The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, opened its 2022 NGA Executive Conference and Public Policy Summit, taking place Oct. 24-26 at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C., with more than 200 grocery executives from retailer, wholesaler and supplier companies in attendance. Nearly 20 educational sessions with industry experts and analysts are planned.
The event began with a panel on the state of independent grocery, featuring Leon Bergmann, CEO of Earth City, Mo.-based Save A Lot; Garrett Piklapp, president of Boone, Iowa-based Fareway Stores Inc.; and Daniel Nazario, regional VP, wholesale accounts at Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg Co., moderated by Anne-Marie Roerink, principal at 210 San Antonio-based 210 Analytics. The session discussed the current health of independent community grocers, and the impact of the post-pandemic economy, inflation, the supply chain and consumer habits on merchants.
“The summit brings together retail and wholesale leaders in the independent supermarket industry and their trading partners for important insights, conversations and engagement, to position their companies for strategic growth” noted Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NGA. “Our industry continues to experience disruption, with more to come next year. The important insights and conversations that will take place during the summit will position our members to embrace the challenges and opportunities and set their companies up for continued success.”
The event will also include NGA’s 40th anniversary celebration, with a special evening planned to mark the milestone.
Save A Lot, with more than 850 stores in 32 states, is No. 60 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while family-owned Fareway, which employs more than 12,000 associates in its 130-plus stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota, is No. 77 on PG’s list.
A maker of paper grocery bags and sacks is upping its efforts to help grocers signal their sustainable store practices to shoppers. The Duro brand’s line of Dubl Life bagging products recently received certification from the New York-based Biodegradable Products Institute, one of the first products of its kind to do so.
Going forward, Duro’s bags also will feature special How2Compost and How2Recycle labels that let consumers know how to dispose of the packages after use. Those labels are independently verified as well, through the Charlottesville, Va.-based Sustainable Packaging Coalition. Products with the label must meet rigorous standards and must be tested by the Biodegradable Products Institute.
Duro offers a variety of Dubl Life bags and sacks that include the new designation, including self-opening bags, handle sacks and liquor bags. The products are made from 100% recycled materials, with a minimum of 60% post-consumer recycled paper, and are already FSC Chain of Command-certified, as managed by the Bonn, Germany-based Forest Stewardship Council, which has its U.S. headquarters in Minneapolis.
"At Novolex, our goal is to minimize the environmental footprint of packaging and maximize our production of sustainable products," said Adrianne Tipton, Ph.D., chief technology officer at Hartsville, S.C,-based Novolex, maker of the Duro brand. "Earning these important certifications again demonstrates our support of the circular economy, and reaffirms our corporate commitment to sustainability."
Kroger, University of Kentucky Team on Grocery Pickup
The Kroger Co. is using its namesake stadium at the University of Kentucky in Lexington to offer a convenient grocery pickup option to students and staff members at the school. The southwest corner of the Kroger Field Orange Lot has now been designated as a pickup location for online grocery orders placed with the food retailer.
Users can create an account on Kroger’s website, add a payment method and choose their preferred pickup location. The new Kroger Field location is listed as “Hometown Pickup – Kroger Field.”
Pickup days and times for the University of Kentucky’s Orange Lot, which have been set to closely coincide with employee work schedules, are as follows:
Walmart is updating its selection of sleepwear and intimates with the new private label Joyspun brand. According to the retailer, the line will offer fresh silhouettes, buttery-soft fabrics and modern style sans the high price tag.
Joyspun will replace Secret Treasures, Walmart’s previous private intimates brand, and promises to offer elevated quality, construction, fit and style at sharp price points. There will be more than 300 styles of sleepwear, bras, panties, socks, hosiery and maternity items, priced between $7.98 and $34.98.
“The intimates category is undergoing a significant transformation, shifting to an era of inclusivity, body positivity, and styles that prioritize comfort and confidence,” wrote Denise Incandela, EVP of apparel and private brands for Walmart U.S., in a company blog post.
Continued Incandela: “We’re proud of the work we’ve done to rebuild and refresh our market-leading sleepwear and intimates brand in a meaningful way to make it more relevant to a broad range of customers. We feel like it’s a big unlock for an extraordinarily large business within our fashion portfolio, and we’re excited about the five-star feedback we’re starting to receive from customers who have discovered it.”
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.
Walmart is joining Premium Payback, the real-time rewards redemption network of financial services technology company FIS. The addition of the retailer to the network will give millions of consumers the chance to redeem their credit card rewards points for real-time discounts at more than 4,700 Walmart stores across the country. Walmart customers using eligible cards will be prompted at checkout with the option to turn their card rewards currency into discounts, which will be deducted from their purchase amount.
“Walmart’s mission is to help customers save money so that they can live better, and FIS Premium Payback allows customers to enjoy the benefits of their rewards in real-time at checkout,” explained Mike Cook, SVP and assistant treasurer at Walmart. “Today’s busy consumer is looking for a frictionless shopping experience, and our partnership with FIS makes paying with points as simple as a single prompt at the point of sale.”
“More than ever, credit card rewards are a driving motivator for how and where consumers make purchases,” noted John Durrant, president of banking and payment solutions at Jacksonville, Fla.-based FIS. “We are excited to partner with Walmart and card issuers to bring Premium Payback to consumers who can benefit from this new way to pay for their purchases. Major players like Walmart come to FIS because we have the innovative technology solutions to enable these experiences that deliver significant value and savings to consumers across the U.S.”
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
Los Altos Foods Helps Grocers Offer Free Mammograms
In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Mexican cheesemaker Los Altos Foods is partnering with grocers throughout California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada to provide free mammograms.
A mobile clinic is traveling to Cardenas Markets, Superior Grocers, Vallarta Supermarkets, Food 4 Less, Super King Markets and other supermarkets as part of the program, which counts Alinea Medical Imaging, Assured Imaging and Nevada Health Centers among its partners.
“The biggest advantage of this is that many women do not have transportation or the time to go to clinics,” said David Arrieta, an assistant technician, in a video from City of Industry, Calif.-based Los Altos Foods.
“We consider ourselves a big family, and it is important that we all take care of ourselves,” noted Los Altos Foods CEO Corin Andrade. “We all have people we love, our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and it is important that we all get mammography.”