Large-size and peg candy helped sales rebound at convenience stores in May after a slowdown in March and April due to the pandemic. Nicolette Jaeger of 16-location The PRIDE Stores says consumers are looking to treat themselves during the shut-down and that innovative packaging and displays from manufacturers have been key.
Chicago-based 1908 Candy has a humorous billboard campaign in the city that features its Alexander the Grape chewy candy brand. The ad campaign has an election-year theme and points viewers to its makeamericagrapeagain.com website.
The Federal Aviation Administration has approved drone spraying startup Rantizo's request for a waiver that would allow it to fly multiple drones with one pilot and one observer. Rantizo said it is the first company to win approval for the swarming method, designed for faster applications of pesticides and seeds.
Startup Growers Edge has raised $40 million in a new funding round led by S2G Ventures, Cox Enterprises and Skyline Global Partners. Growers Edge provides data analysis services to product manufacturers and retailers in the ag space.
Western Growers Insurances Services has launched the Connected Worker Program, an initiative with the goal of reducing ag workplace injuries. The program outfits ag workers with wearable tech that tracks their movements and detects movements that can be unsafe and lead to injuries.
Paris is home to the world's biggest rooftop garden, where urban farmers are growing strawberries, herbs, tomatoes and other crops in a vertical soil-free setup. "You can select crop varieties for their flavor, not their resistance to the transport and storage chain, and you can pick them when they're really at their best, and not before," founder Pascal Hardy said.
Researcher Tapan Pathak of the University of California Cooperative Extension is studying methods farmers could use to help them adjust to climate change. "We have some solutions that are available, but we also need to do more locally relevant crop specific research to make agriculture resilient to climate risks," he said.
Israel-based autonomous irrigation startup SupPlant will join with weather prediction platform ClimaCell to develop smart irrigation systems that help small-scale farmers boost crop yields. "SupPlant's and ClimaCell's capabilities to find a unique solution that for the first time is intended for the small farmers -- most of the farmers in the world -- has vast potential with extraordinary implications on the economies of entire communities and food and water reserves," said SupPlant CEO Ori Ben-Ner.
Hershey is getting a head start on Halloween by introducing four products: Reese's Franken-Cup Peanut Butter Cups with a partially green outer layer; Kit Kat Witch's Brew featuring a green coating; Vampire Milk Chocolate Kisses with a strawberry filling; and Cookies 'N' Creme Fangs bars. Hershey plans to focus on value pricing this year as well as increasing its online sales, according to CEO Michele Buck.
OffLimits is a new cereal brand deemed socially responsible by founder Emily Elyse Miller for presenting better-for-you ingredients and a package design depicting offbeat characters "to give voice to the countercultures and misunderstood," she said. The line includes two varieties: Dash, which blends coffee and cacao, and Zombie, which features adaptogens and ashwagandha, pandan and vanilla flavors.