News Briefs


GetGo to Get Bitcoin ATMs

GetGo Location Teaser

The Giant Eagle-owned GetGo Café + Market convenience store chain has formed a partnership with Lux Vending LLC, dba Bitcoin Depot, an Atlanta-based Bitcoin ATM operator and fintech company, to install Bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) at 125 GetGo stores in various Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic metropolitan areas.

“We’re thrilled to work with a leading convenience store brand like GetGo to grow the footprint of Bitcoin Depot BTMs across locations in multiple states,” said Bitcoin Depot CEO Brandon Mintz. “We’re confident in our technology’s ability to provide easy and convenient crypto access to GetGo’s existing patrons while adding holistic value to their business and encouraging new customer traffic as well.”

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The partnership enables GetGo customers to purchase Bitcoin in easily accessible locations where a variety of additional amenities is available.

“Providing our guests with high-quality foods and the best in convenience is our top priority at GetGo,” noted Brandon Daniels, the convenience store chain’s public relations manager. “We continually look for new ways to better serve them, and new technologies are just one of the ways we can exceed their expectations.”

Bitcoin Depot allows users to convert their cash into Bitcoin via BDCheckout through its app and at about 7,000 kiosk locations in 48 states and 10 Canadian provinces. 

GetGo operates more than 270 locations throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, northern West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana, offering food and fuel in a variety of models, from open-concept stores to stand-alone kiosks. Its parent company, Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle, is No. 36 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Hepatitis A Infections Spark Frozen Fruit Recall

frozen strawberries

This time it’s frozen fruit in the food safety spotlight. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is conducting an epidemiological investigation into recent cases of hepatitis A infections tied to frozen organic strawberries. So far, there have been five illnesses and two hospitalizations attributed to the contaminated products.

[Read more: "GS1 U.S. Issues New Guidance for Food Industry Traceability"]

In response, several brands and retailers have issued a recall of the berries that were sourced from a common supplier in Mexico. The vendor California Splendor voluntarily recalled certain 4-pounds bags of Kirkland Signature frozen organic whole strawberries sold at Costco stores in Los Angeles and Hawaii. Another vendor, Scenic Fruit, provided now-recalled products to retailers including Costco, ALDI, KeHE and PCC Community Markets in specific states. The recall also includes Organic Tropical Fruit Blend SKUs sold at Trader Joe’s stores nationwide.

The FDA advised consumers to discard the products and, if those berries were eaten in the past two weeks, to contact their health care provider if they have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A.

For more information on the outbreak investigation, go to FDA's website.


Women Grocers of America Creates Share Group

Women Talking Teaser

Women Grocers of America is rolling out the Emerging Female Leaders Network, a share group for female leaders in the independent grocery industry who want to grow their professional network and ramp up their leadership development.

The new share group will debut in tandem with the spring gathering of the Executive Female Leaders Network (EXFL), meeting at the first half of the event on May 1-2 in Chicago. 

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Among the objectives of the share group will be establishing and growing connections and relationships with women in the grocery industry, learning new skills to support professional development, increasing confidence and acquiring tools to advance professionally, and learning more about the overall grocery industry, including consumer and market trends. 

“WGA continues to enjoy great success and growth in interest and membership after the inaugural EXFL meeting in Washington, D.C., last October, when more than 40 women met for two days of professional and personal development,” noted Kristin Popp, president of Women Grocers of America, which is part of the Washington, D.C.-based National Grocers Association, and EVP of Janesville, Wis.-based Woodman’s Markets. “This new share group will boost mentoring opportunities and allow women executives to nurture the next generation of leadership for our industry.” 

With a targeted attendance of 12-15 women, the share group will meet in spring and fall with the executive network, in addition to various virtual touchpoints, creating a mentor “buddy” system among its members and members of EXFL. Participants must attend virtual and in-person events.


Walgreens' U.S. Locations Transitioning to Phenol-Free Paper Receipts

receipt teaser

Walgreens Boots Alliance is continuing with its company-wide changeover to phenol-free paper receipts. The transition consists of a phased approach, which began with all of its Boots locations in the United Kingdom, and the retailer is now working to complete the phenol-free changeover at all of its nearly 9,000 Walgreens and Duane Reade stores in the United States by the end of 2023. 

Phenol-based chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) or bisphenol S (BPS) were used to coat thermal papers. These chemicals protected the paper and printer against overheating.

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However, studies have found that long-term handling of these chemicals – even in small amounts – can have a negative impact on health, affecting hormones, metabolism and other bodily functions.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Walgreens also began offering a completely “no contact” checkout option for customers, including the ability to receive digital- only receipts. Currently, according to the company, this step alone is saving 87 miles of receipt paper every day.

Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens, which operates nearly 9,000 retail locations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is No. 5 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Naturipe Farms Focuses on Premium With New Position

John Johnston

Naturipe Farms, a century-old, farmer-owned producer of berries and avocados, has created and filled a new position of director of premium products. John Johnston is taking on that role, bringing more than 15 years of food and agribusiness experience to Naturipe.

Among other suppliers, Johnston has worked for Driscoll’s, Chiquita, Fresh Express and H.J. Heinz. He is also an active volunteer member and leader at the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.

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In the new premium product position, Johnston will work to leverage Naturipe’s grower/owner investments in proprietary genetics. He will oversee current premium products like Mighty Blues, Mighty Reds and Greenhouse Strawberries and guide the development of new offerings.

“I am extremely excited to bring John on board as he is going to be an outstanding addition to the best berry team in the world,” said Jim Roberts, president of sales. “His focus on premium products will help further differentiate Naturipe Farms from our competitors and provide a return on the investments our owners have made on new genetics focused on flavor and quality.” Johnston will report directly to Roberts. 

In addition to premium products, Naturipe Farms markets a variety of fresh, frozen and value-added items produced by a diverse grower base. Founded in 1917, the company is based in Salinas, Calif.


Erewhon Opens 9th Store in SoCal


Independent organic grocer Erewhon is readying its latest store in California. The new location at 9300 Culver Boulevard in downtown Culver City known for its film studios and growing tech hub will open on March 22.

Erewhon, which holds Certified B Corp and Certified Organic Retailer accreditations, has long staked a claim in the region for its organic offerings and commitment to supporting local growers and sustainable agricultural practices. This is the indie retailer’s ninth store in area and the second largest in terms of its footprint.

[Read more: "Erewhon Offers Composting Appliance on Shelves"]

In addition to a wide assortment of fresh products, including produce, meat, dairy and eggs, the Culver City Erewhon carries several grab-and-go and foodservice-at-retail options. The location includes a juice and coffee bar, sushi selection and fresh soup bar, along with Erewhon’s signature Organic Tonic Bar and The Organic Café.

“We are excited and glad to be part of Culver City,” said CEO Tony Antoci. “We are proud to serve this community and to extend our ethos as a company to a city that is innovative, environmentally conscious and growing.”

Erewhon Market was founded more than 50 years ago and is making plans beyond this Culver City outpost. The family-owned grocer shared that it is working on its 10th location in Pasadena, with a planned opening later this year. In addition to operating stores in the Southern California region, the retailer offers national shipping.