retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• The San Antonio Business Journal reports that HEB, having already garnered considerable attention for exclusively introducing Whataburger-branded ketchup, spicy ketchup and mustard in its stores, now is bringing Whataburger fries to its shelves.

The product is described as "a french fry cut from real potatoes that can be heated or eaten straight out of the bag."

“It has been a great partnership,” Whataburger Vice President of Retail Dino Del Nano said in a written statement. “Our customers’ reaction to the availability of our condiments in H-E-B stores has been incredible, and we anticipate the same response with the new Whatafries. Texans know to expect great products from both companies.”

The import of this went over my head until I spoke with Texans I know, who told me that this really is a big deal. So I bow, yet again, to the wisdom of the folks at HEB.

• In Elmira, New York, the Star-Gazette reports that Wegmans Food Markets and Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences "are scheduled to announce a partnership that is expected to mean new investment and sales for the state’s cheese producers ... The alliance is expected to open new opportunities for New York’s crop of rising cheese artisans, extend support for artisanal cheesemakers both large and small and increase economic opportunity for dairy farmers."

Columbus Business First reports that "Kroger Co. will open six more Little Clinic centers inside its Central Ohio supermarkets this summer, nearly doubling the medical care operations’ footprint in the region. The chain also is expanding a two-way referral and co-branding relationship with Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center that started with a trial run in Lewis Center ... Kroger is adding clinics because of increased patient volume and pressure from employers to keep down costs on emergency care."
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