Kroger's first standalone restaurant, Kitchen 1883, has gotten a positive reception since opening in Union, Ky., last month, and the retailer is also readying for the opening of its culinary innovation center. The moves are two examples of how Kroger's Hospitality Division and Culinary Innovation Team are driving foodservice growth for the company heading into 2018.
Mastercard, Discover and American Express have all announced plans moving toward eliminating signature authentication at the point of sale, with Visa remaining quiet on the issue. Eliminating signature authentication would be especially beneficial in the food retail sector, where quicker checkouts would make a big difference, said Hannah Walker, FMI's senior director of technology and nutrition policy.
A recent US Supreme Court ruling clarifies the rules for interstate wine shipments and reinforces the three-tier system, said Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America President and CEO Craig Wolf. Producers can ship out of state, but the system ensures that state taxes are being paid and the law followed, Wolf said.
Vintners affected by the wildfires that hit Northern California this fall are working to rebuild amid growing community support. Signorello Estate is currently unable to receive visitors after losing its headquarters, but the winemaker has seen brisk wholesale and restaurant sales since the fires.
Changyu Pioneer Wine, China's biggest wine firm, has purchased an 80% stake in the Kilikanoon winery of Australia. The winery currently sells 10% of its wine to China, but that could rise to 50% as the company grows in the wake of the investment, according to Kilikanoon Managing Director Warrick Duthy.
Becle has agreed to acquire Canadian whisky brand Pendleton from Hood River Distillers for $205 million. When the deal closes, Pendleton will join a portfolio that includes Jose Cuervo tequila and Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey.
A 26-year-old distiller has sold out of her first batch of single-malt whiskey, the first made in Alberta, Canada. Caitlin Quinn founded the Eau Claire Distillery, which is selling its single malt for about $74.
Minibar Delivery has begun offering service in Jacksonville, Fla., through a partnership with four local liquor store locations. Customers browse a shop's inventory via the app and pay a $5 fee for delivery in 30 to 60 minutes.
Amazon has begun offering beer and wine delivery in Raleigh, N.C., through its Prime Now service. Local liquor stores say they will match its speed and also offer a better experience to those who will come into the store.
Hurricane Irma took a toll on Florida's grapefruit groves, and growers are expected to harvest their smallest crop since 1919, according to the Agriculture Department. Texas growers are expanding their operations, and the state could become the country's largest grapefruit producer next year.
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