News Briefs


J.M. Smucker Sells Several Pet Brands

Nutrish line

Venerable CPG The J.M. Smucker Co. is spinning off several of its pet food businesses. The company announced that it is selling nationally-distributed pet brands to CPG holding company Post Holdings, Inc.

As part of the $1.2 billion deal, J.M. Smucker will offload brands including Rachael Ray, Nutrish, 9Lives, Kibbles ‘n Bits, Nature’s Recipe and Gravy Train. The company’s private label products will also go to the St. Louis-based Post Holdings.

[Read more: "100 Iconic Brands That Changed Grocery"]

The move is part of a broader brand reorganization at J.M. Smucker, which oversees a host of other product lines for people and pets, including Smucker’s, Folgers, Dunkin’, Jif, Milk-Bone and Meow Mix. "This divestiture supports our strategy to prioritize investments and resources in the areas of our business that offer the strongest growth and profit potential. In our pet business this is reflected in our focus on dog snacks and cat food, anchored by our Milk-Boneand Meow Mix brands, respectively," explained Mark Smucker, chair of the board, president and CEO. "Portfolio optimization and strategic resource allocation remain key drivers of our long-term growth. The execution of this proven strategy has helped us streamline our business, improve margin mix, and position the Company to deliver continued shareholder value."

According to the company, some employees will transition to Post Holdings. The deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter of its current fiscal year ending April 30.

Last September, J.M. Smucker shared that it formed a transformation office to focus on continuous improvement strategies aimed at sustaining productivity initiatives and profit growth.


Weee! Confirms Data Hack

Weee! Logo Teaser

Ethnic grocery delivery platform Weee! confirmed a data breach this week, following reports that information from more than a million users had been stolen and shared online. The site first shared the story about the hack.

The leaked data appeared on the cybercrime forum Breached, allegedly posted by a user with the handle “IntelBroker.”

[Read more: "Weee! Hires Chief Merchandising Officer"]

In a statement, a Weee! representative verified a leak but noted that customer payment information was not part of the uploaded data. “For customers that placed an order between July 12, 2021 and July 12, 2022, information such as name, address, email addresses, phone number, order number, and order comments may have been impacted. We have notified all customers of the issue and will be notifying all impacted customers individually if their information was exposed,” a company spokesperson wrote.

So far, the company has not provided an update on the breach on its social media platforms.

To bolster cybersecurity at a time of rapidly-accelerating technologies and sophisticated threat actors, many retailers have been investing in protection features. For example, following a data breach impacting more than three million consumers from 2018 to 2021, Wegmans Food Markets updated its security practices. The retailer noted that there was no indication that customer data had been used in a harmful way. Meanwhile, in 2022, c-store chain Wawa agreed to pay $8 million to settle a data breach that exposed 34 million payment cards in 2019.


Too Good To Go Program Expands to Miami

Too Good To Go

Too Good To Go is on the go. The company that connects consumers with surplus food from grocery stores and restaurants is now operating in Miami.

Through the Too Good to Go app, consumers can purchase food from local businesses for a third of the retail price. In Miami, the company is partnering with more than 65 Miami food businesses including grocers, eateries, cafés and bakeries and reported that it’s continuing to add collaborators on a weekly basis.

[Read more: "Too Good To Go Launches in Los Angeles"]

“Too Good To Go’s expansion into the Miami market is an exciting one. The vibrancy of the Miami food scene makes this city well suited to adopt our easy to use solution to ending food waste and saving money. We’re thrilled to offer Miami businesses a way to earn incremental revenue from surplus food and invite all businesses to start saving with us today,” said Chris MacAulay, country manager for Too Good To Go.

Available in the Apple App Store and Google Play for Android, the Too Good to Go app was created in Denmark in 2016 and launched in the U.S. in 2020. A certified B Corp, the organization estimates that it has saved 4.3 million meals from going to waste in the U.S. through more than 10,000 partners in 13 states.  


Raley’s Partners With Instacart for Online SNAP Integration in California

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The Raley’s Companies is expanding its e-commerce functionality with the help of Instacart. Customers using Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can now place orders online at 83 Raley’s banner locations across California.

Raley’s rolled out the online functionality at 15 stores in Nevada earlier this year, giving customers using SNAP benefits the ability to purchase groceries for same-day delivery from Raley’s, Bel Air Markets and Nob Hill Foods banners.

[Read more: "Instacart Adds Discounted Membership for SNAP Recipients"]

“As part of our continued commitment to nourishing the health and well-being of the communities we serve, we’re proud to enable EBT SNAP payment acceptance online for the first time in California through our partnership with Instacart,” said Chelsea Minor, executive director, community impact & public affairs at Raley’s. “Pairing online benefits acceptance with same-day delivery will increase access to healthy food, and we look forward to the positive impact this new offering brings to Raley’s customers across California and Nevada.”

“We’re proud to partner with Raley’s – an independent, family-owned grocer that has served the Northern California community for generations – to enable online EBT SNAP payment acceptance and help more local families put nutritious food on the table,” added Sarah Mastrorocco, VP and general manager of health for San Francisco-based Instacart. “Nutrition security is a fundamental area of focus for Instacart because we know that access to healthy foods can play a critical role in promoting well-being and preventing disease.”

With more than 235 locations across four states and four Tribal Nations under eight well-known banners, West Sacramento, Calif.-based Raley’s is No. 48 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Rite Aid Commits $1M to EmbraceRace to Accelerate Racial Equity Initiatives

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Rite Aid Healthy Futures has committed an additional $1 million to EmbraceRace to support its work helping children learn about race in healthy, identity-affirming ways.

Founded in 2016, EmbraceRace drives progress by creating and curating tools, resources, discussion spaces and networks that parents, early-childhood educators and other adults need to raise children who are thoughtful, informed and brave about race. The organization aims to reach more than 5 million parents and caregivers by 2025.

[Enter Progressive Grocer’s 2023 Impact Awards honoring ESG efforts]

The latest funding from Healthy Futures will support EmbraceRace’s continued creation of self-directed online resources for parents and guardians interested in learning and strengthening their caregiving practices. The grant will also fund new place-based groups that bring together people in the organization’s early-childhood community, as well as EmbraceRace’s field infrastructure, evaluation tools, and a national conference attracting many leaders and practitioners in the field.

Rite Aid Healthy Futures is entering its fourth year of partnering with EmbraceRace. The latest grant builds upon $1 million issued to EmbraceRace in 2020, which helped the Amherst, Mass.-based organization become an emerging leading voice in the early racial learning community.

“EmbraceRace addresses the critical need to ensure racial awareness, learning and sensitivity are introduced to kids at early ages,” said Matt DeCamara, executive director of Rite Aid Healthy Futures. “At a time when it’s so important to work for racial understanding and equity, their programs provide parents, caregivers and educators with the resources to guide kids through the constant challenges associated with bias and discrimination. Rite Aid Healthy Futures is proud to support EmbraceRace as it meets this moment of great need and influences the futures of countless children and families.”

Philadelphia-based Rite Aid operates 2,300-plus retail pharmacy locations across 17 states. The company is No. 21 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Walgreens to Offer Virtual Supplier Diversity Summit

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Walgreens has become the latest retailer to offer a Supplier Diversity Summit. Scheduled for the week of March 28, the virtual showcase for diverse businesses and entrepreneurs will give participants across the country the opportunity to meet Walgreens’ merchandising team, pitch their products and receive feedback, with the ultimate aim of gaining placement in their local Walgreens stores.

During the event, Walgreens will work to boost sourcing from suppliers that are at least 51% owned, operated and managed by people who are disadvantaged, disabled, military veterans, LGBTQ+, minorities and/or women.

[Read more: "Walgreens Continues Consumer Health Care Push in Q1"]

“Meeting the needs of our diverse patients and customers is imperative to our role as America’s community health care destination.” noted Alethia Jackson, SVP of environmental, social and governance and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. “We are looking forward to connecting with diverse suppliers that will ensure our shelves benefit everyone, providing a wider selection of products and services.”

The summit will focus on grocery and household, beauty and personal care, health and wellness, and general merchandise, among other categories. All sourcing and product submissions will be made through ECRM company RangeMe’s online product discovery and sourcing platform. Solon, Ohio-based ECRM will qualify suppliers, create curated meeting schedules and facilitate face-to-face virtual meetings with Walgreens buyers. All meetings will be conducted via ECRM’s virtual meeting platform, ECRM Connect.  

Included in the U.S. Retail Pharmacy and U.S. Healthcare segments of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens operates nearly 9,000 retail locations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and is No. 5 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.