Candy-Peddling Robots & the Era of Instacart: CPG News, Week of Mar 1-5

by Sophie Guimaraes

5 minutes


Unioncrate's curated weekly round-up of CPG & supply chain news. This week's news features future changes at Instacart, Shopify's investment in esports, and positive retailer sales reports from the past quarter.


Investments & Acquisitions

Danone is separating its CEO and Chairman roles. The current holder, Emmanuel Faber, will become a non-executive chairman once a new CEO is found. Food Dive

Shopify is launching an esports team, called the Shopify Rebellion, to play in sci-fi game Starcraft II. In recent years, esports have attracted attention from brands. Modern Retail

Instacart has received $265M in new funding from its existing investors, increasing the company’s valuation to $39B. Instacart

Flour producer Ardent Mills is set to acquire chickpea producer Hinrichs Trading Company. Food Dive

Israeli tech startup Seebo, a company that reduces food waste during production through AI, has received $24M in its Series B. Food Dive

Southeastern Grocers plans to hold a sourcing conference in an effort to recruit diverse suppliers. Supermarket News


New Products & Partnerships

Canopy Growth is launching Quatreau, a CBD-infused sparkling water brand that will be sold online in states where CBD consumption has been legalized. Food Dive

Jason Karp, Founder and CEO of HumanCo—maker of the Hu brand—has launched a new frozen snack line called Snow Days, starting with better-for-you pizza bites. Food Dive

At ShopRite’s Monroe, New York location, Mars Wrigley has launched a candy-carrying robot with the capability to sense and approach customers. Consumer Goods Technology

Forager Project, backed by Danone, has launched a line of plant-based cheeses. Food Dive

Hershey is launching an all peanut butter, no chocolate Reese’s peanut butter cup. Food Dive


Supply Chain News

Hershey has launched a plan to eliminate deforestation across its supply chain by 2030, and will cut ties with any of its raw material suppliers who don’t comply. Supply Chain Dive

Sales for B&G Foods have gone up 18.5% vs. YAGO but have since slowed due to inflation and shortages. Food Dive

Walmart is allocating $350B to invest in American manufacturing over the next 10 years, a move that’s estimated to create 750,000 jobs. The Washington Post

As a result of its aforementioned American-made product initiative, Walmart is looking for a new Chief Supply Chain Officer. Bloomberg

Target has been successfully targeting shoppers through multiple category channels, with same-store sales increasing 6.9% in physical stores and 118% online. Progressive Grocer

In its most recent fiscal period, Costco saw a 15% rise in sales at its physical stores and a 75% rise in sales online. The Wall Street Journal

A new grocer is on the scene: Asian e-grocer Umamimarket has launched in the Tri-State and Mid-Atlantic regions. Grocery Dive

Whole Foods remains UNFI’s largest customer after an extension of their partnership. Supermarket News

BJ’s experienced double digit sales growth in Q4 of 2020. Supermarket News

Kroger rolled out its first-ever fully robotically prepared grocery order this week. Winsight Grocery Business


Good Reads

Amazon has been dipping its toes into livestreams as a way to promote products, even going so far as to hire official hosts. Modern Retail

With the pandemic putting a sharper focus on health, organic and natural foods are slated for significant growth. Food Business News

Instacart may begin direct service to customers in the near future, eliminating the need for retail partners. Winsight Grocery Business

About Unioncrate

Unioncrate is an AI-powered Supply Chain Planning Platform that gives CPG brands the technology they need to compete and win in a rapidly changing consumer landscape. Our automated demand and supply forecasts deliver unmatched accuracy, collaborative visibility, and actionable intelligence, simplifying a manual-heavy process and slashing hours from your week.

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