opportunities ahead of us, as we continue to transform BJ's Wholesale Club."

“In addition, Robert Steele has been appointed to serve as BJ’s Lead Independent Director,” said Baldwin. “His extensive experience and knowledge of our industry and business will be invaluable to our company.”

Additional Highlights...

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May 23 11:17 AM, General News


SpartanNash Announces First Quarter 2019 Financial Results

SpartanNash Company (the "Company") (Nasdaq: SPTN) today reported financial results for the 16-week first quarter ended April 20, 2019.

"We are pleased with our team's efforts to grow net sales across all three business segments, particularly in light of the challenging operating environment," said David Staples, President and Chief Executive Officer. "While we are not satisfied with our bottom-line results for the quarter, our team remains committed to our fiscal 2019 objectives and long-term strategy, which we believe will support both future growth and profitability long-term."

Strategic Business Objectives

As outlined in its fourth quarter earnings release, the Company has defined its top five objectives for 2019. These objectives remain critical in the context of the Company's long-term strategic objective to evolve into a company with a national, highly efficient distribution platform servicing a diverse customer base through...

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May 21 8:56 AM, General News


Whole Foods Market to Further Reduce Plastics Across all Stores

Whole Foods Market today announced that it will eliminate plastic straws from its stores in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada by July 2019, becoming the first national grocer to make this change. In addition, the grocer switched to smaller plastic bags in its produce department this year and is replacing hard plastic rotisserie chicken containers with new bags that use approximately 70 percent less plastic. Together, these packaging changes will reduce an estimated 800,000 pounds of plastic per year.

“For almost 40 years, caring for the environment has been central to our mission and how we operate,” said A.C. Gallo, President and Chief Merchandising Officer at Whole Foods Market. “We recognize that single-use plastics are a concern for many of our customers, Team Members and suppliers, and...

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May 21 8:47 AM, General News


Sparboe Companies Announces the Sale of its New Hampton, Iowa Plant to Deb El Food Products

Sparboe Companies is pleased to announce the sale of its New Hampton, Iowa plant to Deb El Food Products. Deb El will continue to operate the New Hampton plant, which produces liquid, frozen and dried egg products. Sparboe’s shell egg division, Sparboe Farms, will continue to operate their shell egg facilities in Minnesota, Iowa and Colorado and is not part of the sales agreement.

Beth Schnell, Sparboe CEO says of the agreement “We would like to thank all of our employees in New Hampton for the years of dedication and hard work and wish them the best under new leadership. We are pleased to have partnered with another family owned company in this transaction and look forward to Deb El’s success in New Hampton. Proudly celebrating our 65th anniversary, Sparboe will continue to focus on...

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May 17 8:40 AM, General News


Slower Tax Refunds and Weather Affect April Retail Sales but Fundamentals 'Remain Positive'

Retail sales were down 0.2 percent in April seasonally adjusted from March but up 5.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year, the National Retail Federation said today. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“Slower tax refunds and weather may have been key factors impacting April’s numbers, but the fundamentals remain positive, particularly in long-term comparisons,” NRF Chief Economic Jack Kleinhenz said, citing flooding in the middle of the country and blizzards and extreme temperature swings elsewhere along with a soft housing market that impacted sales of furniture, appliances and building materials. “Despite there being a lot of...

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May 16 8:20 AM, General News


Walmart Offers One-Day Shipping Without a Membership Fee

When customers shop with us, they expect to find great items at low prices. They also want shopping to be easy and convenient, including getting the items they order online quickly. Our 4,700 stores, site and app combine to create an incredible range of choices for customers.

We started with same-day pickup in our stores in 2011 and began offering two-day free shipping two years ago with no membership fee. But, the most exciting development has been the creation of Grocery Pickup and Delivery. We’re on track to offer Grocery Pickup from 3,100 stores and same-day Grocery Delivery from 1,600 stores by year-end, which will provide coverage to...

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May 14 8:39 AM, General News


HelloFresh Elevates the At-Home Dinner Experience with the Launch of New Premium Menu Items

HelloFresh SE (HFG), the leader in delivering delicious ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes to households worldwide, today announced the launch of two new premium menu offerings: Craft Burgers and Taste Tours. Beginning today, customers can select from an alternating menu of Craft Burgers and Taste Tours dishes that are designed to elevate the at-home cooking experience by bringing everything needed to create fully-loaded burgers and flavorful global cuisines right to your doorstep.

Upping the ante on HelloFresh’s beloved burger offerings, the new Craft Burgers bring a gastropub experience to the kitchen table with loads of gourmet toppings like truffle, bacon, and caprese-style. For home cooks who love global cuisine like dim sum and paella, the new Taste Tours dishes take customers on...

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May 13 12:08 PM, General News


Global Food E-Commerce: 5 Growth Trends Through 2023

Global food e-commerce sales are forecast to nearly triple through 2023, rising to $321 billion and accounting for nearly 5% of total e-commerce revenues, according to market research firm Packaged Facts in the new report Global Food E-Commerce.

Packed Facts projects the Asia/Pacific region will account for the majority of absolute growth, primarily due to the rapidly expanding Chinese market. China dominates regional e-grocery activity in part because of the country's large urban population and rapidly expanding middle class. In addition, much of China's very large population has access to high-tech devices and the ability to shop online, due to the country's position at the forefront of technological development and electronics...

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May 13 12:03 PM, General News


This Week in Retail: Grocery Outlook for May—Beef, Chicken Steal the Show

It’s finally here—the month that unofficially kicks off the summer grilling season and features several retail buying occasions to boost spending.

May brings about warmer weather conducive to grilling activities, along with graduation parties, Mother’s Day and, of course, the big kahuna—Memorial Day. Healthy demand on the wholesale side has already been evident for some time as packers and processors prepare for retail and foodservice needs.

Mother’s Day is well known to be a foodservice holiday, but increasingly, the grocery segment has managed to compete with foodservice through convenience offerings like prepared foods, meal kits, catering, and deli. And, with the cost of food away from home growing at a faster rate than that of... 

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May 10 8:35 AM, UB Newswires


Meal Kits: Why Older Adults Offer the Ideal Target Market

Think meal kits are a Millennial or Gen Z trend best suited to the novice cooking skills of adults under age 40? Packaged Facts encourages you to reconsider. The market research firm reveals in the report, Meal Kits: Trends and Opportunities in the U.S., 3rd Edition, that older adults provide a wealth of growth opportunities.

Many older consumers are experienced cooks who enjoy a homemade meal. However, as people age, their ability to use their hands and their ability to leave their home to shop for groceries may be diminished.

Older consumers are more likely to have developed conditions such as arthritis and tremors that make it difficult to engage in food preparation tasks, especially chopping and peeling vegetables. Meal kit delivery services can...

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May 8 2:34 PM, General News


Kroger and Home Chef Launch Pilot for Three New Retail Meal Solutions

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) and Home Chef announced today a pilot to enhance its existing selection of meal kits sold in more than 900 Kroger Family of Stores across the country with three new options.

  • Home Chef Oven-Ready meals feature fresh, ready-to-cook ingredients packed in an oven-safe tin to make both meal preparation and clean-up quick and effortless.
  • Home Chef Heat & Eat meals are delicious, fully-cooked, ready-to-heat meals, proteins and sides that can be prepared in as little as five minutes.
  • Home Chef Lunch Kits include salads, grain bowls, sandwiches and more with fully cooked proteins and can be prepared easily...
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May 8 8:21 AM, General News


Frozen Ready Meals Rising in Popularity and Demand

The global frozen ready meals market is expected to post a CAGR close to 5% during the period 2019-2023, according to the latest market research report by Technavio.

Owing to rapid industrialization worldwide the working population has increased at a significant rate. Hectic work schedules have increased the demand for readymade food as well. Besides convenience, consumers look for quality and taste before purchasing frozen ready meals. For example, frozen pizza is one of the most preferred variants of frozen ready meals as they are convenient and are available in a variety of toppings.

Furthermore, consumers that prefer frozen ready meals are the older millennials or the parents of children aged between 7 to 12 years. These consumers are mostly working professionals who prefer...

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May 6 2:08 PM, General News


The Superfoods Market will Register a CAGR of Almost 17% by 2023

The strong distribution network and omnichannel presence of superfood manufacturers are one of the key factors expected to trigger the market's growth in the forthcoming years. Vendors are focusing on strengthening their distribution network with retailers and e-commerce partners for catering the rapidly increasing demand for superfoods globally. In addition, several vendors are also focusing on expanding their retail presence to the convenience stores and foodservice outlets. The vendors are also strengthening their partnership with e-commerce providers for selling more products online, this will propel the demand for superfoods during the forecast period. Analysts have predicted that the superfoods market will register a CAGR of almost 17% by 2023...

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May 3 12:46 PM, General News


Amazon Expands Grocery Delivery from Whole Foods Market to Thirteen Metros

Amazon and Whole Foods Market today launched delivery of natural and organic products from Whole Foods Market through Prime Now in Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn., Destin and Tallahassee, Fla., Greensboro and Wilmington, N.C., Allentown, Pa., Fort Collins, Colo., Huntsville and Montgomery, Ala., Jackson, Miss., Palm Desert, Calif., and Portland, Maine.

Starting today, Prime members in those cities can shop through Prime Now for thousands of bestselling items including fresh produce, high-quality meat and seafood, everyday staples and other locally sourced items from Whole Foods Market and enjoy delivery in as little as an hour. The service is now available in...

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May 3 8:22 AM, General News


U.S. Consumers Return to the Convenience of Frozen Foods

After years of being in the shadows of the health-focused “fresh” movement that kept more consumers in the perimeter of the store where fresh produce is merchandized, consumers are returning to the frozen foods aisle, reports The NPD Group. Last year frozen foods were included in 9.8 billion eating occasions in home, up 2 percent from a decade ago, an increase that represents billions of meals, according to NPD’s daily tracking of U.S. consumers’ eating behaviors.

“Demographic shifts, like Millennials moving into the busiest times of their lives juggling spouses, kids, and a career, are fueling a greater need for the convenience that frozen foods offer,” says David Portalatin, NPD Food Industry Advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. “Manufacturers are also doing their part in...

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May 1 2:11 PM, General News


UB Executive Conference: Deli is Driving Force Behind Grocery Perimeter Growth For Good Reasons

Sarah Schmansky is Vice President of Nielsen’s Fresh and H&W Growth and Strategy Teams, and a much-anticipated presenter at this year’s Executive Conference. The focus of her presentation was centered around the evolution of retail foodservice, with deli being a major component of that.

Nielsen data shows that in-store growth is coming from the perimeter of the store. Schmansky says “Deli is driving that growth.” And for good reason. Consumers are increasingly valuing their time and their health and wellness, and the deli foodservice component often checks both of those boxes.

Additionally, healthy growth is seen at the meat case and elsewhere in the perimeter. Deli is main driver of total fresh department growth. Deli foodservice, specifically, holds the dominant share...

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May 1 8:56 AM, Urner Barry


Wegmans Joins Forces with DoorDash to Power Wegmans Meals 2GO Delivery

Wegmans today announced that it's teaming up with the largest and fastest growing, last-mile logistics platform, DoorDash, for delivery of the supermarket's popular restaurant-quality meals available in the new Wegmans Meals 2GO app. The venture is now live at the Dulles (Sterling) store in northern Virginia, and the Pittsford, East Ave., and Perinton stores in Rochester, NY. Two more Rochester-area stores, Penfield. and Holt Road, are set to go live on April 30. Wegmans Meals 2GO will roll out to more than 40 stores by year's end, with more to follow in 2020.

Wegmans Meals 2GO orders for lunch, dinner or anytime-in-between can be delivered through DoorDash within a roughly five-mile radius of participating stores. Delivery is available on orders of $20 or more, with diners able to choose from sushi, pizza, wings, subs, salads, soups, hot wokery (Asian), ready-to-heat meals, desserts and...

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Apr 30 8:21 AM, General News


U.S. Consumers' Awareness of Buying Local Increases 

While we used to associate reading with the library and famous novelists, it’s quickly become a big part of the shopping experience. That’s because as consumers seek out products that align with their personal beliefs, inspecting labels and assessing product attributes is on the rise. And as a result, manufacturers and retailers are amplifying the attributes of their offerings by touting their key attributes.

As a result, tags boasting “locally made,” images of farmers in their orchards from “upstate,” and QR codes inviting consumers to learn more about the farm their chosen steak is from are just a few ways manufacturers and retailers are appealing to budding consumer interests. And in a recent Nielsen study, buying local had the highest awareness among U.S. consumers, topping the charts at...

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Apr 29 2:22 PM, General News


EU Set to Ban Meat Names for Veggie Alternatives 

What’s in a name? The fast-growing meat substitute market may soon face this question as meat-related terms and names could be banned for veggie alternatives, following a vote from the EU’s Agriculture Committee’s in early April. Terms such as steak, sausage, escalope, burger and hamburger will no longer be allowed for vegetable-based products, if the measures pass the next stages. However, they still face a vote by the full parliament, then need to be put to member states and the European commission.

Upping the likelihood of approval is a similar ban on the use of dairy product names such as milk, cheese or yogurt for plant-based products which came into force in...

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Apr 26 3:31 PM, General News


Walmart’s New Intelligent Retail Lab Shows a Glimpse into the Future of Retail

Over the past few months, a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Levittown, New York, has been quietly transforming. With artificial intelligence-enabled cameras, interactive displays and a massive data center, this store suggests a retail future that seems like science fiction.

But this store isn’t just a shiny new object, equipped with tech for the sake of tech. It’s a unique real-world shopping environment designed to explore the possibilities artificial intelligence can contribute to the store experience. It’s Walmart’s new Intelligent Retail Lab – or “IRL” for short.

While the application of AI in e-commerce is now table stakes, there haven’t been many physical explorations of its potential. But IRL is designed...

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Apr 25 8:31 AM, General News


Announcement Regarding Proposed Merger of Asda and Sainsbury’s

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today published its Final Report on the proposed merger of Asda and Sainsbury’s, resulting in prohibition of the merger.

Despite the clear customer benefits of the proposed merger, as a result of the CMA’s findings, Asda, its parent Walmart and Sainsbury’s have mutually agreed to terminate the transaction.

Commenting on the proposed merger of Asda and Sainsbury’s, Judith McKenna, CEO of Walmart International, said:

“We have been clear from the beginning of the proposed merger about two things. Firstly, that retail is rapidly changing and standing still is not an option, and secondly that...

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Apr 25 8:22 AM, General News


Walmart to Create Angus Beef Supply Chain

Walmart, the nation’s largest grocer, announced its entry into the beef industry, developing an end-to-end supply chain for Angus beef.

The retailer has been diligently working to improve the quality of its food offering with the company’s fresh division and meat department at the forefront of this effort. To ensure supply of quality Angus beef and to meet customer demand for a more transparent supply chain, Walmart is working with best-in-class partners including Texas rancher Bob McClaren of Prime Pursuits.

“As clean labels, traceability and transparency become more and more important to customers, we’ve made plans to enter into the beef industry creating an unmatched system that allows us to deliver consistent quality and...

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Apr 24 12:14 PM, General News


Beyond Meat Announces Entrance into Canadian Retail Timed to the Start of Summer BBQ Season

Arriving just in time for summer BBQ season, Beyond Meat® announced today that for the first time, its plant-based Beyond Burger™ will be available in the meat case at Canadian retail outlets nationwide at Co-op Food Stores, Fresh Street Market, IGA, Loblaw, Longos, Metro, Save On Foods, Sobeys, and Whole Foods Market.

“On the heels of our successful launch with A&W that introduced Canadians to the delicious taste of The Beyond Burger, retail is the natural next step for our brand,” said Beyond Meat Founder and CEO Ethan Brown. “We couldn’t be more excited that just in time for the summer BBQ season, Canadians can now enjoy our burgers at home with friends and family, while receiving the added health and environmental benefits of...

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Apr 24 9:59 AM, General News


Postmates is Now in More than 3,500 Cities

Postmates, the leader in delivering anything you want on-demand, announced today that is has launched a thousand more cities in the U.S. bringing the current total to more than 3,500 across all 50 states. Postmates now serves more than 70 percent of U.S. households. To celebrate, Postmates is joining forces with Subway to launch a nationwide promotion, offering $5 off any sandwich.*

Starting today, customers within the newly added cities can order from their favorite restaurants or merchants and have their order brought to their door in minutes. From trending local eateries to a run for your favorite ice cream, Postmates helps people get anything delivered on-demand.

"We want to enable anyone to have anything delivered on demand and this latest expansion allows us to deliver on that promise across all 50 states in the US ...

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Apr 23 11:29 AM, General News


Consumers Expect to Keep Protein on their Shopping Lists as Part of a Healthy and Sustainable Diet

Meat, fish and eggs can be an important part of a healthy and environmentally responsible diet, say consumers in new global research from Cargill. And they plan to keep eating them too—along with plant-based dietary protein. More than two-thirds of respondents say they intend to maintain or increase their consumption of animal protein in the next year. Four-fifths of participants express interest in plant-based or alternative sources of protein.

“We’re pleased consumers see animal protein as an important part of a healthy diet,” said Chuck Warta, president of Cargill’s premix and nutrition business. “Dietary guidance consistently emphasizes the benefits of adequate protein intake from ...

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Apr 23 10:18 AM, General News


Food Lion Recognized as Industry Leader in Sustainability

Food Lion announced today its latest sustainability efforts in celebration of Earth Day. The retailer released a colorful infographic which shows its progress in helping the environment in various ways.

Highlights include the following:

  • Conserve – Since 2000, Food Lion saved more than 825.5 million kilowatt-hours of energy, which is equivalent to powering 66,340 HOMES for a year.
  • Recycle - In 2018, Food Lion recycled 8,862 tons of food into animal feed, 126,915 tons of office paper and 5,932 tons of plastic bags and other in-store plastics.
  • Food Rescue – Food Lion became the first retailer 20 years ago to introduce a food rescue program so that ...

 

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Apr 22 9:25 AM, Urner Barry


This Week in Retail: The Rundown on Easter Features

Pork moved into the top spot this week just in time for the holiday, claiming 25.4 percent of protein feature volume. Beef came in second, scoring 23.6 percent, with seafood closely following at 23 percent. Chicken accounted for 16.2 percent. Turkey features were bumped up to 5.6 percent, compared to 3.6 the week prior.

When comparing holiday week retail prices year-over-year, we have to go back to the week of March 26th, 2018, as Easter fell three weeks earlier last year. Looking at the retail ham complex, ham features come in at an average price of $1.66 per pound, compared to $1.86 per pound during the week leading up to Easter a year ago. That’s an 11 percent drop YOY and should...

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Apr 18 12:24 PM, UB Newswires


Worldwide Cold Storage Market Expected to Grow 

The global cold storage market size is anticipated to reach USD 212.54 billion by 2025 expanding at a CAGR of 12.2%.

The retail sector in emerging economies, such as India and China, is getting more organized and this trend is expected to augment the demand for cold storage over the forecast period. Government policies to deregulate the entry of foreign companies have increased the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the retail sectors of...

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Apr 18 12:08 PM, General News


USDA Launches SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot

For the first time, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online, during a two-year test (pilot) launched today in New York State. In making the announcement, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue highlighted online purchasing’s potential, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) commitment to program integrity by looking carefully at the pilot. Lessons learned from this pilot are expected to inform future efforts to expand online purchasing in SNAP.

“People who receive SNAP benefits should have the opportunity to shop for food the same way more and more Americans shop for food – by ordering and paying for groceries online. As technology advances, it is important for SNAP to ...

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Apr 18 11:00 AM, General News


Publix Board Member Elected, Retirees Recognized

During its annual meeting of stockholders today, Publix stockholders elected Jennifer Jenkins to the Publix board of directors, and Barney Barnett, Jane Finley and Charlie Jenkins Jr. retired from the board. The board also named Barnett as Vice Chairman Emeritus.

“I’m excited to have Jennifer join the Publix family. She will be a valuable addition to our board,” said Publix Chairman of the Board Ed Crenshaw.

Jennifer Jenkins is Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke University Law School, where she has worked since 2002. Prior to joining Duke, she was a legal associate at ...

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Apr 17 9:45 AM, General News


Kroger Introduces Don Lee Farms Plant-Based Burger into Markets

Don Lee Farms is announcing the introduction of its trailblazing Organic Plant-Based Burger in nearly 2,000 Kroger® markets. The burgers will be sold in the meat section at Kroger®, Ralphs®, Dillons®, King Soopers®, Fry's®, QFC® and Fred Meyer®.

Donald Goodman, President, Don Lee Farms, said: “Working with Kroger® has been a priority for us in our pursuit to expand to where our customers want us to be. With the addition of Kroger®, we are bringing the fastest growing burger of its kind to nearly 2,000 locations in ...

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Apr 17 9:04 AM, General News


Brits Spent £12.3 Billion on Online Groceries in 2018

Brits continue to shop with the click of a button, as according to the latest research from Mintel, last year sales of online groceries in the UK hit £12.3 billion, up 9% from 2017.

One of the fastest growing channels in the UK grocery market, the online grocery sector is still adding to its share of total grocery retail sales, up from 6.1% in 2016 to 7% in 2018. What is more, consumers’ love of online shopping is set to continue as this year, sales are expected to reach £13.6 billion. Over the next five years, online grocery is forecast to account for 10% of all grocery shopping, with sales growing by ...

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Apr 12 2:39 PM, General News


Acosta Report Finds Multicultural Americans are Reshaping US Grocery

With the U.S. multicultural population projected to grow by 98 million people in the coming decades, Acosta expects multicultural shoppers will continue to have significant influence on the grocery shopping experience. Research released today in the first-ever Multicultural The Why? The Behind The Buy™ from Acosta — a leading full-service sales and marketing agency in the consumer packaged goods industry — provides insight into the preferences of U.S. Hispanic, African American and Asian American shoppers.

"The growing multicultural population will drastically impact the grocery industry, and we have already noticed key differences between ...

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Apr 12 9:28 AM, General News


Ahold Delhaize USA Named as Winsight's 2019 Grocery Business of the Year

Ahold Delhaize USA has been chosen as Winsight's 2019 Grocery Business of the Year, which is featured in the leading trade media brand's April cover story.

As the brand's most significant honor bestowed annually to one select grocery industry leader, WGB's Grocery Business of the Year profile story explores how the former international rivals charted a new trajectory following a rare merger that's hitting all its goals and has positioned its six U.S. brands to each wield the power of a $44 billion company locally. The profile story further details how Ahold Delhaize USA has made good on its post-merger promise of "Leading Together" to accelerate growth and position its U.S. brands—including Stop & Shop, Giant/Martin's, Giant Food, Hannaford, Food Lion and Peapod—to focus on ...

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Apr 12 8:18 AM, General News


Albertsons Companies to Join Blockchain-based IBM Food Trust Network to Pilot Increased Transparency

Albertsons Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States, is joining the blockchain-based IBM Food Trust network and will begin piloting the technology to improve how food is traced from farm to store shelf. The addition of Albertsons Companies to the Food Trust ecosystem of more than 80 brands brings blockchain-based food traceability to more consumers and industry players – from producers to suppliers to retailers – by helping enable greater transparency and collaboration, and ultimately, a safer food supply.

Blockchain is a system of record that establishes a shared environment for food transactions in which all participants can collaborate in a highly secured and ...

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Apr 11 9:39 AM, General News


Amazon Expands Grocery Delivery from Whole Foods Market

Amazon and Whole Foods Market today launched delivery of natural and organic products from Whole Foods Market through Prime Now in Asheville, Charlottesville, Columbia, Lexington, Little Rock, Manchester, Mobile, Naples and Savannah. Starting today, Prime members in those cities can shop through Prime Now for thousands of bestselling items including fresh produce, high-quality meat and seafood, everyday staples and other locally sourced items from Whole Foods Market and enjoy delivery in as little as an hour. The service is now available in 75 U.S. metros and will continue to expand throughout 2019.

Today also marks another expansion of grocery pickup from Whole Foods Market to Columbus, Ohio. Grocery pickup from Whole Foods Market is available in 30 U.S. metros, with plans for ...

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Apr 10 2:19 PM, General News


Kroger Announces Executive Promotions to Support Restock Kroger

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced several executive promotions to support Restock Kroger and the company's long-term growth.

"We are making progress on redefining the customer experience, and our high-performing leaders are determined to maintain that momentum in year two of Restock Kroger and beyond," said Mike Donnelly, Kroger's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "Each of these promotions is consistent with Kroger's track record of strong succession planning and will help ensure we continue driving toward our growth objectives."

"We have a leadership team that combines deep experience with creative new talent," said Tim Massa, Kroger's senior vice president of human resources and chief people officer. "In our dynamic retail environment, we continue to ...

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Apr 9 2:36 PM, General News


Retail Feedback Study: Grocery Shoppers Digital Interaction Strengthening

The Retail Feedback Group (RFG), a leader in providing actionable stakeholder feedback, today released the 2019 U.S. Supermarket Digital & Social Engagement Study.

Digital Interaction with Supermarkets Strengthening

More than six out of ten (63%) of supermarket shoppers interact with their supermarket digitally, up from the 56% found in 2017. More than half check a digital circular (55%), while smaller percentages are building...

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Apr 5 3:24 PM, General News


ALDI Announces Commitments to Plastic Packaging Reduction

ALDI is pleased to announce a series of commitments it has made to help combat the global plastics crisis. By 2025, 100 percent of ALDI packaging, including plastic packaging, will be reusable, recyclable or compostable. ALDI will also reduce packaging material across its entire range by at least 15 percent.

ALDI has the ability to influence how its products are sourced, produced and brought to shelves because more than 90 percent of its range is ALDI-exclusive. The company is committed to working with its supplier community to achieve the following comprehensive goals ...

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Apr 3 10:11 AM, General News


U.S. Plant-Based Meat Market to Reach $3 Billion by 2024 

According to a new study by Research and Markets, the U.S. plant-based meat market is expected to reach a value of around $3 billion by 2024, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 24% during 2018 to 2024.

The growing traction towards the wellness consumer trend is fueling the demand for plant-based products, creating lucrative opportunities in the U.S. plant-based meat market. Brands are becoming more health-focused, and the exponential growth of food trucks, delivery, and takeout along with ...

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Apr 2 3:28 PM, Urner Barry


Amazon's Next Push into Grocery Biz Faces Stout Headwinds, Expert Says

While its brick-and-mortar supermarket strategy is likely to add to the pressure, Amazon is hardly set to steamroll top grocers with its purported plans to open stores under a new, more mainstream brand, advised Joe McKeska, Senior Managing Director at A&G Realty Partners.

Observers are buzzing about Amazon's plans, originally reported in The Wall Street Journal, to open "dozens" of grocery stores in leading U.S. markets. However, McKeska cautioned, it's important to remember that existing grocers boast years of experience. They have also been heavily investing in their digital and online capabilities, said the Oak Brook-based executive, whose firm assists retailers with portfolio strategy, due diligence, value-add lease negotiations, and real estate disposition, subleasing, and ...

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Apr 2 12:18 PM, General News


Walmart Offers New Voice Capabilities for Grocery Shopping 

Customers love our Grocery Pickup and Delivery options. These services make life easier and help customers get back to the things they like doing the most.

What if we could make it even easier?

We continue to innovate for the future and look to technology to make great services even better in the future. Introducing: Walmart Voice Order.

With the new voice ordering capabilities we’re building across platforms with partners like Google, we’re helping ...

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Apr 2 9:10 AM, General News


This Week in Retail: Warmer Weekend Forecast Beckons Grillers, Retailers Promote Accordingly

While much of the Midwest remains somewhat stuck in winter (our condolences), temperatures elsewhere in the U.S. are starting to feel more like spring—and that means grilling season is almost here.

Both coasts, parts of the Northeast, and much of the Southeast looks to be thawing out with average temperatures this weekend expected to be 60 degrees and above. Hints of spring result in many consumers dusting off the grill and heading to grocery stores to procure their favorite proteins—and grocers are more than happy to answer the call.   

Ground beef feature volume soared this week, claiming nearly 30 percent of beef ad space versus just 16 percent the week prior. Steak features are also higher week over week, accounting for...

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Mar 29 10:54 AM, UB Newswires


Fresh Foods Cut Down the Nets in 2019 Total Store Bracket 

March. The start of spring. And the annual NCAA men’s college basketball tournament—March Madness™. While many teams suffer the agony of defeat, others rejoice gleefully as their alma maters or home-town favorites advance throughout the tourney in hopes of cutting down those nets.

But college basketball teams aren’t the only ones to experience joy or sorrow. With consumers growing more mindful about health and wellness, in search of convenience and aware of online shopping options, in-store purchasing patterns have shifted significantly over the past five years. These shifts have resulted in some areas of the store facing sales challenges, while others have put forth winning formulas.

Using our uniquely integrated sales universe, we created our annual bracket that pits different areas of the store against one another to understand ...

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Mar 26 11:22 AM, General News


This Week in Retail: Wing Demand Feeling the Madness

The first round of the college basketball tournament dubbed March Madness is officially underway—and retailers are certainly going mad over food promotions for the nearly month-long event.

On the wholesale side of the equation, wings are in high-demand as foodservice and retail buyers alike look to secure inventory for March Madness. This has driven prices up in recent weeks, as supplies grow increasingly tight. Spot market prices for small sized wings are currently up nearly 12 percent over last year at this time, or 17 cents per pound, and up about 4 percent compared to the 3-year average. Wholesale prices on jumbo wings, more often found at retail, are up a whopping 36 percent year-over-year. Buyers are paying nearly 50 cents more per pound on the spot market for jumbo size wings this week—that’s up 14 percent from the 3-year average.  

This is the second “peak” of the year for wings in 2019, the first summiting in early February. The downslope was relatively short-lived, bottoming out later that month. The current uptick, while seasonal, is especially...

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Mar 22 8:12 AM, UB Newswires


Conagra Brands Reports Third Quarter Results

Today Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) reported results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2019, which ended on February 24, 2019. All comparisons for Legacy Conagra results are against the prior-year fiscal period, unless otherwise noted. Certain terms used in this release, including "organic net sales," "Legacy Conagra," "pro forma," "EBITDA," and certain "adjusted" results, are defined under the section entitled "Definitions."

Highlights

  • Net sales grew 35.7%, driven primarily by the Pinnacle Foods acquisition. Organic net sales excluding the sale of the Trenton, Missouri production facility (Trenton) increased 1.9%.
  • The Grocery & Snacks segment grew net sales by 2.9% behind continued ...
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Mar 21 8:53 AM, General News


Kroger and Peak Rock Capital Announce Definitive Agreement for Purchase of Kroger's Turkey Hill

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) and Peak Rock Capital, a leading middle-market private equity firm based in Austin, Texas, today announced a definitive agreement for the sale of Kroger's Turkey Hill business to an affiliate of Peak Rock Capital.

As part of the sale agreement, the Peak Rock Capital affiliate will continue to operate the Turkey Hill business out of its large Conestoga, Penn., facility with its nearly 800 full-time, part-time and seasonal associates and under the same recognizable Turkey Hill brand.

"We believe this is the right step to ensure the Turkey Hill business can meet its full potential and continue to grow its successful ice cream and ...

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Mar 20 1:30 PM, General News




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