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Report: As grocery chains struggle, small natural retailers thrive

Alibaba expands its bricks and mortar supermarket chain

Hofer opens fifth emission-free supermarket in Austria
Austrian retailer Hofer, sister supermarket chain to Germany’s Aldi Süd, has announced the opening of its fifth emission-free supermarket. The outlet will be located in Seitenstetten, near Linz. Hofer also announced plans to obtain the majority of its raw materials from local producers. (esmmagazine.com)

Small natural retailers thrive
Natural products industry sales grew 7.4% across all retail channels in 2016, reaching $141bn in sales, according to Natural Foods Merchandiser’s latest Market Overview report. In contrast, independent stores and natural grocery chains recorded more modest 4.3% sales growth rate. Natural Foods Merchandiser reports that 69% of natural products stores saw their sales increase last year. Competition also was held at bay with 72% of the stores surveyed saying they didn’t have new competitors open their doors nearby in the past year. (fooddive.com)

Italy: Conad to invest €1bn in next three years

Italian retailer Conad is investing €1.1bn to open new and restructure existing stores, open new warehouses, and to improve energy efficiency. La Stampa reports that around €413m will be spent in 2017, €402m in 2018 and €286m in 2019. The goal is to increase turnover from the €12.4bn generated in 2016 (+1.6% on 2015). (esmmagazine.com)

Alibaba expands its bricks and mortar supermarket chain
As part of this New Retail strategy, Alibaba founded Hema in 2015 as one of its key initiatives to reinvent traditional supermarkets. This week Alibaba opened three new Hema stores in Beijing and Shanghai. Since its inception more than two years ago, Hema has grown from an experimental concept to a chain of 13 stores across China. (which-50.com)

UK: Waitrose having 'biggest raspberry week ever'
UK retailer Waitrose has reported that total sales for last week, excluding fuel, were 2% higher than the same period in 2016. The retailer says that fresh summer produce was particularly popular, with sales of raspberries 'having their biggest ever week'. Private label 'essential Waitrose' raspberries experienced a growth in sales of 52%, boosting overall raspberry sales by 32%. (esmmagazine.com)

Amazon Fresh expands to Hamburg
Amazon continues to expand its Amazon Fresh service across Germany after its launch several months ago. Following Berlin and Potsdam, it is now available in a large part of Hamburg. Amazon launched the German version of Amazon Fresh in early May, in Berlin and Potsdam. Back then, it contained 85,000 items, but the online supermarket has now grown that product range to more than 300,000 items. (retaildetail.eu)

Ahold USA suppliers star in ‘fresh stories’
Ahold USA brands Stop & Shop Giant Landover, Giant/Martin’s and e-grocer Peapod have launched a video campaign, Fresh Stories, consisting of more than 30 profiles of fresh product suppliers that have been viewed more than 14 million times so far in 2017. Each video features a supplier recounting where and how their product is sourced, and the importance of their partnership with Ahold USA brands. (progressivegrocer.com)

Warm winter sides - pre cut vegetables

Loblaws ‘Imperfect’ produce moves into frozen aisle
Loblaw Cos. Ltd. has expanded its no name Naturally Imperfect produce offering to include frozen blueberries, strawberries, mixed berries, mixed fruit and mangos, bringing the value-priced line to 14 SKUs. “Following the success of our no name Naturally Imperfect products in the produce department, it just made sense to expand the line to include frozen items," the company said. (progressivegrocer.com)

This grocery chain is most loved in US, survey says
Morning Consult, a Washington, D.C.-based public opinion data company, released its Spring 2017 Most Loved Brands list. Kroger garnered a 53% favorability among grocery stores, followed by Whole Foods, 48%; Safeway, 40%; Albertsons; and Publix, both with 33%. (bizjournals.com)

IGA in Montreal is growing its own vegetables
IGA Extra Famille Duchemin, in the St-Laurent borough, says it’s the first grocery store in Canada to sell produce grown on its own roof. More than 30 different kinds of produce are being grown on the 25,000-square-foot roof, and all of it is certified organic. In addition to tomatoes and lettuce, eggplant, radish, kale and basil are among the products growing here. (montrealgazette.com)

Wegmans and Instacart expand same-day grocery delivery
Instacart and Wegmans have expanded their same-day grocery delivery service to select stores in Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Valley and Southern New Jersey. The service allows Wegmans customers to complete their grocery shopping online and have their orders delivered to their doors in as little as an hour. (groceryheadquarters.com)

US: Price Rite to add more organic produce
Price Rite, the smaller, lower-price division of ShopRite supermarkets, has joined the ranks of grocers offering more organic and natural options by adding the Wholesome Pantry private-label brand to its offerings. Wholesome Pantry is a brand that ShopRite launched in its stores at the end of last year. The label covers more than 30 products, ranging from frozen foods to milk and fresh produce. (northjersey.com)

US: Blue Apron under investigation after disastrous IPO
After a spectacularly bad debut on the stock market for Blue Apron, law firm Harwood Feffer LLP is investigating claims of whether the meal kit company's board breached its fiduciary duty to investors, according to a press release. The meal kit company started trading on the New York Stock Exchange on June 29 with a price of $10 a share. In premarket trading Wednesday, prices had fallen to $6.40 a share. According to Renaissance Capital, Blue Apron's IPO has posted the worst returns of the year for a deal of $100m or more, Marketwatch reported. (fooddive.com)

Publication date: 7/20/2017


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