Food retailers are shifting from massive stores to smaller footprints to feed growing numbers of urban consumers. CityTarget and Wal-Mart's Neighborhood Market are among the highest-profile small-format retail banners, regional retailer Roche Bros. rolled out a smaller-format store last year and Kroger's acquisition of Roundy's Supermarkets adds urban-format Mariano's Fresh Market to its portfolio.
The average cost of Thanksgiving dinner for 10 will surpass $50 this year, according to an analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation. The group has performed the analysis every year since 1986.
Albertsons has received court approval to buy back 33 stores the retailer divested when it merged with Safeway earlier this year. Now-bankrupt Haggen Holdings purchased most of the 168 stores divested by Albertsons and Safeway, and Haggen is in the process of selling off its stores.
Massachusetts-based Big Y has spent more than $15 million on produce from family-owned and independent farms in New England this year as part of a nearly 80-year-old tradition. The retailer has supported local growers since the company's founding, and Big Y also purchases local plants, shrubs and herbs throughout the year.
The return of vintage drinks is contributing to the $1 billion in anticipated liquor earnings for the state over the course of 2015, according to the Ohio Department of Commerce. November and December are the biggest months for liquor sales, generally accounting for 20% of the state’s overall sales for the year.
Starbucks’ recent attempt to gain a limited liquor license in Utah hit a roadblock with the Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. While state law allows restaurants to sell beer and wine as long as the majority of their sales come from food, the board is unsure of whether this would apply to Starbucks. A legislative review has been requested to determine if Starbucks is eligible for the license.
The Food and Drug Administration began collecting and testing cucumbers and hot peppers for pathogens this month, and it plans to test more than 1,600 samples for salmonella and E.coli next year. "The FDA will publish information regarding test results on the web, including total number of samples collected/tested, and collection date, sample type, and pathogen detected for positive samples," the agency said in a news release.
Veg-Fresh Farms will use a new solar photovoltaic system to produce more than half the electricity needed to power its distribution center in Corona, Calif. The system uses 4,177 solar panels and is expected to offset hundreds of thousands of pounds of greenhouse gases over the next 25 years, the company said.
Albertsons has named Giant Eagle Information Chief Anuj Dhanda as its new chief information officer, starting next month, the company said. Dhanda will be in charge of Albertsons' information technology strategy, as traditional supermarket retailers work to catch up with the changing e-commerce market.
Specialty grocers see a lot of opportunity for expansion in core markets of the Southeast like Atlanta, Charlotte and Miami, as well as in some secondary markets, but they face challenges when it comes to finding the right space, real estate expert Bryan Belk said. "The biggest struggle developers are having is finding the right piece of land. Retail developers cannot afford the intown land costs, which is morphing a lot of traditional retail developers into mixed-use developers," he said.
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