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Kroger Announces Plan to Feed More and End Food Waste in its Stores

The Kroger Co. has announced a new, national effort aimed at ending hunger in the communities Kroger calls home and eliminating waste across the company by 2025. “No family in a community we serve should ever go hungry, and no food in a store we operate should ever go to waste,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s Chairman and CEO.

Across the United States, 42 million Americans struggle with hunger. At the same time, an estimated 72 billion pounds of food ends up in a landfill every year.

“More than 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. each year goes unconsumed, while one in eight people struggle with hunger. That just doesn’t make sense,” McMullen said. “As America’s grocer and one of the largest retailers in the world, we are committing to doing something about it.”

Kroger’s  Zero Hunger | Zero Waste plan includes commitments to establish a $10 million fund within The Kroger Co. Foundation to address hunger, food waste and the relationship between the two and to accelerate food donations to provide 3 billion meals by 2025 to feed people in the places where Kroger operates. In partnership with its customers, associates and other partners, Kroger has donated one billion meals via combined food and funds donations since 2013.

Kroger also plans to achieve all of its Zero Waste 2020 goals that are part of its sustainability plan that’s outlined in the company’s annual sustainability report and to eliminate food waste in all of its stores by 2025 through prevention, donation and diversion efforts in all stores and across Kroger.

Albertsons Companies Acquires Plated

Albertsons Companies, one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers, today announced the acquisition of Plated, a premier meal kit service. This move advances a shared strategy to reinvent the way consumers discover, purchase, and experience food. Plated will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Albertsons Cos. The transaction is expected to close later this month pending customary approvals.

In teaming up with Plated, Albertsons Cos. adds a meal kit company with leading technology and data capabilities, a strategic step for the company as it continues to focus on innovation, personalization, and customization. Together, Albertsons Cos. and Plated will leverage their diverse and complementary strengths to serve customers in a way that appeals to the evolving lifestyles and food preferences of people across the country. Among the key projected outcomes of this deal is for Plated to become the first omnichannel meal kit offering with national scale.

“Today’s consumer is looking for a variety of personalized shopping alternatives, and this transaction is the latest example of Albertsons Cos. meeting our customers wherever and however they like to shop,” said Bob Miller, Chairman and CEO of Albertsons Companies. “With Plated, we’ve found a partner who shares our commitment to delicious, affordable food; superior technology and innovation; and world class customer service. Plated knows its customers better than anyone, and together we will accelerate our ability to serve them. We are excited to offer our customers more online options and fresh, quality ingredients along with distinctive recipes at their doorstep or through traditional shopping trips.”

Plated will benefit from Albertsons Cos.’ resources and national reach with over 2,300 stores to scale its business and improve its customer experience with new offerings. Albertsons Cos. will enable Plated to expand beyond its existing subscription model by offering Plated meal kits at many store locations, across its digital channels, and through a variety of distribution options to make it easy to create delicious meals at home by providing the flexibility, convenience, and access to high-quality, fresh ingredients coupled with chef-designed recipes that customers are looking for. Plated’s marketing and acquisition efforts will also benefit by gaining exposure to Albertsons Cos.’ 35 million customers per week.

Josh Hix, Co-founder and CEO of Plated, said, “Joining Albertsons Companies presents an amazing opportunity to accelerate our positive impact on the future of food in America by making fresh, delicious food more widely available. Albertsons Cos. is at the forefront of the changing food and grocery landscape with their customer obsession, their large national store footprint, and their exciting plans for the future of the grocery store. We’re excited to be partnering with them to shepherd our growth while preserving the unique strengths that define Plated today. There’s tremendous upside for Plated’s customers whose experience with our brand will only get better. As meal kits continue to gain traction in the marketplace, we believe the winning formula combines choice, flexibility, culinary expertise, and the ability for customers to buy across channels–all of which we are now singularly positioned to deliver in collaboration with Albertsons Cos.”

lated will continue to operate as a distinct consumer brand with its own leadership team led by Co-founder and CEO Josh Hix. The company will continue to be headquartered in New York City, with fulfillment centers across the country.

Straight From The Root Brings Sous Vide into the Spotlight with Ready-to-Eat Vegetables

Straight From The Root is bringing the French style of sous vide cooking to American kitchens with USDA organic, cut and fully cooked vegetables. Unlike most cooking methods which require vegetables to be cooked at high temperatures causing them to lose up to 30 percent of their nutrients, Straight From The Root vegetables are cooked at a much lower temperature to preserve nutrients, taste and texture.

sousvideveggiesStraight From The Root’s sous vide cooking method involves submerging a BPA-free, vacuum-sealed bag of cut, organic vegetables in heated water to cook them completely. The bags are then blanched in an ice bath to stop the cooking process, resulting in tender, flavorful vegetables that are evenly cooked and never mushy.  The bag traps nutrients, vitamins and minerals and also allows the vegetables to stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 45 days after purchase. Even better — you’ll only find one ingredient in all Straight From The Root products: vegetables. Straight From The Root never adds oils, spices, salt, or anything else for that matter. With vegetables that taste this good, there’s no need.

“We aim to create the most convenient, cleanest way to get your vegetables every day,” says Founder and President Paul Lagudi. “We understand that people often shy away from buying, prepping and cooking vegetables, especially on busy weeknights. Great quality, healthy food doesn’t need to be a hassle or a mess. Straight From The Root offers preservative-free and organic produce that can be eaten straight from the bag, warmed over a stove or heated up in a microwave in under a minute.”

After relocating from Australia to Nevada, Lagudi started in the produce industry with a small vegetable company that rapidly grew into the largest supplier of cut vegetables in Las Vegas. On a trip to Europe, Paul was struck by the way European chefs used the sous vide method to make deliciously tender and flavorful meats and fish. Inspired, he teamed up with his daughter, Paulina Lagudi, and together they developed Straight From The Root to innovate the grocery store produce section and offer a better alternative for American consumers.

Straight From The Root’s current product lineup includes Baby Carrots, Red Beets, Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash and Honey Gold Potatoes. The product line is available in select Ralphs, Smith’s and Whole Foods stores.

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