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[email protected]: New formats broaden yogurt's appeal | Kroger offloads convenience stores

Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

Yogurt sales approach $9 billion

Yogurt sales have grown at an annual rate of about 2 percent over the last five years, according to market research firm Packaged Facts, and increasing consumption combined with a shift toward higher-margin products should keep them moving upward. Yogurt drinks are becoming more popular and broadening its appeal, as are new flavors in new formats—like glass jars, for example. The firm also expects major manufacturers to pursue opportunities in niche products, like plant-based yogurts. General Mills, for one, has said it’s working on updating its yogurt portfolio. Read more at Supermarket News…

 

Kroger to sell its convenience stores to UK’s EG Group for $2.15 billion

British gas station operator EG Group will buy Kroger’s nearly 800 convenience stores, including Loaf ‘N Jug and Kwik Shop, that bring in annual revenue of about $4 billion. Kroger, which is doubling down on its grocery business with plans to revamp stores, cut prices and boost in-store technology, plans to use the money to buy back shares and lower debt. Read more at CNBC…

 

Booming Costco courts millennials with online and delivery, but stores still rule

Sales, profits and stocks are all surging for Costco as it plans an expansion into China next year. Its in-store traffic grew 5.9 percent last quarter—the fastest its grown in at least a decade—and despite a competitive environment that’s caused other retailers to slow their growth, it plans to open 20 to 25 new stores this year. While baby boomers are the chain’s biggest spenders, millennials make up 40 percent of its new member sign-up—an indication that Costco will make moves to woo this digital-savvy generation. It demoes products sold online in store, partners with Instacart for same-day delivery and operates e-commerce sites in six markets. Read more at Seattle Times…

 

A Chicago jerky startup made an all-natural alternative to Slim Jims

As a follow-up to its original beef jerky products, Chicago-based Chomps has released new snack sticks intended to closely mimic the gas-station snack favorite. The company employs five people and is currently hiring. Read more at Chicago Inno…

 

River Market Co-op celebrates 40 years

With more than 5,000 members, River Market Co-op is a vital part of its Stillwater, Minnesota community, putting nearly $2.5 million directly back into the local economy last year. Read more at St. Croix Valley area Lowdown…

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