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Walmart, one of the nation’s largest private employers with nearly 1.5 million associates in the United States, plans to create U.S. jobs and invest in local communities across the country. The investments in the coming year will support an estimated 34,000 jobs through continued expansion and improvement in the company’s store network, as well as... Read more
CMI says branded apples now in peak season
A new analysis of the apple category revealed that the late-winter and early-spring months represent the peak season for distribution and sales of the top branded apples. According to the study, expanded distribution of premium branded apples and aggressive retail promotions during this period drive consumers' transaction size, increasing overall apple category... Read more
Scuse nominated as Delaware secretary of agriculture
Delaware Gov.-elect John Carney announced Friday, Jan. 13, his selection of Michael Scuse as the state's next secretary of agriculture. Nominations to the governor's Cabinet must be confirmed by the Delaware Senate, and confirmation hearings are planned for Jan. 18 and Jan. 25, according to the announcement. Scuse, whose confirmation is expected, would... Read more
Stemilt honored with Civil Rights and Social Justice Award
Stemilt Growers and its founding family, the Mathisons, were given one of three 2017 Civil Rights and Social Justice Awards Jan. 14. The award was given by the city of Wenatchee, WA, and its Diversity Advisory Council during its annual Multicultural and Martin Luther King Jr. Festival. This is the 13th year that the Civil Rights and Social Justice Awards have... Read more
A year-long healthy eating-focused Produce for Kids campaign with Associated Wholesale Grocers Springfield Division launched Jan. 16 and will raise funds for Feeding America programs that benefit families and children within the AWG Springfield, MO, footprint. The program offers shoppers healthy meal solutions, registered dietitian-approved recipes and tips. The... Read more
Wisconsin potato industry positioned well for winter and spring shipping
Amid their winter potato shipping season, Wisconsin potato growers are enjoying a very positive season, according to Tamas Houlihan, executive director of the Antigo, WI-based Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association. In a Jan. 11 telephone interview, Houlihan indicated that Wisconsin’s potato volume is down about 8 percent from the 2015 crop.... Read more
US Foods Holding Corp. has elected two new independent directors — Robert (Bob) Dutkowsky and Carl Andrew (Andy) Pforzheimer — effective Feb. 11. Dutkowsky is the chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of Tech Data Corp., one of the world’s largest technology distributors. Prior to joining Tech Data Corp. in... Read more
Ahold, Verizon create 'smarter stores' at Stop & Shop, Giant and Martin’s
To better accommodate more than 3 million customers and 115,000 associates each week across 780 store locations, Ahold USA’s retail divisions, Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York Metro, Giant Landover and Giant Carlisle, embarked on a technology overhaul in collaboration with Verizon Enterprise Solutions to create a ‘smarter store’... Read more
White-hot purple produce trends
Purple produce was featured as a top 2017 food trend in national media including NBC’s Today, Fortune, Forbes, Food & Wine, Parade and Consumer Reports. Frieda’s Specialty Produce urges retailers, wholesalers and foodservice providers to take advantage of this purple buzz before it fades. Most of these reports mentioned by name Stokes Purple... Read more
2017 Organic Produce Summit on track
More than 100 retail buyers have already signed up for the 2017 Organic Produce Summit, which will be held in Monterey, CA, July 12-13. OPS Director of Operations Susan Canales told The Produce News in early January that registration for retailers and other buyers had been open for about a month while general registration will begin on Feb. 6 through the event’s... Read more
NEPC and Dole donate to the Greater Boston Food Bank
The New England Produce Council and Dole have donated $5,000 to the Greater Boston Food Bank. The council hosted a dinner meeting at the Greater Boston Food Bank Wednesday, Jan. 11, with Dole as the sponsor. The evening began with cocktails and tours of the food bank. Anthony Sattler, NEPC president, and Neil Kessler, Northeast region manager at Dole, presented... Read more
Mark Sutton elected to Kroger's board of directors
The Kroger Co. announced that Mark S. Sutton has been elected to the company's board of directors. Sutton is chairman and chief executive officer of International Paper, a leading global producer of renewable fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper products. Prior to becoming CEO, he served as president and chief operating officer with responsibility for running... Read more
The board of directors of Empire Co. Ltd. announced the appointment of Michael Medline as president and chief executive officer of Empire and its wholly owned subsidiary Sobeys Inc. Medline will also serve on the board of directors of Empire. “Michael Medline is an outstanding Canadian retailer who brings a passion for the customer experience... Read more
For the past couple of years, truck rates in the produce sector have been fairly steady with very few periods when demand outpaced the supply of trucks and prices spiked. Of course, there are always a few situations exacerbated by holidays or weather when shortage have materialized, but those instances have been the exception rather than the rule. Discussing... Read more
National retail results mixed on pears, category is ripe with promotion opportunities
Stemilt Fruit Tracker’s analysis of November 2016 U.S. pear composite data from Nielsen is in, and results are mixed, with some retailers showing better sales performance than the same time frame in 2015, and others falling a promotion or two short of meeting the previous year’s average. Historically, November is a big month for pears across the... Read more
Expanded produce and organics help Aldi customers focus on health
For many, the start of the year means a re-focus and commitment to healthier lifestyle habits. With many New Year’s resolutions based around healthier eating, weight loss or fitness, healthy hopefuls can now turn to an affordable ally to help them reach their goals this year — ALDI. In addition to significantly expanding their fresh produce and organic... Read more
Peter J. Taormina joins Club Chef
The Castellini Group of Cos., one of the larger fresh produce distributors in the United States, and its affiliate, Club Chef, announced Peter Taormina as senior vice president of quality and food safety. Club Chef is the fresh-cut processing member of the Castellini Group of Cos. "As senior vice president of quality and food safety, Dr. Taormina will focus... Read more
United Fresh Start Foundation grant program to increase kids' access to fresh produce
The United Fresh Start Foundation is launching a new community grants program to help advance the organization’s mission to increase children’s access to fresh fruit and vegetables. The new initiative will provide $25,000 in grants to local community organizations and groups that share the United Fresh Start Foundation’s commitment to increasing... Read more
RubyFrost apple back for a limited time
Crunch Time Apple Growers’ RubyFrost apples are arriving now at supermarkets across the United States. They will be available for a short time only, so retailers and consumers are urged to get them now. This year’s larger crop size means that RubyFrost will be in more stores of more retailers than ever, according to Mark Russell, RubyFrost grower... Read more
Turmeric, plant proteins and meal kits will be tantalizing the taste buds of Canadian home chefs this year. Under the marketing tagline of Taste the New Next, Loblaw's 2017 Canadian Food Trends outline what Canadians will be eating this year. In addition to reviewing internal and industry data, the company brought together a group of experts ranging from professional... Read more