Whole Foods marks 20 years as certified organic grocer

Whole Foods marks 20 years as certified organic grocer
Whole Foods Market is celebrating 20 years since the grocer attained organic retail certification and remains the only national retailer to hold this certification. The retailer currently offers more than 37,000 organic products across its assortment. As part of its broader strategy to invest in climate-smart agriculture, the company is working with farmers, ranchers, scientists, and industry experts to increase access to the organic market. For decades, the company has supported organic advocacy groups like the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and the Organic Farming and Research Foundation (OFRF), as well as maintained leadership on USDA advisory committees, like the National Organic Standards Board.

Source: Storebrands

Chicago may create city-owned grocery store after major retailers flee crime-ridden city
Chicago is exploring the possibility of creating a “municipally owned grocery store" after several major supermarket chains in the city recently closed their doors. The Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson made the announcement in a press release last week, claiming that "existing inequities have been exacerbated" due to the closure of six grocery stores over the past two years. The release explained that the closures led to certain areas of the city being too far removed from a convenient grocery store.

“All Chicagoans deserve to live near convenient, affordable, healthy grocery options. We know access to grocery stores is already a challenge for many residents, especially on the South and West sides,” Johnson said. “A better, stronger, safer future is one where our youth and our communities have access to the tools and resources they need to thrive.

Source: ABC3340

Wakefern launches live tracking for home delivery of online orders
Wakefern Food Corp., a large retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, has launched live tracking with Delivery Solutions for the delivery of online grocery orders. The cutting-edge tracking technology is available through many ShopRite and The Fresh Grocer locations, with live tracking of home deliveries offered at more than 200 stores.

The live-tracking feature is a dedicated platform offered by Plano, Texas-based Delivery Solutions that provides live order tracking and updates for online shoppers using home delivery. With real-time visibility features for users, live tracking offers customers live location updates on deliveries. Customers who use the Order.Pickup.Deliver. (OPD) online shopping service through ShopRite and The Fresh Grocer can take advantage of the live-tracking feature to pinpoint home delivery times and track their grocery delivery in real time.

Source: Progessive Grocer

A dozen New Mexico Albertsons stores would be sold in Kroger merger
Twelve Albertsons Companies stores in New Mexico would be sold if federal regulators approve a merger with Kroger Co. Kroger and Albertsons are the largest and second-largest grocery chains in the country. They propose selling 413 stores in 17 states — including 12 in New Mexico — to C&S Wholesale Grocers, which owns the Piggly Wiggly chain.

Albertsons has 29 stores in New Mexico, including 23 Albertsons Market stores operated by Albertsons subsidiary United Supermarkets of Lubbock, Texas, which also operates the Market Street stores. Santa Fe has two Albertsons Market stores and the only Market Street in New Mexico. The announcements by Kroger, Albertsons and C&S mentioned no Kroger stores in New Mexico to be divested. Santa Fe has two Kroger-owned Smith’s Food & Drug stores.

Specific stores that will be sold have not been named.

Source: Santa Fe New Mexican

UK: Open letter to supermarket bosses warns farmers ‘struggling to survive’
Farming and food leaders have sent an open letter to the ‘big six’ supermarkets urging them to treat suppliers more fairly amid warnings British agriculture is “on its knees”. The letter, sent to the chief executives of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl, claims that the supermarkets’ buying practices are “all too often imbalanced, short term and wasteful” and leaving farmers “struggling to survive”.

It reads: “Farmers are denied commitment or security – with whole crops rejected at the last minute in favour of cheaper options elsewhere, or just because supermarkets change their mind. Good food ends up rotting in the field. Farmers are left without payment for their crops. And without a stable, reliable income, they are struggling to survive. These practices threaten the livelihoods of hard-working farmers, and jeopardise the availability of fresh, healthy, and locally-grown food for shoppers. If farms continue to close, the British produce that customers know and love risks disappearing from your shelves altogether.”

Source: Express and Star

Spain: Mercadona invested over €124m in Barcelona between 2017-2023
Spanish retailer Mercadona has invested more than €124 million in expanding and improving its store network in Barcelona city from 2017-2023. The move is part of the retailer's aim to implement its new store design, which optimises the purchasing process and cuts energy consumption by up to 40% compared to a traditional store. Mercadona rolled out the new store design in 2017 with the the renovation of the supermarket located on València street. Since then, the company has renovated 29 supermarkets and opened seven new outlets in the city.

Source: ESM Magazine

UK: Spar drives surging profits at AF Blakemore & Son despite ‘National Supply Chain Challenges’
AF Blakemore & Son has reported operating profit growth of 65% from £14.8m to £24.4m thanks to ‘strong performance’ across its Spar stores, despite facing “national supply chain challenges” last year. The family-owned business and largest Spar wholesaler in the UK also saw a rise in sales of 3.9% to £1.24bn for the financial year ending 30 April 2023.

Chairman Peter Blakemore said the group “demonstrated fantastic resilience” over the period and largely attributed the growth to its Spar retail performance. He said this was “enhanced by improved stock availability and significant productivity within our supply chain”. Blakemore said that “store teams have delivered exemplary customer service and made a notable contribution to the communities in which we operate”.

Source: Grocery Gazette

UK: ‘Britain's September heatwave boosts grocery sales’
Sales growth at British supermarkets picked up in September, reflecting an unseasonal heatwave, the latest industry data showed. Market researcher NIQ said the total value of UK grocery sales rose 10.3% year-on-year in the four weeks to 9 September, having been up 7.2% in its August report when wet weather held back sales growth.

NIQ highlighted strong sales of meat, fish and poultry as well as salad vegetables. It noted that sales volumes in the week to 9 September were up 2.1% – the first increase since early May, suggesting improved consumer willingness to spend. The NIQ data going into September provides the most up-to-date snapshot of UK consumer behaviour.

Source: ESM Magazine

Canada: Grocery heads agree to ‘support’ Ottawa’s efforts to ‘stabilize food prices’
Canada’s top grocery executives have pledged to “support” the Liberal government’s efforts to keep prices in check, Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says. The heads of Canada’s biggest grocery chains attended a summit struck by the Liberals in Ottawa on Monday as Parliament Hill returned to session and the government vowed action on affordability issues dogging Canadians.

Champagne told reporters before question period Monday afternoon that it was an “historic day” to have the heads of Canada’s biggest grocers in one place, and said the roughly two-hour meeting between Ottawa and the executives had “difficult discussions” but a “constructive tone.”

“The large grocers have accepted to work with the government of Canada,” Champagne said. “This is a step in the right direction. … this is just the beginning. We’re going to be working to bring price stability in Canada.”

Source: Global News

New Zealand: New social supermarket opens in Onekawa
Foodstuffs North Island, the 101-year-old, 100 percent New Zealand-owned and operated co-operative of grocers, in partnership with Nourished for Nil, is proud to announce the opening of the Hawke's Bay's first social supermarket, located at 47 Edmundson Street in Onekawa. Social supermarkets are a fresh and dignified approach to food support.

Instead of providing pre-filled food parcels to individuals experiencing food insecurity, they can select the items they need in a supermarket-style environment. This empowers people to make the choices that best align with their family's dietary, cultural, and personal preferences. Food and grocery products are offered at low or no cost, utilising a points system, all within a standard supermarket environment, making healthy and affordable food accessible to everyone in the community.

Source: Supermarket news

Australia: Australian supermarkets should use ‘shrinkflation’ labels to warn shoppers and shame brands, advocate says
Australian supermarkets should follow the lead of French giant Carrefour and shame brands by alerting shoppers when a packaged food product has reduced in size, a leading consumer group says. Known as “shrinkflation”, food companies have been cutting the size of their products but not the price, angering consumers already grappling with surging household costs. Ian Jarratt, from the Queensland Consumers Association, says shoppers could make better buying choices if downsized products were more easily identifiable on supermarket shelves.

“Manufacturers use shrinkflation to make sneaky price increases and improve or maintain their margins because most shoppers are more aware of, and sensitive to, higher selling prices than reductions in the amount in packages,” said Jarratt, who helped lead the push for supermarkets to display unit pricing.

Source: The Guardian

Italy: UAE retailer Lulu adds to its Europe presence with food processing hub in Italy
The UAE hypermarket operator Lulu is making sure its supply pipelines are operating at a perfect pitch. This time, it has opened a food processing and export hub in Milan, Italy, as the retailer widens its sourcing arrangements across Western Europe. It earlier opened bases in the UK and Spain, to go along with all the other centralised sourcing arrangements Lulu has in place in Asia and elsewhere.

The Milan base is located at the World Trade Center Malpensa Airport, and will focus on sourcing, processing, storing, packaging and exporting of food products from Italy to ‘more than 255 Lulu Hypermarkets spread across GCC countries, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Malaysia’.

"As a key partner in food security for the Middle East, it is our ongoing strategy to set up our own sourcing and food processing units around the world to ensure uninterrupted supply," said Yusuffali M. A., Chairman and Managing Director of Lulu Group. "And ensure competitive pricing by eliminating middlemen."

Source: Gulf News

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