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News Briefs

03/18/2022

Rapid Delivery Startup Buyk Officially Closes Up Shop

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Buyker Teaser

The deepening crisis in Ukraine and sanctions between the United States and Russia have spelled the end forRussian-backed rapid delivery platform Buyk. The startup has filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Buyk plans to use the Chapter 11 proceedings to wind down operations and dispose of inventory and assets, according to a statement.

Founded in 2021 by Russian entrepreneurs Slava Bocharov and Rodion Shishkov, Buyk was forced to furlough most of its workers in New York City and Chicago during the first week of March and had ceased operations at its 39 partner stores as of March 4. At the time, CEO James Walker had hoped to gain funding outside of Russia to keep operations going.

“We have diligently explored all possible options and partnerships to restructure Buyk and keep the business going, however, the war in Ukraine and subsequent restrictions in funding have unfortunately made it impossible to continue operations,” said Walker.

“I am extremely proud of the entire Buyk team for their amazing achievements since we launched the business last year,” Walker continued. “These are truly some of the most talented and dedicated people I have had the pleasure to work with in my career and I wish them much success in the future."

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03/18/2022

Tuna is 'Good for You,' Says New Bumble Bee Campaign

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Bumble Bee Tuna.good for you

Bumble Bee Seafood has rolled out a new advertising campaign aimed at reeling in its next generation of customers. Dubbed “Good for You,” the campaign highlights the nutritional benefits of tuna while also dispelling antiquated category perceptions.

“At Bumble Bee, we firmly believe that everyone deserves to eat well, no matter what. The idea of democratizing wellness is what inspired us to confront the reasons why younger generations often do not choose tuna today,” said Jeanine Lewis Canales, Bumble Bee’s VP and head of marketing. “Our research shows that this is often because younger generations don’t view tuna as versatile, nor fitted for their foodie aspirations … We set out to create a disruptive campaign that takes those challenges head on in a fun, engaging way.”

The ads, created with the company’s agency of record, The Many, will run across connected TV, digital video, social and search, and were directed by Ashley Armitage.

“This campaign continues to establish Bumble Bee as a category leader by bridging together different generations to inspire new tuna lovers," said Adam Flanagan, creative director of The Many. "We wanted to showcase the authentic passions enjoyed by a diverse range of people who embrace their unique interests to the fullest, all while touting the many health benefits of Bumble Bee tuna." 

The 120-year-old Bumble Bee brand is further positioning itself for the future with refreshed packaging designs, new product lines and a continued focus on sustainability.

03/17/2022

Whole Foods Market Opens 2nd Store With Just Walk Out Tech

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Whole Foods Market Opens 2nd Store With Just Walk Out Tech

Whole Foods Market opened its newest store at 12905 Riverside Drive in Sherman Oaks, Calif., on March 16. The store is the second of two Whole Foods stores opened this year that feature Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, allowing customers the choice to skip the register for a faster, more convenient shopping experience. The first store featuring Just Walk Out tech opened in February in Washington D.C.

The Sherman Oaks store also incorporates Whole Foods’ commitment to offering local products. The store’s assortment is hand-picked by the "local forager" for Whole Foods’ Southern Pacific region, Elena Garcia.

The store includes offerings from local farms like apples from Cuyama Orchards, sweet potatoes from Valpredo Farms and orchids from Formosa Pacific Orchids. The full-service seafood counter features smoked salmon from Santa Barbara Smokehouse. Local products in the meat department include free-range chicken from Mary’s Organic Chicken, turkeys from Mary’s Free-Range Turkey (available seasonally) and organic beef from Eel River. Additionally, the Wellness and Beauty section has more than 100 local body care products and supplements, such as skin care from evanhealy, hand soap from Zatik Naturals and wellness shots from Vive Organic.

To give back to the Sherman Oaks community, Whole Foods will host multiple School Spirit Days in May, from which 5% of the proceeds will support local schools, including Dixie Canyon Elementary School, Riverside Drive Charter Elementary School, The Science Academy STEM Magnet and Wonderland Ave.  

The first certified-organic national grocer, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The company is No. 26 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top retailers of food and consumables in the United States, while its parent company, Seattle-based Amazon, is No. 2 on PG’s list.

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03/17/2022

Peapod Digital Labs Improves Transparency of Private Brands

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Peapod Digital Labs Improves Transparency of Private Brands

Peapod Digital Labs is leveraging a cloud-based platform from Trace One, a provider of business solutions for CPGs, for product and packaging specifications of private-brand products across all of the companies of Ahold Delhaize USA. Beginning with a pilot that launched in early March, the Trace One PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) will manage product formulation, labeling statements and claims, quality and testing parameters, and packaging substrate data to promote regulatory compliance, satisfy company standards and meet consumer expectations.   

“The Private Brands team has worked hard to remove unwanted ingredients from its portfolio of private label products to promote transparency and sustainable practices, and to reduce our plastic and packaging waste,” said Danielle Harper, director of product excellence, private brands, Peapod Digital Labs. “Partnering with Trace One is an important next step in ensuring that we meet consumers’ expectations about visibility to the ingredients in a product, where it was made, and if sustainable and/or ethical practices were used in production.” 

The application will benefit vendors by creating one single source of validated and approved private label portfolio data. The solution also ensures accurate labeling, helps identify opportunities for alignment and increases efficiency in reporting on improvements toward sustainability objectives.  

Starting in June 2022, all suppliers of Peapod Digital Labs private-brand products will be required to use the new system.

Peapod Digital Labs is the digital, e-commerce and commercial engine of Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize. The company operates more than 2,000 stores across 23 states and is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in the United States. 

03/17/2022

Vejii Expands Fulfillment for Unreal Deli

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Vejii Expands Fulfillment for Unreal Deli

Canada-based Vejii Holdings Ltd., an online marketplace for plant-based and sustainable products, has signed a consignment and fulfillment services agreement with Unreal Deli Inc., which makes premium plant-based deli meat.

Unreal Deli will provide inventory into Vejii Fulfillment Services for sale on Vejii Express, and through its own direct-to-consumer channel (D2C). Under the terms of the agreement, Vejii will pick, pack and ship orders for ShopVejii.com and for Unreal Deli's own e-commerce platform, unrealdeli.com, further expanding the services that the company can offer its partners.  

"With five distribution points across the U.S., Vejii can reach 100% of the continental United States and Hawaii with ground delivery,” said Darren Gill, president, and COO of Vejii. “We're proud to further support our brand partners by providing access to our distribution network, and helping to solve some of the business challenges that our CPG brand partners face in a market where cold-chain distribution for D2C shipping has become more challenging. We will not only be handling storage, pick, pack and ship for Unreal Deli, but also undertaking sample distribution, which we've identified as a key opportunity to support our brand partners. This provides a new revenue stream for the company but also deepens our relationship with new and innovative brands like Unreal Deli, which is already a top-selling SKU for Vejii.”

Securing on investment from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank for her authentic New York- style deli meat, Unreal Deli founder Jenny Goldfarb has since gained distribution with retailers like Whole Foods Market and Publix Super Markets.

03/16/2022

Amazon Brings Its Fresh Food Fest to Southern California

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Amazon Fresh Events

Amazon Fresh stores in Southern California are celebrating the retailer’s Fresh Food Fest now through March 27. The 10 stores will host 12 days filled with book signings, professional chef demonstrations, samples, discounts, live music and more.

Special appearances will be made by Ludo Lefebvre of Petit Trois Le Valley and Ludo Bird; Jess Damuck, author of “Salad Freak;” Bricia Lopez, co-owner of Guelaguetza and author of “Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico;” Valerie Gordon, owner of Valerie’s Confections; Jason Wrobel, author of “Eaternity;” and Maria Provenzano, author of “Everyday Celebrations from Scratch.”

The Fresh Food Fest celebration will be extended to Amazon Fresh stores in the Chicagoland area beginning April 13.

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America