News Briefs


St Pierre Bakery Expands Distribution into Walmart

St P waffles

Reflecting the elevation of that bread subcategory, brioche products are available at Walmart. St Pierre Bakery announced that it has secured distribution with that leading retailer to carry three of its SKUs.

According to St Pierre Bakery, its sliced brioche loaf variants are rolling out into 2,200 Walmart locations, while its waffles with butter product are on the shelf at more than 4,000 stores. The brand is supporting the introduction with marketing efforts.

[Read more: "How Supermarkets Can Capitalize on Increased Bakery Sales"]

“This is fantastic news for the brand and the result of a collaborative relationship we have built with Walmart, creating a sound strategy and a lot of shared insight,” said David Wagstaff, managing director at St Pierre Bakery. “We have invested heavily in our supply chain to ensure we maintain our industry leading fill rates and deliver for our customers. We knew that the opportunity justified the investment, but driving distribution was key to realizing it and our products appearing on shelves in Walmart stores nationwide has helped us to do just that.”

At Walmart, St Pierre loaves will be merchandised for the first time in the commercial bread aisle. The brand’s offerings are typically displayed in the in-store bakery area.

Brioche continues to make gains in the overall bread category. St Pierre cited data showing that the subcategory has grown by $98 million on a year-over-year basis, with St Pierre capturing almost 18% branded market share and 71% branded market share within the in-store bakery section.

Based in Manchester, England, the St Pierre Groupe spans the St Pierre Bakery brand as well as the Baker Street and Paul Hollywood brands. In 2022, St Pierre Group joined the Grupo Bimbo portfolio.


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.”

[Read more: "Coinme Offers 6 Additional Cryptocurrencies"]

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.


Thrive Market Launches Podcast

Thrive Market Achieves B-Corp Certification

Health-focused e-grocer Thrive Market has debuted its first-ever podcast. “But Are You Thriving?” will feature Thrive Market co-founders Nick Green and Gunnar Lovelace in conversation with experts in the realms of health, wellness and sustainability. 

Scheduled to air every other Wednesday on all major platforms, including Apple and Spotify, the nine-episode podcast will welcome such guests as actor Adrian Grenier (episode 1) and “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert, as well as nutrition and wellness advocates like Thomas DeLauer, Melissa Urban and Mark Sisson.

[Read more: "Thrive Market’s Pennsylvania Fulfillment Center Receives TRUE Gold Certification"]

Since 2014, when they helped found Los Angeles-based Thrive Market, Green and Lovelace have aimed to democratize healthy living by boosting access to healthy and affordable food, personal care, and household products. Along the way, they’ve teamed up with many experts to help turn their vision for a healthier, more equitable future into reality, and the new podcast is part of those efforts. 


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. 

[Read more: "Isom IGA’s Gwen Christon Named WGA Woman of the Year"]

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.

[Read more: "NCR Expands ATM Presence, Services at Walgreens"]

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.