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Kroger reshaping East Coast experience with more robotics warehouse facilities
The Kroger Co. and Ocado, one of the world's largest dedicated online grocery retailers, announced central Florida and mid-Atlantic as the newly named regions for their next two customer fulfillment centers. "Kroger is excited to partner with Ocado -- one of the most innovative, advanced companies in the world -- to redefine the grocery shopping experience for... Read more
SEPC celebrating 20th anniversary at Southern Exposure
It was in 1999 that a visionary group of leaders led by Terry Vorhees met in Atlanta to form a produce organization that would serve and promote the produce industry in the southeastern region of the United States. That organization — the Southeast Produce Council —will proudly celebrate its 20th anniversary the first week in March during its annual Southern... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on four produce businesses for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry: Write On Marketing Inc., operating out of Los Angeles, for failing to pay... Read more
Produce veteran Bert Boyd dies
Longtime produce industry veteran Bert Boyd of Pretty Lady Vineyards in Delano, CA, died Feb. 12. He was 67 years old. Mr. Boyd began his produce career at the age of 16. His mother decided it was time he went to work. She approached young Bert and informed him that she had gotten him a job as a bag boy at their local Piggly Wiggly in his home state of Illinois.... Read more
For the 22nd consecutive year, Publix has been named one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, ranking No. 12, up from No. 47 last year. Publix also ranked No. 1 on the inaugural list of Fortune’s Best Big Companies to Work For, featuring only seven companies with more than 100,000 employees. “It is an honor to be recognized as a great place to work,”... Read more
Rocky Mountain Foods' innovation preserves farm-fresh quality
Rocky Mountain Foods is ramping up to sell edible hemp seeds manufactured with an innovative food-safety intervention process. The new technology is called Neo-Pure and it preserves the natural taste, aroma and nutrition of the product. “Our hemp seeds taste the same as if they were freshly harvested from the field. It’s truly amazing,” said Jeremy Schneider,... Read more
Food as medicine — with potato solutions
Side Delights supports the growing food as medicine and plant-based menu movement to help treat and prevent chronic illness. Naturally plant-based, Side Delights creates lines of healthy and flavorful value-added kits, gourmet, convenience, organic, fresh-cut and bagged potatoes. The trend is making an impact at the store level, with a 20 percent growth in plant-based... Read more
Hy-Vee announces Midwest acquisition
Hy-Vee Inc. has acquired the business of six Shopko pharmacies in Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska. Shopko patient files will remain with each Shopko location until a transition plan is executed. The Shopko pharmacy in these six communities will soon become a Hy-Vee Pharmacy that will operate in the existing Shopko building, despite the news that Shopko is closing... Read more
Red Sun Farms to shake up the blueberry market
Just a year ago, the Migivia Group and United Exports announced their joint venture. The venture was positioned as a strategy to speed up the delivery of the much-anticipated next generation OZblu blueberries, which are even firmer and crunchier and most importantly, have great flavor, delivering an unparalleled and consistent blueberry eating experience to end... Read more
Farmstead delivers at prices lower than local supermarkets
Online grocer Farmstead’s new Refill & Save program provides customers with recurring orders with significant discounts on certain staples, including fresh fruit and vegetables that bring the prices of those items down to below-average cost for the Bay Area. Farmstead automatically queues up customers’ recurring weekly orders — customers can then add or delete... Read more
Nogales produce volumes may dip
NOGALES, AZ— Among the thousands of disruptions to American society as a result of the U.S. government shutdown, which rolled into early 2019, came an absence of agricultural trade statistics. Thus, numbers for Mexican produce shipments through Nogales in late 2018 were not yet counted when The Produce News checked in with Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh... Read more
Whole Foods prices: What goes down, must come up
When Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017 the big draw for consumers was the immediate decrease in prices in-store. Slowly but surely some of those prices are starting to creep back up.   According to The Wall Street Journal, as supplier costs have gone up, so too have Whole Foods prices, ranging from 10 cents to several dollars, depending on the product. “At... Read more
World Avocado Organization announces significant milestones at annual meeting
The third annual World Avocado Organization Annual Meeting welcomed over 250 avocado producers, handlers, exporters, importers, and retail, trade and marketing professionals from over 20 countries around the world to the Ritz-Carlton in Berlin, Germany. WAO elected a new board of directors and shared significant milestone achievements in 2018, including a 35... Read more
Pathmark Supermarkets making a comeback
Pathmark, among the most innovative and ubiquitous supermarket chains in the Northeast from the 1970s through the early 2000s, is poised to re-emerge onto the grocery scene after Allegiance Retail Services announced the scheduled opening of store under that iconic banner in Brooklyn.  The 49,000-square-foot store is currently under construction in... Read more
Basciani Foods founder Mario Basciani celebrates 90 years
Mushrooms are in the Basciani family’s blood. Emidio Basciani first began picking mushrooms for the Pratt family in the early 1920s and eventually started Basciani Bros. in 1925. His son, Mario (Chuff) Basciani, started working on the family farm at a young age and fell in love with all aspects of the business — especially the hard physical work that comes... Read more
CPMA, Canadians celebrate Agriculture Day
The Canadian Produce Marketing Association celebrated Canada’s Agriculture Day earlier this week. Canada’s Agriculture Day highlights the importance of the agricultural sector and fosters a closer connection with consumers by educating them about where their food comes from and the people who produce it. As an industry, the fresh produce supply chains contributes... Read more
Tops expands Instacart services
Tops Friendly Markets is once again making shopping easier and more convenient for its customers with the addition of 10 new stores. This expansion brings the overall number of Tops stores with the Instacart program to 129 — more than 90 percent of Tops customers are offered this service. “This is Tops’ ninth expansion of Instacart services since its launch... Read more
Hines Ward to deliver keynote at FPFC Expo
The Fresh Produce & Floral Council expo committee has confirmed that former NFL wide receiver Hines Ward will be the keynote speaker at The FPFC Expo, July 16 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA. After a record-setting career at the University of Georgia, Ward was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he played for 13 seasons, setting franchise records... Read more
Food Lion names manager of the year
In recognition of her commitment to her community and for the tremendous leadership she has shown for her team of associates, Annette Johnson was named Food Lion’s Ralph W. Ketner Store Manager of the Year at the company's headquarters in Salisbury, NC. Johnson is the store manager at a Food Lion located in Virginia Beach, VA. “I’m here today because of everyone... Read more
Willie Itule Produce has set a high standard of excellence for Arizona produce distributors since the family business opened its warehouse doors in 1979. For nearly four decades, the Itule family’s steadfast commitment to quality has been the hallmark of their business — and the business has grown steadily as a result. Now, with the changing needs of their customers,... Read more