Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage opened its first location in the state of Iowa Tuesday. The new 14,000-square-foot store features local products, a grab-and-go section, a selection of supplements and vitamins and organic paleo, gluten-free, allergy-aware, dairy, meat, frozen and pet products.
H-E-B has carved out a niche in the competitive Texas market, and the retailer, which operates stores in Texas and northern Mexico and employs 85,000 employees, referred to as partners, has found success by offering shoppers a selection of items that can't be found in other stores, Houston Division President Scott McClelland said. "[W]hat makes H-E-B a little bit different is we work to invest in three things -- reinvest in our customers so we can have the lowest prices possible, we invest in our partners pay and benefits and we invest in our communities," he said.
Mobile is overtaking print as consumers' source for coupons, according to a report from RetailMeNot and Placed, which found that 43% of shoppers look for coupons on mobile apps, compared with 36% who use print resources. "Mobile has made coupons an on-demand activity," RetailMeNot Chief Marketing Officer Marissa Tarleton said. "Retailers who embrace this change in consumer behavior to deliver offers at all stages of the planning process are poised to capture sales in the moment."
Foodstirs, co-founded by actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fame, sells baking kits through a subscription model. Gellar hopes to open retail stores and take the company public. Also, she says her fame didn't help in the early going. "When you go to investors and say 'Buffy has an idea for a business,' see how seriously you get taken," she says.
Chipotle Mexican Grill closed all of its eateries for four hours on Monday, as more than 50,000 employees joined a virtual meeting detailing new food safety initiatives including a $10 million program to help small food producers put the chain's new standards in place. The new system includes DNA testing of all ingredients before they're sent to restaurants. Co-CEO Monty Moran also pointed out that two of four recent incidents were caused by norovirus, and urged employees to stay home when they're sick.
Starbucks launched a molten chocolate latte, molten chocolate Frappuccino and molten hot chocolate on Monday in honor of Valentine's Day. The specialty drinks will be available through the holiday.
Goya Foods has evolved from a company catering to the traditional tastes of Hispanic immigrants to meeting the health demands of all consumers, said CEO Bob Unanue. Goya partnered with first lady Michelle Obama to promote the USDA's MyPlate initiative, and has added organic, gluten-free and low-sodium products to its portfolio, Unanue said.
Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is rolling out a new program to certify foreign restaurants that uphold the traditional style and values of its traditional cuisine, known as washoku. The program aims to certify eateries that emphasize authenticity and weed out those offering dishes derived from Japanese cuisine, such as California rolls and burrito-style sushi.
Pizza Hut set a new Super Bowl Sunday record with nearly $12 million in sales on its digital channels, which typically account for half of overall sales on the day. About 60% of digital orders came through mobile, the company said, and the iPhone application brought in $1 million in game day orders.
About a quarter of Americans will dine out for Valentine's Day, and restaurant gift cards are men's most-requested gift for the romantic holiday, according to NRA data. San Francisco was the city with the highest average Valentine's Day ticket last year, according to Reserve, and Italian, American and French were the most popular cuisines.
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