Target has updated the packaging for its private-label Market Pantry brand, starting with the line's dairy products and rolling out to the rest of Market Pantry's more than 1,900 products spanning 100 categories throughout the rest of the year. The new packaging, which was created by a team of merchants, marketers, designers and engineers, features a bolder design and better images of the products based on feedback from shoppers, who said the images of foods that appear on packages influence their buying decisions.
Supermarkets are focusing on quality over quantity in their prepared foods departments, decreasing their number of offerings but adding specialized staff members and amenities for diners, according to a report from FMI and Technomic. Almost 90% of supermarkets have a corporate executive chef on staff, 60% have chefs working in stores, 96% have in-store seating options and 72% offer shoppers a beer or wine bar, the report revealed.
Meijer, Lucky's Market and 365 by Whole Foods are all vying for space in the Twin Cities market, a story that caught the attention of SmartBrief's food and beverage readers this week. PepsiCo's restaurant plans also ranked among the most-read stories in this week's top 10 list, as did Papa John's newest marketing efforts focus on ingredient quality rather than ultra-low prices.
Supervalu has repriced, amended and extended its $1 billion revolving credit facility, which will allow the retailer to spin off its Save-A-Lot unit, the company said. Supervalu has not released details on the timing of the spin-off, but the retailer did file for an initial public offering early last month.
Snacking overall might be trending healthier these days, but that won't necessarily be the case on Super Bowl Sunday, according to a report from IRI. Last year, sales of natural cheese increased by 10% in the week before the big game, while cream cheese sales saw a 31% jump, processed cheese saw a 19% jump, refrigerated dips saw a 48% jump and shelf-stable dips and dip mixes saw a 45% jump, IRI reported.
The National Mango Board is seeing sales grow with a diverse array of efforts, including a study last year that found that placing mangoes by stone fruit in the store boosts sales in both categories, said Executive Director Manuel Michel. "There are a lot of technical factors at play in a program, and one size doesn't fit all -- that’s why we have an expert who goes out and meets with companies, does an evaluation and works with them to get the program that works best," he said.
Unseasonably hot days and an overabundance of rain have led to smaller yields on Florida's fruit and vegetable farms, a trend likely to push up prices for several months, experts said. Strawberry prices are up 20% to 30% over this time last year, according to the state Agriculture Department, and other crops that are smaller this year include celery, broccoli, squash and cabbage.
Canadian vegetable supplier Pure Hot House Foods has opened a new 60,000-square-foot distribution facility in San Antonio. The new facility will help meet growing demand in the southern US, increase efficiency and cut travel time for produce grown in Mexico, said Chief Financial Officer Jeff Moracci.
Australia has issued a recall of bagged lettuce and salad produced by Tripod Farmers amid a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 28 people in the state of Victoria. The products are sold nationwide at grocery chains including Bi-Lo, Safeway, Coles and Woolworths.
A Syrian military bunker, discovered in the 1980s on the ruins of a Syrian military outpost, was repurposed in 2007 as a wine cellar for growers in the region. The bunker was found and repurposed by the Kabalo family, who run the Ein Nashut Winery that produces over 12,000 bottles of wine a year.
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