News Briefs


Smart & Final Launches Annual Campaign Supporting Pediatric Disease Research

City of Hope teaser

Smart & Final is kicking off its annual fundraiser benefiting City of Hope’s Kids 4 Hope program. From now through Sept. 6, shoppers at the grocer’s locations in California, Arizona and Nevada can donate to the cause.

City of Hope is an independent biomedical research center focusing on the treatment of cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Last year, the Smart & Final campaign led to a $450,000 donation to the Kids 4 Hope program.

“We are once again honored to partner with City of Hope to support their valuable, lifesaving research and treatments,” said Tinamarie Squieri, manager of the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation. “The Smart & Final Charitable Foundation takes great pride in our participation in the Kids 4 Hope campaign through the generous giving of Smart & Final’s associates and customers.”

Throughout the year, the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation assists nonprofit organizations with a focus on hunger relief, health and wellness, team sports and youth development, education, and disaster relief. In 2021, the Charitable Foundation raised almost $2 million to support 1,500 causes with the help of Smart & Final customers and associates.

Commerce, Calif.-based Smart & Final operates 254 locations, including larger-format stores under the Smart & Final Extra! banner that combine a warehouse-store format with traditional grocery offerings. The company was acquired in 2021 by Bodega Latina Corp., a subsidiary of Grupo Comercial Chedraui that is No. 40 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Amazon Ads Bestows Advanced Partner Status on Tinuiti

Tinuiti teaser

Amazon, which recently created an Amazon Ads advanced partner status to highlight top collaborators, has added Tinuiti to that list. One of the largest independent performance marketing firms across digital advertising and streaming, Tinuiti has a longstanding relationship with Amazon Ads and employs several former Amazon professionals.

Tinuiti reports that it achieved this designation because it demonstrated expertise in brand building and customer engagement on Amazon. “From becoming an initial member of Amazon Ads original partner directory in 2018 to beta testing the newest iteration of the Partner Network, Tinuiti has been a long-term and active participant in the thoughtful and collaborative process behind the program’s development,” explained Obele Brown-West, chief solution officer at Tinuiti. “We’re incredibly thankful for our ongoing relationship with Amazon Ads and for the opportunity to leverage cutting-edge innovation and the type of forward-thinking that truly affects change and moves the needle for our client brands.” 

As a partner, Tinuiti was one of the first agencies to use advertising technology around the Amazon Ads infrastructure, deploying its proprietary MobiusX technology to drive online sales. Last year, the company acquired an agency specializing in Amazon, Ortega Group, to create full-service programs for Amazon and marketplaces. In addition to working with Amazon, the company manages digital media with Google and Meta, among other clients. 

Amazon announced the new Amazon Ads global recognition program in April. The program has two status tiers, advanced and verified, based on information provided through its partner network.  

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.


Walmart+ Introduces Walmart Rewards

Walmart Ibotta Teaser

Walmart+ has introduced a new member perk that aims to deliver compounding value: Walmart Rewards, created as a new and easy way for Walmart+ members to earn additional savings toward future Walmart purchases.

Here’s how it currently works, as described by Chris Cracchiolo, SVP and general manager, Walmart+ in a blog post

• When members search for products on or the Walmart app, they’ll see an option to add rewards to hundreds of bestselling items, on top of Walmart’s everyday low prices.
• Members can bank the digital rewards in the Walmart wallet in the app and online and use them to save on future purchases in stores and online. The item-specific rewards, powered by the Ibotta Performance Network, are available exclusively for Walmart+ members.

“We’re focusing first on providing rewards on items purchased by our members, and over time, we’ll continue to expand the program to deliver new ways to earn rewards,” noted Cracchiolo.

There's no need to download a separate app or even enroll in the free Walmart Rewards. Members just sign into their Walmart+ account online or in the Walmart app, clip eligible rewards, buy the items and amass rewards. Whether they shop in-store or online, members can use digital offers to earn Walmart Rewards, redeeming the balance at checkout. Additionally, Walmart Rewards isn’t static, “opening the door to endless earning possibilities for members in the future,” according to Cracchiolo.

Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Coinme Offers 6 Additional Cryptocurrencies


Cryptocurrency cash exchange Coinmehas made available cash onramps to six additional cryptos – beyond Bitcoin – via Coinme-enabled Coinstar kiosks in the U.S. Chainlink, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, LumensandPolygon can now be purchased instantly using cash at more than 10,000 of the kiosks nationwide.

“Different coins serve different purposes, and we’re excited to continue serving our customers with a menu of coins representing approximately 70% of the total crypto market cap,” said Neil Bergquist, CEO and co-founder of Seattle-based Coinme. “Our partnership with Coinstar has allowed us to scale to 10,000 additional physical locations, providing instant cash onramps to crypto, which can be purchased and securely stored in the coinme wallet or sent to nearly any wallet globally.” 

[Read more: "Clarity on Crypto"]

Coinme-enabled Coinstar kiosks, conveniently located at grocery stores across the country, offer instant, affordable, simple and trusted transactions.

“Customers have asked us to make other coins available besides Bitcoin on Coinme-enabled Coinstar kiosks,” said Jim Gaherity, CEO of Bellevue, Wash.-based Coinstar, the global leader in self-service coin counting, with 24,000 kiosks in North America, Europe and Japan. “We want to make it easy for anyone, regardless of their familiarity with crypto, to get started with digital currencies with cash in their local grocery stores.”

Coinme is marking its multicoin listings with the Token of the Week Sweepstakes, providing the weekly opportunity for customers to win up to $5,500 in the featured crypto of the week. 


Carnivore Meat Names New VP of Sales

Nick Ebert

Carnivore Meat Co, a pet food manufacturer in Green Bay, Wisc., has named Nick Ebert as VP of sales. He will lead the company’s global sales efforts for both branded and co-manufacturing segments and focus on strategy and business development.

Ebert joins Carnivore, which specializes in ultra-premium branded, freeze-dried and frozen raw pet food, from SuppliesOnTheFly. At that division of Sysco, Inc., he spearheaded a total sales transformation and developed a go-to-market strategy for rapid growth. His background also includes sales management roles at various CPGs, including PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division and Altria, Inc.

“Nick’s impressive track record in building high performing sales groups combined with his ability to craft strategies will significantly strengthen our executive team as we embark on the next chapter of our company and its brands,” remarked Lanny Viegut, Carnivore’s CEO.

Ebert said he is looking forward to working at such a fast-growing organization. “Carnivore is positioned to be the leading manufacturer of premium freeze-dried raw pet products globally. Also, who doesn’t love helping pets?” he said.

Carnivore’s pet food brands include Nature's Advantage, Vital Essentials, Ve Raw Bar and Vital Cat, which are distributed to over 7,200 retailers in the U.S. and Canada, online including via Chewy and Amazon, and in 14 other international markets. The company also supplies co-manufacturing customers and provides private label products to several retailers.


Fairway Market in New York Is Converting to ShopRite Banner

ShopRite Logo Teaser

ShopRite has added to its footprint with a new location in Pelham, N.Y. The store at 847 Pelham Parkway is converting from a Fairway Market and undergoing a renovation to update its offerings and services.

The 75,000-square-foot should be refreshed by late fall, according to company information. The store will feature a full-service meat department, seafood department, from-scratch bakery, large produce area with an assortment of organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables, expansive deli and floral section, in addition to an array of center-store groceries. Grocery delivery is available through Instacart.

To mark the transition, ShopRite is offering customers its rewards card and promoting its store brands and low-priced items during this period of high food inflation.

"We couldn't wait to give our customers the value and variety of a ShopRite, which is why we have begun offering the ShopRite loyalty card and store promotions. The full store renovation will continue over the next several weeks," explained Bill Sumas, EVP, Village Super Market, Inc. “This new ShopRite will continue to showcase our commitment to the community to offer incredible value, quality and service to our shoppers. We thank our customers for their patience as we prepare the new store and look forward to sharing the ShopRite shopping experience with new and returning customers in Westchester County.”

Established in 1937 as a family business, Village Supermarkets is a Wakefern member and currently operates 30 ShopRite supermarkets throughout New Jersey, Maryland, New York City and eastern Pennsylvania, as well as four specialty markets under the Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market brands in Manhattan. 

Keasbey, N.J.-based retailer cooperative Wakefern, whose members operate more than 270 ShopRite supermarkets, comprises more than 40 members that independently own and operate 360-plus supermarkets. The company is No. 25 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 listing of North America’s top food and consumables retailers in North America.