News Briefs

  • 7/5/2023

    Incoming Ahold Delhaize CFO Jolanda Poots-Bijl Appointed to Management Board

    Ahold Delhaize Jolanda Poots-Bijl Teaser

    Ahold Delhaize shareholders approved the appointment of Jolanda Poots-Bijl as a member of the company’s management board during an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders in Zaandam, Netherlands, on July 5. Poots-Bijl will join Ahold Delhaize in mid-August as EVP finance and a member of its executive committee. On Oct. 1, she will assume the role of CFO succeeding Natalie Knight, who joined the company in 2020.

    Poots-Bijl (pictured) joins Ahold Delhaize from offshore construction company Van Oord, where she has been CFO since 2016. During the shareholders meeting, she said, “I will dedicate my 20 years of CFO experience in various industries, my passion, time and high level of energy to the company and its strategy, with a keen eye on people, sustainability and innovation.” 

    “We are looking forward to Jolanda starting,” noted Ahold Delhaize CEO Frans Muller. “Her extensive experience as a finance leader and passion for digital transformation and sustainability will be of important value to our company.”

    Knight will return to the United States with her family after more than 25 years in Europe. She has accepted a position with multinational automaker Stellantic at its Auburn Hills, Mich., office.

    Last month, it was revealed that Rom Kosla, EVP, IT, and CIO at Ahold Delhaize USA, will leave the company to become CIO at Houston-based global edge-to-cloud company Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HBE) in July. 

    Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company one of its Retailers of the Century and its 10 Most Sustainable Grocers

  • 7/5/2023

    Festival Foods, Upshop Aim to Optimize Fresh Ops

    festival foods teaser

    Festival Foods has formed a strategic partnership with Upshop, a provider of AI-driven software for store operations, with the aim of making Festival’s fresh perimeter operations more efficient.

    Upshop’s Fresh software-as-a-service suite connects and digitizes workflows, streamlines ordering processes, and simplifies production operations. The platform leverages AI-driven forecasting and real-time inventory visibility for both raw and finished items, integrating such disparate workflows and data streams as pricing, ingredients, recipes, production plans and made-to-order tasks to improve operational efficiency and ensure a consistent, guided user experience for employees. The partnership comes as Festival Foods gears up for greater growth and requires systems that can rapidly scale.

    [Read more: "Festival Foods Increases Employee Discount to 15%"]

    “At Festival Foods, we are committed to making decisions that further enhance the experience of our associates and our guests,” said Mark Skogen, CEO and president of De Pere, Wis.-based Festival Foods. “This partnership is about removing barriers to execution for our teams and simplifying the complexities of running a fresh department so they can focus on delivering a memorable guest experience.”

    “We built our software with the goal of making it effortless for associates and stores to meet the needs of shoppers,” noted Shamus Hines, CEO of Tampa, Fla.-based Upshop. “Moreover, we have assembled a team of experts who understand how to drive adoption in-store. This partnership with Festival Foods exemplifies our commitment to empowering retailers with the tools and support needed to succeed.”

    Through this partnership, Festival Foods expects significant improvements in operational efficiency, associate engagement, inventory management and overall customer satisfaction.

    Festival Foods employs more than 8,000 full- and part-time associates at 40 full-service supermarkets across the state of Wisconsin. The grocer is No. 94 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 7/5/2023

    TreeHouse Foods Expands Coffee Business

    coffee roast teaser

    TreeHouse Foods, Inc., an Oak Brook, Ill.-based manufacturer of private label and products, is broadening its canopy. The company has completed the acquisition of the non-direct store delivery coffee business and coffee facility of Farmer Brothers Coffee.

    By taking on the plant in Northlake, Texas, TreeHouse Foods now offers roasting, grinding, flavoring and blending capabilities. The company already supplies single-serve coffee pods and ready-to-drink coffees, and has worked with Farmer Brothers Coffee before to supply its bulk ground coffee. Through the deal, TreeHouse acquired about $30 million of inventory and will retain 180 facility team members to support the operations.

    [Read more: "Top 10 Expo West Food Trends for Grocers"]

    Founded in 1912, Farmer Brothers Coffee is a coffee roaster, wholesaler, equipment servicer and distributor. The company produces a wide-ranging line of coffees, hot and iced teas, spices and baking/biscuit mixes.

    "I want to welcome the newest members of our coffee team," said Steve Oakland, chairman, CEO and president of TreeHouse Foods. "Acquiring the NorthlakeTexas, facility enables us to drive greater category depth through green coffee purchasing, roasting, grinding, flavoring and assortment – and represents an exciting step forward as we strengthen our strategic capabilities as a focused, private label snacking and beverages leader.  By becoming more vertically integrated in coffee, we are better positioned to drive mutually profitable growth for our customers and deliver greater value to our shareholders."

    Earlier this summer, TreeHouse Foods affirmed its full year outlook, anticipating net sales growth of 6-8%, representing a range of $3.66 million to $3.73 million. It also shared growth targets for 2024 to 2027, including a goal of 3-5% revenue growth and an 8-10% adjusted EBITDA growth. Aligning with the acquisition of Farmer Brothers Coffee, the company aims to drive category depth and leadership in high-appeal categories.

  • 7/3/2023

    Longo's Names New Private Brands VP

    Jenny Longo

    Canadian food retailer Longo’s has named Jenny Longo as VP of private brands. Previously, she served as the company's director of private brands, culinary innovation, and central kitchen. 

    Born and raised in the Toronto area, Longo is active in a variety of organizations including the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario, the OMNI East Advisory Board and the Vanier Institute of the Family. She also volunteers at the Georgetown Hospital and as a judge for the Retail Council of the Canadian Grand Prix and Rogers Product of the Year Awards. 

    [Read more: "Loblaw Names New President and CEO"]

    Longo is former chair of the Longo’s Family Council and a member of the Longo’s Senior Management Leadership Team. She has a business administration diploma from Humber College, and has completed the Cornell University Food Executive Program.

    In other company news, Longo’s appointed Deborah “Deb” Craven its new president in May. Craven will lead the company’s day-to-day business and ongoing growth strategy while overseeing nearly 6,000 employees. She is the organization’s first female president.

    Longo’s is a family-operated organization that operates almost 40 stores in communities across the greater Toronto area.

  • 6/30/2023

    Summer Break Brings Back EBT Benefit for Schoolchildren

    shopping teaser

    While the federal government has rolled back emergency allotments as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), benefits continue for school-age children to buy groceries during their summer break.

    The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program (P-EBT) was created in 2020 to fill the gap in nutritious school meals, providing loaded EBT cards to families to purchase foods at grocery stores. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service announced that the general structure of the P-EBT would remain the same as last year; states with an approved summer 2023 plan can continue to issue P-EBT benefits to school-age children during summer “without regard to schools’ operating status or individual children’s COVID-related absences and virtual learning days.”

    There are some changes this year, however. Eligibility is limited to students who attend schools that participate in the national school lunch program. Homeschooled children and kids enrolled in childcare programs cannot receive this benefit, and children under the age of six whose families also receive SNAP benefits do not automatically qualify this time around. Additionally, the U.S. Congress required that the P-EBT benefit for the entire 2023 summer period should not exceed $120 per eligible child.

    A majority of states have already applied for and are taking part in the federal program. This month, Iowa joined the ranks of participating states for 2023 after previously sharing that the state would not rejoin the program. At this point, 12 states have not approved plans to offer P-EBT benefits for grocery purchases this summer: Washington, Oregon, Montana, South Dakota, Idaho, Missouri, Texas, Mississippi, Maine, Connecticut and Florida, according to the Food Research and Action Center.  

  • 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.

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