US: Grocery robot specialist Simbe Robotics patents system to detect produce freshness
Whether it’s to carry groceries around the store or to deliver them to our front door, it won’t be too much longer before everyday shoppers see robots both in and around the grocery store. But one potential interesting new use-case for in-store robotics we haven’t heard much about is for detection of produce freshness. That may change soon, as Simbe Robotics, the maker of the Tally 3.0 robot, has just been issued a patent for spectral imaging of produce and meats and detect how fresh they are.
US: Raley’s completes Bashas’ acquisition, creates new business entity
With the completion of its earlier announced Bashas’ acquisition, Raley’s of West Sacramento, California, has said the Bashas’ Company will join a newly formed enterprise: The Raley’s Companies. The deal combines Bashas’ with a larger portfolio of retail and technology holdings controlled and managed by The Raley’s Companies.
US: Getir, the pioneer of ultrafast grocery delivery, arrives in Boston
Getir, the pioneer of ultrafast grocery delivery, announced it has started operations in Boston, debuting its ultrafast grocery delivery service in a 3rd U.S. city following Chicago and New York.
US: jack & annie’s closes $23mln; aims to make jackfruit hero among meat alternatives
Jack & annie’s, a sustainable, animal meat alternative brand made from jackfruit, announced $23mln in Series B funding. The round was co-led by Creadev and Desert Bloom and included participation from Wheatsheaf and existing investors Beta Angels and InvestEco.
US: Walmart’s latest fulfillment center earmarked for Salt Lake City
Walmart said that it aims to build a 1mln-square-foot fulfillment center in Salt Lake City to fill online orders placed on Walmart.com. To be located at 990 N 6550 W, just outside the city near the airport, the facility is expected to open in the summer of 2022 and create about 450 full-time jobs across the region.
US: Instacart ramps up SNAP EBT acceptance for online grocery
Instacart said more than half of all retailers now accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) electronic benefits transfer (EBT) payments for online grocery orders received their federal certification through its e-commerce platform. After a yearlong expansion program, Instacart’s SNAP EBT online footprint now reaches over 25mln food insecure people nationwide, the San Francisco-based e-grocery giant reported.
Look into my sprouts! Aldi and hypnotist Paul McKenna launch world's 1st hypnosis to save the nation's sprouts
Aldi UK reported: "There’s no sprout about it… the nation is divided when it comes to the humble sprout, so this year supermarket Aldi has partnered with renowned hypnotist Paul McKenna, to create the world’s 1st mass online hypnosis to convert the nation’s 15mln sprout haters into sprout lovers this Christmas. The 10-minute ‘Save Our Sprouts’ trance, which is available on Aldi’s YouTube channel, could see up to 130mln sprouts saved from the bin on Christmas Day and many more brussels sprouts off the Christmas table over the festive season".
Finland: Kesko sees sales up 12.4% in November
Retailer Kesko has reported a 12.4% year-on-year growth in group sales (11.6% on a comparable basis) to €983.0mln in November. The company’s grocery division generated sales worth €505.5mln last month, up 7.4% compared to the same period last year. Grocery sales in K-food stores increased by 4.5%, while Kespro's sales increased by 26.6%. Sales also increased in K-Citymarket's home and specialty goods trade, the retailer added.
France: La Belle Vie raises $28mln to build an online supermarket from scratch
Startup La Belle Vie announced that it has raised a $28.2mln (€25mln) Series B round led by Left Lane and Quadrille Capital, with existing investor Capagro also participating. The company operates an online grocery store in the Paris area.
UAE: Spinneys opens 1st sustainable concept store in Dubai
Locally-owned supermarket Spinneys has opened the doors of its 1st sustainable concept store in Dubai’s Layan community, next to Sustainability City. As part of its corporate programme ‘Let’s Do Better Together’, the new branch aims to offer customers an easy, convenient way to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and to shop more sustainably.
Lenta to acquire Utkonos to become one of Russia’s leading e-grocery platforms
Lenta IPJSC, one of the largest multi-format retail chains in Russia, announced an agreement to acquire online-retailer Utkonos to create a leading e-grocery platform covering all key shopping missions and market segments.
Hypermarkets outperformed the rest of the French grocery sector in November: Kantar
The hypermarket sector outperformed the rest of the French grocery market in November, the latest data from Kantar has shown, growing by 1.6 percentage points despite the overall market declining. According to the data for the P12 period (1 November to 28 November), French grocery spend was down 6.2% compared to the corresponding period last year, which was marked by lockdowns. However, the level of spend remains 2.4% higher than in 2019.
Trigo powers 1st hybrid cashierless supermarket for German discount giant Netto
Trigo, an Israel-based computer vision company disrupting retail with frictionless checkout technology, is partnering with discount supermarket giant Netto Marken-Discount (also known as Netto) on a hybrid checkout-free grocery store in Munich, Germany.
Australia: Instant grocery start-up Voly raises record $18mln
Australia’s first instant online grocery supermarket Voly has raised $18mln in seed funding - a new record for a food delivery company in Australia. Voly aims to take on the $122bln local grocery industry by offering an engaging and easy platform to purchase groceries online, with a promise of free delivery in just 15 minutes.
UK: Aldi reduces price of Christmas vegetables to 19p
Aldi’s Christmas Super Six deals are returning to stores from December 16, with festive veg staples available at just 19p. The supermarket, which has just beaten other major retailers to be named Multiple Fruit and Vegetable Retailer of the Year at the FPC Fresh Awards 2021, has reduced its 6 most popular Christmas veggies to help shoppers avoid breaking the bank this festive season. In the savvy deal is a selection of Aldi’s fresh and delicious vegetables all sourced from British suppliers, including Carrots (1kg), White Potatoes (2kg), Parsnips (500g), Red and White Cabbages (each), Brussels Sprouts (500g), and Swede (each).
EU Parliament backs tough new rules to rein in U.S. tech giants
EU lawmakers voted to beef up draft rules to rein in U.S. tech giants, including extending the scope to their retailing activities and to their business users outside Europe, as part of their common position in forthcoming talks with EU countries. The Digital Markets Act (DMA), unveiled by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, sets out a list of dos and don'ts for U.S. tech giants designated as online gatekeepers with fines up to 10% of global turnover for violations, a global first. Vestager's proposal targets Amazon, Apple, Alphabet unit Google and Facebook but the European Parliament wants to extend it to travel website booking.com, China's Alibaba and online retailer Zalando.