A year marked by challenges and uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic is ending. The crisis meant moments of chaos for the food and beverage industry in its supply chain due to panic buying. Still, it showed a rapid recovery and managed to adapt to the new habits of consumers.
During 2020, eCommerce had explosive growth driving the omnichannel development of supermarkets. Workers in stores, fields, factories, and food processors proved their value as essential front-line employees.
Although the pandemic has always been among the main news headlines since March, Abasto readers closely followed other food and beverage industry developments.
Here are the 15 most read news in Abasto during 2020
1. Billionaire Ken Langone And Group of Investors Partners With La Tortillería and Abasto Media
La Tortillería, one of the largest Hispanic food distributors on the East Coast and its sister company Abasto Media, announced a strategic alliance with a leading group of private investors. Read the story.
2. UNFI Announces Senior Management Team Changes
United Natural Foods (UNFI) announced some changes within the Company’s senior management team. The Company also disclosed that it had extended the employment agreement of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven L. Spinner through July 31, 2021. Read the story.
3. USDA Penalizes 12 Companies in 8 States for PACA Violations
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has imposed sanctions on 12 produce businesses in eight states for failing to meet their contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased and failing to pay reparation awards issued under the PACA. Read the story.
4. Warren Buffet Buys Kroger Shares For $549 Million
Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate made a multimillion-dollar investment in shares of supermarket operator Kroger in the fourth quarter, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Kroger shares surged in late trading on Friday, with the stock up 5.6% to $29.81. Read the story.
5. Dean Foods, America’s Biggest Milk Produce, To Be Sold For $425 Million
Dairy Farmers of America has agreed to buy Dean Foods, America’s largest milk producer, for $425 million. Read the story.
All supermarkets have a clear mission to serve the community. But the coronavirus tested their responsiveness to unprecedented levels, such as the procedures for standardizing cleanliness, the hygiene habits of their employees, their level of inventory, and product restocking due to unprecedented demand. Read the article.
7. Grocery Stores Increase Employee Wages Amid Coronavirus Crisis
Albertsons Companies, Superior Grocers, as well as other national grocery chains, will temporarily raise employee wages to recognize their work at the forefront of store operations and their dedication amid the coronavirus pandemic crisis. Read the story.
8. Tyson Foods Reports 570 COVID-19 Cases at Chicken-Processing Plant in NC
Tyson Foods announced the results of facility-wide testing for COVID-19 at its Wilkesboro, North Carolina poultry facility. Of the 2,244 employees and contractors who work at the chicken-processing plant and were tested, 570 tested positive, the majority of whom did not show any symptoms and otherwise would not have been identified. Read the story.
9. Why is Texas Hispanic Retail Superior?
Recently I had the opportunity to get to know in-depth the Hispanic retail in Texas, which has a totally Mexican profile and is experiencing an impressive upgrade in several major supermarket chains. Read the story.
10. Walmart Changes Shopping Process to Enforce Social Distancing
Walmart announced that more changes are being made to the shopping process in its stores in response to concerns about the behavior of some shoppers who do not follow the rules of social distancing, putting their health and that of store employees at risk during the coronavirus pandemic. Read the story.
11. Smithfield Closes Pork Plant, Warns of Risk of Meat Shortage
Smithfield Foods announced that it will close its Sioux Falls, SD facility until further notice after the governor and the mayor recommended the company shut the plant due to the number of coronavirus cases among the plant employees. The company’s CEO, Kenneth M. Sullivan, warned this is pushing the country perilously close to the edge in terms of meat supply. Read the story.
12. Don Miguel Foods Closes Facility Due to Coronavirus
Don Miguel Foods announced it will temporarily pause operations at its facility in Orange County, California, and resume production on Monday, May 4. The closure is in response to the further spread of COVID-19 in the area and the impact on the production facility. Read the story.
13. Dollar General Unveils popshelf, a New Store Concept
Dollar General announces its newest retail store concept popshelf. This new store aims to engage customers with a fun, affordable, and stress-free shopping experience where they can find on-trend seasonal and home décor, health and beauty must-haves, home cleaning supplies, party goods, entertaining needs, and much more—with approximately 95 percent of items priced at $5 or less, said the company. Read the story.
14. Manuel Herrán, the founder of Sedano’s, died at the age of 83
Manuel Agustín Herrán, the founder of the Hispanic supermarket chain Sedano’s based in Hialeah, Florida, passed away on October 15 at the age of 83. Read the story.
15. Major Supermarket Chains to Become COVID-19 Vaccine Providers
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a partnership with major supermarket chains across the country that operate in-store pharmacies to maximize access to COVID-19 vaccines when they begin to be distributed. Read the story.