Walmart has started trials of a new service called Walmart Text to Shop, which would ultimately allow customers to voice-text their shopping lists directly to the retailer. Walmart also announced the planned launch of Luminate, a system created with dunnhumby which will give the company's suppliers access to real-time data to monitor the performance of products and promotions, while also letting them do customer surveys.
The Sprouts Farmers Market Healthy Communities Foundation is supporting local food sources through $3 million in grants that will help 115 nonprofit groups boost nutrition education and give students a chance to learn by tending their own gardens. The grants, which now total $15 million since they were inaugurated in 2015, have enabled 1.5 million young people to grow their own food under a program that also is "strengthening local food systems by providing our communities with access to fresh, nutritious food," said Sprouts CEO Jack Sinclair.
McCormick & Co.'s third-quarter sales increased 8% year-over-year and 17% compared to the same period in 2019. "Our Consumer segment results reflect the sustained shift to consumer at-home consumption, higher than pre-pandemic levels, as well as lapping the year-ago elevated demand in the lockdown days of the pandemic," said CEO Lawrence Kurzius.
Walmart is ramping up its efforts to appeal to more beauty consumers by rolling out more than 40 brands, seeking partnerships with "on-trend" startups and offering "prices Walmart customers expect," said Paula Ryan, senior merchandising director for beauty. Customer feedback has spurred the addition of several more inclusive brands, such as UOMA by Sharon C., which caters to a wide range of foundation-shade needs, added Ryan.
Target adding its cool factor to grocery and Hershey's new Reese's Snack Bar, which features puffed rice, peanuts, peanut butter creme and a chocolate layer, ranked high on SmartBrief's list of most-read food and beverage stories this week. Conagra's amped-up Slim Jim line and Walmart's partnership with Netflix also made the Top 10.
A recent study from Brick Meets Click/Mercatus shows that while ship-to-home demand has declined, grocery pickup and delivery services sales have continued explosive growth with $6.4 billion of the industry's $8 billion in online sales attributed to the popular category. "The combined pickup and delivery segment now captures nearly 80% of sales in the US e-grocery market, and pickup hit a record-high portion of total sales in our September research wave," said David Bishop of Brick Meets Click.
Independent grocer New Seasons Market and Afresh Technologies have collaborated on a new operations platform that will soon be deployed to some of the grocer's locations. The Fresh Operating System uses artificial intelligence to help grow sales and streamline such key tasks as ordering, inventory management and reducing food waste.
DoorDash will provide on-demand last-mile delivery service to the independent retail partners of United Natural Foods. The new partnership allows UNFI's independent operators to use the DoorDash platform to offer e-commerce shopping, ordering and delivery options to their customers.
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