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Weis rolls out mobile app, refreshes blog

BY Allison Cerra

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets is expanding its presence in the digital space.

The company earlier this month launched a free mobile application, which allows customers to view its weekly circulars and compile detailed shopping lists on their iPhone and Android smartphones. Settings for the app can be customized so customers can view weekly circular specials at their local store and lists can be synchronized between the list on their device and their list on WeisMarkets.com. Additional features include:

  • Automatic pricing updates every Sunday;

  • Simple navigation;

  • Allows customers to view products to build a list quickly and browse circular specials;

  • Pre-loads product photos to make it easy to find items on the shelf;

  • Automatically puts customer items in categories for easy in-store use;

  • Allows customers to add any item with the text option; and

  • Allows customers to email their list and task someone else to do their shopping.

In addition to the app, the company also has debuted a new blog on its website. The blog, which can be accessed here, provides "[information] on healthy living, sustainability, new products and company news," according to one of the retailer’s Twitter posts. It also touts the slogan, "it’s in the bag … an unmistakably Weis blog on food and life."

The rollouts follow last year’s launch of the retailer’s new social media aggregator, which compiles all of Weis’ official social media outlets into a single, easy-to-read page.

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Safeway joins USDA on national health-and-wellness communication initiative

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Tuesday joined forces with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion on an initiative to develop and promote dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers.

"Empowering our shoppers and employees to make the right nutritional choices for themselves and their families is paramount in the way we do business," Safeway chairman, president and CEO Steve Burd said. "We are very excited about the USDA partnership as it underscores our commitment to health and wellness and provides a natural extension to the work we’re already doing to help Americans make informed, healthier choices when shopping in our stores and in their daily lives."

As one of the largest national grocery chains to become a national strategic partner in the CNPP’s Nutrition Communicators Network, Safeway will help drive the group’s food retail-based effort. "Retailers are critical to helping our vision become a reality because they have the opportunity to impact and educate consumers at the store and on the shelf," noted Robert Post, deputy director of USDA’s CNPP. "We look forward to partnering with Safeway and embrace the expertise they bring to our efforts in encouraging Americans to adopt a healthier lifestyle."

Safeway already has implemented programs designed to educate consumers on healthy living. For example, its proprietary SimpleNutrition shelf tag system helps shoppers quickly make food and beverage choices that meet the nutritional needs of their families. Safeway is also developing a fun and educational in-store tour program for kids spotlighting the major food groups and further establishing USDA MyPlate messages.

In addition, Safeway has been making its pharmacists available to offer education and consultation for a broad range of needs such as proper utilization of over-the-counter and prescription products, preventive care (including immunization services) and management of such chronic diseases as diabetes, the grocer said.

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Vapur launches Element Anti-Bottle

BY Allison Cerra

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Vapur has launched a collapsible and reusable water bottle.

The Vapur Element Anti-Bottle is made with a 3-ply combination of BPA-free nylon and antimicrobial polyethylene, can be folded and stowed away when it is empty, and also is freezable and dishwasher safe, the company said.

"The Element is designed to be the everyday, go-to hydration solution for the active lifestyle," Vapur co-founder and chief design officer Jason Carignan said. "The Element enables on-the-go hydration and is an essential piece of gear for the outdoor adventurer and the urban warrior alike."

The Element, available in Water, Fire, and Wind designs, carries a suggested retail price of $11.99 for a 0.7-liter bottle and $13.99 for a 1-liter bottle.

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