News Briefs


Kroger Invests in More Cloud Technologies

access point

Cloud networking provider Extreme Networks, Inc. is teaming up with The Kroger Co. to deploy scan-as-you-go technology and other services to the retailer’s stores. The Morrisville, N.C.-based Extreme Networks revealed that Kroger will use its cloud management and Wi-Fi 6E access points across its locations.

In addition to scanning capabilities, the platform offers inventory location and temperature sensing applications. Extreme Networks also claims to boost network capacity and infrastructure and provide grocers with a single view into their entire network.

[Read more: "Kroger Makes a Big Retail Media Deal With Disney"]

“Extreme’s differentiator is helping customers establish the network as a profit center, not a cost center. We take a collaborative approach to solving complex business problems through innovative technology,” explained Norman Rice, Extreme Networks' COO. “In retail and grocery specifically, we help customers unlock significant value from their network investment by leveraging network intelligence and leaning into automation to improve the in-store experience, streamline operations and drive associate productivity.”

Kroger continues to invest in technologies to enhance the customer experiences and boost its operational efficiencies. At the Shoptalk 2023 event in March, Kroger SVP Yael Cosset said that the retailer’s longtime investment in data and innovation saved customers $1.4 billion last year alone.

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


Calgary Co-op Shares 2022 Financial Results

calgary co-op

Among its financial results, Calgary Co-operative Association has reported that total sales for the year ending on Oct. 29, 2022, amounted to CAD $1.32 billion, compared with CAD $1.23 billion in 2021. Net earnings was CAD $38 million, an increase from CAD $30 million in 2021.

The board of directors approved the payment of patronage returns in the amount of CAD $26 million in 2022, an increase from the CAD $21.8 million returned to members in 2021.The portion of the patronage returns paid in cash was CAD $19.7 million (compared with CAD $16.5 million in 2021), with CAD $6.3 million paid in shares (compared with CAD $5.3 million in 2021). Complete financial results are included in the "2022 Annual Report."

(Read more: “Calgary Co-op to Acquire Local Wines & Spirits Brand")

In regard to its commitment to community members,a food insecurity reduction pilot program was expanded to reach all 22 food stores with the launch of the Calgary Co-op Fresh Food Rescue Program. The program has provided more than 1.06 million pounds of nutritious foods in approximately 100,000 food hampers. The initiative was in addition to the CAD $2.8 million donated in funds and nonperishable food in 2022, an increase from CAD $2.7 million in 2021. 

Owned by its members, Calgary Co-op is one of the largest retail cooperatives in North America. The company has more than 400,000 members, 3,850 employees, assets of CAD $700 million and annual sales of CAD $1.3 billion. Locations in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, High River, Okotoks and Strathmore, Alberta, include food centers; pharmacies; gas stations; car washes; home health care centers; wine, spirits and beer locations; and cannabis locations.


Kroger Adds Upcycled Bread to Simple Truth Brand

Kroger Simple Truth Upcycled Bread Teaser

The Kroger Co. has added to its Simple Truth collection two new items that are made with an upcycled ingredient, thereby helping reduce food waste.

The new items, Seeded Multigrain Bread and Multigrain Quinoa Bread, are rolling out nationwide to approximately 1,800 store bakery departments across 18 Kroger banners. Manufactured by Upcycled Foods Inc. (UP Inc.), both breads contain 10% of ReGrained SuperGrain+, the company’s flagship ingredient. The recycled ingredient offers “flavor depth and naturally fortified nutritional attributes,” according to the company

The Simple Truth SKUs are Upcycled Certified by the Denver-based Upcycled Food Association, and both breads come in a 17.6-ounce package priced at $5.99.

“Upcycled ingredient innovation is one of the most actionable solutions for food brands to be more sustainable,” said Dan Kurzrock, founder and CEO of Berkeley, Calif.-based UP Inc. “We are thrilled to help catalyze Kroger’s efforts to bring their Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitment to life on store shelves. These breads win against category incumbents on flavor alone, giving consumers an accessible opportunity to make an impact with every purchase.” 

The new product news comes ahead of Stop Food Waste Day (April 26). According to UP Inc., 57% of shoppers said that they intend to buy more upcycled food, and one in three are specifically interested in bakery products made from upcycled ingredients.

Cincinnati-based Kroger has almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


This article first appeared on the site of sister publication Store Brands.


Uncle Giuseppe’s Adds Jersey Shore Location

Uncle G

Uncle Giuseppe’s family is getting bigger. A new Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace has opened in Tinton Falls, N.J., at 990 Shrewsbury Avenue, replacing a former Acme store.

Unveiled on April 21, the 56,000-square-foot store carries a wide variety of products, including Italian specialties in the deli, pizza, bakery and dessert categories. The deli service case even carries more than five varieties of meatballs: Italian, chicken Francese, eggplant, turkey, and sausage and peppers.  

The Jersey Shore location also includes an on-site gelato station, a coffee bar, a candy counter and a pizzeria with a variety of grab-and-go offerings. As with other Uncle Guiseppe’s stores, the Tinton Falls store regularly offers experiences like mozzarella-pulling and pasta-making demonstrations. Pickup and delivery services are available.

This is the 11th Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace in the Melville, N.Y.-based retailer’s New Jersey and New York footprint.


Rite Aid Rolls Out Seasonal Beauty Offers for Rewards Members

Rite Aid Beauty is in Bloom Mobile Teaser

Rite Aid has kicked off its spring Beauty is in Bloom event for Rite Aid Rewards members with a range of in-store and online deals, including money-saving promotions on popular beauty brands, the chance to win a $500 shopping spree, and surprise in-store giveaways.

“We listen to the preferences and needs of our customers and have worked diligently to curate a desirable collection of the most sought-after beauty brands on the market,” said Pamela Kohn, Rite Aid’s SVP and chief merchandising officer. “Whether you’re looking for clean ingredients, the hottest new colors or what’s trending on social media, you can find it at your neighborhood Rite Aid.”

With the Beauty is in Bloom sweepstakes, beauty consumers can enter through May 13 for a chance to win a shopping spree by logging in or signing up for Rite Aid Rewards. 

Each week through May 13, Rite Aid will offer various promotions on go-to and trending cosmetics, skin care, sun care and other products. During the last two weekends of the event, May 6-7 and May 13-14, Rite Aid will surprise shoppers with Beauty Bags, distributed to the first 100 customers at checkout in select stores. The bags will include sample-size products from such consumer-favorite brands as La Roche-Posay, e.l.f., Lumify, Maybelline New York and Neutrogena.

Employing more than 6,300 pharmacists, Philadelphia-based Rite Aid operates 2,300-plus retail pharmacy locations across 17 states. The company is No. 21 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Cardenas Markets Lotería Scratcher Sweepstakes Back With $1M in Prizes

Cardenas Markets Loteria 2023 Teaser

Hispanic independent grocer Cardenas Markets has brought back its Lotería Scratcher Sweepstakes, which this year features more than $1 million in prizes, a $150,000 increase from last year’s program. The sweepstakes program runs through June 13 at all 64 Cardenas locations.

“Every day, we work hard to bring families and communities together through our fresh and authentic product offerings,” said Cardenas Chief Marketing Officer Adam Salgado. “Cardenas Markets Lotería is a very fun way to bring people of different generations together, and it’s so fitting that we bring this beloved cultural game back to our stores in an even bigger and better way.”

Through the purchase of participating sponsor products, customers will receive one scratch card with an instant-win prize, or a code for a free digital scratcher, which can be accessed online. Registering the unique code found on the digital scratcher gives a customer the chance to win such prizes as an Apple iPad, an Apple AirPod Pro, a $200 Cardenas Gift Card or home electronics. 

Participants may even have the opportunity to play in the Lotería semifinal game for a chance to win free groceries for a year, $10,000 or the grand prize of $50,000. According to the grocer, sweepstakes participants have a one-in-five chance to receive such instant-win prizes as food from Cardenas’ Cocina and Panadería.

Ontario, Calif.-based Cardenas operates 57 stores under the Cardenas Markets banner and seven stores under the Los Altos Ranch Markets banner. Cardenas is one of the largest Hispanic grocery chains in the country, with stores in California, Nevada and Arizona.