Incoming General Mills CEO Jeff Harmening is tasked with reviving yogurt brand Yoplait, whose sales dropped so much over the past year that the brand single-handedly caused a category decline. Greek yogurt, led by Chobani, and the management practices of Kraft owner 3G are weighing on General Mills.
Atlanta-area chefs and restaurateurs Jarrett Stieber, Steven Satterfield and Robert Phalen have extended their local, seasonal practices from the kitchen to the dining room. They've learned about flowers and are sourcing the blooms for their dining room centerpieces from local farms.
Lowes Foods will open a new store in Lexington, S.C., this week, with another new store to follow there this summer. The move is part of Lowes' bigger expansion in South Carolina, which also includes a new store in a former Bi-Lo location in Columbia and two additional stores in Summerville and Mount Pleasant.
Whole Foods Market still holds sway among its loyal customers who look to the retailer for a foodie-focused shopping experience and its signature prepared foods and in-store restaurants, but the retailer is working to offer prices that are more competitive with its traditional supermarket counterparts to fuel a true turnaround. Whole Foods is also shifting from its goal of growing to a 1,200-store chain to relocating small locations to bigger flagship spaces, and cutting its costs by $600 million by 2020.
Supermarket bakery sales reached $11.6 billion last year, Nielsen reported, with almost 70% of retailers reporting yearly growth in the bakery department, according to a recent survey. The growth was driven in part by impulse-buying shoppers looking for a treat and by top-selling bakery items including cakes and breads.
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. is introducing Skittles Sweet Heat and Starburst Sweet Heat, capitalizing on the latest trend that combines sugar and spice, which can be seen in multiple new product innovations at the Sweets & Snacks Expo. Other trends at the Expo include artisan and crunchy confections, birthday cake flavoring, the use of coconut oil, chick pea-based snacks and chocolate bark.
Coca-Cola will reduce the number of vending machines it operates as a result of the consumer shift away from mall shopping and toward e-commerce. "If people are going to malls less because they're doing more shopping for clothes online, then we don't need as much equipment," said CEO James Quincey.
San Francisco-based artisanal chocolate startup Charles Chocolates has just 16 employees, but its products can be found across the US in Peet's Coffee & Tea and every Starbucks in California. After starting the firm from his college apartment in 2004, owner Chuck Siegel had to temporarily halt operations in 2012, but his products are now in 3,200 retail locations.
Chefs and consumers are embracing "invasivorism" -- seeking to control the populations of invasive species by putting them on the menu. Despite the popularity of the practice, data on the effectiveness of controlling invasive species by turning them into food is insufficient, and the approach can backfire if demand for an invasive plant or animal outpaces supply.
Wal-Mart will spend millions this year to update hundreds of stores, including 12 stores in Michigan. The effort is meant to connect in-store and online shopping, and features changes such as moving in-store pickup to the front of stores, tests of a click-and-collect grocery service, a dedicated lounge area for customers picking up orders, lower shelving and more signs.
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