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Can Plant-Based Innovation Boost Store Brand Sales?

On the heels of a stagnant sales year for store brands, Amazon and Kroger are bulking up their private label portfolios with plant-based products. Is category innovation on the horizon? The Food Institute Podcast · …

Amazon Reports Higher Sales and Prime Membership Price Hike

Amazon sales continue to rise, with the e-commerce giant reporting fourth-quarter sales grew 9.4% to $137.4 billion. Notably, Amazon had its biggest-ever Black Friday to Cyber Monday holiday shopping weekend. Further, during the holiday season, …

Are Autonomous Vehicles the Next Big Thing in Delivery?

Third-party delivery services like Instacart, UberEats and DoorDash have taken the world of grocery, retail and restaurants by storm. So, what’s the next great innovation for these segments? It could be autonomous delivery, using vehicles …

Amazon Fresh a Bright Spot for Company Amid Challenging Q3

Since the first Amazon Fresh opened in September 2020, Amazon has expanded the number of brick-and-mortar grocery store concepts to 19 stores nationwide — and foot traffic has been increasing. Physical store sales were a …

Did Amazon Lie to Congress About Business Practices?

Five members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee wrote to Amazon.com’s chief executive and accused the company’s top executives, including founder Jeff Bezos, of either misleading Congress or possibly lying to it about Amazon’s business practices, reported …

Survey: Instacart, Facing Stiff Competition, Could See Decline

Consumers flocked to Instacart during the pandemic, but with growing competition and consumers’ sensitivity to prices and aversion to fees, the grocery delivery pioneer could see its market share decline, a recent survey by Barclays …

Major Retailers Begin Intense Hiring Push

The retail industry is hiring at a record pace. In June, the industry saw 1.1 million job openings even after more than 1.1 million workers got hired in a massive hiring spree, reported NPR (Aug. 26). Still, employment …

How Amazon is Changing the Grocery Landscape

A detour to the grocery store on the way home from work used to be just part of the daily grind, but all that has changed, and Amazon’s entry into the grocery business is moving …

Walmart Makes Major Play in Last-Mile Delivery

Walmart plans to open up its in-house delivery platform, Spark Driver, to other businesses. The retailer is doing so to allow the independent contractors out delivering Walmart merchandise to make additional deliveries along the way, …

FI Fast Break audio news: Aug. 18, 2021

This week, in The Food Institute’s quick-hitting, audio news podcast, we examine the historic recent jump in menu prices, equipment shortages at restaurants, and more. The Food Institute Podcast · FI Fast Break News – …

Online Delivery Boosts Prospects for Amazon Fresh

Since acquiring Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017, Amazon has been looking to further expand into the $900 billion U.S. grocery industry through its Amazon Fresh stores. And, with online grocery delivery growing about …

FI Fast Break news: June 23, 2021

This week, in The Food Institute’s quick-hitting, audio news podcast, we break down one QSR’s solution to the hot wing shortage, food suppliers’ desperate search for truck drivers, and Amazon’s bold autonomous trucking plans. The …

FI Fast Break: May 13, 2021

This week, in The Food Institute’s quick-hitting, audio news podcast, we break down the impact of inflation, oat milk’s surge in popularity, rising consumption of coffee, and more. The Food Institute Podcast · FI Fast …

Latest Delivery Innovations Bring Groceries to Your Garage, Fridge

Recent delivery innovations by Amazon, Kroger, and Walmart are bringing groceries beyond consumers’ doorstep. Sales from grocery deliveries surged throughout 2020 and demand for the service remains high. In February 2021, online grocery deliveries and …

Millennial Brand Favorites Revealed in New Survey

Millennials’ favorite food and beverage brands in 2021 highlight a taste for convenience, comfort, and quality with a focus on affordability. The popularity of private labels and non-traditional retailer formats are also on the rise. …

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Premium Private Labels Continue to Disrupt Grocery Market

The demand for private label grocery products remained strong throughout the pandemic, with higher-end premium lines driving sales for traditional grocers, clubs, and mass merchandisers. Now, Kroger plans to add 660 items to its private …

Amazon, Walmart Taking Different Approaches on Retail Technology

Amazon-owned grocery stores are poised for a technology upgrade, specifically in checkout. AUTOMATION Amazon is bringing automated checkout technology to full-size supermarkets, reported Bloomberg (April 22). Planning documents for a store under construction in Brookfield, …

A Closer Look at Gen Z’s Eating and Shopping Habits

Food is Gen Z’s No. 1 wallet priority at 23%, according to Piper Sandler’s annual Taking Stock with Teens survey. The survey highlights discretionary spending trends and brand preferences from 7,000 teens across 47 U.S. …

Unionization Threatens to Increase Amazon Costs

Some 5,800 Amazon employees at the company’s Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse voted in the last two months on whether to unionize in a move that could energize the labor movement and mean higher prices for those …

Food Industry Groups Want Priority Vaccinations for Workers

With limited quantities of the COVID-19 vaccine available, many groups a seeking priority for their employees—including the food industry. Administration of the vaccine began on Dec. 14 in the U.S. with early doses being set …

Retailers Bring Back Hazard Pay and Bonuses

Several companies have recently made announcements regarding bonuses and hazard pay, following reports of retailers not sharing enough of their pandemic profit with their employees. Here are a few: Amazon After ending its $2-an-hour pay …

Amazon Cuts into the Pharmacy Business

Amazon opened an online pharmacy Nov. 16, allowing customers to order medications and prescription refills for delivery, reported CNBC (Nov. 17). The retail giant has been building its pharmacy offering for several years now. In …

Vertical Farming Investments Grow

Vertical farming company Plenty Unlimited Inc. attracted $140 million in a Series D financing round that included existing investor SoftBank Group Corp., as well as berry producer Driscoll’s, reported Bloomberg (Oct. 14). The new raise …

Amazon Strikes Deal with SpartanNash

Amazon issued a warrant to purchase up to 5.4 million shares in SpartanNash, according to a filing with SEC, reported The Motley Fool (Oct. 9). The warrant has been issued specifically to Amazon.com NV Investment …

Whole Foods Feels Pressure from Pandemic

Although much of the grocery industry is prospering, trips to Whole Foods in September were down 25% from a year earlier, according to Placer.ai, reported Bloomberg (Oct. 7). Some of the decline is due to …