News Briefs


CVS Chosen as Exclusive Retail Partner for Teal Pumpkin Project

Teal pumpkin

To make trick-or-treating safer and more inclusive for children with allergies, CVS Pharmacy is teaming up with the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) group. Through this partnership, CVS is the exclusive retail partner for FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project 2022.

The Teal Pumpkin Project is an annual effort that helps children with food allergies better navigate trick or treating. People can participate by placing a teal-colored pumpkin on their doorstep to show that they are handing out non-food goodies and food-allergy safe treats.

This Halloween season, CVS stores will offer nearly 50 food-allergy safe products across 4,500 stores, with select offerings available at The retailer will display in-store signage to help shoppers find such food and nonfood items and is offering on-demand video content and resources on its website.

“As consumers shop at CVS Pharmacy this Halloween season, we believe it is our responsibility to offer them safe and smart choices for their families, friends, and neighbors seeking allergy-friendly options,” said Brian Eason, VP of merchandising for CVS Health. “We know healthier happens together, and our partnership with FARE provides an opportunity to ensure Halloween is a more inclusive holiday, in addition to bringing awareness to the important mission of the Teal Pumpkin Project."

Added FARE’s CEO Dr. Sung Poblete:“The number of children with food allergies has risen dramatically over the past 20 years, and our Teal Pumpkin Project will be amplified this year through CVS’ ability to help parents and caregivers identify safe treats and reach even more children by making it easier to find these options at select store locations.” 

According to FARE, one in 13 children in the U.S. lives with food allergies and many others are impacted by food intolerances.

With its CVS Pharmacy subsidiary operating almost 10,000 locations nationwide, Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health is No. 7 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America


Fareway Opens 1st Stand-Alone Meat Market in Minnesota

Fareway Ribbon Cutting in Luverne

After releasing plans to renovate a former W-2’s Quality Meats store in May, Fareway Stores Inc. held a ribbon-cutting ceremony this week for the new Fareway Meat Market, in Luverne, Minn. Located at 220 West Main Street, the renovated 2,300-square-foot store is the first stand-alone Meat Market in Minnesota.

“We are excited for this first Fareway Meat Market in Minnesota,” said Fareway President Garrett S. Piklapp. “Thanks to local city and economic development officials and property owners for helping make this project possible. We look forward to serving and becoming an integral part of the community.”

Managed by Market Manager Brian Tieskotter, the new Fareway Meat Market provides high-quality meat with a full-service butcher counter. The new location also offers main-course options, a variety of sides, regional items and more.

Fareway has been in growth mode this year. It recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new store to be located at 8606 NE 85th in Kansas City, Mo. The location will house an approximately 8,700-square-foot Fareway Meat Market, which is expected to be complete in early spring 2023. In August, the company also agreed to purchase the existing 20,000-square-foot Brick Street Market and Café, in Bondurant, Iowa. Fareway and Brick Street Market plan to finalize the purchase and transition in early 2023.

Family-owned Fareway employs more than 12,000 associates at its more than 120 stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota. The Boone, Iowa-based company is No. 77 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


WinCo Gets in on EV Charging

WinCo teaser

Drivers of electric vehicles (EVs) in the Las Vegas area can stop at a local WinCo to power up before they hit the road again. The retailer has partnered with the EVgo network to add a fast-charging EV station at its store located at 6101 N. Decatur Blvd.

According to the collaborating companies, this is the first EVgo public fast-charging spot in Nevada for WinCo Foods. The area includes four stalls with 350kW and 100kW chargers, which are compatible with all fast-charge-capable EVs on the market. Drivers can charge their EVs using a credit card, the EVgo app or an EVgo program card called Autocharge+.

“WinCo is happy to play our part in the reduction of carbon emissions in our operating areas. We hope the charging station at our Las Vegas store becomes a destination for EV users and can help encourage others to make the change,” remarked WinCo spokesperson Noah Fleisher.

According to Jonathan Levy, chief commercial officer at EVgo, Las Vegas is a hotspot for EVs. “We know that accelerating EV adoption there and across the country requires driver confidence in reliable and convenient public fast charging infrastructure,” he said. “WinCo and EVgo recognize that adding EVgo fast chargers to WinCo’s Las Vegas store is a win-win-win for all of us, including drivers and shoppers. We look forward to growing our footprint with WinCo Foods in key markets across the West.”

Following this installation, EVgo is planning to add fast-charging stations to other WinCo locations, including stores in California, Texas, Arizona, Washington, Oregon and Utah.

WinCo is an employee-owned company based in Boise, Idaho, that employs more than 20,000 individuals and operates 138 stores in the states of Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California, Oregon, Arizona, Utah, Oklahoma, Montana and Texas. The company is No. 45 on the PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Walmart Rolls Out New Way to Give Back With Spark Good Program

Walmart Spark Good_teaser

Walmart is looking to encourage collective action to support communities nationwide through its new Spark Good initiative.

According to Walmart Foundation’s Julie Gehrki, the program brings a robust suite of giving resources to one convenient location on, providing easy access to programs and tools for nonprofits while empowering customers and associates to rally support for the causes that matter most to them. Two specific programs are making giving easier for customers while also making receiving easier for public charities. They include: 

• Spark Good Round Up: Customers can round up their purchase total and donate their change to the charity of their choice at checkout on and Walmart app year-round. Whereas most round up programs enable customers to give to a pre-determined nonprofit partner, Spark Good Round Up allows customers to choose the organization they want to support.

• Spark Good RegistryJust like a baby or wedding registry, nonprofits can create and manage registries for products they want and need making it easier for customers to ensure their giving supports areas that will make the greatest impact. Nonprofits can now send charitable receipts and thank their donors all through Spark Good.

An impact dashboard will be available for customers to see how Walmart and others in their community are supporting charities. The retailer is offering a $50 gift card to the first 2,500 local public charities that become verified on the Spark Good platform or enroll in Spark Good Round Up.

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 Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. 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.


Lidl Cuts Prices for Fall

Lidl Price Cuts

As the pace of food inflation continues to climb into record territory, Lidl US is offering some relief to budget-conscious shoppers. The grocer announced new rotating price cuts on more than 100 items offered in all of its American stores.

The price-drop promotion will begin on Sept. 28 and continue throughout the fall. Items up for rotating discounts range from ready-to-cook meals to dessert indulgences to pantry staples. Examples of featured products include Stone Oven Margherita Pizza selling for $4.45, premium extra virgin olive oil vinaigrettes for $3.59, wheat biscuits for $1.29 and mini mix frozen dairy dessert bars for $4.49, among dozens of others.

"We recognize that inflation and rising food prices are impacting many families and we hope to give more relief through this fall price-cutting campaign," said Stefan Schwarz, chief product officer and EVP of purchasing for Lidl US. "We are committed to offering all of our customers the best value in our stores every day, and we continue to invest in additional ways for customers to save money when we know it matters most.”

As it slashes prices, Lidl continues to expand its U.S. operations. This summer, the global retailer opened its first location in Baltimore and welcomed shoppers to a new Long Island store. Another Lidl is set to open in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 2024.

Neckarsulm, Germany-based Lidl operates around 12,000 stores and is active in 32 countries, employing more than 360,000 employees globally. With U.S. headquarters in Arlington, Va., the grocer operates about 170 stores in nine East Coast states. Lidl US is No. 89 on the PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


New Grocery E-Carts Roll Off General Motors’ Line

General Motors e-cart

General Motors is getting into the grocery cart business – or at least the e-cart business. The company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, BrightDrop, has unveiled a temperature-controlled e-cart called Trace Grocery that optimizes digital pickup and fulfillment.

BrightDrop, which offers a portfolio of electric vehicles, smart containers and software for last-mile deliveries, has spent the past year or so refining the e-cart prototypes and technologies. Following a successful pilot program at two locations in Kentucky, The Kroger Co. will soon begin using Trace Grocery in its e-commerce operations.

[Read more: "Kroger Continues Southern Push With Alabama Spoke Facility"]

“COVID has driven a dramatic increase in online grocery shopping, and fulfilling these orders profitably has become a major challenge for retailers of all sizes. With the Trace Grocery, we saw an opportunity to help companies like Kroger tackle these challenges head on,” said Travis Katz, president and CEO of California-based BrightDrop. “As online shopping continues to grow, BrightDrop is committed to developing innovative solutions to help our customers keep pace. The Trace Grocery is a perfect example of this.”’

Trade Grocery streamlines and expedites fulfillment by allowing store associates to put orders directly into the unit before stationing it curbside for customer pickup. Shoppers can access their orders, then, without having an employee present, helping stores maximize labor.

Capable of storing 350 pounds of groceries in up to nine compartments, the e-cart can be easily navigated inside and outside a store and includes features like auto-breaking and weatherproofing. Items can stay in the unit at food-safe temperatures for up to four hours.

According to BrightDrop, full-scale availability of Trace Grocer is expected in 2024. The company is also working on advanced customizable capabilities.

General Motors created BrightDrop in 2021 as a one-stop shop ecosystem for the delivery and logistics industry.