Giant Eagle has extended its partnership with SmartSense by Digi – part of internet of things provider Digi International – in an effort to beef up its commitment to food quality and safety.Through the use of SmartSense digital temperature monitoring devices, the grocer will be able to remotely and continuously monitor its food products.
The SmartSense technology is installed in walk-ins, chillers and refrigerators and utilizes wireless sensors, food probes, digital checklists and remote monitoring software and analytics tools to ensure food remains fresh. All of the data is available through a monitoring dashboard and mobile app.
The grocer already works with SmartSense as a provider of digital task management for many of its grocery and convenience locations.
“We have been continually impressed with SmartSense’s innovative and intelligent solutions, which have allowed us to strengthen our unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest levels of food safety for the communities we serve,” said Vic Vercammen, Giant Eagle’s VP of risk and chief compliance officer. “Specifically, capturing detailed data insights and prescriptive analytics via SmartSense’s advanced technologies will enhance our team members’ ability to monitor product freshness in real time.”
He started on his path in the grocery industry early, first working at a supermarket at the tender age of nine. Born in Tyler, Texas, he moved to Albuquerque, N.M., in 1953 and attended the University of New Mexico.
Brooks launched his own store in Albuquerque in 1978. What was a one-store operation eventually expanded to five locations. Today, there are John Brooks Super Market stores in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Socorro, Milan and Ruidoso, operating under the slogan, “Doing Business the Old Fashion Way, People Serving People!”
Brooks is survived by four children and four grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on April 2 at Central United Methodist Church in Albuquerque. Contributions in his name and memory are being accepted his favorite charitable organizations, including Saranam, S.A.F.E. House and Central United Methodist Church.
Walmart to Take Part in Pacific Coast Food Waste Pledge
In an effort to better control food waste along the West Coast, Walmart U.S. has joined the Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment (PCFWC). The organization is hoping to reduce and prevent food waste by 50% in that region by 2030 through its work with food businesses and local jurisdictions.
Under the partnership, Walmart will share anonymized and aggregated food loss and waste data with PCFWC to help better gauge food waste issues and more precisely target hot spots. The initiative directly aligns with the retailer’s Project Gigaton, which aims to circumvent 1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gasses in the global value chain by 2030.
"We are proud to support the PCFWC in this effort to reduce food waste,” said Jane Ewing, SVP, sustainability at Walmart. “At Walmart, reducing waste has been a point of focus for many years. Since 2019 we have sold 862 million food units through food discount programs. In CY2020, we donated more than 745 million pounds of food globally. Better data can identify scalable ways for us to accelerate these efforts further, and it is incumbent on retailers like Walmart to join efforts such as the PCFWC to address these systemic issues.”
With the help of its customers and associates, food solutions company SpartanNash has raised $180,000 via its fundraising campaign to support 43 chapters of Habitat for Humanity. Donations were collected by the SpartanNash Foundation, which will help individuals and families in eight Midwest states take the first important steps toward owning a home.
Store guests donated $1, $5, $10 or rounded up to the nearest dollar at SpartanNash-owned retail stores and fuel centers. Participating SpartanNash retailers included Family Fare, VG's Grocery, D&W Fresh Market, Forest Hills Foods and Supermercado Nuestra Familia. Online shoppers also had the opportunity to donate at checkout through Fast Lane.
“As community members and neighbors, we must never forget about the impact that safe and warm shelter can have for someone,” said SpartanNash SVP of Communications Adrienne Chance. “This fundraiser shows the generosity of our family of associates and store guests and their sense of community.”
Since 2006, the SpartanNash Foundation has raised more than $2.1 million for Habitat for Humanity, helping more than 1,100 households with improved quality housing.
SpartanNash’s core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent and chain retailers, its corporate-owned retail stores, and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges, as well as fresh produce distribution and fresh food processing. No. 39 on The PG 100,Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company serves customer locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Djibouti.
Meijer Donates $1M to U.S. Hispanic Chambers of Commerce
Continuing its diversity and inclusion efforts, Meijer is donating $1 million to local affiliates of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The funds will be divided among 17 Chambers in the Midwest, including city-based and regional groups across Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Among other things, the financial support will be used to improve the economic growth and development of Hispanic-owned businesses. According to company information, part of Meijer’s D&I goal is to create opportunities and bolster intergenerational wealth in its service areas.
"By investing in these Hispanic Chambers, we hope to empower Hispanic business owners and create an economic impact that's felt throughout our communities," explained Tim Williams, VP of diversity and inclusion at Meijer.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer operates 257 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 18 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food retailers in North America.
Rapid Delivery Startup Buyk Officially Closes Up Shop
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."