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5 things: Breakfast cereal is biting the dust

Here’s 5 things you may have missed in grocery

Remember cereal? I know I sure do. As a kid, I was of the Cocoa Puffs / Frosted Mini Wheats persuasion, but now, as an adult? I can’t tell you the last time I had a bowl. And I’m not alone in this. In the ’80s and ’90s American families gobbled up cereal. But it’s been over a decade since that was the case, as U.S. palates have pivoted away from sugar and carbohydrates and back toward protein. In recent weeks, executives from Kellogg and Post both separately said that they expect the cereal industry to return to its prepandemic trend of gradual decline, with sales ranging from flat to down by a low single-digit percentage a year. Are you seeing this kind of decline in cereal in your store? —Chloe Riley

The Chicago grocer: Watch out, grocery world, the city is coming for you. In this case, it’s the city of Chicago and its newly elected mayor Brandon Johnson, who is making a case for a city-owned grocery store (or a chain?) in order to combat food deserts which have been a chronic problem in many areas of Chicago. Both Walmart and Whole Foods have shut down stores recently, so the city is pushing through the idea of owning and running its own market, starting with a feasibility study. Jennifer Stewart, senior program steward with Grow Greater Englewood, said the move could create a more expedited pathway for residents to have a say in what kinds of food they want in their communities. This may be a positive step in terms of providing food access, but it remains to be seen as to how it will affect the business of existing grocers in these areas. —Bill Wilson

Is indoor farming sustainable? Walmart and Kroger sure seem to think so. The two companies are betting on a bankruptcy-hit indoor farming industry that many consider to be unsustainable. Kroger recently announced that it will be expanding its availability of vertically farmed produce, and last year, Walmart joined in a $400 million round of investment for California-based vertical farm Plenty Unlimited, aimed at bringing the company’s produce into its stores. But skeptics question the overall sustainability of operations that can require energy-intensive artificial light. Paying for that light, they say, can make profitability nearly impossible. It remains to be seen as to whether retailers will have a “lightbulb” moment of their own around indoor farming. —CR 

Kosher to go: A former bank in Clearwater, Fla., that was recently converted into a Jewish Chabad center includes what reports to be the first kosher drive-thru grocery store in the nation. (Chabad is an Orthodox Jewish Hasidic movement.) The store, Clearwater Kosher, features an extensive assortment of kosher meats, chicken, deli, dairy, groceries, bakery goods, and more, including specialty foods for Jewish holidays, according to its website. Clearwater Kosher has been selling kosher products for nine years, but the new center allowed the addition of drive-thru service. “We have many busy parents coming through,” said Miriam Hodakov, who runs the store, and whose husband, Rabbi Levi Hodakov, co-founded the center. “Now they can just pull up and open their trunk, and we’ll load their car.” Who says it’s not easy to eat kosher? —Mark Hamstra

NY gets visited by the grocery ‘ferry’: Okay, so it’s not a magical winged creature, but rather a magical boat that delivers your groceries. New Yorkers who order from Amazon Fresh may soon get their grocery items delivered by boat via a new pilot launching this month that will use a ferry to bring shipments from a New Jersey warehouse, across the Hudson River, and to Midtown Manhattan. Boxes will be packed inside mini shipping containers designed to fit behind four-wheeled electric bikes or “eQuads,” made by a company called Fernhay, which look like tiny delivery trucks, but fit inside bike lanes. On the other side of the river, bike couriers will pick up the containers and then make doorstep deliveries, which the company hopes will be more affordable and sustainable by using waterways to reduce emissions from truck deliveries. —Alarice Rajagopal

Breakfast cereal has been in decline for some time now. Have you seen a sales decline in your store? Let us know in the comments below, or email the SN staff at [email protected]

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