Walmart is testing a kitchen robot called Flippy in its labs for possible deployment at some of its in-store delis. The robot would watch the time for prepared food staples like chicken fingers or mozzarella sticks, then remove them from the fryer at the right time.
Publix has opened its first store built on a college campus at the University of South Florida in Tampa. The 28,000-square-foot store caters to college students with an ample supply of prepared foods and a large school supplies aisle. Full
C&S Wholesale Grocers to Acquire Olean Wholesale Grocery Cooperative, Inc., a Premier, Full-Service Food Distributor. Olean services over 270 independent food retail and convenience stores throughout New York, Pennsylvania, and northeast Ohio.
This holiday season, United Supermarkets is helping customers in Lubbock, Texas, thwart so-called “porch pirates,” the thieves who snatch deliveries from people’s doorsteps. Full
Seventy-seven percent of Americans would rather eat a homemade meal than go out for dinner, according to Peapod's annual meal planning forecast. The study found 43% of all respondents and 59% of Millennials plan to cook more in 2019. Seventy-seven percent prioritized cost savings as a reason for eating more at home, while 51% cited eating healthier.
Private-label products are continuing to build momentum, but consumers are focused on attributes that go beyond price, according to analysts at Euromonitor. "[R]etailers must demonstrate that their private-label brands can truly compete with national brands in terms of product quality and innovation," the company said. Full
Dollar General expects to open 975 stores in 2019, with additional plans to remodel 1,000 mature locations and relocate 100 stores, according to the company's CEO. Of the remodels, Dollar General expects 500 to be in the Dollar General Traditional Plus format, and expects to add fresh produce departments to 200 stores.
Digestive health is set to become a significant trend in 2019. Food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers are developing new products and expanding a marketplace that has been evolving during the past decade. What was once a category dominated by fiber and probiotic ingredients is now seeing prebiotics and fermented foods making inroads. Full
More traditional beverage categories faced increasing competition in 2018 as new products in forms such as cold-brew coffee and kombucha entered the market. Bottled water remained a category increasing in sales while other drinks seemed to blur into multiple categories. Full