Canadian food retailerLongo’s has named Jenny Longo as VP of private brands. Previously, she served as the company's director of private brands, culinary innovation, and central kitchen.
Born and raised in the Toronto area, Longo is active in a variety of organizations including the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario, the OMNI East Advisory Board and the Vanier Institute of the Family. She also volunteers at the Georgetown Hospital and as a judge for the Retail Council of the Canadian Grand Prix and Rogers Product of the Year Awards.
Longo is former chair of the Longo’s Family Council and a member of the Longo’s Senior Management Leadership Team. She has a business administration diploma from Humber College, and has completed the Cornell University Food Executive Program.
While the federal government has rolled back emergency allotments as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), benefits continue for school-age children to buy groceries during their summer break.
The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program (P-EBT) was created in 2020 to fill the gap in nutritious school meals, providing loaded EBT cards to families to purchase foods at grocery stores. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service announced that the general structure of the P-EBT would remain the same as last year; states with an approved summer 2023 plan can continue to issue P-EBT benefits to school-age children during summer “without regard to schools’ operating status or individual children’s COVID-related absences and virtual learning days.”
There are some changes this year, however. Eligibility is limited to students who attend schools that participate in the national school lunch program. Homeschooled children and kids enrolled in childcare programs cannot receive this benefit, and children under the age of six whose families also receive SNAP benefits do not automatically qualify this time around. Additionally, the U.S. Congress required that the P-EBT benefit for the entire 2023 summer period should not exceed $120 per eligible child.
A majority of states have already applied for and are taking part in the federal program. This month, Iowa joined the ranks of participating states for 2023 after previously sharing that the state would not rejoin the program. At this point, 12 states have not approved plans to offer P-EBT benefits for grocery purchases this summer: Washington, Oregon, Montana, South Dakota, Idaho, Missouri, Texas, Mississippi, Maine, Connecticut and Florida, according to the Food Research and Action Center.
Customers can have their cake and eat, too, at The Fresh Market. The grocer is marking its 41st year in business by offering a new “Birthday in a Box” filled with array of bundled items.
The box sells for $49.99 ($39.99 for loyalty program members) and includes a celebratory cake, with a choice of lemon mousse, strawberry dream or triple chocolate flavors or gluten-free dark and white chocolate layer cake. Customers can also unwrap a pint of vanilla ice cream, paper plates, cocktail napkins, candles, a greeting card and reusable thermal tote.
The grocer is giving away gifts on its special occasion, too. Customers who buy $50 or more in gift cards from select retailers will receive a $10 store coupon to be used for a future purchase at The Fresh Market. Shoppers who sign up for the free loyalty program can receive a free slice of store’s “ultimate birthday cake” during their own birthday month.
On the last day of the 2023 Summer Fancy Food Show, which ran June 25-27 at New York’s Jacob K. Javits Center, Lewis Road Creamery 10 Star Certified Salted Butter was named 2023 sofi Product of the Year and Mochidoki Vegan Passionfruit Mochi Ice Cream was named sofi New Product of the Year.
“We are very, very excited to receive this award for our product that comes from our small region of Waikato on the other side of the world,” Jason Clements, general manager for Lewis Road Creamery, told the New York-based Specialty Food Association. “To be recognized will mean so much to the farms we work with in New Zealand.”
Meanwhile. Ken Gordon, co-founder of New York-based Mochidoki, told the association: “We are jumping in joy to receive this! It’s a culmination of a lot of hard work. It confirms that mochi ice cream is here to stay.”
Other sofi New Product Award finalists tasted by buyers included: • Divina/FoodMatch Inc. First Crush Olive Oil • St. Croix Chocolate Co. Bourbon Pecan Toffee • Holland’s Family Cheese Marieke Gouda Limited Edition • Sal de Ibiza La Vie en Rose Chips
Among the sofi Gold Award-winning finalists that buyers tasted were: • CocoTutti Chocolates Moroccan Spice With Lime • Natura Viva/Manfredi Barbera & Figli S.p.A. Extra Virgin Olive Oil – P.D.O. Monte Etna – Organic • Del Duca/Creminelli Fine Meats Dry Cured Prosciutto • Flouwer Co. Cocktail Cubes – Orange Blossom
The 2024 Summer Fancy Food Show will take place June 23-25 in New York.
BJ’s, Giant Eagle’s GetGo Among Those Offering Holiday Fuel Discounts
BJ’s Wholesale Club and Giant Eagle’s GetGo Café + Market have both launched fuel promotions around the Fourth of July.
From June 22 to July 4, BJ’s customers can save 50 cents per gallon at BJ's gas stations when they spend $150 or more in one transaction, with no limit to how many times they can take advantage of this offer. The gas promotion is in addition to the retailer’s Fuel Saver program.
Meanwhile, from June 30 through July 4, regular unleaded gasoline will be priced at $2.75 per gallon for all myPerks Pay Direct and AdvantagePay members at every GetGo location. This same cents-off discount for myPerks Pay Direct and AdvantagePay members will also apply to all other fuel grades, including premium and diesel. Both programs are extensions of Giant Eagle’s myPerks loyalty platform, enabling those who enroll to pay electronically for fuel and grocery purchases directly from their bank accounts. Enrollment in myPerks Pay Direct is free.
This is the first of several exclusive discounts and bonuses planned for myPerks Pay Direct members throughout the summer. Beginning July 6 and running for a limited time, members will receive an extra “perk” per dollar when they use myPerks Pay Direct for purchases at any GetGo, Giant Eagle or Market District location.
Employee-owned Woodman's Markets is teaming up with tech platform InMobi Commerce to up its retail media game. Through the partnership, InMobi will provide the Midwest chain with video ad experiences and deliver AI-powered campaign automation and optimization tools.
Woodman’s new retail media capabilities, which include brand video, sponsored product video and shoppable ads, allow the grocer to smooth shoppers’ path to purchase, including their journey on its e-commerce site. At the same time, Woodman’s will leverage the technologies to offer more streamlined solutions to its local and national brand partners.
“As retail media continues to evolve, Woodman’s has been looking for partners to help us stay on the cutting edge with innovative solutions that will both attract deeper investment from our brand partners while creating an easier, more seamless customer experience on our site,” said Dan Hess, director of e-commerce at Woodman’s. “InMobi’s stance as a video-led platform that helps more regionally focused grocers with solutions like AI-powered campaign automation and optimization solidified them as the perfect partner for our retail media journey.”
Nestlé is one brand partner that is deploying sponsored product video through the new retail media program. "Video ad experiences have become key to attracting consumers’ attention in a world where brands are competing for it daily,” explained Tyler Weigman, national shopper marketing lead at Nestlé. “We are excited to partner with InMobi to bring our products to life through innovative video experiences on Woodman’s site.”