Blog Archives

Hy-Vee improves food access with free shuttle

A Hy-Vee store in Ottumwa, Iowa, is improving food access in two counties by providing free shuttle transportation to shoppers who live up to 40 miles away.

The service, which is funded by Hy-Vee, is part of that store’s involvement in a consortium of local businesses and non-profits led by the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation to bring together siloed efforts that address food deserts and food insecurity in Wapello County, Iowa. At 14.2% the 35,000-resident county has the second highest food insecurity rate in the state.

Through interviews with community members and data analysis, consortium members learned that a lack of transportation in area food deserts is so hindering that it prevents SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and WIC (Women, Infants and Children program) recipients from expending all of their  benefits each month, Amber Payne, consultant and coordinator for Growing Wapello Together, told SN

“That’s their purchasing power and they’re not even able to use it,” she said.

Even when community members in food deserts are able to access public transportation — which stops running at 5 p.m. on weekdays and doesn’t run at all on the weekends — the bus system limits the number of bags riders are permitted to travel with. Compounding the issue is the fact that benefit recipients often have small children in tow and the winters are especially harsh.

Hy-Vee’s shuttle service, which picks up and drops off groups and individual shoppers from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every Friday, is helping scale many of these hurdles.

“They can take as many bags as they’d like, they can ride after 5p.m. and take as much time at the grocery stores as they want,” noted Ina Cavin, store director at the North Ottumwa Hy-vee. “It’s not like they’re going to miss their ride.”

Shoppers can call ahead to schedule a pick-up or do so on the day of. Fridays were chosen since that is when many residents get paid, and the local community college, which educates a lot of international students, does not hold classes.

In recent weeks there have been as many as 85 passengers on shuttle days, but Carter expects that number to grow now that it’s distributing Spanish-language flyers about the service, and has enlisted a Spanish-speaking dispatcher to set up rides. Direct mail flyers will be sent to homes in particularly high-risk areas to notify residents of the free service.

Supermarket News

Price access helps Safeway employees cut health costs

Safeway employees with access to reference-based pricing for health care laboratory services spent less for the services than employees without the same information, according to a joint study conducted by Safeway and Cigna Corp.

With access to an online shopping tool that showed information about the cost, location and type of lab services in their geographic area using a reference-based pricing tool, Safeway employees were able to find lower costs for lab services than another group without the reference-based pricing benefit, the study found.

Dr. Kent L. Bradley, SVP and chief medical officer for Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway, said, “Thoughtful application of reference pricing warrants consideration as a mechanism to improve value in health care and help individuals reduce their costs for certain services.”

Reference-based pricing is a benefit design that sets a maximum contribution, or reference price, from a health plan to pay for a particular service — in this case lab services. According to Cigna, Bloomfield, Conn., some employers see this type of benefit design as a way to incentivize employees to consider the price of services when making health care decisions; employees also save money when they choose services at or below a reference price, Cigna noted.

According to Jackie Aube, Cigna’s VP for product, “The goal of reference-based pricing is to help individuals become smarter health care consumers by giving them the opportunity to choose health care services at the best price without compromising quality. The education and online tools that health plans and employers offer can help individuals make more informed decisions.”

The study involved two groups of employees enrolled in a Cigna health plan — one comprised of Safeway employees with access to reference-based pricing benefits for lab services, the other comprised of employees at various companies who worked in the same area and received the same lab services as Safeway employees but did not have the same benefit.

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Supermarket News

China reopens market access to Washington apple growers

On Oct. 29, the Washington Apple Commission announced the reinstatement of market access to China for Red and Golden Delicious apples. “Shipments of Washington apples to China stopped in August of 2012, when the Chinese government refused to issue import permits to Chinese importers, citing concerns with a recently discovered fungus they claimed was not in China,” the commission said in its statement.

Following two years of negotiations, three Chinese officials conducted an on-site visit in September, allaying these fears.

“The agreement calls for stepped-up control measures through improved horticultural, packing and sampling procedures in Washington,” according to the statement.

WA-AppleOverviewFollowing two years of negotiation, officials in China reinstated market access for Washington apple growers to move Red and Golden Delicious varieties. The Washington Apple Commission continues to work to gain full varietal access in China in the coming years. (Photo courtesy of the Washington Apple Commission)WAC President Todd Fryhover said the market reopening is a significant step. “The long-term goal is to get full varietal access in China,” he told The Produce News.

He said historically 2.5 million cartons of apples, valued at $ 20 per box, have been shipped to the region. “China and Hong Kong are one promotional activity,” he explained. “Hong Kong is a free port. China is not.”

As a result of the agreement, Fryhover said Reds and Golds will move directly into China. “We hope in the first year of full varietal access to have 500,000 to 1 million boxes,” he added. “Regaining access to China is very important to Washington growers.”

Jon DeVaney, president of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, agreed. “The re-opening of China to Washington apples is great news, and it is particularly welcome as we complete the harvest of a large crop since one-third of the Washington apple crop is exported.

“Through Sunday, Oct. 26, 20.681 million boxes of apples have been shipped in Washington,” DeVaney continued. “This is 34.5 percent above last year’s shipments through this date, and 42 percent above shipments to the same date in 2012 when we had our last record crop. Given that our August crop forecast was for a crop of 140.2 million, which would be 21.8 percent higher than the 2013 crop, our shipments to date are clearly on track to successfully move this year’s crop even if it comes in above the August forecast.”

He said apple quality is excellent and sizing is trending larger this season. “The only mild surprise was that the Oct. 1 estimate for Honeycrisp came in 4.9 percent lower than the August estimate, although at 7.422 million boxes the Honeycrisp crop is still substantially above last year’s 4.513 million boxes.”

 

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

China reopens market access to Washington apple growers

On Oct. 29, the Washington Apple Commission announced the reinstatement of market access to China for Red and Golden Delicious apples. “Shipments of Washington apples to China stopped in August of 2012, when the Chinese government refused to issue import permits to Chinese importers, citing concerns with a recently discovered fungus they claimed was not in China,” the commission said in its statement.

Following two years of negotiations, three Chinese officials conducted an on-site visit in September, allaying these fears.

“The agreement calls for stepped-up control measures through improved horticultural, packing and sampling procedures in Washington,” according to the statement.

WA-AppleOverviewFollowing two years of negotiation, officials in China reinstated market access for Washington apple growers to move Red and Golden Delicious varieties. The Washington Apple Commission continues to work to gain full varietal access in China in the coming years. (Photo courtesy of the Washington Apple Commission)WAC President Todd Fryhover said the market reopening is a significant step. “The long-term goal is to get full varietal access in China,” he told The Produce News.

He said historically 2.5 million cartons of apples, valued at $ 20 per box, have been shipped to the region. “China and Hong Kong are one promotional activity,” he explained. “Hong Kong is a free port. China is not.”

As a result of the agreement, Fryhover said Reds and Golds will move directly into China. “We hope in the first year of full varietal access to have 500,000 to 1 million boxes,” he added. “Regaining access to China is very important to Washington growers.”

Jon DeVaney, president of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, agreed. “The re-opening of China to Washington apples is great news, and it is particularly welcome as we complete the harvest of a large crop since one-third of the Washington apple crop is exported.

“Through Sunday, Oct. 26, 20.681 million boxes of apples have been shipped in Washington,” DeVaney continued. “This is 34.5 percent above last year’s shipments through this date, and 42 percent above shipments to the same date in 2012 when we had our last record crop. Given that our August crop forecast was for a crop of 140.2 million, which would be 21.8 percent higher than the 2013 crop, our shipments to date are clearly on track to successfully move this year’s crop even if it comes in above the August forecast.”

He said apple quality is excellent and sizing is trending larger this season. “The only mild surprise was that the Oct. 1 estimate for Honeycrisp came in 4.9 percent lower than the August estimate, although at 7.422 million boxes the Honeycrisp crop is still substantially above last year’s 4.513 million boxes.”

 

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

China reopens market access to Washington apple growers

On Oct. 29, the Washington Apple Commission announced the reinstatement of market access to China for Red and Golden Delicious apples. “Shipments of Washington apples to China stopped in August of 2012, when the Chinese government refused to issue import permits to Chinese importers, citing concerns with a recently discovered fungus they claimed was not in China,” the commission said in its statement.

Following two years of negotiations, three Chinese officials conducted an on-site visit in September, allaying these fears.

“The agreement calls for stepped-up control measures through improved horticultural, packing and sampling procedures in Washington,” according to the statement.

WA-AppleOverviewFollowing two years of negotiation, officials in China reinstated market access for Washington apple growers to move Red and Golden Delicious varieties. The Washington Apple Commission continues to work to gain full varietal access in China in the coming years. (Photo courtesy of the Washington Apple Commission)WAC President Todd Fryhover said the market reopening is a significant step. “The long-term goal is to get full varietal access in China,” he told The Produce News.

He said historically 2.5 million cartons of apples, valued at $ 20 per box, have been shipped to the region. “China and Hong Kong are one promotional activity,” he explained. “Hong Kong is a free port. China is not.”

As a result of the agreement, Fryhover said Reds and Golds will move directly into China. “We hope in the first year of full varietal access to have 500,000 to 1 million boxes,” he added. “Regaining access to China is very important to Washington growers.”

Jon DeVaney, president of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, agreed. “The re-opening of China to Washington apples is great news, and it is particularly welcome as we complete the harvest of a large crop since one-third of the Washington apple crop is exported.

“Through Sunday, Oct. 26, 20.681 million boxes of apples have been shipped in Washington,” DeVaney continued. “This is 34.5 percent above last year’s shipments through this date, and 42 percent above shipments to the same date in 2012 when we had our last record crop. Given that our August crop forecast was for a crop of 140.2 million, which would be 21.8 percent higher than the 2013 crop, our shipments to date are clearly on track to successfully move this year’s crop even if it comes in above the August forecast.”

He said apple quality is excellent and sizing is trending larger this season. “The only mild surprise was that the Oct. 1 estimate for Honeycrisp came in 4.9 percent lower than the August estimate, although at 7.422 million boxes the Honeycrisp crop is still substantially above last year’s 4.513 million boxes.”

 

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

China reopens market access to Washington apple growers

On Oct. 29, the Washington Apple Commission announced the reinstatement of market access to China for Red and Golden Delicious apples. “Shipments of Washington apples to China stopped in August of 2012, when the Chinese government refused to issue import permits to Chinese importers, citing concerns with a recently discovered fungus they claimed was not in China,” the commission said in its statement.

Following two years of negotiations, three Chinese officials conducted an on-site visit in September, allaying these fears.

“The agreement calls for stepped-up control measures through improved horticultural, packing and sampling procedures in Washington,” according to the statement.

WA-AppleOverviewFollowing two years of negotiation, officials in China reinstated market access for Washington apple growers to move Red and Golden Delicious varieties. The Washington Apple Commission continues to work to gain full varietal access in China in the coming years. (Photo courtesy of the Washington Apple Commission)WAC President Todd Fryhover said the market reopening is a significant step. “The long-term goal is to get full varietal access in China,” he told The Produce News.

He said historically 2.5 million cartons of apples, valued at $ 20 per box, have been shipped to the region. “China and Hong Kong are one promotional activity,” he explained. “Hong Kong is a free port. China is not.”

As a result of the agreement, Fryhover said Reds and Golds will move directly into China. “We hope in the first year of full varietal access to have 500,000 to 1 million boxes,” he added. “Regaining access to China is very important to Washington growers.”

Jon DeVaney, president of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, agreed. “The re-opening of China to Washington apples is great news, and it is particularly welcome as we complete the harvest of a large crop since one-third of the Washington apple crop is exported.

“Through Sunday, Oct. 26, 20.681 million boxes of apples have been shipped in Washington,” DeVaney continued. “This is 34.5 percent above last year’s shipments through this date, and 42 percent above shipments to the same date in 2012 when we had our last record crop. Given that our August crop forecast was for a crop of 140.2 million, which would be 21.8 percent higher than the 2013 crop, our shipments to date are clearly on track to successfully move this year’s crop even if it comes in above the August forecast.”

He said apple quality is excellent and sizing is trending larger this season. “The only mild surprise was that the Oct. 1 estimate for Honeycrisp came in 4.9 percent lower than the August estimate, although at 7.422 million boxes the Honeycrisp crop is still substantially above last year’s 4.513 million boxes.”

 

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

The EU lifts access restrictions on Chilean stone fruit

Chilean cherries will benefit
The EU lifts access restrictions on Chilean stone fruit

After several negotiations, the European Union removed the quarantine plague category of the Monilinia fructicola, which opens up greater prospects for the export of stonefruit such as peaches, cherries and plums.

This is good news for Chilean exporters of peaches, cherries and fresh plums to the European Union. After three years of negotiations, the Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) and the Directorate General for International Economic Relations (Direcon) announced that the block had removed the Monilinia fructicola from its regulation on quarantine pests. The Monilinia fructicola is a fungus associated with the rotting of fruit that mainly affects the trees of the Prunus genus, i.e. plums, apricots, peaches and almonds.

“The removal of this restriction shows that our country’s animal and plant health condition is a guarantee to open new markets and facilitate international trade of our agricultural products,” said Angel Sartori, National Director of the SAG, adding that “the SAG will continue to do everything in its power to maintain and enhance this heritage.”

“The measure will simplify procedures, as it won’t be necessary to certify or spray our crops for this pest, which lowers export costs. This is very good news for the domestic bone fruit export sector, because it broadens perspectives on trade and opens more possibilities for access to a market of over 500 million people, “said Andres Rebolledo, director of Direcon.

Last year, exports of stonefruit to the EU accounted for USD $ 54 million.

The changes to the quarantine pests list will come into effect starting October 1 this year.

Source: eleconomistaamerica.cl

Publication date: 9/11/2014


FreshPlaza.com

The EU lifts access restrictions on Chilean stone fruit

Chilean cherries will benefit
The EU lifts access restrictions on Chilean stone fruit

After several negotiations, the European Union removed the quarantine plague category of the Monilinia fructicola, which opens up greater prospects for the export of stonefruit such as peaches, cherries and plums.

This is good news for Chilean exporters of peaches, cherries and fresh plums to the European Union. After three years of negotiations, the Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) and the Directorate General for International Economic Relations (Direcon) announced that the block had removed the Monilinia fructicola from its regulation on quarantine pests. The Monilinia fructicola is a fungus associated with the rotting of fruit that mainly affects the trees of the Prunus genus, i.e. plums, apricots, peaches and almonds.

“The removal of this restriction shows that our country’s animal and plant health condition is a guarantee to open new markets and facilitate international trade of our agricultural products,” said Angel Sartori, National Director of the SAG, adding that “the SAG will continue to do everything in its power to maintain and enhance this heritage.”

“The measure will simplify procedures, as it won’t be necessary to certify or spray our crops for this pest, which lowers export costs. This is very good news for the domestic bone fruit export sector, because it broadens perspectives on trade and opens more possibilities for access to a market of over 500 million people, “said Andres Rebolledo, director of Direcon.

Last year, exports of stonefruit to the EU accounted for USD $ 54 million.

The changes to the quarantine pests list will come into effect starting October 1 this year.

Source: eleconomistaamerica.cl

Publication date: 9/11/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Ambrosia test shows how consumers access information

Understanding how consumers utilize package information to access Web and digital information are key questions CMI is attempting to answer via a new test of the “Ambrosia” brand apple pouch bag.  

“Use of premium packaging has been trending upward in the apple industry as well as the produce industry overall,” Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing for CMI, said in a press release.Ambrosia-QR-Code-Test  “We’ve found high-graphic packages like pouch bags create a store-level billboard for products but also can entice consumers to connect with us via social media and Web pages. We’re using this test to document what catches shopper attention and identify the methods used to connect to digital offers.”

Katharine Grove, marketing specialist at CMI said that to implement the test the company created brand new packaging for imported Ambrosia apples. She said CMI wants to determine if consumers interested in additional product information are more likely to scan a QR code with a smartphone or simply use a Web-based search engine.  CMI developed a contest, displayed on the new packaging, giving consumers the opportunity to win premium kitchen gadgets. Consumers were given the option of entering the contest by either scanning the QR code or visiting the website.

Web analytics are already providing feedback on the effectiveness of both types of implementation. Grove said that conventional thinking is QR codes have fallen out of favor with consumers and most shoppers respond to Web-based addresses.

“We’re about 75 days into the Ambrosia test and we’re quite surprised with the findings,” said Grove. “To date, approximately 46 percent of all consumer responses have come by QR code with 54 percent from the Web address. QR codes may have lost some momentum with consumers, but our packaging data is showing that this remains a powerful vehicle for connecting with shoppers.”

CMI will use the findings from this packaging test to determine future messaging to include on packages. The test will conclude at the end of the import Ambrosia season in August.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Ambrosia test shows how consumers access information

Understanding how consumers utilize package information to access Web and digital information are key questions CMI is attempting to answer via a new test of the “Ambrosia” brand apple pouch bag.  

“Use of premium packaging has been trending upward in the apple industry as well as the produce industry overall,” Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing for CMI, said in a press release.Ambrosia-QR-Code-Test  “We’ve found high-graphic packages like pouch bags create a store-level billboard for products but also can entice consumers to connect with us via social media and Web pages. We’re using this test to document what catches shopper attention and identify the methods used to connect to digital offers.”

Katharine Grove, marketing specialist at CMI said that to implement the test the company created brand new packaging for imported Ambrosia apples. She said CMI wants to determine if consumers interested in additional product information are more likely to scan a QR code with a smartphone or simply use a Web-based search engine.  CMI developed a contest, displayed on the new packaging, giving consumers the opportunity to win premium kitchen gadgets. Consumers were given the option of entering the contest by either scanning the QR code or visiting the website.

Web analytics are already providing feedback on the effectiveness of both types of implementation. Grove said that conventional thinking is QR codes have fallen out of favor with consumers and most shoppers respond to Web-based addresses.

“We’re about 75 days into the Ambrosia test and we’re quite surprised with the findings,” said Grove. “To date, approximately 46 percent of all consumer responses have come by QR code with 54 percent from the Web address. QR codes may have lost some momentum with consumers, but our packaging data is showing that this remains a powerful vehicle for connecting with shoppers.”

CMI will use the findings from this packaging test to determine future messaging to include on packages. The test will conclude at the end of the import Ambrosia season in August.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Ambrosia test shows how consumers access information

Understanding how consumers utilize package information to access Web and digital information are key questions CMI is attempting to answer via a new test of the “Ambrosia” brand apple pouch bag.  

“Use of premium packaging has been trending upward in the apple industry as well as the produce industry overall,” Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing for CMI, said in a press release.Ambrosia-QR-Code-Test  “We’ve found high-graphic packages like pouch bags create a store-level billboard for products but also can entice consumers to connect with us via social media and Web pages. We’re using this test to document what catches shopper attention and identify the methods used to connect to digital offers.”

Katharine Grove, marketing specialist at CMI said that to implement the test the company created brand new packaging for imported Ambrosia apples. She said CMI wants to determine if consumers interested in additional product information are more likely to scan a QR code with a smartphone or simply use a Web-based search engine.  CMI developed a contest, displayed on the new packaging, giving consumers the opportunity to win premium kitchen gadgets. Consumers were given the option of entering the contest by either scanning the QR code or visiting the website.

Web analytics are already providing feedback on the effectiveness of both types of implementation. Grove said that conventional thinking is QR codes have fallen out of favor with consumers and most shoppers respond to Web-based addresses.

“We’re about 75 days into the Ambrosia test and we’re quite surprised with the findings,” said Grove. “To date, approximately 46 percent of all consumer responses have come by QR code with 54 percent from the Web address. QR codes may have lost some momentum with consumers, but our packaging data is showing that this remains a powerful vehicle for connecting with shoppers.”

CMI will use the findings from this packaging test to determine future messaging to include on packages. The test will conclude at the end of the import Ambrosia season in August.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Ambrosia test shows how consumers access information

Understanding how consumers utilize package information to access Web and digital information are key questions CMI is attempting to answer via a new test of the “Ambrosia” brand apple pouch bag.  

“Use of premium packaging has been trending upward in the apple industry as well as the produce industry overall,” Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing for CMI, said in a press release.Ambrosia-QR-Code-Test  “We’ve found high-graphic packages like pouch bags create a store-level billboard for products but also can entice consumers to connect with us via social media and Web pages. We’re using this test to document what catches shopper attention and identify the methods used to connect to digital offers.”

Katharine Grove, marketing specialist at CMI said that to implement the test the company created brand new packaging for imported Ambrosia apples. She said CMI wants to determine if consumers interested in additional product information are more likely to scan a QR code with a smartphone or simply use a Web-based search engine.  CMI developed a contest, displayed on the new packaging, giving consumers the opportunity to win premium kitchen gadgets. Consumers were given the option of entering the contest by either scanning the QR code or visiting the website.

Web analytics are already providing feedback on the effectiveness of both types of implementation. Grove said that conventional thinking is QR codes have fallen out of favor with consumers and most shoppers respond to Web-based addresses.

“We’re about 75 days into the Ambrosia test and we’re quite surprised with the findings,” said Grove. “To date, approximately 46 percent of all consumer responses have come by QR code with 54 percent from the Web address. QR codes may have lost some momentum with consumers, but our packaging data is showing that this remains a powerful vehicle for connecting with shoppers.”

CMI will use the findings from this packaging test to determine future messaging to include on packages. The test will conclude at the end of the import Ambrosia season in August.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Ambrosia test shows how consumers access information

Understanding how consumers utilize package information to access Web and digital information are key questions CMI is attempting to answer via a new test of the “Ambrosia” brand apple pouch bag.  

“Use of premium packaging has been trending upward in the apple industry as well as the produce industry overall,” Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing for CMI, said in a press release.Ambrosia-QR-Code-Test  “We’ve found high-graphic packages like pouch bags create a store-level billboard for products but also can entice consumers to connect with us via social media and Web pages. We’re using this test to document what catches shopper attention and identify the methods used to connect to digital offers.”

Katharine Grove, marketing specialist at CMI said that to implement the test the company created brand new packaging for imported Ambrosia apples. She said CMI wants to determine if consumers interested in additional product information are more likely to scan a QR code with a smartphone or simply use a Web-based search engine.  CMI developed a contest, displayed on the new packaging, giving consumers the opportunity to win premium kitchen gadgets. Consumers were given the option of entering the contest by either scanning the QR code or visiting the website.

Web analytics are already providing feedback on the effectiveness of both types of implementation. Grove said that conventional thinking is QR codes have fallen out of favor with consumers and most shoppers respond to Web-based addresses.

“We’re about 75 days into the Ambrosia test and we’re quite surprised with the findings,” said Grove. “To date, approximately 46 percent of all consumer responses have come by QR code with 54 percent from the Web address. QR codes may have lost some momentum with consumers, but our packaging data is showing that this remains a powerful vehicle for connecting with shoppers.”

CMI will use the findings from this packaging test to determine future messaging to include on packages. The test will conclude at the end of the import Ambrosia season in August.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.