Posted by Dale Buss on March 7, 2014 03:20 PM
Cerberus is buying Safeway and blending it in with the Albertson's supermarket chain it already owns. But the transaction seems more like the end of an era rather than the beginning.
That's because the intended $9 billion merger of Albertson's and Safeway will be a play meant largely to shore up the combined operations defensively against sea changes that have been sweeping the food-retailing business that simply don't favor traditional chains such as the two that Cerberus will own.
The rise of grocery availability at Walmart, Target and other discounters; the spread of dry goods through drug stores and dollar stores and other new formats; the rising popularity of Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and their organic, natural, locally-produced and private-label ethos; the fact that online CPG sales finally seem to be gaining traction; and the strength of club stores in the grocery trade—all are conspiring against the merger of two of the long-time giants of the business.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 7, 2014 10:58 AM
Instead of pressing retailers to remove a GMO food from their shelves, activists are trying to head off genetically-engineered salmon at the river mouth by getting retailers to commit not to sell a biotech-altered fish even before it's commercially available.
So far, Kroger, Safeway, Target, Trader Joe's, H-E-B and other major food retailers have pledged not to sell a GMO salmon produced by AquaBounty Technologies even though it looks like the FDA is about to approve its sale in what would be the federal government's first clearance to a genetically-modified animal for human consumption.
The largest grocer in the US, Walmart, hasn't weighed in yet, and its size can often tip the balance in such matters.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 6, 2014 03:38 PM
If you can't get to one of Taco Bell's 5,500 locations during any of the four "day parts" the chain has recognized, now including breakfast, then there's another way for you to solve your craving for all things Bell: stop at your local supermarket.
Kraft has been partnering with Taco Bell since 1996 to offer Taco Bell-branded products in the grocery aisles, now totaling 28 different items ranging from sauces to "dessert kits" that require only the addition of ice cream, according to Advertising Age.
Now Kraft and the chain are turning up the heat on their collaboration this week by launching four new products: two dinner kits and two seasonings. The Taco Bell Ultimate Taco Night Kit, for example, comes in two varieties—Cheesy Taco Grande and Steak & Cheese Soft Taco Kit, both featuring Kraft's Velveeta cheese (which isn't offered in Taco Bell products in restaurants).Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 26, 2014 10:57 AM
With the print business in survival mode, it's no surprise that Conde Nast, one of the world's largest publishers of magazines, is looking for new branding opportunities.
One print brand ripe for extension is SELF magazine, which just launched its own line of frozen meals in 2,900 stores in 37 US states, including Kroger, Stop & Shop and Whole Foods under the SELF Healthy Kitchen brand.
“It should be easy to be healthy, and that’s why we’ve created SELF Healthy Kitchen," said Lucy Danziger, SELF editor-in-chief in a press release. “Our point of difference is that these meals will be both delicious and good for your body. Health-minded consumers looking for convenient, economical ways to eat better will love every bite!”
SELF’s editors teamed up with award-winning Chef Calvin Harris’s Benevida Foods to create the new line that features eight entrées such as Southwest Style Chicken Enchilada with Rice and Sweet Potatoes, Three Cheese Lasagna with Beef and Marinara and Steak with Portobello Mushrooms in a Red Wine Sauce, with single-serving meals averaging $4.99.
“When you enjoy a SELF Healthy Kitchen meal, you can trust that you’re eating quality ingredients because I sourced them myself,” said Chef Calvin Harris in the press release. “This is food that will not only make you feel good, but you’ll feel great about feeding to your family.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 20, 2014 03:53 PM
It seems the proud days of Walmart are now behind the US brand that is looking increasingly lost in a quickly evolving global market.
The world's largest retailer on Thursday reported a meager net-sales increase of just 1.6 percent and a 3 percent drop in operating income for 2013 as Walmart coped with struggling consumers in America and elsewhere, a drop in US government support for many in its low-income customer base, and even the scourge of bad weather that has hit many US retailers over the last few months.
Worse yet, Walmart comp-store sales actually declined by 0.6 percent, an incredible blow to a brand that achieved the top of the mass-merchandising mountain by being able to create a powerful price-based loyalty among its customers that had survived every impediment before 2013.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 29, 2014 05:52 PM
The UK's four biggest grocers, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons, as well as Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and the Co-op have pledged to release regular updates on the amount of food wasted in their stores starting in 2015.
The move follows Tesco’s admission that it generated 28,500 tons of food waste in the first six months of last year alone.
The commitments from the UK grocer industry were announced at a British Retail Consortium event for a recent report that showed that 25 signatories, representing half of UK retail, exceeded all targets for reducing waste, energy and water usage through 2013.
British Retail Consortium Director General Helen Dickinson said, “Retailers in the UK have made significant progress in reducing their impact on the environment,” Click Green reports. “Retailers will continue to keep this momentum going: they recognise that it makes business sense and delivers real environmental benefits as well as value for their customers.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 9, 2014 07:11 PM
Both of its businesses, retailing and health care, are being swept by massive change. But Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson has told company shareholders he doesn't think the chain is being swept along by transformation but rather is helping to drive it.
"We are in two dynamic industries," he told about 2,000 attendees at the meeting this week in Chicago, "that are converging as consumers become more involved in shopping for their health-care solutions."
Wasson ticked off all the ways in which Walgreens is participating in the sea of changes in retailing and health care including opening clinics that serve customers with the most common chronic conditions such as diabetes; expanding the "community pharmacy" role of its pharmacists and nurse practitioners in filling the gap in primary care that has been growing in the US for many years; and adding more fresh foods to its selection of groceries.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 6, 2014 07:37 PM
Since 1985, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and a slew of their friends have been rocking out at Farm Aid in the hopes of helping family farms. Now someone new has joined the fight to help smaller farms from disappearing from the US: big business.
Locally sourced organic fruits and vegetables have become desired by many Americans as society’s continued pressure to go green has now affected even the largest retailers. Whole Foods has just announced that it will add $15 million more to the $10 million it has already doled out in low-interest loans to local growers working on such projects as “biodynamic farming, non-GMO animal feed, and pollinator health, as well as more sustainable packaging,” Mediapost reports. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Whole Foods’ program has handed out 184 loans to 155 companies since its inception in 2007.
Walmart is doubling the number of locally grown fruits and vegetables it offers before the end of 2015. Locally sourced meat and seafood as well as locally sourced produce placed first or second on the lists of 1,300 professional chefs that were voting on 2014’s most important trends, according to the National Restaurant Association. In shorter terms, local is the new black.Continue reading...