Kroger is experimenting with "smart shelf" technology in a Cincinnati-area store, installing 2,200 Edge shelves that can show digital price tags and ads. The technology, developed by Kroger, might also eventually have the ability to communicate with shoppers' smartphones, read their shopping lists and light up products when shoppers approach the shelves.
Wal-Mart US CEO Greg Foran set an ambitious timetable for making the company's 4,600 US stores easier to shop, and embarked on a schedule of surprise visits to find problems and fix them. The retailer said it has met its Oct. 1 deadline on some fronts, including shortening checkout lines, but it's still working on cutting costs and on Friday the company announced 450 job cuts at headquarters.
Several Associated Food Stores have partnered with Robinson Fresh to launch a produce program that offers a discount variety of "ugly" seasonal fruits and vegetables. The Misfit program aims to raise awareness and encourage the reduction of food waste, and offers a treasure hunt experience for customers, the companies said.
Possible salmonella contamination prompted the recall of Texas Star Nut and Food Co.'s Nature's Eats Natural Macadamia Nuts and Southern Grove Simply Raw Trail Mix from the market. Affected products, sold in 6- and 8-ounce packages, respectively, were sold at retail establishments in Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Texas between June 20 and Sept. 9.
Remke Markets has launched a new loyalty marketing program that features a data analysis platform from ProLogic Retail Services that can help the retailer track purchase data and engage customers with personalized offers. The program targets different types of shoppers with offers based on previous purchases, such as top shoppers, new shoppers, lapsed shoppers and category-specific shoppers.
Winn-Dixie, Harveys and Bi-Lo parent Southeastern Grocers is cutting 250 support office jobs at its Jacksonville, Fla., headquarters and regional centers across seven states. "The changes will enable Southeastern Grocers to reinvest in improved quality, service and value for customers, develop store improvement programs across the network and support the stores more effectively," the company said.
A shortage of fruit in Japan has sent prices up and consumption down to the lowest level in 13 years, according to Japan's Ministry of Finance. Fruit consumption in Japan has been declining for more than five years, said Jack Moriya, president of importer Tokyo Seika Trading.
General Mills has issued a voluntary recall on 16-ounce bags of frozen Cascadian Farm Cut Green Beans with a use-by date of June 29, 2017, after listeria was detected in a package. In August, the company recalled 10-ounce bags of the same product, also on listeria concerns.
A company called 2nd Sight BioScience has created FairPick, a system that tracks how much produce workers pick by weight to ensure accurate payment. "The grower is paying for exactly what the picker is picking, and the picker is being paid for exactly what he or she picks," said CEO Kevin Oldenburg.
New England boasted more than 250,000 farms before the Civil War, and industrialization allowed for easier food production in the less-rocky soil of the South and the year-round growing conditions in California, said John Lee, manager of Allandale Farm. Now, as climate change and the California drought threaten to drive up prices and consumers focus more on local, New England's growers may find themselves able to compete once more.
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