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  • 9/15/2022

    Mars Petcare Appoints New R&D Leader

    Mars Alex Cedeno Teaser

    Underscoring the priority of innovation, Mars Petcare has brought on a new executive to lead its R&D efforts. The division of Mars, Inc. recently announced the hiring of Alejandro (Alex) Cedeno as SVP of research and development.

    In his new role, Cedeno will help create and drive global R&D strategies, take part in the development of the innovation pipeline for the company’s pet nutrition brands and oversee the deployment of breakthrough science and technology. The Mars Petcare portfolio includes the Pedigree, Sheba and Iams brands available at grocery stores and pet retailers around North America.

    [Read more: "100 Iconic Brands That Changed Grocery"]

    Cedeno brings nearly 30 years of R&D experience in the CPG space, most recently at The J.M. Smucker Co. where he served as VP of R&D for pet food and snacks. He also held R&D and innovation roles at Mead WestVaco (now WestRock) and Procter & Gamble in North America, Europe, and South America.  Cedeno earned a master of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology 

    "Alex is a people-first leader with a disruptive and innovative mindset," said Ikdeep Singh, global president of Mars Pet Nutrition. "'A better world for pets' is our purpose. It is core to everything we do and I'm confident that his global knowledge, passion for people and pets, and expertise in pet food innovation will make him an immeasurable asset to our Pet Nutrition R&D team."

    Cedeno succeeds the retiring SVP of R&D Michel Oostwal.

  • 9/16/2022

    New Partnership Connects Brands With Consumers Via Mobile Shopping Lists


    At a time when consumers are weighing purchases carefully and increasingly using digital tools, two tech companies are teaming up to enhance the online shopping experience. Marketing and insights platform AdAdapted and tech platform Flipp have entered into a new partnership to assist shoppers in finding and adding products to their lists while simultaneously helping CPGs bolster their reach.

    Through this collaboration, AdAdapted's add-to-list technology will be utilized on Flipp’s shopping app platform. CPGs can advertise their branded products on the app, spurring shoppers to add items to their lists in a single click.

    “In this inflationary environment, shoppers are increasingly using digital pre-shopping tools to decide what to buy — digital circular readership in the U.S. is at a four-year high,” explained Sam Rosenbaum, director, brand platform for Flipp. “By partnering with AdAdapted, we’re helping brands shape purchase decisions in this incredibly high-intent context while providing a non-disruptive, relevant experience for our users.”

    Molly McFarland, AdAdapted’s co-founder and CRO, said the partnership is another solution for consumers in a continually-shifting marketplace. “Flipp is used by millions of shoppers every week to make better purchase decisions for their grocery lists, while saving time and money. We’re looking forward to bringing AdAdapted’s technology to the platform, helping CPG brands engage and influence shoppers where it matters most,” McFarland remarked.

    This is the latest partnership between AdAdapted and industry providers and platforms. The company is also linked with apps including Tasty, Our Groceries, Buy Me A Pie, BigOven, Listonic and Prepear, among others. In August, AdAdapted introduced new shoppable video ads that help brands create e-commerce campaigns on the shopping list mobile ad platform.

  • 9/15/2022

    Next Stop for Pop Up Grocer: Denver

    Pop Up Grocer Interior Teaser

    Pop Up Grocer has revealed that its next location will be Denver, where the company will set up temporary shop on Friday, Sept. 30.

    The location will remain in place at 2645 Walnut Street in the city’s RiNo neighborhood until Oct. 30, during which time it will showcase more than 100 brands, including national brands like Christie’s ChipsThe Hampton Grocer and Courtside, in addition to several Colorado-based brands, among them Hazlo tequila mixer, Rowdy Mermaid kombucha and vegan Byte Bars. It will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

    “Denver is an active, wellness-minded city that has welcomed a lot of new residents in the last few years,” noted Emily Schildt, founder and CEO of New York-based Pop Up Grocer. “We’re thrilled to meet their enthusiasm for adventure with a like-minded array of products that are the perfect complement to their lifestyle.”

    Other cities recently visited by Pop Up Grocer include Chicago and Washington, D.C.

    In addition to its temporary stores, the recently rebranded company has revealed that it will soon open a permanent flagship location in the Big Apple. 

  • 9/16/2022

    BJ’s Now Accepting SNAP EBT Payments Chainwide

    BJ's Sees 'Remarkable' Q3 Performance

    BJ’s Wholesale Club is expanding its reach in more ways than one. As the warehouse club operator adds to its footprint by opening several new stores this year, it is also widening its service by accepting SNAP EBT payments across all of its U.S. locations.

    Club members now can use their government assistance to purchase items at BJ’s club stores and online at or via the retailer’s mobile app. Flexible options are available, including free pickup, shipping and same-day delivery; shoppers can also split their payments at checkout between their EBT card and debit or credit card, if desired.

    “Over the course of the last few months, we’ve been actively working to expand our online SNAP EBT payment options for our members across all the states we currently do business in,” said Monica Schwartz, EVP and chief digital officer at BJ’s. “We’re excited to announce that SNAP EBT payments are accepted online chainwide, allowing us to offer even more flexibility and convenience to all of our members.”

    The expansion of SNAP EBT payments comes as more people are joining the BJ’s club. The club store chain recently opened its fourth new store of 2022 in Michigan and, in August, reported a strong second quarter performance marked by high gains in traffic and market share. Total comp sales grew by nearly 20% in the second quarter on a year-over-year basis.

    Westborough, Mass.-based BJ's operates 230 membership warehouse clubs and 160 BJ’s Gas locations in 17 states. The company’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. BJ’s is No. 26 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 9/15/2022

    Nearly 30% of Pet Parents Can't Afford Their Fur Babies Amid Inflation

    Cat food teaser

    Online financial services marketplace LendingTree has released a consumer survey finding that more than 75% of pet owners believe that inflation is making pet ownership more expensive, and 26% are struggling to afford the four-legged members of their families. By generation, Millennials (32%) were most likely to say that they're having trouble paying for pet expenses amid inflation.

    Overall, 87% of pet owners said that they've experienced increased pricing on key pet-related expenses, especially pet food (74%) and veterinary services (33%). This increase in cost has forced pet owners to make financial sacrifices for their pets, with nearly one in four (23%) having taken on debt for their furry friends, and some even limiting their retirement savings contributions (10%).

    Other key survey findings included:

    • While pet owners reported spending an average of $1,163 annually on their pets in a 2021 LendingTree survey, in 2022, owners say they're spending just $984 per year — a nearly $180 difference.
    • 44% of pet owners are making financial sacrifices for their pets. 
    • 30% of owners who've been in pet-related debt have owed $1,000 or more. 

    Charlotte, N.C.-based LendingTree commissioned Provo, Utah-based Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 1,017 U.S. pet owners, ages 18 to 76, on Aug. 12-18. The survey was administered using a nonprobability-based sample, and quotas were used to ensure that the sample base represented the overall population. All responses were reviewed by researchers for quality control.

  • 9/15/2022

    Superior Grocers Unveils New Location in SoCal

    Superior Grocers

    Superior Grocers has hit a milestone, opening its 70th store in Southern California. The location at 280 E. Harvard Blvd. in Santa Paula operates under The Market by Superior banner.

    The Santa Paula store northwest of Los Angeles features grocery staples as well as a large selection of produce, fresh meat, baked goods and ready-to-eat hot food options. A liquor department is also a part of the new location.

    “We are very excited to open The Market by Superior and to join the community of Santa Paula,” said Superior’s President Richard Wardwell. “We are honored to serve the neighborhood with a great shopping experience as they have welcomed us with open arms.”

    Founded in 1981, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.-based Superior Grocers is one of the largest independently-owned grocery chains in Southern California. 

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