December 1, 2019

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about local food. That’s the big thing nowadays. Everybody wants their food to be fresh, unlike a century ago when people were satisfied just to have food on the table.

I confess that I’m part of this higher consciousness. I don’t want to buy oranges shipped from, say, California to a supermarket in Cleveland where I live. Those oranges are not as fresh as oranges grown in groves near me. The fact that there are no orange groves around Cleveland is not the point. Freshness is the operating concept here.

I began researching this topic years ago and came across what I thought could become a radical addition of one part of the grocery store. The Metro Cash & Carry in Berlin, Germany was selling herbs, radishes and salad greens grown right inside the store. Using a high-tech garden technique developed by a company called InFarm, store employees grew produce on...

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John Karolefski -
Grocery Maven,
Author & Speaker

Veteran analyst John Karolefski has followed the grocery industry for over 25

years in print as well

as on radio and

television. He has lots

of stories to tell.


Share yours by writing to

Grocery Video:

'Tis the Season...










40th Anniversary of Feeding America

Feeding America, a national nonprofit addressing hunger in America, celebrated its 40th anniversary on November 14. Formerly known as Second Harvest, it is the nation’s largest hunger-relief and food rescue organization with a nationwide network of 200 food banks providing services to all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. Last year, Feeding America provided 4.2 billion meals to people in need. Its partners include Food Lion, Kroger, Publix, Walmart, Albertsons, Sam’s Club, Costco, General Mills, Conagra, and PepsiCo.   


Fresh Food Frenzy

Two of three shoppers have spent more on fresh food over the past two years, new research has found. Also, more than six of ten consumers are spending up to 30 percent of their average monthly grocery budget on fresh foods, according to a survey by Deloitte, a research and consulting firm. Shoppers generally seek healthier options. For example, eight of ten consumers are actively looking for healthier versions of the food they buy, and 77 percent avoid preservative and chemicals in their food.


CBD Confusion

The cannabidiol (CBD) market is exploding. But a survey by the Grocery Manufacturers Association shows an alarming lack of consumer knowledge about CBD. While more than six of ten Americans (62%) have heard about CBD, most of them are uncertain or mistaken about what CBD is, what it does, and whether all products made with CBD are safe to consume. Four of ten Americans who have heard of CBD think it’s another name for marijuana. More than half (51 percent) think it can get you high.


Hormel Foods and Hy-Vee have donated 1,000 pounds of Skippy Peanut Butter to the Food Bank of Iowa…..Campbell Soup and Dollar General are partnering to help support Blue Star Families by selling limited-edition cans of two best-selling flavors of Chunky soup: Classic Chicken Noodle and Sirloin Burger with Country Vegetables ....Toilets Change Lives from Kimberly-Clark is bringing sanitation services, access to clear drinking water, and hygiene education to people in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Peru, Honduras, Guatemala and South Africa. 

In the Stores


Walmart is partnering with Apple to allow shoppers to add groceries to their virtual shopping cart through voice commands with Siri.

Over the next 18-24 months, ShopRite will rebrand its private-label products, representing some 4,000 stock-keeping units, to emphasize high quality and low price.

Kroger is expanding its Kroger Wine program with a “build-your-own-pack” feature that lets shoppers choose individual wines from 45 award-winning brands.

As part of November’s National Diabetes Month, Hy-Vee offered shoppers free Hemoglobin A1C screenings via its Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobiles in 160 store parking lots.


Albertsons upgraded its floral departments with a Debi Lilly Design line of floral and home décor.  

New Products


The all-beef, skinless Monumental Dog from the Hofmann Sausage Company in Syracuse, N.Y. will be sold in 140 Giant Food Stores across Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. 


Veggie Dips from T. Marzetti Company now contain less fat and calories. Varieties include Ranch, Southwest Ranch, Dill, Spinach, French Onion, Avocado Ranch and Blue Cheese.


Florette from Saladexpress are new ready-to-eat vegetable salads: Berry Beets, Country Dijon and Salsa Ranch.


Chobani Oat Drinks and Creamers marks the first expansion outside the yogurt aisle for the maker of Greek yogurt.


"An irreverent and provocative look at contemporary grocery shopping."  - Kirkus Reviews


Grocery shopping is an existential threat to our sanity. On Sampling Day, we have to park the car in the next zip code. We can't find a shopping cart without sticky handlebars. Checkout lines are too long, but we can't buy beer at the self-checkout.

If you're flummoxed, read this collection of grocery stories by Grocery Stories editor John Karolefski to find tranquility - and a zany perspective. Check out the Introduction here; "Look inside the book" and order your copy (paperback or Kindle, including Kindle Unlimited free copies) on Amazon by clicking here.


© 2019 by Primary Communications