Although the number of shoppers who order groceries online is up six points since 2014, new research from The Hartman Group indicates that the gains do not equate to a decrease in the number of brick-and-mortar store visits, but instead supplement those shopping trips. "One hypothesis for this is that online shoppers may simply be more engaged grocery shoppers overall -- and are willing to try new stores and channels and are on the hunt for interesting items and deals," writes Hartman Group CEO Laurie Demeritt.
"Courageous conversations" must be planned in terms of structure and emotional calm, writes Julia Felton. She advises focusing on five steps: clarity, curiosity, being coherent, being congruent and reaching closure together.
Restaurants in Northern California are dealing with the effects of wildfires that raged across the region for much of October, destroying some eateries and forcing others to close as employees evacuated and grappled with personal losses. Now, with the fires mostly out, restaurants expect to play a big part in the recovery effort, from continuing to feed displaced residents to raising funds in a November event called ChefsGiving Week.
Denver-based fast-casual chain Smashburger has made a slew of changes to drive traffic and boost slowing same-store sales, including crafting new menu items and launching multichannel ad campaigns, said CEO Tom Ryan. The chain has also tweaked its expansion strategy to focus on growth in existing markets.
Food retailers are often more burdened by taxes than members of other industries, which is why grocers stand to benefit greatly from tax reform, FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin writes. "Much-needed tax reform in this country is not about reckless tax cuts; it's about tax fairness. As Democrats and Republicans negotiate the specifics of tax reform, they must keep their favorite grocery stores in mind," she writes.
Retailers, brands and farms see an average cost of $10 million when food is recalled, according to a study from FMI and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, but FMI's partnership with RevenueShield and other recall insurance programs can offer protections. Recall insurance "can be the difference between companies going out of business or surviving," Berrian Insurance Group's Joe Bermudez said.
The Hershey Co. will debut its Hershey's Gold Caramelized Creme Peanuts & Pretzels bar in December, featuring caramel instead of chocolate. The product was unveiled last week at the National Association of Convenience Stores annual show, where other new products included a PowerBar innovation featuring beef jerky, seeds and nuts and a new ginger lime flavor of Sparkling Ice premium water.
New and upscale offerings helped drive convenience store purchases to an all-time high of $233 billion in 2016, and these trends are still going strong, according to Mintel research. Food and beverage brands are responding by launching new products such as upscale snack packs, dark chocolate innovations and novel caffeinated items.
Frozen potato producer McCain Foods has opened a 35,000-square-foot, $65 million processing plant in New Brunswick, Canada. It's the company's third project this year to expand its french fry production capacity in Canada.
UK supermarket chain ASDA has been mixing class 1 and class 2 strawberries in packages for the past 20 weeks and slashing the price a bit in an effort to cut food waste. Class 1 berries are the closest to perfect, while the class 2 version of the fruit is more misshapen and bruised.