All of Kroger's private-label brands, including Private Selection and Kroger Brand, are now part of the grocer's Simple Truth Recycling Program. The newly expanded Kroger Our Brands Recycling Program, developed with TerraCycle, lets customers collect and return flexible plastic packages so they can be recycled, and earn points that can be used for charitable donations.
With Save A Lot's shift from retail to wholesale gathering momentum, the company has announced a deal that would allow independent licensee Leevers Supermarkets to acquire 17 Philadelphia-area stores. The acquisition would double Colorado-based Leevers' size and for Save A Lot, it would mark the latest in 12 transactions involving 132 stores, with a spokeswoman saying other deals will be announced soon.
99 Ranch Market, the largest Asian grocery chain in the US, will debut a new concept store when the grocer joins Macy's and Target in the Westfield Oakridge Mall in San Jose, Calif. The store, expected to open later this summer, will showcase a new interior design and offer in-store and takeout dining options along with curbside pickup.
As the pandemic pushed many Americans into their home kitchens, it also sparked a search for protein sources beyond beef, poultry or pork and helped turned seafood into a perimeter powerhouse, according to FMI's Power of Seafood report. Year-over-year sales jumped 28% and the near future presents grocers the chance to sustain those sales because "[m]any of these consumers have learned new seafood cooking skills that they will carry forward and will impact their future seafood consumption choices," the FMI report said.
McCormick's yearly Flavor Forecast illustrates how the pandemic has altered eating habits, with healthy fare, plant-based options and comfort flavors from around the world now taking center stage. The 21st annual report used input from research by culinary experts and showcased a growing appetite for sea plants, spices, chilis and ayurvedic products that use sweet, sour, salty and bitter tastes to help people comfort their bodies.
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Walmart will phase out the 17-foot-tall pickup towers that were placed in more than 1,500 stores to help customers collect online orders, as part of a bigger move away from in-store automated technology and toward a heavier focus on the retailer's curbside pickup service that has become instrumental to pandemic-era shopping. Walmart is in the process of removing about 300 of the towers after "hibernating" another 1,300, and the retailer also removed inventory-tracking robots that roamed store aisles last year.
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Most Clicked: Take a look at this week's hottest food and beverage industry stories with SmartBrief's Top 10 list.
SmartBrief food and beverage readers were interested in news of PepsiCo's Positive Agriculture sustainability initiative and a Reese's-themed makeup collection this week. Stories covering Kellogg's Pride Month cereal and Tetra Pak's new cheese production solutions also gathered reader interest.
Albertsons will set new emission reduction goals as it commits to the Science Based Targets initiative to help fight climate change, in support of the United Nations' Paris Agreement. The grocer will look to cut energy use across the board and employ more renewable resources before submitting its plan to the SBTi for approval, to create a framework that Albertsons President and CEO Vivek Sankaran says will "guide us in doing our part to minimize our impact within our own operations and beyond."
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When you need the facts and you need them now, FMI research reports are the place to find the answers. Our industry research looks at all aspects of the grocery industry from shopper trends to business operations to provide insightful, relevant and current research. Our signature research "Food Retailing Industry Speaks" provides important industry benchmarks and insights while the "US Grocery Shopper Trends" dives deep into the latest insights into customer behavior and shopping habits so you can make informed business decisions as our industry grapples with unprecedented challenges. Additional FMI research spans a wide range of topics from meat retail and private brands, to fresh foods, foodservice and beyond. Be in the know and download our research reports. Find out more.
Sustainability in the food industry
It's Earth Week -- a time of year filled with climate announcements, ribbon-cuttings for facilities powered by cleaner energy and photos of community tree-planting events. It's also a time for FMI to focus on just a few of the exciting sustainability collaborations happening in our industry. Overall, the food industry is making progress on sustainability and there is new energy powering corporate action on climate while global imperatives urge us forward. Read more.
In the wake of this year's successful virtual Day in Washington advocacy event, FMI's Andy Harig spelled out many of the tax policy challenges now facing the food retail industry, including the potential rollback of 2017 tax legislation and possible corporate tax hikes. FMI is working with the National Grocers Association to "urge Congress to maintain a tax code that allows our industry and the communities we serve to thrive," Harig said.
Plans by Visa and Mastercard to raise credit card swipe fees this year set off protests that led the financial giants to abandon the plan as lawmakers and advocacy groups such as FMI expressed their outrage. FMI's Hannah Walker said the 2010 "Durbin Amendment," which caps debit fees, should be an enforcement priority and that routing issues that shut out alternative platforms are also a pressing concern for grocers as e-commerce continues to boom, which she said has "renewed the interest and the need to do something."