Publix Adds Telehealth Stations to Florida Stores

A recent SupermarketNews article reported that Publix Super Markets Inc. plans to open three telehealth stations inside Publix stores in St. Johns County and a Publix Pharmacy at Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine Florida.

According to the article, the telehealth stations will be housed in a private room where patients can speak directly with a doctor via video-conferencing. The physician will be able to direct patients to use on-site diagnostic tools such as stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs and high-definition cameras, and to make a diagnosis or write any necessary prescriptions. Publix Pharmacy support staff also will be on hand to assist patients.

The chain has partnered with Flagler Health+, a Florida-based health network, to provide these and related retail pharmacy and primary care services.

Read the full article…

Innovation at Hy-Vee Reduces Food Waste

Iowa-based Hy-Vee Inc. is piloting an innovative mobile shopping app that will reduce food waste, according to a recent SupermarketNews article.

The app is called Flashfood and is designed to let shoppers browse and buy food items nearing their “best before” date at significantly reduced prices. It was developed by a Toronto company of the same name.

“At Hy-Vee, we know it’s important that we do our part as grocers to reduce food waste,” said Jessica Ringena, Vice President of Innovation and Business Development.

Read the full article…

Best Supermarkets in 2019?

A recent article published by msn.com rated America’s “best” supermarkets.

With more than 66,000 supermarkets and other grocery stores in the U.S according to the U.S. Census, competition between chains has never been more fierce, the article said.

For the purposes of this list, supermarkets were defined as brick-and-mortar grocers, grocery stores, membership-only warehouse clubs, and nationwide department store retailers that have supermarkets within their retail locations. In addition, only those supermarkets with outposts in multiple states and more than five locations total were considered.

Judgments were made according to the following criteria:

Stock: A wide range of brands and offerings, including organic, locally sourced, artisanal, local favorites, international foods, and private label.

Services/Departments: Departments, including butcher, deli, bakery, and pharmacy.

Innovation: Delivery options, mobile apps, and staying on top of the latest trends.

Customer Service: Efficient checkout and self-checkout, easy returns/exchanges, loyalty programs, and personal touches like baggers who take groceries to the car.

Appearance and cleanliness: Brightly lit displays, tidy shelves, clutter-free aisles, and scuff-free floors.

Contribution to the community: Creating local jobs, working with local farmers and suppliers, and helping the less fortunate.

The top ten selections on msn’s list were:

  • Publix
  • Wegmans
  • Aldi
  • Likl
  • Trader Joes
  • Whole Foods
  • Harris Teeter (branch of Kroger)
  • Costco
  • Super Target
  • Kroger
  • More Groceries from Amazon in 2019?

    According to a recent SupermarketNews article, it will be easier to order food, groceries and medications from Amazon.com as the new year unfolds.

    The prediction is based on a report from e-commerce specialist Edge.

    “2019 could be the start of when grocery finally hits for Amazon,” Edge said in its analysis. “The e-tail giant’s grocery sales swelled 45% in 2018, yet that was less than the nearly 60% growth in 2016-2017. Amazon’s top grocery categories by sales in 2018 were cold beverages ($600 million, +35% year over year), coffee ($600 million, +40%), snacks ($300 million, +50%) and breakfast foods ($250 million, +15%). “

    While the article went on to say that Amazon in still a long-way off from where they’d like to be in the food and grocery sector, their expansion will involve the addition of more Whole Foods and Amazon Go stores.

    Read the full article…

    Supermarket Hiring Shifts To Deliver Better Customer Experience!

    According to a recent SupermarketNews article, supermarket salaries grew in 2018 in an effort to secure a more diverse mix of skills and experience to meet the demands of an “omnichannel” business model. “Omnicahannel” is defined as as a multi-channel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated customer experience. The customer can be shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, or by telephone, or in a bricks and mortar store and the experience would be seamless.

    “Compared with last year, you see the pretty steady increases that you normally see. But the biggest thing goes beyond the numbers, and that’s the new positions being created,” said Jose Tamez, managing general partner at Austin-Michael. “That’s more of an indication of what’s trending — be it a digital role at a senior level, an omnichannel role or customer experience types of roles. Those particular roles have been in retail for some time but in other segments, such as department stores or fashion. Now they are making their way into grocery.”

    According to research done by HubSpot, organizations that currently providing the “best” omnichannel experience to customers include:

    1. Disney
    2. Virgin Atlantic
    3. Bank of America
    4. Oasis
    5. REI
    6. Starbucks
    7. Chipotle

    Kroger Engaging People & Eliminating Process Waste

    Kroger engages with its customers and associates to create better, emotionally uplifting experiences with its brands, an article published by their technology partner Pivotal states.

    As you may know, the Kroger Company operates a personalized online ordering and in-store pickup system, a data analytics business, pharmacies, and convenience stores. They also believe in building strong local ties and brand loyalty with customers through delivering a consistently better customer experience, and through being involved in improving both their work processes and their communities. For example, the company is on a mission to end hunger in its communities; they are also on an ongoing mission to eliminate waste across its company by 2025—and leveraging technology, Pivotal says, is a big part of the plan.

    It’s not surprising that a customer base becomes more engaged and loyal when their shopping experience is consistently positive; and it’s not surprising that a workforce becomes more engaged and provides better service when they have an active voice in improving their work processes and, as are a result, are part of a more productive and successful team.

    Sounds like a great “recipe” for success… and is also well-aligned with our concept of “engagement around the work.”

    Wegmans Wins High Rating on Fortune Best Places to Work List

    Once again Wegmans has been recognized as one of the best places to work in the country, as they ranked #2 on Fortune’s 2018 list.

    “Company loyalty runs deep at this more than century- old grocery chain, which spent $50 million on employee development last year (plus $5 million in scholarships) and filled half of its open positions internally,” the Fortune web site states.

    The piece went on to share that staffers say “fulfilling” work gives them a “sense of purpose,” thanks to Wegmans’ mission of “helping people live healthier, better lives through food.” The civic spirit helps too: The chain reclaims millions of pounds of food every year to feed the hungry.

    Salesforce was listed atop the list, which, according to the company’s website, measures companies on the following characteristics:

    • Executive team effectiveness
    • Innovation
    • People-focused programs
    • “Great Place to Work For All”

    In a Great Place to Work For All, employees report high levels of trust, credible and respectful leadership, pride in the work, and camaraderie.

    More than 315,000 employees provided feedback to determine the winners of the 2018 list. To be considered, companies needed to have at least 1,000 employees and receive enough survey responses to achieve a 95% confidence level with no more than a 5% margin of error.

    Kroger Predicts Food Trends for 2019

    While New Year predictions are typically made closer to year-end, The Kroger Company recently shared their insights as reported in a Food Business News article.

    They first named eating styles as a trend, citing the various diets and lifestyles consumers are adopting in pursuit of improved health and wellness.

    “More consumers are purchasing better-for-you products and subscribing to different eating styles, from vegetarian to flexitarian to keto and paleo,” Kroger said in the article.

    Gut-healthy foods is another trend expected to explode in the new year, the article said. Kroger expects to see the development of organic kombucha in flavors such as blueberry ginger and raspberry hibiscus, organic apple cider vinegar, Greek yogurt and probiotic low-fat milk, noting that  consumers are seeking foods that support self-care and healthy immune systems.

    Consumer demand for low sugar and natural sweeteners also is forecast to drive product development next year, and the article cited research that indicated nearly half of consumers say they want to eat less sugar.

    Plant-based foods will continue to gain traction in 2019 as well, Kroger says, as more consumers opt to reduce meat and dairy intake.

     

    Walmart Setting the Pace for Online Grocery?

    Our previous post indicated that Amazon was the clear leader in online grocery shopping. However, a recent SupermarketNews article said that “Walmart’s heavy investment in e-commerce is paying off, and the retail giant could top Amazon in online grocery market share by the end of this year.”

    The data was based on a Deutsche Bank Securities report, which said Walmart  had been shifting focus and growth strategies in the direction of e-commerce, and that the chain has plans to bring online grocery delivery to 100 metropolitan areas — covering 40% of U.S. households — by the end of 2018 through its own services and third-party providers.

    Read the full article…