California table grape growers are poised for a record season, with shipments on track to continue through the end of next month, according to the California Table Grape Commission. More than 27.7 million boxes were shipped globally from mid-October through November, reports the Agriculture Department.
Wine Australia and the University of Adelaide will partner to support wine research and development, with the organizations contributing $3 million and $638,000, respectively, over the next four years. The list of projects includes researching berry cell death in wine grapes and exploring the ways canopy architecture affects fruit and wine quality.
Walmart is testing a kitchen robot called Flippy in its labs for possible deployment at some of its in-store delis. The robot would watch the time for prepared food staples like chicken fingers or mozzarella sticks, then remove them from the fryer at the right time.
SpartanNash has begun offering a scan-and-go app for use in two Family Fare stores in Michigan, with plans to expand its availability to more stores in 2019. The Check Out Now app also connects to the banner's shopper rewards program.
Fresh Buddy, a startup that delivers fresh fruit and vegetables to customers in China's small towns, raised $100 million in its most recent funding round. The capital will be used to shore up the company's supply chain and to improve logistics facilities.
Consumers, including a majority of millennials, say they want to cook at home more often in the coming year, according to a survey from online grocer Peapod. The survey found considerable interest in using click-and-collect at 27%, followed by home grocery delivery at 26% and meal kit delivery at 20%.
Health outreach efforts including in-store clinics and dietitian-led tours have helped Albertsons win acclaim for innovation in pharmacy services, Seth Mendelson writes. "It just makes sense to teach patients about healthy eating and medication management for conditions like diabetes in the same place they buy their groceries and pick up prescriptions each week," says Donna Dolan of Albertsons Pharmacies.
Smithfield Foods is optimizing its product development capabilities in such recent launches as Prime Fresh Delicatessen packaged deli meat and Carando meatballs. "As Smithfield Foods continues its evolution to a world class consumer packaged goods and protein company, we're on a path to make innovation part of our DNA," said Will Brunt, chief innovation officer.