Kroger has made the most of a first-quarter sales surge prompted by easing pandemic restrictions and has also built a list of impressive technological and operational accomplishments for the year. The grocer's milestones so far include starting a program to find and work more closely with local suppliers, introducing more than 250 new private label products and launching its first drone delivery service.
After launching drone delivery last fall to get at-home COVID-19 test kits to customers around Las Vegas, Walmart has invested in Virginia-based DroneUp. Walmart has partnered with other drone service providers around the country and did not reveal the amount of its DroneUp investment, but US CEO John Furner said the retailer believes in drones as a last-mile solution and that "[c]onducting drone deliveries at scale is within reach."
Amazon opened its much-anticipated Fresh store in the Factoria suburb of Bellevue, Wash., on Thursday, giving an eager crowd of shoppers a chance to try the "just walk out" technology the retailer is offering for the first time in a full-size store. Customers can choose the cashierless option and in-store cameras and sensors record purchases, which are then charged to their Amazon accounts.
Chef Scott Samuel of The Culinary Institute of America demonstrates an entree that pairs sweet and spicy baby chicken with a simple pan sauce using fresh red grapes. Served with a classic lentil side, this dish is perfectly matched with the sweetness and tannins of the fresh grapes.
Avocado growers in South Africa have become a target for organized theft rings looking to reap the rewards of the increasingly popular and profitable crop, and many have installed sophisticated security systems to foil criminals' attempts. Growers in other regions including Mexico and California also face the threat of theft.
News of PepsiCo's new flexible workplace policy and a ranking of each state's favorite candies rated high with readers this week. A look at Amazon's latest supermarket, the debut of Sour Patch Kids Watermelon marshmallows and pandemic-altered snacking behavior also made the Top 10.
SpartanNash is enhancing the perks available to shoppers subscribing to its Fast Lane program, offering a 50% discount on delivery and additional price breaks on selected in-store items, including 5 cents off on gas this month. The program, which costs $49 a year and includes free curbside pickup, also offers "access to our team of dedicated personal shoppers, great benefits and exclusive savings," says SpartanNash's Brian Holt.
The five 2021 winners of FMI's Store Manager Awards are all leaders who "inspired their employees, motivated their communities, and with their civic-mindedness, served as local reminders of why grocery workers were designated as essential workers during the pandemic," said FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin. This year's winners stretch from Minneapolis to Denmark, and the People's Pick went to Hugh "Rusty" Rollins of Food City in Athens, Tenn.
Easing pandemic restrictions bode well for candy and snacks -- quarantine mainstays that research shows will notch even bigger sales gains this year as people start gathering again and look to treat themselves and their guests. The latest figures from IRI reveal that sales of non-chocolate candy jumped 5.3% in the 52 weeks that ended May 16, while chocolate candy sales were even sweeter, jumping 6.2%.
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