Industry News

Judge says retailer must honor 20-year lease [...]
Sat, Dec 09, 2017
Supermarket News
Ahold Delhaize USA division created; led by Kevin Holt [...]
Fri, Dec 08, 2017
Supermarket News
Heavy saturation of physical retail requiring stores to adapt [...]
Fri, Dec 08, 2017
Supermarket News
Consumer excitement for better-for-you foods boosted sales beyond expectations for UNFI. Here is how the numbers added up in the company's first fiscal quarter. [...]
Fri, Dec 08, 2017
Supermarket News
By: Rob Rosado, Senior Director, Food and Health Policy, Food Marketing Institute Within the last two weeks, U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and conservative watchdog groups declared that now is the time for Congress to finally fix FDA's “menu labeling” rule. For several years, FMI has been seeking some flexibility under FDA's “menu labeling” rule, so supermarkets can implement and provide calorie and other nutritional information that makes sense for the types of foods they offer and the customers they serve.  The supermarket industry, as a whole, has invested up to a billion dollars to implement the regulations and come into compliance, but significant concerns remain that require Congressional action. Earlier this year, FDA extended the menu labeling rule compliance date to May 2018 and opened up a process for restaurants, retailers and other foodservice operators to be heard about ways that common sense and flexibility could be incorporated into the agency's final “menu labeling” rule.  FMI, on behalf of the supermarket industry, participated in this process by submitting 32 pages of substantive comments that would help reduce the regulatory burden and increase flexibility in how food retailers provide meaningful nutrition information to their customer.  Unfortunately, the Nov. 7, 2017, FDA draft guidance was insufficient and effectively closed the door on any modifications to the menu labeling rule and committed to enforcement beginning in May 2018.  The guidance does not include the formal enforcement protections for good-faith compliance efforts, does not substantively allow use of a centrally located, prominent menu board for salad bars and other food displays, and does not preserve the ability to sell locally made and locally sourced foods.  FMI continues to support enactment of the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act (H.R. 772/S. 261) to provide liability and enforcement protections for good-faith compliance efforts, allow the use of a centrally located, prominent menu board for salad bars and other food displays, and preserve locally made and locally sourced foods.  Members of Congress and conservative watchdog groups agree that Congressional action is needed. With the May 2018 compliance date fast-approaching, food retailers must have liability and enforcement protections to provide certainty after having spent billions of dollars and thousands of hours to implement the regulations in their stores. The enforcement protections provide for a 90-day corrective period if an inspector identifies something that is out of compliance.  The liability protections maintain federal and state's ability to inspect, enforce and bring action but protect against private right-of-actions. Please ask your Members of Congress to support these protections provided in the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act. For more resources on menu labeling implementation, visit FMI.org/menu-labeling.  [...]
Fri, Dec 08, 2017
FMI News
Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee has highlighted concerns about a “lack of consensus” over the impact Brexit may have on existing European and global commitments to curb F-Gas emissions in the UK. [...]
Fri, Dec 08, 2017
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
The Sunny Plumber has been named the 2017 “Contractor of the Year” by the Metro Phoenix Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors Association. Dennis Correll, executive director of the Arizona/Metro Phoenix Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors Association, presented the prestigious award to The Sunny Plumber at the association’s annual dinner in November. [...]
Fri, Dec 08, 2017
ACHR News
Climate Control Experts has announced their expansion into the Austin, Texas market with the recent acquisition of a Texas Contractor’s License. With existing operations in four markets - Las Vegas, California, Phoenix, and Tucson - Climate Control Experts is responding to the increasing growth in the heating, cooling and indoor air quality industry. [...]
Fri, Dec 08, 2017
ACHR News
Company plans aggressive real estate expansion for 2018 [...]
Fri, Dec 08, 2017
Supermarket News
Company points to real estate strategy as proof of e-commerce strength [...]
Thu, Dec 07, 2017
Supermarket News
By: Rick Stein, Vice President of Fresh Foods, Food Marketing Institute In thinking through the conversations at the FMI Executive Forum Roundtable discussions last June, and in other conversations with fresh grocery leadership since then, it has struck me that there was a lot of consensus on the issues of the day, and how solutions to the challenges are a lot more difficult to find that same level of consensus. Even in examining the accompanying infographic along its topics the same holds true, i.e. common sense insights on challenge, but what to do? Customizing perishables Perishables have long been the forgotten area for technology application due largely to its myriad of unique characteristics. Rapidly changing source of supply, hyper visible quality, random weight measurement, digital techniques to manage or rather lack of and difficulty managing demand measurement all contribute to its lack of innovation from a technological foundation perspective. Throw in the home delivery parts of the discussion and we begin to understand the road ahead for a digital solution. In many ways, there is an opportunity to tackle this area that haven't been available before due to better tracking methods, better ways of identifying source of supply, better demand sensing techniques that make for a better supply chain efficiency outcome. Retraining, recruiting, and embedding talent The talent topic will be a tricky one in the years to come. This is not just true in grocery, but on a macro level as robotics, machine learning and Internet of Things applications cause havoc in what defines the next generation worker. It is far easier to not think through these macro trends than to ponder their implications.  We are at the early stages of this massive shift, but some deep analysis of what defines the company – employee relationship will impact this area and need to be thought through. Google often talks of a world where there are far fewer jobs due to automation, but the consequences of that are hard to envision fully. Personalizing the customer experience Personalization is possibly the best way of attracting and retaining customers. If I think about the ways this is done today it is largely a facet of the development and application of the marketing insight industry. The challenge largely is that this tends to lead to a rolling campaign/sampling approach due to scale constraints; therefore, you're always only communication with a small fraction of the customer base at any point in time. The supply chain is almost completely disconnected to the digital marketing realm. The good news is that there are ways to start connecting newer digital signals to the supply chain and ways to create scale in personalization. The real question is where to place your bets, in what order and sequencing? This is where the real work must begin and requires attention and time to reflect and discuss as there is broad impacts to the organization and capital investment budgets. Join in and revolutionize your grocery business The following resources can be leveraged to guide a framework for planning around these investment [...]
Thu, Dec 07, 2017
FMI News
MORSCO, Inc., a Fort Worth, Texas-based distributor of commercial and residential plumbing products; heating and cooling equipment; pipe, valves, and fittings (PVF); and underground utility products, is launching a suite of online solutions offering customers a robust e-commerce experience that’s much more than just a website and shopping cart. [...]
Thu, Dec 07, 2017
ACHR News
Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC) announced that Johnstone Supply, Tower Equipment Co. Inc., and Johnson Supply Co. have been named the 2017 Big Man On Planet (BMOP) winners. The annual competition among Heating Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) members recovered 370.946 pounds of mercury from collection bins during the contest period that ran from May 1 to Oct. 31. [...]
Thu, Dec 07, 2017
ACHR News
Join the conversation at the Upcoming FMI Midwinter Executive Conference By: Mark Baum, Chief Collaboration Officer and Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, Food Marketing Institute There is little doubt that the leading high-tech producers have discovered the consumer goods and food retailing marketplace. In some cases, technology providers are working as our partners, working together to find automated solutions to problems and analytical tools to fuel growth. In other cases, they are developing business models that can appear to be in competition with the industry models we have grown accustomed to. There is plenty of evidence that consumers are becoming quite adroit at digital technologies that help them decide where and how they will shop - and their purchase will be delivered to them. How do we as industry practitioners sort out our threats and opportunities? One good place to start is the Midwinter Executive Conference Monday morning keynote session I will moderate entitled “The Battle for the Food Marketplace: A View From Silicon Valley.” With the help of Ron Bodkin, Google's technical director of applied artificial intelligence, Kate Sayre, Facebook's global head of CPG strategy and Managing Director Steve Pinder, with Kurt Salmon, Part of Accenture Strategy, we will take a close look at the shakeup currently underway and talk about how technology innovation is irrevocably changing  our industry, the relationship between trading partners and the way we interact with and provide goods and services to consumers. Without question, digital retailing has come of age. In 2016/17, FMI and Nielsen teamed up  to assess the impact of digital technology in the grocery channel, predicting that 40 percent of current center store grocery sales, representing more than $100 billion, would move online by 2025. In fact, the industry is experiencing a pace of change likely to exceed that forecast. Where are the earliest wins regarding digital collaboration coming from? Who's finding success in food retailing with digital tools and why? Together with Nielsen, we will be discussing digital retailing and areas of change in our Saturday, 1:30 – 2:15 pm session, Collaboration in the Digital World: Practitioners Who Are Disrupting the Model We are also hosting an Executive Roundtable on Sunday afternoon focusing on artificial intelligence (AI), entitled simply “Disruption in Retail,” in which experts from the consulting firm r4 talk about the opportunities associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI)  in other industries and what the opportunities could be for food retailing. According to a study completed this fall by MIT, 85 percent of executives believe AI will transform their companies, but only one in five have done anything to begin incorporating it into their operations. In this roundtable discussion, you'll learn about the opportunities food retailers have to leverage both internal and external data in a way that will help them satisfy the mandate from consumers to understand and anticipate needs in real time, and deliver both world class physical and digital experiences. AI has the potential to alter every part of our businesses, and this session is a good place to understand its applications and learn [...]
Thu, Dec 07, 2017
FMI News
Questions remain over how many large AC manufacturers will commit to provide and support the product as an alternative to the increasingly costly R404A and R410A, despite respondents finding education programmes on adopting A2Ls were assuaging potential safety concerns. [...]
Thu, Dec 07, 2017
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
CEO prioritizes wholesale client retention and specialty offerings [...]
Thu, Dec 07, 2017
Supermarket News
New name reflects company’s commitment to omnichannel [...]
Thu, Dec 07, 2017
Supermarket News
In a year that saw Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods Market and German discounter Lidl entering the U.S., retailers are bracing for the coming storm of even more competition. But through competition comes innovation, often in the form of technology, a [...]
Wed, Dec 06, 2017
Supermarket News
This is part of Supermarket News’ 2017 Disruptors package. See the entire lineup here. There are good reasons why so many supermarket executives, Wall Street analysts and marketing gurus see a boom in store brands. Signs of it appear all along the re [...]
Wed, Dec 06, 2017
Supermarket News
This is part of Supermarket News’ 2017 Disruptors package. See the entire lineup here. Congress appears to be wrapping up a generous present for the supermarket industry this holiday season in what retail groups described as a “once in a generation” [...]
Wed, Dec 06, 2017
Supermarket News
This is part of Supermarket News’ 2017 Disruptors package. See the entire lineup here. Grocers are looking for ways to encourage customers to visit their stores more frequently and spend more when they’re there. Channel 3 is a new platform where reta [...]
Wed, Dec 06, 2017
Supermarket News
This is part of Supermarket News’ 2017 Disruptors package. See the entire lineup here. The convergence of food retailing and foodservice has long been a key element of some retailers’ strategies. Whole Foods Market demonstrated in its rapid expansion [...]
Wed, Dec 06, 2017
Supermarket News
This is part of Supermarket News’ 2017 Disruptors package. See the entire lineup here. The food retail sector continues to experience a fast-paced evolution, not just in the variety of channels and products, but also in the purchasing patterns of tod [...]
Wed, Dec 06, 2017
Supermarket News
This is part of Supermarket News’ 2017 Disruptors package. See the entire lineup here. Farmstead is an artificial intelligence micro-grocer operation that believes it is poised to “reinvent” the supermarket model — if not completely eliminate it. Bil [...]
Wed, Dec 06, 2017
Supermarket News
By: Rick Stein, Vice President of Fresh Foods, Food Marketing Institute As we approach the holidays, your stores are bustling with shoppers trying to find the perfect meal for their family and friends. Pork tenderloin is a staple for many holiday tables, as evidenced by Google yielding nearly 1.6 million results for recipe ideas. While the pork dish itself might earn rave reviews, the topic of pork quality and the new pork grading proposal for pork tenderloin won't likely come up in dinner conversation unless you're a retailer. As I outlined in my last blog, the USDA is reviewing, and has opened for public comment, a plan to revise the voluntary pork standards currently in place. But does the typical consumer know the difference in quality and, more importantly, are they willing to pay for perceived differences? According to research conducted by the National Pork Board, the answer is “yes.” In 2016, the Pork Board commissioned Market Economics, LLC, and noted economists Jayson Lusk, Glynn Tonsor, Ted Schroeder and Dermot Hayes, for a benchmark study to measure a consumer's willingness to pay for quality. In brief, the survey of 5,011 respondents confirmed that you do not have to be a “meathead” to recognize quality. Consumers surveyed said that redder loin chops with visible fat content (i.e., marbling) translate to “higher quality” in their minds. Additionally, the research showed, no matter if a consumer preferred pale pink or deep red, each consumer was willing to pay more for the product that met their preference of quality – anywhere from $0.69 to $1.18 more per pound, according to the study. This is significant because with or without a defined “quality standard” – however that is measured – consumers will pay more for a product they perceive to be of higher quality. It boils down to a simple fact: As retailers, there is the potential to sell higher-grade pork and receive a premium price associated with that value by the consumer. According to USDA data analysis performed by Express Markets, Inc., protein demand has never been higher, but for the past 20 years, U.S. pork consumption has been relatively flat at about 50 pounds per person per year. Today, overall protein sales are increasing and fresh pork has seen only a modest increase. According to Nielsen, the average American consumer buys fresh pork just seven times per year, which is fairly low. National Pork Board research also shows that the primary barrier to fresh pork purchases is an inconsistent eating experience. Consumers already gravitate toward value-added pork products like ham, bacon and sausage, largely because they prefer familiar names, flavor and simple-to-cook pork products. Getting the fresh pork loin, for example, into that space will only help to increase the total value of all pork sold at retail. A pork grading system provides an objective method for delivering a consistent consumer eating experience which, in turn, will drive repeat sales. As these guidelines are considered, I'm [...]
Wed, Dec 06, 2017
FMI News
Employee engagement in the U.S. workforce declined between 2016 and 2017, while engagement at Nexstar Network member companies grew, according to a survey conducted by Aon Hewitt, using Modern Survey, for Nexstar. [...]
Wed, Dec 06, 2017
ACHR News
As the old saying goes, “Everything is bigger in Texas.” This was certainly the case during Women in HVACR’s (WHVACR’s) 14th annual — and first stand-alone — conference, which was held in Fort Worth, Texas, at Tarrant County College Center of Excellence in Energy Technology (TCC). [...]
Wed, Dec 06, 2017
ACHR News
Chinese manufacturer Midea is coming to the UK, promising the world’s widest range of R32 systems from 2018.  [...]
Wed, Dec 06, 2017
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
Airgas Refrigerants, Inc. was purchased in October 2017 by Hudson Technologies, Inc. The Airgas Refrigerants, Inc. entity will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hudson Technologies, Inc. under the name ASPEN Refrigerants, Inc. ASPEN is a product brand in the refrigerants industry, with more than 10 years of recognized market presence. The logo and name are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. [...]
Wed, Dec 06, 2017
ACHR News
ARS/Rescue Rooter started a program that gives heating, plumbing and air conditioning products and services to people in need. In the course of one year, ARS and their network providers have donated 17 HVAC systems and six water heaters to people in need, totaling to approximately $171,000 in products and services. [...]
Tue, Dec 05, 2017
ACHR News