News Briefs


Apeel Sciences Announces Leadership Changes


Apeel Sciences is shoring up its leadership team. The company, which provides plant-based solutions that extend the shelf life of fresh produce, has promoted Ryan Fink to SVP of the Americas and named Marius du Plessis as chief commercial officer.

Fink was elevated from his most recent position as VP. He came to the company two years ago as a senior director of major accounts after serving as a VP of North American operations for Mission Produce. At Apeel, he will pursue new business opportunities for the network of more than 30 avocado, lime and apple suppliers around the continent.

[Read more: "Apeel Brings Its Produce Protection to Cucumbers"]

A 20-year produce industry veteran, du Plessis has worked in leadership and produce branding for companies including Jaffa Citrus and Clemengold. Based in South Africa, he will focus on growth in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) markets and work closely with partners in that region.

This is shaping up to be a busy year for Apeel, which estimates that its protection for avocados will double in the U.S. market in 2023.

“We’ve learned a great deal in our first few years operating our commercial business, and are making significant shifts in the way we work with suppliers to ensure they are realizing the benefits of our technology,” Fink said. “With the help of improvements to our treatment processes and continued product development, we’ve made it easier and more cost-efficient to operate within our suppliers' packing houses.”

Added du Plessis: “Reducing the environmental impact of our food system is very important. Apeel can directly contribute to support Europe’s F2F objectives by giving suppliers and grocers a better way to manage their channels to drive efficiency and quality, and helping to prevent food waste in consumers’ homes.”

Apeel operates offices in Goleta, Calif., and MC De Lier, Netherlands.


Exec Shuffle at Grubhub

GrubHub Logo

Longtime Grubhub executive Adam DeWitt is exiting the company. Serving as CFO, president and, later, CEO, DeWitt shepherded Grubhub through its 2014 IPO, significant growth before and during the pandemic and its 2021 acquisition by Just Eat He will stay with the organization through May 1 to ensure a smooth transition.

Howard Migdal, CEO of Just Eat’s Canadian subsidiary SkipTheDishes, has been named CEO of Grubhub and EVP of North America. With 16 years of experience in the food delivery industry, Migdal co-founded GrubCanada and is credited with propelling growth at the SkipTheDishes food delivery network.  

[Read more: "Grubhub, Rite Aid Link Up for Delivery"]

“On behalf of the entire management board, I want to thank Adam for all his contributions at Grubhub,” said Jitse Groen, Just Eat’s CEO. “We are grateful for his leadership and dedication to the company, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. We are also excited to promote Howard. He has a proven track record as a leader with a deep understanding of our business, and we are confident in his ability to lead and grow the business into the future.”

Filling Migdal’s role as interim CEO of SkipTheDishes is Steve Puchala, SVP, growth and restaurant success. He will report to Migdal.


Publix Serves Week Focuses on Environmental Sustainability

Publix Serves Environmental Week Is Underway

More than 7,500 Publix Super Markets associates across the retailer’s seven-state footprint are spending Publix Serves Week volunteering for nonprofit organizations dedicated to environmental sustainability. Team members will help at over 200 organizations including Keep America Beautiful affiliates, parks, zoos, gardens and more.

“Since our founding, Publix has been committed to being responsible citizens in our communities, and that extends to protecting and preserving our environment,” said Publix Director of Community Relations Dwaine Stevens. “We’re proud to do good together for the communities we serve by protecting our natural resources.”

[Read more: "Publix Sees Solid Sales Growth for Q4, FY22"]

The grocer is also putting a spotlight on water stewardship, with recent efforts focusing on long-term collaborations to support freshwater restoration in the state of Florida, as well as sustainable fisheries practices. Last year, Publix also made a $2 million donation to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in the western Everglades and the saline glades region in the eastern section of the Everglades National Park.

Employee-owned and -operated Publix has close to 1,300 supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix is No. 12 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


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.