25 episodes

Podcast by Supermarket News

Sn Off the Shelf Nation's Restaurant News

    • Arts
    • 3.3 • 3 Ratings

Podcast by Supermarket News

    People are staying in. Here’s what that means for ‘stomach share’

    People are staying in. Here’s what that means for ‘stomach share’

    People gotta eat. And for some time now, since pandemic days, that need has been trending towards at home eating—via cooking, meal kits, and grab and go items. 
    According to recent research from FMI, deli prepared foods sales are up 9.3% year over year and 19.2% from the pre-pandemic 2019 period. That same research also indicates that 21% of polled shoppers say they prepare seven or more dinners at home per week, up from 16% in 2021, which includes food made at home, semi- or fully prepared items and leftovers.
    Meal kits have also been in demand. Supermarket delis have seen a spike in meal kit sales since the early days of the pandemic, and now recent data from Statista indicates that the U.S. market will exceed more than $10 billion by 2024, compared to just $6.9 billion in 2021.
    All this to say: People are cooking and eating at home. Supermarket News tuned in with our sister publication Nation’s Restaurant News to see what restaurateurs make of the trend towards eating at home, as well as what’s doing in food service at retail. 
    Take a listen. 
    **Have a pitch for the podcast? Contact SN Executive Editor Chloe Riley at chloe.riley@informa.com, or reach out and say hi on LinkedIn. Thanks so much for listening.

    • 13 min
    Why personalization matters, according to Hungryroot

    Why personalization matters, according to Hungryroot

    Online grocery expanded at a 4% rate in Q3, and grocery / meal kit delivery service Hungryroot saw growth almost 12 times as fast, with 45% year-over-year growth for its most recent quarter. Since launching in 2015, the personalized online grocery service has since seen great success via leaning into AI-powered personalization. SN sat down with Hungryroot Chief Digital Officer Alex Weinstein to talk about the company's strategy. Take a listen. 
    In this episode, you’ll find out:

    What AI-powered personalization looks like, and why “feedback-focused” approaches to personalization that can create a profoundly better consumer experience
    How Hungryroot sees itself in synergy with traditional grocery
    What learns grocery can be taking away from Hungryroot’s model

    Have a pitch for the podcast? Contact SN Executive Editor Chloe Riley at chloe.riley@informa.com, or reach out and say hi on LinkedIn. Thanks so much for listening.

    • 35 min
    Mid-tier grocers pack SMB brand punch, NielsenIQ’s Andrew Criezis says

    Mid-tier grocers pack SMB brand punch, NielsenIQ’s Andrew Criezis says

    The recently announced Kroger-Albertsons merger deal reflects the ongoing drive for scale in the grocery industry. But when it comes to retailer relationships with consumer packaged goods (CPG) suppliers, scale doesn’t mean everything, especially in the small- and midsize-business (SMB) arena.
     
    That’s where mid-tier grocers are particularly important. According to Andrew Criezis, senior vice president and general manager of SMB at market researcher NielsenIQ, mid-level grocery retailers bring more to the table than meets the eye.
     
    “When we talk about mid-tier grocers, the key is they’re regionally focused,” he told Supermarket News in a podcast interview, citing retailers such as Hy-Vee, Good Food Holdings and The Fresh Market as examples. “And I think there are some pretty interesting insights here.”
     
    Even when SMB CPG manufacturers do break into the assortments at big chain retailers, the bulk of their sales volume — especially in grocery — still may come from mid-tier stores, Criezis explained. These brands’ deepest and most loyal consumer relationships also may be found in this retail segment.
     
    “We ran a global survey and analysis called the ‘2022 Brand Balancing Act,’ which was laser-focused on SMB consumers and the market around the SMB segment of emerging brands. And what we discovered is that shoppers associate small and emerging brands as being local,” Criezis said. “There’s a very close connection to it, a high-percentage relationship.”
     
    Regional and smaller grocers with loyal customer bases stand as bread-and-butter sales channels for SMB brands as well as destinations for positive consumer-brand interactions, Criezis noted. These stores also may offer brands high visit frequency and generate among their largest average basket sizes.
     
    “We see more and more of these brands that are local, and consumers looking for local and engaging in smaller-format stores. And they expect to find those more local, niche brands within some of these regional, mid-tier grocery players,” he said. “So that’s where you see this strong connection that can breed a strong sales position if you play the structure and the cards correctly. The other thing we found out was that a quarter of our survey respondents buy emerging brands exclusively at independent retailers. So a pretty significant amount of emerging-brand consumers are going to these independent retailers or regional players

    • 18 min
    The Kroger, Albertsons breakdown

    The Kroger, Albertsons breakdown

    It’s been just over ten days since Kroger and Albertsons announced they would merge in a $24.6 billion dollar deal, and the grocery industry has been reeling ever since. 
    A brief rundown of the numbers: If it goes through, the deal will join the first-and second-largest U.S. supermarket retailers, creating a national company with almost 5,000 stores, 66 distribution centers, 52 manufacturing plants, 2,015 fuel centers and over 710,000 associates across 48 states and the District of Columbia. The merged entity also would be the fifth-largest retail pharmacy operator, with close to 4,000 pharmacy locations.
    In this special live edition of SN Off the Shelf, Supermarket News editors Chloe Riley and Russell Redman talk about how the merger could affect Kroger’s Ocado rollout, the impending U.S. Senate hearing, and additionally, whether a deal this big will even make it past regulators. Take a listen. 
    In this episode, you’ll find out:

    Some of the ways independent grocers would be affected if the merger goes through 
    How the deal could shift grocery market share among the top players
    Whether we’re going to see this deal trigger other grocery retail M&A deals and drive more brick-and-mortar consolidation in the industry

    Have a pitch for the podcast? Contact SN Executive Editor Chloe Riley at chloe.riley@informa.com, or reach out and say hi on LinkedIn. Thanks so much for listening. 

    • 38 min
    UNFI’s Dorn Wenninger aims to ‘give back days of freshness’

    UNFI’s Dorn Wenninger aims to ‘give back days of freshness’

    The quality of fresh food, especially produce, plays a big role in consumer decision-making on where to shop for groceries. Retailers that consistently serve up a strong offering of fruit and vegetables at a high level of freshness will consistently draw customers and earn their loyalty.
     
    United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) knows this as well as anyone in the industry and, to that end, launched initiatives in which it leveraged new technology to ensure produce reaches retailer partners faster and fresher.
     
    A combination of new solutions and processes are shortening certain delivery times by more than a day and capitalizing on the full potential of UNFI’s data points to deliver fresher produce to stores. One key tech solution is Share-ify, a cloud-based, tablet-enabled quality control program that allows UNFI to synthesize tens of thousands of data points to remove variability and help growers and suppliers provide the freshest produce possible. The technology was slated to be in use at all of UNFI’s produce distribution centers as of last month.
     
    The Providence, R.I.-based wholesaler also has consolidated purchasing and shifted to procuring many items directly from key suppliers.
     
    The result of these efforts: improved inventory turnover, lower inventory shrink and an average one-day savings from the supply chain over the past year — as well as produce sales growth outpacing the industry average.
     
    “As you can imagine, there’s not one, single bullet on how to make quality better. So the reality is that we put in multiple tools,” Dorn Wenninger, senior vice president of produce at UNFI, told Supermarket News in a podcast discussion.
     
    Wenninger has served in that role at UNFI since February 2021, when he joined the company from Walmart Mexico, where he was VP of perishables. Before that, he served for four years as VP of produce and floral at Walmart U.S. and, earlier, spent two years there as VP of global food sourcing.
     
    “The retail consumer, what she really cares about, is the quality and freshness and how long it lasts at home. And what really upsets her is variability,” Wenninger said. “So we started there and said, ‘What tools do we have in our arsenal to make that better for the customer?’ The overall ranking objective was to remove days in the supply chain and give those days of freshness back to the store and back to the customer.”

    • 23 min
    FreshDirect’s Dave Bass says e-grocer primed for growth under ADUSA

    FreshDirect’s Dave Bass says e-grocer primed for growth under ADUSA

    FreshDirect, one of the trailblazers in the online grocery space, has begun a new chapter as part of Ahold Delhaize USA.
     
    Though retaining its strong reputation for delivery of high-quality fresh foods and other groceries — and marking its 20th year in business this year — FreshDirect has sharpened its focus on its hometown metropolitan New York market, including not just the greater New York City area but also parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. The move comes after the pure-play e-grocer shut down delivery service to the Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., markets at the end of August.
     
    FreshDirect’s service change comes as it further integrates with Ahold Delhaize USA, which acquired the company in January 2021. To that end, FreshDirect has partnered with supermarket chain Stop & Shop to help create an “omnichannel ecosystem” that brings more convenience, personalization and value to customers via brick-and-mortar and digital channels.
     
    The ecosystem concept is designed to capitalize on densely populated markets like New York City, where FreshDirect operates from a 400,000-square-foot automated fulfillment center and campus in the borough of the Bronx. And FreshDirect Managing Director Dave Bass sees the online grocer’s current value proposition as a key differentiator.
     
    “When I think about FreshDirect, there are really three key areas that we focus on,” Bass told Supermarket News in a podcast interview. “One is that we deliver the highest-quality and freshest food, and the second is that we create food experiences. And then the third is that we drive simple, healthy solutions to make every day better for our customers. We take, very much, a customer-first approach to understand what our customers needs are.”
     
    Bass has led FreshDirect as managing director since September 2021. He previously served as senior vice president of omnichannel merchandising support at Peapod Digital Labs, Ahold Delhaize USA’s digital innovation arm.
     
    “ADUSA is set up in a unique way, where they look at the [grocery retail] brands as being particularly local and focused on that local customer to win. At the same time, there’s a good-size company behind us that we can leverage for synergies and savings that in some ways the customers may not see and in some ways maybe they do,” he said. “But it has been a great first year for me here, and I’m really excited about the future potential growth for FreshDirect in the tristate market.”

    • 22 min

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