Three Whole Foods Market locations in California will join the state's energy demand management project, relying on Axiom Exergy's Refrigeration Battery to manage power use. In taking part, the stores will be eligible for financial incentives for reducing their consumption at peak times.
Amazon and Walmart were in a class by themselves among grocers when it comes to their understanding of grocery e-commerce, according to a study by Gartner L2. Marketing heft, social media and fulfillment capabilities helped put the two major merchants at "genius" level in the study.
Mondelez International has invested in Chicago-area food incubator The Hatchery to help boost innovation via its SnackFutures venture arm. "Working with The Hatchery, food entrepreneurs will help us push the boundaries of what is possible in snacking as we continue to build our ecosystem of partners while also giving back and offering guidance to new companies," says Mondelez's Tim Cofer.
Associated Food Stores will use an artificial intelligence system from CB4 to avoid stocking problems in its stores that have been known to adversely affect sales. The system can point out individual items that are underselling and can also be checked for display issues.
Among the beverages showcased at the recent Natural Products Expo West were plant waters that featured bubbles. Sap! is rolling out a line of sparkling birch tree waters and Drink Simple is introducing its sparkling maple water line.
The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear FMI's argument that SNAP data is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act on April 22. "FOIA was not intended to open the books to a store's confidential business information or impede the competitive landscape," says FMI's Jennifer Hatcher.
Jetblack, Walmart's delivery startup in New York City that launched last year, is giving the company a sea of data about high-end customers, even though it's not a profitable venture. Walmart hopes to rival Amazon by using the shopping data to build better automated customization for shoppers.
Packaged salads have grown more popular over the past decade or so, with the addition of newer varieties of greens including baby spinach, arugula and baby kale. Sales have grown 6.5% annually since 2011, according to Nielsen Perishables Group, and 87.3% of US households bought packaged salads last year, according to IRI.
At Finca Esmeralda in Costa Rica, Fyffes is using a closed-water recycling system to grow bananas with about one-fifth the amount of water. The process involves a series of tanks and different stages to ensure that the reused water remains clean.
New Jersey-based AeroFarms is growing greens using an aeroponic system that grows produce using a nutritient-filled mist. The veggies grown in the facility will be served on Singapore Airlines flights from Newark to Singapore starting this fall.
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