Independent grocers can borrow successful moves from the major retailers, including getting ahead of big seasonal events to create sales momentum, Siobhan Scott writes. Making in-store visits more of a destination experience also helps by making the trip to shop more desirable in a time of online competition, she writes.
General Mills is bringing its Betty Crocker brand into the cake-for-one market with a new line of Mug Treats in eight flavors, which include toppings such as glaze and frosting. Cherryvale Farms is also rolling out instant mug cake mixes with the debut of its Instant Indulgence line of allergen-friendly, plant-based desserts in three flavors.
Canadian farmers will sow more acres of wheat and canola this year and cut back on production of peas and lentils amid a global oversupply, according to the country's agriculture ministry. "It is challenging to put pulses in knowing that returns are not going to be as profitable," said Saskatchewan-area farmer Morgan Nunweiler.
Edible cactus pads from Mexico, known as nopales, can be toxic to people due to high pesticide levels, California health officials said in a public warning. Two of the pesticides found in the product were banned for use in food in the US several years ago.
GlobalG.A.P. is taking comments through mid-March as it writes guidelines to show that produce growers that use the certifier are also in compliance with federal safety rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act.
The wine-discovery app Vivino has raised $20 million in additional capital investment as it seeks to allow its users the opportunity to find and buy any wine in which they are interested. The app uses customers' reviews to recommend additional wines users might like.
A group that wants to open a sake distillery and tasting room in Denver finds itself pinched between two conflicting sets of laws. In certain aspects, the law treats sake-making as brewing, while in other instances sake-making falls under winemaking, and the conflicts are proving difficult for Colorado Sake to untangle.
Despite the changes afoot in the grocery business, most shoppers at independent grocers are still loyal to their stores, according to survey data from the National Grocers Association. Almost two-thirds of those surveyed said they were very or extremely satisfied by their independent grocer, while 80% said they preferred their local retailer to online options.
Sam's Club will consolidate its membership options down to two from three, and it will also focus more on e-commerce going forward, new chief executive John Furner said. The chain will offer free shipping on 95% of its available online items, and members at its premium Sam's Plus level will not need to reach an order minimum.
A preliminary analysis of Calif.'s 2017 grape harvest confirms that fall wildfires had little effect on overall grape yields, according to a report that wine broker Ciatti created using data from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The number of red wine grapes harvested dropped 1.6% compared to 2016, while 0.7% more white wine grapes were harvested last year than in 2016, the report indicates.