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  • 3/21/2023

    Whole Foods Market's Co-Founder Expands Lifestyle Medicine Business

    John Mackey

    The co-founder and former CEO of Whole Foods Market is entering a whole new market. John Mackey, who retired Whole Foods in September 2022 after 44 years, is already expanding his next venture.

    Mackey is back at entrepreneurship, co-founding health and wellness company Love.Life with former Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb and former Whole Foods executive Betsy Foster. In addition to planning a series of wellness centers around the country, Love.Life acquired Plant Based Telehealth this week. Together, they announced a rebrand as Love.Life Telehealth.  

    The new entity will offer virtual medical care for patients focused on wellness as well as those facing chronic conditions. Billed as a “lifestyle medicine” provider, the organization is guided by evidence-based practices of promoting healthy behaviors and lifestyle choices that include a whole food, plant-based diet.

    The convergence of food, medicine and wellness therapies reflects the evolving consumer, the leaders say. “Love.Life is about making lasting health and vitality achievable, and acquiring Plant Based Telehealth accelerates our ability to help more people without geographic limitations,” explained Mackey.  

    Love.Life.Telehealth has opened up 30 and 60-minute appointments for telehealth services that will complement the business’s medical offerings available in its physical locations starting in 2024. Lifestyle medicine programs will address overall healthy living and wellness as well as specific conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, autoimmune diseases, inflammation and digestive issues. The telehealth network includes licensed physicians practicing in all 50 states and Washington D.C., with an international patient reach across 27 countries.

    Meanwhile, the Love.Life founders’ plan for wellness centers includes virtual lifestyle medicine services as well as combined fitness centers, spas and cafes that serve plant-based foods. According to a report by the Bloomberg news service, the team is eyeing Southern California for the first brick-and-mortar location.  

  • 3/21/2023

    NJFC to Present C&S VP With Trade Relations Award

    C&S Wholesale Grocers Mike Tarloff Teaser

    The New Jersey Food Council (NJFC), a Trenton-based alliance of food retailers and their supplier partners, has revealed that Mike Tarloff, VP and general manager at C&S Wholesale Grocers, will receive the Jimmy Ostling Trade Relations Award. The honor goes to an individual who exemplifies effective trade partnerships, brings together all aspects of the food business, stimulates thoughtful ideas, enhances trade goals and supports the mission of the organization. Tarloff will receive the award at the upcoming 2023 Trade Relations Conference, scheduled for March 28-29 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J. 

    At C&S, Tarloff focuses on strategy, customer experience and business development, working cross-functionally to drive profitability and performance. Earlier, he spent eight years at Associated Wholesale Inc. (acquired by C&S in 2014), where he held sales and category management roles. Tarloff also sits on the NJFC board and is an active member of its trade relations committee. 

    Founded in 1918 as a supplier to independent grocery stores, Keene, N.H.-based C&S services customers of all sizes, supplying more than 7,500 independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases and institutions with 100,000-plus products, in addition to operating corporate stores. The company is No. 17 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top retailers of food and consumables in North America. 

  • 3/21/2023

    Sprouts Farmers Market Resurrects 2 Licensed Locations


    Sprouts Farmers Market continues to shuffle its store roster. After announcing the closure of 11 underperforming stores and sharing that it intends to focus on smaller-format locations with 30 planned openings this year, the retailer has acquired two independently owned stores in California.

    Sprouts is taking over the locations in the city of Chula Vista as part of its growth in that region. The stores were operating under the Sprouts Farmers Market name as part of a legacy trademark license agreement reached with a third-party operator several years ago.

    With this move, Sprouts is consolidating its business and effectively ending licensed Sprouts store operations. “We are pleased to bring these two high-volume stores into the Sprouts fold, allowing us to serve more customers in the San Diego market,” said Chip Molloy, Sprouts’ CFO.

    According to information from the retailer, the acquisition of these two locations was not factored into the company’s latest outlook that was released on March 2. In that report, Sprouts shared that it expects net sales growth between 4%-6% for the rest of fiscal 2023 and pegged capital expenditures to fall between $210 million and $230 million.

    Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market employs approximately 31,000 associates and operates approximately 380 stores in 23 states nationwide. The company is No. 53 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 3/21/2023

    St Pierre Bakery Expands Distribution into Walmart

    St P waffles

    Reflecting the elevation of that bread subcategory, brioche products are available at Walmart. St Pierre Bakery announced that it has secured distribution with that leading retailer to carry three of its SKUs.

    According to St Pierre Bakery, its sliced brioche loaf variants are rolling out into 2,200 Walmart locations, while its waffles with butter product are on the shelf at more than 4,000 stores. The brand is supporting the introduction with marketing efforts.

    [Read more: "How Supermarkets Can Capitalize on Increased Bakery Sales"]

    “This is fantastic news for the brand and the result of a collaborative relationship we have built with Walmart, creating a sound strategy and a lot of shared insight,” said David Wagstaff, managing director at St Pierre Bakery. “We have invested heavily in our supply chain to ensure we maintain our industry leading fill rates and deliver for our customers. We knew that the opportunity justified the investment, but driving distribution was key to realizing it and our products appearing on shelves in Walmart stores nationwide has helped us to do just that.”

    At Walmart, St Pierre loaves will be merchandised for the first time in the commercial bread aisle. The brand’s offerings are typically displayed in the in-store bakery area.

    Brioche continues to make gains in the overall bread category. St Pierre cited data showing that the subcategory has grown by $98 million on a year-over-year basis, with St Pierre capturing almost 18% branded market share and 71% branded market share within the in-store bakery section.

    Based in Manchester, England, the St Pierre Groupe spans the St Pierre Bakery brand as well as the Baker Street and Paul Hollywood brands. In 2022, St Pierre Group joined the Grupo Bimbo  portfolio.

  • 3/21/2023

    GetGo to Get Bitcoin ATMs

    GetGo Location Teaser

    The Giant Eagle-owned GetGo Café + Market convenience store chain has formed a partnership with Lux Vending LLC, dba Bitcoin Depot, an Atlanta-based Bitcoin ATM operator and fintech company, to install Bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) at 125 GetGo stores in various Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic metropolitan areas.

    “We’re thrilled to work with a leading convenience store brand like GetGo to grow the footprint of Bitcoin Depot BTMs across locations in multiple states,” said Bitcoin Depot CEO Brandon Mintz. “We’re confident in our technology’s ability to provide easy and convenient crypto access to GetGo’s existing patrons while adding holistic value to their business and encouraging new customer traffic as well.”

    [Read more: "Coinme Offers 6 Additional Cryptocurrencies"]

    The partnership enables GetGo customers to purchase Bitcoin in easily accessible locations where a variety of additional amenities is available.

    “Providing our guests with high-quality foods and the best in convenience is our top priority at GetGo,” noted Brandon Daniels, the convenience store chain’s public relations manager. “We continually look for new ways to better serve them, and new technologies are just one of the ways we can exceed their expectations.”

    Bitcoin Depot allows users to convert their cash into Bitcoin via BDCheckout through its app and at about 7,000 kiosk locations in 48 states and 10 Canadian provinces. 

    GetGo operates more than 270 locations throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, northern West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana, offering food and fuel in a variety of models, from open-concept stores to stand-alone kiosks. Its parent company, Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle, is No. 36 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 3/20/2023

    Hepatitis A Infections Spark Frozen Fruit Recall

    frozen strawberries

    This time it’s frozen fruit in the food safety spotlight. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is conducting an epidemiological investigation into recent cases of hepatitis A infections tied to frozen organic strawberries. So far, there have been five illnesses and two hospitalizations attributed to the contaminated products.

    [Read more: "GS1 U.S. Issues New Guidance for Food Industry Traceability"]

    In response, several brands and retailers have issued a recall of the berries that were sourced from a common supplier in Mexico. The vendor California Splendor voluntarily recalled certain 4-pounds bags of Kirkland Signature frozen organic whole strawberries sold at Costco stores in Los Angeles and Hawaii. Another vendor, Scenic Fruit, provided now-recalled products to retailers including Costco, ALDI, KeHE and PCC Community Markets in specific states. The recall also includes Organic Tropical Fruit Blend SKUs sold at Trader Joe’s stores nationwide.

    The FDA advised consumers to discard the products and, if those berries were eaten in the past two weeks, to contact their health care provider if they have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A.

    For more information on the outbreak investigation, go to FDA's website.

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