Washington, D.C., Chicago and Newark, N.J., are among the cities that have submitted pitches to host Amazon's second North American headquarters and reap the 50,000 jobs it will bring. Amazon, which will accept pitches for four days this week, expects to invest about $5 billion in the city it chooses.
Health foods retailer Natural Grocers has seen significant growth and strong customer loyalty bolstered by its commitment to maintaining high standards for the food it sells, including free-range eggs, pastured organic milk and 100% organic produce, according to Alan Lewis, the retailer's director of special projects. "We've built a strong, loyal customer base that appreciates knowing all of our produce is certified organic," he said.
Trader Joe's has finished opening its 14 new stores planned for 2017, bringing the retailer's new store count to one more than last year. However, Trader Joe's store openings this year came in below its average of 23 new stores per year over the past decade.
Dollar stores stand to remain immune to disruption by Amazon for some time to come, according to a Morgan Stanley survey. The brick-and-mortar retailers cater to extremely price-sensitive consumers who spend an average of less than $10 per visit, while getting the best prices on Amazon requires an annual or monthly membership fee.
Consumer packaged goods brands are facing a potential threat from Amazon, which may launch its own competing products. Selling on Amazon in that environment could be perilous, so brands are exploring alternatives to the giant retailer for their e-commerce offerings.
Food retailers can use cross-promotion to boost sales in the fresh and frozen sections through strategies including placing mobile freezers in the fresh department or using seasonal pairings to create an occasion for putting a display of fresh food in the frozen aisle, industry experts said. To avoid the challenges associated with the logistics of physically cross-promoting foods between the fresh and frozen sections, retailers can also consider using price-point promotions that connect foods across the store, such as apples and frozen pie shells, they said.
Blueberries have become a bigger crop for Washington, which now ranks first among states in production of the fruit, according to the Washington Blueberry Commission. "The health effects of blueberries really stimulated consumption and so the demand went up, the price went up and growers started planting," said Alan Schreiber, executive director of the commission.
A tearless sweet onion developed by Bayer Crop Science will be unveiled at PMA's Fresh Summit before rolling out to retailers later this year. The Sunions variety took about 30 years to develop, and no batches will ship until a panel of sensory experts vouches that the onions are at "peak flavor and tearlessness."
The agriculture industries in the US, Mexico and Canada have benefited from the North American Free Trade Agreement, but renegotiating some parts of NAFTA can provide more opportunities for US food producers, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said. He also shared thoughts on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, climate change and President Donald Trump's understanding of agriculture.
Houston brewery 8th Wonder will get into the distilling business, with plans to open a facility across the street from its brewery. It intends to start with an agave spirit, a vodka and a gin as its first products, the company said.
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