retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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

• Published reports say that General Mills this week will have to deal with a shareholder proposal that would require it to eliminate GMOs from all the products it manufactures. The proposal is being opposed by an organization calling itself the National Center for Public Policy Research, which calls it a "junk science proposal."

Advertising Age reports that Hormel Foods is launching a new campaign to support its Skippy peanut butter brand, which it acquired last year from Unilever.

The tagline is "Skippy Yippee," and is the first ad campaign supporting the brand in five years.

Maybe it's just what one is brought up eating. But every once in a while, I just crave a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread … and it has to be Skippy peanut butter and Welch's grape jelly. It's what my mom made, and I'm a product of my environment.

• The Wall Street Journal reports that PepsiCo has said that it "plans to phase out equipment with hydroflourocarbons, as part of its effort to fight climate change.

"The snack and beverage giant said it has a goal for all of its future point-of-sale equipment purchased in the U.S.--such as coolers, vending machines and fountain dispensers—to be HFC-free by 2020. HFCs are a commonly used chemical coolant that is considered a potent greenhouse gas."

CNN reports that UPS "announced plans Monday to bring in-store 3-D-printing services to nearly 100 stores across the country, billing itself as the first national retailer to do so … With the UPS system, customers can submit their own designs for objects like product prototypes, engineering parts and architectural models that are then printed on a professional-quality 3-D printer made by Stratasys."

According to the story, "The program started as a pilot at six locations last year, and UPS says those stores 'saw demand for 3-D print continuing to increase across a broad spectrum of customers'."

• Worth noting that Fresh Thyme Farmers Market will be opening two stores in Indianapolis this Thursday - the sixth and seventh store opened by the company, which positions itself as "a new full-service specialty retailer focusing on fresh, healthy, natural and organic offerings, all at amazing values."

Fresh Thyme says that its goal is to have 60 stores open by 2019.

Just another example of a company that believes that while Whole Foods has opened the door on a specific market, it also has created opportunities for other companies to come in and undercut it on price.
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