Bringing storytelling and educational information to the beer and wine aisle, Texas grocer H-E-B has rolled out the Loop video platform to 120 of its stores. The videos will share producer stories as well as topics like nutrition, tasting notes and pairing suggestions.
The Loop platform, introduced by shopper education firm Looma, uses a network of smart tablets to help retailers inform purchasing decisions and further connect shoppers with their products. The system rolled out at Schnuck Markets last year and is also utilized at Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods.
"Working with H-E-B has been an immense privilege," said Cole Johnson, founder and CEO at Durham, N.C.-based Looma. "The care and attention to detail with which they evaluated our partnership from day one has affirmed Loop's effectiveness and product-market fit; while lending us industry-leading counsel as we've sought to refine and evolve our offering."
As Conagra Brands, Inc. seeks to modernize its grocery and snack portfolio, it has named a new leader to guide that process. Lucy Brady will take the helm of the company’s grocery and snacks group beginning on June 15.
In this key role, she will guide the company’s brands, including Slim Jim, Duncan Hines and Angie's Boomchickapop, among others, to meet consumers’ shifting preferences and demands. Well suited for the position, Brady most recently served as chief digital customer engagement officer and SVP of corporate strategy, business development and innovation for McDonald's Corp. Her background also includes a 19-year tenure with Boston Consulting Group, where she advised large consumer companies on growth innovation and transformation.
Brady is a graduate of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and earned an MBA with highest honors from Stanford’s graduate school of business.
"Lucy has a tremendous background and proven leadership skills that will be critical as we continue to grow our successful grocery and snacks business," remarked Tom McGough, EVP and co-COO at the Chicago-based Conagra Brands. "We're excited to have Lucy join Conagra and build on the momentum we have created for our iconic and emerging brands."
Publix VP of Product Business Development to Retire
After 35 years with Publix Super Markets, Chris Litz, VP of product business development for meat, seafood, bakery, and grocery refrigerated and frozen, will retire from the company on May 31.
“Over the years, Chris has led and supported strategic efforts to improve our operations and service to our customers,” noted Publix President Kevin Murphy. “We appreciate his efforts and dedicated service to our company.”
Litz joined Publix in 1987 as a stock clerk in Sarasota, Fla. After working in various roles, he became a store manager in 1995 and a district manager in 2000. Seven years later, Litz was named director of nonperishable warehousing before returning to retail as a regional director in 2011. In 2016, Litz became VP of fresh product business development, and assumed his current role in 2021.
Trader Joe’s is on a store opening roll. The specialty retailer is welcoming shoppers to its latest locations this spring, including shops in California and Colorado.
One of the stores is located at 18374 Cottonwood Drive in Parker, Colo., a suburb south of Denver. Set to open on Friday, May 6, the 9,600-square-foot store is the eighth Trader Joe’s in that state and, like other stores run by the retailer, features a décor inspired by local scenery and sites.
Meanwhile, another Trader Joe’s is now open in the grocer’s home state of California, at 500 S. Broadway in Santa Monica. The grand opening was held on April 29.
In the pipeline: a Trader Joe’s in Yorktown, N.Y. That store, at 3220 Old Crompond Road, is also expected to welcome shoppers in 2022.
While the retailer is expanding its footprint, it is cutting back on some products due to supply chain shortages. In April, Trader Joe’s announced that it is discontinuing several canned pet food products for dogs and cats.
May is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month and dietitians at Hy-Vee Inc. are hosting multiple events to help support those with the disease and others who follow a gluten-free diet. Special programs will include virtual store tours and cooking classes, and the retailer’s gluten-free private label Good Graces brand will be featured.
The virtual Freezer Meals Workshops cost $10 and will include recipes, shopping lists and Aisles Online shoppable links, as well as summer meal prep tips and product recommendations. The grocer’s virtual Gluten-Free Nutrition Tours are scheduled or on-demand and dietitians will answer questions about gluten-free diets and products available at Hy-Vee.
Free Wellness Wednesday online classes will also be held throughout the month with topics including Hidden Sources of Protein, Eat Your Vegetables, Anti-Inflammatory Spices and Women’s Health.
Aldi, which has established cult followings for products ranging from fine chocolates to frozen fruit blends, is launching its annual Fan Favorites survey. Kicking off this week and open through May 12, the survey aims to uncover shoppers’ most-loved products from the discount grocer.
As in past years, the survey lists items by category, with 13 multiple choice questions. This year’s categories include dinner favorites “for the whole fam," breakfast staples, best pairings, top charcuterie boards, and produce picks, among others.
Those who take the online poll have a chance to win a grand prize $1,000 gift card or one of ten $100 gift cards for the retailer.
Aldi first rolled out the Fan Favorites survey in 2019. Last year’s winners included Maple French Toast and Brioche Bagels, Appleton Farms Premium Sliced Bacon, Clancy’s Kettle Chips and more.