Auntie Anne's has launched a line of clothing, home goods and accessories called For the Love of Pretzels, with pretzel-themed original designs. The collection includes T-shirts, sneakers, blankets and throw pillows, and profits will go to the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Kroger is celebrating Earth Day throughout the month of May with its Sustainability Lives Here campaign, which features more than $100 of coupons on more than 50 brands of sustainably produced products. Based on redemptions of these coupons, Kroger will donate the value of up to 1 million meals to Feeding America.
Amazon posted an increase in grocery sales in the first quarter of 2018, with increasing orders of perishables such as milk showing that consumers' views on online shopping are changing. "Consumers are becoming less selective about what groceries they're buying online and are beginning to treat Amazon just like any other grocery store," says a report from One Click Retail.
Purple is increasingly breaking out as a desired color in a wide variety of foods and beverages from ice cream to spaghetti. New innovations by ingredient manufacturers have brought natural purple coloring to the mainstream, often derived from juice, purple corn or flavonoids known as anthocyanins.
Chefs and restaurants are introducing consumers to more Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors with ingredients including tahini, sumac and the spice mix za'atar. Pomegranates are also proving popular, and chef Heidi Krahling of Insalata's in San Anselmo, Calif., turns pomegranate molasses into a marinade for lamb skewers.
Coca-Cola is seeing positive results following rebranding efforts for its Diet Coke and Zero Sugar lines, with the latter enjoying double-digit growth in the first quarter of 2018. Its carbonated Smartwater and Dasani brands also saw growth, and the US retail value of its Topo Chico mineral-water line rose more than 30% during the quarter, the company said.
School officials in a California district are working to introduce students to healthier options, a move that has helped obesity rates drop by 17% since 2010. Efforts include a community garden, healthier meals in the cafeteria and fewer sugary drinks on campus.
Hormel Foods worked with design and marketing contractors to create a premium packaging experience for its high-end, online-exclusive Curemaster Reserve spiral-sliced ham. The packaging emphasizes the product's small-batch quality, featuring natural elements such as kraft paper, a mesh bag, paper grommets and labeled glaze jars.
Subscription services thrive because they provide a high-value experience for their patrons. Subscription services that succeed are those that work well with the target community, offer a convenient service with value, provide the element of surprise in every box and feature excellent customer service, Matthew Gallagher writes.
Once the supporter of new, natural brands, Whole Foods is becoming less attractive to startups due to higher costs and other issues that went into effect following its acquisition by Amazon. Other grocers are starting to pick up where Whole Foods left off, with retailers like Kroger, Albertsons and Sprouts making room on store shelves for small upstarts, writes Krystal Hu.
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