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News Briefs

  • 4/13/2023

    Save Mart, Lucky Rolling Out ‘Women In Wine’ Series

    Wine tasting teaser

    The Save Mart Cos. is spotlighting some of California’s trailblazing women winemakers this month at several Save Mart and Lucky locations. Nearly 20 vintners will be represented as their women winemakers make special appearances at in-store tastings during the new “Women in Wine” series.

    The series will take place at select Lucky and Save Mart stores in California’s Greater Bay Area and Central Valley from April 14-23. Vintners featured include Apothic, Bogle, Kendall Jackson, La Crema, Louis Martini, Oak Ridge and many more.

    [Read more: "Save Mart to Close Lucky Store in SF Bay Area"]

    “We are very proud of our longstanding relationships with these California vintners and pleased to feature these award-winning brands which are accessible and readily available to our shoppers every day,” said Jeff Feist, director of alcohol, wine and beer for The Save Mart Cos. “This is an exciting opportunity for our shoppers to visit ‘wine country’ inside our stores and enjoy a fun and educational tasting room experience while meeting creative and innovative women winemakers at their local Save Mart and Lucky grocery store.”

    Based in Modesto, Calif., The Save Mart Cos. operates more than 200 retail stores under the banners of Save Mart, Lucky California and FoodMaxx. The company also operates SMART Refrigerated Transport and is a partner in Super Store Industries. Save Mart is No. 55 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 4/13/2023

    Volpi Foods Introduces New Eco-Pack

    Volpi Foods Eco-Pack Teaser

    Family-owned cured meat producer Volpi Foods has rolled out a new Eco-Pack for the company’s premium charcuterie product line. The paper material used in Volpi’s Eco-Pack is curbside recyclable once separated from its thin liner. Additionally, the shelf life of the packaging is equivalent to that of the brand’s previous plastic packaging, so there’s no increase in food waste resulting from the switch to paper-based packaging.

    Grocery stores across the country will start carrying Volpi products in the updated packaging this summer. A 3-ounce package of any premium variety will retail for a suggested $7.99.

    [Read more: "EXCLUSIVE: How the Meat Industry Is Catching Up to Change"]

    The move to Eco-Pack takes Volpi’s sustainability efforts to the next level with even more plastic reductions. In 2021, The company transitioned its entire pre-sliced line to its first Eco-Pack offering, which reduced plastic use by 70%. Since this rollout, Volpi has diverted more than 128 tons of plastic and is currently reducing plastic by 80%.

    “Our goal is to reduce the use of single-use plastic packaging, and we are proud to have achieved this,” said Lorenza Pasetti, CEO of St. Louis-based Volpi. “For all of us to do our part in reducing plastic use, we know companies like ours need to make meaningful changes in how we package our products. It’s a win-win for consumers: Why not buy a delicious product that’s in eco-friendly packaging?”

    The winner of a 2022 Mindful Award, Volpi sources only responsibly raised meat from local Midwest farmers, and all of its products are always all-natural, non-GMO and gluten-free; start with fresh, never frozen, meat; and are made without nitrates or nitrites. 

  • 4/13/2023

    Insite AI Brings in Former Coca-Cola Exec Capri Brixey

    Capri Brixey

    Insite AI, which offers category and assortment optimization solutions for large consumer brands, has tapped seasoned CPG pro Capri Brixey as its new EVP of strategy consulting.

    Brixey joins Insite AI from The Coca Cola Co., where she was VP of sales and customer leadership. Her background also includes a five-year role at Keurig Dr Pepper, where she managed the national Kroger warehouse direct portfolio, and a tenure at Delhaize America/Food Lion, where she was an assistant category manager and competitive market analyst. In her role at Insite AI, Brixey will work with CPG executives to address issues such category strategies, revenue management, product affordability and availability.

    Insite AI CEO Shaveer Mirpuri welcomed Brixey to the company, as it continues to add CPG leaders to its executive roster. “Capri’s renowned experience across channels in food and beverage makes her an invaluable asset to executives at large CPGs looking to solve today’s key problems. Insite AI is thrilled to provide our global top 50 brand partners with her market intelligence and history of driving difference-making change,” said Mirpuri.

    “Whether it is a sales team, category advisory team, financial team or any business unit throughout the organization, every CPG company today is having to do more with less, but you cannot continue to apply the same legacy processes and expect to accelerate volume, achieve sales growth and become category leaders with fewer resources,” Brixey declared. “CPG companies have evolved so quickly in terms of technology and data usage, but they have not caught up with how to resource against those assets appropriately. AI is where CPGs need to evolve, and Insite AI is a critical piece of this evolution.”

    Bee Cave, Texas-based Insite AI completed a $19 million Series A funding round last fall and reported it has tripled in revenue over the last 15 months.

  • 4/13/2023

    Martie Debuts Online Discount Grocery Service in Texas

    Martie E-Grocer Box Teaser

    Online grocery store Martie, which sells heavily discounted surplus groceries and household items to prevent waste while saving shoppers up to 70%, is now up and running in Texas. A new 38,000-square-foot warehouse in Dallas will now serve as the nationwide shipping center for Martie’s 800-plus SKUs

    The company works with popular brands and producers to shop their supplies of surplus pantry goods – mainly items that would otherwise be discarded due to overstock, package changes or seasonality – and then sells them online directly to consumers at a steep discount. Martie shoppers get shelf-stable pantry goods, cooking essentials and household items shipped directly to their doors, with no subscription or membership necessary. According to the company, its shoppers save on average $54 per order, or $600 per year.

    [Read more: "How E-Grocers Are Setting the Pace of Change in Grocery"]

    Martie has sold the surplus and overstock inventory of more than 1,500 partner brands, including Kind, Kellogg’s, Quaker and Annie’s Homegrown.

    “Martie is the first online grocery store designed to save shoppers money while simultaneously helping the environment,” noted Louise Fritjofsson, co-founder of the Los Angeles-based company. “We offer the best deals on products you know and love, ship everywhere within the states we operate (including rural ZIP codes), and enable shoppers to make a sustainable choice. We’re very excited to have launched in Texas, a strategically important market for us as we continue our expansion from the West Coast towards the East.”

    According to Martie, since its 2021 launch, it has saved more than 1 million pounds of food from going to the landfill and saved shoppers more than $2 million. The company currently ships to shoppers in Texas, California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.

  • 4/12/2023

    Fresh Thyme Debuts New E-Comm Service

    Fresh Thyme Farmers Market Invests in CBD

    Fresh Thyme Market is rolling out a new pickup service. The retailer is adding its own e-commerce offering, dubbed  "Real At Your Fingertips,” that gives shoppers access to the same prices as goods sold in its physical stores.

    According to the retailer, orders are picked by team members who are trained to choose high-quality products that reflect its standards. Flexibility is part of the service, too, as customers have the ability to edit or cancel their order until the picking process begins.

    [Read more: "Fresh Thyme Features Tiesta Tea Kiosk at All Stores"]

    Shoppers pay a convenience fee of $1.95 for pickup orders over $35. Delivery of groceries from Fresh Thyme stores is already available through the third-party Instacart platform.

    "We are excited to bring a more convenient way of shopping to our loyal and new customers with this e-commerce launch," said Liz Zolcak, president of Fresh Thyme Market. "We are proud to be able to bring our great in-store shopping experience to life, online. With our new appealing and convenient e-comm experience, we can provide more shoppers with savings without sacrificing quality or freshness."

    This is the latest service that Fresh Thyme has added to enhance the shopper experience, whether in store or online. In March, Fresh Thyme became the first retailer to offer a smart shelf tag technology from the Learn & Earn program powered by Merryfield Rewards, to engage and educate shoppers about products at the point of sale.

    With 71 stores in 10 states throughout the Midwest, Downers Grove, Ill.-based Fresh Thyme Market is No. 91 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 4/12/2023

    Family Dollar Founder Dead at 85

    To Mask or Not To Mask — Retailers Set Fresh Policies

    Leon Levine, who founded the Family Dollar discount store chain, died earlier this month at 85, according to The Leon Levine Foundation, a philanthropic organization Levine later established. No cause of death was given.

    A college dropout, Levine opened the first Family Dollar store in 1959 at the age 22 in Charlotte, N.C., with a cousin, selling clothes, cleaning supplies and staple items for less than $2, CNN reported. By 1969, the chain operated 50 stores across the rural South. It went public in 1970. When Levine retired from the company in the early 2000s, it had around 4,500 stores. Dollar Tree bought the chain in 2015 for nearly $9 billion, and more than 8,000 stores currently operate under the Family Dollar banner.

    According to CNN, Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are now the fastest-growing U.S. retailers. 

    After his retirement, Levine became a notable philanthropist, donating generously to universities, hospitals and Jewish organizations. As his death notice observed, “In the same way his style shaped Family Dollar Stores … he shaped what has become one of the most impactful philanthropic foundations in the Carolinas and the Southeast.”

    Chesapeake, Va.-based Dollar Tree operated 16,293 stores under the Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree Canada banners across 48 states and five Canadian provinces as of Oct. 29. The company is No. 29 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. With 19,147 Dollar General, DG Market, DGX and pOpshelf stores across the United States and Mi Súper Dollar General stores in Mexico, Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based Dollar General is No. 15 on PG’s list.

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