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  • 10/6/2022

    Thermo King Brings Walmart, Loblaws Closer to Electrified Fleets

    Thermo King Evolve Teaser

    Thermo King, a provider of transport temperature-control solutions, has completed initial testing of its evolve electric trailer with Walmart and Loblaws, as well as with Martin Brower, a Rosemont, Ill.-based supply chain solutions provider for restaurants around the world. During more than 2,500 hours of operation, Thermo King said that the battery-powered refrigerated trailer unit delivered excellent performance, ensuring high-quality climate control to keep food and other goods fresh. With zero direct emissions, Thermo King’s electric trailer technology can help to significantly decarbonize the cold chain.

    “With thousands of refrigerated trailers using diesel fuel today, we have the ability to make a meaningful difference when it comes to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions,” said Fernando Cortes, SVP of transportation, Walmart U.S. “We were pleased to work with Thermo King on the testing of our first-ever refrigerated trailer operated primarily on battery electricity in the U.S. as we look for solutions to achieve zero emissions by 2040.”

    “By partnering with our customers, we can help accelerate the industry’s transformation to electrification by applying valuable insights from data collected during these trials,” noted Karin De Bondt, president of Minneapolis-based Thermo King Americas. “With more than 2,500 hours of operation, the learnings bring us closer to a commercialized all-electric trailer unit, help our customers prepare their operations, and ultimately, together we can advance the industry forward.”

    Thermo King – by Trane Technologies, a global climate innovator – has been providing transport temperature-control solutions for a variety of applications, including trailers, truck bodies, buses, air, shipboard containers and railway cars, since 1938.

    Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Brampton, Ontario-based Loblaw Cos. Ltd. is No. 11 on The PG 100. 

  • 10/7/2022

    Walmart Hires New SVP, Investor Relations

    Walmart Stephanie Wissink Teaser

    Stephanie Wissink has been hired by Walmart as its new SVP, investor relations, effective Oct. 24, succeeding Dan Binder, who has transitioned into his new role as the company’s SVP, global treasurer. Wissink will report directly to John David Rainey, EVP and CFO at Walmart.

    “With [her] more than two decades of equity research experience, we’re excited about the leadership and knowledge Steph will bring to our investor relations team as well as to our global finance team,” the company said in an email revealing the executive move.

    [Read more: "Walmart Evolving Its Supply Chain With Latest Acquisition"]

    Wissink is currently managing director and senior research analyst at New York-based investment banking firm Jefferies, where she has covered the broadline retail and consumer product sectors, including Walmart, for the past four years. Before joining Jefferies, she was a senior research analyst with investment bank and institutional securities firm Piper Jaffray, where she spent almost 16 years writing company and industry reports on beauty, retail, entertainment, toys and games, and health and wellness.

    Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 10/7/2022

    Younger, Mindful Consumers Driving Specialty Food Interest

    Specialty Food Association Report

    Consumers continue to cook a lot at home – especially younger people – and are buying more fresh and specialty foods. Those are the key takeaways from a new report “Today’s Specialty Food Consumer” released by Specialty Food Association (SFA).

    In a report described as a complement to "The State of the Specialty Food Industry" report released earlier this year, SFA noted that inflation is playing a part in greater consumer spending, but found people’s purchase decisions also reflect their discerning taste. Purchases in eight of the top 10 specialty food categories have increased over the last two years as people have prepared and eaten more food at home.

    According to this latest research, 76% of consumers now buy specialty foods, a record number according to SFA’s findings. Young people are driving a lot of the interest, as Millennials bought 6% more specialty foods over the past year and as Gen Z, now coming into their own as young adults, has pulled equal to Gen X in specialty food buying.

    Issues that are particularly important to young people are influencing purchase habits in the specialty food space. Sustainability attributes are growing as purchase drivers, with specialty food shoppers expressing interest in organic, sustainable and upcycled offerings. A quarter of specialty food consumers say they like to shop at stores that feature products from diverse suppliers. Technology is also a catalyst for sales, as consumers of specialty foods are buying products online across more categories offered on digital platforms.

    "People continue to care more about what they eat, how it is made, where it comes from, who is making it, and how it impacts local and global communities and the environment," remarked Denise Purcell, VP, resource development at SFA.

    SFA's latest report was based on an online survey of 1,630 adults who said they share in or take primary responsibility for grocery shopping in their house. Research was conducted with SliceMR during July.

  • 10/7/2022

    Kroger’s Winter Wine Box Coming to Stores

    Wine and cheese teaser

    Kroger is bringing wines from around the world to its shoppers in the U.S. with its annual Winter Wine Box Celebration Pack. The collection will include 24 6.3-ounce bottles of wine and will be available at select Kroger banner stores beginning Oct. 9.

    The wines, exclusive to Kroger, hail from Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, the Republic of North Macedonia, South Africa and Spain. The Winter Wine Box is priced at $69.99 and will be available to purchase in-store and online. 

    "We have specially curated 24 exquisite wines for our customers this season, and we can't wait for them to be enjoyed," said Barry Craft, Kroger's VP of arocery. "There's something for everyone – reds, whites, rosé and sparkling varieties from around the world – and as customers try the curation, they can learn more about a prized varietal or world-renowned growing region each day."

    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. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 10/7/2022

    UNFI Reveals Natural Winter Show Pitch Slam Winner

    UNFI Winter Natural Show 2022 Pitch Slam Winner Viv Teaser

    United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) has named the winner of the Pitch Slam competition, presented by UNFI UpNext, at the distributor’s Natural Winter show, which took place Oct. 4-5 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay. Viv is an earth-friendly, toxin-free period care brand based in Boston.

    “Viv is newer to retail, as we started off as a direct-to-consumer brand,” said Viv CEO and founder Katie Diasti. “Through the UpNext program, UNFI has helped give us the extra support and knowledge we needed to bring a facelift to the period care aisle. Our goal at Pitch Slam was to be bold, vibrant and exciting, and it was fun to see all the retailers and those in the audience react to our story.” 

    The UNFI UpNext team discovers and mentors emerging brands, guiding their path to growth while helping deliver UNFI customers a regionally sourced, differentiated product mix. The Pitch Slam has UpNext suppliers compete against each other in a friendly, fun elevator pitch-style contest.

    Throughout the two-day Natural Winter Show, more than 2,000 UNFI customer attendees connected with the company’s extensive network of suppliers offering a wide-ranging assortment across grocery, fresh, organic and specialty departments. The event also featured UNFI’s Professional Services offerings, which aim to drive traffic, save time and money, and enhance the shopping experience.

    Throughout the year, UNFI hosts 10,000-plus registered customer attendees at its four major events.

    Providence, R.I.-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to more than 30,000 customer locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce retailers and foodservice customers. The largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America, the company is No. 49 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 10/6/2022

    Dom’s Kitchen & Market Debuts Delivery Service

    Dom's app

    Dom's Kitchen & Market, which recently revealed a Nov. 1 opening date for its second location in Chicago, is also expanding its digital footprint. The retailer is rolling out a new direct delivery platform and app called Dom’s Go. 

    Shoppers within a five-mile radius of the current store at 2730 N. Halsted can now access the app on the Dom’s website and via Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store. Curbside pickup and delivery are available, with free delivery for orders over $150.

    In addition to buying grocery items, users can order from Dom’s in-house prepared foods areas, including The Brew, Kitchen and Market. The retailer offers a wide range of heat-and-eat and ready-to-eat offerings, from artisan pizza to plant-based choices.

    “The Dom’s Go app is unique because it brings three apps in one: a coffee shop app, a fast casual restaurant app and a grocery store app. You can order your coffee for express pickup or delivery, conveniently order your meals, and/or choose among 8,000-plus items available in our store – all from a single mobile app and online store,” said Marcio Ribeiro, chief digital and information officer.

    According to co-CEO Bob Mariano, the new e-comm platform exemplifies the company’s approach to meeting shoppers’ needs.Service is essential to the Dom’s experience both in-store and online. What makes Dom’s Go unique is that our in-house e-commerce team personally selects items for our customers. It is important to us to maintain a close relationship with our customers while they shop online, so our team includes hand-written notes and contacts customers directly to make sure they get every order right. Dom’s is and always will be customer-centric,” Mariano explained.

    As Dom’s Kitchen launches the new e-comm service, it is offering a $10 savings on orders of $50 or more with the code “2DOMGOOD.”

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