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ECRM to facilitate Wakefern’s store-brand supplier search

BY David Salazar

Wakefern Food is reaching out to private-label suppliers with ECRM’s help with an upcoming event. The Keasbey, N.J.-based retailer-owned cooperative will be meeting with potential suppliers its Store Brand Sourcing Program, which will be held at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edision, N.J, on May 17.

ECRM will be facilitating the 20-minute meetings between potential vendors and buyers from Wakefern, whose members independently own and operate such banners as ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, the Fresh Grocer and Dearborn Market. ECRM also will be handling all inbound product submissions for the event, the companies said.

Through the event, Wakefern said it is seeking suppliers for store-brand products in its grocery, frozen, dairy, meat, produce, beverages, food service, bakery, seafood, deli, non-foods and health and beauty care sections.

“Wakefern is looking forward to working with ECRM to find exciting new suppliers and products for our stores,” Wakefern vice president of grocer Parag Shah said. “We continue to grow our existing private label portfolio with innovative and award-winning new brands such as Wholesome Pantry, and believe this summit will bring us exciting new opportunities.”

Interested private-label suppliers and manufacturers can submit their product information using RangeMe through April 13. ECRM will select and email details of meetings to companies, which will be subject to a $500 participation fee.

“We are excited to be working with Wakefern in their quest to enhance their own brand assortment and find the appropriate supplier capabilities to grow sales and enhance value for their shoppers,” ECRM senior vice president Wayne Bennett said.

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Amazon expands Whole Foods Market delivery through Prime

BY Marianne Wilson

Amazon has expanded Whole Foods Market grocery deliveries through Prime Now to another major metro market.

The online giant on Tuesday said it has launched free two-hour delivery from Whole Foods through Prime Now in Los Angeles. Prime members across greater Los Angeles and Orange County — along the coast from Santa Monica to San Clemente, Pasadena to the North and Yorba Linda to the East — are now eligible for the service. Prime members receive two-hour delivery for free and ultra-fast delivery within one hour for $7.99 on orders of $35 or more.

“We’ve been delighted with the customer response to free two-hour delivery through Prime Now, and we’re excited to bring the service to our Los Angeles area customers,” Christina Minardi, Whole Foods Market executive VP of operations, said.

The service first launched in February 2018 and is now available in seven cities with plans for continued expansion across the U.S. throughout the rest of the year.

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Kroger steps up fight against opioid epidemic

BY Michael Johnsen

Kroger Pharmacy is taking several steps as part of a comprehensive commitment to help communities combat the nationwide opioid epidemic, the Cincinnati grocer announced Monday. The efforts follow Surgeon General Jerome Adams issuing a general advisory on naloxone and opioid overdose encouraging the use of the overdose-reversal drug that has become a mainstay behind pharmacy counters nationwide.

“We applaud the Surgeon General’s advisory on naloxone and opioid overdose, knowing the epidemic continues to devastate communities across our country. A person loses their life from an opioid overdose every 12.5 minutes,” Colleen Lindholz, Kroger’s president of pharmacy and the Little Clinic, said. “We know that pharmacists are the most accessible health professionals to the public and play a vital role in providing access to the life-saving drug naloxone.”

As part of its efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, Kroger currently stocks naloxone, an opioid overdose-reversing drug, in its 2,300 pharmacies across 35 states and the District of Columbia with more than 1,900 of those locations dispensing naloxone without a prescription.

The company also announced plans to host drug take-back events at store locations across the country on April 28, in partnership with Cardinal Health and coinciding with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Kroger also is partnering with EVERFI and Cardinal Health’s Generation Rx to support drug prevention programs for high school students in certain markets.

“Every day in our stores and pharmacies, in large ways and small, Kroger is committed to being a part of the solution and helping people live healthier lives,” Lindholz said.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States struggle with an opioid-use disorder and rates of opioid overdose deaths are rapidly increasing.

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