Food Retail
Top stories summarized by our editors
12/14/2017

Sobeys will rebrand about 65 of its namesake and Safeway stores in Western Canada and transition them to its FreshCo discount grocery banner starting next year, the company said. The supermarket operator has 91 FreshCo stores in Ontario and it's expanding the concept as the discount arena grows more competitive with concepts from Loblaw, Costco and Walmart.

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FreshCo, Safeway, Sobeys, Costco, Walmart
12/14/2017

Local Roots, a startup that builds vertical produce-growing operations called TerraFarms inside shipping containers, expects to launch upward of 100 units next year. The company locates the TerraFarms near large customers, including SpaceX and restaurant and grocery distribution centers.

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Business Insider
12/14/2017

Wildfires in Southern California burned down 14 of Limoneira's farm-worker residences and took out the power at a packing plant, but the avocado and lemon grower's crops didn't sustain significant damage, the company said. The Ventura County, Calif.-based Limoneira expects to report a 9.4% sales increase for the most recent fiscal year.

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Reuters
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fiscal year, Limoneira
12/14/2017

Makers of ice wine in Ohio are harvesting their grapes off the frozen vines this week and working on the sweet wines, often served for dessert. Temperatures down to 17 degrees have helped produce juice with good sweetness, winemaker Nick Ferrante said.

12/14/2017

Vintners in California and elsewhere are concerned about the damage to grapes from wildfire smoke, even if the fire never reaches their vineyard. Researchers are working on quicker tests to assess the damage from smoke, which can affect varietals in different ways.

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National Public Radio
12/14/2017

Big Cork Vineyards, located in western Maryland, has been winning awards for its wines in national competitions under winemaker Dave Collins. The winery is also seeing increased traffic to its tasting room despite the lack of other wineries nearby to draw attention, Collins said.

12/14/2017

English cricket legend Sir Ian Botham is lending his name to a line of wines from around the world, to be unveiled at the London Wine Fair next May. The sparkling wine in the line will be English, but no producer has been chosen yet.

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London Wine Fair
12/14/2017

Only a handful of distilleries still make rum in Madeira, the Portuguese island off the coast of Africa that is known for its fortified wine. While a decline in sugar plantations sent the rum business into difficult times, the island now hosts a rum festival and distiller Engenho Novo Da Madeira is showing off its products in international markets.

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Reuters
12/14/2017

Liquor sales have increased in the five years since Washington ended the state monopoly on store sales, but some customers still complain about high prices. Some small liquor store operators who formerly worked with the state say business has been tough since the change.

12/13/2017

Kroger customers will soon be able to pay with JPMorgan Chase's Chase Pay mobile wallet. The partnership between the grocery chain and bank marks Kroger's initial foray into digital payments.