News Briefs


Hy-Vee Looking for More Local Brand Partners

Hy vee

Hy-Vee is making room on its shelves for more local products. The employee-owned retailer will host its next Best of Local Brands summit on May 10 as it widens its portfolio of such products across categories including grocery, produce, deli, general merchandise, frozen, dairy and health and beauty care.

During the summit, suppliers will present their products and ideas during 15- to 30-minute virtual presentations. Hy-Vee has encouraged suppliers with diverse backgrounds to apply for the quarterly event.

[Read more: "Hy-Vee Pilot Brings COVID, Flu Test-to-Treat Services In-Store"]

According to Hy-Vee, more than 125 new brands have hit the grocer’s shelves since the first Best of Local Brands event was held in early 2021.

More details about the application process are posted online. The portal opens March 20 and is open through April 3. Applicants who are not chosen for this round may be reviewed in the future, with their supplier profile still accessible on tech partner RangeMe’s platform.

Employee-owned Hy-Vee operates more than 285 retail stores across eight Midwestern states and has a team of more than 93,000 employees. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company is No. 30 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Ralphs to Hold In-Store, Virtual Hiring Events

Ralphs Sign Teaser

Ralphs Grocery Co. is looking to hire new associates for roles in retail, supply chain and manufacturing through several hiring events. Those interested in retail positions can learn more at in-store weekly hiring events each Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., running through May 13, while candidates for supply chain, manufacturing or delivery positions can take part in virtual sessions slated for April 4 and May 2 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST.

“Whether you are looking for a new opportunity, have questions about a career at Ralphs or know you are interested in joining our team, we encourage everyone to participate in a hiring event,” said LeAnne Romesburg, director of human resources at Compton, Calif.-based Ralphs.

[Read more: "Kroger Banner Goes on Offense to Avoid Power Outages"]

Hiring event participants  will meet with a Ralphs associate who can answer any questions they may have about a career in the grocery industry, and participate in open interviews. Candidates should complete the online application before the event. 

Ralphs employs more than 18,000 associates at 184 supermarkets across Southern California. Its parent company, Cincinnati-based Kroger, serves 11 million customers daily through a digital shopping experience and retail food stores under a variety of banner names, and is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Grocery TV Launches Retail Marketing Platform

Grocery TV Teaser

Grocery TV, the digital advertising network for grocery stores, has launched its upgraded Retail Marketing Platform equipped with new capabilities that improve the user experience and help retailers consolidate their in-store campaigns through a single tool. The platform plays a key role within Grocery TV’s full-store retail media solution.

The platform includes features such as:

• Campaign management across different display formats and in-store locations,
• Hyperlocal to national campaign targeting, and
• Real-time analytics tracking.

[Read more: “Top 10 Retail Innovations for 2023”]

“Our new and improved platform gives retailers the power to fully manage their in-store digital experience, and in turn increase shopper engagement and drive demand with each store visit, using localized, relevant content,” said Mike Pollack, CRO at Austin, Texas-basedGrocery TV. “After working with over 200 retailers in the past seven years, we’ve learned from their feedback and created new features to address their challenges and needs.”

Grocery TV’s updated Retail Marketing Platform is part of its broader full-store solution, which aims to help retailers and brands reach shoppers throughout the store and at all stages of the buying journey. In addition to its platform, the company also provides hardware, operations and engineering support, as well as incremental revenue opportunities for their retail partners.

This launch follows Grocery TV’s recent acquisition of Mediaworks, which added digital entrance displays to the network’s inventory and fueled its full-store expansion. Grocery TV plans to roll out digital in-store media products for all major areas of the store, including service departments, center store and pharmacy.


Food Lion Relocates Another Store

food lion

Even though it’s only the second week in March, it’s been a busy month for Food Lion. On the heels of a March 8 opening in South Boston, Va., the grocer is set to unveil another relocated store.

The new Food Lion in Kernersville, N.C., replacing a previous location, will welcome shoppers at 8 a.m. on March 15 following a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. Located at 1014 N. Main Street, the Kernersville store includes some of Food Lion’s latest consumer-centric offerings, including grab-and-go prepared meals, an array of plant-based products, a walk-in produce cooler, expanded store brand assortments and foodservice-at-retail options such as fresh sushi, hand-battered fried chicken and Asian food bar. The retailer is also stocking several local products that range from baked goods to craft beers.

To mark the opening, Food Lion is giving away mystery gift cards to the first 100 customers, along with a reusable shopping bag and custom apron. The grocer also donated a total of $4,500 to local feeding agencies through its Food Lion Feeds program. 

The Kernersville store will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion has more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, and employs more than 82,000 associates. Its 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.


Nobell Foods Brings on Impossible Foods Vet to Spearhead R&D

Sergey S

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.

[Read more: "Which CPGs Were Growth Leaders in ’22?"]

"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

Kroger Fishers Indiana Teaser

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.

[Read more: “Kroger Hires Former House Speaker John Boehner to Push Albertsons Merger”]

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.

Serving 11 million customers daily through a digital shopping experience and 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