Categories
Health

Costco Now REQUIRES You To Wear A Mask Before Entering Their Warehouse

As more and more people flock to Costco to stock up  during this period of self isolation, the national warehouse club has been having to update their policies pretty frequently to ensure the safety of all its members and guests. The latest in these policies is a new requirement that everyone looking to enter their warehouse will be required to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Effective May 4, the company announced that all Costco members and guests will have to wear a mask or face covering that covers the mouth and nose at all times while inside their warehouses.

The only exceptions will be children under the age of two or individuals who can’t wear a face covering because of an existing medical condition.

Costco also stresses that this policy is definitely not a substitute for social distancing (which should always be practiced throughout this pandemic). Looks like if you’re planning to go to Costco next week, you better have a mask ready. Otherwise you’ll be waiting in that long line for nothing.

Categories
Fruits & Vegetables

Avoid Grocery Store Lines With This A La Carte Produce Box Shipped Straight To Your Door

While everyone’s trying their best these days to stay inside, the dilemma of getting fresh fruits and vegetables presents itself for those looking to steer away from eating cans of corned beef hash and beans every other day. Trust me, canned food gets old QUICK.

Melissa’s Produce, is offering a sliding scale of amazing produce boxes that you can order and have shipped anywhere in the United States (though Southern California residents get free shipping).

You can order boxes of mixed fruits and vegetables depending on which type of produce you lean heavier towards.

If you lean heavy towards making vegetable-based dishes, perhaps a 70/30 box is something you need. If your diet is a little bit of both down them middle, consider the 50/50 box. Options also include a fruits only or vegetables only box for those who’d rather have one or the other. There’s even a box crafted towards making fresh juices.

If you’re looking for your produce fix without stepping foot outside the comfort of your own home, definitely check them out.

Categories
Grocery News

Newest Whole Foods 365 Market Could Be Glimpse Into Tech Advances From Amazon Influence

When I think of a typical grocery store, the only technologically advanced system is the self-checkout aisle. Us self-righteous millennials demand more!

In case you’ve actually been living under a rock (no judgments), Amazon acquired Whole Foods last June in a $13.4 billion deal. While we can only imagine the technological advantages that will manifest from this (*praying hand emoji* please be drone delivery) we do know that Amazon recently revealed a “smart convenience store” where registers aren’t even required.

While we begrudgingly wait for more announcements, the convenience store concept further demonstrates the importance of technological pioneering within the e-commerce giant, meaning it can only get more tech from here.

Good thing 365 by Whole Foods Market already has.

The fifth location of the Whole Foods wallet-friendly spin-off has made the treacherous journey across the 101 FWY in Los Angeles to become a Westside neighborhood staple.

With a carefully curated stock, 365 locations boast “no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives or hydrogenated oils” within their product lines, but there’s another key ingredient that the store has subbed for success: in-store technology.

365 tech assets consist of kiosk ordering via iPads, electronic shelf labels, home delivery via Instacart, an energy efficient area for chilled produce, and digital punch cards for multiple products across the store. Oh, and there’s also an iPad that doubles as a sommelier because… wine not?

“It’s not technology for technology sake, it’s meant to be useful and help you,” explained Turnas, president of 365 by Whole Foods Market. “I think a lot of what we try to do is more of a digital presence… so I think that appeals to a broad range of people.”

The Whole Foods Market 365 concept prides itself on simplicity and convenience — not to mention lower prices in which its Whole Foods parent is infamously not known for. “The pricing is really competitive,” stated Jeff Turnas. “Our concept is one where we’ve got Whole Foods market quality which is delivered in a little bit different setting.”

So Santa Monica health-nuts and Venice yogis rejoice! You can now have your organic salad bar and eat it, too (for way less). As for Amazon’s technological influence? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see what’s in store.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss News Now Trending Video

Walmart Loss Prevention Accuses Shopper Of Stealing Items She Actually Paid For

Megastores like Walmart go through so many customers on a daily basis, that they usually have someone standing at the gates checking receipts to make sure nothing extra makes it out unpaid for. Usually they’re pretty chill. Usually.

A video recently went viral after a Walmart loss-prevention duo tried to stop a shopper they believed was stealing groceries and other items from the store. Specifically, a Lion King toy.

Two employees from the Burnsville, Minnesota location stopped shopper Gina Lescarbeau as she tried to leave the Walmart, Heavy reports.

Lascarbeau’s toy was believed to be $15 by blond lothario Kenny Swanson-Peck, where she adamantly claims she paid $7 for it. Swanson-Peck and his coworker, Thomas Ewalt, soon discovered that they were in the wrong after some price checking.

It should be noted that at no point does the Walmart employee apologize to the understandably angry customer. Hopefully they got a stern talking to from upper management since this video went viral.

Man, if someone accused me of stealing my deli fried chicken fix, I probably wouldn’t show the amount of restraint this lady did.

Categories
Grocery Hit-Or-Miss News Packaged Food Products

Movebutter Is A New Online Grocery Store Looking To Be ‘Infinitely Accessible’

You’ve heard of farm-to-table restaurants — odds are you’ve been to one of these trendy spots where chefs cook with ingredients that come directly from local suppliers. Well, if you love these eco-friendly, fresh-tasting eats as much as we do, then prepare for some exciting developments.

Thanks to the magic of the internet, one innovative company is taking the idea of farm-to-table right to your doorstep. Introducing, Movebutter: the online grocery store that’s about to revolutionize the supermarket industry.

We sat down with the CEO of Movebutter, Chai Mishra, to talk about his company’s vision of making high-quality food accessible and affordable to everyone.

Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about how you grew up, Chai.

I grew up in Northern India and moved to Berkley, California when I was 17. From a young age, I was always obsessed with the idea of how stuff gets made and how it gets to market, so it made sense for me to study engineering at the University of California. I ended up leaving school to work at startups all over the world, mainly working as a supply chain guy.

It couldn’t be more clear that reinventing how we get our groceries is your passion. Were you always fascinated by supermarkets and the food industry?

My dad (and my grandfather, too, actually) was an engineer. He owned a trading business which helped third world countries acquire machinery and he was always taking me to the warehouses where he worked. I really think this sparked my curiosity for industrial processes. Getting this behind-the-scenes look at such a young age always had me thinking, “What happens between dreaming up a product and getting it on someone’s doorstep?”

So when I started traveling the world, working for various startups in places like China and Estonia, I was always drawn to the operations aspect of the process, in all different types of industries.

Was the idea for Movebutter inspired or informed by your experiences with those startups?

Oh, absolutely. I worked for a start-up coffee company in Germany; they invented a machine that lets you roast, grind, and brew your own beans at home. My job was to work with coffee farmers in 50 countries, trying to find a way to get raw, green coffee beans to customers in 40-45 different countries.

One of the hardest parts of the job was seeing the unfairness of the industry. These farmers are paid $0.07 for their crops, but the company then turns around and sells those crops for $15 a bag. Not only that, but the standing methods for getting the product from the supplier to the customer is SO inefficient. It was a serious eye-opener for me.

Can you give us an overview of how Movebutter works? How will this e-grocery store fix the problems you saw in Germany?

Simply put, Movebutter is making high-quality food products more accessible and affordable for everyone. We build relationships with suppliers all over the country who ship their fantastic products to our warehouse in San Francisco. The products are packaged, labeled, and sent out that day to customers in all 50 states of the U.S.

Within the next two months, we’re actually going to be opening up warehouses in New Jersey and Texas. Yeah, we could feasibly do everything out of our San Francisco location, but these two new warehouses are going to cut down delivery times for customers not on the West Coast.

That’s a fantastic improvement to an already fantastic infrastructure.

We’re always trying to improve, especially when it comes to customer experience! We’re always trying to get more out of ourselves. Can we cut down the delivery time to within the hour? Can we make our products 30% more affordable? These are the questions we have to ask.

What foods do you hold, always?

All your typical, stock groceries! Movebutter holds all different kinds of meats, dairy, produce, pasta, sauce, etc. The great thing is, we hold a variety of high-quality products across the board, so customers have a lot of great options for everything they need.

What type of orders do you typically see? One meals’ worth of food or much more?

$130 orders are average, which is about one week of groceries. What we’re seeing is that people are coming here to buy all of their groceries, because we have about 95% of what they’re looking for a regular week. The biggest concerns we get from customers are requests that we hold the other 5% of the food they need.

What are the foods you find are the “5%” or that you don’t carry?

We’ve been getting a huge demand for non-food items, like cleaning products. That’s amazing for us because stocking anything other than food items isn’t something we had considered yet. We figured we’d start with food and see where it went from there, but the requests don’t lie!

Movebutter has a very strong, loyal Facebook community, and we bring all our stocking decisions to them. When we asked about stocking things like cleaning products, the excitement was unanimous – so we did it.

That’s a great approach. Did you always know Movebutter would be such a democratic company?

Yes, we knew it needed to be democratic from the beginning. When you go into the store you have to buy what they have stocked, but we believe you should be able to say “This granola needs to be sweeter” or “I need a smaller option for milk because I don’t need a whole gallon.” What we didn’t know was if people would WANT to be this involved, but the response has been insane.

What are a few examples of Movebutter’s democratic practices? 

A great example are the non-food items we were talking about. The people said they wanted soap, so we found a natural soap supplier in Montana that offers 10 varieties. We’ll have them vote on which type of soap we should hold from this supplier and the winner is what we’ll stock.

We also do something weekly called a “taste test.” Basically, we send out the items we’re planning on holding to a handful of customers each week and give them a score card to record their thoughts on taste, texture, etc. They’re encouraged to post their thoughts into the Facebook group – then we use that data to make the products better.

Truthfully, this is our biggest advantage in the industry: we can democratize food and other products. We can give our company and our consumers the economic advantage, based on how the public votes.

At other big e-commerce companies, who’s listening to consumer requests, some intern? We’ve literally cut out the need for a sales department – it’s product people handling these requests and concerns. I’m online all the time! I get into conversations with grandmas and college students about how they’ll use our honey and it always makes my day.

What kinds of populations are you hoping Movebutter will impact?

Right now our customers tend to skew female in their early 20s to late 30s, and they mostly live in urban areas. However, we really are a company for everyone. Small towns, especially in middle America, are also represented. These people often live in what we call “food deserts,” where they don’t have a store within five miles of them in all directions.

Our customer base is very much America in the sense that we run the gamut of races, cultures, backgrounds and political views. This connects to the core idea of who we are; we sell high-quality versions of everyday products, all centered around community.

You were quoted saying that Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is a “step back for the consumer.” Can you explain why you feel the consumer will suffer?

Grocery was always offline, but we’ve been seeing it transitioning more and more to the online market. This WAS moving the industry towards more ethical practices and affordable food products by cutting out the middle man. But this acquisition is a huge step back from all that. Amazon selling Whole Food’s inventory online doesn’t solve the problem; there’s still the incurred cost from the 400+ Whole Foods locations the consumer has to pay. I firmly feel that this move slowed down the progress the industry was making. Who is this helping? It is a step forward for Whole Foods, but it’s a step back for Amazon as well as the consumer.

How will Movebutter fill the gap this acquisition may have made in the industry?

This is an important opportunity for us to step up our game in the wake of Amazon’s mistake. Ironically, this business move has effectively cleared the field below and above us in our industry. We’re looking around and seeing that we’re the last company standing in this new wave of digital. It’s troubling, but it’s also the greatest opportunity that’s come along since we started this company.

We’ve been getting non-stop calls from grocery stores and investors, because they’re realizing they need to move to e-commerce. So it’s now up to us to move the industry in the right direction.

We’re going to continue to pursue the idea of the “infinitely accessible grocery store.” For us, that means finding the greatest food out there, finding a way to bring it down to price points that anyone can afford, and then distributing it so everyone can get it. We’ll start with food (because that’s most pressing) and then move this idea out so it can apply to everything.

Walmart and Amazon can fight it out among themselves. Meanwhile, we’ll be building a better store for everything, quite literally the retail store of the future.

 

For more information on Movebutter, make sure to check out the company website or follow the company’s Facebook page.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Two Friends Pay For Strangers’ Groceries And The Reactions Are Priceless

While some Youtubers conduct social experiments to point out gaping flaws in our society, others conduct them just to do something nice for people.

Mike Lewis and Rob Westerman decided to surprise people on July 2 at a Cincinnati, Ohio Kroger grocery store by popping in to pay for their groceries and then just walking away.

Westerman would walk up as customers were checking out, put down his credit card to pay and then just walk off to wait in his car. Lewis stood nearby to film people’s reactions — there were many smiles and even a few tears.

The duo bought groceries for two hours and edited the footage down into a seven-minute video. They played their video at their church and then posted it to Facebook — the video went viral shortly after.

Written by Jacob Wagner of NextShark || Source: ABC6

Categories
Sweets

UK’s Biggest Grocery Store Bans Candy in the Checkout Aisle

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I rarely remember a time where I didn’t pick up a candy bar or some kind of sweet after a grocery store trip. It’s so easy to just reach for those colorful wrappers, knowing they’ll deliver on the sweet promises of sugar. Looks like this will no longer be the case for many of our friends in the United Kingdom.

The UK’s largest retailer, Tesco, is issuing a ban on sweets and chocolates sold at the checkout aisle. A recent survey conducted among customers showed that 65% of shoppers wanted candy removed from checkouts to further temptation when buying groceries and 67% felt it would help them make healthier choices for their kids. Tesco had already taken out confectionary at the checkout in 720 of their larger stores 20 years ago. The retailer will now implement the ban for all of their 1,800 locations which include Tesco Metro and Express convenience stores in both Britain and Ireland.

According to The Guardian, the decision was based on wanting to remove the temptation of sugary snacks at the checkout and to help customers lead heather lives, said Tesco Chief Executive Philip Clarke. The removal was expected to finish by December of 2014 but after the customer survey, it looks like it’s moving ahead much sooner.

Though confectionery will be removed from checkouts, they’ll still be available for purchase in bulk within the store itself. Though unless it’s Halloween or Easter, no one can commit to that much candy. In theory, of course.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Walmart to Sell Budget Friendly Organic Food

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Walmart is set to join the organic food race with their own line of affordable products. The retail giant has teamed up with equally impressive organic superpower Wild Oats to create a new line of pantry items that have already begun to hit store shelves.

Walmart’s executive vice-president of grocery, Jack Sinclair, explains that Walmart is “removing the premium associated with organic groceries”. Considering how much more expensive organic items are in comparison to your run of the mill groceries it’s surprising that Walmart didn’t put their hat into this race sooner.

In a comparison of national brands versus Walmart’s Wild Oats products the price differences were pretty substantial. Some Wild Oats products clocked in at over 50 percent less expensive than the more popular brands, for example: Wild Oats 6-ounce can of tomato paste runs $.58 while the national brand retails at $.98. Overall Walmart says Wild Oats prices will be “more than 25% lower than nationally branded items”

The affordability factor of these usually high ticket groceries could very well inspire more consumers to eat healthier due to the budget friendly prices. Roll out of the new organic goods will be select as Walmart will only offer Wild Oats products to half of its 4,000 locations, but according to Walmart’s website Wild Oats products will be available to purchase online later this summer.

H/T + PicThx Consumerist