Instacart will begin winding down its work at Whole Foods Market next year, a relationship that predates the grocer's acquisition by Amazon. Instacart will be redeploying staff members to other grocers, which have become the bulk of its delivery partners.
Honeycrisp apples have soared in popularity, surpassing Golden Delicious to become the fifth-most-grown apple, but the variety requires significant maintenance, and so growers are starting to promote others. "There are so many apples that are just as good or better," said grower Tom Maynard, who sees consumers gravitating toward the Evercrisp.
Grocers including Giant Food Stores, Sprouts Farmers Market and Price Chopper/Market 32 were recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency for their work in the agency's Food Recovery Challenge program. The program recognizes grocers that work toward sustainable food retail and food recovery.
Oregon's Basics Market operates as a cooking school and education center as much as it does a grocery store, with the goal of teaching customers to make healthy meals at home. The smaller-footprint store includes eight "meal stations" and instructors who teach how to make the dishes on display.
Takeoff Technologies is looking to bring fulfillment that uses artificial intelligence and robotics to grocery stores in an effort to make assembling customer orders more efficient than having staff members do the work. The tech startup has deployed its system at Sedano's Supermarket in Miami and is working to roll it out with grocers including Albertsons and Ahold Delhaize.
FMI and other industry groups welcomed congressional passage of the Farm Bill, saying it allows the industry to continue serving customers' needs efficiently using the latest technology. "It drives modernization in the electronic benefit transfer (EBT) systems, while protecting retailers from unfair and predatory interchange and processing fees," said Hannah Walker, FMI's senior director, technology and nutrition policy.
Diageo has announced plans for a new, $130 million bourbon and American whiskey distillery and warehouse on a 144-acre tract in Lebanon, Ky. The company has a production facility in Louisville, Ky., and it opened its Bulleit distillery in Shelbyville, Ky., in 2017.
Bortolomiol, known for its prosecco, has released Segreto di Giuliano, its first red wine. The 2016 vintage was described by winemaker Roberto Cipresso as having "an unmistakable balsamic note which is accompanied by aromas of tobacco and refined sweet spices."
German riesling will be affordable and likely to win more US market share in 2019, said importer Adam Sager of Winesellers. Riesling and chardonnay from the Columbia Valley in Washington are top picks to prosper in the new year, Sager added.
Former Whole Foods Market co-CEO Walter Robb will invest in Cece's Veggie Co., a producer of organic vegetable-based rice, noodles and meal kits. The brand is available at Target, Kroger, Albertsons and Whole Foods, among other retailers.
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