News Briefs


Walmart Chooses GlobalG.A.P. as 3rd-Party Certifier for Pollinator Health

GlobalG.A.P. Teaser

The GlobalG.A.P. IFA (Integrated Farm Assurance) Standard has become the third-party certifier for Walmart U.S. pollinator health commitments.

The retailer noted on its website that it will source 100% of the fresh produce and floral it sells in its produce departments from suppliers that adopt integrated pest management practices, as verified by a third-party, by 2025.

According toWalmart U.S.’s new pollinator health commitments, the company has embedded biodiversity requirements into its supply chain policies. To meet these requirements, Walmart and the Madison, Wis.-based IPM Institute of North America are working with GlobalG.A.P. to ensure the suitability of the globally applicable IFA standard. 

GlobalG.A.P. was pleased to have achieved acceptance of the IFA standard into Walmart’s biodiversity benchmark in 2021,” said Portland, Ore.-based GlobalG.A.P. North America Inc., a subsidiary company dedicated to serving the needs of the U.S. and Canadian markets. “With the recent release of GlobalG.A.P. IFA v6 for Fruit and Vegetables and for Flowers and Ornamentals, the updated IFA is also recognized by Walmart. Fruit and vegetable farmers supplying Walmart U.S. and choosing GlobalG.A.P. IFA with GFSI recognition meet Walmart’s food safety and biodiversity requirements with a single audit and certificate.”   

Early adopters, including farms with GlobalG.A.P. IFA certification, will already be in compliance with Walmart U.S.’s new requirement to have IPM practices verified by a third party by 2025.

More than 200,000 producers are under GlobalG.A.P. certification in 134 countries. 

Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Sendik’s Opens New Location Outside Milwaukee

Sendik's Oconomowoc

Sendik's Food Market, a family-owned legacy grocer in the Milwaukee area, has officially opened its latest store in the town of Oconomowoc, Wis.  On the northwest outskirts of Milwaukee, the 60,000-square-foot store at 1450 Olympia Fields Drive is the 18th location for the independent retailer. The grocer entirely revamped the space, which used to house a Kmart store.

A highlight of the new Sendik’s is an in-store garden, where fresh leafy greens will be harvested for use in the self-service salad bar. The latest location also features a wide variety of made-in-Wisconsin products – a Sendik’s hallmark – as well as a broad selection of meats, seafood, gourmet cheeses, wine and spirits, and grocery staples.

To mark the grand opening, Sendik’s is offering a special sweepstakes contest and will host live music performances, Halloween festivities and pet adoptions, among other activities, over the next weeks and months.

“Oconomowoc is a beautiful and growing area. We are very excited to join this community and look forward to serving its citizens.” said Ted Balistreri, a third-generation co-owner of Sendik’s, which was founded in 1926.  “We are proud to bring true food innovation to the area and offer new food experiences to customers.”

In addition to its Sendiks Food Market banner, the retailer operates smaller-format Fresh2GO c-stores in the Milwaukee market. 


Giant Food Introduces Loop in D.C. Metro Area

TerraCycle Teaser

Washington, D.C.-area shoppers at Giant Food can now buy certain products in reusable packaging, thanks to a new partnership between Giant Food and Loop, the circular reuse platform developed by TerraCycle. Ten participating Giant supermarkets are offering more than 20 products from well-known consumer brands, among them Kraft Heinz, Nature’s Path and Stubb’s BBQ Sauce, in reusable containers instead of single-use packaging. 

“Giant is proud to be the first grocery retailer on the East Coast to launch a partnership with Loop, a global leader in eliminating waste, and offer our customers a program that allows them to shop for products while helping our environment,” said Diane Couchman, Giant Foods’ VP category management, non-perishables. “We look forward to expanding our Loop item offerings and launching in more Giant locations in the near future.”

The products can be found in branded displays at participating Giant stores in Washington (two locations), as well as Alexandria, Arlington, Chantilly, Clifton, Fairfax, Herndon, Sterling (two stores), Va.

“Loop’s goal has always been to make reusable packaging as convenient for consumers as disposable packaging,” noted Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of Trenton, N.J.-based TerraCycle and Loop. “With Giant as the newest retailer bringing Loop to consumers, we are giving them what they’ve been asking for since Loop was introduced in 2019 – the ability to forgo single-use packaging and purchase the products they use every day in durable, reusable containers.”

Based in Landover, Md., Giant Food operates 164 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia, with approximately 20,000 associates. Included within the 164 stores are 153 full-service pharmacies, 83 full-service PNC Banks and 26 Starbucks locations. Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America


Nestlé Acquires Seattle’s Best Brand From Starbucks

Seattle's Best

Seattle's Best Coffee is getting a new owner. Coffee giant Starbucks is spinning off the brand to CPG behemoth Nestlé. Both companies are part of the Global Coffee Alliance formed in 2018 to bring more and better coffee products to market.

The Swiss company announced the acquisition this week, noting that it is part of Nestlé’s strategic focus on the coffee category. Nestlé already distributes Starbucks-brand packaged coffee as part of the Global Coffee Alliance and will add Seattle’s line of whole bean, roast and ground packaged coffee and K-cup pods. All together, Nestle will sell Seattle's Best, Starbucks and its own broad portfolio of coffee brands such as Nescafé, Nespresso and Blue Bottle.   

[Read more: "Sprouts Farmers Market to Debut New Coffee Concept in Phoenix"]

According to Starbucks, the sale will provide a more centralized coffee portfolio for retailers as well as foodservice operators. "We continue to deepen our partnership with Nestlé to deliver the best of the Starbucks experience to our customers in channels outside of our retail stores," explained Michael Conway, group president for Starbucks International and Channel Development. "We're confident that Nestlé will continue to grow the Seattle's Best Coffee brand as we focus on our strategy to elevate the premium coffee experience for consumers through the Starbucks brand."

David Rennie, head of Nestlé Coffee Brands, agreed. "Our partnership with Starbucks has confirmed Nestlé's leading position in the dynamic and growing global coffee market," he said. "With the well-known Seattle's Best Coffee brand, we will continue to build our leadership in coffee by offering consumers more choice for their everyday coffee."

Starbucks and Nestlé will continue to collaborate as part of the Alliance. The companies will focus on creating additional innovative products to bolster coffee brands and also expand the Starbucks brand on an international level.

The Seattle’s Best deal is expected to close by the end of this year, pending board and regulatory approval. Terms of the sale remain confidential.


Farm Boy to Open 9th Toronto Location

Farm Boy Teaser

Farm Boy, the fastest-growing fresh food retailer in the Canadian province of Ontario, will open its 45th location on Nov. 3 on St. Clair Avenue in Toronto.

The new 27,739-square-foot location will employ 139 associates and showcase Farm Boy’s more than 40 years of grocery retail experience. The new location will offer a large assortment of fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables; a broad selection of Canadian pork, chicken and beef; and chef-prepared marinated-meat creations and meal ideas.

Farm Boy’s grocery and dairy department delivers a vast selection of items, including more than 1,600 private label products and a variety of sweet treats made in the Farm Boy Bake Shop. Customers can also look forward to chef-inspired dishes, hot meals, and a salad bar and hot bar for grab-and-go options.

“For over 40 years, the Farm Boy experience has been rooted in fresh, wholesome food, along with exceptional customer service,” said Shawn Linton, president and general manager of Farm Boy, an Empire Co. Ltd. banner. “We are thrilled to be opening a location for our loyal midtown Toronto customers who incorporate Farm Boy meals and products into their day-to-day lives.

“Over the years, we have received so much support from our Toronto customers. Torontonians have come to know and love from Farm Boy a wide variety of fresh and unique private label products,” continued Linton.

Farm Boy opened eight stores in 2021 and most recently debuted its first store in Barrie, Ontario, on March 31. The retailer currently has 44 stores across the province, with further expansion plans underway.

Stellarton, Nova Scotia-based Empire is No. 22 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Natural Grocers Reveals Shopper Picks for Best Store-Brand Products

Natural Grocers Best of the Best

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage went public to see what shoppers think of its private label products. The natural food retailer is out with the winners of its second “Best of the Best” customer survey, which polled consumers about their favorite store brand items.

Customers got to pick their favorites across several categories, including grocery staples, health products and fresh foods. This year’s winners include the following Natural Grocers branded products:

• Overall product (excluding bulk and supplement items): Organic Dark Chocolate Bar with Sea Salt
• Bulk product: Fresh-Ground Almond Butter
• Supplement: B 100 Complex
• New product: Organic extra virgin coconut oil

[Read more: "Natural Grocers Launches New Own-Brand Coconut Oil"]

In addition, Natural Grocers queried shoppers about their favorite fresh foods. The overwhelming fresh produce winner for the second year in a row: organic Hass avocados. For the favorite organic product in general, shoppers chose the retailer’s organic pasture-raised eggs.

"From our sales information, we know which products do well in stores, but this survey opens a direct conversation with our customers. That was how our first 'Best of the Best' customer survey originated — we wanted to hear directly from our communities,” said Raquel Isely, VP of marketing. "Last year we enjoyed the dialogue this survey encouraged so much, that we decided to make it an annual practice at the end of each fiscal year."

Founded in 1955, Natural Grocers currently operates 164 stores in 21 states. The company is No. 95 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.