Imagine walking into a grocery store where all of the products displayed are based on a shopper’s personal tastes, dietary preferences and budget. Peapod, the country’s leading online grocer, aims to do just that by enabling shoppers to curate their own personalized digital aisle. An early innovator of smart shopping technology, Peapod has expanded its filtering capabilities to include four new nutrition filters: “Non-GMO,” “Sugar Free,” “Vegan” and “Vegetarian.” Adding to Peapod’s already robust sort feature, shoppers can now customize their searches with 16 features specific to nutrition preferences, in addition to a variety of filters including brand preference, price and sale specials.
“Our customers have told us that one of the pain points of traditional in-store grocery shopping is the overwhelming selection and the time it takes to read labels in order to find what they need,” said Carrie Bienkowski, Peapod’s Chief Marketing Officer. “While we all want options, we also want to find what we’re looking for and to do so quickly. As a digital player, we can create personalized, curated shopping experiences to help consumers find what they’re looking for with just a few clicks. These tools also help our shoppers discover new products that meet their specific needs.
The new filters are based on growing consumer food and nutritional trends, as well as Peapod’s own consumer insights. Forty-two percent of consumers read nutrition labels before purchasing and non-GMO labeling is becoming increasingly important to consumers as sales of non-GMO products are predicted to hit $330 billion by 2019. Moreover, vegan and vegetarian filters were added as plant-based diets continue to gain popularity. Almost a third of Millennials indicate they eat a meat alternative product every day, and 70 percent consume them at least a few times a week.
“Our customers are often early adopters of emerging trends, “says Bienkowski. “As such, we’re able to utilize our keyword search data to stay ahead of the market. Since adding the “Organic” filter in 2014, it has become our most frequently used filter, and all Peapod carts now have at least one organic item.”
Enhanced smart shopping tools represent Peapod’s commitment to revolutionizing how consumers shop for groceries. With more than 12,000 products, including fresh produce; meat and seafood; deli items; natural and organic foods; and a wide range of prepared foods and easy-to-prep meal kits, Peapod is a one-stop shop for convenient meal solutions and weekly stock-ups of pantry staples.
Funky Chunky®, LLC, the gourmet snack featuring buttery caramel popcorn drizzled with different types of chocolate with added combinations of pretzels and nuts, has introduced an unexpected yet delicious flavor with its Funky Chunky Café Trio. The trio of new products, debuted at this year’s Sweets & Snacks Show, offer a flavor best known for being an early morning must-have.
Inspired by a local coffee shop and Funky Chunky’s coffee loving staff, Caramel Latte begins with the company’s traditional decadent caramel popcorn. For this treat, layers of caramel latte white chocolate drizzle, milk chocolate drizzle and chewy caramel are added to the caramel popcorn, then highlighted with dark chocolate covered espresso beans for an explosion of flavors.
“Funky Chunky is known for our delicious mash-ups of caramel popcorn and decadent drizzles. We combine fan favorites with our popcorn, and coffee is a flavor that is unexpected yet delicious,” said Laura Kruse, National Sales Manager. “We expect Funky Chunky Café to become a fast favorite.”
Vanilla Sweet Crème is similar but with vanilla sweet crème white chocolate, chewy caramel and white chocolate covered espresso beans. Lastly, Dark Chocolate Mocha loads up with dark chocolate mocha drizzle, milk chocolate drizzle, chewy caramel and dark chocolate covered espresso beans.
All flavors come in both 5-ounce bags and 19-ounce canisters that work as gifts. Two-ounce will be launched this fall.
The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) has named Rich Mende its new Director of Channel Programs.
Mende joins WMMB with nearly 20 years of experience in retail sales management. Most recently, his experience included sales management roles at Dietz & Watson in Philadelphia, InnovAsian Cuisine in Tukwila, Washington, and Willow Brook Foods in Springfield, Missouri.
“WMMB is thrilled to add Rich Mende to our organization,” said Chad Vincent, CEO of WMMB. “Not only does he bring a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to the position, he is also a skilled leader and manager. I’m confident our retail team will continue to grow and succeed under his guidance.”
As the Director of Channel Programs, Mende will manage the development of WMMB’s consumer and retail cheese and dairy promotional programs and coordinate their implementation. Mende will also provide leadership and supervision to WMMB’s team of regional marketing managers.
Mende has a Bachelor of Science in Food Distribution from Western Michigan University. He and his family currently reside in Springfield, Missouri, with plans to relocate to Madison in the coming year.