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News Briefs

10/12/2022

Online Prices Down in September, But Groceries Still Up

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Online Shopping Teaser

While online prices decreased year-over-year in September, grocery prices continued a steady march upward, according to the latest Adobe Digital Price Index. Overall e-commerce prices have been up and down throughout the summer, and did experience a 0.8% increase compared to prices in August.

Adobe’s index tracks online prices across 18 categories, and saw e-commerce enter deflation for the second time since July, following 25 months of rising prices. According to Adobe, the year-over-year decrease in September has been driven by price declines for computers and electronics.

[Read more: "Is Grocery Poised to Gain More E-Comm Share This Holiday Season?"]

Meanwhile, prices for food have remained high, with grocery prices rising 14.3% year-over-year, or 0.8% for the month. This represents the largest increase of any category tracked, and another record year-over-year high.

September also brought price increases for 11 of the 18 categories tracked, including pet products, home improvement and apparel. Price drops were seen in seven categories, including electronics, jewelry, books, toys, flowers/related gifts, computers and sporting goods.

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10/12/2022

Natural Grocers Celebrates Non-GMO Month in Fall

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Natural Grocers Non-GMO Month Teaser

To mark Non-GMO Month in October, Natural Grocers, is inviting customers to stock up on autumn favorites with super savings, doorbuster deals, free samples and more. 

Through Oct. 29, shoppers can save up to 60% off prices on select products in every department. Additionally, all month long, Natural Grocers will provide education on GMOs. Customers can expect weekly non-GMO recipes, statistics and information in support of non-GMO products, plus a social media giveaway. Natural Grocers will also offer three days of super savings, Oct. 13-15.

As part of these super savings, the first 150 shoppers on Oct. 13 at each store will receive a free snack-size bag of Natural Grocers Brand Organic Popcorn; customers can enter for a chance to win a $500 Natural Grocers gift card; and shoppers will receive discounts of up to 40% on popular products.

Further, members of {N}power, Natural Grocers’ free loyalty program, will receive exclusive discounts, rewards, benefits and other members-only features on Oct. 13-15and beyond. These include one free Natural Grocers Brand Organic Snack Pack, per customer, while supplies last; daily doorbuster deals on select customer- favorite products, which will be autoloaded to their {N}power account;10% off in-store alcohol purchases at participating locations; and the ability to feed a family of four a stir-fry meal for less than $14 through a Natural Grocers good4u Meal Deal.

During its recently reported third quarter, Natural Grocer’s net sales increased $7.7 million, or 3.0%, to $266.3 million, compared with the year-ago, due to a $6.4 million increase in comparable-store sales and a $2.1 million increase in new-store sales. The company attributed the increase primarily to retail price inflation, customers’ response to pandemic trends, marketing initiatives, promotional campaigns and increased{N}power engagements. 

With 164 stores in 21 states, Lakewood, Colo.-based Natural Grocers is No. 95 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

10/12/2022

Sifter Hires VPs of Retail Sales, Data Management Sales

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Sifter Johnson Billings New Hires Teaser

Sifter SP Inc. has hired two new sales VPs, David Johnson and Kevin Billings. The additions to the company’s leadership team will support Sifter’s continued growth in bringing advanced shop-by-diet technology to the market.

David Johnson (left in image), the newly appointed VP of retail sales, brings to his latest role more than 10 years of experience working with retail technology to scale and develop results-oriented optimization tools for grocers. At Stor.ai, where he was sales director leading sales initiatives in North America, Johnson helped the company become a market leader in grocery e-commerce and fulfillment solutions. 

Kevin Billings, the new VP of data management sales, brings to the position four-plus years of data and technology sales experience as the former national director - health and wellness retail sales with Label Insight/NielsenIQ. Billings also spent eight years with the American Heart Association, where he was the national director for the Heart-Check Certification program.

“We are very excited and pleased to have both David and Kevin join the Sifter team,” said Andrew Parkinson, co-founder and CEO of Chicago-based Sifter. “Their critical understanding of the importance of accurate and trusted data inside any in-store or online platform making dietary recommendations, as well as Sifter’s ability to dynamically serve trusted product results based on a person’s personal and often complex diet, will help strengthen the company’s footprint and strategy.” 

Sifter’s nutrition-as-a-service technology gives retailers and health-oriented companies the ability to offer consumers a fast, scientifically accurate way to find foods that match their unique dietary preferences and food-avoidance needs. The company recently secured a $5 million series seed round to ramp up growth of its platform and the rollout of Sifter Retailer Solutions.

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10/11/2022

National Co+op Grocers Adds 3 Members

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South Philly Food Co-Op Sign Teaser

The board of National Co+op Grocers(NCG), the business services cooperative for retail food co-ops nationwide, has approved three new members. These additions expand NCG to 151 member co-ops operating more than 200 storefronts in 38 states, with combined annual sales of nearly $2.4 billion.

The three co-ops are as follows:

SHARE Cooperative - Harvest Market, based in Winston-Salem, N.C.,began in the spring of 2015 as a faith-based response to boost access to healthy food for low-income residents. The co-op’s principal goal is to provide service and assistance to its entire community while promoting inclusivity. Incorporated in 2018, SHARE Co-Op plans to open a grocery store, Harvest Market, in October 2022.

Potsdam Consumer Co-op, based in Potsdam, N.Y., began as a buying club in 1972. After opening its first retail store in 1973, the co-op offers local foods from more than 75 vendors and is currently working on a campaign to expand and continue to meet the needs of its 1,100-plus member-owners.

South Philly Food Co-op, based in Philadelphia, first began organizing in April 2010 and opened its store in December 2020. The food co-op offers fresh, local foods at fair prices and serves as a hub for the South Philly community. 

“We’re excited to have these three co-ops join NCG, as they proudly represent key moments in the retail food co-op movement in the United States,” said C.E. Pugh, CEO of Saint Paul, Minn.-based NCG. “Potsdam Consumer Co-op has endeavored for half a century, born out of desire to access natural and organic foods, while SHARE Co-op and South Philly Food Co-op are more recent, created by community-minded residents to support their cherished neighborhoods. We welcome these co-ops to NCG and look forward to continued collaboration.”

10/11/2022

Gimme Gets New Head of Strategy

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Dan O'Brien Gimme

Gimme announced that it has brought on an industry veteran as its new chief strategy officer. Dan O’Brien, with several years’ experience in the vending, warehouse distribution and unattended retail sectors, is joining the company to drive strategic alignment between products and the company’s partners.

O’Brien comes to Gimme from Burch Food Services, where he served as director of sales for the past 16 years and led his team through the transition of vending markets. He is a member of the Canteen Franchise Markets and Technology Advisory Council and earned a bachelor of business administration degree in finance from the University of Texas at Austin.

"Dan is a proven leader in our industry," said Cory Hewett, Gimme's co-founder. "His in-depth knowledge and experience will strengthen Gimme's strategic goals that, in turn, will guide future development. He also brings a great deal of industry respect and operating expertise to the table, that complements our passion and energy for developing innovative products and technology."

Added co-founder Evan Jarecki: "We have established Gimme's culture based upon empathy, determination and problem-solving. Dan is a perfect addition to enhance the understanding of our customers and users based upon his first-hand experience. Dan will play a pivotal role in Gimme's next evolution of growth and expansion in the coming years."

Based in Atlanta, Gimme offers hardware and software for grocery and foodservice operators to automate merchandising. In addition to AI, computer vision and machine learning technologies that power automation, the company offers the Gimme Key, a wireless DEX adapter for direct store delivery.

10/11/2022

Leadership Changes at Dawn Foods

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 Dawn Foods

Dawn Foods is mixing up its leadership functions. The Jackson, Mich.-based bakery manufacturer and ingredient distributor announced the hiring of Jennifer Cloherty as its new CFO and expanded responsibilities for Bob Howland, chief digital officer.

Cloherty is stepping into the position held by Karl Brown, who will take on an advisory role with the company. Most recently, Cloherty served as CFO for Kellogg North America, where she was also the executive sponsor of the Kellogg African American Resource Group and the Kellogg Veterans Group. Her 27-year career also includes financial leadership jobs at Aptiv, Owens Corning and GE, where she spent 19 years.

“Jennifer is an exceptional financial leader with great long-term vision, and I am proud to have her join the Dawn Leadership Team,” said CEO Carrie Jones-Barber. “I am confident she will continue to build and develop the wonderful talent we have within our financial organization and partner with our leaders to drive the strategic, operational, and financial performance of our global business.” 

Brown’s two-decade career at Dawn Foods included several financial and commercial leadership roles. He led the financial function and the global IT team for the last several years and will work closely with Cloherty during the transition.

Meanwhile, Howland has been tapped to lead the development and implementation of Dawn’s long-term digital and information technology strategy in a broader capacity. 

“Bob has done a tremendous job transforming our business through best-in-class digital solutions that benefit both our team members and our customers,” added Jones-Barber. “Our digital and IT teams already work closely together on technology infrastructure and cyber security projects, which are critical to help protect our systems and data. Bringing together these two organizations under Bob’s leadership further strengthens our team and aligns with our strategic ambitions for the business.”