In an effort to bring affordable immunizations to communities across the U.S., Walmart is holding its annual Wellness Day on Oct. 8. Customers at more than 4,600 Walmart pharmacies will be able to receive flu, pneumonia, shingles, HPV and other immunizations, as well as COVID-19 bivalent boosters with no out-of-pocket costs.
The following health resources will be available:
• Affordable immunizations, including flu, pneumonia, shingles, HPV, measles, mumps, whooping cough (TDAP), Hep A & B and others. • Wellness resources and the opportunity to talk with pharmacists. • Demos, giveaways and product sampling (in select stores).
“As we move into the fall and winter seasons, we want to do our part in helping families remain protected through immunizations,” said Kevin Host, Walmart’s SVP of pharmacy. “Wellness Day is such an impactful event because it allows customers an opportunity to check in on health priorities, meet our incredible pharmacists and engage in conversations around wellness. Along with our pharmacies, we also deliver care through Walmart Health Virtual Care and Walmart Health Centers, which highlights our commitment to improving access to quality, affordable healthcare.”
Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.
To mark National Seafood Month, Albersons Cos. is relaunching its Waterfront Bistro brand of seafood products. Each item in the line is responsibly sourced and traceable, and also features the Responsible Choice logo indicating that it meets Albertsons’ Responsible Seafood Policy.
Additionally, Albertsons’ Waterfront Bistro brand is third-party audited to ensure every fish, shrimp or shellfish has been raised or caught in ways that help safeguard future supplies and keep ecosystems thriving. The private brand was originally launched in 2009, and product options range from frozen fin fish and shrimp to heat-and-serve meals and jarred sauces.
“We’re excited to reintroduce Waterfront Bistro as an elevated and responsible option for our shoppers,” said Katie Ceclan, VP of own brands for Albertsons. “With Waterfront Bistro, we’re making it easier than ever to access affordable, high-quality and responsibly sourced seafood ingredients so our customers can create restaurant-worthy dishes in the comfort of their own kitchens and feel good about the ingredients they’re using.”
Many Waterfront Bistro products include recipe ideas on the packaging, and additional inspiration can be found on the Albertsons website and through its Meal Plans tool. Customers can also scan a QR code for meal solutions, as well as helpful seafood tips, tricks and serving ideas.
Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates more than 2,200 retail stores with 1,700-plus pharmacies, 402 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. It has stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia under 24 well-known banners, among them Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, Carrs, Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lovers Market. Albertsons is No. 9 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.
Kroger Health Intends to Terminate Contract With Express Scripts
On Sept. 29, the health care division of The Kroger Co. provided Express Scripts, Inc. written notice of its intention to terminate their pharmacy provider agreement for commercial customers. According to Kroger Health, it has attempted on dozens of occasions since February to negotiate in good faith with Express Scripts – seeking a more equitable and fair contract that lowers cost, increases access, and delivers greater transparency – but there has been little to no progress to date.
"Kroger is doing everything possible to deliver greater value for our customers and navigate this ongoing period of record inflation. We do not believe Kroger customers should have to pay higher costs to increase Express Scripts' profits," said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health.
"We took the necessary step of announcing our intention to terminate our contract with Express Scripts because the current arrangement does not enable Kroger to improve health access, deliver greater pricing transparency, and keep prices affordable for our more than 17 million patients," continued Lindholz. "So far, our efforts to negotiate in good faith have not delivered an agreement in the best interest of our customers – especially members of the military and their families receiving benefits through Tricare – that protects them from rising costs amid record inflation. Kroger remains willing to negotiate any contract with Express Scripts that results in a fair, transparent agreement at a rate that benefits everyone – particularly our customers – and prevents any disruption of services."
If a new agreement is not reached by Dec. 31, most Express Scripts' commercial customers around the country will no longer be able to fill prescriptions at pharmacies within the Kroger family of companies.
Blue Apron CFO Randy Greben has resigned from his position, which he was named to in January 2021, effective Oct. 17. The meal kit company has appointed Mitchell Cohen to serve as interim CFO while it identifies a permanent replacement.
“Randy has played an important role at Blue Apron as we developed our new strategy to pursue growth alongside a path to profitability,” said Linda Findley, Blue Apron president and CEO. “I’d like to thank him for his contributions on behalf of everybody at Blue Apron. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
According to Blue Apron, Cohen has more than 30 years of financial, operations and general business experience and will immediately start working with the company and Greben to facilitate a smooth transition. Spencer Stuart will conduct a search for the company’s next CFO.
“Mitch will be an asset to Blue Apron during this transitional period given his extensive public company experience, and understanding of subscription and ecommerce models,” said Findley. “As we continue to balance growth, our planned path to profitability and managing through inflationary periods, Mitch’s decades of experience can help us continue to execute The Next Course strategy outlined earlier this year."
Northgate González Market Honors Associates, Community Leaders
Hispanic grocery store Northgate González Market recently honored 12 store associates and community leaders for embodying the same generous spirit and community commitment as the founders of Northgate Market. Part of the grocer’s Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) observances, the Juntos Awards recognize individuals while awarding a total of $24,000 in grants to local nonprofits designated by the honorees.
“When my family opened the doors to Northgate Market in 1980, we committed to give back to our customers,” said Co-President Miguel González. “We have been blessed to have store associates, vendors and other community partners who go above and beyond in helping us be there for the Southern California community.”
This past year, Northgate Market teamed with more than 200 community organizations to address food security, provide free health screenings, and offer chronic-disease and nutrition education. The retailer’s Familia González Reynoso Foundation also gave more than $2 million in community donations and scholarships.
Each honoree of the 2022 Juntos awards chose a nonprofit or community organization to receive a $2,000 grant to continue its community work.
The 2022 recipients of the Northgate Market Juntos Award are:
• Albert Ayala, store team leader, Northgate Gonzalez Market • Hon. Al Rios, mayor of the city of South Gate • Cheryl Kennick, senior director of corporate philanthropy, City of Hope • Hon. Doug Chaffee, chairman, Orange County Board of Supervisors • Lupillo Ramirez, senior director of innovation and product development, Northgate González Market • Linda Franks, executive director, Kid Healthy Orange County • Manuel Martinez, key account manager, Constellation Brands • Kevin Mattson, CEO, San Ysidro Health • Richard Streza, managing partner, Brown & Streza LLP • Soledad Rivera, director of business development, Families Together of Orange County • Hon. Nora Vargas, San Diego County Board of Supervisors • Wendy Robinson, director of sales for the Southwest, Mission Foods
The organizations each receiving $2,000 grants are City of Hope, Families Together of Orange County, Hispanas Organized for Political Empowerment (HOPE), Joya Scholars, Kid Healthy, Nueva Esperanza, Olive Crest, Orange County Rescue Mission, San Ysidro Health, South Gate Kiwanis Club and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital
Anaheim, Calif.-based Northgate Market operates 43 stores in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Diego counties.
Gopuff Introduces Goodnow Private Label Health-and-Wellness Line
Instant-needs platform Gopuff has launched Goodnow, a private label line of health-and-wellness products designed to help customers feel better faster for less money.
“Health and wellness – an $80-plus billion market in the U.S. – has been one of Gopuff’s fastest-growing categories,” noted Jessica Glendenning, director of private label at Philadelphia-based Gopuff. “As consumers become increasingly interested in private label products, Gopuff is uniquely positioned to develop new brands curated specifically for our customers. Informed by data, insights and feedback, … Goodnow is an inherent fit for our customers and the Gopuff platform.”
When surveyed, customers identified over-the-counter medications as a great fit for Gopuff. They also expressed interest in getting pain relievers, cold and flu remedies, allergy medications, and first aid from the platform. Now Gopuff customers can order Goodnow pain (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen, headache relief); allergy (loratadine, cetirizine, diphenhydramine); cold; flu and sinus congestion relief; sleep aid products; and at-home diagnostic test kits (UTI, BV, herpes) for delivery in minutes. Additional Goodnow products, among them electrolyte drinks, bandages, antihistamines and antacids, will launch nationwide over the coming months.
All Goodnow products are produced and controlled in accordance with quality standards and manufactured in a third-party GMP-certified facility.
Goodnow builds on the early success of Gopuff’s first private label offering, Basically, which came out in January and is consistently among the platform’s top 10 brands for Gopuff.