News Briefs


How Do Grocery Employees Rate their Large Employers?


Several grocers made the list of  America’s Best Large Employers, released by business magazine Forbes this week. The ranking is based on a survey of about 45,000 people who work for companies with more than 5,000 employees and who were asked whether they would recommend their current employer.

H-E-B came in high on the list, at No. 5.  The Texas-based grocer has a roster of about 145,000 employees, which is set to grow as H-E-B expands its footprint with new stores.

Others in the top 100 include Trader Joe’s (No. 16), Costco Wholesale (No. 25), Wegmans Food Markets (No. 44), QuikTrip (No. 79), Publix Super Markets (No. 82) and ALDI (No. 85). 

At Publix, spokeswoman Maria Brous attributed the recognition to the company’s ownership model, tendency to promote from within and support of employees preparing for advancement. “It’s an honor to know that our associates enjoy working at Publix and would recommend us to their friends and family,” Brous said. “For more than 90 years, our associates have shared our culture and driven our success. We’re proud of their contributions and remain committed to investing in them.”

Forbes’ complete list is available online.

The retailers on Forbes list are also ranked on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. San Antonio, Texas-based H-E-B is No. 16; Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe’s is No. 27; Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco is No. 3; Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans is No. 34; Tulsa, Okla.-based QuikTrip Corpis No. 33; Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix is No. 12; and Batavia, Ill.-based ALDI U.S. is No. 24 on the PG 100.


Dollar General Recognized for Leadership and Development Programs

Dollar General Checkout Teaser

Dollar General has been recognized by Training magazine for the retailer’s training initiatives with the Hall of Fame Best New Training Initiative award. The company has been featured on the publication’s Top 100 list for more than 10 consecutive years and was named to the Training Hall of Fame in 2021.

“Dollar General proudly continues to grow and improve our leadership and development offerings for employees,” noted Kathy Reardon, the company’s EVP and chief people officer. “Whether through daily reinforcement training, our commercial drivers’ license program (CDL), zero-debt degrees, or general education courses for our employees and their families, we are proud to invest in our people and the communities we call home through education.”

[Read more: "Dollar General Opens 19,000th Store"]

Last year, Dollar General partnered with Herndon, Va.-based Workforce Edge to provide full-time employer-paid degree programs from Strayer University and Capella University. The retailer also offers a yearly tuition assistance allocation for full-time employees to fund the completion or start of a new degree program at a higher-education institution of their choice. 

Along with the degree options, Dollar General employees and their immediate family members can access Minneapolis-based Sophia Learning, an online, on-demand self-paced learning platform offering general education courses to launch their education and pursue professional development. 

Dollar General also offers robust internal training programs and pathways for career growth, including an internal CDL program that gives current store and distribution center employees the chance to receive on-the-job training to earn their licenses and join the DG Private Fleet network.

Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based Dollar General operated 19,000 stores in 47 states as of Jan. 28. The company is No. 15 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Wegmans Moves to Accept EBT SNAP Payments Online

Wegmans app teaser

Wegmans Food Markets is making it easier for Electronic Benefits Transfer and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (EBT SNAP) recipients to use their benefits to make online purchases. The payment method is now being accepted for online grocery orders made via and the Wegmans app, with users receiving free delivery for three orders.

Customers using EBT SNAP can apply a filter while shopping in order to display only those items that qualify for the benefits, and also designate the amount charged to their benefits. A secondary form of payment will be required for items not covered under EBT SNAP.

[Read more: "Wegmans Cutting the Ribbon on New Virginia Store"]

“Each week, thousands of Wegmans orders are placed on the Wegmans app and website, and we continue to hear from customers that it would be helpful to be able to use their SNAP benefits when placing an order,” said Erica Tickle, Wegmans VP of e-commerce. “Adding this functionality is an important step to further increase access to healthy food throughout the communities we serve.”

Continued Trish Kazacos, Wegmans corporate nutrition manager: “Through this initiative, we’re supporting our company mission of helping people live healthier, better lives through food. Over the last year, we’ve focused on developing tools and resources to help all our customers plan and shop for foods that support health. Accepting EBT SNAP for online orders helps to increase access to affordable, nutritious foods.”

Family-owned Wegmans operates more than 100 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and Massachusetts. The company is No. 34 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named Wegmans as a Top Regional to watch in 2023.


Kroger Union Associates in Atlanta Receive Wage Increase

kroger ohio teaser

The Kroger Co. employees in Atlanta and Savannah, Ga., represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) 1996 will receive a wage increase thanks to a mutual agreement between the grocer and the union. Starting wages will rise to $14.50 an hour for clerks, and early increases in hourly wages will be given to all eligible associates.

Existing clerks earning less than $14.50 per hour will have their wages increased, according to a joint statement from Kroger UFCW 1996, and courtesy clerk hourly wages will rise to $11.75. Effective Feb. 5, all other associates will receive their next scheduled increase, which was originally set to take place on June 25.

[Read more: "Are Kroger and Albertsons Closer to Store Divestitures?"]

“The company and union agree that these wage increases will be an investment in associates. These wage increases, as well as existing pensions for retirement, and affordable, competitive healthcare are some of the outstanding benefits negotiated for you between the union and the company,” the joint statement read. “Other than these changes, all other terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreements stay the same.”

The Atlanta and Savannah agreements cover 22,000 workers, all of which will see a pay increase. While the union says paycheck updates will take several weeks to be implemented, all increased pay will be retroactive to Feb. 5.

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


Kevin’s Natural Foods Awarded B Corp Certification

Kevin's B Corp

Kevin's Natural Foods is officially a B Corp. The Stockton, Calif.-based manufacturer of clean-label entrees, sides and sauces recently earned B Corp certification affirming that it meets high verified standards for social and environmental performances, transparency and accountability.

The company joins almost 4,000 B Corp organizations across 150 industries and 74 countries. The B Corp evaluation processes measures performance in governance, workers, customers, community and the environment.

[Read more: "Nonprofit Groups Launch ‘Little Labels, Big Impact’ Campaign"]

In addition to providing clean, nutrient-rich products and sustainable packaging, Kevin’s Natural Foods supports its employees through living wages, programs that provide financial security and health and wellness offerings. That holistic approach helped the company earn B Corp status, according to co-founder and president Kevin McCray.

"The most important aspect of our company is the people," McCray said. "Our consumers and employees play a crucial role in the business and with this recognition we are honored to join the list of like-minded brands using business as a force for good to better our communities as a whole. Being certified as a B Corp signifies the hard work our team has put in and while we still have areas to improve on we can now rely on this new community to make even better business decisions as a whole and continue our mission of providing healthy, convenient and flavorful meals to all."

Kevin’s Natural Foods products are available at food retailers around the country, including Whole Foods Market, Costco, Meijer, Kroger-owned banners and Amazon, among many others.  


Giant Co. to Launch Social Shelf Solution

Social Shelf PR Picture Teaser

Following a successful test in 2022, The Giant Co. has entered into an agreement with A3 Mediaco LLC to bring the latter’s Social Shelf solution to the grocer’s locations that carry adult beverages. The rollout is scheduled for this coming May.

Social Shelf is a shelf tag technology-based advertising tool that provides product information to consumers right at the aisle. “No advertising is forced on the consumers.” said Frank Gussoni, co-owner and CEO of Trooper, Pa.-based A3 Mediaco. “Shoppers now have the opportunity to choose the brands they want to learn more about while making their purchasing decisions.”

Social Shelf brands can speak to a consumer one-on-one and deliver a “social feel” differentiating message that’s authentic. “I don’t believe there is a more opportune time to speak to shoppers,” added Gussoni. “They are requesting brand information while shopping.”

The Social Shelf solution is available for retail use throughout the United States.

With more than 35,000 associates supporting more than 190 stores, 130-plus pharmacies, 107 fuel stations, and 180-plus online pickup hubs and a grocery delivery service in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and New Jersey, Carlisle, Pa.-based The Giant Co. encompasses the following banners: Giant, Martin’s, Giant Heirloom Market, Giant Direct and Martin’s Direct. Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.