Walmart has really been stepping up it’s game in many areas of food/grocery lately. Just walking the store lately, I see several products that you wouldn’t have seen even a year or two ago. Recently I’ve seen more organic and specialty products in my local stores. And I’ve been hearing about a trial they’re running at some Texas super stores with a quick set-up coffee and drinks kiosk – mostly assembled off-site and once water & power are run to the location, they can roll in this modified shipping container overnight and be all set up & running by morning. In this post there are several mentions of Walmart that has caught my attention recently.
When the large corporate brands start taking interest in CBD drinks, they are validating the business case. In Canada, cannabis is becoming legal nationwide (as opposed to state by state here in the US) so it would be easier to go into wide distribution if they were to introduce a line of products. It’s reported that Coke is talking with Aurora about developing CBD (non-psychoactive) drinks.
(link to Fortune: Coca-Cola Is in Talks to Make Marijuana-Infused Drinks)
Forget the cashierless mini mart, how about one that is on the honor system. Dirty Lemon has done that in NY, where you go in, just take a bottle of their elixir, and then text them that you took it. You’ll then get instructions to pay via mobile payment – just the same way they do their online shop where order cases of product via text. And of course, this store is very selfie-friendly.
(link to NYT: Paying Is Voluntary at This Selfie-Friendly Store)
This (long read) article touches on nostalgia and some history of the grocery business. But near the end they talk about a new Wegmans, taking up space in a mall where a large 2-story dept store once was. One floor is a typical grocery market and the second floor a food hall. This is a great idea and could be a solution to demise of the mall. I could see something like this taking over the empty Sears in the mall near me.
(link to Food and Wine: The Great American Supermarket Is Not Finished With You, Yet)
Here’s an interesting look at what grocery stores are like around the world.
(link to Insider: What grocery shopping looks like in 10 places around the world)
Keto is the big trend at Expo East as the folks at Nosh are talking about. (video)
(link to Nosh: Video: Keto is King at Expo East)
California has passed a bill, AB 626, the Home Food Operations Act. This will allow home cooks to legally sell foods that are prepared at home. I haven’t gone thru and read the details of the bill yet, but wonder how packaged items (rather than ready to eat) are covered. At least the lady selling elote out of her trunk up by the truck stop won’t get arrested now.
(link to Eater: It Will Soon Be Legal to Sell Home-Cooked Food in California)
Continuing on this home food bill passage, there are apps already that help connect makers and consumers. DishDivvy is based in the Pasadena area and looks like they have been already at work on this.
(link to The Spoon: DishDivvy Free to Connect Home Cooks and Customers with Passage of AB 626)
Walmart is testing vending machine-like pickup stations on the outside of the store, so you don’t have to set foot inside, nor interact with anyone. You order via online/app, they pick n pack the order, place it in the refrigerated "vending" machine, and you get an email with scan code saying your order is ready for pickup.
(link to Business Insider: Walmart built a new vending machine that retrieves groceries within seconds)
I’ve known about Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp Sauce as being the go-to spicy condiment for many people, so I know the brand. I’m not sure if this is the same product, but this headline about Lao Gan Ma pushing into Walmart with grandma’s Fried Chili in Oil caught my eye.
(link to LAist: Lao Gan Ma, The Most Popular Hot Sauce In China, Is Coming To Walmart)