News Briefs


Hy-Vee Offering 1K Free Cholesterol Screenings in February

Hy-Vee Sign Teaser

Among the health-and-wellness events that Hy-Vee is offering in February are 1,000 free cholesterol screenings at more than 50 stores throughout Hy-Vee’s eight-state region. Requiring only a simple blood draw and should be administered, a cholesterol screening can provide individuals with information about their overall health and help them take the appropriate steps to lower the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Participants should fast for 9 to 12 hours before the 15-minute screening. Individuals will receive their results during their appointment time. The screenings are available while supplies last and provided in partnership with RX Sugar, Perfect Snacks, Sweet Loren’s, Belgioioso and the National Peanut Board.

[Read more: "Medicare Part D Beneficiaries Can Access Low-Cost Insulin, Free Shingles Vaccine at Hy-Vee"]

The Hy-Vee dietitian team is also debuting a five-week weight management program tailored to each participant’s lifestyle and goals. The dietitians will work one-on-one with individuals on a personalized plan to help deliver long-lasting results. The program includes an introductory visit with a dietitian, virtual lessons and four dietitian check-ins that can take place in person or virtually.

Additionally, Hy-Vee’s dietitians will hold free virtual wellness Wednesday classes and virtual freezer meal workshops in February.

Registration for all of the above events is available online.

Last month, the grocer committed to administering 1,000 free vitamin D screenings

Employee-owned Hy-Vee operates more than 285 retail stores across eight Midwestern states and has a team of more than 93,000 employees. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company is No. 30 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Kensington Community Food Co-op Reopens

KCFC Entrance Teaser

Kensington Community Food Co-op (KCFC), a local, community-owned grocery store in Philadelphia, is back. The member-owned co-op is now open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The reopening followed an extensive renovation that included the expansion of products, enhanced customer service and budget-friendlier pricing strategies.

For instance, in addition to its newly augmented line of such popular product offerings as Do Good Natural Chicken, and many new beverages and snacks, the co-op will offer items exclusive to KCFC. The store has also made several changes to improve the shopping experience, among them a refreshed layout, replacing pricier items with budget-friendlier ones, new merchandise, and a diverse mix of products to meet the needs of shoppers. Further, the store will soon offer community-based events and workshops.

[Read more: "Calgary Co-op to Acquire Local Wines & Spirits Brand"]

“We’re thrilled to open our doors and welcome back our community,” said Dennis Hanley, of Columinate, a grocery industry consulting organization hired by the co-op’s board and members. “The KCFC team has worked hard to create a new space that is not only beautiful, but also serves the needs of our customers. We can’t wait to share all the exciting changes and new products with everyone.” 

A mission-based organization, KCFC offers healthy, affordable and accessible food to the Kensington, Fishtown, Port Richmond and Riverwards areas. The co-op is committed to providing high-quality, locally sourced products.


Fields Foods Adds to Its St. Louis Presence

St Louis

Independent grocer Fields Foods, which specializes in natural and organic products, is opening its fifth store in the St. Louis market. The latest location in the city’s Skinker DeBaliviere neighborhood will welcome shoppers on Feb. 9.

[Read more: "Rouses Markets to Open 1st Store in Biloxi"]

The grand opening in a mixed-use development at 299 DeBaliviere Avenue will feature deals, samples and activities. In addition to picking up grocery staples and an array of fresh, locally sourced foods, shoppers can browse a floral and gift department and order chef-prepared meals to enjoy in the in-store café or take home.

Missouri-based Fields Foods is on a roll. The grocer’s fourth location in the Dogtown neighborhood opened in April 2022 and another site is slated to be unveiled this year in the suburb of Pagedale.


Candymaker, Inventor Bob Born Passes Away

Bob Born

Just as Easter candy is hitting store shelves, those at Just Born Quality Confections are mourning the loss of the man who engineered the popular Peeps products. Ira “Bob” Born, 98, passed away on Jan. 29.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Born joined his father, Sam, in the company business in Bethlehem, Pa., after serving in World War II. He designed the machine that automated the production of Peeps, which had previously been made by hand, and invented the Hot Tamales candy by finding a creative way to rework Mike and Ike candies.

[Read more: "Former Dierbergs EVP Dies at 88"]

“Bob will be remembered as a tireless and passionate advocate for the candy industry and a wonderful supporter of our community. Bob was our second-generation family member whose dedication was instrumental in Just Born reaching our 100-year milestone. We extend our deepest sympathy to his son, Ross, and the entire family,” said David Shaffer, board chair and co-CEO of Just Born.

In 2019, Born was on hand at the candy factory when City of Bethlehem proclaimed the first day of the Easter season as “Bob Born Day.” This year, Just Born marks its 100th year in business. The company got its start – and its name – in 1923 when Sam Born launched his candy line and put out a sign declaring “Just Born” to tout its freshness.


SpartanNash Appoints New VP of Fuel Center and C-Stores

SpartanNash Ryan Speakes

SpartanNash is fueling up for its future with the hiring of Ryan Speakes as VP, fuel center and convenience stores. The gas station and c-store leader is being tapped to help the food solutions company expand that aspect of its business.

“The c-store market is growing globally, and SpartanNash sees tremendous opportunity to bring new innovations to this segment of our retail business,” explained Tom Swanson, EVP of corporate retail for SpartanNash. 

[Read more: "SpartanNash Acquires Great Lakes Foods"]

Speakes comes to the Michigan-headquartered SpartanNash from 7-Eleven, where he most recently served as a market leader. His fuel and c-store background also includes a lengthy tenure at Speedway, where he was promoted from district manager to regional leader of operations. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Tiffin University in Ohio.

At SpartanNash, Speakes will helm the company’s 37 fuel centers. Most of those stations include a c-store and are located on the same site as a company-owned grocery store.

Ramped-up efforts in its fuel centers and c-stores comes at a time when SpartanNash is restructuring other parts of its operations. In late 2022, the company announced it will consolidate its 10 banners to four brands over the next two years and combine its food distribution and military businesses under one group.

SpartanNash’s core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent and chain retailers, its corporate-owned retail stores, and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges, as well as fresh produce distribution and fresh food processing. No. 41 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company serves customer locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Djibouti, Korea and Japan. SpartanNash also operates 147 supermarkets and employs 17,500-plus associates. 


Registration Open for 2023 Sweets & Snacks Expo

Sweets & Snacks Expo 2023 Teaser

Registration is now open for the 2023 Sweets & Snacks Expo, set for May 22-25 at the McCormick Place Convention Center, in Chicago. The annual trade show bills itself as “the best place for attendees to discover brand-new innovations, gain actionable insights, and benefit from unparalleled access to category and retail industry professionals.” 

[Read more: "Helping Shoppers Rethink Snack Choices"]

“The Sweets & Snacks Expo is where the best minds in the candy and snack industries gather to share ideas, make deals and be inspired,” said John Downs, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based National Confectioners Association (NCA), which hosts the show. “These important categories have proven to be incredibly resilient through challenging times, and we’re thrilled to be able to bring people together in person to propel the candy and snack industries into the future.”

The expo offers opportunities for more than 16,000 attendees across the candy and snack industries, with the 2023 edition featuring a wide array of educational programming such as data insights and trend tracking. Also returning this year is the Supplier Showcase, a marketplace dedicated to helping suppliers to the confectionery and snack industries spotlight the ingredients, machinery, packaging and other services that help manufacturers address evolving consumer needs and desires, in addition to Startup Street, a curated showcase of the newest candy and snack business owners.