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News Briefs

08/12/2022

BP Brings Ampm Banner to the East Coast

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Ampm

BP’s Ampm c-store chain is now bicoastal with the opening of a location in New York City. The store, at 824 Allerton Avenue in the borough of The Bronx, is the first of its kind on the East Coast and represents the company’s ambitious expansion plans: It aims to increase the number of strategic convenience sites from around 2,000 to 3,000 by the end of the decade.

The Bronx Ampm is based on the store model of Thorntons, the fuel and c-store banner acquired by BP last year. The space includes fresh fruit, groceries, nonfood items and a hot prepared food area.

"As BP transitions toward becoming a net-zero company, convenience will play a huge role in delivering our integrated strategy. The experience customers feel at our retail sites will be key to attracting them in and ensuring they return. Because New Yorkers are always on the go, the Empire State is a perfect fit for this expansion," said Dave Lawler, chairman and president of Houston-based BP America.

Added Greg Franks, SVP mobility and convenience, Americas: "This store sets the stage for us to maximize the large BP footprint along the East Coast.”

Currently, BP operates several retail models across the United States, spanning company-owned retail stores, strategic partnerships, brand licensing, wholesale, business-to-business, dealer-owned and franchise-owned locations.  

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08/12/2022

Former IBM Exec Joins Retail Business Services As Technology Chief

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Marty Wolfe

Retail Business Services, the services arm of Ahold Delhaize USA, has hired Marty Wolfe as its new CTO. Wolfe was previously the global CTO and VP of IBM's retail, CPG, logistics and travel industries.

“We’re pleased to welcome Marty to the team,” said Rom Kosla, EVP, IT and CIO at Retail Business Services. “His deep experience in retail and related industries, where he was responsible for driving digital transformation, will be valuable as we continue to transform IT for Ahold Delhaize USA companies.”

Continued Kosla: “As each of our companies continues to serve connected customers and drive aggressive omnichannel growth, the role of IT has never been more important. We look forward to Marty’s contributions as we continue our work to Evolve IT and enable Ahold Delhaize USA companies to thrive in an omnichannel world.”

“I’m excited to join the organization at this pivotal time for Ahold Delhaize USA companies,” said Wolfe. “Retail is rapidly changing, and technology is a differentiator that enables retailers’ abilities to compete. I look forward to supporting Retail Business Services in its Evolve IT journey, which is key in enabling Ahold Delhaize USA brands to win now and into the future.”

Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize operates more than 2,000 stores across 23 states and is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in the United States.

08/12/2022

Hy-Vee Expands Rollout of Self-Scanning Solution

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Hy-Vee Scan & Go Teaser

Hy-Vee has expanded its Scan & Go program that runs on FutureProof Retail (FPR)’s Mobile Checkout Platform to even more locations. The Midwestern grocer’s Scan & Go offering rolled out at select Des Moines, Iowa, locations last year and has since been implemented at several dozen Hy-Vee locations, with more in the pipeline.

FPR’s solution enables customers to scan items with their phones, pay in the app and exit the store after scanning a QR code on their way out. Shoppers can also weigh their own produce and scan a barcode on the scale screen. While shopping, customers can view their basket total at any time and bag items at once. The app also applies all deals, promotions, coupons and perks to the shopping basket.

According to Hy-Vee, Scan & Go provides additional convenience for time-pressed customers.

With FPR’s help, the grocer was able to set up the platform and integrate it with its existing systems in just a few months. FPR integrated its scan-and-go solution with Hy-Vee’s existing point-of-sale and promotion systems, permitting customers to amass Hy-Vee Fuel Saver Rewards and use digital coupons while shopping with the app.

“Hy-Vee set a new record in driving adoption at launch, especially in its new flagship stores,” noted Will Hogben, CEO of New York-based FPR. “Hy-Vee is a leading innovator in retail technology and new store formats, and we are thrilled to be their partner for new checkout technologies.” 

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.

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08/11/2022

Butter Buds Names New Applications Manager

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Butter Buds Names New Applications Manager

Butter Buds, Inc. is ramping up its R&D efforts with the hiring of David Anderson as applications manager. Working out of the company’s lab and test kitchen facility in Racine, Wis., he will help drive new ideas and innovations using the company’s real dairy ingredient across a variety of applications.

Anderson comes to the dairy and non-dairy concentrate supplier from Robert Half Management Resources. He has also served as president of Brew City Booch, a kombucha brewery in Milwaukee, and as an associate scientist and global product manager at Chr. Hansen/AS. He earned a master of business administration from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

[Read more: "Kroger Adds Innovative Dairy Production Line in Ohio"]

“David Anderson has been a welcome addition to the Butter Buds team,” said Michael Ivey, national sales director at Butter Buds. “Not only does David bring a wealth of application expertise, he also has an extensive background in both technical and commercial experience in the food industry. As applications manager, David combines his refined skillset in supporting business growth and new product development with his ability to build and improve upon customer relationships. All of these attributes make him an excellent asset to our team.”

08/11/2022

Bakkal Finds Its Niche as Last-Mile Platform for Small Ethnic Grocers

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Bakkal teaser

A last-mile delivery platform for ethnic foods has gotten a boost to expand its partnerships with independent grocers. Pleasanton, Calif.-based Bakkal Corp. recently received $3 million seed funding from new and existing vendors as it plans to expand its services, internal teams and marketing efforts.

Bakkal first rolled out its last-mile delivery platform in the Los Angeles area in late 2021 and entered the San Francisco region earlier this year. The company’s goal is to improve access to online grocery orders and deliveries from neighborhood ethnic retailers.

["Read more: "Multicultural Grocers Drive Sales by Catering to Increasingly Diverse America"]

"We believe small grocery stores are a key part of our community and culture. Consumers from diverse ethnic backgrounds have access to healthy and affordable food through these organizations. Ethnic grocery options deserve more than a tiny corner of the grocery store," said Founder and CEO Murat Karslioglu. "We are digitizing the ethnic grocery supply chain and making it easier for small local stores to source inventory. By helping high quality and international brands stock their products reliably at stores, we increase affordable food options."

According to company information, the latest infusion of capital has increased the company’s valuation to $20 million. The company operates offices in the U.S. in California, as well as in Istanbul, Kyrgyzstan and Tel Aviv.

08/11/2022

NGA Names ReposiTrak Its Exclusive Traceability and Compliance Partner

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Produce Section Teaser

To address the Food Safety Modernization Act and other compliance issues, the National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, has entered into a multiyear agreement with ReposiTrak to serve as NGA’s traceability and supplier compliance partner, in an effort to provide guidance, education and support for the independent wholesale and retail grocery community.

“Food safety is of paramount importance to independent grocers and their supplier partners,” noted Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NGA, adding that the organization’s “partnership with ReposiTrak is the latest in a series of ongoing initiatives to enhance value for our members by sharing best practices in an area that’s crucial to safeguarding the hard-earned trust that retailers and manufacturers have with consumers.”

[Read more: "Southeastern Grocers Expands its Diverse Supplier Program with ReposiTrak"]

Under the partnership, NGA will host online thought leadership content and share it across various platforms, including website, newsletters and email blasts, as well as through a webinar series. Additionally, ReposiTrak will take part in NGA events and offer a special rate for its services to NGA member companies.

The organization has committed to offering resources as indies adopt new technology and change processes to fully implement end-to-end traceability.

“NGA’s strategic partnership and support of the ReposiTrak Traceability Network is the first step toward industry-wide adoption of our easy and inexpensive solution that will improve food safety, enable faster and more precise recalls, and even usher in the potential for food waste reduction and better transparency for consumers,” said Randy Fields, chairman and CEO of Murray, Utah-based ReposiTrak, which is part of the Park City Group. “Through our more than two decades of work in the grocery supply chain, we’ve come to understand that traceability will be inherently good for the industry.”

NGA members interested in the ReposiTrak program can contact Derek Hannum at [email protected] or Jonathan Downey at [email protected].