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News Briefs

  • 10/4/2022

    Uber Freight, Procurant Offer Innovative Produce Shipping Solution

    Uber Freight teaser

    Produce shipping is about to be transformed thanks to a partnership between cloud-based software company Procurant and Uber Freight. The companies are rolling out an innovative shipping option for retailers and suppliers of fresh produce that promises to offer relief to the grocery industry.

    The Procurant Ship feature allows produce suppliers with a Procurant account to view a competitive transportation rate and secure shipment of a specific load while responding to an active purchase order. This will provide immediate access to available quality carrier capacity to help streamline carrier selection and provide real-time, in-transit visibility.

    [Read more: "New Software Improves Connectivity Between Fresh Produce Suppliers and Buyers"]

    “This partnership is a game-changer for grocery retailers and their produce suppliers, and it will bring much-needed relief to an industry struggling with rising transportation costs and truck availability,” said Eric Peters, CEO of Watsonville, Calif.-based Procurant. “With this partnership, we move one step closer to a more cost-effective and streamlined fresh food supply chain.”

    According to Matt Menner from San Francisco-based Uber Freight: “It’s imperative that produce suppliers are able to reliably source cost-effective, safe and reliable transportation services. And as freight rates [remain] volatile, new technologies can help suppliers ensure food stays fresh and arrives on time. Through this exciting partnership with Procurant, we enhance the resilience of produce supply chains by reducing waste, keeping costs down, moving produce more efficiently, and ultimately better supporting the communities we serve."

  • 10/5/2022

    Avery Dennison, SAP Partner to Reduce Food Waste in Supermarkets

    Avery Dennison and SAP

    Avery Dennison Corp. has partnered with SAP on an original equipment manufacturer agreement. The agreement allows Avery Dennison to integrate SAP Analytics Cloud, a SAP Business Technology Platform product, into its connected product cloud to help retailers address food waste.

    Through this partnership, businesses that use SAP technologies can access item-level insights from for their products from manufacturing to distribution to shelf. The transparency provides unique supply chain information, enabling expiration date management and automation.

    [Read more: "UN Spotlights Food Loss and Waste"]

    Driving these efficiencies is item-level data delivered to the SAP Analytics Cloud dashboard via and products tagged with unique digital ID technology by Avery Dennison, including RFID. It means that retailers can experience accurate and timely analysis enabling them to automate food expiration management at the store. Grocers can also go deeper into their supply chain and implement “dwell time” measurement to boost the speed with which items move through warehouses and distribution centers so they can arrive in stores with longer shelf lives.

    The new partnership will benefit omnichannel retail and can help retailers with click-and-collect, as well as buy online, pick up in store and home delivery  where sending and delivering products with the right expiration date has been a challenge. It can also help during product recalls. 

    Max Winograd, VP, connected products at Mentor, Ohio-based Avery Dennison Smartrac, comments: “Accurate real-time supply chain management is more important than ever, and we’re pleased to partner with SAP to help businesses manage their supply chain operations. Food waste is a global problem, impacting people, planet and profits, and we’re greatly encouraged by the remarkable results digital ID technology and has already achieved with some of our existing retail customers, and look forward to working with SAP so that more can reap these benefits.”

  • 10/4/2022

    Trader Joe’s Samples Make a Triumphant Return

    TJ customer

    Consumers on the path to discovery at Trader Joe’s can once again get a taste of products that pique their interest. According to the latest “Inside Trader Joe’s” podcast, the pandemic-related hiatus on sampling is over.

    “Demo is back!” asserted company crew members during the podcast episode.  The podcast was recorded during the recent Captains Meeting of store leaders held in Los Angeles.

    Going forward, sampling at Trader Joe’s stores will take a different tack.  “We want to focus a little more on new products. Things not necessarily on your shopping list, but things we’re excited to share,” noted Matt Sloan, VP of marketing at the grocer.

    A store leader named Ken from the Trader Joe’s in Somerville, Mass. explained the approach in more detail: “I think one of the hardest things is we have all these new products that we can talk about with our customers, but we want our customers to try it … I think demo is kind of that next shared experience with food, and in our culture, food is everything.”

    Also during the Captains Meeting, winners of the Trader Joe’s Golden Potsticker awards were revealed. The award recognizes locations and crews that exhibit strong connections with their customers and neighborhoods – in other words, stores that are especially nice. Winners include Store 5-5-9 in Staten Island, N.Y.; Store 5-7-1/Bridgemarket in New York City; and Store 5-5-2 in Oceanside, N.Y.

    With more than 500 stores in 40-plus states, Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe’s is No. 27 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

  • 10/4/2022

    Pete and Gerry’s Organics Gets New CEO

    Flocco headshot

    Pete and Gerry's Organics LLC is bringing on a seasoned CPG executive as its new CEO. Tom Flocco, most recently the president and COO of Utz Brands, is taking the reins of the Monroe, N.H.-based organic, free-range and pasture-raised egg provider.

    Flocco’s 35-year background in the CPG industry and other sectors also includes a stint as president and CEO of distilled spirits company Beam Suntory. In addition, he is chairman of Everglades Boats and was a partner at McKinsey & Co. in its consumer practice.

    “We are thrilled to have Tom join Pete and Gerry's leadership team as CEO. Tom is an impressive executive with a wealth of experience across food and consumer businesses that will help us accelerate the company's growth and further its mission,” noted Adam Waglay, co-founder of Los Angeles-based Butterfly Equity, which holds a majority interest in Pete and Gerry’s.

    Flocco, who started his career at Procter & Gamble, said that he is looking forward to guiding Pete & Gerry’s at a time increased consumer interest in such products. “Pete and Gerry’s is a pioneer in the premium egg category, with tremendous growth potential as consumers demand more nutritious, sustainable and humanely raised eggs. I look forward to working with our team members, our family farmers and our customers to continue on this incredible journey,” he observed.

    Pete and Gerry’s portfolio includes Pete and Gerry’s Organic, Nellie’s Free Range and Consider Pastures eggs. The company became the first Certified Humane egg producer in the United States in 2003, and a decade later, it was the first egg producer in the world to achieve Certified B Corporation status.


  • 10/5/2022

    Hy-Vee Focuses on Gluten-Free Awareness in October

    Hy-Vee Rolls Out Seafood Supplier Code of Conduct

    In honor of National Gluten-Free Awareness Month, Hy-Vee’s registered dietitians will offer a variety of programming throughout October that focuses on living a gluten-free lifestyle. Among the events available to customers are a gluten-free health fair, store tours and virtual freezer meal workshops.

    Scheduled for Oct. 15 at more than 100 participating Hy-Vee stores, the free in-person health fair will offer gluten-free product and health service resources, as well as samples and coupons from event sponsors. The on-demand virtual store tour will cover the basics of gluten-free eating, shopping tips and product recommendations in both English and Spanish.

    The grocer’s dietitians have also put together a four-week menu program for individuals looking to support a balanced lifestyle with one-on-one support. The plan includes simple recipes, grocery lists, balanced meals and snacks, along with weekly one-on-one visits to track progress. Two types of virtual freezer meal workshops will also take place: gluten- and dairy-free and traditional.

    Complimentary Wellness Wednesday classes will also be offered each week in October, with topics including Fall Pasta: Dairy-Free Edition, Love Your Lunch, Spooky Snacks, and Allergy-Friendly Sweet Trick or Treats.

    Employee-owned Hy-Vee operates more than 285 retail stores across eight Midwestern states and has a team of more than 93,000 employees. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company is No. 30 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 10/4/2022

    Kowalski’s Markets Showcases Private Label Offerings

    Kowalski's signature teaser

    The waning of the pandemic means that many in-store tasting experiences are back. Kowalski’s Markets, in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, is celebrating A Taste of Kowalski’s on Oct. 15 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

    At this in-store event, shoppers can check out the latest additions to the regional grocer’s private label line and sample an array of store-brand favorites. Kowalski’s will also share recipes using private label and other products.

    The independent grocer continues to expand its private label offerings. In September, Kowalski’s introduced a new blueberry small-batch jam, organic Crunchy Munchy Mix, and additional Maple Oat and Triple Berry varieties of granola.  

    Operating 11 stores across the Twin Cities, Woodbury, Minn.-based Kowalski’s was founded in 1983 by Mary Anne and the late Jim Kowalski, and is currently run by Mary Anne and her daughter, CEO Kris Kowalski Christiansen. It’s the only grocery store in the area with a department devoted to gifts.

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