News Briefs

  • 3/16/2022

    DoorDash Commits to Helping Its Drivers Offset High Gas Prices

    Cardenas Markets Cocinas Team With DoorDash E-Commerce

    San-Francisco-based DoorDash has introduced a Gas Rewards program for its U.S. drivers in response to increasing gas prices.

    The delivery company will offer Dashers 10% cash back on gas purchases made with its prepaid business Visa card, and also provide a weekly gas bonus based on miles driven through April 30. DoorDash estimates that its drivers could earn an extra $1.27 to $1.69 per gallon with the gas bonus and the cash back offer.

    “We want to ensure that your earning opportunities remain accessible and viable even as gas costs are on the rise,” DoorDash told its drivers on its website. “We believe that these two relief efforts should help offset the effects of increased prices at the pump.”

    The move comes as grocers grapple with inflationary cost pressures, and other third-party delivery platforms like Uber and Lyft add gas surcharges to customer purchases. 

    DoorDash says it will monitor gas prices and listen to Dasher feedback regarding a possible extension of the program past April 30. The company already offers its drivers 2% cash back at the gas pump, and says that will remain in effect after this special benefit ends.

  • 3/17/2022

    Meijer Donates $1M to U.S. Hispanic Chambers of Commerce

    Meijer Donates $1M to U.S. Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.teaser

    Continuing its diversity and inclusion efforts, Meijer is donating $1 million to local affiliates of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The funds will be divided among 17 Chambers in the Midwest, including city-based and regional groups across Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

    Among other things, the financial support will be used to improve the economic growth and development of Hispanic-owned businesses. According to company information, part of Meijer’s D&I goal is to create opportunities and bolster intergenerational wealth in its service areas.

    "By investing in these Hispanic Chambers, we hope to empower Hispanic business owners and create an economic impact that's felt throughout our communities," explained Tim Williams, VP of diversity and inclusion at Meijer.

    The $1 million gift follows Meijer's other philanthropic efforts to improve communities. In 2021, the retailer provided $6.5 million to several causes spanning D&I, hunger relief, sustainability and local giving, including a $1.2 million gift to Boys & Girls Club and a $300,000 donation to the National Minority Supplier Development Council in the Midwest.

    Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer operates 257 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 18 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food retailers in North America

  • 3/16/2022

    Whole Foods Market Opens 2nd Store With Just Walk Out Tech

    Whole Foods Market Opens 2nd Store With Just Walk Out Tech

    Whole Foods Market opened its newest store at 12905 Riverside Drive in Sherman Oaks, Calif., on March 16. The store is the second of two Whole Foods stores opened this year that feature Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, allowing customers the choice to skip the register for a faster, more convenient shopping experience. The first store featuring Just Walk Out tech opened in February in Washington D.C.

    The Sherman Oaks store also incorporates Whole Foods’ commitment to offering local products. The store’s assortment is hand-picked by the "local forager" for Whole Foods’ Southern Pacific region, Elena Garcia.

    The store includes offerings from local farms like apples from Cuyama Orchards, sweet potatoes from Valpredo Farms and orchids from Formosa Pacific Orchids. The full-service seafood counter features smoked salmon from Santa Barbara Smokehouse. Local products in the meat department include free-range chicken from Mary’s Organic Chicken, turkeys from Mary’s Free-Range Turkey (available seasonally) and organic beef from Eel River. Additionally, the Wellness and Beauty section has more than 100 local body care products and supplements, such as skin care from evanhealy, hand soap from Zatik Naturals and wellness shots from Vive Organic.

    To give back to the Sherman Oaks community, Whole Foods will host multiple School Spirit Days in May, from which 5% of the proceeds will support local schools, including Dixie Canyon Elementary School, Riverside Drive Charter Elementary School, The Science Academy STEM Magnet and Wonderland Ave.  

    The first certified-organic national grocer, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The company is No. 26 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top retailers of food and consumables in the United States, while its parent company, Seattle-based Amazon, is No. 2 on PG’s list.

  • 3/16/2022

    Peapod Digital Labs Improves Transparency of Private Brands

    Peapod Digital Labs Improves Transparency of Private Brands

    Peapod Digital Labs is leveraging a cloud-based platform from Trace One, a provider of business solutions for CPGs, for product and packaging specifications of private-brand products across all of the companies of Ahold Delhaize USA. Beginning with a pilot that launched in early March, the Trace One PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) will manage product formulation, labeling statements and claims, quality and testing parameters, and packaging substrate data to promote regulatory compliance, satisfy company standards and meet consumer expectations.   

    “The Private Brands team has worked hard to remove unwanted ingredients from its portfolio of private label products to promote transparency and sustainable practices, and to reduce our plastic and packaging waste,” said Danielle Harper, director of product excellence, private brands, Peapod Digital Labs. “Partnering with Trace One is an important next step in ensuring that we meet consumers’ expectations about visibility to the ingredients in a product, where it was made, and if sustainable and/or ethical practices were used in production.” 

    The application will benefit vendors by creating one single source of validated and approved private label portfolio data. The solution also ensures accurate labeling, helps identify opportunities for alignment and increases efficiency in reporting on improvements toward sustainability objectives.  

    Starting in June 2022, all suppliers of Peapod Digital Labs private-brand products will be required to use the new system.

    Peapod Digital Labs is the digital, e-commerce and commercial engine of Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize. The company operates more than 2,000 stores across 23 states and is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in the United States. 

  • 3/16/2022

    Vejii Expands Fulfillment for Unreal Deli

    Vejii Expands Fulfillment for Unreal Deli

    Canada-based Vejii Holdings Ltd., an online marketplace for plant-based and sustainable products, has signed a consignment and fulfillment services agreement with Unreal Deli Inc., which makes premium plant-based deli meat.

    Unreal Deli will provide inventory into Vejii Fulfillment Services for sale on Vejii Express, and through its own direct-to-consumer channel (D2C). Under the terms of the agreement, Vejii will pick, pack and ship orders for and for Unreal Deli's own e-commerce platform,, further expanding the services that the company can offer its partners.  

    "With five distribution points across the U.S., Vejii can reach 100% of the continental United States and Hawaii with ground delivery,” said Darren Gill, president, and COO of Vejii. “We're proud to further support our brand partners by providing access to our distribution network, and helping to solve some of the business challenges that our CPG brand partners face in a market where cold-chain distribution for D2C shipping has become more challenging. We will not only be handling storage, pick, pack and ship for Unreal Deli, but also undertaking sample distribution, which we've identified as a key opportunity to support our brand partners. This provides a new revenue stream for the company but also deepens our relationship with new and innovative brands like Unreal Deli, which is already a top-selling SKU for Vejii.”

    Securing on investment from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank for her authentic New York- style deli meat, Unreal Deli founder Jenny Goldfarb has since gained distribution with retailers like Whole Foods Market and Publix Super Markets.

  • 3/16/2022

    Amazon Brings Its Fresh Food Fest to Southern California

    Amazon Fresh Events

    Amazon Fresh stores in Southern California are celebrating the retailer’s Fresh Food Fest now through March 27. The 10 stores will host 12 days filled with book signings, professional chef demonstrations, samples, discounts, live music and more.

    Special appearances will be made by Ludo Lefebvre of Petit Trois Le Valley and Ludo Bird; Jess Damuck, author of “Salad Freak;” Bricia Lopez, co-owner of Guelaguetza and author of “Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico;” Valerie Gordon, owner of Valerie’s Confections; Jason Wrobel, author of “Eaternity;” and Maria Provenzano, author of “Everyday Celebrations from Scratch.”

    The Fresh Food Fest celebration will be extended to Amazon Fresh stores in the Chicagoland area beginning April 13.

    Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

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