Giant Food is testing a new foodservice-at-retail partnership. According to local media reports, a Giant Food store in Ellicott City, Md., is close to opening a Nalley Fresh outpost.
The Baltimore-based fast-casual chain specializes in salads, bowls and wraps and currently operates nine locations in Maryland, including a site at Baltimore/Washington International Airport. The first Nalley Fresh within a Giant Food store will be unveiled at the end of March at 9200 Baltimore National Pike.
The chain’s owner, Greg Nalley, told the Baltimore Business Journal that the concept may expand into other Giant Food stores. "They have a lot of stores where they want to do this," he reported.
Based in Landover, Md., Giant Food operates 165 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia, with approximately 20,000 associates. Included within the 165 stores are 153 full-service pharmacies, more than 80 full-service PNC Banks and 29 Starbucks locations. Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.
SpartanNash customers recently put a fundraising effort over the finishing line, raising $205,000 for Special Olympics. The SpartanNash Foundation kicked in another $30,000 to support the organization’s athletes and State Summer Games in eight states across its retail footprint. Funds will go directly to Special Olympics affiliates in each state.
The food solutions company’s fundraiser ran Feb. 8-24 at SpartanNash-owned stores, where shoppers could round up their purchase or add $1, $5 or $10 at checkout or online through the company’s e-commerce Fast Lane platform.
“We’re extremely proud of our ongoing partnership with the Special Olympics and our communities who show up year after year to support opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to develop new skills and friendships,” said Adrienne Chance, SVP at SpartanNash and executive director of the SpartanNash Foundation. “As a People First company, we are honored to celebrate our own associate athletes as well as the other children and adults who demonstrate incredible courage and commitment within their sports.” To Chance’s point, 16 Special Olympics athletes are SpartanNash employees with a combined 148 years of service.
“We are always amazed, but never shocked, when the SpartanNash community turns out in support of our organization and athletes,” said Tim Hileman, president and CEO of Special Olympics Michigan. “The energy they put into this annual fundraiser, combined with the volunteer and cheer time, speaks to the Foundation’s long-standing commitment to the Special Olympics.”
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 also operates 147 supermarkets and employs 17,500-plus associates.
H-E-B Remodeling San Antonio Store, Growing 110,000 Square Feet
More than two decades after it first opened its doors in San Antonio, Texas, the H-E-B in Lincoln Heights is getting a new look. The retailer has started a complete wall-to-wall remodel and expansion of its store at 999 East Basse Road.
“Our team is hard at work reinventing our Lincoln Heights store to better reflect and serve this vibrant community,” said Kyle Stevens, H-E-B group VP San Antonio. “We want to create a store our loyal customers can be proud of, and we look forward to continue offering a quality shopping experience and the best H-E-B has to offer.”
Once work is complete, every department throughout the store will be expanded to serve customers, growing the store to more than 110,000 square feet. The store will feature new and upgraded departments, a larger product assortment, an expanded curbside area with more dedicated parking, and a new pharmacy drive-thru. Additionally, there are plans for a True Texas BBQ in-store restaurant, which will include indoor and outdoor seating.
The store will remain operational during the renovations.
“At H-E-B, our customers mean everything to us, and we are grateful to the Lincoln Heights customer for their continued patience during this exciting remodel,” said Elisa Gutierrez, H-E-B Lincoln Heights store leader.
The largest privately held employer in Texas, San Antonio-based H-E-B has more than 430 stores and 154,000 employees in Texas and Mexico. The grocer’s store formats include H-E-B, Central Market, Joe V’s Smart Shop and Mi Tienda. H-E-B also owns Favor Delivery, a service available in cities across Texas. The company is No. 16 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.
It’s a package deal for a reimagined Dole Packaged Foods, LLC as the company transforms into a purpose-led, more holistic organization. The Westlake Village, Calif.-based CPG is defining itself as a nutrition and wellness company and rolling out a spate of new products that reflect its mission.
Nearly a dozen launches are planned for this year, including the rollout of the iconic Dole Whip frozen treat into retail. That move is already garnering buzz on social media.
Dole shared other impending new products, such as a line of Good Crunch sustainably-produced dehydrated pineapple and banana bites and Dole Wiggles fruit juice gels made with 100% fruit juice. In beverages, the company will unveil Dole Light pineapple juice drink, pineapple mango juice, Digestive Bliss fruit juice drink and a new brand of probiotic sodas. According to the company, the lineup of new food and drink products create "great-tasting products without processed sugars, increasing access to fruit-based nutrition, decreasing food waste, working to reduce plastic and carbon emissions, and growing value for all Dole partners and stakeholders."
As R&D efforts focus on nutrition and wellness, the 170-year-old company also made changes to its North American leadership team led by SVP and Managing Director Orzse Hodi. Other executive team members include Nora Witt and Jennifer Hirano, who lead the marketing function, and Kimberly Galante, who spearheads R&D.
"I am thrilled to work with this talented and driven group of women to bring innovative and delicious products to our consumers here in North America," said Hodi. "We have made great progress towards the goals of the Dole Promise since it was introduced in 2020, but there is still much work to be done. I'm looking forward to making even more meaningful strides with this team of changemakers to bring sunshine and good nutrition to all."
Reports are circulating that the Southern convenience store and fuel station chain Buc-ee’s is headed to the Badger State. The planning and zoning commission in DeForest, Wis., north of the state capital of Madison, received a proposal from the Buc-ee’s to build a 73,000-square-foot site along Highway V and not far from the busy I-39/90/94 corridor.
The travel station would be Buc-ee’s northernmost location. "We often end up in communities like DeForest, and we love being here," Buc-ee's real estate director Stan Beard told WKOW-TV in Madison. "That's kind of the fun part for me, getting to know the smaller communities we rely on."
Buc-ee’s stores carry a wide assortment of products, including items geared towards travelers and a line of private label products. The centers offer fresh, hot food available made to order 24 hours a day.
Founded in 1982, Buc-ee's has expanded beyond its native Texas in recent years, with new locations in Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kentucky. Its latest center recently opened in Athens, Ala., and the company broke ground in November on its largest site in Luling, Texas. In all, the travel center operation currently runs 57 locations around the U.S.
Majority of Americans Want Quick, Convenient Meals
According to a recent Atomik study for the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA), released in tandem with its 40th observation of March Frozen Food Month, nearly all Americans (94%) look for food options with a longer shelf life so that it’s available for cooking convenience, and at least once a week, frozen foods have offered a lifeline to almost four in five (77%) parents making last-minute dinner plans.
“With more than half of American parents (69%) indicating that they typically plan dinner on the fly, having a freezer full of frozen options provides quick, easy and healthy solutions for parents during dinner time,” said Tricia Greyshock, EVP/COO at Harrisburg, Pa.-based NFRA. “Frozen foods can also provide peace of mind for parents knowing that they can still provide nutritious meals at home rather than eating out.”
As part of ongoing initiatives throughout March, NFRA has teamed up with chef and TV personality Jamie Gwen on no-fuss mealtime ideas for busy families. The nonprofit trade organization also sponsors Easy Home Meals to show families how to make simple, nutritious meals with foods from the frozen and dairy aisles. During the month, NFRA will also promote its annual $10,000 sweepstakes, which participants can enter for a chance to win one of 18 first prizes of $500 supermarket gift cards, or the grand prize of $1,000 supermarket gift card.
The association has sponsored March Frozen Food Month since its inception in 1984. The month-long celebration involves promoting frozen foods by sharing resources with NFRA members throughout the month, among them recipes, point-of-sale materials, social content and tips.