The National Grocers Association and FMI-The Food Industry Association have issued an open letter

Giant Food is celebrating 85 years in business this year

Amazon reveals eye-catching helix office tower for Virginia headquarters
Amazon revealed plans for the next phase of its headquarters redevelopment in Virginia, featuring a signature 350-foot (107-meter) helix-shaped office tower that can be climbed from the outside like a mountain hike. The head-turning helix building is the centerpiece of the proposal that also features multiple 22-story office buildings in addition to those already under construction as the company looks to accommodate 25,000 new workers over the coming years in the Arlington County neighborhoods across the Potomac River from the nation's capital.

US: Kroger to pilot self-checkout only grocery store in Dallas
Supermarket chain Kroger is to pilot its first all self-checkout grocery store in Dallas, Texas, enabling customers to scan and pay for their purchases without needing to go through a cashier-staffed checkout lane. “Signs are up at the store alerting customers to the coming changes and to remind customers they can still scan coupons. Kroger’s signs also promote the use of its mobile wallet”, the Dallas Morning News reports.

US: Grocery leaders urged to support creation of nutrition incentive program solutions
The National Grocers Association (NGA) and FMI-The Food Industry Association have issued an open letter to food retailers, grocery wholesalers, national and state associations, and nutrition incentive program providers, asking them to join together in supporting a new initiative to collaborate with POS system developers in creating retail transaction and reporting solutions for nutrition incentive programs.

US: Giant Food celebrates 85th anniversary and longstanding commitment to local communities
Giant Food, the leading greater Washington D.C. regional grocery chain, is celebrating 85 years in business this year. Commemorating the retailer's deep ties to the local community, Giant associates will be volunteering their time to support local partner non-profits Maryland Food Bank, Food Bank of Delaware, and Martha's Table.

US: Good Eggs announces $100mln in funding for Southern California expansion, appoints Vineet Mehra as Chief Growth and CX Officer
Good Eggs, the pioneering online marketplace that delivers thoughtfully sourced, peak-quality groceries, innovative service, and good jobs, announced $100mln in new funding. The most recent round was led by Glade Brook Capital Partners with additional investment from GV, Tao Invest, Finistere Ventures, and Rich’s, and support from existing investors Benchmark Partners, Index Ventures, S2G, DNS Capital, and Obvious Ventures.

China’s Sun Art: 2020 review and 2021 growth plan
China’s largest grocery retailer reported its revenue up by +0.1% year-on-year (YoY) for the 12 months ended 31 December. Sun Art achieved total revenue of CNY95,486mln (US$14,786mln) in 2020, a 0.1% YoY increase from last year’s CNY95,357mln (US$14,766mln). The group said its performance in 2020H1 was above expectation due to its accelerated online investment, a response driven by the pandemic. In the second half of the year, as the market gradually recovered and consumption returned to normal, brick-and-mortar hypermarkets faced increased competition. Sun Art’s revenue fell short of expectations in H2.

Amazon Fresh online delivery service launches to challenge Spain’s supermarket chains
Amazon Fresh is a same-day home delivery service for groceries and other products and will compete directly with the country’s traditional supermarket chains such as Mercadona, El Corte Inglés, Aldi or Carrefour among others. Amazon announced the launch in Madrid of its fast delivery service for fresh products from it’s Amazon Fresh supermarket. At the moment, it is available only to Prime customers and joins the Dia store, launched at the beginning of the year. The objective of the American company is to offer a large online supermarket to consumers so that they can make purchases through its website.

France: Carrefour has eye on Grand Frais
Carrefour has set its sights on Prosol, the umbrella company above the Grand Frais fresh food markets. The fruit and vegetables, fish and dairy departments in those stores are managed by Prosol itself, while other partners take care of the butcher's, grocery and bakery departments. In the event of a takeover, Carrefour would therefore largely control Grand Frais. This plan is very ambitious: it would be one of the largest acquisitions ever for the retail group. Ardian, Prosol's majority shareholder, expects to receive between 3 and 4bln euros for the company.

Amazon scores Indian win as court freezes Future's $3.4bln retail deal
An Indian court blocked Future Group’s sale of a swathe of assets to rival Reliance Industries after Amazon raised objections to the $3.4bln deal, in a battle of the retail titans that could reshape the shopping sector. The decision is a setback for Future, the country’s second-largest retailer with over 1,700 stores, which agreed to sell its retail businesses to market leader Reliance last year. It has said it could face liquidation if the deal falls through.

UK: Waitrose to top up Healthy Start Vouchers for new families
Waitrose has committed to topping-up the value of the Government’s Healthy Start Vouchers, issued to pregnant women and low income families with children under the age of 4, by an additional £1.50 - more than any other supermarket. Customers can present their voucher at a Waitrose checkout, where the supermarket will increase its value from £3.10 to £4.60. The vouchers can be spent on healthy foods, including fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables.

UK: Tesco named the best supermarket for vegans beating Asda, Waitrose and Sainsburys
Tesco has been crowned the number 1 supermarket choice for vegans, offering the biggest range of own-brand vegan meal options and vegan alternatives, according to a study by Garden of Life. The study compared the 9 biggest supermarkets and found that Tesco stocked 76 own-brand vegan options, with the majority of these being ready meals or pizzas.

Greece: One in four consumers buy grocery online
While their great success may have been dictated largely by the pandemic, it seems that online supermarkets are here to stay. It is no coincidence the investments of supermarkets in 2021, too, mostly concern improving their e-stores and the creation of the necessary infrastructure. According to the latest survey by the Research Institute of Retail Consumer Goods (IELKA), conducted in early November, 25% of Greeks now buy their groceries online, compared to less than 2% in 2019. Consumers appear to choose their groceries both from the e-stores of the major chains and the online platforms that cooperate with many food stores, such as efood, Wolt, Box, etc.

UK: Sainsbury’s announces ambitious science-based targets for Scope 1, 2 and 3 as part of journey to net zero
Sainsbury’s has announced plans to significantly reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions with approved science-based targets in its operations and across the supply chain. As part of this, the retailer will work with a number of suppliers on developing and meeting their own Scope 1 and 2 targets, including through supplier engagement programmes with CDP and the Higg Index.

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