News Briefs

  • 4/4/2022

    Gelson’s Partners With Newlight Technologies to Offer Plastic-Free Foodware

    Gelson’s Partners with Newlight Technologies

    Gelson's Markets has launched AirCarbon foodware with partner Newlight Technologies, Inc.  at all of its locations in California

    Newlight was founded in 2003 to help end plastic pollution and climate change in this generation. According to the company, the AirCarbon molecule, also known as PHB, is made naturally in every ecosystem on Earth, including in trees, animals and the ocean. After more than 10 years of research, Newlight learned how to mimic the process that occurs in the ocean to make AirCarbon foodware at scale at its manufacturing facility in California.  

    AirCarbon is plastic-free, requires no food crops for production; contains no forever chemicals (no BPAs, no phthalates and no PFAS); and is certified carbon-negative basis by SCS Global Services, reducing the net amount of carbon in the air through production. AirCarbon can be melted and formed into parts, such as foodware, that are smooth and strong, providing a unique combination: the performance benefits of plastic with the environmental benefits of a plastic-free, naturally occurring material.

    "We believe we must end the flow of plastics into the ocean in this generation," said Mark Herrema, CEO of Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Newlight Technologies. "For us, that means making sustainable products that people love and that also work for the environment. This launch is the culmination of over 18 years of hard work by many dedicated people, and we couldn't be more excited to launch with Gelson's as a partner."

    There will be five initial AirCarbon foodware products at Gelson's: knives, spoons, forks, mixed utensils and wrapped straws.

    Encino, Calif.-based Gelson’s currently operates 27 full-service specialty grocery stores in Southern California. Each Gelson’s features the full amenities of a traditional supermarket with the local flavor of a neighborhood market.

  • 4/5/2022

    eGrowcery Teams With DoorDash Drive

    eGrowcery Logo Teaser

    eGrowcery, an e-commerce software company, has established a partnership with DoorDash Drive, the white-label fulfillment delivery service of San Francisco-based DoorDash, to provide supermarkets and other retailers access to a large delivery fleet. 

    Under the partnership, retailers using the eGrowcery platform will now be able to benefit from DoorDash Drive’s integration and logistics while owning their own shopper data. Because eGrowcery puts control and data ownership in the hands of retailers, they maintain a direct connection with their customers through their own branded apps, which enables them to profitably grow their businesses.

    “The combination of eGrowcery’s intuitive shopping experience and fully integrated fulfillment process with DoorDash’s scale and convenience is very compelling,” said eGrowcery CEO Patrick Hughes. “By teaming up with DoorDash, we are able to offer our retail customers a turn-key solution to help them address their local commerce needs.” 

    Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based eGrowcery, which operates in both the U.S. and abroad, is seeing a growing number of retailers working to establish their own branded e-commerce experiences.

  • 4/5/2022

    Kroger Names New Director, Corporate Communications & Media Relations

    Kroger Names New Director, Corporate Communications & Media Relations

    The Kroger Co. has named Erin Rolfes director of corporate communications and media relations. She will be responsible for enhancing and protecting Kroger's corporate reputation, driving the brand narrative across the company's many lines of business, and serving as the company's spokeswoman.

    Rolfes joined the Kroger team in 2018 as the corporate affairs manager for the Cincinnati-Dayton division, where she led media, strategic communications, government relations, community engagement and philanthropy. In 2021, she was promoted to head of Kroger Technology & Digital Communications.

    Prior to Kroger, Rolfes held several key roles in professional communications, including television production, agencies, and as manager of public relations and communications for REDI Cincinnati.

    Rolfes serves on the boards of Our Daily Bread and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. She holds a B.A. in international affairs/international politics from The George Washington University, and an M.A. in strategic public relations from the same institution.

    Rolfes succeeds Kristal Howard, who is leaving the company in May to pursue other interests.

    Serving 60 million households annually nationwide through a digital shopping experience, and almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 4/5/2022

    Kalera Opens Vertical-Farming Facility in Denver

    Kalera Denver Facility Teaser

    Colorado residents will soon be able to shop locally for lettuce and microgreens from hydroponic indoor vertical-farming company Kalera, which has opened a facility in the Denver area. The nearly 90,000-square-foot facility, located at 18000 E 40th Avenue, in Aurora, Colo., is the company’s fifth domestic farm, joining locations in Atlanta and Houston, as well as two in Orlando.

    The first harvest at the Denver facility is scheduled for May. 

    “Increasing our national and global footprint has been a priority for our team as we seek to serve our major retail and foodservice customers,” said Curtis McWilliams, interim CEO of Orlando, Fla.-based Kalera. “Opening this facility is an exciting step towards this goal, and we’re proud to serve urban communities like Denver with clean, nutrition-dense leafy greens that are accessible to local consumers.” 

    Kalera greens are pesticide-free and non-GMO. The climate-controlled environments at the company’s facilities allow for sustainable farming methods that include water recycling and optimization of plant nutrient formulas to maximize production. Currently, all of Kalera’s large-scale U.S. farms are operating above the company’s 80% throughput yield target, with its newest facilities prior to Denver, Atlanta and Houston, having achieved this performance considerably ahead of schedule. Kalera is also making improvements in production capacity and corresponding revenues as demand for its products continues to rise. According to a company spokeswoman, its greens are sold at such grocers as Kroger, H-E-B and Walmart.

    The Denver opening follows news of Kalera’s recent merger with Houston-based special-purpose acquisition company Agrico Acquisition Corp. The partnership will result in Kalera becoming the first vertical-farming company to go public on the NASDAQ market, which the company plans later this year. 

    Beyond the U.S., Kalera operates farms in Munich and Kuwait, with a facility slated to open in Singapore later this year.

  • 4/5/2022

    Wegmans Joins Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative

    Seafood Section Teaser

    Wegmans has joined the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) as a funding partner. As part of the company’s ongoing sustainability journey, it has focused its efforts on a sustainably sourced seafood supply, partnering only with trusted suppliers that meet its high standards and share its commitment to making a difference. 

    “By partnering with GSSI, we’re able to further our commitment to responsibly sourced seafood while building trust with our customers,” said Steve Philips, Wegmans’ seafood group manager. “Using GSSI’s benchmarking as a foundational tool in our sourcing strategy will help clarify our expectations to our farmers, fishers and suppliers. GSSI is an industry-leading organization, where all its partners share a common goal. We’re excited to join the conversation and help drive the industry forward to a more sustainable future.”

    Based in Haarlem, Netherlands, GSSI is a public-private partnership working together to turn seafood into a driver for good to preserve oceans for future generations and secure more sustainable seafood for everyone. The GSSI Global Partnership is one of the largest precompetitive collaborations in the world, aligning businesses, NGOs, governments and international organizations representing the full seafood value chain. 

    Family-owned Wegmans operates 106 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts and North Carolina. The Rochester, N.Y.-based company is No. 35 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top retailers of food and consumables in North America.

  • 4/4/2022

    Albertsons Offering Free COVID-19 Tests to Eligible Customers

    Albertsons Costa Mesa Teaser

    Albertsons Cos. will be offer free COVID-19 tests to customers with Medicare Part B coverage. Eligible customers can receive up to eight over-the-counter tests each month without an appointment through the end of the COVID-19 public-health emergency. Also, those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan will be able to able to get free COVID-19 rapid tests provided in more than 1,700 of the company’s pharmacies.

    “We’re committed to making COVID-19 testing easier in the many neighborhoods we serve,” said Omer Gajial, Albertsons’ EVP of pharmacy and health. “Access to free COVID testing for Medicare customers removes yet another barrier for millions of Americans.”

    In January, the grocer said that higher prices and an increase in customer traffic related to vaccines led it to report higher-than-expected sales and profit for the third quarter. To date, Albertsons pharmacists have administered more than 12 million COVID-19 vaccines through the company’s more than 1,700 pharmacies nationwide. 

    Eligible individuals can find their nearest Albertsons Cos. Pharmacies online

    Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates more than 2,200 retail stores with 1,700-plus pharmacies, 400 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. The company is No. 8 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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