Mark Hamstra

Supermarket News
How suppliers are spurring sales 
Retailers’ supplier partners are inciting trial and improving sales with an array of strategies ranging from product innovations geared to specific consumer sets.
Butternut and beyond: Culinary versatility, attractive displays propel winter squash sales 
No retailer’s fall produce department is complete without a colorful display of seasonal squashes, even if some of the most interesting-looking varieties are the least popular among consumers.
Smoother sailing for perishables prices in year ahead 
Outlook for fresh departments calls for low overall inflation.
Craft beverages tap into local, premium trends 
Consumer concerns about the healthfulness of carbonated soft drinks — along with a growing interest in locally made products, innovative flavors and more natural ingredients — are playing right into the hands of the craft soda industry.
Innovation and performance: 2015 nonfood category guide 
A number of nonfood categories posted considerable sales gains in supermarkets over the past year as brand manufacturers stepped up innovation and product performance.
Deli side dishes evolve for Millennials 
Young consumers are increasingly interested in healthful offerings and new and interesting flavors when it comes to side dishes and salads in the deli.
Summer offers tie-in opportunities for bakery 
Summer yields a wide variety of fresh fruits that can be incorporated into bakery items, and summer activities like grilling and picnics also lend themselves to multi-department promotions.
Souper Suppers: Burgeoning lines of cooking soups and sauces facilitate meal prep 
Industry trends around convenience, flavor and authenticity are converging in the skillets of the nation’s home cooks, where a seemingly endless array of new, shelf-stable sauces is making it easier to prepare a sophisticated meal.
Time for a Change: Supermarkets drive diaper loyalty with savings programs 
Disposable baby diapers may be ideally suited for the fast-growing e-commerce economy, but retailers are working hard to retain share with sharp pricing, membership clubs that encourage loyalty, and other incentives tailored to attract young parents to the store.
Whole Foods’ expansion strategy raises questions  1
Industry observers are wondering whether Whole Foods' long-term growth strategy might be veering off course.
Sprouts plants fresh-focused stores across the South 
Sprouts Farmers Market continues to prove itself as the everyman’s answer to Whole Foods and a viable competitor to traditional supermarkets.
Harris Teeter could impact Kroger expansion plans 
Kroger Co.’s much-anticipated new-market entry, which the company in 2012 said it had begun exploring, has been sidelined by its 2013 acquisition of Harris Teeter.
Save-A-Lot takes more control of its destiny 
Supervalu’s limited-assortment Save-A-Lot chain is poised for more aggressive growth this year with a reformulated strategy centered around company-owned store openings and a tighter focus on operating standards.
Raising the bar: Specialty flavors elevate everyday chocolate offerings 

Buoyed by the experimental palates of today’s consumers, retailers and suppliers are taking some of the attributes of specialty chocolates to the mainstream.

Safeway East could benefit from proximity to Acme, but when?  5
The proximity of a state-of-the-art warehouse supplying Albertsons' Acme stores to Safeway’s 127-store Eastern Division has raised speculation that the chains could seek to consolidate their logistics at some point.
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