News Briefs


Butterball Takes an Early Gander at Thanksgiving


It’s not too early to talk turkey. Butterball has released its outlook for Thanksgiving and confirms that while the pandemic is abating, this year’s holiday may be affected by other global factors.

According to the turkey brand’s new report, 90% of Americans are planning to celebrate Thanksgiving this year but recent high food inflation is spurring some to think more about costs. Nearly half (44%) of those planning to host the big meal this year say they are concerned about inflation, specifically at grocery stores (87%) and gas stations (75%).

To gather without blowing their food budget, 55% of respondents said they plan to shop for deals for parts of the meal. Those concerned about inflation cited other possible ways to curb food costs, like cooking more from scratch, making their celebration less formal or asking guests to bring a side dish. Only 8% of inflation-wary hosts say they might cut their guest list to keep a lid on costs.

"While people are eager to gather with friends and loved ones this Thanksgiving, we are seeing external factors like inflation that will influence the way people celebrate," said Rebecca Welch, director of retail brand marketing at Butterball. "But we also see celebrators planning to get creative with ways to cut costs that won't compromise a memorable Thanksgiving. We know people want to celebrate with a turkey at the center of the table, and as always, the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line is here to share its 41 years of Thanksgiving expertise."

On that note, the venerable Butterball Turkey Talk-Line will open for the year on Nov. 1, taking inquiries via traditional telephone calls as well as by text, online chat or Amazon’s Alexa service. Turkey remains the center of the Thanksgiving table, as Butterball’s latest report shows that 85% of hosts will serve turkey for the holiday and 90% plan to buy the same size bird or a larger one than last year.


Grand Union Aims to ‘Fill a Glass With Hope’

Grand Union American Dairy Association North East Logos Teaser

To stock local food pantries with fresh milk during Hunger Action Month in September, Grand Union stores in New York state and Vermont and American Dairy Association North East are teaming up to raise money through Fill a Glass With Hope. A joint effort between the association, dairy farmers, agriculture partners and business leaders, enables the program to provide fresh milk to needy families through a network of local food banks. Milk is one of the most requested items by families visiting food banks and is often one of the least donated.

The program will run on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from Sept. 4 through Sept. 24 at Grand Union locations in Owego, Peru, Cortland, Sherrill and Cooperstown, N.Y.; Rutland, Vt.; and Warrensburg, Watertown, Saranac Lake, Rome and Norwich, N.Y.

Based in North Syracuse, N.Y., and Philadelphia, American Dairy Association North East is the local affiliate of the National Dairy Council and the regional consolidation of three promotion organizations: the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council Inc., the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, and the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program. 

First foundedin 1916 and recently resurrected by C&S Wholesale Grocers, Grand Union was one of the first supermarkets in the United States. Today, there are 11 Grand Union stores in New York and Vermont. 

Founded in 1918 as a supplier to independent grocery stores, Keene, N.H.-based C&S Wholesale Grocers now services customers of all sizes, supplying more than 7,500 independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases and institutions with 100,000-plus products, in addition to operating corporate stores. The company is No. 16 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top retailers of food and consumables in North America.


Longo’s to Offer ‘Surprise Bags’ to Combat Food Waste

Too Good Teaser

To help curb food waste, Canadian grocer Longo’s is teaming up with surplus food marketplace Too Good To Go to offer consumers deep discounts on excess food that would otherwise go to landfills.  Longo’s customers can use the Too Good To Go app to buy “Surprise Bags” at various price points at each store location.

Filled with items across several grocery categories, the bags improve sustainability while providing real value to shoppers. One Surprise Bag is estimated to be the equivalent of 2.5kg of carbon dioxide emissions. While helping reduce food waste, consumers can score deals like getting $24 worth of food items for $7.99.

“Longo’s is leading the way, showing the importance of major retailers to take the issue of food waste as seriously as the problem demands,” said Sam Kashani, Too Good To Go’s country manager. “As the largest Canadian grocery store to join us in the fight against food waste, Longo’s joins more than 165,000 businesses across the world who have pledged to be part of the solution. We’re thrilled to partner with them and know that they will have a measurable impact on the future of food waste reduction in Canada.”

All 36 Longo’s stores will take part in the Too Good To Go program, which is used by thousands of retail and foodservice partners in 17 countries.  “Food waste is a global issue that cannot be ignored,” said Anthony Longo, president and CEO of Longo’s. “Partnering with Too Good To Go supports our goals to reduce emissions, contributes to our bold zero waste ambitions, and gets us closer to achieving our goal of reaching 90% landfill diversion by 2025.”

The family-run Longo’s operates stores in communities across Toronto and the Greater Toronto area as well as Grocery Gateway, which provides online sales of home-delivered groceries.



Meijer Brings Bagel Deli to Small-Format Outpost

Capital City Market

Meijer’s Capital City Market in downtown Lansing, Mich., is now home to the second location of local restaurant Goodfellas Bagel Deli. The bagel shop originally opened in 2019 near the market and specializes in unique and traditional bagel sandwiches made with fresh ingredients.

The retailer’s neighborhood market is a 37,000-square-foot location that focuses on bringing fresh food and value to customers in a market-like setting. Customers at Capital City Market can order at the deli and eat at the market’s café, and also purchase hot or cold grab-and-go sandwiches or bulk orders to go. The new Goodfellas outpost will also feature exclusive menu and convenience offerings.

“Identifying and cultivating local partnerships is part of the fabric that makes our small format stores so unique,” said Robert Lajcaj, Capital City Market store manager. “I’ve ordered sandwiches from Goodfellas numerous times over the years, and I’ve been continuously impressed with not only the quality of food but the attention given to their customers. I’m excited to see them grow within our store.”

“I really enjoy the team at Capital City Market and I’m looking forward to the new doors this partnership has already started to open for my business,” said Adrian Joseph, owner of Goodfellas. “We’ve done a good job of creating a really solid fan base, and now we’ll be able to do so much more.”

Privately owned Meijer operates more than 260 supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company is No. 20 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food retailers in North America.


DoorDash Gives DashMart an AI-Driven Boost

DashMart Teaser

DoorDash is partnering with software company Relex Solutions to implement the company’s artificial intelligence-driven supply chain planning solution to service DoorDash’s convenience-oriented DashMart locations. The Relex solution uses machine learning to create highly accurate forecasts that aim to optimize product availability at DashMart sites.

“We are excited to partner with DoorDash to automate and optimize forecasting and replenishment for their DashMart locations,” said Carlos Victoria, SVP sales Americas for Relex. “We look forward to working with DoorDash to continue driving accuracy and efficiency in their supply chain operations.”

San Francisco-based DoorDash also recently moved to end its partnership with Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart after more than four years. Sources familiar with the matter told Business Insider that DoorDash decided to end its partnership with the retailer because it was no longer mutually beneficial and because the delivery company wanted to focus on “its long-term customer relationships."


Food Lion Steps Up BOPIS Service

Food Lion Pickup

As shoppers’ fall schedules get busier and the holiday season looms, Food Lion is widening its curbside pick-up service to include 15 more locations in Tennessee, Georgia and North and South Carolina.

Between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., shoppers in those markets can order groceries online via the Food Lion to Go app and retrieve their items on the same day from the comfort of their own vehicle. Customers over the age of 21 can also purchase their beer and wine for pick-up, in areas where that kind of purchase is accepted.

The expansion of the Food Lion to Go program reflects the company’s efforts to meet shoppers’ needs, wherever they are. “We continue to offer Food Lion To Go at additional stores to help our customers spend more time on what matters most to them,” said Evan Harding, director of digital and e-commerce. “We want to give neighbors the option to shop however they prefer, in-store or online, while still ensuring they have access to fresh groceries at affordable prices.”

To mark the new service, Food Lion is offering free pickup for first-time users. Shoppers can also link their loyalty card to their online account for additional deals through digital coupons and rewards savings.

Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion has more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, and employs more than 82,000 associates. Its parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.