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FOOD ON THE MOVE

LOGISTICS TRENDS IN OUR INDUSTRY

AMERICOLD ACQUIRES PORTFRESH HOLDINGS, PLANS COLD STORAGE FACILITY AT PORT OF SAVANNAH

Americold has acquired the privately-held PortFresh Holdings, a leading temperature-controlled operator servicing fresh produce trade primarily through the Port of Savannah. In connection with its acquisition of PortFresh, Americold plans to build a new 15 million-cubic-foot cold storage facility on adjacent land owned by PortFresh. “The Port of Savannah is one of the fastest-growing ports in the United States, and has seen increased traffic of temperature-controlled trade. With this investment, Americold is fulfilling our customers’ requests to expand into this growing market, which provides an efficient and cost-effective solution to meet their import and export needs,” says Fred Boehler, president and chief executive officer of Americold Realty Trust. “We believe this development project represents a significant long-term growth opportunity for the company, as we continue to grow our scale and develop our partnership with the Port of Savannah.” The planned new facility, estimated at a cost between $55 million to $65 million, will feature 37,000 pallet positions, advanced blast freezing capabilities, and space and infrastructure to support refrigerated-containerized trade. Americold expects to begin construction on the new facility in the first half of 2019, with the opening expected to be in the first quarter of 2020.

STOP & SHOP BRINGS ON-DEMAND, SELFDRIVING GROCERY STORES TO CONSUMERS

Stop & Shop will launch driverless grocery vehicles in the Greater Boston area starting spring 2019. The vehicles will bring a selection of Stop & Shop produce, meal kits and convenience items directly to consumers. Part of an engagement with San Francisco-based startup Robomart, the vehicles will address consumers’ desires to select their own fresh produce when shopping via online or mobile, while delivering an even more convenient grocery shopping experience for Stop & Shop customers in the Boston area. The engagement offers potential for expansion beyond its existing brick-and-mortar footprint. “This is one way in which we’re leveraging new technology to make shopping easier for our customers by essentially bringing the store to them,” says Mark McGowan, Stop & Shop president. “We also recognize that many of our customers want the opportunity to make their own choices when it comes to fresh produce, and we’re proud to be the first retailer to engage with Robomart to address our customers’ needs with their cutting-edge solution.” Customers can call on a Robomart vehicle via a smartphone app. Upon its arrival, customers unlock the vehicle’s doors, then personally select the fruits, vegetables and other products they would like to purchase. When finished, they close the doors and send the vehicle on its way. The bot’s RFID and computer vision technology automatically record what customers select to provide a checkout-free experience, and receipts are e-mailed within seconds.

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BLUE APRON HOPES RETAIL PARTNERSHIPS WILL ATTRACT HIGH-SPENDING SUBSCRIBERS

Meal-kit subscription service Blue Apron continues to lose tens of thousands of customers on a quarterly basis—a trend it expects to continue as it pivots to a new service model. Blue Apron is now focusing on getting existing customers to spend more, while recruiting more customers to the platform that are similar to its most loyal members. Late last year, the company shifted to a flexible service model, which included distribution through retailers and more choices for customers, including quick changes to plans, meals that take less time to prepare, and limited-time, specialized meal-kit offerings. Despite the change in approach, analysts say the strategy doesn’t adequately address the business model’s core problem: Blue Apron is situated in an uncomfortable middle ground between restaurant delivery services and grocery stores, driving its potential customer reach to a too-narrow customer group. It’s the reason why other food delivery startups have struggled to scale.

www.foodlogistics.com

3/1/19 10:17 AM

Profile for Supply+Demand Chain/Food Logistics

Food Logistics March 2019  

Food Logistics is the only publication exclusively dedicated to covering the movement of product through the global food and beverage supply...

Food Logistics March 2019  

Food Logistics is the only publication exclusively dedicated to covering the movement of product through the global food and beverage supply...