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News Briefs

01/12/2023

Tech Companies Join Forces to Link Grocers With Local Food Producers

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Farmer

In a bid to connect grocers with local fresh food producers, two tech providers are teaming up to offer software solutions that speed sourcing and fulfillment. Supply chain software providers iTradeNetwork  and  Big Wheelbarrow have entered into a partnership to help food retailers procure fresh products from small- and mid-sized producers across North America.

Through this arrangement, iTradeNetwork's customers can gain access to a variety of local farmers and producers. The Big Wheelbarrow platform enables participating grocers to eliminate additional overhead to connect with these producers and also allows products to be delivered directly to stores or distribution centers, often the next day or sometimes the same day.

[Read more: "Fulfillment Efficiencies High on Grocers’ Digital Resolutions List"]

“This partnership is a significant move for iTradeNetwork to support hyperlocalization in the fresh supply chain,” remarked Amer Akhtar, CEO at iTradeNetwork. “With this exciting collaboration, our retail customers can meet consumer demand for local, more sustainable products, reduce shrink and food waste, and hedge against supply chain shortfalls. Providing value to our smaller suppliers is equally important to us. Our networks will enable them to expand their business with existing customers and build net new trading relationships with large retailers that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. This is incredibly powerful.”

Added Sam Eder, CEO of Big Wheelbarrow: “One key thing about this partnership is that it helps eliminate the silo between the DSD and warehouse functions inside grocery chains. Those functions sometimes compete unintentionally because they often don’t know what the other is doing. Our platform handles local DSD inventory and purchase data in real time, with iTradeNetwork’s incredible suite of procurement solutions handling the important back end.”

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01/12/2023

Mercatus Rebuilds Mobile Commerce App for Grocers

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Mercatus teaser

E-commerce solutions provider Mercatus is rolling out a new mobile commerce experience for grocers. The Mercatus Mobile app is designed to provide a seamless shopping experience for consumers and help grocers increase their mobile conversions, improve order frequency and retain digital customers.

[Read more: "Online Grocery Sales Edge Higher in December"]

One impetus behind the evolved app is the recent consumer trend of toggling between mass and grocery stores for online orders. “The next generation of Mercatus Mobile was developed to help regional grocers deliver a delightful, always-on shopping experience that builds brand affinity and customer lifetime value,” explained Sylvain Perrier, president and CEO of the Toronto, Canada-based Mercatus. “With 30% of online grocery shoppers cross-shopping between mass merchants and regional grocers, it’s critical that grocers have a modern mobile app that helps them retain their market share against increasing competition.”

The app gives food retailers direct access to advanced features and configurations and allows them to offer seamless cart building, checkout, personalization, rewards and loyalty. A new scroll-style feed delivers a familiar user experience, similar to Instagram and TikTok platforms. The Mercatus Mobile solution also includes some of the company’s existing platform integrations, such as Instacart Connect and DoorDash Drive.

According to Mercatus, clients using the previous-generation mobile app will be transitioned as part of their subscription.

01/11/2023

Kaivac Promotes From Within for President

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Kaivac president

Kaivac has elevated Bob Robinson, Jr. to company president. He steps in for exiting President Bob Robinson, Sr., who will continue as the CEO of the cleaning system provider.

Robinson, Jr. was promoted from his most recent position as chief growth officer. He has served in several capacities during his two and a half decades with the family business and, among other accomplishments, is credited with helping to quadruple revenue in the sales division.

[Read more: "How Efficient Day Cleaning Satisfies Customers, Empowers Employees"]

“This year is our 25th year in business, and we are at a nexus point where opportunity and destiny meet,” declared Robinson, Sr. “Bob Jr. is the right person to lead Kaivac as we change the way the world cleans.”

For his part, the junior Robinson said he is humbled to take on new leadership tasks. “I firmly believe that we are the right company with the right products manufactured by the right people to take our industry by storm. I eagerly look forward to what 2023 and beyond will bring,” he said. 

It’s been a time of growth for the Hamilton, Ohio-based Kaivac, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic that brought sanitation to the forefront of grocery operations. Kaivac works with retailers to deploy an array of science-based cleaning systems, including “No – Touch” solutions, designed for restrooms, hard surface floors, commercial kitchens and other spaces.

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01/11/2023

Tops Names Director, Corporate Communications and Public Relations

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Tops Kathy Sautter Teaser

Tops Markets LLC has promoted Kathy Sautter to the role of director, corporate communications and public relations.

Sautter began her career at Tops as a public relations specialist in 2016, moving up to the position of public relations manager two years later. In her new role, she will handle all external Tops corporate communication, public relations, and manage internal company communication. Sautter will also oversee local governmental affairs, fostering the relationships that the grocer has established in its operating area.

Additionally, as Tops finalizes its merger activities with Price Chopper/Market 32, Sautter will work closely with Northeast Shared Services to ensure continuity and support for Tops in the future. During her time with the company, Sautter was instrumental in overseeing crisis communication during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the aftermath of a mass shooting last May at a Tops store in Buffalo, N.Y. 

A resident of Lancaster, N.Y., where she lives with her husband, Sautter is a Grammy Award winner with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, a recipient of Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery Award in 2018 and a local children’s book author. 

Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Markets LLC operates 150 supermarkets, including five franchise stores, and employs more than 14,000 associates in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. The banner’s parent company, Northeast Grocery Inc., is No. 44 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

01/11/2023

eGrowcery, AdAdapted Team to Grow Retailers’ Digital Footprint

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egrowcery adadapted teaser

eGrowcery, a white-label e-commerce platform developer, and AdAdapted, an advertising technology solution that gets CPG brands onto shopping lists and into carts, have partnered to help retailers grow their digital footprint and related sales. The move will also support efforts by CPG brands to personalize the shopping experience and drive engagement, purchase intent and increased spend on retailers’ digital advertising platforms.

“This partnership is all about eGrowcery and AdAdapted driving more platform eyeballs and enabling more sales for the retailers we serve,” said Patrick Hughes, CEO of Birmingham, Mich.-based eGrowcery. “It creates the optimal combination of shoppable promotional messages that are relevant to the shoppers’ needs and match those with our retail client’s objectives. If we are not continually helping our retailers grow, we are not doing our job."

[Read more: “eGrowcery Platform Now Includes Prepared Foods”]

The joint AdAdapted-eGrowcery offering helps retailers and brands extend their reach to where customers organically spend their time online, while also giving them a first-to-market path to conversion with just one click.

“AdAdapted and eGrowcery are creating a superior digital shopping experience that will drive measurable results for both suppliers and retailers,” said Molly McFarland, co-founder and chief revenue officer of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based AdAdapted. “AdAdapted’s patented shoppable technology and experienced sales and execution team, combined with eGrowcery’s superior e-commerce experience, creates a win for the customer, advertiser and retailer.”

01/11/2023

CVS, Walgreens Now Sourcing 100% Cage-Free Eggs at All Locations

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Cage-Free Eggs Teaser

CVS and Walgreens have fulfilled their commitments to source 100% cage-free eggs nationally three years ahead of schedule. CVS, which has 9,900 stores, fulfilled its commitment in December 2022, and Walgreens, which has 8,886 stores, fulfilled its commitment this month. Both worked with The Humane League to accelerate the timeline of their fulfillments.

[Read more: "Scrambling to Meet Shoppers’ Preference for Specialty Eggs"]

“These accelerated cage-free fulfillments by Walgreens and CVS are precedent-setting for the retail industry and prove there’s no reason other companies can’t, at the very least, meet their 2025 commitments to go cage-free,” said Tim Sage, corporate relations specialist at The Humane League, which is based in New York. “By demonstrating a commitment to the ethical and humane treatment of animals in their supply chains, these retail leaders are acknowledging that confining hens in cages is inhumane and unacceptable.” 

The Humane League has worked with 2,300 companies to establish cage-free commitments. 

Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens, which operates retail locations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is No. 5 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. With its CVS Pharmacy subsidiary operating almost 10,000 locations nationwide, Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health is No. 7 on PG’s list.