Grocery chains have accelerated planned investments in online delivery and pickup services, in some cases moving plans ahead to two- to three-year timelines instead of five to seven years, in response to increased competition from the Amazon/Whole Foods Market merger, according to a Bain & Co. consultant. Analysts claim chains may need to update their own shopper-loyalty programs to contend with Prime and many food manufacturers are redesigning their packaging and formulas to better sell through Amazon and Whole Foods, reported The Wall Street Journal. Starting June 12, the online giant launched free two-hour delivery of products from Whole Foods through Prime Now in Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and Richmond. The service first launched in February, and was available in seven cities by April. With the additional markets, the service is now available in 14 cities. Amazon plans to continue expanding the service across the United States throughout the rest of the year, the company said.
Raising the smoking age in Illinois could drive younger customers to neighboring states to purchase snacks along with tobacco and nicotine products, according to the executive vice president of the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association and Illinois Association of Convenience Stores. A bill recently passed by the Illinois state Senate and House would raise the state's legal age for purchasing tobacco and nicotine products to 21 from 18, reported Chicago Tribune.
Americans are recycling less corrugated cardboard compared to past years, according to the American Forest & Paper Association. While online sales have surged in the past five years, with cardboard use rising 8%, cardboard recycling has dropped. In 2017, 300,000 fewer tons of corrugated containers were recycled in the U.S. than in the year before, even as domestic consumption increased 3.5%, reported CNBC.
Tens of billions of dollars could be saved in healthcare costs if Americans ate more healthful foods, according to a study by the American Society for Nutrition. The study reported savings between $21 billion and $135 billion could be achieved depending on different scenarios, with the society noting fish, nuts, fruits and olive oil were components of a healthful diet, reported HealthDay.
Starbucks Money-The coffee giant and Chase are launching the Starbucks Rewards Visa Prepaid Card, the first general purpose prepaid or debit card for which consumers can earn earn “Stars” for purchases outside of Starbucks. The new card is integrated directly into the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program. “This reloadable Visa Prepaid card is a unique and modern option that gives customers one more way to earn more Stars and Rewards through everyday spend, in a way they haven’t been able to before,” said Matt Ryan, chief marketing officer for Starbucks. Cardholders will receive instant “Gold” status within the Starbucks loyalty program, along with other exclusive benefits. They will receive one star for every $10 on purchases made with card. The prepaid card is the second co-branded product introduced by Starbucks and Chase this year. In February, the two companies introduced the Starbucks Rewards Visa Card.
KFC-Vegan Chicken-Over the next 7 years, KFC UK hopes to cut their calories per serving by 20%. They will also introduce multiple meals that are under 600 calories by 2020. One of the ways they're looking to do that is with this veggie alternative, which will utilize the same secret blend of 11 spices that all of Colonel Sanders's chicken is seasoned with. KFC hopes that their meat-free creation "[offers] the great taste of KFC to new and existing customers who are changing their dining habits."