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Goya Gives to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark

Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic owned food company in the United States, headquartered in New Jersey, will give 125,000 pounds of Goya products and $10,000 to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, one of New Jersey’s oldest and largest social service agencies that helps nearly 70,000 individuals and families each year.

Goya will provide the first installment of 15,000 pounds of food for the holiday season, followed by 10,000 pounds each month throughout the year. “As an institution in the community, we strive to be a company of compassion and to do our part in helping others who need it the most, especially during the holiday season,” said Rafael Toro, Director of Public Relations of Goya Foods. “We will always support the work of organizations like Catholic Charities, who are directly helping to improve the overall wellness of our communities.” The donation of $10,000 will go to the Hope House Homeless Shelter, located at 246 2nd Street, in Jersey City, New Jersey and St. Rocco’s Emergency Family Shelter, located at 368 South 7th Street, Newark, New Jersey.

“Catholic Charities is very grateful for Goya’s generous donation. The much needed food will be given to the many people who come through our food program during the Christmas season. The $10,000 donation will be used to purchase presents for the families that live in our family shelters,” said John Westervelt, Chief Operating Officer of Catholic Charities. The shelters provide housing, meals and supportive services such as counseling, educational workshops, job assistance, housing placement and resources to homeless families including 36 single mothers and 58 children.

Natural Grocers Brings 18 New Jobs to South Jordan, Utah

Natural Grocers will open a new store in South Jordan, Utah next spring, bringing 18 jobs to the community. Natural Grocers employs more than 3,000 people and operates 130 stores in 19 states. The new South Jordan store is located at 10622 S Redwood Rd and is approximately 15,000 square feet in size.

Natural Grocers will be hiring store leadership, department managers, cashiers and a Nutritional Health Coach. Candidates must be at least 18 years of age. Applicants can apply for consideration at https://www.naturalgrocers.com/about/careers/.

Peapod Predicts 2017 Will Be the Year of the Home Cook

Will 2017 be the year Americans finally ditch fast food in favor of homemade? With the New Year on the horizon, Peapod, the country’s leading online grocer, and ORC International conducted a national survey to see what food resolutions will be topping many lists. Peapod found that the home cooking trend – 72 percent of Americans already report cooking at home four nights or more per week in 2016 – is not slowing down for 2017. In fact, over a third of Americans surveyed (34 percent) are planning to cook dinner at home even more in the New Year! Leading the cooking movement are Millennials, who are twice as likely as their older counterparts (49 percent of Millennials vs. 24 percent of Boomers) to make this a resolution for 2017.

After a season of holiday indulgences, Americans are looking forward to more mindful eating. Of those that cook at home, 53 percent would like to meal plan more in 2017. It seems Americans think a little more planning will pay off for many reasons. The top three reasons for meal planning are to save money (60 percent), eat healthy (59 percent) and waste less food (55 percent).

“On our recipe inspiration web site, FromthePod.com, we’re definitely witnessing the trend of meal planning with consumers looking for new dinner ideas. In fact, traffic to our recipes increased 120 percent in 2016 from the previous year,” explained Andrea Eldridge, Peapod’s Senior Vice President, Sales and Merchandising. “Some of the most popular recipes were those that require 15 minutes or less of prep time or utilize a slow cooker for easy cooking.”

What are Americans looking for when they plan dinner?

  • Something easy.  The number 1 factor, regardless of age, when choosing what’s for dinner? Having the ingredients on hand. After that, Millennials and Boomers are split. Millennials say it has to be how easy/quick the recipe is to cook (63 percent) while Boomers say it’s the nutrition of the meal (74 percent).
  • Inspiration. 51 percent of Americans would prepare dinner at home more often if they had new ideas. Millennials need the most inspiration at 63 percent compared to the more experienced Boomers at 42 percent.
  • Stovetop Recipes.  Overwhelmingly Americans will be looking for stovetop friendly recipes as they prepare dinner. Forty-four percent report the stovetop as their top tool at least four nights a week compared to just 25 percent of Americans that will be turning on the oven and 24 percent that are microwavers.

Schuman Cheese Employees ‘Say Cheese’ to Holiday Giving

Throughout this season of giving, Schuman Cheese and its employees across the country demonstrated acts of caring and sharing in numerous ways. The annual holiday giving activities are one way Schuman Cheese and its employees put the company’s core values, including a commitment to community, into tangible practice.

For the past several months the team in Elgin, Illinois, has been participating in a unique program that combines weight loss motivation with charitable giving, affectionately known as the Spare Tire Reduction Program. In addition to donating approximately 350 pounds of non-perishable food to a local food bank, employees lost more than 60 pounds during the course of the program. The company matched the food donation, and employees were so encouraged by the results that they are launching a new session after the holidays.

Employees at the company’s headquarters location in Fairfield, New Jersey, and the nearby office in Woodbridge collected more than $1,000 worth of toys for the annual Toys for Tots donation.

Lake Country Dairy, located in Turtle Lake, Wisconsin, and its employees contributed nearly $1,400 to the community through donations to local school and civic groups, as well as a 50/50 raffle to support two local families in need.

Holiday giving is just one way of Schuman Cheese gives back to the communities it calls home. In addition to various local school and civic causes, Schuman Cheese and its employees also proudly support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through its employee giving program and other initiatives; community food banks through food drives, monetary donations and employee volunteer events; the Susan G. Komen North Jersey chapter and the Junior Achievement student mentoring program.

Introducing the Dash Robotic Shopping Cart

dash-robotic-shopping-cartDash Robotic Shopping Cart was designed with the frustrated shopper in mind. The consumer simply walks up to Dash and transfers a shopping list from a phone or creates a new list using the store search feature. Then the robot leads the way, mapping out the most effective route to the listed items.

Dash is equipped with a scanner and payment system so the customer can scan and pay for their items at the cart. After paying for items, the cart follows the customer to their car for unloading. Once empty, the cart returns itself to the store and its docking station.

If that isn’t cool enough, Dash features a Virtual Reality interface which shows the store to the customer as she walks down the aisles. Looking up, the customer sees the store. Looking down, the customer sees the VR representation of the store and aisle they are in with their next item highlighted on the screen.

“The Dash Robotic Shopping cart will absolutely transform the way we do shopping. Once these robots are in the stores, we will not be able to imagine how we ever shopped without them,” says CEO Wendy Roberts.

Five Elements Robotics is expecting these to be in stores in 2017. For more information, visit www.5erobotics.com.

Albertsons Companies Holiday Giving Campaign Provides Millions of Meals

As 2016 drew to a close, Albertsons Companies thanked its employees and customers across the many communities it serves for helping donate millions of nutritious meals and thousands of toys through the company’s 2016 Holiday Giving Campaign.

In all, Albertsons Companies’ 2,300+ stores and 275,000 team members are responsible for helping orchestrate major food drives and giving campaigns, donating more than 12,000 turkeys and hams, and collecting tens of thousands of toys to make the holidays memorable. In addition, the Albertsons Companies Foundation contributed $240,000 to fund charities at the forefront of hunger relief, juvenile diabetes research, veteran’s services and grassroots community outreach.

“Helping individuals and families during the holidays and throughout the year is not only the foundation of our community outreach, it’s a key part of our business,” said Chairman and CEO Bob Miller. “We are in the unique position to touch the lives of countless people throughout America each day. We’re proud of how our stores, customers and employees have come together to have a positive impact on people in need, both during the holidays and every day of the year. ”

Albertsons Companies operates supermarkets in 35 states and Washington D.C. under 19 banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, ACME Markets, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, and Carrs. Each regional operating division chooses and manages its own giving programs, tailoring the outreach to the needs of the neighborhoods it serves.

Parmareggio Signs with Norseland

Parmareggio®, the maker of the Parmissimo® brand of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and a co-operative of manufacturers and dairies, together with Norseland, Inc., the exclusive importer of Jarlsberg® cheese, have announced that the two companies have entered a partnership, effective January 2017.

This new alliance is expected to accelerate sales growth of Parmissimo and strengthen both companies’ brand positions in the U.S. market.

“This partnership complements our premium brand portfolio,” says John J. Sullivan, CEO & President of Norseland, Inc. “Parmissimo represents a company with strong values, deep routed in tradition and quality.”

 

“Norseland has a dominant position in America in the specialty cheese market,” says Ivano Chezzi, President of Parmareggio. “Parmareggio, the main producer of Parmigiano Reggiano in the world, is proud to be alongside Norseland who, just like us, believes in the values of cooperation to enhance the Parmissimo brand of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in the US market.”

KeHE Marks Year of Growth & Expansion in 2016

KeHE Distributors, LLC (KeHE) celebrates a year of growth and achievements in 2016. In addition to a rewarding first year as a Certified B Corp, the company advanced on its strategic growth plan with the acquisition of Monterrey Provision Company, the addition of a new distribution center in Colorado, and through various leadership initiatives.

“Our achievements in 2016 are a testament to our motto: Where KeHE Goes, Goodness Follows™,” said Brandon Barnholt, President and CEO, KeHE. “This has been a memorable year for KeHE, and we look forward to building on this momentum in the exciting year ahead.”

Certified B Corp Status
KeHE formally announced its B Corp certification at Natural Products Expo West 2016. Barnholt led a signing of The B Corp Declaration of Interdependence with representatives of the B Corp community. In October, the nonprofit B Lab named KeHE a B Corp “2016 Rookie of the Year” for its outstanding commitment to the movement: using business as a force for good.

Acquisition
In February, KeHE acquired Monterrey Provision Company, a San Diego-based distributor of fresh perimeter products. The Monterrey acquisition aligned two companies with complementary assets and skills, advancing on KeHE’s vision to expand its footprint in this cool growth category.

Expansion
KeHE broadened its reach with the arrival of its 17th distribution center. Located in Aurora, Colorado, near Denver, this state-of-the-art 270,000-square-foot facility was built from the ground up to meet LEED Gold certification for energy-efficient practices. KeHE celebrated the opening of the site in August with a philanthropic activity that provided 1,000 boxes of food to area families in need.

Show Growth
KeHE experienced double-digit growth across its award-winning trade shows. The Natural Spring Show saw a 27 percent increase in attendance from 2015, and the Natural Fall Show saw 35 percent attendance growth since 2014. KeHE looks forward to welcoming suppliers and retailers to the Summer Selling Show in New Orleans on February 7-8, 2017.

New CFO
KeHE also expanded its leadership team with the appointment of Timothy J. Wiggins as Chief Financial Officer in July. In his role, Wiggins leads all aspects of KeHE’s finance function and strategic planning, as well as business unit and subsidiary performance.

Organic Valley Ends Year Standing Strong with 2,000 Farm Families

Organic Valley, America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation’s leading organic brands, will reach a meaningful milestone in the new year: The co-op will grow to 2,000 farmer-owners by the first week of January, representing 12 percent of the organic farmers in the United States. In 2016, Organic Valley welcomed more than 300 family farms to the cooperative for 16 percent growth, and added more than 40,000 acres of organic agricultural land.

“Now, more than ever, it’s time to come together and cooperate,” said George Siemon, a founding farmer and CEO of Organic Valley. “Our strength has always been in our unity and belief in the collective good. In a world of divisiveness, cooperation continues to be the key to success.”

Founded in 1988 by seven struggling farm families in southwest Wisconsin, Organic Valley’s mission today is still to save family farming through an organic, cooperative business model that ensures a fair pay price to farmers. That mission continues to be an urgent one; in 2015, conventional American farmers faced some of the toughest conditions they’ve seen since the 80s.

In the cooperative’s democratic business model, each farmer-member has a voice in pay price, growth, profit sharing, best practices, and other cooperative fundamentals. Because the co-op is not beholden to shareholders or outside investors, the business can prioritize paying farmers a stable price each month, as well as providing other valuable shared services, such as world-class veterinary care, and soil and pasture improvement programs.

Organic Valley is made up of farmers such as Amy Raboine of Reedsburg, Wisconsin. Raboine took over her family’s dairy after her father died following a long journey with stomach cancer. she finished school and chose to become a dairy farmer. Today, Raboine raises her family and her herd inspired by nature and her dad’s legacy.

When Chandler and Aziza Benson of Lansing, New York, decided to start a family, Chandler left his high-powered financial services job in bustling Chicago, and Aziza left the National Guard for a slower paced quality of life. There, the Bensons took over Chandler’s parents’ organic dairy, which was too big for the older Bensons but just right for the next generation and their three sets of twins.

The cooperative’s growth is apparent at its headquarters in La Farge, Wisconsin, as well. In 2016, Organic Valley hired 110 new employees for a total of 903 staff, maintaining Organic Valley’s role as the largest employer in Vernon County, Wisconsin. In 2015, Organic Valley was named one of Outside magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work in the USA.”

“Our cooperative success means we can provide a lifeline to more than 2,000 family farms and meaningful employment to over 900 staff members,” concluded Siemon. “We are past and present leaders in the organic and cooperative movements and will continue to lead into the future, no matter what short-term challenges we face—because we face them together.”

Grocery Pundit Announces Top Trends for 2017

More digital connections and a speedier checkout process rank among the top trends for grocery shopping in 2017, says John Karolefski, veteran supermarket analyst and writer at GroceryStories.com. Karolefski also predicts a more diverse produce department, increased availability of meal kits, and better access to product information.

“The top trends for 2017 will result in improved loyalty to stores and more informed shoppers,” says Karolefski. “Expect a more enjoyable shopping experience.”

Karolefski’s top trends for 2017 are:

More Digital Engagement: Millennials are starting families and becoming major buyers of groceries. To maintain the loyalty of these shoppers, supermarket chains will ramp up their digital tactics. For example, grocers will outfit their stores with beacons, which are sensors embedded throughout a store’s shelves, signs and product displays. Beacons interact with smartphones using low-energy Bluetooth signals to provide coupons and other discounts. More grocers will promote their own mobile apps for shoppers to get discounts and specials. Meanwhile, online grocery ordering and delivery will grow as shoppers opt for this convenience.

More Ways to Check Out: Shoppers want to pay for their groceries and leave the store as quickly as possible. Amazon’s current test of a No-Checkout store in Seattle, relying on a special mobile app for checking in and out of a store, will increase interest in speedy checkout. Retailers like Sam’s Club and Kroger are testing new checkout options such as using a smartphone or a special handheld scanner that enable shoppers to scan and bag products while they shop. Other grocers will follow their lead.

More Diverse Produce Departments: Shoppers will find more organic fruits and vegetables, as well as local produce. Meanwhile, the growing number of Hispanic-American shoppers will prompt grocers to stock such products as tomatillos and jicama. These trends will result in more diverse produce departments in 2017.

More Meal Kits: Grocery shoppers will be able to choose from a variety of “meal kits” that burst onto the scene with such startups as Plated, Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. Giant Eagle began selling its own meal kits this year, and more grocers will do the same in 2017. Meanwhile, manufacturers such as ConAgra and Campbell Soup have launched their own meal kits, and other food makers will follow.

More Access to Product Information: Nearly 30,000 grocery products will bear a new SmartLabel on packages by the end of 2017 to give consumers easy access to detailed information about what they are buying. Shoppers will be able to scan this sophisticated bar code in the store or do an online search to reach a landing page for information on ingredients and other attributes of a wide range of consumer packaged goods.

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