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News Briefs

06/02/2022

Festival Foods Expands Fuel Rewards, Readies New Location

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Festival Foods Selects Cloud-Based Master Data Management Solution

Festival Foods is heading into summer offering shoppers more options. The Wisconsin-based retailer is preparing to open a new store and is launching a rewards program at a time when inflation-wary consumers are looking for deals.

The new gas rewards program is a partnership between Festival Foods and c-store chain Kwik Trip. Customers earn a penny off fuel purchases at Kwik Trip locations for every $10 spent at Festival Foods. Shoppers can pick up a rewards card at a Festival Foods location and register it online; the cards then can be swiped at a Kwik Trip pump to redeem any savings.   

“We’re excited to provide added value to our guests in this new partnership with Kwik Trip, a fellow Wisconsin-based business that, like Festival Foods, is committed to providing the very best value and service to its guests,” said Mark Skogen, CEO at DePere, Wis.-based Festival Foods.

David Jackson, Kwik Trip's digital marketing and loyalty manager, agreed the home state partnership makes sense for the businesses and for their customers. “We’re always looking for ways to bring value to our guests, so when presented the opportunity to partner with another Wisconsin business to do that, it was a no-brainer for us,” Jackson commented.

As Festival Foods provides relief to shoppers at a time of high fuel costs, the company is also widening its footprint to reach a greater audience. The grocer is hiring up to 200 employees for its Hartford, Wis., location, set to open on Aug. 12.

The Hartford store will be the 40th Festival Foods in Wisconsin. The 69,000-square-foot space will feature a drive-thru area for online grocery pickup, in addition to an onsite Caribou coffee and a hot food bar and food court.

The employee- and family-owned Festival Foods is No. 93 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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06/02/2022

Hy-Vee Focusing on Family Nutrition as Summer Kicks Off

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Hy-Vee to Close 2 Stores, Remodel 2

Hy-Vee Inc.’s team of dietitians is spotlighting nutrition and healthy recipes for both children and families through a series of events to be held this summer.

A free Hy-Vee KidsFit Summer Bash is slated for select stores on June 4, where children can pick up a Hy-Vee KidsFit Summer Fun Box that includes activities, healthy snacks and other items. Community partners will host various activities during the events and there will also be a dietitian-led taste test station.

The grocer will also host a virtual kids cooking camp intended for children aged between 5 and 12. Camps will be held July 11, 18 and 25 and will go over how to cook with ingredients to boost the flavor and nutrition of many dishes.

A monthly virtual kitchen class will also be held for little chefs and junior chefs. The goal of the class is to help kids become more comfortable and confident in the kitchen and improve their culinary skills via simple, follow-along recipes.

Children aged 4 and up are also invited to participate in virtual store tours that focus on balanced nutrition and include fun movement breaks and interactive food trivia. Finally, several freezer meal workshops will be held in an effort to help families prepare ahead for meals and also save money at the supermarket.

Employee-owned Hy-Vee has a team of more than 93,000 employees. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company is No. 30 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

06/02/2022

Amazon Fresh Opens 15th Store in SoCal

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Amazon Fresh Opens 15th Store in SoCal

A new Amazon Fresh grocery store opened in Huntington Beach, Calif., on June 2. Located at 6911 Warner Ave., the approximately 35,000-square-foot store marks the 15th Amazon Fresh location in southern California.

The Amazon Fresh has a wide assortment of national brands and high-quality produce, meat and seafood, as well as a range of prepared foods made fresh in store every day — from fresh-baked bread and made-to-order pizzas to rotisserie chickens and hot sandwiches. Also offered are local brands like Pizza Port Brewing, CoolHaus Ice Cream and Rockenwagner Bakery; regional favorites like Duke’s Mayo, Ellenos Yogurt and Boston Chowda; and Amazon-exclusive brands like Aplenty, Cursive and Fresh, including newly announced Fresh Plant-Based products.

The Huntington Beach store also features Just Walk Out shopping, which adds convenience to customers’ shopping experience by giving them the option to skip the checkout line.

To celebrate the Huntington Beach store’s grand opening, it is hosting festivities all weekend long including giveaways, free samples and special discounts on items. Customers can also take advantage of a coupon found in their weekly circular for $10 off an order of $20 or more for shopping trips made at the store until June 18. Customers may use the paper coupon at the Just Walk Out exit or at the traditional checkout.

Amazon Fresh accepts cash, SNAP/EBT, credit or debit card, or customers can use the In-Store QR code in the Amazon app. Customers shopping with Just Walk Out technology can use the In-Store QR code in the Amazon app, Amazon One, or an Amazon-linked credit or debit card to shop.

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. 

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06/02/2022

Skai Launches Retail Media Advertising With Kroger

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Skai Launches Retail Media Advertising With Kroger

Skai, an intelligent marketing platform, has revealed a first-to-market retail media integration with Kroger's network, Kroger Precision Marketing. Skai is among only three of the retailer's partners to be granted inaugural access to Kroger's application programming interface (API), empowering Skai clients with best-in-class activation coupled with purchase data from the grocer. 

Skai's unified platform offers advertisers cross-channel insights, streamlined workflows, automated actions and enhanced reporting fueled by comprehensive commerce intelligence using near-real-time data. In-house experts provide advertisers with the guidance, advice and best practices to leverage both Skai's and Kroger's data for maximum performance.

Early adopters are already achieving strong performance with product listing ads for both shopper retention and acquisition. "What Skai brings to the table for Kroger Precision Marketing is the ability to optimize and drive efficiency that we just don't have in the native platform," said Willy Blesener, senior director of retail media at Irvine, Calif.-based Advantage Solutions.

Kroger serves 11 million daily customers and more than 50% of American households. Ninety-six percent of all sales at the company are tethered to a loyalty card. Kroger Precision Marketing connects customers to brands to inspire purchases online or in-store. According to research by Kantar and Catalyst, Kroger Precision Marketing is a leader in ROI delivery for CPG brands.

"Given the meteoric rise of online grocery shopping over the last few years, our first-to-market Kroger integration will help advertisers reach their customers where they are," said Gil Sadeh, chief growth officer at Skai, which has its North American headquarters in San Francisco.

With almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

06/01/2022

Tops Hires Supply Chain Coordinator

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Tops Hires Supply Chain Coordinator

As supply chain issues remain top of mind in the industry, Tops Friendly Market is getting a new pro specializing in that area of business. Priscilla Repka is joining the company as supply chain coordinator for Tops’ Center Store.

In this role, Repka will work with merchandising teams, C&S, suppliers and the warehouse operation to ensure in-stock positions for all of its locations.

Before moving to Tops, she was a director at a national logistics company in New York. Repka also spent several years in operations management for a trucking company in the region.

Tops is continuing its hiring spree, seeking associates and professionals across several areas. More information on open positions is available at https://www.topsmarkets.com/Careers/.

Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Markets LLC operates 150 supermarkets, including five franchise stores, and employs more than 14,000 associates in New York, northern Pennsylvania and western Vermont. The banner’s parent company, Northeast Grocery Inc., is No. 44 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. 

06/01/2022

URM Foods Execs Receive NGA Spirit of America Award

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NGA Spirit of America Award URM Foods Teaser

National Grocers Association (NGA) President and CEO Greg Ferrara has presented NGA’s Spirit of America Award to Ray Sprinkle, president and CEO of Spokane, Wash.-based distributor URM Foods, and Mike McShane, URM’s VP of procurement and profit centers. The executives received the honor at the Washington Food Industry Association’s Connect! Meeting, in Tacoma.  

Since 1982, the Spirit of America Award has been presented to individuals who provide leadership in the areas of community service and government relations, and are committed to a free and independent food distribution system.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, industry leaders like Ray Sprinkle and Mike McShane have dedicated their time and expertise to tell our industry’s story to lawmakers, moving the needle towards solutions that benefit America’s independent community grocers,” noted Ferrara. “They have focused on urging lawmakers and federal agencies to enforce existing antitrust trust laws that protect independent grocers from anti-competitive tactics. NGA’s success toward reviving and enforcing the Robinson-Patman Act can be directly attributed to the hard work of industry leaders like Ray and Mike.”

“Mike and Ray’s efforts have been valuable during NGA’s efforts and strong voice over the last several years urging Congress and FTC to enforce antitrust laws and explaining how the supply chain works so that members of Congress and the public can understand this often complex issue,” added Chris Jones, SVP of government relations and counsel at Washington, D.C.-based NGA. “They told the story of how rural communities rely on their local independent grocers and the impact that the growth of power buyers has had on retailers, local communities and suppliers.” 

There have been more than 550 recipients of the NGA Spirit of America Award, including past U.S. presidents George Bush and Gerald Ford, former Vice President Dan Quayle, former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell, and former Speaker of the House Tom Foley. This past March, Randy Arceneaux,  president and CEO of Amarillo, Texas-based wholesaler Affiliated Foods, received the award for his efforts to advance antitrust reform, as well as the guidance he provided to independent grocers amid the pandemic.