California Giant's Scary Berries promotion ready for Halloween
According to the National Retail Federation, 157 million Americans will celebrate Halloween this year, spending almost $7 billion — and one-third of those celebrating plan to throw or attend a party. California Giant Berry Farms is looking to have its berries on the menu at those parties. As consumers embrace fall and all of the color and celebrations... Read more
36 more A&P stores sold, 72 on auction block this week
The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. held an auction for certain stores on Oct. 1 and 2. The auction resulted in 36 stores receiving successful bids from a variety of companies, including Key Food Stores Co-Operative Inc., Wakefern Food Corp. and Stop & Shop. At this time, terms of the agreements have not been announced. Other successful bidders were... Read more
Sprouts Farmers Market adding 12 locations in 2016
Sprouts Farmers Market announced plans to add 12 locations to its growing roster of healthy grocery stores in early 2016. This is in addition to the 27 new stores Sprouts will have opened by the end of 2015, at which point it will have expanded into three new states: Missouri, Alabama and Tennessee. Each of the 2016 stores will bring an estimated 100... Read more
CMI hosts national food writers summit for Ambrosia apple education
Ambrosia orchard tour participants view the McDougall family’s newest investment, Legacy Orchards in East Wenatchee, WA. Rochelle van den Broek and Steve Lutz of CMI, Summer Whitford of The Daily Meal, Laura Hoover of CMI, Charles Grayauskie of Every Day with Rachel Ray, Emily Lee of, Rachel Green of CMI, Jacob Muselmann of Saveur, Liz Weiss... Read more
Pacific Tomato Growers gets new name, adds to product line
Fourth-generation, family-owned Pacific Tomato Growers announced the company’s newly established brands — “Sunripe Certified Brands” in the United States and “Suncoast Certified Brands” in Canada — to emphasize the company’s commitment to leading and serving as stewards for progress in the agriculture industry. The newly designed brands are intended to communicate... Read more
Texas citrus on the rise again
Though some groves are still coming out of production, unmistakingly the Texas citrus industry is gaining acreage and the future looks bright for the famed Texas red grapefruit and its companion orange crop. Two devastating freezes in the 1980s, urbanization, marketing conditions and other factors drastically reduced the number of acres devoted to citrus in... Read more
Matt Mandel promoted to COO at SunFed
RIO RICO, AZ — Matt Mandel has been promoted to chief operating officer of SunFed Produce LLC. He previously served as vice president of sales and marketing for the family-owned firm. Mandel said his new role will focus on SunFed’s day-to-day operations. That emphasis is maintaining a consistency in corporate performance so the company will continue to thrive... Read more
Program plans are being finalized for the inaugural Organic Produce Summit to be held July 13-14, 2016 in Monterey, CA. The two-day summit is dedicated to the flourishing organic fresh fruit and vegetable industry, and includes an engaging and informative program connecting organic producers and handlers. As the first-ever event for the booming $11 billion organic... Read more
WASHINGTON — Trade ministers have reached an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership during marathon negotiations in Atlanta. United Fresh Produce Association said the agreement is critical in gaining market access and lifting trade barriers that have blocked U.S. fruits and vegetables in the past. Details of the 12-nation agreement were not available, but... Read more
Gelson's, Smart & Final look to buy 36 Haggen stores
Haggen, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sept. 8, has filed motions to sell eight California stores to Gelson's Markets as well as 28 stores in California and Nevada to Smart & Final LLC. Late in September Haggen announced plans to exit the Pacific Southwest market and realign its operations around 37 core stores and one standalone pharmacy... Read more
Meijer names new president
Meijer has named Rick Keyes as president of the Grand Rapids, MI-based retailer. Keyes, who joined the company 26 years ago as a pharmacist in Columbus, OH, takes the reigns of the retailer after last week’s announcement that J.K. Symancyk is leaving the company to join a Texas-based retailer. He is the seventh president in the company’s 81-year history.Rick... Read more
For the first time since it was built in the 1960s, the Golden Gate Wholesale Product Market, located in South San Francisco, will undergo a major renovation effort that will include a solar installation and other infrastructure, environmental, food safety, traffic and sustainability improvements. “The Golden Gate Produce Market plays a vital role in the Northern... Read more
Southeastern Grocers lays off 250 in organizational restructure
Southeastern Grocers has laid off roughly 250 associates as part of an organizational restructure of the store support center in Jacksonville, FL, and regional support centers across seven states in the Southeast. The company, which said the change was made "in an effort to simplify its operating model and increase efficiency," added that there are no changes... Read more
$12.58 million for A&P insiders leading up to bankruptcy
A&P insiders received $12.58 million in payments during the year leading up to the company filing for bankruptcy protection July 19. Chairman Gregory Mays alone received more than $4.5 million in bonuses and consulting fees. In a message to members, UFCW 464A President John T. Nicolai said, "This union finds those payments outrageous and unconscionable.... Read more
Plan for National Papaya Board advances
Homero Levy de Barros has been around papayas his entire life. As a child growing up in Brazil, he ate them almost daily. Now as president of a tropical fruit company that bills itself as a papaya specialist, he sells them by the container. So there is very little he doesn’t know about the fruit. And one thing he does know is that papayas have a much greater... Read more
SuperValu CEO to retire, executives promoted
SuperValu Inc. announced that Sam Duncan has informed the company’s board of directors of his intention to retire as president and chief executive officer on Feb. 29, 2016, following the end of the company’s fiscal year. The company also announced that Bruce Besanko has been promoted to the newly created role of executive vice president, chief operating officer,... Read more
Montreal Canadiens-Provigo partnership renewed
Provigo announced that its partnership with the Montréal Canadiens is being renewed for three years, confirming its status as the Habs' official grocery store. As a partner, Provigo will do more than ever for customers and Canadiens fans with a series of new initiatives throughout the season, including in-store promotions throughout the year to win more than... Read more
Mark Daniels joins Mountain King Potatoes
Mark Daniels has left Global Organic Specialty Source and has joined Mountain King Potatoes, a grower-shipper headquartered in Houston. He started with his new company the last week in September, he told The Produce News Thursday afternoon, Oct. 1. Daniels, who has more than 30 years of experience in the produce industry, had joined Global Organic back in early... Read more
Stabenow rallies United Fresh Washington Conference to not let Congress roll back school standards
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) urged the United Fresh Washington Conference heading to the Senate Sept. 30 to ask for commitments that lawmakers will not roll back child nutrition standards. Stabenow, ranking member on the powerful Senate Agriculture Committee, rallied the 500 attendees before visits to the Senate as part of the United Fresh Produce Association’s... Read more
Retailer's Misfit produce program launches in time for Halloween
Associated Food Stores will begin selling Misfits, odd and misshapen produce sold at a discounted price, just in time for Halloween. The Misfit produce program will be offered year-round, although the variety of produce will vary depending on the season and availability. Leigh Vaughn, senior produce category manager with Associated Food Stores, said guests should... Read more