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5 things: Walmart smart garage | H-E-B is top banana

5 grocery industry items you may have missed

Welcome to "5 Things," where Supermarket News highlights five things you may have missed recently surrounding the grocery industry. Let's dive in, shall we? 

Mothers lock up your rakes: Walmart added an in-home delivery service to its Walmart+ membership program back in July. But if that kind of very personal service is too much, the supermarket giant has now added Chamberlain’s myQ smart garage door controller technology to its InHome offerings. (A move that models Amazon’s “Key In-Garage Delivery” option.) Starting in September, customers that are a part of the program can have their groceries securely delivered into their garage if they have a myQ smart garage door controller. Just don’t expect them to reorganize your power tools. —Chloe Riley

Word of H-E-B gets around: Texas grocer H-E-B came in at No. 1 on the 2022 U.S. Recommended Rankings list by online research and data analytics specialist YouGov. The ranking shows which brands stand tall in terms of consumer recommendations to friends, family and colleagues. H-E-B topped the list with a score of 89.5. Two other grocery retailers also finished in the top 10: specialty grocer Trader Joe’s (87.4 score) and discount grocer Aldi (86.6 score). “Word of mouth is the most influential form of brand awareness and credibility, with people far more likely to trust the recommendations of someone they know over impersonal advertising,” YouGov explained. Most recently, the chain ranked first overall in pharmacy customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Pharmacy Study. —Russ Redman

How grocers can help with food loss: Some 33 to 40% of the world’s food is lost or wasted every year. And, according to a new study by McKinsey, in addition to being a humanitarian crisis, it should also become a business priority. The group’s recent research indicates that food manufacturers and retailers, because they are at the center of the food value chain, are uniquely positioned to lead global efforts to reduce food loss — perhaps by as much as 50 to 70%. Here’s how. —CR

‘‘People-first’ is a winning workforce strategy: Findings from FMI-The Food Industry Association’s Food Retailing Industry Speaks 2022 report, released this week, indicate that a people-first culture provides a more rewarding and engaging experience for the food industry workforce. In the study, 87% of food retailers and 86% of food suppliers polled said employee recruitment and retention negatively impacted their businesses. What’s more, last year, food retailers experienced a 48% employee turnover rate — well above the pre-pandemic level of 40% — while the turnover rate for suppliers was 29%. Companies have responded with efforts such as better wages, improved benefits, training and skill development and flex time to hire and retain full- and part-time staff. —RR

Trader ‘No’s' to delivery: Once upon a time in New York City, Trader Joe’s had a delivery option, but the Monrovia, Calif.-based company made a strategic decision in 2019 to end that service, and to this day remains one of the only leading grocery retailers that chooses not to offer online grocery shopping and delivery. (Though you can get delivery from third-party services in some states.) The company’s president of stores says this: “For us, the store is our brand, and our products work the best when they’re sold as part of this overall customer experience within the store. We’re not ready to give that up.”

Has that approach served the company? Yes, so far. But according to a recent study, 34% of households have increased their online grocery shopping since the pandemic, and 60% plan to continue. Choose your battles wisely TJ’s. —CR

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