ALDI is using facial age estimation technology for customers who want to purchase alcohol from its trial store near London, which is checkout-free and uses the ALDI Shop&Go app. The program can confirm the age of customers in seconds through machine learning.
A report from FMI and NielsenIQ found that consumers still want transparency from manufacturers and food retailers, and even more so in omnichannel landscapes. The report also found that consumers would switch brands they were loyal to if another provided more product information.
Recent studies show that less than half of people unemployed in the US are actively looking for work during the Great Resignation, with 56% of grocery workers reporting burnout. Grocers should consider rethinking their compensation packages and growing their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts through the integration of flexible work schedules and other strategies that could help attract and retain team members.
Stop & Shop is joining with About Fresh to offer food-insecure customers prepaid debit cards for fresh produce at more than 100 of its stores. "By combining Stop & Shop's reach across the Northeast with Fresh Connect's innovative prescription produce program, thousands of people are gaining access to affordable, healthy food that they love," said About Fresh co-founder and CEO Josh Trautwein.
The International Fresh Produce Association has named food microbiologist and industry veteran Jennifer McEntire as its food safety and regulatory officer. McEntire, who held a similar post at the United Fresh Produce Association before it merged with the Produce Marketing Association late last year, talks about food safety issues affecting the produce industry including water and testing requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Meijer will provide free N95 face masks to customers after receiving around 3 million masks in a US Department of Health and Human Services program. Other grocers and retailers, including Kroger, Walmart, CVS and Walgreens, will also provide free masks to customers as part of the program.
Worker shortages have plagued grocers since last year and many have been closing earlier, cutting labor-rich departments like bakeries and prepared meals, upskilling workers and reducing break times to deal with the shortage. Kroger, for example, cut operating hours at its stores during low-traffic times, and Stew Leonard's is making fewer varieties of crumb cake.
Many consumers in Canada are reducing food waste and lowering grocery bills by using apps like Too Good To Go, Feedback, Olio and Flashfood to purchase products and prepared meals made with aging food that's still fit to consume, for a lower cost. The apps offer meat, fish, pantry staples, dairy, produce and bread, as well as prepared items such as pizzas and cakes.
Fresh Thyme Market has been using QR code technology for the last year and has seen higher sales of certain products since the addition of Smart Shelf Tags. "It comes as no surprise that partnering with our suppliers to provide our shoppers with great product information at the shelf would increase sales," said Fresh Thyme's Jonathan Lawrence.
Walmart is looking into alternatives for its Central America operations as part of its growth in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The three countries account for about 8% of sales for Walmart de Mexico SAB -- also known as Walmex -- and Walmex Chief Executive Officer Guilherme Loureiro said the decision would allow Walmart to focus on Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica, where there are higher profits.
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