News Briefs


Kraft Heinz Reveals New Chief Procurement Officer for North America

Janelle Orozco

The Kraft Heinz Co. has procured its own leader as it seeks to transform its procurement organization. The company announced that Janelle Orozco has been hired as chief procurement officer, North America.

In this position, she will serve as a key member of the North American leadership team and shape the overall vision of the business’ procurement in the region. Orozco will leverage her related background, which includes her most recent role as chief procurement officer for alcoholic beverage company Diageo. She started at that organization as an ingredient buyer in 2002 and was consistently elevated through its procurement group.

[Read more: "Kraft Heinz Accelerates Plant-Based R&D With New Partnership"]

At Kraft Heinz, Orozco will report to both Carlos Abrams-Rivera, EVP and president, North America Zone, and Marcos Eloi, EVP and global chief procurement officer. 

“We are on a quest to create a renowned procurement function that is built to deliver consistent results today and become a competitive advantage for the business in the future,” remarked Abrams-Rivera. “Janelle joining our team is a marker of the transformation of this function. She brings a breadth of experience and knack for developing diverse, high-performing teams. We’re excited to have her help lead us into the next phase of our journey.”

Orozco is the latest senior leader to join Kraft Heinz, co-headquartered in Chicago and Pittsburgh, as the business has taken steps to revamp its overall growth profile and strategic focus. Over the past two years, the company has added leaders in key areas like marketing, sales, insights, research and development, commercialization, human resources and communications.


Dierbergs to Take Part in NGA Foundation’s Student Case Study Competition

Dierbergs Store Exterior Cropped Teaser

The NGA Foundation, the 501(c)3 nonprofit arm of the Arlington, Va.-based National Grocers Association (NGA), has revealed that Missouri-based Dierbergs Markets will be the participating retailer in the organization’s 2023 Student Case Study Competition. 

Hosted annually by the foundation, the competition brings college students from across the U.S. to the NGA Show, where they will present solutions to an issue currently affecting the independent grocery industry. The program aims to further the professional development of college students pursuing degrees in food and retail programs and gives competing teams the opportunity to address a real-world issue currently affecting independent grocers. Participants progress through three rounds of judging from food industry professionals, with the winners and their schools receiving a cash prize.

“Dierbergs is honored to be a part of a program that’s focused on nurturing the next generation of leadership for our industry,” noted Erica Campbell, director of talent management for Dierbergs, which has 26 stores in the greater St. Louis area. “We look forward to the insights that this age group will bring to the table, as they reflect the thoughts of the emerging workforce as well as an increasingly important demographic of consumers.”

The 2023 competition topic is employee recruitment and retention. Student case study presentations will focus on creating a comprehensive recruitment and retention strategy for Dierbergs that provides the best combination of internal benefits with competitive corporate positioning.

Previous retailers that have been the subject of the competition include Woodman’s Food Markets, Karns Quality Foods and Buehler’s Fresh Foods.

The 2023 competition will take place during The NGA Show, scheduled for Feb. 26-28 at Caesars Forum Convention Center, in Las Vegas. Progressive Grocer will also celebrate its 12th annual Outstanding Independents Awards program during The NGA Show.


Morton Williams Now Part of Allegiance Retail Services

Morton Williams NYC Teaser

Retailer-owned cooperative Allegiance Retail Services LLC has added well-known New York supermarket chain Morton Williams as its latest member. Founded in 1952, Morton Williams Supermarkets is a family-owned and -operated food retailer with 16 stores in the New York metropolitan area.

“It is a great testament to the strength of our cooperative and product offerings that Morton Williams Supermarkets has chosen to join our membership,” said John T. Derderian, president and COO of Iselin, N.J.-based Allegiance. “Our cooperative with 126 stores provides exceptional national and local product lines; high-quality produce, seafood and meat; and an extensive private label line of conventional and organic items. Additionally, Allegiance is known for its unwavering professionalism, commitment and support of its independent grocers.”

“We are honored to join the Allegiance family,” noted Avi Kaner, a Morton Williams owner who has been unanimously elected to the co-op’s board of directors. “The level of dedication and support by the cooperative’s executives and other members has been stellar. We look forward to growing and enhancing our relationship with this wonderful organization.”

Morton Williams stores are located mainly in upscale Manhattan neighborhoods, focusing on high-quality, fresh and diverse produce offerings. Each supermarket is designed to reflect the needs of the local neighborhood surrounding it.

The chain joins Gristedes and D’Agostino’s – two other iconic New York supermarkets – as an Allegiance member, positioning the co-op as the leader in the Manhattan marketplace.

Allegiance supports independent supermarkets (Foodtown, Freshtown, D’Agostino, Gristedes, Pathmark, LaBella Marketplace, Brooklyn Harvest, Market Fresh, Big Deal Food Market, Green Way Markets and Shop n Bag) with marketing, advertising, technological and merchandising support, as well as a full line of private label products, including Foodtown, Green Way and Rancher’s Legend.


Publix Gains High Marks for Recycling Efforts

While Publix Q1 Sales Increased, Net Earnings Decreased 59%

Publix Super Markets has been recognized by the Florida Recycling Partnership Foundation as the best overall company on its list of 2022 Recycling Champions. Award winners are chosen from companies, organizations, government entities or individuals that display a noteworthy impact on the recycling industry in the Sunshine State.

The grocer is committed to recycling education, including a plastic bag recycling campaign to educate customers, and has an internal Green Routine program that encourages associates to make sustainable choices. Publix recycled more than 615 million pounds of cardboard and more than 21 million pounds of soft plastics in 2021.

[Read more: "Publix Wraps Up Choppy Q3"]

“Publix remains committed to being responsible citizens in our communities, which includes caring for the environment,” said Publix Director of Environmental and Sustainability Programs Michael Hewett. “We continuously examine processes in our stores, warehouses and offices, looking for additional ways to recycle.”

Employee-owned and -operated Publix has close to 1,300 supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. Publix is No. 12 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


New Fareway Open for Business in Central Iowa

Ogden Fareway

Fareway Stores is filling a grocery gap in Ogden, Iowa. The regional retailer has opened a new location in that central Iowa town, which has been without a grocery store for more than three years after a previous market was destroyed in a fire.

The latest Fareway at 302 West Walnut spans 8,700 square feet and offers an assortment of pantry and everyday essentials in addition to a full-service meat counter and fresh produce. In keeping with growing demand for new ways of shopping, the store offers self-serve checkout areas and online ordering with curbside pickup.

“We are excited to open this new downtown Ogden store and want to thank local officials and the State of Iowa who helped make this project possible,” said Fareway CEO Reynolds W. Cramer. “Communities depend on a local grocer to offer high quality products and unmatched service and help keep Iowa communities vibrant. We look forward to serving area residents and serving as their go-to neighborhood grocery store.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Nov. 15, an event that drew many local leaders and residents. “We are truly thankful that Fareway chose Ogden for the site of a new store – it is great to have a full-service grocery store back in town,” declared Mayor Mark Trueblood.  “We appreciate the L.A. Good Trust Board, Ogden Municipal Utilities, Ogden Telephone Co., and our local and state economic development groups for supporting this project.”

Other business leaders in Ogden also welcomed the move. “It’s going to be wonderful. We always go to Boone to get all our meat and all our supplies. Now it will be great just to walk down or drive down to the Fareway in Ogden,” said Laura Grieser, owner of the Lucky Pig Pub and Grill, to Des Moines news station KCCI-TV.

Fareway has more than 130 stores located in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota. The Boone, Iowa-based company is No. 77 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Hannaford Reusable-Bag Campaign Surpasses $2M in Community Donations

Hannaford Helps Hunger Reusable Bag Teaser

One of Hannaford Supermarkets’ signature charitable campaigns, the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program, has revealed more than $2 million in total donations to community organizations across its market area of New England and New York state.

The program invites shoppers to purchase special Fight HungerandCommunity reusable shopping bags at checkout. For each bag sold, Hannaford donates $1 to a local hunger relief agency or nonprofit organization.

[Read more: "Hannaford Supermarkets Unveils Easy Meal Options in New York"]

Since the program began in 2014, more than 2.7 million reusable bags benefiting 5,600-plus nonprofits have been sold at Hannaford, replacing the need for more than 82 million single-use plastic bags. Further, almost 9.4 million meals have been provided through the purchase of the bags.

The Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program has two facets: the Fight Hunger bag (pictured), which supports hunger relief organizations in the five states where Hannaford operates; and the Communitybag, which aids area nonprofits dedicated to a variety of causes, among them health and wellness, and child and family development. The program was developed in collaboration with PS It Matters, a Portsmouth, N.H.-based organization that helps to administer the initiative.

The Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program is also an extension of Hannaford’s commitment to sustainability. In the mid-1980s, the company became the first grocer in the nation to offer reusable bags to its customers.

Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford operates over 180 stores in five Northeast states, employing nearly 30,000 associates. Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.