News Briefs


Ahold Delhaize Successfully Prices Inaugural Green Bond


Ahold Delhaize has successfully priced a €500 million (approximately USD $545.2 million) green bond, with a term of five years, maturing on April 4, 2028.

The transaction marks Ahold Delhaize’s inaugural green bond issuance and follows its Sustainability Bond issuance in 2019, a €1 billion (approximately USD $1.1 billion) sustainability-linked revolving credit facility launched in 2020 and refinanced to €1.5 billion (approximately USD $ $1.6 billionin 2022, and a sustainability-linked bond issuance in 2021. All of these ESG (environmental, social and governance)-labeled financings align the company’s funding strategy to its sustainability strategy and overall ESG ambitions.

The bond proceeds will be used to finance and refinance Ahold Delhaize’s new or existing environmentally friendly assets with a positive measurable environmental impact in the following categories: 
green buildings, renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, andpollution prevention and control 

Ahold Delhaize has published an updated Green Finance Framework to detail the quality of the eligible green projects and the governance process regarding green finance.

Jan Ernst de Groot, chief sustainability officer said: “We’re excited to announce the issuance of the first green bond and fourth ESG financing instrument for the company. This transaction confirms Ahold Delhaize’s aspiration to taking up its sustainability challenges and mobilizing its teams to strive to create sustainable value for all its stakeholders. This step supports our updated climate plans announced last year, and allows us to accelerate our contribution to the transition to sustainable food systems.”

Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize that operates more than 2,000 stores across 23 states under the Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Co., Hannaford, and Stop & Shop brands, as well as e-grocer FreshDirect, is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in the United States.


Save A Lot Returns to Southern Kentucky

Save A Lot Prestonsburg KY Teaser

Discount grocery chain Save A Lot is returning to Prestonsburg, Ky., with the opening of a store at 525 Village Drive on Wednesday, March 29. The location, which originally opened as a Save A Lot in 2008 but had been operating under the Just Save banner since 2019, closed on March 21 to convert back to a Save A Lot store.

The grand-reopening celebration will feature a 9 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Save A Lot CEO Leon Bergmann; Saver Group store owners Dale Combs, Wendell Combs and Larry Noe; COO Keith DeFisher; and the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce. Following the ceremony, there will be a cookout in the parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with free samples from such brands as Eckrich Sausage and Smithfield Sausage. Additionally, through April 4, the store will give a free item to the first 100 people in line.

[Read more: "How Save A Lot Operators Are Helping Solve Food Insecurity at High-Profile Chicago Location"]

“We are excited to bring the Save A Lot banner back to Prestonsburg,” said Noe. “[We] understand that residents deserve high-quality food at a value price point that works for them. We think the Save A Lot brand helps us deliver that to our neighbors in Floyd County, and we can’t wait to have people experience this new option in town.”

Bergmann added that “the Save A Lot brand brings unmatched value and quality to over 800 communities nationwide, and [we] can’t wait for the Prestonsburg community to experience that for themselves.” 

The Prestonsburg store is open daily 8 a.m.-9 p.m.

With more than 850 stores in 32 states. Earth City, Mo.-based Save A Lot is No. 60 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


CitrusAd Partners With New On-Site Shoppable Video Platform

CitrusAd Teaser

CitrusAd and have partnered to deliver on-site shoppable video ad technology to retail media networks in the United States and abroad. The CitrusAd and Sponsorcart partnership simplifies video campaign activation and retail monetization, making it easier for brand advertisers across the globe to activate shoppable video campaigns on retail media networks. Brands can implement, manage and scale video ad creative, alongside add-to-cart functionality for corresponding SKUs that enables closed-loop, transparent measurement of return on ad spend. The new video ad formats will reportedly drive high-impact engagement for brands and fetch greater CPM (cost per thousand impressions) in a retailer’s revenue stream.

“CitrusAd is excited to scale these dynamic and innovative video ad formats. Brands will be able to easily align commercial video assets with SKUs directly within the path to purchase in a shopper-relevant manner. These enhanced shopper experiences deliver tremendous storytelling power and an attractive way for retailers to expand their media offering,” said Adam Skinner, managing director of retail media networks for St. Petersburg, Fla.-based CitrusAd.

[Read more: “AdsPostX Partners With Retail Media Powerhouse CitrusAd”]

“Our goal was to make it easy for video to play a larger role in retail media. We are delighted to tie our video ad platform to CitrusAd to make shoppable video ad campaigns dynamically populate in a native and personalized manner with lightning-fast load times,” said Stephen Caffrey, CEO and co-founder of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Sponsorcart. is an on-site end-to-end shoppable video platform built for retail media networks. According to the company, the platform makes it simple to launch and manage high-impact, unique video ad formats, while add-to-cart functionality provides closed-loop analytics for transparent and measurable ROI. Sponsorcart’s video solution appears natively along the path to purchase, with SKU optimization led by privacy-protected first-party retailer data for personalized relevancy at scale.


Natural Grocers Launches Free 1-on-1 Shopping Sessions

Natural Grocers personalized nutrition

In the era of tech-enabled personalization, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. is debuting a personalized shopping experience led by its team members. The organic retailer is offering the services of its nutritional health coaches, who can guide customers while they shop to make choices that support their personal health and wellness goals.

The free shopping sessions can be helpful to customers who have special dietary needs or who just want to learn more about the assortments at Natural Grocers. On their 30-minute one-on-one journey, shoppers can get tailored recommendations for products such as foods, supplements and body care, as well as household products with cleaner ingredients. The health coaches can also share suggestions for food and supplements for pets.

[Read more: "Natural Grocers Brand Products Expands With 5 Varieties of Canned Seafood"]

On top of the tour and coaching, shoppers who opt for the personalized service will receive a coupon for $5 off purchases of $25 or more.

“We are very excited to roll out this new service. We want to help take the confusion out of reading labels, shopping for supplements, and meal planning. We want to make it easier and quicker to shop so that achieving personal nutritional health goals can be done with ease,” said Karen Falbo, director of nutrition education.

Founded in 1955, family-operated Natural Grocers operates more than 160 stores in 21 states. The Lakewood, Colo.-based natural and organic grocer is No. 95 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


NGA Rolls Out TV Ad Calling for Level Playing Field in Grocery

Robinson-Patman Act Teaser

The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, has created a TV commercial spotlighting what the organization characterizes as “the unfair and discriminatory tactics” of larger competitors. Currently, just four big chains control 69% of the market share, the ad notes, citing Washington, D.C.-based non-governmental organization Food and Water Watch

“For decades, dominant firms in the grocery marketplace have leveraged their buying power to demand special treatment through access to products, promotions and better prices from suppliers that are not offered to independent community grocers,” said Greg Ferrara, CEO and president of Washington, D.C.-based NGA. “This unchecked anticompetitive behavior leaves independent store owners and their customers with less choice, fewer options, and paying more for goods and products. Independents aren’t looking for a free handout. They’re just looking for a level playing field to compete.” 

[Read more: "NGA Show Recap: Lots to Learn"]

The commercial, paid for by NGA, will run Wednesday, March 29 on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends.”

“Independent grocers have been feeling the financial squeeze from these anti-competitive tactics for far too long,” said NGA SVP and Counsel Chris Jones. “As families continue to feel the negative impacts of high inflation, dominant food retailers are squeezing suppliers and as a result, forcing higher prices and fewer products on independent grocers and their customers. Lawmakers must stand up for Main Street businesses to demand an end to these discriminatory tactics and restore a competitive marketplace that benefits the local economy and grocery shoppers alike.”  

The ad comes as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) appears to be considering Robinson-Patman enforcement. NGA is encouraging independent grocers, wholesalers and their customers to urge the FTC to enforce the antitrust laws already on the books


PFMA Names VP of Association Services

Pennsylvania Map Teaser

The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association (PFMA) has promoted Michael Howells to the position of VP of association services. Having joined PFMA in 2020 as association service manager, Howell was promoted to director of research and association services a year later.

In the latter role, Howells helped PFMA members with questions on legislative and regulatory issues, acted as a liaison to communicate emergency-planning issues, managed the association’s committees, and provided government relations coverage in monthly newsletters and weekly e-newsletters. In his new position, he will continue to expand his responsibilities and take part in more legislative, political and advocacy activities for the association, as well as helping with association strategic planning and organizational development.

[Read more: "Indies Join PFMA Board of Directors"]

“PFMA is fortunate to have a strong leader in Michael Howells, and this promotion reflects the responsibilities and work he has been contributing to the association and our members,” said Alex Baloga, president and CEO of Camp Hill, Pa.-based PFMA. “Since joining PFMA, Howells has played a key role in driving forward our mission to improve the public image, effectiveness and profitability of companies providing products and services in agriculture production, consumer packaged goods, food retailing, wholesale food distribution and associated industry partners. We are excited for him to continue his good work in this role.”

PFMA, a statewide trade association, advocates the views of almost 800 convenience stores, supermarkets, independent grocers, wholesalers and consumer product vendors. The trade group’s members operate more than 4,000 stores and employ 250,000-plus Pennsylvanians.