PG Reveals Top 10 Stories of 2013

Indeed, 2013 was a groundbreaking year in the grocery industry, from momentous acquisitions and management shakeups, to evolving technology trends and regulatory affairs. Retailers continue to find their footing amid an increasingly fragmented and competitive environment, rife with changing consumer needs. In Progressive Grocer’s annual year in review, we recap’s most popular news stories of 2013, as decided by our readers.

1.) Delhaize America Restructures Senior Management Teams

Delhaize America, parent of Food Lion and Hannaford, has cut its executive ranks by 25 percent to 50 company officers nationally as part of “efforts to reduce general and administrative costs and better serve customers,” according to the company. Read more

2.) Battling to Win in an Hourglass Economy

The marketplace for traditional grocers is under attack, and this battle is only likely to intensify in coming years. Safeway and Supervalu – two chains that heavily target the middle class – are struggling to grow as they continue to get hammered by increased competition for customers who are flocking to specialty and discount grocers. Read more

3.) Lost in the Supermarket

"I'm all lost in the supermarket, I can no longer shop happily; I came in here for that special offer, guaranteed personality." This lyric from the classic punk rock song "Lost in the Supermarket," performed by The Clash in 1979 (on the eve of a double-dip recession in the U.S.), was meant to capture youthful alienation, but it also contains a germ of truth about the challenges facing supermarket brands as we roll into 2013. Read more

4.) Jim Kowalski Dies

Jim Kowalski, founder of Twin Cities-based Kowalski's Markets, died Thursday while on a fishing trip in Canada. He was 67. Honored as PG's 2011 Outstanding Community-based Retailer, Kowalski's Markets has been a paragon of regional retailing excellence in the Twin Cities area for nearly three decades. Read more

5.) Kroger Acquires Harris Teeter

Months of speculation on the fate of Harris Teeter’s new owner was put to rest today with news that The Kroger Co. will acquire the Matthews, N.C.-based regional supermarket chain in a transaction valued at approximately $2.5 billion, under which Kroger will purchase all outstanding shares of Harris Teeter for $49.38 per share in cash. Read more

6.) Supervalu Inks Long-awaited Deal With Cerberus

After months of spiraling financial performance, layoffs and overall uncertainty about its ultimate fate, Supervalu Inc. struck a deal valued at $3.3 billion to sell five of its operating divisions -- including Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's and Star Market stores, as well as Osco and Sav-on in-store pharmacies -- to an investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management. Read more

7.) Consumers Maintain Healthy Appetites for High-protein Food

Introductions of food and beverages with a high-protein claim are almost three times higher in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world, accounting for 19 percent of global new product launches, according to the latest research from Mintel. Read more

8.) Meijer Plans $160M in Cap Ex for 2013

Meijer will finalize an investment of more than $160 million in new and remodeled stores this year, including the construction of six new supercenters and major remodel projects for an additional five stores. Read more

9.) CPG Industry Trends, Predictions for 2013

As the effects of economic uncertainty continue to reverberate throughout the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, consumers are still attempting to ease budgetary strains and embrace a wide variety of money-saving strategies. Read more

10.) GenZ Kids Have Their Say in the Beverage Aisles, and it’s Often 'No'

We’ve all seen children asking their parents to buy them something in a grocery store – some politely and others more persistently – or rejecting healthy options mom may like with a resounding “no.” But how much effect does their behavior really have on what goes into the cart? In the portion-pack beverage category, the answer is “quite a lot” according to research conducted by Tetra Pak. Read more

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