News Briefs


Foxtrot Seeks Female-Led Emerging Brands


Foxtrot, the Chicago-based grocery/convenience store chain and e-commerce marketplace, has launched its second annual “Up & Comers” awards, an initiative designed to celebrate small makers and discover the next generation of food and beverage brands. In honor of International Women's Day on March 8 and Foxtrot's commitment to increasing the amount of female-founded or -led brands on its shelves by 50% in the next year, this year's awards program brings a dedicated focus to “finding, inspiring, nurturing and recognizing female and femme-identifying food entrepreneurs,” according to a news release from the retailer. 

As the company continues to grow with 50 new stores planned to open in the next two years, Foxtrot has acted as an incubator for small and local businesses by giving them the chance to test products in its stores. From March 8 through April 4, owners and makers can apply to the Up & Comers awards for a chance to be sold in Foxtrot stores and nationally via Foxtrot Anywhere. Submissions from all genders are accepted, though two prizes  the “Hero Winner” and “Cherry Bombe's Women in Food” awards are reserved for women-led businesses.


Meyers Joins The Climate Pledge


Meyers, a print services company that designs and manufactures branded packaging, product labeling and retail in-store display solutions for global and emerging brands, has joined The Climate Pledge alongside 300+ other businesses, including Amazon, Best Buy, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nespresso and Quorn. The Climate Pledge is a cross-sector community of businesses that have committed to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. The Climate Pledge was co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism in 2019 and, according to the company, seeks signatories from companies and organizations committing to three areas of action:

  • Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis.
  • Implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions and other carbon emission elimination strategies.
  • Neutralize remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable and permanent offsets to achieve the 2040.

Meyers, which creates visual packaging and displays for companies including Hormel, Frito-Lay, Estee Lauder, Ulta Beauty and Levi’s, has been focusing on its own sustainability efforts for a while. The company recently revealed that it achieved its goal of powering 100% of its operations from carbon-free energy sources by the end of 2021.


GNC Exclusively Launches Zoa+ In Stores


Zoa, the energy drink brand co-created by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, has partnered with GNC as the exclusive in-store retailer for the brand’s new Zoa+ pre-workout supplement line. Available in three flavors, both in-store and online at, Zoa+ aims to reimagine the traditional powder-based pre-workout options with its carbonated, zero sugar, 12-oz ready-to-drink supplement made with natural caffeine.Zoa first launched at GNC in March 2021 with its namesake product and is currently available in seven flavors including original, super berry, pineapple coconut and white peach.

"GNC is the leader in pre-workouts and brands like ZOA are revolutionizing how athletes can make their workouts productive," said Kevin Maloberti, vice president, merchandising at GNC, in a news release. "We are proud to be the first to bring ZOA+ to shelves and build on our commitment to offer products to the GNC customer that help them live well."


Costco Names New Chief Merchant


Costco has promoted a 30-year veteran of the company to direct merchandising operations, the retailer announced during its second quarter earnings call on March 3. Claudine Adamo, previously senior vice president of merchandising/non-foods and e-commerce, will become executive vp and chief operating officer of merchandising, succeeding Ron Vachris who was just promoted to president and COO in February.


Infographic: How Omnichannel Shoppers Build Baskets


Kroger data analytics subsidiary 84.51 recently released an infographic sharing insights on how omnichannel shoppers are changing the way their baskets are built. As online grocery shopping continues to grow and evolve, e-commerce strategies are a becoming a more important part of CPG brands’ overall marketing plans. 84.51’s latest infographic, like in previous research it’s conducted on the hybrid shopper, identified two distinct household types: the “digital champ” and the “digital dabbler.” Comparing the two, the digital dabblers still make the majority of their shopping trips, which typically comprise grocery staples and basics, in stores. The digital champs makes about 75% of their trips online with larger basket sizes comprising items from different departments, according to 84.51.

Some more key takeaways from the infographic include:

  • Out of the shoppers loyal to e-commerce, 85% plan to maintain or increase their e-commerce usage in 2022.
  • Two out of three online orders are made via a mobile device.
  • 56% use search to add most items to their online basket.
  • Traditional in-store impulse purchase categories include candy, magazines and bakery items.
  • Online impulse categories include alcohol, health and beauty, and floral items.

Kroger to Expand Delivery in Ohio With New Fulfillment Center


Kroger will offer home delivery in a new area for the grocery giant with the addition of its customer fulfillment center (CFC) in northeast Ohio. Like its first automated warehouse in Ohio, this second CFC will be powered by Ocado Group to combine vertical integration, machine learning and robotics to provide fresh food delivery service and support Kroger’s digital offerings, according to a news release from the retailer. The CFC will span 270,000 square feet and is expected to create up to 400 new jobs. Kroger anticipates the hub will become operational 24 months after the site breaks ground and will service areas in northeastern Ohio and Pennsylvania.