News Briefs

  • 6/28/2023

    The Fresh Market Shares Birthday Fun

    Fresh Market

    Customers can have their cake and eat, too, at The Fresh Market. The grocer is marking its 41st year in business by offering a new “Birthday in a Box” filled with array of bundled items.

    The box sells for $49.99 ($39.99 for loyalty program members) and includes a celebratory cake, with a choice of lemon mousse, strawberry dream or triple chocolate flavors or gluten-free dark and white chocolate layer cake. Customers can also unwrap a pint of vanilla ice cream, paper plates, cocktail napkins, candles, a greeting card and reusable thermal tote.

    [Read more: "Indianapolis Suburb Welcomes The Fresh Market's 160th Store"]

    The grocer is giving away gifts on its special occasion, too. Customers who buy $50 or more in gift cards from select retailers will receive a $10 store coupon to be used for a future purchase at The Fresh Market. Shoppers who sign up for the free loyalty program can receive a free slice of store’s “ultimate birthday cake” during their own birthday month.

    Based in Greensboro, N.C., The Fresh Market, operating 160 stores in 22 states, is No. 76 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 6/28/2023

    sofi Product of the Year, New Product of the Year Winners Revealed

    Summer Fancy Food Show 2024 Teaser

    On the last day of the 2023 Summer Fancy Food Show, which ran June 25-27 at New York’s Jacob K. Javits Center, Lewis Road Creamery 10 Star Certified Salted Butter was named 2023 sofi Product of the Year and Mochidoki Vegan Passionfruit Mochi Ice Cream was named sofi New Product of the Year.

    Buyers attending the show anonymously tasted and rated the top-scoring 2023 sofi Gold Award and New Product Award-winning products.

    “We are very, very excited to receive this award for our product that comes from our small region of Waikato on the other side of the world,” Jason Clements, general manager for Lewis Road Creamery, told the New York-based Specialty Food Association. “To be recognized will mean so much to the farms we work with in New Zealand.”

    Meanwhile. Ken Gordon, co-founder of New York-based Mochidoki, told the association: “We are jumping in joy to receive this! It’s a culmination of a lot of hard work. It confirms that mochi ice cream is here to stay.”

    Other sofi New Product Award finalists tasted by buyers included:
    • Divina/FoodMatch Inc. First Crush Olive Oil
    • St. Croix Chocolate Co. Bourbon Pecan Toffee
    • Holland’s Family Cheese Marieke Gouda Limited Edition
    • Sal de Ibiza La Vie en Rose Chips

    Among the sofi Gold Award-winning finalists that buyers tasted were:
    • CocoTutti Chocolates Moroccan Spice With Lime
    • Natura Viva/Manfredi Barbera & Figli S.p.A. Extra Virgin Olive Oil – P.D.O. Monte Etna – Organic
    • Del Duca/Creminelli Fine Meats Dry Cured Prosciutto
    • Flouwer Co. Cocktail Cubes – Orange Blossom

    The 2024 Summer Fancy Food Show will take place June 23-25 in New York.

  • 6/28/2023

    BJ’s, Giant Eagle’s GetGo Among Those Offering Holiday Fuel Discounts

    July 4 Car Trip Teaser

    BJ’s Wholesale Club and Giant Eagle’s GetGo Café + Market have both launched fuel promotions around the Fourth of July.

    From June 22 to July 4, BJ’s customers can save 50 cents per gallon at BJ's gas stations when they spend $150 or more in one transaction, with no limit to how many times they can take advantage of this offer. The gas promotion is in addition to the retailer’s Fuel Saver program.

    [Read More: “Big Y Express to Open 2 Connecticut Locations”]

    Meanwhile, from June 30 through July 4, regular unleaded gasoline will be priced at $2.75 per gallon for all myPerks Pay Direct and AdvantagePay members at every GetGo location. This same cents-off discount for myPerks Pay Direct and AdvantagePay members will also apply to all other fuel grades, including premium and diesel. Both programs are extensions of Giant Eagle’s myPerks loyalty platform, enabling those who enroll to pay electronically for fuel and grocery purchases directly from their bank accounts. Enrollment in myPerks Pay Direct is free.

    This is the first of several exclusive discounts and bonuses planned for myPerks Pay Direct members throughout the summer. Beginning July 6 and running for a limited time, members will receive an extra “perk” per dollar when they use myPerks Pay Direct for purchases at any GetGo, Giant Eagle or Market District location.

    Convenience store chain GetGo, with more than 260 locations throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, northern West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana, is operated by Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle Inc., No. 40 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, and also one of PG’s Top 10 Most Sustainable Grocers. Marlborough, Mass.-based  BJ’s, with 238 clubs and 168 BJ’s Gas locations in 19 states, is No. 27 on PG’s list.

  • 6/28/2023

    Woodman’s Embraces Retail Media to Improve Shopper and Advertiser Experiences

    Woodman's teaser

    Employee-owned Woodman's Markets is teaming up with tech platform InMobi Commerce to up its retail media game. Through the partnership, InMobi will provide the Midwest chain with video ad experiences and deliver AI-powered campaign automation and optimization tools.

    Woodman’s new retail media capabilities, which include brand video, sponsored product video and shoppable ads, allow the grocer to smooth shoppers’ path to purchase, including their journey on its e-commerce site. At the same time, Woodman’s will leverage the technologies to offer more streamlined solutions to its local and national brand partners.  

    [Read more: "Albertsons Media Collective Pushes for Retail Media Standardization"]

    “As retail media continues to evolve, Woodman’s has been looking for partners to help us stay on the cutting edge with innovative solutions that will both attract deeper investment from our brand partners while creating an easier, more seamless customer experience on our site,” said Dan Hess, director of e-commerce at Woodman’s. “InMobi’s stance as a video-led platform that helps more regionally focused grocers with solutions like AI-powered campaign automation and optimization solidified them as the perfect partner for our retail media journey.”

    Nestlé is one brand partner that is deploying sponsored product video through the new retail media program. "Video ad experiences have become key to attracting consumers’ attention in a world where brands are competing for it daily,” explained Tyler Weigman, national shopper marketing lead at Nestlé. “We are excited to partner with InMobi to bring our products to life through innovative video experiences on Woodman’s site.”

    Janesville, Wis.-based Woodman’s has 19 stores throughout Wisconsin and northern Illinois and is No. 77 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 6/27/2023

    Instacart Enables Custom Digital Ordering on FoodStorm Platform

    Instacart FoodStorm Teaser

    FoodStorm, Instacart’s order management system (OMS), has introduced new capabilities to streamline the process of selling, managing and fulfilling personalized made-to-order items, according to a June 27 blog post by Rob Hill, who was CEO of FoodStorm until San Francisco-based Instacart acquired it in 2021, whereupon he joined the latter company as general manager, order ahead. With these new features, retailers can expand their online assortments, provide customers with a more engaging ordering experience and implement a seamless order management process for their teams.

    Using the FoodStorm platform, customers can now easily communicate their requests and directly personalize their orders, both online and in-store. For instance, if a customer is placing a custom birthday cake order, they can select the flavor, frosting and even add personalized messages, reducing the need for associates to manually add separate notes to the order. 

    “The ability to offer our customers fully customized sandwiches from our deli counter has revolutionized our business,” noted John Acierno, owner of Joseph’s Classic Market, an independent grocer operating four locations in Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, Delray Beach and West Palm Beach, Fla. “Not only has it significantly boosted our sales, but it has also transformed our in-store operations, allowing us to fulfill the desires our customers have been longing for. We can now deliver an exceptional and personalized experience that keeps our customers coming back for more.”

    FoodStorm’s OMS empowers grocers to seamlessly manage their foodservice business, enabling them to expand the number of products offered, improve the customer experience and ultimately optimize in-store operations.

  • 6/27/2023

    Waste Prevention Effort Adds Up at Natural Grocers

    Natural Grocers

    Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc. is marking a sustainability milestone. The organic and natural grocer revealed that it has prevented 500 million single-use plastic bags from having an impact on the environment.

    According to Natural Grocers, its use of disposable bag-free checkouts and other practices began in 2009 with a Bring Your Own Bag program. In addition to diverting waste, the program has helped local communities, as the grocer donates 5 cents to a local food bank every time shoppers bring their own bags.

    [Read more: "Natural Grocers Keeps Growing Its House Brand"]

    "Natural Grocers is proud to achieve this milestone with the help of our conscientious customers. Eliminating the use of plastic bags at checkout was a system-level decision that was enthusiastically embraced by our company, customers and good4u Crew, knowing it was an important way to reduce the environmental impact of plastic bag waste,” said Raquel Isely, VP of marketing. “This practice has also enabled us to donate over $1.5 million to our local food banks, which perfectly aligns with one of our Five Founding Principles, 'A Commitment to Community.

    As it attains one sustainability milestone, the retailer continues to work toward other goals to reduce waste and optimize resources. Three years ago, Natural Grocers switched to plant-based compostable produce bags and 100% recycled, recyclable and compostable paper bags, and recently halved the use of plastic stretch wrap in its bulk packaging facility and distribution center.

    Family-operated Natural Grocers operates 166 stores in 21 states. The Lakewood, Colo.-based natural and organic grocer is No. 95 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named Natural Grocers one of its 10 Most Sustainable Grocers

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