News Briefs


Ben & Jerry’s Has New CEO

Dave Stever teaser

Exemplifying the opportunity to move up through the ranks through hard work and innovation, a onetime factory tour guide is the new CEO at Ben & Jerry's. The South Burlington, Vt.-based ice cream manufacturer tapped Dave Stever to lead the organization that he joined in 1988. It is the first time since co-founder Ben Cohen stepped down in 1994 that an employee was appointed to the top job.

After starting as a tour guide at a site in Waterbury, Vt., Stever was steadily promoted to roles in marking and management functions, before and after Unilever acquired the company. He served as chief marketing officer for the past 12 years.

[Read more: "Maple Leaf Foods Appoints New CEO"]

"Ben and I have known Dave for over three decades and we are absolutely thrilled that he will be leading Ben & Jerry's into the next chapter of our company's history,” said co-founder Jerry Greenfield.

Added Cohen: “He knows Ben & Jerry's inside and out. He lives it and breathes it. We are psyched to have someone with Dave's talent, passion and demonstrated ability as our CEO.”

Stever assumed the CEO role on May 8.

Ben & Jerry’s continues to innovate in the ice cream and frozen dessert category. The company recently introduced a new Ice Cream Sammie flavor and is marking its 45th year with a new marketing campaign that includes giveaways like a tote bag and zipper pouch made from upcycled Ben & Jerry’s event banners and signs and coupons for free pints of ice cream.


Jimbo’s Naturally Adding Another Location in San Diego


A new Jimbo's Naturally store is coming to San Diego. Developer Sudberry Properties announced that the grocer will be part of the new mixed-use community called Civita built on a former sand and gravel quarry. The 25,000-squre-foot store is expected to open in mid-2026.

Although the store opening is a couple of years away, plans are proceeding and the groundbreaking is slated for early 2025, the developer reported.

[Read more: "USDA Introduces New Steps to Bolster Organic Markets, Support Producers"]

Jim “Jimbo” Someck, founder and owner of Jimbo’s Naturally told local media that the location was appealing. “For a number of years, we have looked for a location in Mission Valley for a new Jimbo’s store. And we’re certain we have found the perfect place at Civita,” he said.  "Not only will we be able to serve the Civita community but also the surrounding area since this site is conveniently located in the heart of Mission Valley. Our customers expect great things from us, and we will not disappoint them.

Jimbo’s currently operates four locations in San Diego county, including the first store in North Park. The grocer touts its healthy offerings and carries organic, non-GMO and other products geared around health and wellness.


NGA Enthusiastically Backs Save Local Business Act

Stocking Teaser

The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent grocery industry, has thrown its strong support behind the Save Local Business Act. Introduced by Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kans., and Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the legislation would codify into law the traditional joint-employer standard, which conditions employment liability on “direct, actual and immediate control over workers’ terms and conditions of employment.” 

In 2022, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) revealed proposed regulation on the joint-employer standard that would expand the current standard of what constitutes a joint employer, which NGA contends would place independent grocers at higher risk of legal uncertainty and litigation.

[Read more: "NGA Foundation Welcomes SEMTAC Project Director"]

“This new definition of a ‘joint employer’ is a textbook definition of government-supported labor overreach, putting small businesses like independent grocers in potential scenarios where they are held liable for contractors that do business in their stores, like DSD shelf-stockers or cleaning service workers,” noted Chris Jones, SVP of government relations and counsel at Washington, D.C.-based NGA. “We also fear this rule could complicate the legal relationship that retailers enjoy with wholesalers, cooperatives and marketing alliances. NGA supports the Save Local Business Act, which would institute a stable joint-employer standard going forward.” 

The Save Local Business Act would amend the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act to clarify that two or more employers must have “actual, direct and immediate” control over employees to be considered joint employers. According to NGA, the proposed joint-employer scheme’s expanded employment liability framework could destabilize common business relationships for grocers, including vendors and wholesaler partnerships. 

NGA filed comments on the NLRB’s proposed expansion of the joint-employer standard last December and expects a final determination in August. 


2023 sofi Awards Winners Revealed

sofi Awards 2023 SFA Teaser

The Specialty Food Association (SFA) has unveiled the winners of its 51st Annual sofi Awards. Standing for “specialty outstanding food innovation,” the awards recognize creativity and culinary excellence. They are available only to product-qualified SFA members. 

The submissions were judged at the Food Innovation Center at Rutgers University (FIC), SFA’s partner in the award program. FIC experts evaluated products in anonymous tastings in 53 categories using such criteria as flavor, appearance, texture, aroma, ingredient quality and innovation. Ninety-seven specialty food products received Gold and New Product trophies. 

[Read more: "10 Food Trends From This Year’s Winter Fancy Food Show"']

“The breadth of creativity and quality showcased by this year’s winners represents what the sofi Awards have been recognizing for over 50 years – the best of the best in specialty food,” noted Denise Purcell, VP, resource development at New York-based SFA. “The innovation and care SFA’s members put into their products are the foundation of our industry and are what makes specialty foods special.”

Round two of judging for the sofi Product of the Year Award and New Product of the Year Awards will take place at the 2023 Summer Fancy Food Show, with retail and foodservice buyers weighing in. The winners will be revealed Tuesday, June 27 at the show, the largest B2B-only specialty food and beverage show in the United States. 


Sprouts Farmers Market in Hiring Mode for New Florida Stores

Sprouts team

Sprouts Farmers Market, which recently revealed it is focusing on smaller format stores, is readying two new locations in the Sunshine State. As it prepares to welcome shoppers to stores in Bradenton and Fort Myers, Fla., the grocer announced virtual and in-person hiring events to help staff the sites.

The Bradenton store at 1149 Cortez Road is slated to open on June 30. Sprouts is currently seeking 100 full- and part-time workers to get it up and running and hosting in-person interviews on May 17 at the Hilton Garden Inn Sarasota.

Ahead of a July 21 opening, Sprouts is also ramping up recruiting for its Fort Meyers location at 8595 College Parkway. The retailer hopes to bring on 80 full- and part-time employees and is conducting a virtual event on May 24 and an in-person event on June 7 at the Crowne Plaza Fort Myers.

Open positions at both stores include department managers, clerks, cashiers and backup receivers, among others. More details about working at Sprouts are available at

Earlier this spring, Sprouts reported that it is planning to open 30 new stores this year that reflect its smaller-format, more cost-efficient model. On May 12, the retailer will welcome shoppers to its outpost in Manassas, Va.

Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market employs approximately 31,000 associates and operates almost 400 stores in 23 states nationwide. The company is No. 53 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


CitrusAd Unlocks Keyword Bidding

CitrusAd Teaser

The CitrusAd campaign dashboard has always transparently shown which keywords were working best for each advertising campaign, with visibility into share of voice and percent of impressions won. Now, however, marketers can include separate bid strategies on each keyword all within one campaign, simplifying campaign creation and consolidating campaign management. The retail tech company expects the rollout of the new feature to its platform to go live in June.

Brands and agencies will now be able to run campaigns on CitrusAd and optimize based on the performance of selected keywords. This is the first in a series of platform enhancements that CitrusAd is rolling out to help brands and advertisers easily create and manage campaigns while also increasing effectiveness with meaningful and relevant reach.

[Read more: “CitrusAd Partners With New On-Site Shoppable Video Platform”]

"CitrusAd is delighted to bring this easy and intuitive way for marketers to optimize their campaigns," said Adam Skinner, managing director, retail media networks, at St. Petersburg, Fla.-based CitrusAd. "While a campaign may have had a CPC bid across the board initially, it was incredibly clear on our platform that some keywords are more valuable to marketers than others. The new bid-by-keyword capability allows marketers to weight their campaigns by the most effective keywords for profitable results.”

CitrusAd is a retail media company and part of Epsilon, a global advertising and marketing technology company. Retailers across the globe rely on CitrusAd to help grow retail media as a core function for incremental media revenue and sales volume that delivers ideal ROI for brands