The Publix program that helps farmers by buying milk and produce that might otherwise have gone to waste during the pandemic has been expanded from Florida, where it began in April, to Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, with Tennessee and Virginia to be added soon. To date, the grocer has purchased 350,000 gallons of milk and more than 5 million pounds of produce that have been donated to Feeding America food banks.
Kroger has reached a multiyear deal with Vibenomics to unveil a specialized audio network for in-store broadcasts intended to promote products and enhance the overall customer experience. The grocer also announced its choice of London-based Dentsu Aegis Network as the media agency that will support Kroger's "Fresh for Everyone" branding campaign, which started last year.
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has teamed up with Shipt to launch same-day grocery delivery in 30 metro areas across the Midwest, adding the service to the on-demand delivery already provided through Instacart. In Michigan, Shipt also will offer same-day delivery of beer and wine purchased from Fresh Thyme in Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.
Walmart, which has opened four primary care clinics and made other recent health care-related acquisitions, will soon begin selling supplemental Medicare Advantage insurance plans. The new venture will start in the Dallas area, where Walmart is advertising for insurance agents to fill positions at Walmart Insurance Services LLC.
Amazon's Fresh grocery delivery service has captured a large segment of the market, but new challenges are being mounted as grocers see growing demand for quick and easy online shopping and delivery alternatives. Most recently, Uber announced it would start a grocery delivery service, and Walmart is reportedly ready to debut a subscription program aimed at competing with Amazon Prime.
Following a strong Father's Day weekend performance, fresh perimeter sales fell back a bit for the week that ended June 28, notching a year-over-year gain of 8.2%, data from 210 Analytics and IRI showed. The decline was anticipated, but experts say sales figures from the July Fourth weekend are expected to "be big."
SEG Gives Foundation, the charitable arm of Southeastern Grocers, has created a new grant program aimed at helping local nonprofits address racial issues that affect food security and health care. Through Sept. 8, groups in the grocer's seven-state market can apply for grants between $5,000 and $25,000, with the awards being announced in December.
Food industry-specific legislation is likely to focus on government funding, as well as recovery and relief from pandemic-related issues, says Jennifer Hatcher, FMI's chief policy officer. "As Congress discusses potential longer-term solutions to police reform, lawmakers are expected to compile an additional economic relief package to mitigate the fallout of the ongoing health crisis, which will focus on both recovery and relief solutions," she says.
With Kroger's Joe Grieshaber retiring as senior vice president and chief merchant after 37 years with the company, the grocer announced two major C-suite moves.
Stuart Aitken will succeed Grieshaber as Kroger's chief merchant on Aug. 1, and CIO Yael Cosset will take over Aitken's former role as head of the company's 84.51° analytics subsidiary and its alternative business division.
Walmart is set to launch Walmart+, a subscription program that will offer shoppers same-day delivery, reserved slots, deals and discounts, and other membership perks. Walmart did not comment on the reports, which said the service will be offered for $98 a year and would launch sometime this month, about four months after the original spring rollout of the new program was delayed by the pandemic.
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