1. Whole Foods to Reduce Food Waste by Supporting Community Food Resources
Whole Foods Market announced its new program Nourishing our Neighborhoods, which aims to expand resources for community-based food rescue organizations. Whole Foods’ donations will provide 21 refrigerated vans to redistribution programs in the U.S. and Canada. The vans will transport food donated by Whole Foods Market and other grocers to the tune of 20,000 pounds of food per week per vehicle, totaling an estimated 182 million meals over the 10-year lifespan anticipated for each van.
Read more on The Produce News here: Whole Foods introduces food redistribution program to reduce food waste
2. H-E-B Bets on Food Halls as Way Forward for Foodservice
Texas grocery chain H-E-B recently debuted its six-restaurant food hall in Austin, Texas. Food halls are typically able to offer lower prices and open spacing, so they may present a more successful restaurant format for operating in the Coronavirus era. H-E-B’s inaugural food hall offers takeout, delivery, and limited capacity seating indoors and on an outside patio. As foodservice operators look for new ways to configure their business to the realities of operating in a pandemic, food halls may offer a promising alternative to restaurant dining.
Read more on Progressive Grocer here: H-E-B Carves New Path for Foodservice
3. UFCW Campaign Urges Renewed Hazard Pay for Grocery Workers
The United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW) union has launched a new campaign aimed at urging grocery retailers to reinstate hazard pay for frontline workers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning with “worker actions” being held in at least 26 cities in states hard-hit by the virus, the campaign will also include online media and advertising initiatives to connect customers with essential workers and illustrate the danger posed to food workers by the virus. UFCW says hazard pay is essential in adequately compensating workers for their work and their potential exposure to the virus.
Read more on Supermarket News here: UFCW kicks off new national campaign to restore COVID-19 hazard pay
4. Inaugural Amazon Fresh Grocery Store to Open in L.A.
Amazon has unveiled its first Amazon Fresh brick-and-mortar grocery store location in the L.A. area. The store promises customers a “seamless grocery shopping experience,” integrating online and in-store shopping and offering conveniences like Dash Cart, a "smart" shopping cart which tracks purchases to enable an expedited check-out. While the store is currently operating only for invited shoppers, it plans to open to the general public in the coming weeks. Amazon plans to launch several additional stores in California and in the Chicago area.
Read more on Supermarket News here: Amazon unveils first Amazon Fresh grocery store in Woodland Hills
5. IFDA Report Finds Flexibility and Innovation Crucial to Independent Restaurant Success
In a recent report by the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), researchers found that innovation and flexibility are essential elements of successful independent operators. Independent restaurants, which make up a whopping 68% of the U.S.’s 700,000+ restaurants and bars, will have to continue acting nimbly as they adapt to the changing dynamics of the pandemic. By understanding this evolution and supporting independent operators, distributors have the opportunity to work with them as strategic partners and strengthen customer relationships.
Read the IFDA report here: Flexibility and Innovation: Hallmarks of Successful Independent Restaurants
Interested in more industry news? Check back on the iTrade blog as we publish our takes on the most important stories in the food and beverage industry every week.