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5 things
The best (and worst) in grocery store bakery.png

5 things: The best (and worst) in grocery store bakery

Here’s 5 things you may have missed in grocery

Bake me a cake as fast (and deliciously) as you can: We all know what it tastes like when grocery bakery items knock it out of the park. And simultaneously, we’ve all encountered days-old baked goods that have seen better days. According to this Mashed roundup of the best bakery offerings by grocery store, Target sits at the very bottom of that list with its lack of full-scale bakery and subpar bake from frozen options at some Super Targets. At the top? Publix! Quality, customizability, and taste are all qualities that landed Publix at No. 1. So what are you waiting for? Have a Publix near you? Go get your carb on. —Chloe Riley

I always feel like somebody’s watching me: It’s been a few weeks since Amazon announced it’s dropping its Just Walk Out technology and refocusing on its smart shopping carts. Although it wasn’t the focus of the coverage, Amazon revealed that the checkout-free tech, which uses video cameras and scales installed on the shelves, was also made possible by hundreds of workers in India. Dilip Kumar, vice president of AWS applications, told tech news outlet GeekWire this week that the idea that workers in India were watching to see if customers tried to pocket items for free was completely untrue. “Most AI systems, including the underlying ML models behind these technologies, are continuously improved by annotating synthetic (AI generated) and real shopping data. Our associates are responsible for this labeling and annotation step,” he said. Associates don’t watch live video of shoppers to generate receipts—that’s taken care of automatically by the computer vision algorithms.” —Tim Inklebarger

A bag for all: Who really wants to share a grocery bag with an onion? Perhaps that’s why a Walmart picker gave each and every product purchased by TikTokker Meg its very own plastic bag…forget shared space! Meg, however, was not amused and took to (where else?) social media. She went through the list…hot dogs, spinach, kiwis, cucumbers…all in their own bag. Then there was the kicker: two packs of bacon, each with their own bag. “Who does [stuff] like this?” Meg questioned. Some commenters tried to talk her off the ledge: “I work at Walmart. They do this because different people do the picks,” explained one poster. Other responders told her to bring her own bags to pick up if she wants the order “customized.” There is one good thing to come out of all of this: The world’s supply of doggie doo-doo picker-uppers just went up a tick. —Bill Wilson

Alt-stores: Instead of carrying a picket sign, one Canadian has created a tool aimed at helping shoppers find alternative grocery stores to major chains. (Especially given the looming Loblaws boycott in Canada next month). The site allows users to discover independent grocers in their area outside of the Big 5: Loblaws, Metro, Sobeys, Walmart, and Costco. Alt Grocery is already live, and in addition to grocery, users can also find farms, pharmacies, and farmer’s markets. Protesting, however, does not come for free. There is a spot on the website to donate to the cause, which the creator said will go towards hosting costs and expanding the site based on user feedback. “If you know any hidden gems — be it a quaint little grocery store, a local pharmacy, or a lively farmer’s market — please suggest via the Recommend an Alt Business tab,” reads a Reddit post. Methinks the grocer doth protest too much. —BW

A different kind of goose egg: It’s been a rough year for Illinois-based pharmacy chain Walgreens, which has announced multiple massive layoffs and downsizing. They do have one goose egg to be happy about (see what I did there?) from an actual goose in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates. The Canada Goose has been a regular at the store over the last 10 years and regularly lays her eggs outside of the store. The store put out a press release on the mother to be, whom they call Mother Goose, and noted, “Even animals know Walgreens is a trusted and convenient healthcare destination for all.” —TI

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