Amazon is tidying up its grocery delivery options with a new plan to merge its AmazonFresh and Prime Now services by the end of the year, according to Yahoo Finance. Amazon has been reducing its delivery area for AmazonFresh since its takeover of Whole Foods last summer, and a recent consumer survey finds that 48% of Prime users have been ordering groceries through the service.
Gelson's is reopening three remodeled stores in the Southern California market this month, two of which boast smaller footprints. "We want Gelson's to be a unique place where people can try exciting food concepts, have a drink in a social setting, and feel like a new culinary discovery is just around every corner," said Gelson's President and CEO Rob McDougall.
Tops Friendly Market and Winn-Dixie parent Bi-Lo are both preparing for possible bankruptcy filings in the coming weeks, sources said. Both chains are carrying heavy debt loads and facing growing competition.
How Brands are Leveraging the Connected Car As consumers spend more time in their vehicles, the connected car is emerging as the most powerful mobile marketing platform. Dashboard placements within the connected car allow marketers to deliver contextually relevant offers - extending the in-vehicle experience to an in-store purchase. Learn more!
Initial work by Walmart has intrigued the grocery industry in regard to the possibilities of blockchain technology for tighter control of inventory. Food shipments would get a unique ID that is constantly updated, connecting the products all the way back to their place of origin.
A new analysis produced by FAIRR predicts that the alternative protein market will grow 8% a year over the next two years. With nearly one-third of millennials eating meat alternatives daily, and half of those shoppers enjoying plant-based proteins for multiple meals during a week, the group expects a $5.2 billion market to bloom by 2020.
Artificial intelligence could be a great tool for grocers, letting them better analyze the volumes of customer data they collect, Infor's Doug Tiffan writes. It also offers potential benefits for managing inventory, especially perishables, and cutting down on waste.
Oreo is hoping to entice consumers with its new augmented reality game, "The Great Oreo Cookie Quest." As with "Pokemon Go," the game uses object recognition technology to lead players on a mobile scavenger hunt to collect points, which they can enter to win a trip to Africa or California.
IRI and FMI Top Trends in Fresh webinar - Through Consumers' Eyes
The perimeter has been the fastest growing segment in CPG but today is seeing challenges to build on its recent momentum as consumers' choices have increased. This gives retailers and manufacturers a unique opportunity to differentiate themselves by making the most of these aisles. IRI, FMI and the FMI Fresh Food Executive Committee are again joining forces to confirm the relevance of the top trends in fresh that IRI and FMI have noted over the past two years. Register for the Feb. 22 webinar here.
Blockchain for traceability and independent operators
This year's Independent Operator Executive Leadership Forum, held at FMI's Midwinter Executive Conference, focused on digital and its potential applications and benefits for independent grocery stores. One of the highlights of these sessions was a presentation regarding blockchain and how it can help to create a digital transparent food system by Kerry Bridges, senior director, supplier food safety for Walmart. Read more.