Mark Hamstra

Supermarket News
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.
Rx-tra special: Retail pharmacies expand reach with specialty services 
The specialty pharmacy business is an exclusive club, but more and more supermarket pharmacies are paying their dues and gaining access to this fast-growing segment of the healthcare industry.
Coborn's follows careful growth plan in North Dakota 
Cash Wise Foods is the name of the concept that Coborn’s Inc. has used to expand into the booming oil fields of North Dakota, but it could also be used to describe the company’s prudent investment strategy.
Bakery partnerships enhance quality, local appeal  1
Supermarket partnerships with well-respected, locally owned artisan bakeries can help elevate the quality of the grocers’ bakery offerings and boost their connections with the community.
In ethnic bakeries, product crossover goes both ways 
For many operators the attraction of ethnic products spreads beyond the original target group and begins to draw more mainstream shoppers. Meanwhile some ethnic supermarket operators are expanding their offerings with more mainstream product.
How H-E-B became Houston’s hometown grocer  1
Last month’s opening of a gleaming, new 91,000-square-foot supermarket — complete with an in-store, chef-driven restaurant — in Houston’s tony Tanglewood area stands as a monument to the 25-year arc of H-E-B’s expansion in the market.
Whole Foods takes on high-volume Fairway 
Whole Foods Market’s newest New York City location isn’t its largest or most beautifully laid out, but its opening in mid-February could have some long-term effects against other supermarkets.
Low gas prices pump retailer profits  2
U.S. consumers will have an estimated $135 billion more spending money this year because of lower gas prices at the pump, and indications point to at least a portion of that extra cash winding up in supermarket tills.
Gallery: Whole Foods expands in NYC
Whole Foods Market on Feb. 18 debuted its first store on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Gallery: Cubs and pubs at FMI Connect
Food Marketing Institute marked the final evening of FMI Connect with a party at Wrigley Field, the home of baseball’s Chicago Cubs.
Attendees support annual FMI conference 
Although some retailers and wholesalers said they thought attendance was a little lighter than they expected at FMI Connect and United Fresh 2014, they were broadly and enthusiastically supportive of the return to an every-year educational conference and trade show, and also appreciated having the event in Chicago again.
CGA’s Fong cites lessons from Prop 37 battle 
The California Grocers Association learned some valuable lessons about battling GMO labeling through its campaign against Proposition 37 in that state, said Ronald Fong, president and CEO of CGA.
Safeway makes pharmacy the center of health and wellness 
Safeway is taking a total-store approach to becoming a health and wellness destination for its customers, with pharmacy at the center, said Darren Singer, SVP of pharmacy, health and wellness at the Pleasanton, Calif.-based company.
Facebook’s role grows in the grocery aisle: Panel 
Social media is playing an increasingly important role in the grocery shopping process, said panelists at FMI Connect this week in Chicago.
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