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  • 3/1/2023

    Why 2022 Was a Watershed Year for Misfits Market


    Last year was a banner year for Misfits Market. The Pennsauken Township, N.J.-based company recapped its 2022 performance in a recently-released annual report, which also looked ahead to new opportunities and growth.

    As a young company, founded four years ago, Misfits Market made some big moves last year. Chief among them was the September acquisition of Imperfect Foods of San Francisco, another online grocer keen on reducing food waste.

    Misfits Market also added to its portfolio, launching a private label line called Odds & Ends featuring products such as nuts, oils and tomato sauces, and adding dairy, wine and eggs to its offerings. Recently, the company began rescuing conventional produce as well as imperfect produce. In all, the company reported it brought 1,500 new products and 300 brands to its assortment in 2022.

    From a service perspective, the company introduced a loyalty program, Misfits Perks, aimed at helping members score discounts and free products. Now combined with Imperfect Foods, Misfits Market is also working to improve food equity and accessibility by expanding into “nearly every zip code” in the U.S.

    Looking inward to make sustainability improvements, Misfits Market teamed up with a group called Watershed last year to measure its carbon footprint and take steps to reduce it. The company’s mission to curb food waste was evident in its rescue of 55 million pounds of food last year. Since it was established in 2018, Misfits Market has rescued more than 278 million pounds of food.

    The company isn’t letting any proverbial grass grow under its feet as it scales up for another busy year with new partners and goals. “In 2023 and beyond, we’ll continue to challenge the traditional way of shopping for groceries. We’ll find more ways to expand accessibility, more ways to offer affordable groceries, and more ways to fight food waste along the way,” the report concludes.

  • 3/1/2023

    Natural Grocers Spotlights State Brands With Special Events

    Natural grocers

    Natural Grocers is doing its home state proud with a special Celebrate Colorado Event from March 3-5. The organic and natural grocer, founded in Colorado in 1955, is providing giveaways and sweepstakes prizes to shoppers at its Colorado locations and offering discounts on products from several Colorado brands plus its own brands.

    Among other freebies, customers can pick up a Colorado-themed reusable shopping bag and commemorative sticker. They can also sign up for a chance to win prizes like custom skis from Colorado brand Meier, an Aventon e-bike or a $500 store gift card.

    [Read more: "Natural Grocers Recaps Commitment to Regenerative Agriculture"]

    Decades after it was started by Margaret and Philip Isely in Golden, Colo., Natural Grocers remains a family-operated business that retains strong community ties. "If you've ever shopped at Natural Grocers, you know we like to celebrate holidays — even those that are unofficial or a bit out of the box. In Colorado, March 3 is colloquially known as '303 Day', based on Denver's area code,” explained Raquel Isely, VP of marketing and a member of the next generation of operators. “There's no better day to kick-off celebrating local brands and products at our Colorado stores.”

    The grocer is also spreading the state love with another celebration in the Lone Star State. During Natural Grocers’ fifth annual Celebrate Texas Independence Day event from March 2-4, shoppers can save on an array of products from Texas brands.

    Texas shoppers can also score some giveaways, including a Texas-themed reusable shopping bag and sticker, and an opportunity to win prizes like a Yeti wheeled cooler, Aventon e-bike or $500 store gift card. 

    Founded in 1955, family-operated Natural Grocers operates over 160 stores in 21 states. The Lakewood, Colo.-based natural and organic grocer is No. 95 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 3/1/2023

    Hannaford Acquiring Independent Grocery Store in Maine

    Hannaford Pizza Dough Tamperer Gets Prison Time

    Hannaford Supermarkets is adding its 186th location to its store count as it acquires Tradewinds Marketplace in Blue Hill, Maine. The store, which was already supplied and supported by Hannaford, is expected to officially operate under the banner in May.

    The acquisition comes as Tradewinds Marketplace owners Chuck and Belinda Lawrence retire. According to Hannaford, the store will continue to offer the products for which it is known, including store-brand offerings such as Taste of Inspirations, Hannaford and Nature’s Promise. 

    [Read more: "Hannaford Installing AEDs at All Stores"]

    “A lot of the values we have, we got from Hannaford. As we considered retirement, it became evident that there was really only one successor that would maintain the same great service and provide the products our customers have enjoyed since we opened,” said Tradewinds Marketplace owner Chuck Lawrence. “We have been fortunate to have a great staff and many long term associates. We would like to thank our current and previous associates for being an important part of the Tradewinds family.”

    Hannaford will now operate 65 locations in Maine. The supermarket chain was founded in Portland in 1883 and is headquartered in Scarborough, Maine.

    “We’ve long been committed to bringing the Blue Hill community the high-quality, fresh products and exceptional service that are synonymous with Hannaford,” said Todd Bullen, Hannaford VP of retail operations. “We look forward to further deepening our ties with the Blue Hill community as we officially welcome the store to the Hannaford banner.”

    Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford operates over 180 stores in five Northeast states, employing nearly 30,000 associates. Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 2/28/2023

    Giant Eagle, Flashfood Divert 1M Pounds of Food From Landfills

    Giant eagle

    Giant Eagle is making real strides against food waste, announcing it has diverted more than a million pounds of food from landfills through its partnership with Flashfood. In reaching that milestone, the program that connects shoppers with heavily discounted food nearing its best-before date also saved consumers nearly $2.5 million on groceries.

    "At Giant Eagle, we're constantly looking for ways to reduce in-store generated food waste and achieve carbon neutrality," said Dan Donovan, Giant Eagle spokesperson. "Flashfood has been incredibly impactful to our efforts and goals. Today's milestone is a testament to the success of the program in the communities that we serve."

    Added Josh Domingues, Flashfood's founder and CEO: "This milestone is just the beginning of the impact we will continue to have in partnership with Giant Eagle. The one million pounds of food saved so far demonstrates just how much we can achieve through like-minded partnerships centered around sustainability. Giant Eagle has consistently proven their commitment to giving families access to quality, affordable foods while doing good for the planet."

    Giant Eagle rolled out Flashfood Zones inside several of its stores in 2021. Shoppers at 167 locations can now use the app to buy groceries at up to a 50% discount and cut down on food waste.

    The addition of the Flashfood program at Giant Eagle stores is part of the retailer’s broader sustainability initiative. That initiative set a goal of diverting 90% of waste from landfills by 2025. Overall, Giant Eagle committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2024, with a first target of 50% carbon dioxide reduction by 2030.

    Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle operates more than 490 stores throughout western Pennsylvania, north central Ohio, northern West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana. The company is No. 36 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 2/28/2023

    Cooltrax Introduces Temperature-Monitoring Solutions for Grocery Industry

    Cooltrax Teaser

    Cooltrax, global provider of cold chain management solutions, has introduced its full suite of next-generation temperature monitoring solutions for the grocery industry during this week’s National Grocers Association Show in Las Vegas. The company says its advanced, affordable Fresh InTransit solutions offer real-time location tracking. They also provide refrigerated asset and product-level temperature monitoring for refrigerated trucks and trailers, as well as storage locations and mixed operations.

    Roswell, Ga.-based Cooltrax works closely with food retailers and wholesalers, food/consumer packaged goods manufacturers and other industry businesses to quickly and cost-efficiently achieve full compliance with FSMA and customer requirements. According to the company, users also experience increased safety performance, stronger customer loyalty, dramatically reduced product spoilage, lower insurance costs and other benefits.

    [Read more: "6 Business Imperatives for Grocers in 2023"]

    Fresh InTransit solutions help grocery industry businesses master ever-evolving temperature management issues by monitoring the operation of truck and trailer-based refrigerated units, and measuring internal ambient compartment temperature, product temperature and the amount of time truck/trailer doors are open during the delivery process. The solutions communicate these measurements, in real time, through customer-defined protocols to enable users to quickly identify and address any emerging issue that could impact food safety.

    The Fresh InTransit suite also includes the completely wireless, plug-and-play Cooltrax TempTracker remote temperature monitoring solution, which enables cold chain fleets to even more quickly and inexpensively achieve food safety compliance. The system, which can feed data to the Cooltrax Fresh InTransit telematics platform or work as a standalone solution, installs in just minutes.

  • 2/28/2023

    Isom IGA’s Gwen Christon Named WGA Woman of the Year

    WGA Woman of the Year Teaser

    During the 2023 NGA Show, running Feb. 26-28 in Las Vegas, Women Grocers of America (WGA) presented its Woman of the Year Award to Gwen Christon, owner and operator of Isom IGA, in Isom, Ky. The award is given annually to a female grocer who shows strong leadership, a passion for the grocery industry and a commitment to her community.

    “Gwen’s incredible journey began in 1973, when she began working at Isom IGA,” said Kristin Popp, WGA president and EVP at Jamesville, Wis.-based Woodman’s Markets. “She then purchased the store from previous owners in 1998, ensuring that the only grocery store in a 12-mile radius stayed in capable hands. Last summer, Gwen faced one of her greatest challenges as severe floodwaters destroyed her store and much of the surrounding community. Through her perseverance, determination and the strong community connections she had made throughout her career, the store is on track to open later this year.” 

    Added Popp: “Gwen is truly an inspiration to women and young girls everywhere. I congratulate her on receiving this award and look forward to seeing what she accomplishes in the years to come.”

    Additionally, during the pandemic, Christon, who was IGA Retailer of the Year in 2007, played a key role in feeding local children, teaming with a commercial kitchen to provide thousands of food boxes to neighbors in need. Christon also serves on a committee to recruit and retain teachers, custodians and other open roles.

    “Gwen’s journey shows why local independent grocery stores are a linchpin for Americans,” said Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NGA. “I’m inspired by Gwen’s resilience and can’t wait to see Isom IGA bounce back over the next few years.” 

    Isom IGA was also named one of Progressive Grocer’s Outstanding Independents in 2023. 

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