Posted by Dale Buss on September 13, 2013 02:47 PM
It may be the last food store where you'd expect to find something healthy to eat. Clogged with energy drinks, candy bars, glazed doughnuts, bags of fat-saturated and salty chips, sugary soft drinks, and beef jerky, the whole point of a convenience store is to satisfy the immediate cravings of a hungry consumer with easy-to-ingest offerings that also offer high margins to the retailer.
Until now, that is. C-store leader 7-Eleven has dabbled with healthier offerings before, but now the Dallas-based chain says that it's devoting an entire section of some of its stores to healthy snacks including roasted edamame, organic trail mix, veggie chips and a variety of dried fruit and nut blends, according to Food Business News.
"Better-for-you is one of the fastest-growing segments of the snacking category," noted Rebecca Frechette, a vice president of merchandising for 7-Eleven, according to the publication.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 11, 2013 02:49 PM
Times are changing for UK-based Tesco, but the brand is working to stay ahead of the curve.
The world's third-largest retailer has waved the white flag in the US, selling over 150 Fresh & Easy stores to a US investment company after a six-year failed experiment. The move is part of an international retreat by Tesco that includes last year's exit from Japan and last month's merger of its Chinese operations with a state-owned company, leaving Tesco with just 20 percent of the new venture.
Tesco's broad failure to successfully penetrate global markets leaves the company with one clear direction: concentrate resources on its home turf. The newly launched Tesco Extra, a state-of-the-art "hypermarket" in Hertfordshire, is a way for Tesco to prove it is still very much in the game.
One of Tesco's largest UK stores, the Watford Tesco Extra is being positioned as a "leisure destination" in an effort to get consumers excited again about visiting a traditional retail store. Far more than a grocery, Tesco Extra is a kind of shopping extravaganza that broadens the food category to include a Harris + Hoole coffee shop, a Euphorium bakery, and Giraffe, a Tesco-owned restaurant chain.
Beyond food, shoppers will find wine and spirits, fashion (Tesco's own private-label F&F brand), cosmetics (including manicures), and such services as a pharmacy, an optician, and a nutritional center. Tesco will also offer a community room that could be used for anything from children's birthday parties to yoga classes.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 9, 2013 06:45 PM
Checking out with the scan of a finger? Having farm fresh produce delivered to your doorstep? These are no longer futuristic ideas but real tech being applied to life's most mundane task: grocery shopping.
The latest in-aisle innovations include digital price signs, real-time promotions based on the time of day, smart shopping carts and bar code scanners on mobile devices, many of which are already being utilized by some of the world's biggest retailers like Walmart, Target and Tesco.
"You have an industry that's been kind of stuck in time," Scott Mushkin, an analyst at Wolfe Research, told the Los Angeles Times. "Grocers have to invest. Their business models have been under so much pressure, they're fighting for their lives."
And investing they are. The $518 billion grocery industry has essentially been the last retail sector to take advantage of technological innovations that have come along with the surge of mobile usage. With smarter and more informed customers, grocers are constantly being pushed to be a step ahead, offering more intuitive service and better values.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 30, 2013 05:13 PM
CEO Benzi Ronen calls them “people powered farmers markets,” but his startup, Farmigo, is actually much more.
The online farmers market is a community supported agriculture company that is quietly disrupting food commerce, though on a smaller, but more unique scale than related operations like Amazon Fresh and Fresh Direct. Instead of just allowing customers to order fresh produce through the online system, Farmigo extends a business opportunity to local farmers, allowing them to sell their harvests to an eager online community, set their own price, and earn a supplementary income.
“We’re trying to find people who have always been passionate about building a better food system, but they could blog about it and they could cheer about it, but there was nothing material that they could do to take action,” Ronen told Forbes. “Now they are able to be part of the solution. They’re able to do something actionable and make money along the way.”Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on August 26, 2013 03:42 PM
Pork is problematic as just a commodity. So leading meat brands such as Hillshire Farms and Hormel are working on value-added ways to tap into Americans' rising interest in protein consumption and the roles that bacon and other forms of "the other white meat" can play in that trend.
Right now, doing anything with bacon is a challenge because pork-belly costs are at historically high levels, in part due to how pork producers reacted to last year's drought. Prices are expected to ease soon, but in any event, Hormel—maker of Spam and many other meat brands—continues to pursue its "value-add" strategy of emphasizing not just the traditional package of bacon but special flavors such as Pecanwood and Applewood bacons, precooked bacons, and foodservice products.
"A pound of raw bacon [is] never a big moneymaker for the manufacturer," Jeff Ettinger, Hormel's CEO, said in a teleconference with analysts, according to Food Business News. But the differentiated products "can be a contributor to the kind of high margins we are looking for."Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on August 13, 2013 12:58 PM
After nearly a decade of trying to crack the retail egg that is China, Tesco, the world's No. 3 retailer has thrown in the towel.
The British retailer announced plans to create a joint venture with China's state-owned China Resources Enterprise Ltd., which would marry Tesco's 131 China stores with CRE's nearly 3,000 Vanguard units across China and Hong Kong, creating over $15 billion in sales—much more than Tesco's reported China sales of $2 billion. The deal, though, wipes out the Tesco name from the Asian market, as the retailer will only assume a 20 percent stake in the new venture, Reuters reports.
"This may look win-win, but in reality, Tesco is saying 'I can't figure out China,'" one analyst told Reuters. Like many other foreign retailers before them, Tesco struggled to carve out a solid brand identity for itself among the fast-growing China market, where Walmart and France's Carrefour have been the only foreign supermarket brands that have managed to compete with local outlets.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 25, 2013 12:46 PM
As global retailers find a tightening competitive environment in the US and Europe, many are in search of emerging and middle-of-the-road markets to extend their brand. China has been fertile ground for the past few years, as evidenced by the growth of Western auto sales. But the next wide open opportunity for Western brands may be India, a market with a $500 billion retail potential.
The second most-populous country in the world won't be the easiest market to win over, however. For one thing, India boasts its own cadre of domestic brands in various categories. Already accepted by Indian consumers, some of these brands are positioned to effectively compete with multinational rivals, especially across food, beverage and auto.
Of even greater significance, though, is a regulatory environment in India that, until recently, made it very difficult for companies not based in India to penetrate the market. That may be changing.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 5, 2013 10:14 AM
Online grocer Peapod is featuring mobile billboards on the sides of its delivery trucks where consumers can shop on the spot using their smartphones by scanning a QR code to download a free PeapodMobile app.
Traveling to popular summer venues such as ballparks and concerts, the mobile billboards offer 23 products: six from Coca-Cola, six from Campbell Soup, six from Reckitt Benckiser and five private-label items.Continue reading...