Retail

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Pandemic drives drives purchases of pre-packed produce

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-24 Tue 12:21
2229

COVID-19 has changed the way Australians eat and shop for the long term. Continued restrictions mean fewer shopping trips, bigger basket sizes, more local shopping, and a significant shift toward buying groceries online. With more meals consumed at home, fresh food has taken pride of place in the…

McDonald's will introduce plant-based burgers and fast food

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-23 Mon 15:23
2213

McDonald's has announced it will introduce a line of plant-based meat alternatives called "McPlant" in 2021. The company has stated it would offer plant-based burgers, chicken substitutes and breakfast sandwiches. Forecasts predict that consumption of meat alternatives might be worth $140bn (£106bn) by…

New partnership to drive adoption of autonomous robots by independent grocers

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-18 Wed 10:01
2168

Badger Technologies, a product division of Jabil, is teaming up with STCR, Inc., a provider of advanced retail point-of-sale and self-checkout solutions, to increase the momentum of multipurpose robot rollouts by independent and regional grocers around the world. This collaboration will speed deployments…

Grab a rosemary or basil plant from a vending machine as if it were a can of coke

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-10 Tue 12:23
2099

Grab a rosemary or basil plant from a vending machine as if it were a can of coke or a candy bar. Wageningen masters’ students Nikolaos Alfieris and Orestis Spirou made it to the 4TU Impact Challenge with their FarmVent. The 4TU Impact Challenge is an innovation contest of the four technical universities…

Off the Wall: Your Produce is Growing in Aisle 5. Vertical Farming Has Arrived

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-08 Sun 15:14
2074

The first thing that comes to mind when you think about the produce section in your grocery store: Is 1: that it's freezing cold, which means you immediately run to the pantry aisle after grabbing your veggies and 2: I wonder where my fruit and vegetables are coming from? Do you ever think about the impact the produce section has on our environment and health? Every item goes through an extensive amount of work to grow, package, transport, and unpack the fruits and vegetables which are most likely sprayed with pesticides.

Pre-peeled and trimmed Brussels sprouts available in stand-up bag

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-03 Tue 07:41
2024

Just last week, the first shipment of Brussels sprouts from Guatemala arrived at the port of Miami for North Bay Produce. “The season is getting underway and supplies are building up,” says John Battle, Vegetable Category Manager for the company. The green globes are available through March and…

'Solutions for food retailers facing seismic shift in consumer habits and spend'

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-30 Fri 13:13
1991

Global logistics company C.H. Robinson is bringing supply chain expertise and technology to the aid of grocery retailers facing unprecedented demand and consumer change during one of the busiest food shopping seasons of the year. With an analysis of USDA data projecting a $250 billion annual shift to…

Hy-Vee 1st Grocer to Deploy Sterile Cart System

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-28 Wed 07:51
1959

Hy-Vee Inc. is rolling an automated cleaning system that fully cleans and sanitizes shopping carts after each use. By mid-November, 200-plus Hy-Vee stores across the grocer’s eight-state market area will have a Sterile Cart system up and running. According to the company, it’s the first supermarket chain to introduce the system across its company.

Embrace automation or get left behind, urge e-commerce leaders

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-26 Mon 09:20
1926

In recent months, more and more businesses have embraced digital than ever before in an attempt to claw back some revenue from factors such as store closures and physical restrictions. And, as a result, an omni-channel approach has never been so important.

Rural North Carolinia residents will soon get their meds delivered by drone

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-20 Tue 09:41
1858

Drones have already shown that they can reliably deliver vital shipments of blood across Rwanda, drop off prescriptions to senior citizens in Florida, and help quarantining families stay safe with contactless deliveries. Now they’re going to be buzzi...

This D.C. startup is raising $450K to expand its smart fridge vending network

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-19 Mon 12:14
1850

Raising money during a global pandemic when budgets are tight and the economy is unstable is a tall order. But Sarah Frimpong believes her efforts to do so will nonetheless pay off.

Frimpong, the CEO of Wellfound Foods, has raised $220,000 of a $450,000 fundraising round to bankroll the expansion of her company's vending "smart fridges." The fridges sell the same prepared foods she makes for her wholesale business — which has taken a major hit during the pandemic.

Wholesale distribution of the company's grab-and-go-foods and snacks accounted for a majority of Wellfound Foods' business prior to the onset of the coronavirus crisis, with the D.C. company making daily deliveries to more than 50 locations, including 27 Peet's Coffee stores and five Philz Coffee locations in the region. That revenue hasn't been eliminated entirely since the pandemic caused many hospitality businesses to close their doors, Frimpong said, but Wellfound did lose a "significant portion" of its revenue. She declined to provide specific sales or revenue figures.

Is this the drive-through supermarket of the future?

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-16 Fri 06:32
1836

What will the supermarket of the future look like? That's something many people are considering. But, there's not yet any single answer. This animation shows a creative store concept. Who knows? In a few years, you might be visiting a drive-through store like this.

Release of Direct-to-Consumer mobile produce app

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-14 Wed 13:05
1806

A new direct-to-consumer app for produce will be hitting the market next month. Flavor Wave LLC., an initiative from produce veterans Michael Chavez and Patrick Kelly, brings an innovative concept into the produce industry space. The app will encompass customer produce box ordering, fulfillment, and…

16 Ways Food Retailers Can Reduce Expenses Now

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-12 Mon 12:18
1779

COVID-19 has upended food retailers’ lives in dramatic ways. New social-distancing and sanitation requirements, along with supply-chain shortages, have counterbalanced some sales increases — putting pressures on grocers’ already narrow margins.

Against this backdrop, are there ways for food retailers to save money? The answer is a definite yes.

Amazon Wants to Fix Grocery Delivery

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-09 Fri 13:20
1756

Amazon is working on a fix for a problem that challenged food retailers earlier in the pandemic — long virtual lines for grocery delivery spots for online shoppers.

According to an interview that Stephanie Landry, Amazon’s VP of grocery, gave to Recode, “Amazon has now come up with a solution if there are large spikes in demand this fall and winter, whether because of a jump in COVID-19 cases, a surge in other illnesses (like the flu), or bad weather.”

Dry-misting in vegetable aisle

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-08 Thu 11:03
1729

A North American fruit and vegetable trader uses dry-misting. Nate Montgomery shared a clip on social media recently. It shows an assortment of fruit and vegetables where this technique is employed. Nate says he was in an 'amusement park'. "It was raining but still beautiful. I sell large quantities of fruit and vegetables. But…

'We control the entire growing process from 'seed to store'

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-08 Thu 11:02
1733

Edible Garden, an agriculture-technology company that operates advanced environmentally controlled greenhouses and indoor hydroponic farms under stringent food safety protocols, announces its commitment to a sustainable future of next generation farming with Zero-Waste Inspired innovation. The company's…

Vertical farm allows delivery of fresh herbs to London restaurants within hours

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-02 Fri 08:55
1632

An empty London industrial unit has been transformed into a sophisticated indoor farming space dedicated to growing fresh herbs which can be delivered to the city’s restaurants within hours of harvesting all year round. The new Vertical Farm facility is being operated by Harvest London, a company…

Carrefour: Kraft paper bags and cotton bags for fruit and vegetables

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-02 Fri 08:51
1637

The days of bioplastic (or bio-sourced) bags seem to be numbered at Carrefour stores' fruit and vegetable stalls. Even though they are largely made up of plant matter and can theoretically be composted in people's homes, the main defect of these bags is that they are not recyclable. Carrefour has…

Russia’s X5 Retail Group introduces speech bots at grocery chains

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-02 Fri 08:46
1645

X5 Retail Group, a leading Russian food retailer that operates the Pyaterochka, Perekrestok and Karusel retail chains, has begun to implement a robotic telephone platform. The system, which uses speech technology to carry out various business functions, is a proprietary development of the X5 Big Data department. The project also uses Yandex SpeechKit technology, part of the Yandex.Cloud online services platform.

Breakfast is Booming Online

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-01 Thu 13:57
1624

The higher adoption of online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic has naturally led to retooled strategies for capturing consumers’ breakfast dollars.

We’ve created new subcategories in our taxonomy to make these items intuitive to find,” notes Scott Crawford, chief merchandising officer at Bronx, New York-based FreshDirect, which as a pure-play e-grocer, is somewhat ahead of the game in this area. “Email and social have also been scheduled to assist with the outreach. 

“Additionally, we are leveraging our shoppable homepage to offer relevant content to our customers and highlight the breakfast solutions available on FreshDirect across all categories, from our in-house prepared foods, to frozen aisle breakfast items, to multiserve yogurts and traditional breakfast cereals,” he continues. “We are also creating themed content pieces to align with reopening of schools and offices via a unique ‘Back to Routine’ landing page, including a breakfast module.”

Del Monte Combines DTC Commerce With Same-Day Delivery

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-29 Tue 13:11
1594

Del Monte Fresh Produce has launched its first e-commerce website with same-day delivery in the Dallas market — another signal that direct-to-consumer (DTC) commerce is picking up steam during the pandemic.

As of Tuesday, consumers can visit www.myfreshdelmonte.com to place orders for delivery. With more than 200 available SKUs from both Fresh Del Monte and Mann Packing Co. products, Dallas-based shoppers will be able to fill their virtual carts with fruits and veggies.

To promote the launch, Fresh Del Monte will add an order of lemons and send a lemonade recipe with each delivery placed through its new DTC website through the end of October. The promotion is limited one per customer while supplies last. 

More than 100 records of fresh produce fraud

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-29 Tue 09:42
1584

Fraud with regard to fruit (and produce in general) is commonly related to labeling claims about production practices, production location or brand names. In some parts of the world, unapproved substances may be used to speed or enhance ripening or to make fruits look more visually appealing. Still,…

Frozen produce sales remain high, shelf-stable closer to normal levels

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-26 Sat 23:26
1561

The last full week of August saw the smallest produce sales increases since the start of the pandemic across virtually all departments. Prior months had shown weak final week of the month sales and, in this case, the results were further influenced by a much earlier Labor Day in 2019 that fell on Sept. 2.

That means the sales results of the week ending Aug. 30, 2020 ,went up against the 2019 Labor Day sales. Labor Day has always been a massive holiday week for grocery — making it a much harder holiday to beat than ones that had more of a split retail versus foodservice nature in typical years, such as Mother’s Day. Additionally, sales were negatively affected by more extreme weather events, impacting large parts of Louisiana and east Texas.

The net effect for fresh produce was a much smaller gain than those seen since the last week of June. For the week of Aug. 30, fresh fruit and vegetable sales increased 4.7% over 2019. Frozen fruits and vegetables had a much higher percentage increase, at +17.7% but is the smallest of the three temperature zones. Year-to-date through Aug. 30, fresh produce department sales are up 10.9% over the same time period in 2019. Frozen fruit and vegetables increased the most, up 26.8% year-to-date.