Sprouts Farmers Market is lending support to women’s athletics by sponsoring games and activities at colleges across its footprint. The grocer announced this week that it is teaming up with Arizona State University, the University of California-Los Angeles, the University of Southern California and the University of Texas.
Sprouts will sponsor season-long activities and entitlement games at these institutions. In addition, the retailer will sponsor one female student-athlete from each university.
“Through these partnerships, and after celebrating the anniversary of Title IX, we pledge to continue to empower and educate women’s health and performance, bringing fresh and nutritional food options to them on and off the playing field,” said Sprouts CEO Jack Sinclair. “We’re also proud to align our brand with talented, hard-working female student-athletes at these four outstanding universities.”
Earlier this year, Sprouts shared other details of its long-term investment in women’s athletics. Commitments include partnerships with the Big 12 and Pac-12 conferences and the support of 50 individual Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) agreements with female athletes from several schools in those conferences. The grocer also partners with Angel City FC, a professional women’s soccer team based in Los Angeles.
The Honest Kitchen, a San Diego-based producer of natural human- grade pet foods, supplements and treats, has successfully completed the evaluation process to become a Certified B Corporation, the gold standard of social and environmental performance in business. The company reincorporated as a Public Benefit Corp. in early 2021.
"We've been grounded in the principles of conscientious decision-making, such as sourcing non-GMO produce, numerous organic ingredients and higher animal welfare meat standards, since we first began," said Lucy Postins, The Honest Kitchen's founder and chief integrity officer. "We believe it's our responsibility to continue to raise the bar for ourselves, and becoming a B Corp is the perfect next step to cement our ongoing commitment to lasting, positive impact by using our business as a force for good."
Becoming a Certified B Corp provides the company with a more formalized framework for its future growth and conscientious decision-making. Policies that the company has implemented as part of its B Corp certification include the prioritization of minority and women-owned and -operated suppliers; increased local sourcing; further reductions in environmental impact through packaging and distribution choices; tracking and continual improvement of workforce diversity, especially at leadership levels within the organization; further improved animal welfare standards; and integration of even more organic and certified fair- trade ingredients.
The Honest Kitchen produces a full line of human-grade complete and balanced foods for pets, including dry, dehydrated and wet foods, as well as treats, toppers, hydration boosters and a digestive supplement.
Alaska Seafood Casts Wider Digital Net With New Partnership
In an effort to reel in more online seafood sales, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) is teaming up with ad platform Chicory. Through this partnership, ASMI and Chicory will provide consumers with ideas on how to choose, order and prepare meals made with wild Alaska seafood.
ASMI will leverage Chicory’s suite of in-recipe commerce solutions to engage with online browsers and shoppers. Over the next several months, all of the recipes on alaskaseafood.org will feature Chicory's "Get Ingredients" button that links visitors directly to retailers’ sites. In addition, ASMI will be able to work through Chicory’s recipe network to reach 110 million additional high-intent shoppers each month.
"We're on a mission to help home cooks easily prepare delicious, wild Alaska seafood," said Megan Rider, ASMI’s domestic marketing director. "Chicory makes this simple, which is why they are our premier partner in our new era of digital growth. Together, through our recently launched Seafood Recipe Finder and Chicory's extensive network, we're providing seamless shopping experiences and making Alaska seafood more accessible to the everyday consumer."
Added Yuni Sameshima, Chicory's CEO and co-founder: "In leveraging our full suite of solutions, the ASMI team is exceeding benchmarks, driving site engagement and bolstering the sales of Alaska seafood. The results from the partnership are further validation of the power of in-recipe, contextual commerce advertising."
The Juneau, Alaska-based ASMI recently expanded its digital recipe portfolio and updated its website. For its part, Chicory’s recipe network has more than tripled over the last few months, growing from 1,600 to 5,200 websites.
Grocers Spotlight Producers, Organizations for Hispanic Heritage Month
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, both Target Corp. and FreshDirect are showcasing Hispanic vendors and their products. Tops Friendly Markets, meanwhile, is giving donations to several organizations within its footprint that support Hispanic culture.
Target’s featured collection of more than 90 products across multiple categories was created in partnership with Latino artists, businesses and Target team members. Each item was selected or designed to pay homage to the rich heritage and diversity of Latino culture, including food items such as grain-free tortilla chips from Siete, Concina54’s gluten-free empanadas and more.
Online grocer FreshDirect is also showing appreciation for its Hispanic vendors on its website. Featured products include desserts from Gina’s Paticceria, tortillas from Vista Hermosa, cured foods from New York City-based Charlito’s Cocina and more.
Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops and its vendor partners are showing their support with donations to several local organizations, including Grupo Cultural Latinos en Rochester, La Liga, Hispanos Unidos de Buffalo and Putnam Cap.
Rite Aid Corp. has promoted VP of Financial Accounting Steve Bixler to be the company’s new chief accounting officer. Bixler will step into the role on Jan. 13, 2023, following the retirement of Brian Hoover, who has held the role for the past three years during his 27 years with Rite Aid.
“We look forward to a seamless transition and the leadership Steve will bring as we continue our journey toward a modern full-service pharmacy company,” said Schroeder. “We are grateful for Brian’s many years of service and dedication to our company, and wish him a well-deserved retirement.”
Bixler has held accounting roles at Rite Aid for the past 21 years and was promoted to his current role as VP in 2020. He joined Rite Aid as an inventory specialist immediately after earning his bachelor’s degree from Juniata College, in Huntingdon, Pa., in 2001.
Foodservice distributor US Foods Holding Corp. has completed the expansion of its distribution center in Marrero, La. Now nearly triple its former size, the facility houses a full assortment of broadline items, a full-service demonstration kitchen and training center to support culinary innovation, and an interactive technology center where US Foods customers can learn about the company’s web-based business solutions. US Foods acquired Marrero-based F. Christiana in 2017 and began expanding the distribution center two years later.
In line with the company’s commitment to reducing the environmental footprint of its operations, the facility expansion meets Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification sustainability requirements. Among the eco-friendly improvements at the facility are energy-efficient refrigeration systems, energy-saving LED lighting, optimized HVAC systems and water-efficient landscaping.
“This is an important milestone for our growing Louisiana team as we continue to partner with local foodservice operators who support our vibrant and thriving New Orleans community,” said US Foods Market VP Dan Hildreth. “We value our role in helping our local restaurants ‘Make It’ with our differentiated and expanded resources and services, and look forward to serving additional markets with our growing service footprint.”
The company plans to host an official grand-opening celebration in November for area customers, vendors and community members. The event will include facility tours and culinary demonstrations.
US Foods works with about 250,000 restaurants and foodservice operators. With more than 70 broadline locations and 80-plus cash and carry stores, the Rosemont, Ill.-based company and its 28,000 associates provide customers with a broad, innovative food offering and a comprehensive suite of e-commerce, technology and business solutions.