News Briefs

  • 6/20/2023

    H Mart Coming to Dallas

    H Mart, Humana Battle Food Insecurity Healthy Food Card

    The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is becoming a grocery megaplex with the expansion of yet another retailer. As grocers including H-E-B, The Kroger Co., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Albertsons Cos. are adding new stores in that area, reports surfaced that H Mart – the largest Asian supermarket chain in the U.S. – is planning a new location in Dallas.

    Earlier this month, the Dallas City Council passed a $4 million grant and tax incentive package to bring H Mart into Dallas. The store in the Koreatown neighborhood will span more than 74,000 square feet and follows years of discussions and proposals.

    "I'm very excited to welcome H Mart to the city of Dallas. H Mart is not just a grocery store, H Mart is an experience," said Omar Narvaez, the deputy mayor of Dallas who represents the Koreatown district. "You name it, they got it inside of their stores."

    H Mart currently runs two other stores in Texas, in the cities of Plano and Carrollton.

    Based in Lyndhurst, N.J., H Mart operates 97 stores across 14 states. The Asian grocery chain is No. 82 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

  • 6/20/2023

    KeHE Completes DPI Specialty Foods Acquisition

    Kehe Acquisition Teaser

    KeHE Distributors LLC has completed its earlier revealed acquisition of DPI Specialty Foods, an Ontario, Calif.-based distributor in key geographic locations across the western United States. 

    “Combining KeHE and DPI’s long histories of success and pre-eminent category expertise will enable retailers to respond more quickly to customer demand, offer additional supplier opportunities and deliver enhanced consumer experiences,” said Deb Conklin, president and CEO of Naperville, Ill.-based KeHE. “Both of our organizations share an obsession for our partners, a deep commitment to our people, a focus on serving others, and financial and operational performance. This transaction represents an opportunity to capitalize on the strengths of both organizations and  become an even greater force for good.”

    The transaction aims to widen KeHE’s customer base and bolsters its existing warehouse infrastructure. The combined capabilities include more than 31,000 customers, 80,000-plus SKUs, 6,100 suppliers, and 7 million square feet of warehouse space across all temperature zones in 19 distribution centers. Additionally, DPI suppliers and retailers will gain access to KeHE’s business intelligence tools, including the KeHE Connect platform, which provides suppliers with sales-reporting, business analytics and data visualization services to help drive scalable success. KeHE and DPI will continue to operate as separate entities while they work to implement an integration plan. 

    BMO Capital Markets Corp. was the exclusive financial advisor to KeHE, while Winston & Strawn LLP was the company’s legal counsel.

    A Certified B Corporation and employee-owned company, KeHE distributes fresh, natural and organic, and specialty products to natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailers, and other specialty products retailers throughout North America. 

  • 6/16/2023

    Circana Creates Data Partnership With Snapchat Creator

    snapchat teaser

    Circana, formerly NPD and IRI, has launched Circana Lift for Snap Inc., creator of Snapchat. Circana Lift enables CPG manufacturers and retailers to accurately measure how their Snapchat advertising campaigns drive offline sales, providing invaluable insights into campaign effectiveness.

    Circana Lift offers advertisers the ability to answer key performance questions related to ad campaign efficacy and efficiency and drive tangible business outcomes. With this measurement solution, advertisers can determine whether their campaigns effectively increase incremental purchases, attract new households, and encourage households that viewed the ads to spend more per purchase.

    “Marketing to customers is a multifaceted challenge and assessing the success of digital advertising campaigns in driving in-store sales has remained a significant obstacle for advertisers,” said Amy Marentic, president, Global Solutions, Chicago-based Circana. “Our partnership with Snap bridges the gap between online media exposure and offline sales lift, empowering advertisers to unlock the true potential of their advertising efforts and drive measurable results in today's complex and competitive market.”

    Circana Lift seamlessly integrates Circana’s extensive point-of-sale, frequent shopper, causal, and media exposure data, empowering marketers to analyze actual in-store sales lift impact in real time throughout a campaign. By leveraging data from loyalty card programs, Circana’s proprietary shopper panel, and various other data assets at the SKU and shopper level, Circana Lift enables advertisers to make data-driven decisions and drive sales in real time.

    "We understand how crucial it is for CPG brands to precisely evaluate their advertising campaigns' effectiveness. That's why we're teaming up with Circana, aiding these vital advertisers in optimizing their Snapchat campaigns for more efficient and impactful results," stated Christopher Plambeck, VP of marketing science at Santa Monica, Calif.-based Snap Inc.

  • 6/16/2023

    BJ’s Names 2 New Independent Directors to Board

    BJ's Storefront Teaser

    Warehouse club operator BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. has named Steven L. Ortega and C. Marie Robinson to the company’s board of directors, effective immediately. Ortega and Robinson are filling recent vacancies on BJ’s board.

    [Read More: "BJ’s Reveals Opening Date for 1st Club in Tennessee"]

    “We are pleased to welcome Steve and Marie, as they bring strong industry expertise and unique perspectives to our board,” said BJ’s Chairman and CEO Bob Eddy. “Steve is an accomplished executive with decades of retail and omnichannel experience, and Marie’s deep knowledge of supply chain transformation is invaluable as we now control our perishable and ambient supply chains. We look forward to their future contributions to BJ’s as we continue to execute on our goals of delivering long-term profitable growth and value creation.”

    Ortega is currently chairman of the board of Leslie’s Inc., a company offering direct-to-consumer pool and spa care products and services. Prior to Leslie’s , he held a number of leadership positions at Bi-Lo LLC, American Stores Co. and Lucky Stores Inc. Robinson has been EVP and chief supply chain officer of food products distributor Sysco Corp. since 2020. Before that, she was SVP, chief operations and transformation officer of Capri Holding Ltd., the parent holding company of Michael Kors, Versace and Jimmy Choo. Her previous roles span various logistics and supply chain-focused leadership positions at ToysRUs, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., Smart & Final Stores LLC, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

    Marlborough, Mass.-based BJ’s currently operates 238 clubs and 168 BJ’s Gas locations in 19 states. The company is No. 27 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 6/14/2023

    NFRA to Induct 2 Industry Leaders Into Refrigerated Food Hall of Fame

    NFRA D'Alberto Shaw Teaser

    The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) has revealed that Joe D’Alberto, director of sales for Acosta Sales & Marketing, and H.V. “Skip” Shaw, retired president and CEO of NFRA, will be inducted into the trade organization’s Refrigerated Hall of Fame, which honors individuals for their contributions to and leadership of the refrigerated food industry. 

    D’Alberto's (left in photo) experience includes stints at Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co., Coca-Cola, and Allegiance Sales & Marketing. He has been actively involved with NFRA since 1993, serving as chairman for two years, and continues to contribute as an active board member. After retiring from Jacksonville, Fla.-based Acosta this December, he plans to travel and remain involved with industry associations. 

    [Read More: “PLMA Reveals 2023 Private Label Hall of Fame Inductees”]

    Shaw joined NFRA in June 1984 as director of membership services, became VP in 1986, was promoted to EVP in 1987 and assumed additional duties as COO in 2001. Following the retirement of Nevin Montgomery, he was named president and CEO in 2010, retiring 10 years later. Shaw was instrumental in bringing the refrigerated category into the National Frozen Food Association and in forming NFRA. 

    The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention during the Membership Luncheon on Monday, Oct. 9, at the Marriott Marquis & Marina, in San Diego.

    Harrisburg, Pa.-based NFRA is a nonprofit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry. It’s the sponsor of March Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month, and the June/July Ice Cream & Novelties promotion. 

  • 6/14/2023

    USDA Aims to Bolster Animal-Raising Claims on Meat, Poultry Labels

    Chickens Teaser

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will shortly take steps to improve its label approval program for meat and poultry products to avoid consumer confusion. Specifically, the agency will release revised industry guidelines encouraging companies to strengthen their documentation substantiating animal-raising claims and to use third-party certification to verify those claims.

    The FSIS will additionally conduct a sampling project of antibiotic residues in cattle to determine whether further measures may be needed to verify “raised without antibiotics” claims, including the requirement that producers submit laboratory test results. The agency may also make rules related to these actions, thereby codifying the changes. 

    [Read More: "Consumers Willing to Pay More for Premium Meat"]

    “Consumers should be able to trust that the label claims they see on products bearing the USDA mark of inspection are truthful and accurate,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “USDA is taking action … to ensure the integrity of animal-raising claims and level the playing field for producers who are truthfully using these claims, which we know consumers value and rely on to guide their meat- and poultry-purchasing decisions.”

    In response to these moves, Dena Jones, farmed animal program director for the Washington, D.C.-based Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), noted: “AWI welcomes the FSIS’ announcement and the actions it intends to take to strengthen its meat and poultry label approval program. We support the agency’s efforts to ensure the accuracy of ‘raised without antibiotics’ claims, enhance substantiation of animal-raising claims, and increase the use of third-party certification to verify those claims.”

    AWI has also asked the agency to clarify the difference between “free range” and “pasture raised” claims.

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