Food Policy Grocery Health Packaged Food Science Sweets

Berkeley Passes ‘Healthy Checkout’ Bill, Clearing Junk Food From Checkout Aisles

Photo: David Tonelson // Shutterstock

The checkout aisle of grocery stores isn’t home to just a cash register; there’s also a variety of candies, chips, and sweets you can pick up. This front of store promotion is often where kids of all ages can get their sugar cravings satisfied, but also helps push and market junk food products.

If you could change the products available in the checkout aisle to be less caloric and sugar-laden, it might have an effect in helping combat obesity. The city of Berkeley is willing to give that a shot, as they became the first city to pass a “healthy checkout” bill.

The new law, as reported by the San Jose Mercury News, applies to grocery stores larger than 2,500 square feet. It restricts products available at the checkout stands to those with no more than 5 grams of added sugar or less than 250 milligrams of sodium per serving.

Junk food itself isn’t banned in these stores, and could be found in the regular candy, chips, or snacks sections. This law just takes that prime product placement section and has stores give better-for-you options a shot in that area.

Policymakers hope that the new ordinance helps redefine what “treating yourself” means when picking up convenient snacks on the way out of the store. Replacing candy bars and the like with better-for-you snack bars, fruits, nuts, and more could help encourage healthier snacking habits.

Berkeley is known for establishing precedent for laws involving nutrition and sustainability that get passed elsewhere. Their 2014 soda tax, for example, has led to similar actions in other parts of the United States.

How this law will change snacking habits, and whether it catches on nationwide, will be seen when it goes into effect in March 2021. Enforcement via health inspections will begin in 2022.

News Restaurants What's New

Italian Food Wonderland Eataly Finds New Home In Las Vegas

PRNewsfoto/Eataly USA

The first time I visited Southern California’s Eataly location in Century City, I was floored by all the wonders the Italian marketplace and food hall had to offer. They had authentic Italian meats, pastas, cheeses, as well as a bevy of restaurants that highlighted the spirit of traditional Italian cooking. It was a veritable playground of sorts for anyone in love with the culture and its expression through food.

Now, one of the most iconic cities in the country will be getting their very own spot to boast.

Eataly is opening its first-ever location in Las Vegas and the authentic Italian market place will find a home at the new resort Park MGM in December.

“Eataly Las Vegas will showcase our continued evolution,” Nicola Farinetti, CEO of Eataly USA, said. “We are integrating our retail store and restaurants further than ever before to create a more immersive and interactive experience surrounding premier food offerings.”

Las Vegas will be the sixth US location for Eataly, with 35 total locations worldwide. The new Park MGM will feature culinary programs which include Roy Choi’s Best Friend, Bavette’s Steakhouse, and NoMad restaurant.

With the hundreds of activities that Las Vegas has to offer, Eataly’s newest spot has just climbed to the top of the list

Celebrity Grub Video

Bill Gates Tries His Best To Guess Grocery Prices, Fails Miserably [WATCH]

While game shows like The Price Is Right show how hard it is for the common man to guess grocery item prices, you can imagine how hard it is for a billionaire who probably just has food seemingly appear on his dining room table every day.

Bill Gates recenly appeared on the Ellen Show, and because Ellen Degeneres is the queen of trolling, she created a segment where Gates had to try and guess the prices for a box of Rice-a-Roni, Tide Pods, Totino’s Pizza Rolls, dental floss, and TGIFridays frozen spinach and artichoke dip. He was given $1 leeway on his guesses, and if he could guess three out of the five items, the audience won a prize.

Gates immediately started off badly, guessing that a 7.2 ounce box of Rice-a-Roni was $5. It was in fact $1, so you can already see where this was going.

He guessed $4 for a case of Tide Pods, which shows he has no idea how much it costs to do laundry either. Even on his second guess, he went with $10, and was shocked to learn it was actually $19.97.

He legitimately got the cost of floss correctly, but once he got to the pizza rolls and artichoke dip, he needed a LOT of help from the audience. Funny enough, Ellen showed how out of touch she is with groceries, too, calling the pizza rolls brand “Totina’s” instead of “Totino’s.”

Ellen kind of let things slide, even though Bill was treading water, and the audience still won a chance to come back for her “12 Days of Giveaways” show.

So predictably, Bill Gates had no idea how much groceries cost, to the point that he looked legitimately shocked by the prices. He now knows what us common folk pay for food and home goods.

News Packaged Food

Everything Costs $3 At This Brandless Online Grocery Store

Ever notice the huge mark up of prices between popular name-brand groceries compared to the generic store-brand ones? We’ll stick to Hydrox, thanks. If you’re not one to care about the most popular brands and everything essentially tastes the same to you, you might want to check out Brandless.

Brandless is an online grocery store that sells non perishable foods like coffee, dressings, peanut butter, snacks, sauces, and candies but without any sort of brand name tied to them. Essentially, peanut butter is just labeled as peanut butter and costs you $3.

In fact, everything sold in the store costs $3, reports TechCrunch.

Other than food, Brandless also sells things like kitchen utensils, personal care products, cleaning supplies, and office supplies. The store boasts hundreds of brand-free items customers can get for cheap.

Kinda awesome that one single place exists that you can get so many household items and foods for just $3.


This Market Chain Just Dropped Candy From Its Checkout Lines


That temptation of grabbing that last-minute candy bar at the grocery checkout line is all too real. East coast supermarket chain Aldi wants to get rid of that tempation for its shoppers.

Aldi has announced they’re losing the checkout sweets at their stores and replacing them with healthier alternatives, The Chicago Tribune reports. This includes getting rid of chocolates and sugary bites and replacing them with dried fruit, granola bars and trail mix.

The company wanted to give customers a way to “feel good” about the checkout choices they make when it comes to snacks.

With nearly 1,500 in the United States, Aldi wants to finish its transition by the end of 2016. Locations of Aldi stores in the United Kingdom have already finished swapping out sweets.

Those who immediately go to that angry place, calm down. You can still walk to the other side of the store where they sell candy. You just won’t find them at the checkout line.

You may also remember Target testing something similar a while back.

Photo: Aldi Facebook


Why Whole Foods Is About To Get A Lot Cheaper


Whole Foods Market, the grocery store popularly referred to as “Whole Paycheck,” is actually about to become affordable for once.

The chain’s recently poor performance, which saw sales dip for the first time since 2009, is now the driving force behind adding more discounts. In an earnings call on Wednesday, co-CEO John Mackey addressed the shift in strategy:

“If we had a magic bullet, we’ve already shot it. We don’t think there’s anything we can do immediately except increase promotional activity to drive sales. We think it’s basic blocking and tackling.”

For customers, this means more sales on produce, meat, seafood and more. Customers will also see more limited-time discounts, according to Business Insider.

Part of the decline in sales for the store is attributed to increased competition in the retail of all-natural and organic foods and products. In response, Mackey explained that the chain will push to do a better job at showing customers why Whole Foods’ organic food is better than conventional grocers.

The grocery chain also plans to expand into younger demographics with their 365 by Whole Foods Market stores into 2017. Mackey explained that 365 will be what Nordstrom Rack is to Nordstrom.


Whole Foods will also be introducing a range of lower-priced products at its new chain of 365 by Whole Foods Market stores. Mackey explained:

“The time is right to take the high-quality standards we have developed over the last 35-plus years, and make them more broadly accessible through a streamlined, value-focused format and serve communities we would not be able to reach with our larger Whole Foods Market stores.”

Written by Nextshark


Hawaii Is Officially The First State To Ban Plastic Bags In Grocery Stores


Hawaii has officially banned plastic bags in grocery stores. The City and County of Honolulu announced Wednesday that it will be enforcing a ban prohibiting the distribution of plastic bags in supermarket checkout lanes, reports the Huffington Post. Because Oahu was the last island in the state to enforce the ban, Hawaii will no longer offer them to customers.

Stores in various counties across the nation have gradually been removing plastic bags from checkout. Instead, they encourage patrons to bring reusable bags for their groceries.

Since plastic isn’t biodegradable, it’s a leading contributor to ocean patches that eventually form into garbage islands. By using a reusable bag, we limit the negative impact plastic bags have on the environment.



Town Loses Local Shop, Replaces it With a Giant Vending Machine

vending machine

Across the pond there’s a small community in Clifton, Derbyshire that has been without a local shop for nearly fourteen years. Without a grocery store, let alone a convenience shop, the residents have been forced to travel to the next nearest town for their essentials. Fortunately for the Clifton community electrical engineer Peter Fox found a solution for the town’s shopping needs.

After the closure of Clifton’s village shop Fox began toying with the idea of a vending machine to fill the void. Unfortunately Fox couldn’t generate enough interest to have a firm aid in the development in the machine so he did it himself. After three years of development Fox’s automatic shop made its Clifton debut this past week.

Adorned with a brick exterior and overhead awning the giant vending machine gives off that local shop feel. What makes this vending machine difference from any other is its ability to handle items of varying weight, delicacy, and wide range of products. The automatic shop contains chill compartments to accommodate cold items such as milk and eggs. Besides grocery items the machine also stocks pet food, toiletries, and even umbrellas. Residents can pay for their items using cash or credit cards.

Fox hopes to create more automatic shops for other small towns in the area.

H/T + PicThx Daily Mail