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News Briefs

  • 7/12/2023

    Grocery Prices Unchanged in June

    inflation teaser

    While overall inflation ticked up 0.2% in June, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food at home was unchanged. The 0.0% rate comes after a slight 0.1% bump in May and consecutive decreases in March and April.

    Within the grocery sector, prices fell across several categories, including meats, poultry, fish and eggs (-0.4%), dairy and related products (-0.3%) and nonalcoholic beverages (-0.1%). Foods that fall into the “other” category also experienced a sales dip, down 0.2% in June.

    [Read more: "Store-Brand Dollar Share Reaches Record Level"]

    The CPI in two of the six major grocery categories did go higher during the first month of summer. Fruit and vegetable prices rose 0.8% and cereal and bakery products went up 0.1% for the month. On a year-over-year (YoY) basis, the CPI for food at home is up 4.7% over 2022, compared to 7.7% for food away from home.

    On that note, consumers continue to shell out more at foodservice locations, as the CPI for food away from home climbed 0.4% in June. That continues a trend, as the restaurant sector has yet to post a CPI decline or even a 0% rate in 2023.

    The increase in the overall inflation rate was driven by higher prices in shelter, new vehicles, transportation and electricity. As summer travel season kicked off, gas prices edged higher again in June by 1% after falling 5.6% in May.

  • 7/12/2023

    Arctic Glacier Names New CEO

    Pete Laport

    Arctic Glacier, a Philadelphia-based manufacturer and distributor of premium ice products and services, has tapped Peter “Pete” Laport as its new CEO. The longtime CPG pro brings more than 30 years of experience to the role, joining Arctic Glacier from his most position as U.S. division president and CEO of prepared foods company Bakkavor.

    Laport also served as COO at Ready Pac Foods/Bonduelle Fresh Americas and held roles at PepsiCo and Nestle, where he led the global supply chain for Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins ice cream. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from The Johns Hopkins University, where he serves as an executive in residence.  

    [Read more: "EXCLUSIVE: How Ice Can Be a Hot Differentiator"]

    "We are delighted to welcome Pete to lead our growth strategy. With his proven track record, we look forward to his guidance to take us to the next level of operational excellence. He is a talented, dynamic, values-driven business leader with notable success in the global consumer goods industry. We believe his exceptional strategic capabilities and proven operational effectiveness will help position Arctic Glacier for sustainable long-term growth and operational excellence. We are at the forefront of our strategic priorities and we have every confidence in Pete’s go-forward leadership,” said Robert C. King, chairman of the board of directors at Arctic Glacier.

    Added Laport: "I am excited to drive the company forward to achieve its strategic growth ambitions. I believe Arctic Glacier has the opportunity to continue to be best-in-class by empowering and equipping our leaders to execute at the highest level.”

    Founded in 1886, Arctic Glacier produces and delivers more than 2.5 billion pounds of ice annually to grocery stores, mass merchants, c-stores, dollar stores, gas stations, and other commercial businesses in North America.

  • 7/11/2023

    Grocery Delivery Catches Up to Pickup: Report

    grocery delivery teaser

    Grocery delivery sales are making a comeback, according to new findings from insights firm Incisiv and digital commerce and fulfillment provider Wynshop. Their Grocery Doppio "State of Digital Grocery Performance Scorecard for H1 2023" reflects the latest analysis of shopper orders.

    The report found that in Q2 2023, 49.1% of all digital orders were fulfilled via home delivery, reversing a trend towards store pickup amidst record high temperatures. This compares to 48.5% in Q1.

    [Read more: "Key Strategies for Retailers Facing Online Competition"]

    Home delivery continues to dominate shopper preference at small grocers, claiming 66.7%. That compares to 48.6% at large grocers.

    Meanwhile, total grocery sales in Q2 were $226.1 billion, up from $215.4 in Q1. About $29.5 billion of all grocery sales were digital in Q2, slightly down from $29.9 billion in Q1. 

    Grocery sales through third parties fell from $5.4 billion to $5.1 billion, representing a 5.6% reduction between Q1 and Q2 2023.

    "We've reached a new level of maturity in digital grocery," pointed out Charlie Kaplan, chief revenue officer of Wynshop. "As shoppers continue to demonstrate their preference to buy direct, grocers have clear opportunities to satisfy shoppers' fulfillment preferences, run digital holiday promotions, and otherwise personalize the customer journey."

    The monthly "State of Digital Grocery Performance Scorecards" are built around data analysis of 1.9 million shopper orders and survey results from more than 32,500 shoppers and 3,148 U.S. grocery executives. 

  • 7/11/2023

    Godshall’s Expands Production Capability With Additional Facility

    godshall's teaser

    Smoked meat company Godshall's is strengthening its production and distribution capability with the acquisition of a processing plant in Emmaus, Pa. Godshall’s bought the 53,000-square-foot plant from Clemens Food Group and plans to add new smokehouses, ovens and packaging lines, with a planned reopening in mid-2024.

    This is the latest expansion from Godshall's, which broadened its 150,000-square-foot facility in Lebanon, Pa., last year. Through the additional plant, Lebanon operation and distribution center in Souderton, Pa., the company reported it can better meet supply and demand needs in its market. The processor is also future-proofing its business with access to 10 acres of adjacent land in Emmaus.

    [Read more: "Kevin’s Natural Foods Now Under Mars Umbrella"]

    “Our brand continues to grow in both retail and foodservice and the new addition of this facility allows us to continue expanding. Geographically, the purchase will provide Godshall’s with three production facilities and a centralized distribution center all within a two-hour drive of Philadelphia and the northeast corridor,” explained President Ron Godshall. “Additionally, the Emmaus area has a large pool of experienced workers and we are eager to retain many for the Godshall’s team.”

    Established in 1945, Godshall’s is the third largest turkey bacon brand in the U.S. and became an employee-owned company in 2017. Earlier this year, the processor added all-natural Angus beef and turkey sausages to its protein portfolio.

  • 7/10/2023

    Utz Brands Brings on Marketing Pro


    Snack maker Utz Brands, Inc. has named Jennifer Bentz EVP of insights, innovation and marketing services. In this role, she will oversee those key functions and enhance the company’s e-commerce marketing capabilities.

    She brings more than 30 years of marketing experience, including digital marketing, to her latest position. Most recently, Bentz was EVP of applied technology and insights at CLIF Bar & Co., where she created a commercial analytics program using first-party data and deployed marketing strategies based on tailored consumer insights. Bentz also served as chief client officer at Mintel and held senior marketing jobs at Tyson Foods and Kraft Foods. She earned a B.S. degree in marketing from Indiana University.

    [Read more: "Tea Industry Icon Dies"]

    Bentz will report to CEO Howard Friedman. “I believe that Jen's influential leadership, strategic agility, and drive for results make her an excellent fit for Utz. Her expertise in insights, innovation, and marketing services will be instrumental in propelling our growth and enhancing our understanding of consumers, and it’s a privilege to have Jen join our team,” he said.

    In other news, Utz announced that its Zapp’s Sinfully Seasoned Voodoo Pretzel Stix won best pretzel product in People magazine’s food awards for 2023. The company continues to roll out other innovative products, such as its Mike’s Hot Honey potato chip (pictured) launched in May.

  • 7/10/2023

    Kraft Heinz Debuts New Canadian Headquarters

    Kraft Heinz Co Canada HQ Toronto Teaser

    The Kraft Heinz Co., Canada’s largest food and beverage company, has moved its Canadian headquarters to the historic Queen’s Quay Terminal in downtown Toronto, replacing the company’s longtime North York, Ontario, location. The new site accommodates more than 350 employees.

    [Read More: “Kraft Heinz Reveals New Chief Procurement Officer for North America”]

    Features of the new headquarters include:

    • An on-site state-of-the-art culinary center of excellence to develop and test new products, recipes and social content while building a venue to collaborate with retail and foodservice customers and colleagues worldwide.
    • More than 600 work, meeting, breakout and collaboration spaces with technology optimized for hybrid meetings.
    • The Crunchy and Smoothy Café, named after Canada’s beloved Kraft Peanut Butter Bears, which includes a coffee bar and micro-market space featuring Kraft Heinz products and grab-and-go items.
    • Murals and artwork throughout the office created by local artists and celebrating food, diversity and community

    Teams based at the Toronto headquarters location include the Canada marketing, sales and away-from-home functions, as well as team members from the North America digital, people and performance, finance, communications, growth, IT, and operations functions.

    Chicago-based Kraft Heinz has been a member of the Canadian business community for more than 100 years.

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