The Charlotte, N.C., grocery market has become ultra-competitive in recent years, with new arrivals Publix and Lidl among those expanding in the region, Katherine Peralta writes. Smaller stores and more robust online connections are among the trends developing quickly in the Charlotte market, she notes.
Afresh Technologies was founded in 2017 to help grocers meet the key challenge of having just enough fresh produce on hand to meet demand but not so much as to spur waste. The Afresh machine learning system has helped regional grocers cut down on out-of-stocks by 80% and food waste by 50% in pilot projects, the company said.
Italian wine producer Tommasi is launching a new luxury brand called De Buris, to be focused on wine and hospitality. De Buris Amarone Riserva, produced with a blend of local grapes, will be the only wine produced under the name.
UK-based Reliquum has debuted its new London dry gin, which uses fruit that would otherwise go to waste. The UK spirits brand previously launched Cotchel, which uses unwanted apples and pears from founder Pete Thompson's farm.
Researchers from France and China will be working together to seek wine grape varieties that are better able to withstand climate change. The Innogrape Laboratory will employ 23 researchers in Bordeaux and 10 in Beijing.
The new wave of mead-makers is bringing forward a drier, less sweet version of the honey wine, with more room for local variations, Kara Newman writes. She highlights seven mead-makers worth seeking out, including Brooklyn, N.Y.-based All-Wise Meadery and Chicago's Midwest Meadwerks.
Distillers in the South are reviving what was a huge trend in pre-Prohibition America: sipping peach brandy. High Wire Distilling of Charleston, S.C., uses peaches from the state to make its own limited-edition brandy as crop harvests have allowed.
US pumpkin growers are working on new methods for growing bigger gourds to recover the record for the world's heaviest pumpkin from a European grower, who set the latest mark two years ago with a pumpkin that weighed more than a Toyota Prius. Growers of the American native squash are trying new horticultural methods.
Ending farm subsidies in New Zealand helped revive that country's economy, and doing the same in the US could have similar effects across America, according to Michael Farren. "Conservatives who worry that welfare programs foster dependency and trap poor people in a vicious cycle of poverty should apply that same level of logic and scrutiny to the farm bill, which does exactly that to farmers," he writes.
Latinos and Latinas have accounted for a fast-growing segment of the US workforce in recent decades, but they are underrepresented as CEOs and board members at Fortune 500 companies. "The biggest challenge is the invisibility of our community in all of the narratives of leadership," notes Karla Monterroso, CEO of Code2040.