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Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc. announced a voluntary recall of a limited quantity of six-, 12- and 28-ounce vegetable trays containing fresh broccoli, cauliflower, celery sticks, carrots and dill dip sold to select retailers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. del

The Centers for Disease Control has reported 78 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis in persons who reportedly consumed vegetable trays.

Del Monte was notified by state agencies of a Cyclospora outbreak and the company's potential involvement. It has recalled the products because they may be linked to the recent cluster of illnesses and have the potential to be contaminated with Cyclospora, a parasite that can cause the intestinal illness Cyclosporiasis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the infection usually is not life threatening. Symptoms of Cyclosporiasis may include the following: watery diarrhea (most common), loss of appetite, weight loss, cramping, bloating, increased gas, nausea and fatigue. Other symptoms that may occur but are less common include vomiting and low-grade fever.

The recalled products were distributed to Kwik Trip, Kwik Star, Demond's, Sentry, Potash, Meehan's, Country Market, Food Max Supermarket and Peapod in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin and have "Best If Enjoyed By" date of June 17 or earlier.

The recalled products were distributed for sale in clear plastic containers with these labels and markings.


Black Gold Farms will be harvesting fresh red potatoes in the boot heel of Missouri starting the middle of June. With ideal planting and growing conditions and plenty of moisture, this year’s crop looks to be one of the best yet. Reds LocalBeauty MsMissouri FB-1200x1200

“We’ve been growing red potatoes nestled in the bootheel of Missouri in the Mississippi River Delta for over 10 years, and every year we see the quality get better. This year is no different,” said John Halverson, chief operating officer of Black Gold Farms, based in Grand Forks, ND. “We’ve been able to learn a lot about growing potatoes in the summertime heat from over 30 years of chip potato experience in warmer climates. We’ve been able to transfer those leanings to the fresh market. While there are many differences, the principles are the same: use the right variety, get the timing correct, push them through the wash line and into the cooler as quickly as possible, and then, ship to our customers while they are still at their freshest.”

“Our customers really find value pulling fresh reds out of Arbyrd, Missouri, as the quality is consistent and we are geographically central to many of the major cities which provides locally grown opportunities that only we can offer,” added Keith Groven, fresh sales manager for Black Gold Farms. “Customers recognize that Black Gold Farms is the red potato expert, especially this time of year, in this particular geography.”

Black Gold Farms will be harvesting, packing and shipping its own red potatoes out of Arbyrd, MO, farm and packing facility until the middle of July. Yellow potatoes are also available to ensure a full product offering. 

Black Gold Farms’ Indiana red potato crop will be ready at the end of July for a smooth transition and keeping customers supplied with the freshest red potatoes available. This allows for Black Gold Farms-grown product to be supplied to customers year-round.

“Each of our farms has its own unique characteristics, but what’s really valuable is that our customers know that the red potatoes they’re getting and the service they’ve come to expect is all Black Gold Farms,” Groven said.

GLOBALMEX International, Inc., a leading company in hydroponic growing in Mexico, announced expansions in four greenhouses, and new acreage committed to Magic Sun brand grape tomatoes, organic Tomatoes on the Vine, and organic Beefsteak tomatoes. 

Screen-Shot-2018-06-15-at-9.03.08-AM The Magic Sun senior management team and its grower group regularly review the performance of its varietal mix and the overall trends in the consumer marketplace. After their analysis and assessment, decisions were made to adjust the mix and expand production into varieties that are increasing in popularity. “Organic produce continues to grow as a category and our retail and distributor partners are looking for a longer marketing window and more varieties in the program. As growers, we have to make decisions on our overall manifest and adjust to support our partners’ needs,” said Alejandro Santander, vice president of sales and operations.

The expansion in their greenhouses will enable Magic Sun to provide a year-round supply of organic TOVs, and introduce an organic Beefsteak, one of the best-selling varieties in the category. Its market research and account reviews with retailers showed a growing interest in popular snacking tomatoes, which are being promoted as fun, convenient, and healthy options for busy families. As part of the expansion plans, Magic Sun is planting over 15 acres of grape tomatoes that will be available for harvest starting in September. 

Magic Sun’s high-tech approach to greenhouse growing and its relationship with CEICKOR University gives it an opportunity to invest in varietal development and experimental acreage. For the upcoming season, CEICKOR will add acreage to its greenhouse in Queretaro, Mexico, that will concentrate on new varieties and enhancing growing practices in the unique university and operational greenhouse setting.

“We know that the tomato category is a top revenue driver for retailers. By continuing to work with our partners in offering the most popular varieties and attractive and convenient packaging, we are able to develop customized programs to help our partners continue the positive trend,” stated Anthony Otto, Magic Sun sales manager. To support new varieties and programs, Otto indicated new packaging has been developed for conventional and organic tomatoes in clam shells, mesh bags, poly bags and shipper boxes.

Magic Sun will be exhibiting at Booth No. 1536 at the UNITED Fresh/MKT EXPO in Chicago, June 26-27.  

Amazon and Whole Foods Market announced that savings for Prime members will be available this week in Whole Foods Market stores across 10 new states, including Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Oregon, North Carolina and Washington.primmm

Beginning June 13, Prime members can enjoy exclusive offers on many popular products, including organic yellow nectarines and peaches — plus an additional 10 percent off hundreds of sale items throughout the store.

“We’re excited that Prime savings will be available at nearly half of our Whole Foods Market stores this week, giving more Prime members access to great deals just in time for summer,” said A.C. Gallo, president and chief operating officer at Whole Foods Market. “Based on the positive customer feedback and successes we’ve seen over the past month, we’re accelerating our timeline to expand these savings to all of our U.S. stores.”

These savings are currently available at Whole Foods Market stores in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri (Kansas City only), Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Washington.

Prime member savings are also available at Whole Foods Market 365 stores nationwide. Prime member deals will be prominently featured in store and customers can go to the Whole Foods Market app to learn about many of the best offers.

Customers also receive these exclusive Prime member savings when they have their groceries delivered from Whole Foods Market stores via Prime Now. Both Prime member savings and Prime Now grocery delivery are available in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco. Prime Now offers free two-hour delivery on orders over $35. Delivery from Whole Foods Market is currently available in 10 cities and will continue expanding throughout 2018.

FMS Solutions Holdings LLC and the National Grocers Association released the 2018 edition of the Independent Grocers Financial Survey, which covers fiscal year 2017. The survey, now in its 13th year, showed that independent grocers’ same store sales were down 0.6 percent compared to the previous year. Despite the decline, it is an improvement over last year’s results, which showed a 1.62 percent decrease in same store sales.

In fiscal year 2017, food at home price deflation continued to be a drain on sales. Average food at home prices were 0.2 percent lower than they were a year prior, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Deflation was especially drastic toward the beginning of the year; however, by December monthly food at home prices began to show improvement.

“Independents have always faced stiff competition from other retailers, especially big chains and discount warehouses,” said Robert Graybill, president and chief executive officer of FMS. “But now they’re competing with e-commerce, home delivery and meal kits. But our study has shown that independents are able to adapt where they’re able and embrace their strengths over these new formats.”

“There’s no doubt that the supermarket industry is changing at a rapid pace. However, independent grocers have faced industry shifts and challenges in the past and have proven resilient. They are the entrepreneurs of the industry, and have the ability to experiment and adjust as needed to meet their shoppers’ needs,” said Peter Larkin, president and CEO of NGA. “This study offers good insight on where the profit leaders are excelling and areas of needed improvement by independents.”

Indeed, despite a growing number of competitive formats, independent grocers’ margins were slightly ahead of where they were a year ago. Additionally, 71 percent of the respondents indicated that they are more optimistic about their business’ future.

The 2018 Independent Grocers Financial Survey included results from 139 companies across 35 U.S. states and five Canadian Provinces. The study's goals are to gauge the financial performance of independent grocers and put it in context with economic, political, and competitive factors. This report also examines how the profit leaders operate their business differently, such as their inventory and shrink, and generate more net profit.