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5 things: The “effing hot dog” is back

Here's 5 things you may have missed in grocery

The ‘effing hot dog,’ now wearable: Back in 2018, Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal told his then CEO: “If you raise the effing hot dog, I will kill you,” referring to the fixed $1.50 hot dog/soda combo price the warehouse is known for. Fast forward to 2023, where the same quote has now been slapped on a t-shirt design that’s gone viral on TikTok. The artist, who says the design is a best-seller, said he thinks people want to wear clothes featuring the hot dog because they feel like Costco is a brand of the people. “It's refreshing to see a company standing up for its customers instead of trying to nickel and dime them at every turn.” Leading the revolution —now in size small. —Chloe Riley 

Let them eat our very own cake: Bake them a cake as fast as you can. Retailers are starting to take on the task of making cakes in-house again. This, after many years of third-party sources creating the cakes and freezing them prior to delivery — a process that ensures consistency and lessens the demand for full-time bakers. The reason for the pivot back? Demand. According to market researcher Statista, 45% of Millennials value in-store experiences, and more are wanting cakes made straight from the hands of store bakers. Millennials are also buying more baked goods in general. According to  Mashed (which quoted your very own Supermarket News), over half of shoppers in that age group buy some type of baked goods weekly. So how are you filling this hole in your customers’ stomach? Roll up those sleeves and get to baking. —Bill Wilson

To ‘just walk out’ or not to ‘just walk out’? That is the question. And according to writer Taylor Rains who gave the technology a test run, the answer is…mixed. Rains, who did a walk-through for Business Insider, said she thought that while the tech was impressive given the ability to pay with your palm, it was also risky. While customers don’t have to scan any items or stop by a register, the ‘just walk out’ concept hasn’t caught on as quickly as Amazon had hoped, citing a need to re-evaluate the economics of its mainstream grocery concept. Rains said she found two main issues — shoppers having to pay for an item they picked up but put back in the wrong place, and, conversely, shoppers who ended up getting items for free due to a sensor malfunction. Despite the mixed review, Rains said she “wouldn’t hesitate to try it again.” —Alarice Rajagopal

Panera grocery points: Panera Bread has launched a grocery rewards program, offering a $5 gift card for use in-store to any customers who buy $20 of Panera CPG products at grocery stores including Kroger, Publix, and Walmart. According to the company, the program is designed to create awareness of Panera’s CPG products (soups, breads, etc) as well as building brand synergy between people who shop Panera and those who order Panera in-store. Panera is smart about loyalty and personalization. The bakery-café chain began offering personalized rewards for its MyPanera loyalty program members last fall, and in February, Panera rolled out an annual membership for the wildly successful expansion of its Unlimited Sips beverage subscription program. The grocery program is set to run through the fall. —CR

This is not a garbage dump: Are you ever bothered by seeing a bottle of ketchup stuffed between stacks of boxed donuts in a grocery store? No? Well, how about a half-eaten banana left in the condiment aisle? If that doesn’t touch a nerve, then perhaps this recent TikTok video will. A TikToker recently posted her journey through a No Frills store in Canada, which included countless examples of shoppers disobeying the rule of putting an object back where you found it. The comments were even more crude, with one saying they found a half-eaten rotisserie chicken on a supermarket shelf. (So, does that mean it’s 50% off?) You have to hand it to those grocery workers responsible for cleaning up after the masses. After all, you never know when that rotten banana peel will fall to the floor and become a slipping hazard. —BW


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