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Grocery Roundup: Private Label Brands Take On Plant-Based Category

As private label sales continue to grow, surpassing name brand growth for the fourth year in a row, grocers are taking note. As the private label category continues to expand, so does the plant-based category, which grew 27 percent in 2020 alone. Taking note of these trends, two major grocery players have announced new plant-based private label offerings in the past week.

In a company blog post on Tuesday (May 11), Target announced that it was expanding its best-selling private grocery brand, Good & Gather, to include Good & Gather Plant Based. The launch of this line includes both the introduction of new plant-based products and a rebranding of existing Good & Gather plant-based products, totaling over 30 foods and beverages.

“Guest demand for plant-based offerings is incredibly high and continues to grow,” Rick Gomez, executive vice president and chief food and beverage officer at Target, said in the post. “By adding Good & Gather Plant Based to our curated assortment of plant-based offerings, we’re giving guests more of what they want and making it easy for them to discover the joy of food every day.”

Also on Tuesday, online grocer Thrive Market announced a partnership with Beyond Meat to expand its line of own-brand plant-based frozen meals made with the meat substitute. These include items such as plant-based lasagna and plant-based enchiladas, and they follow Thrive Market’s 2020 launch of Beyond Meat chilis. Partners With Trax To Simplify eGrocery Order Fulfillment, the Tel Aviv-based grocery tech solutions provider that recently made headlines for raising $21 million in funding to expand its international presence, and Trax, a Singapore-based in-store computer imaging tech provider, announced a partnership on Tuesday (May 11) to create an end-to-end solution for ecommerce grocery orders in North America.

Through the partnership, the former will integrate the latter’s Trax Flexforce feature, which uses computer vision and machine learning to deploy “locally based flex workers” quickly and efficiently when stores have additional labor needs.  By combining’s platform with this feature, the two companies hope to make physical stores more responsive to online orders, fulfilling these orders quicker, and to provide a “one-stop, holistic solution for processing, fulfilling, and delivering online orders.”

“With the exponential increase in online sales there is a clear need to provide holistic solutions for retailers to provide customers with positive online shopping experiences without straining their budgets,” Mendel Gniwisch, executive vice president of business development at, said in a statement. “I am delighted to partner with Trax, a trailblazer in the industry, to further our ambition to create a one-stop solution which is easily accessible for all kinds of grocers.”

Giant Goes All In On Philadelphia

On a call with analysts Wednesday (May 12), Dutch grocery company Ahold Delhaize announced plans to drive its U.S. eCommerce growth by building out its fulfillment capabilities. Of its Carlisle, Pennsylvania-based subsidiary The Giant Company, CEO Frans Muller said, “For later in this year, we will open the next micro-fulfillment center for our Giant footprint in Philadelphia … [which] is going to help us with fulfillment and automation.”

It is not just with this micro-fulfillment center (MFC) that the company is building out its Philadelphia presence. As Supermarket News reported, the company is also opening a new flagship store in Philadelphia, one of four new locations, growing Giant’s total Philadelphia store count to 10.

“The GIANT Company is committed to Philadelphia and this expansion across our family of brands exemplifies our strategy in action,” Nicholas Bertram, president of The Giant Company, said in a statement. “True to its reputation of being the City of Brotherly Love, Philly families have wholeheartedly embraced GIANT, GIANT Heirloom Market and GIANT Direct … We’re excited about our future in Philadelphia and to be expanding across the city, with stores designed for both families and commuters that meet the needs of each unique neighborhood.”

Kroger Launches Incubator For Food Suppliers

On Wednesday (May 12), grocery giant Kroger announced the creation of its Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator, an incubator for food suppliers sponsored by Gourmet Foods International. When the application period closes at the end of the month, the team will select 15 finalists to attend a pitch session, after which the five winners will be sold at Kroger Co.-owned stores and will receive business development coaching.

“At Kroger, our Fresh for Everyone mission is anchored in consistently and creatively providing fresh and affordable food to our customers,” Kroger Group Vice president of Fresh Merchandising Dan De La Rosa said in a statement. “We’re dedicated to fostering innovation and investing in local, regional, and small businesses that make the best of food accessible to all. Our first Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator is an extension of our commitment and we’re eager to invite suppliers of every size to participate, providing the potential to grow our businesses together.”

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