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PG Pulse

Publix Pays it Forward by Giving Back

PG applauds the 4,000-plus Publix associates across the company’s six-state market area who stepped up on April 17 to volunteer for some 125 local nonprofit organizations focusing on youth, education, and/or the plight of the hungry and homeless as part of the grocer’s first organized annual day of service.

Under the Publix Serves initiative, associates donated their time and talents, along with $1,000 — plus $85 in honor of Publix’s 85th anniversary — per district, to help purchase items needed for food pantries, soup kitchens, backpack programs, beautification efforts and local libraries during the company’s April Give Back month. The effort is part of the Lakeland, Fla.-based regional grocer’s ongoing anniversary celebration, whose mission also includes sharing lessons from Publix founder George Jenkins with associates and customers. Throughout the year, a new lesson is shared monthly on

Time to Repackage Chocolate Innovation?

Over the five-year period 2009–14, chocolate confectionery sales grew 24 percent to $21 billion in the United States, the world’s largest chocolate market.

Despite this growth, however, the United States trails the global chocolate market in terms of product innovation — North America accounted for only 12 percent of new products during that time, compared with Europe (51 percent) and Asia Pacific (21 percent).

In the United States, chocolate confectionery innovation has focused largely on seasonal products — 42 percent of all new product launches last year — comprising mostly new takes on familiar products, such as a change in shape or packaging.
—Mintel Global New Product Database

Store Brands Stake Claim

As national brands continue to struggle with year-to-year lower growth, store brands’ sales in all major retail channels continue their upward trend, setting new records across the board for annual revenue.

Total sales of private label products in the United States came in at $115.3 billion in 2014. Further, over a three-year period, store brand sales increased by $5.5 billion across combined retail outlets — and by $2.5 billion in the supermarket channel.

At the end of last year, private label accounted for nearly $3 billion in incremental sales overall, an increase of 2.5 percent over the previous year and more than twice the percentage gain recorded by national brands.
—Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA)


CPG brands that actively include Instagram as part of their social media strategy, despite the platform drawing followers at more than twice the rate of other social platforms

Calling all Click-and-collectors

Meijer Inc. is the latest in a growing list of retailers incorporating an online ordering and pickup service into their operations. Dubbed Meijer Curbside, the service enables customers to fill digital baskets online and pick up their groceries curbside without leaving their cars — in as little as one hour. The program is currently being piloted at the Knapp’s Corner store in the grocer’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich., with plans for a larger rollout in the future.

Accordingly, as online ordering continues to pick up steam, PG’s latest online poll question asked readers about the extent to which they’re adopting a click-and-collect program as part of their retail strategy. Here’s how the votes stacked up as we went to press:

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