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Case-in-point that plant-based foods are not only here to stay but are on the uptick: Weis Markets is launching a new themed health and wellness program, called Plant Powered, that will help customers take a step toward a healthier lifestyle by highlighting healthful plant-based foods that can easily be incorporated into everyday meals and snacks. The chainwide initiative will use in-store signage on Weis Quality and Weis Signature Collection and Full Circle price tags, as well as select national brands, identifying foods that support a balanced, plant powered diet. Foods identified as Plant Powered by the Weis dietitians include: fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; beans and lentils; fruits packed in 100 percent juice or water; vegetables that can be drained and rinsed; whole-grain rice, pasta, cereal, bread and specialty grains; soy and almond milks; healthful oils; select nuts; and tea. “Our Plant Powered program offers guidance on an eating approach that is a more flexible than vegetarianism or veganism, yet may offer many of the same benefits, including lower risk for heart disease and an increased intake of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and unsaturated fats,” stated Weis Markets Lifestyle Initiatives manager Beth Stark. “According to Nielsen survey data, we know that more than one in three Americans are actively trying to include more plant-based foods in their diets. This program aims to help them understand where to find these foods and how to enjoy them at home.” In addition to offering fresh new plant-powered recipes, Weis Markets’ registered dietitians also offer simple swaps to make the shift from animal-based to plant-based ingredients in shoppers’ favorite meals, including roasted vegetable tacos and overnight oats with almond milk.

Although, technically plant-based, one of Walmart’s latest ventures in its move to broaden its horizons and to appeal to a more upscale customer base probably doesn’t fall in the latest health trend since it’s been a popular item for centuries. Following in the footsteps of retailers such as Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Aldi, Lidl and Costco, the big-box retailer is launching its own private label line of wines. With 10 different labels of vino sourced from California, France and Italy, they will retail for around $11 dollars per bottle but will, according to Walmart’s senior wine buyer Nichole Simpson, “drink like a $30 to $40 bottle of wine.”

Finally, in the feel-good story of the month, I would like to give kudos to Country Time Lemonade for coming to the rescue of the little people – literally. Earlier this month, the company announced that it will pay for any fines that children incur for trying to sell the summertime beverage staple. Unbeknownst to many people (myself included), lemonade stands aren’t supposed to set up shop on public sidewalks or roads without a permit in many cities and municipalities, which typically come with applications and fees. Often, local officials and police officers will turn a blind eye to this and will give these neighborhood setups a pass. However, recent stories of kids not only having their lemonade stands shut down but also fined came to the attention of the brand, which is a unit of Kraft Heinz. “We heard a couple of these stories happening and frankly, didn’t believe that they were real,” said Adam Butler, Kraft Heinz’s general manager for beverages and nuts. “You look into it and, wow, this is actually real. We huddled up and decided we’ve got to do something about this.” The company responded to this bureaucratic ridiculousness with a video in which it offers “Country Time Legal-Ade.” Essentially, Country Time will reimburse children who have been fined for running a lemonade stand without a permit or will cover the cost of a permit already secured, until August 31 or until $60,000 has been awarded. In order to get reimbursement, the image of the child’s fine or permit needs to be uploaded to the website along with, in the child’s own words, a description of what the lemonade stands means to them. Plus, for every retweet the Country Time Legal-Ade promotional video it receives, Country Time will donate $1 to help bail out future kids in a squeeze. All I have to say to that is, “Cheers”!

Until next month…