Albertsons has named Jewel-Osco President Mike Withers to serve as executive vice president of retail operations in charge of the retailer's East region. The move will bring Withers to Albertsons' headquarters in Boise, Idaho, where started his career as an Albertsons clerk in 1976.
Dollar Tree will build a new distribution center in Warrensburg, Mo., that will support the retailer's existing stores in the Midwest, as well as new store growth in the region. The 1.2-million-square-foot $110 million facility is slated to open in May of next year.
Food retailers are turning to produce and other fresh departments to ramp up competition with delivery services and other foodservice operators, offering produce butchering and other services that make meal prep easier. Midwestern supermarket chain Hy-Vee now offers dedicated space for groups of shoppers to prepare recipes ahead of time, and New York-based Price Chopper/Market 32 lets customers choose from several pre-planned sauce, meat and vegetable combinations to create meals.
Albertsons Senior Vice President of Marketing and Merchandising in Northern California Geoff White has been tapped to serve in the newly-created position of president of own brands. In his new role, White will oversee the retailer's culinary kitchen, technical center and growth and development in private brands.
FMI and other industry groups are looking forward to working with Sonny Perdue, who became the US Secretary of Agriculture Tuesday. "He made great strides in food and nutrition, particularly in the WIC program, during his governorship in Georgia, and I know he'll work tirelessly for national improvements while at USDA," said Jennifer Hatcher, FMI's senior vice president of government affairs.
A virtual reality experience in Singapore helped boost sales of The Singleton malt whiskey. At the special event, 20% of users who tried the VR distillery tour decided to buy a bottle of The Singleton.
High-end spirits-maker Castle Brands, which bottles Jefferson's Bourbon and Knappogue Castle Whiskey, is exploring offers to sell its company, sources said. Among the possible suitors are Constellation Brands and Sazerac, sources told Bloomberg News.
Uruguay is mapping its vineyards into a database and will soon allow wine lovers to understand exactly where each bottle came from by scanning a QR code. The country's natural, largely chemical-free approach to wine could help make its exports a new sensation, Jane Anson writes.
The Texas wine industry is growing rapidly, and a bill in the state Legislature would quantify what makes an in-state wine. The bill would phase in a requirement that all fruit in a wine be grown in Texas to be labeled as originating in the state.
A bill introduced in the California Legislature would allow beer and wine sales at art galleries without a license. The bill comes in the wake of a wave of citations at galleries at the First Thursdays Art Walk in Laguna Beach.
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