CHERIBUNDI SCORES OLYMPIC GOLD
The Daily Messenger reports that Cheribundi, maker of antioxidant-rich tart cherry juices, have won the endorsement of former U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team captain Aly Raisman, who led the team to consecutive gold medal-winning performances at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic games.
Raisman, a native of Needham, Mass., discovered Cheribundi two years ago and integrated the drink into her daily exercise routine for post-workout recovery and sleep.
“When we found out that Aly was a huge fan we knew she was the perfect person to support the continued education of the public. We are delighted to have her share her real life experience with Cheribundi products,” said Steve Pear, Cheribundi CEO.
Raisman shot to fame during the 2012 London Summer Games when she finished the competition as the most decorated U.S. gymnast, making history by becoming the first American to win gold in the floor exercise.
The article did not specify in what capacity Raisman would be integrated into Cheribundi’s overall marketing strategy.
MILK PRICES DROP IN TOLEDO
The price of milk in Toledo, Ohio, has dropped to less than half of the U.S. average cost, according to an article in The Toledo Blade.
Citing statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index, the article reports that the price of a gallon of milk has been dropping steadily over the past two years and currently sits at $2.58 a gallon.
In Toledo, a gallon of milk at the area’s three major grocery retailers — Walmart, Meijer and Kroger — costs between $1.09 and $1.19, as of this week.
Local grocers cited in the article said that the low prices were likely the result of a pricing strategy from the three grocery chains.
“I think you have some stores that are lowballing milk. They’re using it as a loss leader,” said Jim Sautter, owner of Sautter’s Five-Star Markets.
A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Marketing Service told the Blade that there is a dairy surplus that is keeping prices depressed.
Chris Hurt, an agriculture economist for Purdue University who was interviewed for the story, said that the surplus is a result of dairy farmers increasing production in recent years following the stabilization of grain prices.
TRAFFIC DROPS AT WHOLE FOODS
Financial news website The Street proclaimed that “Whole Foods is no longer the dominant force in organics,” citing an industry analyst’s estimate that the retailer has suffered a “staggering” decline in traffic to the tune of 9 to 14 million customers.
Karen Short, a Managing Director at Barclays Capital, included the estimate in a note on Monday, according to the article. Short posited that much of that lost traffic is being driven by expanded organic offerings and discounts at conventional supermarket chain Kroger.
“As most retailers know, once traffic has been lost those patterns rarely reverse. As a result, in our view Whole Foods might face significant challenges to reverse behavioral changes even if execution improves because execution at competing retailers remains very strong,” wrote Short.
The latest news adds to Whole Foods’ already grim outlook, following the company’s sixth consecutive quarter of falling same-store sales, which were down 2.4 percent in Q1 2017. Through the first five weeks of the second quarter, same-store sales are down 3.2 percent.
According to the article, the recent closure of nine stores is “calling into question the past five years of aggressive store openings (100 or so in past three years, many of which are larger locations) and the brand’s longer-term potential.”
SHAMROCK FARMS EXPANDING VIRGINIA FACILITY
WHSV-TV is reporting that dairy company Shamrock Farms has announced a $40 million expansion of its manufacturing facility in northern Virginia.
The expansion, which is slated to be finished in late 2018, will include 70 new jobs, bringing the plant to a total of 120 employees. The new facility will also include a “significant increase” in filling capacity and an expansion of product varieties, sizes and formats.
According to Shamrock, the revamped facility will allow the company to produce shelf-stable products in plastic single-serve bottles.
“As a company, we’re always looking for ways to grow and innovate,” Ann Ocana, Chief Marketing Officer for Shamrock Farms, told WHSV-TV. “The expansion gives us the capacity and the technology to meet growing demand, expand our offerings and propel milk-based beverages into the future.”
PHILLY REAPS SWEET REWARDS OF SODA TAX
Philadelphia’s controversial soda tax is turning into a gravy train for the city’s coffers, as the Philadelphia Business Journal reported that the city’s Department of Revenue announced it had topped its own estimates with $6.4 million in taxes collected in February.
Mayor Jim Kenney’s office projected soda tax revenue in February at $6.3 million, according to the administration’s budget proposal.
The Revenue Department also bumped up the initial revenue figures from January from $5.7 million to $5.8 million. The Business Journal report places total revenue for the tax so far at $12.3 million, and added that the city “remains confident” it will meet its fiscal year projection of $46 million.
However, the tax “does not appear to be deterring consumers at the rate that city officials expected nor at the levels Pepsi and others claim,” according to the Business Journal.
The article also cites a story from BillyPenn.com stating that PepsiCo is no longer distributing 2 L and 12-packs of soda to Philadelphia grocery stores and will instead be supplying retailers with smaller-sized items that offer healthier profit margins.