US: Imports expected to slowly climb, but should remain below 2022 levels through mid-summer
Import cargo volume at the nation’s major container ports is expected to begin slowly climbing again this month after February saw one of the lowest levels since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Global Port Tracker report by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
US: GrubMarket acquires Custom Produce Sales to expand further on the West Coast
GrubMarket announced that it has completed the acquisition of Parlier, California-based Custom Produce Sales, a highly reputable and well-respected fresh produce company that provides the highest quality fruits and vegetables sourced from suppliers across the U.S., Mexico, Chile, and Peru. In addition to its Parlier location, Custom Produce Sales also has warehouse facilities in Yuma, Arizona and Salinas, California. The company currently has an expanding portfolio of over 80 commodities and successfully ships over 10mln packages of fruits and vegetables to hundreds of foodservice, retail, and wholesale customers across the U.S. annually. GrubMarket also launched its "Sustainable California" initiative to support agricultural sustainability and promote better food systems in California.
US: Despite planned closures, Sprouts Farmers Market remains in growth mode
Despite announcing that it would shutter 11 underperforming stores, Sprouts Farmers Market remains in growth mode. On Friday, the health-focused grocer will open a new location in Stockton, California, followed by one in The Villages, Florida, on March 17 and another in Merced, California, on March 24. Also in the pipeline are new grocery stores in Lancaster, California, on April 28 and one in Manassas, Virginia, on May 12.
US: Winn-Dixie helps customers save time and money with discounted prices and online ordering
Winn-Dixie's “Down Down” program saves customers more than 15% on average with discounted products for the spring season including fresh produce and dairy items, pantry staples, frozen appetizers and meals, family favorite snacks, health and beauty products and essential household cleaning supplies.
Canadian grocers grilled in parliament over food price inflation
Supermarket billionaire Galen Weston and top executives of other Canadian grocery chains pushed back against accusations from lawmakers that they’re gouging customers on food prices. The executives told a parliamentary committee that food price inflation is affecting every country right now, and argued Canada is doing better on this measure than many others. “No matter how many times you read it on Twitter, the idea that grocers are causing food inflation is not only false, it’s impossible”, Weston said.
US: United Natural Foods, Inc. reports second quarter fiscal 2023 results
United Natural Foods, Inc. (the “Company” or “UNFI”) reported financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2023 (13 weeks) ended January 28, 2023. Second quarter fiscal 2023 highlights: (comparisons to second quarter fiscal 2022) Net sales increased 5.4% to $7.8bln, primarily driven by inflation and new business. Gross profit decreased $6mln, or 0.6%, to nearly $1.1bln; prior to LIFO charge, gross profit rose 0.4%.
Canada’s Trendi launches new rescued ingredients blends at SXSW Culinary Showcase
Trendi, Canada’s agri-food robotics company, is giving the global community a new way to help combat food waste with the creation of its first ingredients line. Officially launching at SXSW, Trendi’s rescued ingredients feature nutritious, sustainable, and shelf-stable powders and purees made from rescued fruits and vegetables, which can be used across a variety of industries.
US grocery retailer Hy-Vee opens global capabilities centre in Bengaluru
Hy-Vee, a US-based grocery retailer, opened its new Global Capabilities Centre - Helpful Smiles Technology (HST) Global - in Bengaluru. The HST Global team will work in conjunction with Hy-Vee’s US technology teams to develop innovative technology solutions that help make customers’ lives easier, healthier, and happier, said the company.
Sarah Bradbury named new IGD chief executive
IGD has announced the appointment of Sarah Bradbury as its new chief executive, effective 3 July. She succeeds Susan Barratt, who is set to step down as CEO on 30 June.
UK: Data reveals surge in frozen veg sales as fresh veg shortages continue
British shoppers are stocking up on frozen veg in time for their Sunday roasts as fresh vegetable shortages continue, new data shows. Retail data experts Reapp have seen a surge in sales of frozen veg on weekends at one major British supermarket - with a 20% year-on-year uplift. Almost £150,000 worth of additional sales have been made in 2023 alone. The week ending 26 February saw a 47% year-on-year uplift with additional sales of £28,000 - as supermarkets struggled to fill shelves with fresh veg.
UK: Asda to launch dedicated Ramadan shelves in 150 stores
Asda is catering to Muslim customers by launching new shelves dedicated to Ramadan in 150 stores nationwide, an increase of 47% from last year. Asda will be stocking Halal products, tinned ingredients, frozen food, baked goods, fresh fruit and vegetables for the event, with store cupboard essentials like 10kg Elephant Atta flour for £7 and 10kg Trophy Basmati rice at £13.
South Africa: Food Lover’s to spend over R200mln in load shedding fight
Private supermarket chain Food Lover’s Group expects to spend up to R200mln on diesel alone to light up its Food Lover’s Market branded stores in the coming year. There are other costs as it strives to keep up with daily power cuts, including the purchase of additional generators, the maintenance of generators and refrigerators, and the impact of boundless food waste resulting from disruptions to the cold chain.
JD.com becomes the fastest growing retailer among global Top 10 retailers
For the second consecutive year, JD.com is listed as one of the Top 10 retailers worldwide, according to the Global Powers of Retailing 2023 report released by Deloitte. The company rises from ninth to seventh place in this year’s ranking.
New Zealand: New app to fight food waste
Foodstuffs North Island, the cooperative behind New World PAK’nSAVE and Four Square, has announced their new app, named Whywaste. Announced at the start of Food Waste Action Week, the trial for the app is presently underway. The application is designed as a supermarket management tool to minimise food wastage.
Iceland boss says fruit and veg shortage will end soon as he picks up OBE
The boss of supermarket chain Iceland has said shortages of fresh fruit and vegetables will end within a fortnight as he received an OBE from the Princess Royal. Richard Walker, its 42-year-old executive chairman, said the company’s efforts to get supplies back on track were going to plan as he received his award at Windsor Castle. He told the PA news agency: “But fresh salads are starting to come back on shelves and we are pretty confident that in the next week or two that fresh veg will be back to typical availability as well - or you can buy frozen”.
UK: Healthy options surge at the start of 2023
Britain’s shoppers are filling their baskets with healthier options in 2023, new data demonstrates. Plant-based milks, meat-free alternatives and healthy snack sales have all surged, retail data expert Reapp reveals.