retail news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary...

• Kroger has been named as the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Black Pearl Award for advancing food safety and quality by the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), which names one company annually for its efforts to advance food safety and quality through consumer programs, employee relations, educational activities, adherence to standards, and support of the goals and objectives of the IAFP. reports that Walmart has begun a hardball ad campaign in Florida, suggesting that Publix shoppers can get lower prices on the same times if they were just to shop at Walmart. While the story says that a price check indicates that this is a reasonable claim, once one factors in coupons and BOGO offers, Publix is more than competitive with Walmart on price.

• The Napa Valley Register reports that the 130-year-old Oakville Grocery, closed for renovations since January, will reopen for business on May 22.

According to the story, "Leading the kitchen and overseeing the market’s revamped culinary program is rising star Chef Jason Rose, formerly of Ram’s Gate Winery in Sonoma ... Chef Rose’s new menu will feature seasonal prepared foods, made-to-order sandwiches and salads, breads, cheeses, charcuterie and baked goods. The ingredients are sourced from nearby farms, including Rudd Farm and Orchards on Mount Veeder.

"The new market will also offer an espresso bar, with an option for ordering coffee from a take-out window at the front of the store, and an ice cream counter with cones and cups of Three Twins organic ice cream.

"Neighborhood wines are available for purchase by the bottle and the glass. Other products for sale include local olive oils and vinegars, mustards, handmade preserves, candies and other specialty foods. Just-picked fruits and vegetables, all sourced from Rudd Farms, will be for sale at the Farm Stand outside the market."

I'd just like to say that the world is a better place with a place like the Oakville Grocery in it. Simple as that.

• The Detroit News reports that Kellogg's has announced that "it will refresh its brand, introducing an updated version of its classic logo, adding a consumer-friendly website and placing a heavier emphasis on the importance of breakfast ... Kellogg has launched to connect with younger consumers and will add a new tagline — "Let's Make Today Great" — which the company says reflects the reasons consumers choose Kellogg's brands."

• The Associated Press reports that Nash Finch's U Save Foods subsidiary has agreed to buy the 18-unit, Omaha-based No Frills Supermarkets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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