Early preparation, operational agility and the hiring of 64,000 new employees in the third quarter, which ended Nov. 6, have helped Kroger cope with continued supply chain issues, and the grocer was able to mitigate out-of-stock issues over Thanksgiving as it also leaned on its private brands to grow overall sales. "[W]e are better in stock today than we were a year ago and we were able to serve customers through the Thanksgiving holiday with items they needed for their celebrations," CEO Rodney McMullen told industry analysts.
Following the debut of its new large format store prototype in Iowa, Hy-Vee will close a store in Cedar Rapids while also shuttering another in Moline, Ill., in early January. The grocer plans to repurpose stores in Missouri and South Dakota, and says it will offer affected employees comparable jobs.
In the coming year, Dollar General will use its self-distribution model to enhance the selection of fresh and frozen foods and also expand its physical presence with its first-ever stores in Mexico. The retailer says plans call for adding 10 new stores in Mexico by the end of 2022.
With the Omicron variant of the coronavirus looming, Walmart has brought back its vaccine incentive program for employees and extended the COVID-19 leave policy it enacted in 2020 through March 31 of the coming year. The retailer is again offering workers $150 to get fully vaccinated and help protect themselves against the latest variant.
Hershey's Reese's brand aims to boost consumer engagement by inviting fans to enroll in the fictional Reese's University online and join the ranks of the "Fighting Cuppies." Students will be eligible for university merchandise in January, according to the school's website.
The pandemic has driven leaders at Unilever to prioritize their "inner game" to help them navigate "incredible uncertainty and ambiguity" and create a culture that meets the changing demands of today's workforce, said CEO Alan Jope. By focusing on five principles -- flexibility, inclusiveness, purpose, sustainability and relationships -- Unilever has gained a competitive edge in attracting new talent, said Jope.
Demand for immunity support from food and beverages continues to grow, so brands should focus on a wider variety of citrus flavors to maintain consumer interest in 2022, according to a Beck Flavors report. Floral flavors provide the differentiation consumers seek, with elderflower poised to emerge in more products next year, the report stated.
A Jones Soda Co. restructuring will create a separate Jones Soda beverage division, and chief operating officer Eric Chastain has been named president of the unit. A Flow Beverage Corp. restructuring has eliminated the president and chief operating roles while Tetra Pak has promoted Seth Teply to serve as CEO and president of US and Canada.
The bouncy, colorful look of gelatin desserts belies the simple method used to make them, writes Rachel Wharton, who recommends the orange-and-cream flavored gelatina de naranja con leche and gelatina de mosaico recipes from Fany Gerson. "Like most gelatin desserts, mosaico is ridiculously easy compared to the payoff -- even when you make the flavors from scratch, like Gerson does, using plain gelatin or agar-agar, the vegan gelling agent commonly used across Asia," Wharton writes.
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