• Lund Food Holdings announced that it is employing a new "automated retail shelf intelligence solution in every Lunds & Byerlys grocery store."
The company says that "using patented computer vision and artificial intelligence to scan all products and categories across all stores," the company now will have "almost instantaneous access to actual shelf inventory conditions, enabling the company to improve sales, optimize labor and deliver against its commitment to give customers the best shopping experience possible."
According to the announcement, the system will offer "an improved omnichannel experience that reduces product substitutions based on a more accurate e-commerce catalog … worker efficiencies through more effective omnichannel product picking and faster, more accurate inventory gap scanning … (and) improved in-stock levels to increase sales and customer satisfaction."
The program is being powered by Pensa Systems.
• From the New York Times:
"The Food and Drug Administration said on Monday that it was looking into reports that thousands of people had become ill after eating Lucky Charms, the frosted toasted oat cereal with marshmallows marketed as 'magically delicious.'
"The investigation comes after more than 3,000 people who said they had been sickened after eating Lucky Charms submitted reports to iwaspoisoned.com, a site where consumers can share reports of illnesses that they suspect are related to food products. Several reports on the site detailed bouts of diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain and vomiting after consumption.
"The F.D.A. said in a statement on Monday that it had received more than 100 submissions related to Lucky Charms this year through its own reporting system for adverse events and product complaints." General Mills has said than an internal investigation did not find "any evidence of consumer illness linked to the consumption of Lucky Charms.”
• From the Bangor Daily News:
"Hannaford Supermarkets … announced it will fully transition to renewable energy by 2024.
"That comes as Maine moves to drastically cut carbon emissions in line with Gov. Janet Mills’ pledge to make the state carbon neutral by 2045 and as other Maine businesses, including New Balance, move to reduce their impact on the climate.
"Over the past decade, the regional supermarket chain has sourced about 30 percent of its electricity from renewables through partnerships with 30 community solar projects across Maine, Massachusetts and New York. That amounts to about 86.4 million watts."
• From AL.com:
"The popular convenience store chain Wawa could soon be coming to Alabama.
"In a release, the Pennsylvania-based chain said it was planning to expand its footprint into the 'Florida panhandle region, along with adjacent markets of Pensacola, Panama City and Tallahassee, along with Mobile, Alabama.'
Current plans are for Wawa to open 40 stores in these markets with the first locations expected to open in 2024."
• From Axios:
The National Audubon Society is introducing a new certification program: Cattle ranchers who can show that their ecological practices will restore bird populations will earn the designation "bird-friendly beef" for their products."
According to the story, "Three billion North American birds have perished since the 1970s, and global warming may push many more to the brink of extinction, per Audubon," which created a "bird-friendliness index" designed to "evaluate conservation success in grasslands, where bird populations are particularly hard hit."
"For the first time, Audubon says, consumers 'can contribute to grassland conservation efforts by selectively purchasing beef from Audubon-certified farms and ranches'."