Legislation pending the Kentucky governor's signature -- House Bill 415 -- would let bourbon distilleries in the state ship directly to consumers in reciprocal states, akin to the way the US wine industry currently operates. "The passage of HB 415 will provide spirits, beer and wine producers with the means necessary to grow jobs and investment in our beloved Commonwealth," said Kentucky Distillers' Association President Eric Gregory.
Produce wholesalers in Dallas that usually sell to restaurants, schools and other foodservice channels are figuring out how to get their fresh fruits and vegetables directly to consumers during the pandemic. Hardie's Fresh Foods is selling from a truck in an empty parking lot to consumers who line up in their vehicles.
Farmers in states including New Mexico and Idaho are promoting Community Supported Agriculture programs to consumers concerned about going to the grocery store in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Typical CSAs deliver weekly boxes of produce throughout the season, and at least one farm is offering four-week commitments amid the pandemic.
US consumers turned to Victory Gardens to feed the country during World War I and more people today are looking to grow their own food amid the pandemic. The trend has been fueling sales of soil, seeds and other gardening items this spring, and some states including New Jersey have classified nurseries and garden stores as essential businesses.
Closed borders among EU countries are starting to take a toll on farmers in Germany who depend on workers from other parts of the EU to bring in the harvest. Farms in Germany employed about 300,000 seasonal workers last year.
Village Super Markets emerged as the winner in the auction for the assets of Fairway Markets, which is now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Village will get five Fairway stores and its distribution center in Harlem, while Amazon secured leases for two stores in New Jersey -- which the company says it will not operate right away -- and Seven Seas Georgetowne came away with a store in Brooklyn, which it plans to continue operating.
Target, which like other retailers saw massive sales of essential goods and grocery items this month, says it will adjust its ambitious 2020 growth plans to deal with the new realities caused by the coronavirus outbreak. CEO Brian Cornell said Target would finish close to 130 store-remodeling projects this year, down from the 300 it planned, and also would open 15 to 20 smaller-format stores, as opposed to the 36 it had envisioned, with much of the work on both projects being shifted to 2021.
After seeing robust growth in 2019, Grocery Outlet's leaders praised the work of associates in coping with surging demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, saying the chain will be well-positioned for growth once the crisis passes. CEO Eric Lindberg said the grocer, which offers independent operators inventory on consignment, has "seen a lot of new customers in the last few weeks" and "we think we'll keep them just because of the simplicity of the model, the hard-hitting values that we have."
Alcohol retail sales in the US are surging in all categories amid the coronavirus epidemic, with wine up 27.6% for the week ending March 14 versus the same period in 2019, and spirits and malt beverages/cider up 26.4% and 14% respectively in the same interval, Nielsen reports. By comparison, in the 13-week run-up to Jan. 25, 2020, wine sales were up 0.6%, spirits sales up 3.8% and malt beverages/cider up 5%, per Nielsen.
Use the time you've been given when life takes an unexpected turn to create goals that further your skills and craft a plan to achieve them, writes Ken Downer. "[W]hatever the new 'normal' becomes, we have a unique opportunity to shape it," he writes.