January 25, 2022
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Food Marketplace Beat
Meijer, Walmart, Kroger to distribute free N95 masks
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Meijer will provide free N95 face masks to customers after receiving around 3 million masks in a US Department of Health and Human Services program. Other grocers and retailers, including Kroger, Walmart, CVS and Walgreens, will also provide free masks to customers as part of the program.
Full Story: Supermarket News (free registration) (1/24) 
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Worker shortages have plagued grocers since last year and many have been closing earlier, cutting labor-rich departments like bakeries and prepared meals, upskilling workers and reducing break times to deal with the shortage. Kroger, for example, cut operating hours at its stores during low-traffic times, and Stew Leonard's is making fewer varieties of crumb cake.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (1/23) 
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The Good Stuff, paired with a Good Cause
NEW from Endangered Species Chocolate, the makers of authentically good sweets, come two filled chocolate bars featuring indulgent and nostalgic flavors. Fudgy peanut butter wrapped by creamy milk chocolate creates an upscale experience of an iconic combination and luscious caramel meets the milk chocolate consumers are craving all wrapped in a eye-popping, gift-able package featuring the sloth. The two new bars are available now, and as with all Endangered Species Chocolate’s products, 10% of net profits go to conservation efforts around the globe.
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Trend-Spotter
Many consumers in Canada are reducing food waste and lowering grocery bills by using apps like Too Good To Go, Feedback, Olio and Flashfood to purchase products and prepared meals made with aging food that's still fit to consume, for a lower cost. The apps offer meat, fish, pantry staples, dairy, produce and bread, as well as prepared items such as pizzas and cakes.
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (1/24) 
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Social media inspired snacking experiments for 55% of people in a Mondelez International study, and 53% tapped three or more nontraditional shopping channels during the previous year. Dessert mashups, nostalgic flavors and livestreams are among the prominent trends.
Full Story: Consumer Goods Technology News (1/21) 
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What trends will move digital commerce in 2021?
Pivotree experts share their predictions for 2022 across three critical areas of commerce: Supply Chain, eCommerce, and Data Management. Join us for an interactive chat to find out when and how supply chain woes could ease up, the trends we expect to accelerate, and 3 areas of CX to focus on. Register for the webinar.
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Tech Solutions
Fresh Thyme Market has been using QR code technology for the last year and has seen higher sales of certain products since the addition of Smart Shelf Tags. "It comes as no surprise that partnering with our suppliers to provide our shoppers with great product information at the shelf would increase sales," said Fresh Thyme's Jonathan Lawrence.
Full Story: Supermarket News (free registration) (1/24) 
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Featured Content
Sponsored Content from Idahoan Foods
Crafting a successful e-commerce strategy E-commerce within the CPG industry has seen exponential growth over the last two years. Chuck Coyle, director of e-commerce at Idahoan Foods, and Ryan Ellis, vice president of retail marketing and business development, share key takeaways from the company's growing direct-to-consumer business that can help other brands craft a successful e-commerce strategy. Read the interview.

    Fresh Ideas
    Report: US consumers lag on produce consumption
    (Pixabay)
    Only 12.3% of US consumers surveyed ate at least the recommended daily servings of fruits in 2019, and just 10% consumed the suggested amount of vegetables, according to a CDC report. The report, which broke down the data by factors including age, income level and state, found that cost, access and availability of fresh produce were barriers.
    Full Story: The Packer (Lenexa, Kan.) (1/24) 
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    Health and Well-being
    CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch says earlier challenges in her career helped prepare her to deal with navigating through the bigger challenges that have come with the pandemic. She talks about dealing with the labor shortage, the decision to raise wages and the retailer's role in helping consumers access affordable, quality health care.
    Full Story: The New York Times (1/21) 
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    FMI Spotlight
    Protecting people, reputation and property
    The 2022 FMI Asset Protection and Grocery Resilience Conference provides an opportunity for loss prevention, risk management, workplace safety and crisis management professionals in the food retail industry to network and collaborate on all aspects of protecting people, reputation and property. Register today.
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    Resources: Supply chain infographics
    This series of infographics explains how key ingredients in an American classic -- the peanut butter and jelly sandwich -- are impacted by current disruptions to raw materials production, packaging, transportation and labor. These infographics are formatted to be easily shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help educate your customers on why they might be seeing limited supplies of these popular products. Download them now.
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    Global Update
    Walmart is looking into alternatives for its Central America operations as part of its growth in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The three countries account for about 8% of sales for Walmart de Mexico SAB -- also known as Walmex -- and Walmex Chief Executive Officer Guilherme Loureiro said the decision would allow Walmart to focus on Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica, where there are higher profits.
    Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (1/24) 
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