Prepackaged, snack-friendly cheeses have seen success with consumers, as have cheeses seen as natural and authentic, according to a report from MarketResearch.com. The interest in natural and artisan cheeses has been a niche for smaller producers in the market, according to the report.
The US House on Thursday passed a farm bill that proposes substantial changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, including added work requirements. The Senate is readying its own bill that includes no SNAP overhaul.
FMI welcomed this week's court decision on national retailers paying sales tax even in states where they have no physical presence. "Today's ruling sets the stage for states to begin leveling the playing field for brick-and-mortar retailers by treating online transactions in the same way they treat in-person ones," said Andrew Harig, senior director for tax, trade and sustainability for FMI.
Blackberries, raspberries and blueberries now rival strawberries in popularity, and all four berry types have increasingly shifted from special occasions to everyday fruit, said Cindy Jewell of California Giant Berry Farms. "The bush berries are definitely taking some of the display space share away from strawberries in the summertime," she said.
Consumer demand is driving the rise of organic farming in Brazil, as more people pay local farmers to produce organic food. Farmer Thiago Kaiser's produce goes to the consumers who finance his farm through a consumer-supported agriculture model, with none sold to supermarkets or restaurants.
Kroger is already feeling the benefits of its recently announced partnership with UK high-tech grocer Ocado. The Cincinnati-based supermarket chain's latest earnings report surpassed expectations, its stock is rising, and the Ocado partnership has moved Kroger to the head of the pack in the global grocery delivery space.
Low- and non-alcoholic wine sales have not kept pace with sales of non-alcoholic beer in the past two years, per Kantar Worldpanel data. An emphasis on quality and the introduction of new bottle sizes or single-serve bottles could help the category, said experts.
Trade disputes between the US and other nations could hurt European sales for whiskey producers, said Catoctin Creek Distillery co-founder and General Manager Scott Harris; companies such as Beam Suntory have "contingency plans in place," said company spokeswoman Emily York. Meanwhile, smaller distilleries, such as James E. Pepper Distillery, lack the capital to simply stockpile supplies to hedge against price increases, said owner Amir Peay.
A bill in Ireland that would cover one-third of printed material on Irish whiskey bottles with health-related warnings could cause the nation's whiskey sales to lose momentum, said William Lavelle, head of the Irish Whiskey Association. Irish whiskey sales increased by 6% in 2017, and Irish whiskey is the world's fastest-growing spirits category.
Trader Joe's has been ranked first for customer experience in a survey of multichannel retailers conducted by Forrester Research. The study looked at how consumers' experiences build loyalty at 42 different retailers, including No. 2 Costco and No. 5 BJ's Wholesale.
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