Nobell Foods has hired a former innovator at Impossible Foods to lead its scientific development efforts. The San Francisco-based company that uses plant-based proteins to create animal-free cheeses appointed Sergey Solomatin as its new VP of food science and product development.
Solomatin spent more than a decade at Impossible Foods before joining Nobell Foods. While at Impossible Foods, he helped develop and commercialize several food technologies and created that company’s materials and texture research group comprised of 30 industry scientists. His career includes work in nucleic acid biochemistry, biophysics, polymer chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences, and he earned a doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
"As we pioneer a new category in food with plant-grown proteins, the innovative work that Sergey and his team are doing will enable us to challenge the perceptions of what animal-free cheese tastes, melts, and stretches like,” said Nobell Foods’ CEO and founder Magi Richani.
For his part, Solomatin said he is looking forward to helping propel growth in alternative cheeses as Nobell continues to raise funds for development. "As a young company that's building an entirely new category, Nobell Foods has a huge opportunity to drive real change and create a positive impact on the planet and people," he remarked. "Nobell Foods is already leading the future of food with their work around casein, and I'm beyond honored to join their innovative team."
Postal Prescription Service Reports Incident Involving Kroger Accounts
Due to an internal error, Healthy Options Inc. d/b/a Postal Prescription Service (PPS) has discovered on Jan. 10 that certain patients' names and email addresses were improperly shared with its affiliated grocery business. The names and email addresses were used to create a Kroger grocery account for affected individuals. No financial information or clinical information was disclosed. The information was limited to the patient's first name, last name and email address for those who created an online PPS account from July 2014 through Jan. 13, 2023, which is when this issue was corrected.
Upon learning of this incident, PPS updated its website to address this problem. Kroger is also reviewing its procedures to evaluate changes to reduce the likelihood of this type of incident from occurring in the future.
According to PPS, the incident was not caused by or related to a security incident.
Kroger has not received any indication that the information was misused. However, as a general best practice, customers are encouraged to remain vigilant and monitor their accounts for any suspicious activity, and to report any suspected incidents of fraud to their financial institutions.
Letters regarding this incident have been sent to affected individuals at the address (mail or email) Kroger has on file.
The 2023 Seafood Excellence Awards were presented on the first day of Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America (SENA), taking place March 12-14 in Boston, with Sandpoint, Idaho-based Thunder’s Catch receiving the Best New Retail Product award for its Wild Salmon Chowder, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Netuno USA garnering the Best New Foodservice Product award for its Tambaqui Ribs.
Winners were chosen from a group of finalists during a live judging held the morning of March 12 by a panel of seafood buyers and industry experts from the retail and foodservice industries. This year’s judges were Jeff Meagher, business development manager at Richmond, Va.-based Performance Foodservice; Al Baroudi, VP, QA and food safety, The Cheesecake Factory, based in Calabasas, Calif.; and Douglas Varanai, meat and seafood category manager at Sprouts Farmers Market.
Finalists were earlier selected through a screening of products in the Seafood Expo North America New Product Showcase. The showcase features seafood products, condiments and culinary dishes introduced in the past year by exhibiting companies. The new products are judged based on such criteria as uniqueness and appropriateness to the market, taste profile, market potential, convenience, nutritional value, and originality.
Produced by Portland, Maine-based Diversified Communications, SENA is North America’s largest seafood trade event, this year drawing 1,141 exhibiting companies from 49 countries.
Marymount University has become the first higher-education institution in the United States to open an on-campus convenience store powered by Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology.
Located in the lobby of Gerard Phelan Hall on Marymount’s main campus, in Arlington, Va., the store, known as Saints 24, enables customers to use a credit card at the entrance and grab what they need as the technology automatically detects what’s taken from (or returned to) store shelves. When customers have completed their shopping, they can leave the store without checking out, and their credit card will be charged for the items they took.
“Becoming the first university in the U.S. to collaborate with Amazon in incorporating its Just Walk Out technology at an on-campus convenience shop demonstrates how Marymount is leading the way in fostering an innovative and exciting student experience that appeals to the tech-savvy college students of today,” noted Dr. Irma Becerra, president of Marymount, which plans to hold a grand-opening ceremony for Saints 24 on April 20.
“Marymount is committed to providing students with new and exciting on-campus experiences that cater to their needs, and we’re proud to collaborate on their first checkout-free store,” said Dilip Kumar, VP of AWS Applications. “Now, students and guests can grab food, beverages and other essentials in a way that is easy and convenient for them.”
Home management platform Thumbtack is rolling out branded displays at more than 300 H-E-B stores across Texas to help shoppers connect with pet services ranging from dog walking to grooming. Customers can scan a QR code to find and access local pet service providers while completing their shopping.
This is the home services company’s first foray into physical retail. Thumbtack is also offering its Thumbtack On-Demand feature in select H-E-B stores, allowing consumers to easily find and connect with local tradespeople, lawn care and cleaning services at a 10% discount.
“Thumbtack’s job is to make caring for everything in and around the home a seamless experience for the homeowner,” said David Steckel, senior director of strategic partnerships at San Francisco-based Thumbtack. “Expanding into physical retail brings us one step closer to that by allowing us to be a partner for consumers whether they’re shopping in-store for their pets or getting their backyards ready for hosting.”
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.
Natural Grocers Aims to Help Shoppers ‘Beat Time Change Blues’
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.
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.”