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News Briefs

11/16/2022

The Scoop on Jeni’s New CEO

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Stacy Peterson

Known for its inventive gourmet flavors, Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream has a new business leader. Stacy Peterson is taking on the role of CEO following the departure of John Lowe, who served as CEO for 13 years.

Peterson joins Jeni’s from her most recent position as chief revenue officer at Wingstop. As Wingstop's CRO and, earlier, as chief experience office and chief digital and technology officer, she helped grow the restaurant chain from 550 to 1,900 locations. During her career, she also held leadership jobs at Service King, FedEx Office and CBRE.

[Read more: "Retail Opportunities in Dairy"]

Lowe, who will remain on the company’s board of directors, said that Peterson is a good fit for the Columbus, Ohio-based company founded in 2022 by James Beard-winning ice cream maker Jeni Britton. “The company will benefit from her thoughtful approach and deep expertise in fast growth brands. She loves helping people succeed and I’m excited to see her coach and mentor the 1,800 members of Team Jeni’s. I know her leadership will help ensure we are a force for good for years to come. And I’m excited that Stacy, her husband and boys will join our Columbus community.”

“I’m excited to join Team Jeni’s and help carry on their commitment to making better ice creams and bringing people together,” said Peterson, who will take the reins in December. "What Jeni created, with quality as the company’s North Star and a tremendous focus on customer experience and a team commitment to be a Force for Good, will continue to be what differentiates this company from our competition.”

Jeni’s ice cream is available at grocery stores around the U.S. The company also operates nearly 70 scoop shops and an e-commerce business at jenis.com.

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11/15/2022

Capital One, Uber Offer Free Uber One Membership Along With Cashback

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Uber Capital One Teaser

Thanks to a new partnership between Uber and Capital One, Savor and SavorOnecardholders can now get an unlimited 10% cashback on Uber and Uber Eats, plus a complimentary Uber One membership – valued at up to $239 – through Nov. 14, 2024. The offer is also available for SavorOne Student and Quicksilver Student cardholders.

To access the free Uber One membership, the cardholders can enroll for an Uber One monthly membership in the Uber or Uber Eats app, or on the dedicated websites. Once the cardholders create an account and set their eligible Capital One card as form of payment for their Uber One membership, they will receive a monthly statement credit, through the end of the offer.

[Read more: "SpartanNash Makes Another Investment in Delivery by Partnering With Uber"]

According to the companies, it’s easy for Savor, SavorOne, SavorOne Student and Quicksilver Student cardholders to earn unlimited rewards on Uber purchases, without having to deal with confusing caps or restrictions. Also, since SavorOne, SavorOne Student and Quicksilver Student are no-fee cards, those cardholders won’t have to pay an annual fee to unlock benefits.

As part of this partnership, Quicksilver, Quicksilver Student and Quicksilver Secured cardholders will also enjoy up to six months of an Uber One monthly membership statement credit, valued at $9.99, through Nov. 14, 2024.

Uber One membership provides:

• Unlimited $0 delivery fee on eligible food, groceries and other Uber Eats orders. Customers must place a $15 minimum order at participating restaurants to receive the $0 delivery fee and a $30 minimum on other participating stores for the $0 delivery fee.
• Up to 10% off eligible orders with Uber Eats.
• Up to 5% off eligible rides with Uber. This discount will not apply to shared rides or rides booked 30 minutes or more in advance. 
• Member-only perks and promotions.

11/15/2022

What Does Retail Foot Traffic Say About Holiday Spending?

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Grocery shopper teaser

Following a tough September, retail foot traffic made a rebound in October, signaling a very merry start to the 2022 holiday season. According to new data from Placer.ai, each retail category saw increased foot traffic last month when compared to the same pre-pandemic time period in 2019.

For the food retail segment, visits were up 4.3% in October year over three year from 2019. Discount and dollar stores saw foot traffic increase from 14.5% in September to 19.9% in October, while superstore foot traffic rose from 0.8% to 4.6% in the same period.

[Read more: "Which Adult Beverages Will Grocery Shoppers Purchase for the Holidays?"]

While many retail segments saw visits drop when compared to year-over-year foot traffic numbers, Placer.ai’s Ethan Chernofsky wrote that pent-up demand from 2020 and early 2021 led to major retail visit surges in 2021. Now, he wrote, foot traffic in many segments is simply normalizing.

Additionally, month-over-month increases for this year are not as sharp as those seen last year, but the customer-driven extension of the holiday season beyond November despite inflation and tighter budgets is a positive sign for the coming season, Chernofsky asserted. 

“[T]his year, the holiday season is both starting early and expected to continue all the way through, which should give retailers even more time than last year to serve consumers looking to make the most of this year’s holidays,” wrote Chernofsky. “If current trends continue, then, 2022’s extended holiday shopping season may well outperform 2021’s.”

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11/15/2022

Big Y Accepts SNAP EBT Benefits in Massachusetts

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big y teaser

Eligible Massachusetts residents can now use their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to buy groceries online from Massachusetts-based Big Y.

The supermarket chain is the latest retailer in the commonwealth to accept EBT SNAP online, providing more than 600,000 low-income households the same purchasing choices as other shoppers. Big Y joins Amazon, BJ’s, Daily Table, Geissler’s Supermarket, Shaw’s/Star Market, Stop & Shop and Walmart. Additionally, Aldi, Brothers Marketplace, Hannaford, McKinnon’s Supermarkets, Price Chopper, Price Rite Marketplace, Roche Bros., Sudbury Farms and Wegmans accept EBT SNAP via Instacart.

According to the Department of Transitional Assistance, across all eligible retailers, Massachusetts residents have spent more than $240 million in SNAP benefits to date buying groceries online from eligible retailers.

Big Y customers can now use their SNAP benefits when purchasing groceries online through the Instacart marketplace. Shoppers must enter their EBT card as the form of payment on their Instacart account and select items from the list of EBT SNAP-eligible products as part of their Big Y order. Similar to using SNAP benefits to purchase food in a store, benefits can be used to buy SNAP-eligible foods online, including fresh produce, frozen foods, dairy and eggs.

"At Big Y, we are always striving to enhance the shopping experience for all of our customers," said Christian DAmour, director of e-commerce at Big Y Foods. "We are so excited to now offer this valuable benefit and flexible shopping option to our customers and their families."

Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y operates locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut, encompassing more than 70 supermarkets, Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors, and Big Y Express gas and convenience locations, with more than 10,000 employees. The company is No. 75 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

11/11/2022

Big Y Launches Annual Sack Hunger Campaign

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Big Y's myPicks Rolls Out Same-Day Ordering and Pickup

Big Y Foods Inc. has launched its annual Sack Hunger campaign, which provides funds for four food banks within the independent grocer’s two-state New England marketing area. The four food banks are The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, the Worcester County Food Bank, the Greater Boston Food Bank and Connecticut Food Share.

For a $5 donation, a customer can support Sack Hunger from any register at Big Y’s retail locations or online, through Nov. 23. Every $5 donation brings 10 meals to those in need. Last year, Big Y and its customers donated 5.5 million meals to local communities. 

Further, Big Y has added even more ways to boost this year’s efforts, particularly in the program’s first week: The company is donating an additional 10 cents per pound for every pound of its signature Smart Chicken and USDA Choice Angus Beef sold, while in its produce and floral departments, additional proceeds are also supporting the program. Big Y has additionally pledged to donate 5 cents for every private brand sold throughout the store for the first week. Along with the Big Y brand, these other private brands include Food Club, Crav’n, Culinary Tours, Full Circle Organics, Wide Awake Coffee, Sweet P’s, Simply Done, Paws, Pure Harmony, Tippy Toes and Top Care.

Over the past 11 years, Big Y’s Sack Hunger program has donated 34 million-plus meals to those in need.

Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y operates locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut, encompassing 72 supermarkets, Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors, and Big Y Express gas and convenience locations, with more than 10,000 employees. The company is No. 75 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

11/11/2022

Multi-State Listeria Outbreak Linked to Deli Meats, Cheeses

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Deli meat cheese

A Listeria monocytogenes outbreak tied to sliced meats and cheeses purchased at retail deli counters has sickened consumers across several states. More than 13 people have been hospitalized and at least one death has been attributed to the foodborne illness, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Affected states include New York, Maryland, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and California. Although some sick people reported that they had bought sliced deli meat or cheese from a NetCost Market location in Brooklyn, N.Y., there were illnesses among consumers in other states who bought such products from other retailers.

[Read more: "Deli-Driven Growth Potential"]

Epidemiologists and public health investigators are using a sophisticated national database of DNA fingerprints of bacteria to identify illnesses that are part of the current outbreak. That PulseNet system utilizes a method called whole genome sequencing.

A statement on the CDC website noted that it is challenging to identify a single item as the culprit: “This is because Listeria spreads easily between food and the deli environment and can persist for a long time in deli display cases and on equipment. A contaminated food likely introduced the outbreak strain of Listeria into delis in multiple states. Investigators are working to identify any specific products or delis that may be contaminated with the outbreak strain.”

The CDC advised high-risk people to avoid eating meat or cheese from any deli counter unless it is heated to 165° F to kill the pathogen. The agency also advised food retailers and deli operators to be vigilant and follow USDA-FSIS food safety best practices.