News Briefs


Peapod Digital Labs Seeks Diverse-Owned Suppliers

Diverse supplier

Peapod Digital Labs, the digital engine of Ahold Delhaize, has opened its virtual program that connects diverse-owned businesses to the company’s U.S. brands. Now in its second year, the initiative enables underrepresented suppliers to showcase and share information about their products with merchants at banners such as Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Co., Hannaford and Stop & Shop.

The virtual events, kicking off in April and also scheduled for June, August and October, are powered by ECRM and RangeMe. Last year, Ahold Delhaize’s U.S. merchants met with 100-plus suppliers and fully onboarded 20 of them to one or more of its brands. Additional suppliers are still in that process. 

This time around, Peapod Digital Labs is also working with women-owned business PowerToPitch to offer participating suppliers a free pitch coaching service ahead of the meeting. “We worked with PowerToPitch during our Incubator program in 2022 and participants found the support and resources tremendously beneficial,” explained Andjela Petrovic, director of supplier diversity for Peapod Digital Labs. “It’s an investment to develop a skill that lasts well beyond this one meeting or event. We hope this program will continue to support and facilitate new relationships between diverse-owned suppliers and the companies of Ahold Delhaize USA.”

Certified, minority-, LGBTQ-, woman-, veteran- and disability-owned businesses with products listed in the application can apply through Feb. 3 for consideration. 

Last July, Peapod Digital Labs launched its incubator program for diverse-owned suppliers to develop new items for its private brands portfolio. The 2022 winner was Whole & Free Foods, a Chicago-based certified, women-owned business that produces foods free from the top 14 allergens, corn and sugar. 

Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, operates more than 2,000 stores across 23 states and is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in the United States.


Food Retail Consolidation Especially High in Rural Areas: Report

USDA ERS Report Teaser

The food retail sector has experienced substantial consolidation and structural change over the past three decades. To understand how the change in concentration might affect consumers, researchers would ideally focus on geographic markets that mimic where consumers actually shop.

That’s what the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service has sought to do in its latest report. “A Disaggregated View of Market Concentration in the Food Retail Industry” investigates the changes in food retailing market concentration — a measure of the extent to which market shares are concentrated between companies of the retail food sector at the national, state, metropolitan statistical area and county levels in the United States over the 1990–2019 period.

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A few key findings from the January report include:

• Market concentration at the county level is considerably higher than at the national, state and metropolitan statistical area levels, and rose 94% from 1990 to 2019.
• Food retailing markets in rural and small nonmetro counties are considerably more concentrated than food retailing markets in metro and large nonmetro counties.

The report also found that two key factors have led to increasing food retail market concentration: the entry and rapid expansion into the food retail sector of large nontraditional food retailers, such as warehouse clubs, superstores and supercenters, and mergers and acquisitions of existing traditional supermarkets.

For more detailed information, click here for the full report.  


Progressive Grocer to Hold Media Day

PG Logo Teaser

Progressive Grocer’s leadership team will be in Chicago on Thursday, Feb. 2 to meet in person with existing and potential partners during a Media Day event.

We are inviting customers and prospects to visit with Publisher John Schrei and Editor-in-Chief Gina Acosta, at parent company Ensemble IQ’s office, located at 8550 West Bryn Mawr, Suite 200, to better understand the problems we all face as an industry, including disruption and the opportunities that the supply chain, advancing technologies, shopper behaviors and workforce issues in our post-COVID world present. The 30- to 45-minute meetings will kick off at 9 a.m. Time slots will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, with the first five companies able to pick their own time slots.

What attendees can expect:

• The ability to discuss the challenges and potential solutions we face and to learn more about how we can help one another become better partners while growing our businesses.
• The opportunity to present their latest innovations and product introductions to the content leadership team.
• To learn and uncover opportunities to engage with top grocery retail decision-makers and influencers, while helping set potential content patterns in the industry.

If you’re interested in meeting with the team, contact John Schrei


Former Dierbergs EVP Dies at 88

Roger Dierberg Obituary Teaser

Roger Dierberg, a former executive at Dierbergs Markets, died Wednesday, Jan. 18 in St. Louis, Mo., at the age of 88. The third-generation grocer and former EVP of Dierbergs joined the company in 1969 after working at McDonnell Aircraft. A cousin and business partner to Chairman Bob Dierberg, he helped the company grow from two to 20 stores during his tenure. 

“We always checked in with each other on important business decisions,” noted Bob Dierberg. “That’s why we had such a successful business relationship. It was a mutual relationship of respect for each other’s opinions.”

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Roger Dierberg graduated with an engineering degree from Purdue University and earned his MBA from Washington University. Later in life, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus by the Washington University Olin School of Business.

Beyond Dierbergs, he held leadership roles of increasing responsibility and influence at the state and national levels in the grocery industry, eventually becoming one of the founding executive committee members of the Washington, D.C.-based National Grocers Association, and its chairman in 1985. In 1995, he was honored as the Missouri Grocers Association Grocer of the Year.

He also established a long-standing partnership between Dierbergs and Operation Food Search in St. Louis, and led philanthropic efforts for FICAH (Food Industry Crusade Against Hunger) until his retirement in 2004.

The service is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 23, at King of Kings Lutheran Church, in Chesterfield, Mo. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to The Lutheran High School Association, Lutheran Family and Children’s Services, or to a charity of your choice.

Chesterfield, Mo.-based Dierbergs employs more than 4,000 associates at 24 St. Louis metropolitan-area stores, and one location at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks.


Amazon Ending AmazonSmile Charitable Giving Program

Amazon teaser

After nearly 10 years, Amazon is closing out its AmazonSmile program, which lets customers support their favorite charities with each purchase they make through the e-retailer. The program will officially end on Feb. 20.

According to an email sent to AmazonSmile customers, the charitable giving program “has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped. With so many eligible organizations — more than 1 million globally — our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin.”

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Charities that have been a part of the program will be given a one-time donation equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022 via AmazonSmile, and they can still accrue donations until Feb. 20. Charities can continue to seek support from Amazon customers by creating wish lists.

Amazon still plans to support a wide range of charitable programs, including Housing Equity Fund, Amazon Future Engineer, Community Delivery Program, Amazon Disaster Relief and other community giving.

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on The PG 100,  Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Kowalski’s Taking Over Department Store Space Near Minneapolis

Kowalski's Markets Finds Opportunity in Shopping Malls

Independent food retailer Kowalski’s Market is expanding in the Twin Cities with the planned opening of its 12th location in 2024. The grocer will take over a 34,000-square-foot space, previously vacated by Herberger’s department store, in the Southdale Center mall in Edina, Minn., according to local reports.

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CEO Kris Kowalski Christiansen told the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal that the store will likely open in the spring of 2024 after it was initially stalled by the pandemic.

"Southdale and the communities it serves have a vibrancy and energy that are well-suited for Kowalski's and our customers," said Mike Oase, Kowalski's COO. "We're really looking forward to operating in this lively retail environment." 

It was also confirmed that plans for another store in the Minneapolis suburb of Roseville are no longer moving forward.