The career of newly named Giant Food President Ira Kress started 36 years ago, when he worked as a part-time cashier while the company was run by its original family founders. In this interview, Kress discusses the importance of Giant's past, the challenges posed by the pandemic and future strategies that include expanding click-and-collect offerings and building up its Giant Delivers service.
After the pandemic created a surge in its meal kit sales, Blue Apron is looking to continue its comeback and recently entered into a new partnership with chef Tim Hollingsworth, a Netflix star and restaurateur. Hollingsworth has whipped up some exclusive recipes for Blue Apron that blend his Texas roots with California cuisine and also add his wife's Lebanese cooking traditions.
Protests in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis are forcing grocers around the nation to close some stores, adjust operating hours or change delivery services to keep employees and shoppers safe. Target, for example, will pay affected staffers for up to 14 days of their scheduled hours and allow them to work in other Target locations, the company said.
The pandemic has altered shopping trends around the nation, but the latest research from 210 Analytics, IRI and the American Frozen Food Institute shows frozen foods continue to be a customer favorite, as they have been since the outbreak began. For the week ending May 17, dollar gains in frozen foods were running almost 31% higher than the same week in 2019.
Bi-Lo has joined Instacart in an effort to boost its same-day delivery capacity. The grocer, a subsidiary of Southeastern Grocers, plans to add new delivery options for customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
Krystal Register, who spent 12 years as the retail dietitian at Wegmans, has been named by FMI to the newly created role of director of health and well-being, where she will serve as an issue expert and oversee FMI's nutrition policies. "Krystal's sterling reputation in the nutrition community contributes to her being a trusted authority within the nutrition and dietetics field," said FMI's Hilary Thesmar.
Even in states where bars have begun reopening, the soaring popularity of at-home drinking behavior prompted by the stay-at-home orders has not abated, according to alcohol-delivery service Drizly, which reports sales remain roughly 400% higher than historical levels. "Sales have continued to distribute across the week as more consumers are home during the work week," Drizly states on its website.
Olive Garden has introduced a line of Italian-made wines available only at its restaurants in 40 states where alcohol delivery and takeout are legal -- a total of more than 750 of its restaurants, according to the company. The range comprises a red blend, a rose, two moscatos and a sparkling red called Roscato Rosso Dolce and retails for $15 per bottle.
The pandemic's effects on day-to-day operations across the alcohol industry will be discussed at Vinexpo New York's webinar Wed., June 3. A virtual panel of leaders will discuss what alcohol sales recovery may look like and whether 2019 should be considered the end of normality for the sector.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's March order expanding alcoholic drinks to-go when accompanied by food orders amid the pandemic has a shot at becoming codified as Texas law, according to some industry insiders. Potential opposition could arise from package stores, from which Texas restaurants are required by law to purchase their wine and spirits, and some restaurateurs say cocktails to-go raise issues of liability and aren't worth the risk.
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