A new food market is coming to the metro Atlanta area. Savi Provisions, a boutique grocer, recently welcomed shoppers to its location at 12630 Crabapple Road in the town of Milton, Ga., north of downtown Atlanta.
The 3,644-square-foot store offers organic and specialty groceries, beer, wine and spirits as well as craft coffees and prepared foods. The in-store café offers breakfast sandwiches, omelets, burritos and gourmet sandwiches. Just in time for the holidays the store also touts a catering menu.
Billed as a neighborhood destination, Savi Provisions operates at least 14 other markets in the Atlanta area and is set to expand into Tennessee with a location in Nashville. The company was founded in 2009 by entrepreneur and developer Paul Nair.
In response to proposed regulations, FMI – The Food Industry Association has filed a letter opposing the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) revamp of the rule that determines whether a worker is an independent contractor. FMI is calling on DOL to retain the current independent-contractor framework and not replace it with a proposal that expands factors for determination.
The Fair Labor Standards Act governs how a business classifies a worker, including an independent contractor in a gig profession, as an employee for federal wage and overtime requirements. The proposed rule applies six or more factors in determining whether an independent contractor must be classified as an employee, instead of the current policy, which applies two core factors.
“FMI members need the flexibility to utilize the staffing resources of vendors and contractors, such as on-demand delivery services, to address evolving requirements of our 21st-century economy and workforce,” said Christine Pollack, VP of government relations at Arlington, Va.-based FMI.
Pollack continued, “The workforce shortage remains the food industry’s top supply chain challenge. Coupling this shortage with the growing demand for e-commerce grocery services and direct-to-home delivery further complicates matters for businesses in our industry. DOL should foster a regulatory environment that promotes a diversity of work arrangements and not tie the hands of businesses that seek staffing help and individual contractors who seek independence.”
“Members of CWI are disappointed with the department’s antiquated approach towards a growing and vibrant segment of the economy,” noted CWI Chair Evan Armstrong.“Returning to the older and more confusing standard does not reflect the wishes of affected stakeholders and could disrupt the livelihoods of millions of innovative, independent professionals who work in nearly every industry throughout our economy. Ultimately, the proposed rule could chill modern work relationships by greatly reducing clarity for workers and employers.”
Target Aims Deals, Digital Services to Last-Minute Shoppers
As the holiday rush is in full force, so are Target Corp.’s efforts to attract last-minute shoppers. The retailer is touting its convenient same-day fulfillment services and discounts in the runup to Christmas and other winter occasions.
Time-crunched holiday buyers can place free order pickup or drive-up orders before 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and retrieve their items within a couple of hours. The Christmas Eve window for same-day delivery with Shipt extends through 4 p.m. on Dec. 24; those deliveries are free, but a $35 order minimum is required.
Target is offering several deals to shoppers hurriedly checking off items on their gift lifts and preparing for celebrations. From now through Dec. 17, shoppers can score up to 30% off clothing and accessory products, shoes and family sleepwear and 40% off kitchen appliances including Ninja and KitchenAid. Seasonal décor and trees are also on sale, by as much as 30%. Eleventh-hour shoppers who visit Target in-store or online from Dec. 18-24 can gain even more savings, such as up to 60% off video games for PlayStation, Nintendo Switch and Xbox, up 50% off several toy brands, up to 50% off small kitchen appliances like Keurig and PowerXL, up to 50% off connected home and security products from Amazon, Ring, Google and even steeper discounts on seasonal apparel and décor. Savings on gift cards include 15% off Game Pass gift cards and 5% off pre-paid gift cards with the use of a Target RedCard.
Curbside drive-thru grocer JackBe, which plans to launch its first store in January 2023, has started a Wefunder campaign to allow anyone interested in the concept to invest in the startup. JackBe focuses on creating stores that operate only to serve customers picking up groceries.
“To the time-challenged shopper needing a simpler way to grocery shop, JackBe is your curbside drive-thru grocer who fills your order and delivers it to your vehicle when you want, with no substitutions,” aid Alex Ruhter, who founded the Oklahoma City, Okla.-based company three years ago with three others. “We have created the grocery store experience that we wished existed but didn’t … until now.”
Added Ruhter: “We are incredibly excited to not only open our first store, but to share with others the opportunity to be in on the ground floor of what we believe to be the future of grocery shopping. We have taken this company from concept to build out, and we could not have done it without the belief and encouragement of others, and for that, we are forever humbled.”
According to the company, it has privately raised more than $7 million has been to date, and the Wefunder campaign is currently at $330,000-plus and growing.
Poised to disrupt the fast-growing $811 billion grocery market, JackBe bills itself as the first drive-thru grocer with on-demand ordering and pickup in minutes. Users can just download a simple-to-use app to begin shopping, and all orders are handpicked. Grocery orders will be ready for pickup at the most convenient time for the customer. The first three concept stores, which will offer convenient items and quality fresh produce, are slated to open next year.
Zalat Pizza Opening 2nd Location in a Kroger Marketplace
Pizza restaurant chain Zalat Pizza is set to open the second location under a multi-unit development agreement covering select stores in The Kroger Co.’s Houston division. With a grand opening scheduled for Friday, Dec. 16 at Kroger’s Conroe Marketplace, in Conroe, Texas, the new restaurant will offer takeout and third-party delivery, in-store pizza by the slice, retail take-and-bake pizzas, and limited indoor and patio seating. The first location opened at Kroger’s Cypress Towne Lake Marketplace this past October.
“Kroger is incredibly pleased to expand our partnership with Zalat Pizza through the introduction of a second in-store restaurant, following the continued success of the first location at our Towne Lake Marketplace,” said Liz Colvin, VP, merchandising for Kroger’s Houston division. “We’re certain our Conroe Marketplace customers will be equally hungry for all Zalat Pizza offers.”
“Kroger is the largest grocery retailer in the world, with more than 2,700 locations among its many iconic brands,” noted Khanh Nguyen, founder and CEO of Dallas-based Zalat Pizza. “We are especially excited that Kroger is interested in us because of our best-of-class quality and dedication to our craft. Our model has always been about maintaining the highest levels of execution at large scale, and we’re excited that Kroger shares our vision.”
The second Kroger Marketplace location marks the 27th Zalat Pizza across the Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth areas. This location will be open Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Serving 60 million households annually nationwide through a digital shopping experience, and almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. The company’s Houston division has108 stores in southeast Texas and Louisiana, with more than 15,000 associates.
Food City Taps Sifter to Power Dietitian’s Pick Program
In a bid to help shoppers eat more healthfully in the new year, Food City has joined forces with Chicago-based food and nutrition digital technology company Sifter SP Inc. to enhance the Dietitian’s Pick program offered by the Southeast regional grocer.
Sifter’s technology platform enables quick, easy product discovery and shopping, especially for Food City shoppers with special diet needs, ranging from diabetes and heart health to food allergies, food interactions with prescription medications, and lifestyle preferences such as Mediterranean-style and vegan. The platform offers mobile scanning functionality that lets the grocer’s customers scan a product on the shelves and immediately confirm – through a green checkmark for “yes” or a red X for “no” – whether the product meets their preferences.
“We recognize there is no one-size-fits-all approach to eating well,” noted Food City Corporate Dietitian Nicole Pazdziorko. “The beauty of Sifter’s technology is that it places the tool in the hands of the shopper, allowing them to customize their nutrition profile and effortlessly find items in every aisle of the store that suit their unique food preferences, dietary restrictions. and medical needs.”
“A growing number of the population is facing dietary restrictions,” added Food City President and CEO Steven C. Smith. “Food City is committed to continuing to grow our health-and-wellness program by offering services that value our consumers’ and associates’ unique nutrition needs and wellness goals, and empower them to make more informed choices for their families.”