News Briefs


Plant-Based Expert Joins All Y’alls Foods

Elysabeth Alfano

Plant-based company All Y'alls Foods is welcoming industry pro Elysabeth Alfano to its advisory board. The company behind such products as It’s Jerky Y’all and It’s Big Crunchy Bacony Bits Y’all will leverage Alfano’s expertise and experience as it works to scale and expand its brand.

A category investor, consultant and frequent media contributor, Alfano hosts her own talk show, “The Plant-Based Business Hour.” She is also the co-founder and CEO of VegTech Invest and the exchange trade fund (ETF) that includes 37 publicly traded plant-based, animal-free organizations.

"We are excited to add Elysabeth to our board of advisors and are grateful to have her on the team. She brings an energy, ability and passion to every interaction and her commitment to removing animals from the plate is one so perfectly aligned with All Y'alls mission," said Brett Christoffel, founder and CEO of the Texas-based All Y’alls Foods. Among other objectives, the company’s mission includes donating a portion of proceeds from each bag sold to the Rowdy Girl Sanctuary that helps rescued animals.


Southeastern Grocers Opens Up Annual Grant Program Fostering Racial Equity, Food Security

SEG winner pic

Southeastern Grocers and the SEG Gives Foundation are accepting applications for the Romay Davis Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity Grant. Nonprofit organizations can submit entries online now through Sept. 30.

The grant, named for Southeastern Grocers associate Romay Davis, supports groups that provide services to underserved populations throughout the retailers’ footprint in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Specifically, the program was created to foster a more equitable society by funding efforts to address racial disparities in health care, food insecurity and education.

The grants range from $5,000 to $25,000. Since the program was launched in 2020, Southeastern Grocers and the SEG Gives Foundation have bestowed $385,000 to 33 organizations and causes.

This year’s grant winners will be announced on Oct. 27 ahead of Davis’ 103rd birthday on Oct. 29. A Winn-Dixie associate, Davis served in the only all-Black Women Army Corps unit overseas and went on to become a multi-degree scholar at New York University. She worked in real estate and fashion before joining Winn-Dixie at the age of 80 in Montgomery, Ala. She was recently presented with the Silver Service Medallion by the National WWII Museum in New Orleans for service to her country in the Second World War.  

SEG has honored its distinguished employee in other ways. The SEG Gives Foundation is funding a $20,000 Three Star Student Leadership Academy Sponsorship, a scholarship that allows one student to attend The National WWII Museum's 2023 Student Leadership Academy for high school and undergraduate students.

Interested nonprofit groups can learn more and apply at

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers is one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the United States, with grocery stores, liquor stores and in-store pharmacies. Its banners include Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores. The company is No. 39 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


SocialShelf to Debut at Select Harris Teeter Stores

Harris Teeter Teaser

Fourteen Harris Teeter stores in the Charlotte, N.C., metro area will pilot A3 MediaCo LLC’s SocialShelf solution. The 90-day market test kicks off this month.

SocialShelf is an in-aisle and e-commerce consumer engagement tool that supplies shoppers with relevant information on smaller and midsize brands before they make their final buying decision. 

“Nothing is forced on the consumer or intrusive in any way,” explained Frank Gussoni, co-owner and CEO of Trooper, Pa.-based A3 MediaCo. “It’s on-demand and very social in nature. It’s not meant to be slick or salesy.”

The solution is an advertising resource that aims to build brand loyalty and allow smaller quality companies to compete with larger national brands while paying only for actual results. Retailers that use SocialShelf in their stores can gain greater insights on consumer shopping patterns as well as receiving additional consumer information. “The data provided to retailers using the service allows them to track customer flow, shopping behaviors and customer interests all on a daily or product basis” noted Gussoni.

SocialShelf was piloted in The Giant Co. stores in December 2021. The solution has also been executed in one of New Jersey’s largest chain alcohol locations, Bourbon Street Wine & Spirits. Currently, SocialShelf is in negotiations to introduce SocialShelf in the alcohol aisles of an as-yet-undisclosed “major retailer” in 150-plus stores across several states, beginning in the fourth quarter of 2022. 

Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Kroger Co., employs about 35,000 associates at 250 stores and 60 fuel centers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, Florida and the District of Columbia. 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. Carlisle, Pa.-based The Giant Co.'s parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA, is No. 10 on The PG 100. 


Erewhon Partners With Grand Wailea Resort

Grand Wailea Teaser

Upscale organic food market Erewhon has teamed up with luxurious Hawaiian resort Grand Wailea, located on the island of Maui, to bring exclusive resort benefits to enrollees in Erewhon’s newly expanded membership program and offer select Erewhon goods and offerings on the property. Grand Wailea is the first hotel partner in Erewhon’s membership program. 

“Much like Grand Wailea, Erewhon is more than just a place; it’s an elevated lifestyle destination and extraordinary community centered on world-class experiences and optimal well-being,” said JP Oliver, Grand Wailea’s managing director. “We strive to provide our guests the most thoughtfully curated, premiere wellness and nutrition options, and Erewhon’s offerings are second to none.”

The membership program provides such bespoke benefits as a point accrual program, and exclusive access to upscale brand offers and promotions. As a partner, Grand Wailea will offer a $100 resort credit per night booked, up to seven nights, as well as a complimentary one-category upgrade available for Erewhon members only. Later this year, Grand Wailea and Erewhon will release a limited-edition co-branded beverage inspired by the flavors of Maui for Erewhon Los Angeles locations.

Adding to the resort’s nutritious dining options, Grand Wailea will soon offer such Erewhon favorites as dried chili lime mango, spirulina popcorn and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies throughout the property. Further, gourmet takeaway outlet Café Kula and pop-up-style food truck Aloha Trick Pony will offer “Curated by Erewhon” menus with Toodaloo Trail Mix, French Squirrel protein bites and other popular items that can’t be purchased elsewhere in Hawaii. Grand Wailea and Erewhon will continue to build upon this partnership throughout 2022, with plans to roll out activations and promotions in Los Angeles and Hawaii later this year.

Erewhon is an independent family-owned market with seven locations across Los Angeles and three currently planned future locations in Beverly Hills, Culver City and Pasadena. 


Natural Grocers Launches Trailer Giveaway Program

Natural Grocers Launches Trailer Giveaway Program

As consumers embark on their personal health and wellness journeys, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc. is rolling out a new promotion to help them literally go on their way. The natural and organic retailer has teamed up with vitamin and mineral company Solaray in a giveaway contest with a customized Bean trailer as a prize.

The teardrop-shaped trailer, which can be easily paired with a small pickup truck or other type of vehicle, is a limited-time Solaray edition that’s valued at $22,300. Shoppers can enter to win by joining Natural Grocers’ free (N)power loyalty program and purchasing any two Solaray products in a single transaction between now and June 30. Loyalty members can also enter to win online.

In tandem with the giveaway, Solaray is offering a new line of High Potency Liposomal Multivitamins at Natural Grocers stores. The supplement uses advanced technology to form a “protective vehicle” around each nutrient for enhanced absorption and gentler digestion.

"All supplements Natural Grocers sells are made by Good Manufacturing Practices-certified manufacturers and approved by our quality assurance team to ensure they meet our unrivaled quality standards," said Heather Isely, EVP at Natural Grocers. "Solaray has been a trusted vendor with us since they were established in 1973. We value the relationship we have with this brand and can't wait to see which Natural Grocers {N}Power member wins this fabulous prize."

It's been a good year so far for Natural Grocers, which recently raised its outlook for the rest of fiscal 2022 and posted a 4.9% gain in net sales during the second quarter. Average comparable-store sales also rose 4.3% over the prior year.

Lakewood, Colo.-based Natural Grocers is No. 95 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the the top food and consumables retailers in North America


Cardenas Markets’ Westward Expansion Continues

Cardenas Markets Enters L.A. Metro Area

Cardenas Markets is widening its presence with the acquisition of six Rio Ranch Market stores in Southern California. The company announced that the locations in the cities of Chino, Banning, Fontana, Perris, Riverside and San Bernadino will be gradually integrated into Cardenas Markets operations, with no immediate changes during a transition period.

Rio Ranch was founded in 1983 and is known for its meat, produce, prepared foods, bakery and homemade tortillas, among other items. The stores also boast in-house cremerias and floral departments.  

For its part, Cardenas Markets has been in growth mode. In a bid to secure more e-commerce business, the independent grocer teamed with Uber Eats earlier this year to offer on-demand and scheduled grocery delivery at all of its stores and partnered with Instacart to offer SNAP/EBT payments via the Instacart website and app. As it expands its leadership roster with recent hires, the Hispanic grocer is also bolstering efficiencies by leveraging technologies, including a solution by WorkJam to equip front-line associates with streamlined communications and interactive task management capabilities.

“Cardenas Markets is stronger than ever, and this acquisition further solidifies the company’s position as one of the leading Hispanic supermarket chains in the country,” remarked Doug Sanders, chairman and CEO of Cardenas Markets. “As we look ahead, we will continue to identify strategic opportunities to grow our business, while providing a fresh and authentic shopping trip for our customers.”

The deal with Rio Ranch Market is expected to close in mid-July.

Ontario, Calif.-based Cardenas operates a total of 52 stores under the Cardenas banner and seven stores under the Cardenas Ranch Markets banner, making it one of the largest Hispanic grocery chains in the country, with stores in California, Nevada and Arizona.