News Briefs


NASRC Launches Refrigerant Transition Hub

 free refrigerant transition hub

The North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC), a 501(c)(3) environmental nonprofit working to advance climate-friendly natural refrigerants in supermarkets, has published a free refrigerant transition hub to help retailers navigate regulation changes implemented by the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act. Enacted in 2020, the AIM Act authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to phase down hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant greenhouse-gas emissions by 85% by 2036.

“HFC regulations from the AIM Act and several states are pressuring retailers to transition to climate-friendly refrigerants,” said Danielle Wright, executive director of Mill Valley, Calif.-based NASRC. “Retailers need neutral information to help them make the right decisions. NASRC works in partnership with the supermarket industry, so we are uniquely positioned to identify the gaps in available resources.”

The federal phasedown of HFCs is expected to result in refrigerant shortages and significant price increases. In Europe, refrigerant prices increased by 900% following a similar HFC phasedown. Also, new legislation introduced in states such as California has proposed to ban the sale and distribution of virgin HFC refrigerants as early as 2025, further driving the need for natural refrigerant solutions.

[Read more: “Tried and True Refrigerant Solutions”]

NASRC will continue to evolve the hub as state and federal governments pass new legislation. Some of the resources available now include:

 HFC Policy Tracker: An interactive map to aid retailers in navigating the complex system of regulations by tracking the latest policies at the federal and state levels.

 Natural Refrigerants in Supermarkets Factsheet: An overview of why natural refrigerants in supermarkets are one of the most impactful and cost-effective climate solutions.

 Nat Ref Tech Library: A comprehensive collection of presentations on the latest natural refrigerant technologies.


Hy-Vee Amber Specialty Pharmacy to Dispense 13 Pfizer Oncology Drugs

Oncology Teaser

Hy-Vee subsidiary Amber Specialty Pharmacy has revealed that it will begin dispensing 13 Pfizer oncology medications. The pharmacy’s comprehensive service model supports patients, caregivers and oncology specialists throughout the U.S., and its Oncology Center of Excellence aims to provide an enhanced level of care throughout a patient’s treatment journey. 

The Pfizer portfolio of oncology drugs now supported by Amber Specialty Pharmacy is as follows: Besponsa (inotuzumab ozogamicin), Bosulif (bosutinib), Braftovi (encorafenib), Daurismo (glasdegib), Ibrance (palbociclib), Inlyta (axitinib), Lorbrena (lorlatinib), Mektovi (binimetinib), Mylotarg (gemtuzumab ozogamicin), Sutent (sunitinib malate), Talzenna (talazoparib), Vizimpro (dacomitinib) and Xalkori (crizotinib).

Amber Specialty Pharmacy is licensed to ship prescription medication to all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Accredited by the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission and the Accreditation Commission for Health Care, Amber Specialty Pharmacy provides personalized support and quality clinical care to patients and families. The pharmacy is based in Omaha, Neb., with an additional 18 locations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Its parent company, employee-owned Hy-Vee, operates more than 285 retail stores across eight Midwestern states and 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.


Premier Foods USA Appoints VP, Head of Sales

Premier Foods USA Billy Henshaw Teaser

Billy Henshaw has been named VP, head of sales for Premier Foods USA, the American arm of U.K. company Premier Foods. As part of the company’s investment and commitment to the U.S. market, Henshaw will focus on supporting the stateside rollout and expansion of U.K. cake brand Mr Kipling.

Henshaw comes to his new position with more than 20 years of sales, marketing and category experience. He previously held other sales leadership roles in the in-store bakery channel, working for such entities as Sugar Bowl Bakery, Sara Lee Frozen Bakery, Hostess Brands and CSM Bakery. Before that, Henshaw held other management roles within such organizations as Walmart, F3 Brand and Outdoor cap.

Meanwhile, Mr Kipling is expanding its offerings in the U.S. with the arrival of its popular limited-edition Unicorn Slices at Target stores. The product offers smooth slices of pink and yellow sponge cake sandwiching a vanilla flavor filling, topped with purple icing and a pink drizzle, and comes in colorful packaging.

“We’re excited to broaden our appeal and offer something special, following our successful launch into the U.S. this year,” noted Diana Horwitz, U.S. Country Manager for Premier Foods. “These fun seasonal slices have been a hit in the U.K. and Australia, and we think they will bring just as much joy to American families!”


Schuman Cheese Gets New CEO

Schuman Cheese Steve K Snyder Teaser

Steve K. Snyder has become the new CEO of Fairfield, N.J.-based Schuman Cheese.

We are excited to welcome Steve to the Schuman Cheese family and plan to work closely to build on the company’s successes while staying true to the core values that have guided us these last 75 years,” said Neal Schuman, third-generation leader and previous CEO, who has transitioned to the new role of chairman of the board, in which capacity he will continue to support Schuman Cheese’s growth. “Steve brings us a fresh vision for the company’s continued success and expansion trajectory. I am confident that his experienced leadership, know-how and clear strategic perspective will be pivotal to our next phase of growth.” 

Snyder has led companies in the cheese, food and other industries to create and implement growth strategies, develop leadership talent, and drive business and organizational development. He brings to his latest role a leadership background in startup, middle-market and large-company settings across food, nutrition, pharma, food safety, biotechnology, agriculture and specialty chemicals.

His most recent full-time role was president and CEO of Whitehall Specialties Inc., a Wisconsin-based processed and plant-based cheese manufacturer where he created and launched the NewFields plant-based cheese division. He was also president and COO of the food and animal safety company Neogen and spent 13 years at Cargill, where he and his team launched Truvia natural sweetener and other nutritional and sustainable products. Snyder has also held various roles at Monsanto and a number of boards of directors’ positions in the food, agriculture, biotech, software and health sectors. 

"The company’s [Schuman Cheese] history of caring for its employees and the communities in which it operates is inspirational," said Snyder. "It’s that dedication to our team and our customers to operate with integrity and innovative spirit that will remain a guiding light in this next chapter of growth.”

Schuman Cheese’s products include its flagship brand Cello, Delve chocolate truffles and plant-based Vevan Foods


Giant Food Celebrates Another Grand Re-Opening in Maryland

Silver Spring, MD, Giant Food

Giant Food is ready to cut the ribbon on its latest location at 12028 Cherry Hill Road in Silver Spring, Md., which replaces the Giant store located at 11701 Beltsville Drive in nearby Beltsville. The 65,000-square-foot supermarket will open Friday, Aug. 5, and will include full meat and seafood service, an expanded gourmet cheese selection and extensive prepared food offerings.

The location employs Giant’s latest store configuration and will also have free Wi-Fi, a Starbucks cafe, full-service floral and deli departments, and a Giant Pharmacy. It marks the fourth grand re-opening of Giant Food stores across Maryland and Virginia.

"Giant Food has been serving the Silver Spring community since 1958 and we are pleased to bring this new store that will provide a fresh space for everyone to enjoy," said Ira Kress, president of Giant Food. "The new store is designed to bring the best products and value to the community while continuing to offer top-notch service to new and existing customers."

Based in Landover, Md., Giant Food operates 164 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia, with approximately 20,000 associates. Included within the 164 stores are 152 full-service pharmacies, 83 full-service PNC Banks and 26 Starbucks locations. Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America


Smarter Sorting Receives $7M Investment to Help Retailers Reduce Environmental Impact

Smarter Sorting Receives $7M Investment

Regeneration.VC, the early-stage venture capital fund known for supercharging consumer-powered climate innovation, has closed a $7 million investment in its newest portfolio company, Smarter Sorting. This capital comes as an extension to the recent $25 million investment round led by G2 Venture Partners earlier this year.

Smarter Sorting ensures that products stocked on retailers' shelves move quickly, compliantly and sustainably throughout the supply chain. The data company's proprietary technology can classify 2 million consumer products across 3,500-plus data points and 150 million chemical compounds. By providing new data and insights to retailers and the brands they sell, Smarter Sorting ensures that products are safely handled, the environmental impact of the supply chain is minimized, fines are avoided and goods are diverted into the most environmentally friendly waste stream.

The company also maximizes donations to food pantries. Its product intelligence platform increases the volume and pace of donations from  food retail partners into the hands of Feeding America's network of food banks for goods that can't be sold but can be donated, such as fresh produce, meat and dairy.

"Smarter Sorting is focused on using data and computing for a better world, and we are so excited to work alongside Regeneration.VC to help scale our environmental impact on making, marketing and moving consumer products more responsibly across the supply chain," said Jacqueline Claudia, CEO of Smarter Sorting, which has offices in Boulder, Colo.Austin, Texas; and Los Angeles.

The additional investment will help the company further build out its team, digital products and data platform. Smarter Sorting's technology is currently employed at major retailers such as Costco, Albertsons and Wegmans.

"Smarter Sorting's approach sheds much needed light on the chemical composition in our everyday consumer products and can lead to better product formulation, more circular pathways for waste streams, [and] reduced emissions in shipping and handling of regulated products … all [of which enable] vital positive outcomes in the CPG and retail spaces," said Michael Smith, general partner at Los Angeles-based Regeneration.VC.