Kroger was named one of the top 100 places to work in information technology by ComputerWorld, ranking 58th among top organizations across the US. Kroger was noted for developing many of its software solutions in-house.
One year after its acquisition of Whole Foods Market, Amazon has just begun to drive change and innovation across the grocery sector, analysts agreed. "The deal has served as a pointed wake-up call to brick-and-mortar grocers that they could no longer ignore the threat of e-commerce generally, and Amazon specifically, to their businesses," said Ken Fenyo of McKinsey Fast Growth.
One long-term market headwind for grocers will be Americans' increasing habit of dining out instead of cooking at home, which seems to be picking up steam. In 2016 consumers spent 44% of their food dollars on prepared foods, which includes ready-to-eat purchases from groceries, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Retailer Christine Hoffman's frustrating search for a reliable source of local, pesticide- and fertilizer-free flowers led her to launch Twin Cities Flower Exchange. The startup recently opened for its second season, selling locally grown, chemical-free flowers to wholesalers in St. Paul, Minn.
General Mills is introducing YQ by Yoplait, a yogurt brand with up to 17 grams of protein and as little as one gram of sugar in a 5.3-ounce container. Expected on store shelves in about two weeks, the new yogurt is made with ultrafiltered milk to remove more than 99% of the lactose and is being marketed to consumers who are seeking a healthy lifestyle, said Yoplait's Doug Martin.
As of this week, artificial trans fats are no longer allowed in US foods, marking a major shift in the manufacturing of food products. Such partially hydrogenated oils used to be present in thousands of foods, but companies have been working to replace them for years, with the ban established by law in 2015.
Asian vegetables and tropical fruits that cross over from Asian to Latin cuisine are among the rising stars of specialty produce, industry experts say. "Fruit with descriptive names -- passion fruit, dragon fruit and star fruit, for example -- are taking the stage," says Mary Ostlund, marketing director for Florida-based Brooks Tropicals.
The strawberry season is off to a slow start in parts of Massachusetts, where cool nights recently have delayed ripening, spurring some pick-your-own farms to limit hours. "We want to make sure when our customers show up to pick, that they will have good picking, good quality, and the picking will be relatively easy," said Ellen Parlee of Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro, Mass.
Pay It Forward Grocery Store in Toronto, an experiment by chef Jagger Gordon, asks customers to take only what they need and pay what they can afford. The store, which also has a cafe and a bakery, likely won't make a profit, but it's expected to further the food-security and zero-waste goals of Gordon's Feed It Forward campaign.
An Agriculture Department analysis on labeling of bioengineered foods found the practice would cost billions in tax dollars without much benefit to the public, Cass R. Sunstein writes. Manufacturers would spend as much as $3.5 billion in the first year to comply.
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