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News Briefs

05/05/2022

Robomart to Launch The Ice Cream Shop

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Robomart The Ice Cream Shop Teaser

Robomart, which offers a pioneering store-hailing service fleet of on-demand mobile mini-marts, has teamed with Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based Unilever to offer a virtual storefront, The Ice Cream Shop. Unilever will deploy a fleet of Ice Cream Robomarts this summer in Los Angeles, featuring treats from such Unilever ice cream brands as Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Good Humor, Magnum ice cream, and Talenti. 

Using a patented one-tap grocery ordering technology, consumers can hail The Ice Cream Shop Robomarts to their location using the company’s proprietary mobile app. When the vehicle arrives, the user swipes across the app to open the door. A checkout-free system allows consumers to remove their selected products and walk away without physically checking out or swiping a credit card.

“We’re excited to work with Unilever – the world’s largest ice cream maker – to pilot The Ice Cream Shop as one of the flagship storefronts on our new marketplace,” said Ali Ahmed, CEO and co-founder of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Robomart, which originally launched in Los Angeles in 2021. “Putting a spin on the classic ice cream truck by bringing it to consumers on-demand, we have pioneered a new way for everyone to get their favorite ice cream treats in as little as two minutes. This rollout brings to life the original vision my co-founder and I had over a decade ago while working at Unilever to create ‘The Everywhere Store’ – the fastest and most accessible way to get all your essentials.”

“Our pilot program with Robomart is revolutionizing ice cream delivery for consumers and making it even faster to get our beloved brands to our ice cream fans,” said Russel Lilly, general manager, Unilever North American ice cream. “What better way to shop for your favorite ice cream than just a few steps from your front door?"

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05/05/2022

H-E-B Starts Construction on Central Texas Store

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H-E-B Starts Construction on Central Texas Store

H-E-B has started construction on a new store in Georgetown, Texas, which will replace an existing location less than a mile away. The new store will have a larger footprint and provide customers with an expanded product selection, along with more services and features.

The new H-E-B store will be located at 1010 W. University Avenue in the Wolf Lakes Village neighborhood. It is expected to be complete sometime in spring 2023 and will replace the 67,000-square-foot store at 1100 South I35, which opened in 1989. That location will remain operational until the new store opens.

At 121,000 square feet, the new store will reportedly have the feel of a European village, relating to the character of the surrounding neighborhood, and feature two entry towers and pedestrian-friendly surroundings. The store will tout a two-story True Texas BBQ, H-E-B’s barbecue restaurant. Other amenities will include a pharmacy with two-lane drive-thru, patient education and nutritional services; a full-service bakery and tortilleria; a Meal Simple area with chef-inspired options for quick meal planning; Sushiya, offering handmade sushi selections made in-store daily; Texas Backyard, offering products for grilling, gardening and outdoor entertaining; a fuel station and car wash; and H-E-B Curbside and Home Delivery.

All H-E-B employees will be given the opportunity to transfer to the new location once it is complete. H-E-B plans to hire another 100 associates to staff the new store, employing more than 450 associates in total.

In celebration of the new store’s groundbreaking, H-E-B donated $5,000 each to several area organizations.  

With approximately 400 stores in Texas and Mexico, San Antonio-based H-E-B is No. 13 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

05/05/2022

The Fresh Market Announces Free Food Sweepstakes

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The Fresh Market Announces Free Food Sweepstakes

The Fresh Market is going on a giveaway spree as part of an incentive campaign. The retailer announced a sweepstakes for members of its Ultimate Loyalty Experience that awards “fresh food and more” for a year.

Participating shoppers can enter via transactions that occur between now and June 28. One guest at each of the grocer’s 160 stores will win a $200 reloadable gift card for The Fresh Market for 12 consecutive months. The prize also includes an $800 cash award paid by check.

Customers can also enter without making a purchase by logging into their member account and submitting a free entry form online during the sweepstakes period. Winners will be announced in July.

"Imagine getting free money each month for an entire year to spend on all the things you love best about The Fresh Market — top-quality meat and produce, fresh-from-the-bakery desserts, ready-to-eat meals and more," declared Jeff Snyder, the retailer's director of loyalty and email marketing.

In addition to special offers and digital coupons, The Fresh Market’s loyalty program features purchase frequency programs dubbed “The Club Hub.” Guests can earn free items or savings on favorite items in five categories, including the Market Meal Kit Club, Artisan Cheese Club, Whole Panini Club, Floral Club and Coffee by the Cup Club.

The Fresh Market, based in Greensboro, N.C., operates 160 stores in 22 states and is No. 76 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

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05/04/2022

H-E-B Launches Shopper Education Video Platform

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HEB Loop

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."

With approximately 400 stores in Texas and Mexico, San Antonio-based H-E-B is No. 13 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

05/04/2022

Conagra Onboards President of Grocery and Snacks

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Lucy Brady

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."

05/04/2022

Publix VP of Product Business Development to Retire

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Publix Chris Litz Teaser

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. 

Employee-owned and -operated Publix has almost 1,300 supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. The Lakeland, Fla.-based company plans to expand its operations into Kentucky in 2023. Publix is No. 11 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.