New Hope Network is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Millennials shop multiple stores for groceries

Thinkstock millennial man grocery shopping with cellphone

Millennials are more likely than other age groups to shop three or more retail outlets for groceries each week, according to a new report from Acosta.

However, although price is a driving factor for most shoppers who report shopping multiple locations, millennials are the least likely of any age group to report price as a reason for spreading their grocery shopping around.

According to Acosta’s “Trip Drivers” Hot Topic Report, 76 percent of consumers who shop at least once per week said they visit two or more stores to buy groceries. Millennials are the most likely to shop at the most locations, with 44 percent saying they shop at three or more stores, compared with 29 percent of all shoppers.

Price is the biggest motivator for all shoppers visiting multiple outlets, with 60 percent agreeing that some products are priced lower at certain retailers. Forty-one percent said quality variability across different categories is a motivating factor in store-hopping, 33 percent said product availability is a factor and 23 percent cited convenience.

Among millennials, only 45 percent cited price as a key factor driving them to shop multiple stores. This age group is more likely to cite physical proximity and the availability of specific brands.

Millennials are also more likely to shop multiple retailers to ensure freshness, the report found. While 37 percent of shoppers said they make multiple trips to ensure their food is fresh, 65 percent of millennials said they make multiple trips or have multiple deliveries to receive the freshest possible food. That compares with 47 percent of Gen Xers, 25 percent of baby boomers and 22 percent of silents (age 70-plus).

“Shoppers appreciate having options, which is why we are seeing a rise in hopping from store to store for weekly grocery trips,” said Colin Stewart, senior VP at Jacksonville, Fla.-based Acosta. “People are motivated by not only good deals and fresh products, but also by brand loyalty, which can impact their decisions to either keep returning to a particular store, or hopping to another.”

This piece originally appeared on Supermarket News, a New Hope Network sister website. Visit the site for more grocery trends and insights.

5 protein powders for every consumer niche

Protein is the one macronutrient that's never taken a hit, as with carbohydrates and fat. Protein is everywhere today. Here’s a handful of new protein canisters to fill consumers’ shifting desires.

Chef-created Render brand products hit shelves

Render Render state bird seed

Meet Pilot, an independent R&D lab that works with a range of restaurants to support a range of food projects. “Chefs can hire Pilot to assist them in developing products, creating restaurant concepts, scaling operations, producing media content, or anything else they can dream of, all under their own name and brand,” says co-founder and CEO Dana Peck.

But for chefs who have a great idea but not the time, Pilot offers a brand called Render. “For Render, the chefs we collaborate with are involved in the creative process, they weigh in on the prototype development and approve the final product, and help to market it,” Peck explains. Otherwise, Pilot handles everything else, allowing busy chefs to make their ideas a reality without embarking on a full blown product development and marketing initiative that can take them away from their restaurants.

Here are just some of the innovative Render products hitting shelves in California natural food stores and online. In 2018, Peck hopes to reach to national distribution.

  • State Bird Seed: Created in collaboration with Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, award-winning chefs at Michelin-starred State Bird Provisions and The Progress in San Francisco, State Bird Seed is a snack made of puffed quinoa, seeds, nuts and spices, and inspired by a quinoa dish served at the restaurant.
  • On deck for spring is a new sparkling beverage line that blends whey with fruit, spices and floral ingredients.
  • Also hitting shelves spring 2018 will be a savory, still beverage made from pickle brine, vegetables and spices. “Picture tomato juice or a virgin Bloody Mary and then turn the volume way up,” says Peck.

[email protected]: Judge tells Whole Foods to re-open closed 365 store | Fresh moolah for NadaMoo

Whole Foods Market 365 by Whole Foods Market

A judge is forcing Whole Foods to reopen its failed 365 store

The retailer violated the terms of its lease with Bellevue Square mall and has 14 days to re-open, said a King County Superior Court judge. The lease required the store, which opened in September 2016 and closed in October due to its performance, to stay open for at least the first 10 years of the 20-year lease. The mall says that although the retailer has continued to pay rent, that's not enough—it wants the store to open and operate. Read more at Business Insider...


Sweet! Austin-based NadaMoo gets $4 million to expand

Canadian venture firm InvestEco Capital led the funding round for the coconut milk ice cream company, which uses ingredients that are organic, fair trade and GMO-free whenever possible. NadaMoo says it will use the funding to expand distribution, develop new products and add to its team. Read more at Austin American-Statesman…


Fast-growing natural foods grocery retailer names CFO

Natural Grocers appointed Todd Dissinger to succeed Sandra Buffa when she retires from the CFO position at the end of December. Dissinger is currently VP, treasurer of Natural Grocers. Read more at Chain Store Age…


The parable of Juicero: A tech lesson for 2017

The $700 futuristic juice machine is an example of what not to do in food tech. The company and the product evolved from the initially stated idea of using technology to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables in an affordable way to a product perceived as for and by the rich, backed by tech industry investors who saw an opportunity and money in food technology. “For years, Silicon Valley’s band of miracle-working health startups had hidden behind a smokescreen of slick marketing and perpetual caveats,” write Alyssa Bereznak of The Ringer. “Juicero is proof that there’s only so much profit the tech industry can squeeze out of pseudoscience until the empty calories become quite obvious.” Read more at The Ringer…


Cereal makers bringing consumers back to the bowl

It’s been a tough couple years in the cereal aisle, which saw unit sales drop 2.84 percent last year, according to IRI data, as consumers shun sugar and look for healthier, more balanced breakfast options. But big companies like General Mills and Kellogg remain committed to the category. Kellogg’s chairman said during a recent earnings call that the company hasn’t brought enough excitement to the category, especially to its adult-focused wellness brands, this year. The company plans to bring some innovation to some of its core products this year. Read more at Food Business News…

CBD science: Health conditions we know it’s good for

Thinkstock cannabis plant

Everyone knows about THC, and everyone is getting to know CBD. These are cannabinoids—phytochemicals within the Cannabis sativa plant with bioactive benefits. Specifically, cannabinoids are 21-carbon molecules that influence the body’s endocannabinoid receptors. Everything from brain function to the immune system to mental health is influenced by the endocannabinoid system. This system was teased out only in 1988, by Israeli researcher Raphael Mechoulam. But guess what? There are actually 150 cannabinoids all told that are unique within cannabis. Whoa. There’s much we still don’t know about Nature’s Most Nearly Perfect Plant.

On CBD itself, here’s what we DO know. There are at least a dozen different health conditions under research with cannabidiol. Of note is that dietary supplements play under a different set of rules than do drugs, so they cannot claim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. That means that some of the health conditions below—epilepsy, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, autism, glioblastoma—cannot be talked about in a health food store setting because these are diseases, which are out of bounds for dietary supplements.

Also of note, research studies do a poor job in characterizing the material under review, so in most cases we do not know whether this is hemp-derived CBD or marijuana-derived CBD, as is the case with the pharmaceutical drugs, Epidiolex and Sativex, under investigation and review by the FDA.

Epilepsy conditions

The two childhood-onset epilepsy conditions Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are what CBD will be approved for by the FDA within the next year. Epileptic seizures are what made the Charlotte’s Web strain of CBD famous and led to hundreds of families moving to Colorado when the state became the first in the union to open retail pot shops for medicinal purposes. There are now some states, such as Georgia, that have CBD-only laws, but not so much as medical marijuana available.

GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex is 100 percent CBD from marijuana. Sativex is a 50/50 THC/CBD, which has been approved in Canada (2005) and the UK (2010) for pain, spasticity, overactive bladder and some symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted using marijuana-derived Epidiolex to treat drug-resistant epilepsy in Dravet syndrome among 214 children whose seizures were not controlled by other drugs. Using Epidiolex along with a range of other drugs, researchers found a 39 percent reduction in seizures compared to 13 percent in the placebo group. In raw numbers, the median number of seizures declined from 12.4 to 5 a day in the CBD group, but from only 14.9 to 13 in the placebo group.


GW is also researching CBD:THC for autism, schizophrenia and glioblastoma. Glioblastoma is the particularly pernicious, aggressive form of brain cancer that killed Sen. Ted Kennedy and legendary professor John Messer and has afflicted Sen. John McCain. Preliminary studies show CBD could help with some of the adverse symptoms of the cancer. A meta-analysis published in August found CBD alone and with THC helped with cancer-related pain. A variety of doses ranging from 2.7-43.2 mg per day of THC and 0-40 mg per day of CBD were administered. Higher doses of THC were correlated with increased pain relief in some studies. One study found that significant pain relief was achieved in doses as low as 2.7-10.8 mg of THC in combination with 2.5-10.0 mg of CBD, but there was conflicting evidence on whether higher doses provide superior pain relief.


Studies have found that 160 mg per day is better than placebo for sleep duration and dream recall. Dosages of 40-80 mg per day had no benefit on sleep duration or time to get to sleep. While 160 mg is a rather large dose, and lower doses (still quite large) show no benefit, there is no shortage of anecdotes from people claiming CBD does indeed help with their sleep. Endocannabinoids have also been found to restore sleep in rats with insomnia.


British researchers earlier this year published a review of studies on cardiovascular effects with CBD. They found that CBD had a curious adaptogenic effect: Acute and chronic use of CBD had no effect on either blood pressure or heart rate under normal conditions, but it did reduce both blood pressure and heart rate in stressful conditions. And in a mouse study, they found that CBD increased blood flow to the brain in stroke conditions with mice.

Parkinson’s disease

This is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. The tell-tale sign is hand tremors. This deterioration of motor function is due to the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. There is no cure. Yet, one study in 2014 gave patients 75 mg per day or 300 mg per day of CBD, under the hypothesis that the endocannabinoid system might be a promising target of treatment. While there was no statistically significant differences in motor and general symptom score or possible neuroprotective effects, the group that took 300 mg per day of CBD did experience a significant improvement in well-being and quality of life. So there’s that.


GW Pharma’s Sativex (1:1 THC:CBD) was was associated in a study with reduced marijuana use, and reduced craving and withdrawal scores. And if you think that a little pot (the 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD) helped people deal with a lot of pot and it’s as simple as that, a different study investigated the influence the endocannabinoid system had on nicotine addiction—smoking cigarettes. Researchers gave 12 subjects a CBD vape pen and 12 others with a vape pen filled with nothing in particular. After one week, the placebo group smoked the same amount of cigarettes while the CBD-only group smoked 40 percent fewer cigarettes. 


In a multi-center human clinical study, THC/CBD spray used on 234 patients for 38 weeks showed a 39 percent reduction in pain, with at least half of all patients experiencing at least a clinically relevant 30 percent improvement with pain—and the pain reduction effects continued to increase with time up until the end of the nine-month study. Sleep quality also improved.


Some hemp oil extract companies are looking at potential performance pursuits through the CBD content. In a 2016 interview with Ethan Russo, MD, who was a senior medical advisor and study physician with GW Pharmaceuticals and past president of the international cannabinoid research society, he noted that “the sedation of the so-called indica strains is falsely attributed to CBD content when, in fact, CBD is stimulating in low and moderate doses.” Between the terpenes and sundry other cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant, there remains a wealth of botanical intelligence no doubt yet to come.

From dispelling misconceptions to understanding the latest science, the CBD industry has come a long way in just 12 months. Watch the free webinar, "CBD in Retail: A Year in Review" on-demand here.

hempproductsconnect2.pngHemp Products Connect directory: Explore and compare responsible hemp and CBD brands and products backed by New Hope Network Standards.

CEO: Sprouts ready for digital

Sprouts Farmers Market quarterly results

Sprouts is ready for digital.

“We’re actually looking forward to things going online,” said CEO Amin Maredia. “And if the customer preference goes that way, we actually think that’s a benefit to Sprouts.”

Maredia said the retailer’s retail strategy puts the company in a good position to capitalize on growing e-commerce sales. His comments were made during Barclays Eat, Sleep, Play Conference on Dec. 6. Maredia pointed to recent findings by Sprouts’ research team that show the majority of shoppers choose a retailer with a physical location within seven minutes of their homes.

“If you’re a conventional who has stores every two miles, three miles, you’re basically cannibalizing your own sales,” he said.

Instead, Sprouts has opted to not oversaturate the playing field. In 2018, the company plans to have a presence in 18 or 19 states, but will only open about 32 new locations. The company currently operates in 15 states.  

Focusing on suburban, or what Maredia calls “semi-edge or semi-urban” areas, the retailer is not investing in the heart of more densely populated territories, but rather setting up shop on the perimeter. This strategy, Meredia said, gives Sprouts needed agility to both serve those who seek a brick-and-mortar experience and to also offer its services via delivery to urban territories without investing in more stores.

As digital becomes more commonplace—Maredia expects it to grow in popularity at a significant clip over the next few years, especially in urban areas—Sprouts believes it is in an ideal position to capitalize. “That’s the component that I think that we think is a structural advantage because generally our stores are spaced wider apart than the conventional stores.”

According to Maredia, customers who currently shop in-store will remain loyal, whether it be by continuing to visit a physical store or by shopping online. Customers that are not in close proximity to a store—such as in an urban area—can be introduced to the brand through e-commerce.

Based in Phoenix, Sprouts finished the third quarter ending Oct. 1 with comparable store sales growth of 4.6 percent and opened eight new stores. As of Nov. 2, three additional stores had also been opened by the company.

To date, Sprouts has a presence in 15 states within the U.S. and fields more than 280 locations.

This piece originally appeared on Supermarket News, a New Hope Network sister website. Visit the site for more grocery trends and insights.

[email protected]: Animal antibiotic use highest for cattle | Packaging design trends for 2018

Thinkstock Cattle in a pen

Nearly half the antibiotics used in farming go to cows

A new report from the Food and Drug Administration indicates that American farmers are decreasing antibiotic use on animals slaughtered for food—the first decrease since the agency began publishing such data in 2009. The more enlightening aspect of the report, however, was the call out that cattle is the primary recipient of antibiotics, not poultry (about 43 percent). In recent years, the poultry industry has been proactive about reducing antibiotics usage while beef and pork have lagged behind. Read more at Quartz...


Trends to watch for in 2018—and beyond

With the continuation of 2018 trend predictions, the Daymon team states what company decisions will continue to influence packaging design trends, and what they’re keeping an eye on. Transparency on labels, exclusive or seasonal product experimentation, one-for-one and other charitable models, and an e-commerce focus made the list. Read more at Daymon...


Sweet! Austin-based NadaMoo gets $4 million to expand

InvestEco Capital, a Canadian venture firm that says it primarily invests in “companies that promote health and sustainability in the food sector,” had given $4 million to NadaMoo. The money will go to the Austin-based brand to expand its retail footprint, according to executives at InvestEco. Founded in 2004, the family-owned company will continue to hold a majority stake in the business even after InvestEco Capital’s investment. Read more at Austin American-Statesman...


Quorn agrees to change labels to reveal main ingredient is mold

Meat-alternative brand Quorn is getting a makeover. A class action settlement agreement between Quorn Foods Inc. and a woman who filed a civil lawsuit that commenced on Sept. 1 requires the products get new labels prominently declaring they contain mold. Products that mycoprotein make up more than 50 percent of the ingredients will have to carry the statement that mycoprotein is a mold and a member of the fungi family. Read more at Food Safety News...


Tyson Foods raises stake in plant-based protein maker Beyond Meat

Tyson Foods announced the company has raised its 5 percent stake in plant-based protein brand Beyond Meat. Deals of the lastest investment were not disclosed. Read more at Reuters...

UNFI breaks expectations in first quarter

UNFI logo

UNFI’s fiscal year is off to a successful start that even surprised the natural foods distributor as it reported its first-quarter earnings.

Net sales increased 7.9 percent, racing past the initial 2018 guidance of 3.8 percent to 5.8 percent growth.

“There’s a lot of consumer attention for the kind of products we sell, and I think the attention in the space has really picked up and that’s translated into higher volumes,” said UNFI Chairman and CEO Steven L. Spinner.

The company has seen sales lift across all channels and retailer sizes, he said, even though larger retailers are growing natural products sales faster than the smaller outlets. That growth, though, is not at the expense of independents, leaders noted.

Sales to UNFI’s top 24 customers, excluding No. 1, grew 10 percent.

By channel, sales growth compared with the first quarter of 2017 broke down like this:

  • Supernatural: 14.3 percent, 34.7 percent of sales of total UNFI sales.
  • Supermarket: 4.7 percent, 28.6 percent of sales.
  • Independent: 6.6 percent, 26 percent of sales.
  • Foodservice: 1.2 percent, percentage of sales not quoted.
  • Ecommerce: 32.1 percent, percentage of sales not quoted.

What’s driving excitement? Spinner said natural products are more desirable, pricing has become more competitive as the gap between conventional and better-for-you products closes, and the industry has experienced long periods of limited inflation.

The company reported these first-quarter fiscal 2018 highlights:

  • Net sales increased 7.9 percent to $2.46 billion compared to $2.28 billion for the same period last fiscal year.
  • Gross margin for the quarter was 14.94 percent, a 38 basis point decrease over last year’s first quarter. The decrease was primarily because of a shift in customer mix where sales growth with lower margin customers outpaced growth with other customers.
  • Total operating expenses increased $16.4 million to $312.1 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2018, compared to $295.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2017. Total operating expenses were 12.7 percent of net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2018, a decrease of 28 basis points compared to the same period last fiscal year.
  • Earnings per diluted common share was 60 cents, compared to 58 cents for the same period last year.

The company also released revised 2018 guidance. UNFI now estimates:

  • Net sales in the range of approximately $9.84 billion to $10 billion, an increase of 6.2 percent to 7.8 percent over fiscal 2017 net sales, compared to the previous estimate of $9.63 billion to $9.81 billion.
  • Earnings per diluted share for fiscal 2018 in the range of approximately $2.72 to $2.80, an increase of approximately 6.3 percent to 9.4 percent over fiscal 2017 earnings per diluted share of $2.56, compared to the previous estimate of $2.67 to $2.77.
  • A fiscal 2018 tax rate to be in the range of 40 percent to 40.3 percent, compared to previous guidance of 40.3 percent to 40.7 percent.
  • Capital expenditures as a percentage of net sales and free cash flow are unchanged from the company’s previous guidance.

[email protected]: Advice for food startups in the new Amazon-Whole Foods world | A buyer for Vitamin World?

Thinkstock organic fruit spreads

The whole truth: A wake-up call and six lessons for emerging CPG brands

For the natural foods industry, Whole Foods has been more than a grocery store—it’s been a launchpad and incubator for emerging brands because of its localized buying. Most industry watchers see more consolidated buying in Whole Foods’ future, which would presumably mean less opportunity for small brands. So, what now? Kelli Masilun, vice president of client development at Concentric, draws a few lessons from this—first that brands need to create multiple revenue streams to avoid being overly dependent on one retailer, and also that they need to have a long-term distribution strategy and need to be able to tell a bigger story to both consumer and retailer. Read more at Forbes…


Vitamin World receives $26M bid from Latium Enterprises

Latium Enterprises has reportedly signed a letter of intent to pay $26 million for the 150 or so remaining stores operated by Vitamin World, the New York-based supplement retailer that filed for bankruptcy in September, according to court documents reported by Newsday.  Latium is a financing, consulting and commercial property ownership and management firm also based in New York. Read more at Newsday…


3 in 4 consumers hop grocery stores

Three-quarters of consumers visit more than one store per week for their groceries, according to a new report from Acosta, and two-thirds visit two to three retailers a week. Sixty percent of shoppers will leave one store to find a product for a lower price at another retailer. Read more at Progressive Grocer…


P&G becomes improbable supporter of ingredient disclosure rule

Pressure from consumers and retailers to disclose or even remove certain potentially harmful ingredients used in household products brought the maker of Mr. Clean and Comet to the side of transparency. After years of fighting the notion that they should give away their proprietary formulas by disclosing ingredients, P&G and other companies joined lawmakers and environmental groups in support of a new California law that will require extensive ingredient labeling. But some trade groups are pushing back. Read more at Bloomberg…


Emotional connection drives brand loyalty for 82% of consumers, survey finds

Most consumers who feel emotionally connected to a brand would be willing to spend more with that brand than with others, according to a survey by Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute. The survey also found that millennials and urban dwellers lead in emotional engagement with brands.  Read more at Fierce Retail…