A lengthy hailstorm has done $200 million or more in damage to Chile's fruit farms, according to Chile's Federation of Fruit Producers. The crops include blueberries, cherries, grapes and kiwifruit.
Demand for greenhouse-grown herbs and other greens is expected to rise during the holidays, said John Bonner of Ohio-based Great Lakes Growers. The company is building 80,000 square feet of additional greenhouse space to meet growing demand, he said.
Citrus fruit is in increasing demand as the holidays approach and consumers seek sources of vitamin C to ward off winter colds, industry executives said. Varieties including Cuties clementines and navels are on the market now and specialty fruits including Cara Caras from Sun Pacific will hit next month.
The Agriculture Department has paid $837.8 million of the $12 billion pledged to farmers who have been affected by new Chinese tariffs on US goods. The aid package covers crops including soybeans, sorghum, corn and wheat.
Ahold Delhaize is looking to add more properties to its grocery portfolio in the US, according to quotes from CEO Frans Muller in a Dutch newspaper. The company currently operates such banners as Stop & Shop and Giant Food in the US market.
Stop & Shop is highlighting the efficiency of its in-store fulfillment centers, which speed the compilation of orders. The centers can be added to existing stores in a few months, concentrating 90% of the items sold online together for easier fulfillments.
The number of shoppers buying grocery items online for Thanksgiving this year is expected to more than double, reaching 44% of consumers, according to Digital Grocery Survey: 2018 Holiday Edition from RichRelevence. The top reason for shopping online was convenience, cited by 73% of respondents.
Korea's CJ CheilJedang will acquire an 80% stake in Schwan's for $1.8 billion, and the Schwan family will retain the remaining 20%. The company's portfolio includes such brands as Freschetta, Red Baron, Mrs. Smith's and Edwards.
Coca-Cola's Chief Digital Officer David Godsman has outlined three ways the company is transforming itself to engage with consumers in a digital world. The firm aims to develop personalized experiences, digitize with its customers and use technology to make the company more efficient on a daily basis, he said.
Sales of cookies, tortillas and fresh bakery cakes led dollar sales growth in the bakery category over the past year, said IRI's Sally Lyons Wyatt. Categories that saw dollar and unit sales fall during the period were pastry donuts and crackers, she said.