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5 things: Why even Pepsi isn’t safe

Here’s 5 things you may have missed in grocery

Dropped like a hot potato: CPG companies, beware — some interesting moves are a- brewin overseas. France-based Carrefour, one of the world’s largest grocery chains, recently told customers that it plans to pull Lay’s, Doritos, Lipton Ice Tea and other PepsiCo products in protest of increased prices from those companies. The move comes as Europeans continue to face high food prices. France saw a 7% year-over-year increase in December. On the other side of the pond, U.S. inflation has cooled fairly steadily since hitting a four-decade high of 9.1% in mid-2022. But have we seen the end? And if inflation rises here in the states again, will grocers follow in the footsteps of France? We shall see. —Chloe Riley

Please insert card here: Costco shoppers will soon have to get used to a new ritual. The warehouse giant has a pilot in place that involves shoppers inserting their membership cards in kiosks at the entrance before they attempt to get their hands on the latest Costco finds. Currently, employees check membership cards at the door. A store in Issaquah, Wash., has the new system in place, and a Costco spokesperson tells Supermarket News that even more stores are piloting the kiosks (though they wouldn’t say which ones). Over the summer, Costco laid down a new law regarding membership cards in the self-checkout line — all shoppers must now show a legal I.D. that matches the info on the membership card. Members can also expect an increase in annual dues coming soon, but Costco execs have not announced a date. It’s OK, though, because the cost of the world famous hot dog meal remains untouched. Members, rejoice! —Bill Wilson

Walgreens patient panel problem: Walgreens CEO recently declared that VillageMD’s doctor-staffed clinic expansion plan needed to go “on a diet,” emphasizing some of the risks involved in the race by retailers to launch primary care centers across the U.S., writes Forbes. Walgreens has been an investor / partner with VillageMD for several years now, but in a recent interview, Walgreens CEO Tim Wentworth said he now plans to slow the number of openings of doctor-staffed clinics in part to give operators a chance to grow their “patient panels,” Walgreens’ term for a certain number of individual patients under the care of a provider. It’s an important step — the patient panels are critical to improving profits for the entire company, Walgreens executives recently told Wall Street analysts. And right now, the retailer needs every penny it can get. —CR 

She didn’t even get paid: Leave it to social influencers to come in unannounced and do work for free. A content creator known as Madison threw on a red sweater and jeans and decided to roll her sleeves up and throw down a full eight-hour shift at a local Target…even though she doesn’t work there. Madison posted the video of her “shift” on TikTok. She emptied the trash, took care of items that were out of place, and even cleaned the toilets—without using gloves. (Anything for clicks, right?) She even paid for some customers. Madison claims store workers thought she actually worked at the location. Many on social media applauded her effort, with one noting she was doing God’s work. Others, however, said the blessing was a little confusing. “How does a manager not notice you don’t work for them?” asked one poster. Now how can I get Madison to come mow my lawn…—BW

Buckets and bowls: As an athlete, you know you’ve hit it big when you appear on a cereal box (or if you have your own shoe line). College basketball sensation Caitlin Clark, who plays for the University of Iowa, now has her own cereal line (Eat your heart out, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, who have been featured on Wheaties boxes). Hy-Vee’s Caitlin Crunch Time is a frosted flakes cereal, and 100% of proceeds will go to the Caitlin Clark Foundation, a non-profit focused on education, nutrition, and sports for youth. Clark has been leaving opponents in the dust on the basketball court for years now, so the least she can do is offer them a chance to catch up via the nutrients in a full bowl of Caitlin flakes. MJ and Tiger might want to buy a box and get an autograph, but they might have to get in a long line for that. —BW


Costco is conducting a pilot where shoppers have to put their membership cards into a scanner before they can enter a store. Meanwhile, Sam's Club is testing out an AI system that scans carts when shoppers exit. Both of these jobs are currently handled by people, but when the new tech is launched nationwide will these workers get let go, or will the retailers find other jobs for them?
Let us know what you think in the comments below,  or email the SN staff at [email protected]

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