News Briefs


Shipt Introduces Hosting Hub

Shipt Hosting Hub Teaser

To help customers host successful summer celebrations, Shipt has rolled out its first-ever Hosting Hub, which provides curated lists of trending products suitable for summer parties, as well as items for all occasions from such retailers as Target and Meijer.

Customers planning a party or event can go to the Shipt app or web browser, find the right occasion under the hub’s list and shop from there. Once their carts are full, customers can get their orders the same day via Shipt’s personalized shopping and delivery offering. 

[Read more: "Shipt Partners With Actress Issa Rae on New Advertisements"]

“The Hosting Hub was created to serve and delight Shipt customers,” explained Aspen Stough, Shipt’s director of digital merchandising. “We wanted to make a fun, dynamic place for party hosts to find everything they needed in one place while being inspired by new ideas and products they might not have tried yet. Our team has had fun putting together these lists and can’t wait to see how our customers use them to celebrate all their most important moments.” 

The hub will be updated seasonally to include moments like sports tailgates, Halloween, Thanksgiving and other occasions. Current features include lists for birthdays, baby showers, wedding showers and dinner parties. 

While any customer can access the Hosting Hub on Shipt’s platform, the company recently launched a number of membership perks. Shipt is also offering a $20 off membership June 22-25. 

With offices in Birmingham, Ala., and San Francisco, Shipt is an independently operated, wholly owned subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Target Corp., which is No. 6 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, with nearly 2,000 locations. Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer is No. 23 on PG’s list.


NGA Hires Business Development VP

NGA Anita Nunez Cepollaro Teaser

Anita Nuñez Cepollaro has joined the National Grocers Association (NGA), which represents the independent supermarket industry, as VP of business development. In her new role, Nuñez Cepollaro will help drive membership growth and NGA’s non-dues revenue programs such as event sponsorships and advertising initiatives. She joins the trade organization from the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, where she was director of programs.

“Anita brings extensive experience in association management, including sales, fundraising and events, which will greatly enhance NGA’s level of service for its members,” noted Jonathan Downey, SVP of membership and industry relations at Washington, D.C.-based NGA.

[Read More: "NGA Announces Staff Changes, Updates"]

Nuñez Cepollaro earlier worked at the American Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers, Visit Baltimore, Hilton Worldwide, Discover Puerto Rico and the Association of Latino Professionals for America.

“I’m eager to meet and build relationships with NGA members, sponsors and partners who are the bloodline of the organization,” said Nuñez Cepollaro. “I look forward to leading the efforts in identifying, developing and executing growth opportunities that will help expand NGA’s capabilities and services.”

Nuñez Cepollaro holds a bachelor of science degree in early childhood development from West Virginia University. Born in Washington, D.C., she now lives in northern Virginia with her husband and two young children.  


Lipari Foods, Baroody Imports Join Forces to Expand Middle Eastern Offerings


Specialty food distributor Lipari Foods and Baroody Imports Inc., a wholesale distributor of Middle Eastern foods, have united as two complementary organizations with the shared aim of becoming the dominant distributor of Middle Eastern foods in the United States.

“Over the past five years, we have significantly grown our Middle Eastern offerings,” noted Thom Lipari, CEO of Warren, Mich.-based Lipari Foods, which delivers a wide range of international specialty, bakery, dairy, deli, packaging, seafood, meat, grocery, foodservice, confectionery and convenience foods and beverages to 11,000-plus customers across 30 states. “The Baroody team has been an excellent partner with us over the years, and we are excited to bring them into the Lipari team to further strengthen our catalog and business relationships in this important category across the United States. We are confident by joining forces, we will grow and build out great offerings for all of our collective customers.”

[Read more: "KeHE Completes DPI Specialty Foods Acquisition"]

“I am excited for this opportunity and what it means for our team and business partners,” said Najy Baroody, owner of Clifton, N.J.-based Baroody Imports. “I look forward to helping the Lipari team grow their capabilities and experience in the Middle Eastern market. Lipari Foods is extremely respected in the distribution space, with great focus on the customer’s success. Combining our strengths will lead to even greater opportunities for all of our partners near and far.”

Najy Baroody will continue to lead the Baroody Imports operation, whose approximately 30 employees source more than 1,300 items from various countries for 1,500-plus customers nationally.

Last month, Lipari Foods revealed that it had acquired Comercializadora Del Midwest (CDM), a provider of Central and South American specialty items.


California Winemaker Introduces 100% Recyclable Wine Bottle

Blue Bin

Plenty of consumers recycle their used wine bottles. Soon, they can buy wine in bottles made with 100% recyclable materials.

Closing the loop on this adult beverage, Ron Rubin Brands of Sebastopol, Calif. is launching the eco-friendlier bottle this month under the Blue Bin brand. Wine drinkers can buy Blue Bin Rosé, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc varietals that are available in the new packaging, which is also shatterproof.

[Read more: "Walmart Expands Beer and Wine Delivery Across 5 States"]

The switch to the new format mirrors that product itself, made from sustainably grown California grapes. Blue Bin is also a Certified B corporation.

Beyond offering a more sustainable option to shoppers, retailers can benefit from this product launch in other ways. The bottle is 85% lighter than a glass bottle of the same size, which allows for more cases per truckload and easier handling in store. 

Meanwhile, other wine suppliers are looking at optimizing packaging and reducing their respective carbon footprints. Earlier this year, French winemaker Albert Bichot announced that it will be one of the first large wineries in the Burgundy region to become certified organic and is also reducing the weight of some of their bottles. U.K.-based packaging supplier Packamama teamed up with the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy group in March to create the first wine bottle made entirely from Prevented Ocean Plastic; collectors gather discarded plastic PET bottles that are sorted, washed, sanitized and turned into raw material flakes or pellets comprising a new circular package.In the United States, wine producer Boxt recently began shipping its wine in refillable packaging.


Weis Markets Expands ‘Low, Low Price’ Program to Cover Breakfast Foods

Weis Markets Front Teaser

Weis Markets has expanded its Low, Low Price (LLP) program, which will now offer its customers lower everyday prices on more than 700 of its most purchased breakfast items.  

According to Bob Gleeson, Weis Markets’ SVP of merchandising and marketing, “This expansion will give our customers more opportunities to eat better and spend less on the groceries they already buy.” 

The Low, Low Price breakfast program offers price reductions on such items as: 

  • Select Kellogg’s, General Mills and Post midsized cereals 
  • Pearl Milling Co. Pancake Mix (52- to 55-ounce packages) 
  • Quaker Instant Oatmeal (7.4- to 14.1-ounce packages) 
  • Nature Valley Granola Bars (6-ounce packages) 
  • Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts (six- to eight-count packages) 
  • Weis Quality Cereals (10.6- to 18.7-ounce sizes) 

Since the launch of the program in 2019, Weis Markets customers have saved more than $30 million on more than 10,000 brand-name and Weis Quality products, according to the grocer. The program was expanded to produce in 2020 and frozen items in 2022. 

Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets operates 197 stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia. The company is No. 60 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company one of its 2023 Top Regionals


Target Opens 1st Last-Mile Delivery Extension Supply Chain Facility

Last-Mile Delivery Target Teaser

Target has opened its first Target Last Mile Delivery (TLMD) extension supply chain facility. As an extension of an existing sortation center in Atlanta, the facility, located near a Target store in Smyrna, Ga., increases the reach of the company’s next-day delivery capability to more than 500,000 additional customers in the greater Atlanta area, increasing the number of people it can serve via TLMD by more than 30% to 3 million-plus shoppers in the market.

Orders that fall outside the sortation center’s delivery area are moved to the TLMD extension facility, where drivers working with Shipt pick them up for delivery. The facility currently processes as many as 1,500 packages per day, with plans to increase that number in the next few months. 

[Read more: "Target Circle Week Ready to Run From July 9-15"]

“TLMD extensions represent the latest milestone in our journey to deliver a best-in-class experience for our guests — however they choose to shop with us,” explained John Mulligan, Target’s EVP and COO. “These facilities are a continuation of our innovative efforts to serve millions of guests and reach millions more while maximizing speed, efficiency and care across our real estate portfolio.”

In accordance with Target’s test-and-learn approach, the company will review expansion plans for these types of facilities as it works to expand its reach.

This past February, Target said it was investing  $100 million to expand next-day delivery capabilities to customers across major U.S. markets. 

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 6 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, with nearly 2,000 locations. Birmingham, Ala.-based Shipt is an independently operated, wholly owned subsidiary of Target.