News Briefs

  • 3/6/2023

    New Focus, New Products at Dole

    Dole Wiggles teaser

    It’s a package deal for a reimagined Dole Packaged Foods, LLC as the company transforms into a purpose-led, more holistic organization. The Westlake Village, Calif.-based CPG is defining itself as a nutrition and wellness company and rolling out a spate of new products that reflect its mission.

    Nearly a dozen launches are planned for this year, including the rollout of the iconic Dole Whip frozen treat into retail. That move is already garnering buzz on social media.

    [Read more: "Ransomware Hits Dole Operations"]

    Dole shared other impending new products, such as a line of Good Crunch sustainably-produced dehydrated pineapple and banana bites and Dole Wiggles fruit juice gels made with 100% fruit juice. In beverages, the company will unveil Dole Light pineapple juice drink, pineapple mango juice, Digestive Bliss fruit juice drink and a new brand of probiotic sodas. According to the company, the lineup of new food and drink products create "great-tasting products without processed sugars, increasing access to fruit-based nutrition, decreasing food waste, working to reduce plastic and carbon emissions, and growing value for all Dole partners and stakeholders."

    As R&D efforts focus on nutrition and wellness, the 170-year-old company also made changes to its North American leadership team led by SVP and Managing Director Orzse Hodi. Other executive team members include Nora Witt and Jennifer Hirano, who lead the marketing function, and Kimberly Galante, who spearheads R&D.  

    "I am thrilled to work with this talented and driven group of women to bring innovative and delicious products to our consumers here in North America," said Hodi. "We have made great progress towards the goals of the Dole Promise since it was introduced in 2020, but there is still much work to be done. I'm looking forward to making even more meaningful strides with this team of changemakers to bring sunshine and good nutrition to all."

  • 3/6/2023

    Buc-ee’s C-Store Reportedly Heading North

    Buc-ee's Teaser

    Reports are circulating that the Southern convenience store and fuel station chain Buc-ee’s is headed to the Badger State. The planning and zoning commission in DeForest, Wis., north of the state capital of Madison, received a proposal from the Buc-ee’s to build a 73,000-square-foot site along Highway V and not far from the busy I-39/90/94 corridor.

    The travel station would be Buc-ee’s northernmost location. "We often end up in communities like DeForest, and we love being here," Buc-ee's real estate director Stan Beard told WKOW-TV in Madison. "That's kind of the fun part for me, getting to know the smaller communities we rely on."

    [Read more: "Amazon Further Refines Brick-and-Mortar Strategy With Amazon Go Closures"]

    Buc-ee’s stores carry a wide assortment of products, including items geared towards travelers and a line of private label products. The centers offer fresh, hot food available made to order 24 hours a day.

    Founded in 1982, Buc-ee's has expanded beyond its native Texas in recent years, with new locations in Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kentucky. Its latest center recently opened in Athens, Ala., and the company broke ground in November on its largest site in Luling, Texas. In all, the travel center operation currently runs 57 locations around the U.S.

  • 3/6/2023

    Majority of Americans Want Quick, Convenient Meals

    Buying Frozen Food Teaser

    According to a recent Atomik study for the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA), released in tandem with its 40th observation of March Frozen Food Month, nearly all Americans (94%) look for food options with a longer shelf life so that it’s available for cooking convenience, and at least once a week, frozen foods have offered a lifeline to almost four in five (77%) parents making last-minute dinner plans.

    “With more than half of American parents (69%) indicating that they typically plan dinner on the fly, having a freezer full of frozen options provides quick, easy and healthy solutions for parents during dinner time,” said Tricia Greyshock, EVP/COO at Harrisburg, Pa.-based NFRA. “Frozen foods can also provide peace of mind for parents knowing that they can still provide nutritious meals at home rather than eating out.”

    [Read more: "The Staying Power of At-Home Consumption"]

    As part of ongoing initiatives throughout March, NFRA has teamed up with chef and TV personality Jamie Gwen on no-fuss mealtime ideas for busy families. The nonprofit trade organization also sponsors Easy Home Meals to show families how to make simple, nutritious meals with  foods from the frozen and dairy aisles. During the month, NFRA will also promote its annual $10,000 sweepstakes, which participants can enter for a chance to win one of 18 first prizes of $500 supermarket gift cards, or the grand prize of $1,000 supermarket gift card.

    The association has sponsored March Frozen Food Month since its inception in 1984. The month-long celebration involves promoting frozen foods by sharing resources with NFRA members throughout the month, among them recipes, point-of-sale materials, social content and tips.

  • 3/3/2023

    SpartanNash Taps Todd Riksen to Lead Accounting Functions

    Todd Riksen

    SpartanNash has promoted Todd Riksen to VP, corporate controller and principal accounting officer. Riksen will oversee all of the retail organization’s accounting functions and report to EVP and CFO Jason Monaco.

    This is the latest elevation for Riksen, who joined SpartanNash in 2018 as director, financial reporting and corporate accounting and was moved up in 2021 to VP, corporate controller. Before joining the Michigan-based food solutions company, he worked for nearly 12 years in the assurance practice at EY.

    [Read more: "Inflation Lifts SpartanNash Q4, Fiscal 2022 Net Sales"]

    "Todd has provided incredible leadership to our finance organization as we navigated a companywide turnaround these past couple of years," Monaco said. "He and his team will continue to provide best-in-class accounting support as the Company makes progress toward our long-term goals. As part of our People First culture, we are proud to promote from within to fill this critical role."  

    SpartanNash’s core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent and chain retailers, its corporate-owned retail stores, and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges, as well as fresh produce distribution and fresh food processing. No. 41 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company serves customer locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Djibouti, Korea and Japan. SpartanNash also operates 147 supermarkets and employs 17,500-plus associates. 

  • 3/3/2023

    Litehouse Makes Key Hires in Operations, Marketing

    Litehouse teaser

    Litehouse, Inc., a maker of refrigerated salad dressings, dips, sauces, cheese and other products, announced recent personnel changes. Andy Juarez (at left) has been named VP of operations and Ryan Whitchurch (at right) will take on the role of director of consumer marketing at the 100% employee-owned company.

    Juarez brings 18 years of engineering experience to his new position, as he leads all aspects of manufacturing, quality, R&D and engineering. The licensed professional engineer previously worked at Tree Top, where he led multi-site operations, maintenance and engineering.

    [Read more: "Avocados From Mexico Reveals Structural, Staff Changes"]

    Whitchurch, who will guide integrated marketing campaigns and oversee shopper and digital marketing, social, PR and advertising programs, has extensive industry experience. He served in a variety of roles at agencies such as Edelman, Catalyst/Endeavor and Ketchum, where he worked with globally recognized brands including Procter & Gamble, Pernod Ricard, Sunkist and Visa.

    “With their impressive backgrounds and expertise, Andy and Ryan will play integral roles in driving the growth and awareness of our diverse portfolio of brands and Away from Home division,” remarked Kelly Prior, Litehouse’s president and CEO. “Andy's extensive experience in operations and engineering will be invaluable as we continue to expand our manufacturing capabilities, while Ryan's strategic marketing expertise will help elevate our brands to new heights. Together, they will help us continue to innovate and deliver high-quality products that our consumers love.”

    The Sandpoint, Idaho-based Litehouse operates five facilities across the country and offers products under brands including Veggiecraft Farms, Sky Valley and Organicville.

  • 3/3/2023

    Stop & Shop Rolls Out Campaign to Help Fight Childhood Cancer

    Stop & Shop Now Taking EBT Card Payments for Online

    Stop & Shop is ready to undertake its annual Help Cure Childhood Cancer campaign, which will run in all stores from March 3-April 2. Shoppers can round up their total to the nearest dollar at checkout or donate $1, $3 or $5, with 100% of proceeds going to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund in Massachusetts, and MSK Kids, the pediatric program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

    The grocer, which has run the campaign annually for several decades in partnership with its customers, has contributed more than $102 million to these two hospitals to help them make significant advancements in pediatric cancer research and care. In-store signage highlights patient ambassadors that are between the ages of 3 and 15 and are being or have been treated at MSK Kids and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

    [Read more: "Stop & Shop Launches Flashfood in More New England Locations"]

    “Helping in the fight against pediatric cancer is a key part of how we care for our communities at Stop & Shop, and we take immense pride in supporting the life changing work at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center,” said Stop & Shop President Gordon Reid. “We’re grateful for everything our customers and associates do to support this cause – and to help these hospital partners get closer to finding a cure.”

    Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. LLC is an Ahold Delhaize USA company that operates more than 400 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. 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.

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