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News Briefs

  • 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.”

  • 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.”

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