News Briefs


Natural Grocers Aims to Help Shoppers ‘Beat Time Change Blues’

Natural Grocers Beat the Time Change Blues Teaser

Natural Grocers wants to help shoppers adjust to daylight saving time with its fifth annual Beat the Time Change Blues event, taking place March 11-14. During the event, customers can take advantage of savings, free samples and sweepstakes at all participating Natural Grocers stores.

In addition to a free sample-size packet of Natural Grocers Brand Organic Coffee for the first 200 customers at each store on March 11, customers can enter in-store to win free coffee for one year to help keep them awake, with one grand-prize winner getting a weekend getaway for two to Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz. – located in a state where daylight saving time isn’t observed. Shoppers will also receive up to 55% off Natural Grocers’ prices.

[Read more: "Natural Grocers Recaps Commitment to Regenerative Agriculture"]

Further, Natural Grocers is encouraging consumers to sign a petition ending daylight saving time, which the retailer noted is linked by studies to “increased risks of heart attacks, injuries and accidents associated with the disruption of sleep and the efforts it takes to synchronize the body’s internal clock.”

Founded in 1955, family-operated Natural Grocersoperates more than 160 stores in 21 states. The Lakewood, Colo.-based natural and organic grocer is No. 95 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of thetop food and consumables retailers in North America.


H-E-B, Food Lion Lauded for Regional Performance

HEB Food Lion

Location analytics and foot traffic data firm recently evaluated retail businesses across different categories to identify strong and growing regional operations. Coming out on top for the grocery sector: Texas-based H-E-B and North Carolina-headquartered Food Lion.

According to’s assessment, H-E-B’s cult-like following is not a fluke, but based on sheer popularity, regional pride and reputation as an employer. As for foot traffic, the firm points out that H-E-B’s visits were up in 2022, with a 7% gain in foot traffic over pre-pandemic 2019. The retailer’s prolific presence, as it expands its footprint across the region, is likely to bump up that traffic even more. also gave a nod to Food Lion for becoming a go-to destination in its service area. Some of its strength in garnering traffic includes its extensive community involvement and commitment through the Food Lion Feeds food pantry program. Traffic is also up at this regional grocer, with 41.3% of grocery visits in North Carolina happening at Food Lion stores in 2022, versus 36.9% in 2019.

Other regional players can take a cue from these grocers,’s analysts noted. They wrote: “Local pride can boost grocery visits. H-E-B and Food Lion have cultivated a devoted customer base by leaning into their regional characteristics and creating a community around their shopping experience.”

San Antonio-based H-E-B's store formats in Texas and Mexico include H-E-B, Central Market, Joe V’s Smart Shop and Mi Tienda. The company is No. 16 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North AmericaSalisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion has more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. Its parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize is No. 10 on The PG 100.


Harris Teeter Refreshes Brand Image

Harris Teeter Refresh Teaser

Harris Teeter has rolled out a refreshed logo, along with a new tagline and marketing campaign, “In food with love.” These elements spotlight the grocer’s longtime commitment to innovating and adapting to meet the evolving needs of its customers.

“At Harris Teeter, we’ve always been in love with every aspect of the food business, from supporting our associates to giving back to our local communities to providing the best selection of premium items at a great value,” noted Matt Martin, the grocer’s VP of marketing. “Our modernized and refreshed logo, along with our new tagline and marketing campaign, are a succinct expression of who we are and what we aspire to be.”  

[Read more: "Harris Teeter to Host Supplier Diversity Summit"] 

The new logo and tagline were revealed in a social media and digital display ad campaign launched March 1 across the Harris Teeter footprint, and a TV ad campaign kicked off March 9. In the near future, customers will see the updated branding in stores and eventually on their local Harris Teeter storefront. 

“Every day, Harris Teeter strives to enrich lives – one meal, one family, one associate and one community at a time,” said Tammy DeBoer, the company’s president. “‘In food with love’ expresses our connection with our 36,000-plus valued associates, the millions of customers we serve, and the vibrant communities in which we operate.” 

A wholly owned subsidiary of The Kroger Co., No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter employs 36,000 associates across more than 250 stores and 60 fuel centers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, Florida, and the District of Columbia.


Food Rocket Ceases U.S. Operations

Food Rocket Logo Teaser

Rapid grocery delivery startup Food Rocket has become the latest casualty in this sector, having ceased operations this month after exhausting its funding. According to the company, it ran out of capital while struggling to raise additional funding, and the recent downturn in the capital market made it difficult to get a bridge from its investor retail company Alimentation Couche-Tard, so the founding team decided to shutter its U.S. operations.  

“We believe that the rapid delivery industry has disrupted the retail market and changed consumer behaviors,” noted Vitaly Alexandrov, CEO and founder of San Francisco-based Food Rocket. “Unfortunately, current economic conditions reshuffled the tech market and presented significant challenges in the venture capital market. The decision to cease operations was incredibly hard, and we put in 100% up until the very last day, trying to stay afloat for our customers and team members.”

Food Rocket launched in its hometown of San Francisco in April 2021, and then expanded to Chicago in February 2022 and Charlotte, N.C., last November at two Circle K stores. Quick-delivery platforms that have also fallen by the wayside include Buyk, Fridge No More and Zero Grocery, while others have laid off workers and restructured their businesses in the face of a more hybrid approach to buying groceries, coupled with such marketplace headwinds as labor scarcities, high prices, omnichannel competition and an uncertain economy.

Alimentation Couche-Tard is a global leader in convenience and fuel retail, with more than 7,000 U.S. locations and more than 14,300 worldwide. The Laval, Quebec-based company, home to Couche-Tard and Circle K banners and operating more than 14,100 stores, is No. 18 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


The Future of Sustainable Pork

Acceligen Pork

Acceligen, a biotech company innovating sustainable agriculture, has revealed the breeding of gene-edited pigs with resistance to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS). This breakthrough represents a significant step forward in the pursuit of sustainable and ethical pork production.

PRRS is the most devastating disease to the swine industry in the United States, affecting not only the productivity of pigs, but also their health and wellness. This regularly occurring and complex disease has been documented to cause an estimated $500 million in losses to pork producers, thus affecting the food security of countless people around the world.

[Read more: "Organizations Unite to Protect U.S. From African Swine Fever"]

Deploying protein modifications developed by Kansas State University, Acceligen is able to breed pigs naturally resistant to PRRS. The use of new breeding technology will improve overall animal well-being, leading to healthier animals and a safer food supply. Additionally, the company said that breeding pigs naturally resistant to PRRS may reduce the environmental impact of pork production by improving efficiency. The resistance to PRRS virus infection was proved effective through a collaboration with Professor Bob Rowland at the University of Illinois.

"This is an exciting time to be at the forefront of this impactful breeding application in sustainable agriculture," noted Tad Sonstegard, CEO of Eagan, Minn.-based Acceligen. "Our goal is to use the best tools for breeding and selection to create a better future for animals, farmers, consumers and the environment. Gene editing is one of the most powerful breeding tools that allows us to address some of the biggest challenges facing the pork industry and to create a more sustainable and ethical food system."


Fabric, Synergy Partner to Optimize Warehouse Processes

fabric teaser

On-demand fulfillment provider Fabric has formed a strategic partnership with Synergy Design & Integration to employ fulfillment automation technology to streamline and optimize warehouse processes.

Formed in 2016 with the goal of creating a lean but completely customer-focused organization, Synergy’s team has more than 100 years of combined experience designing and building custom turnkey material-handling systems for industries such as retail, e-commerce and more. As a member of Fabric’s newly launched Partner Elite Program, Synergy will help clients identify and eliminate inefficiencies and increase warehouse volume.

“With this partnership, we’re bringing together innovative solutions that will ensure customers remain competitive and agile,” said Kimberly Barr, global director of partnerships of Fabric, which is based in Tel Aviv, with a main office in New York. “Customer expectations continue to rise across industries, and automated fulfillment is becoming a must-have. Fabric and Synergy are empowering retailers to meet those expectations.”

“The world’s largest brands are leveraging automated solutions for speed and efficiency in their fulfillment operations, and this powerful combination between Fabric and Synergy will deliver that capability to retailers of all sizes,” said Steve Sipkovsky, COO of Franklin, Tenn.-based Synergy. “This partnership offers a way for retailers to solve the ongoing challenge of a labor shortage and rising wages.”

The Fabric Partner Elite Program offers a cost-effective solution to improve customer experience, no matter the business model. System integrators receive training to sell and support joint implementation efforts, referral partners get access to tools that accelerate mutual sales and deepen relationships, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can leverage Fabric’s technology to provide high-density storage and increased throughput to their clients at a competitive cost advantage.