Posts tagged with "Wegmans"

Gutzy taps into gut health craze with prebiotic pouches

My 21, 2024

With gut health top of mind for consumers, the aptly named Gutzy Organic is moving quickly to capitalize on its popularity, reports Food Dive.

Last month, the pouch maker launched a new packaging design and flavor, botanical turmeric and mango. It joins Gutzy’s other products—among them, Apple Spinach Kiwi Kale and Apple Strawberry Blueberry + Turmeric Dandelion. The company’s products each contain 5 grams of prebiotic acacia.

Gutzy’s founder and CEO David Istier said the growth of prebiotic sodas such as Olipop, Poppi, and Health-Ade’s SunSip shows that several years after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the food industry, consumers continue to look for items that will improve their gut health.

“We’ve seen a shift into people looking at natural solutions instead of just popping pills,” Istier said in an interview. “That’s why prebiotics are gaining momentum, and we’re a part of that.”

Gutzy’s goal is to provide a clean-label, convenient snack to consumers looking for more fruits, vegetables, and prebiotics; but lacking sufficient time to prepare them.

Istier said by occupying a niche category with few competitors, it has been able to grow its presence quickly.

“If you go to a supermarket, we’ll be next to refrigerated food cups and bars,” he said. “In that environment, we are unique.”

Istier is a longtime veteran of food and beverage companies, most notably working in executive roles at the parent company of Go Go Squeez. He saw an opportunity to bring the fruit pouch brand’s squeeze bottle format into a product targeted at adults, particularly in the fledgling gut health category which hadn’t yet been explored in snack products.

Gutzy launched its products in 2019 and is now in 6,000 stores, including Wegmans, Publix, and Meijer. The company pointed to Nielsen data finding that it was the fastest-growing brand in the fresh and healthy snacks category in the 13-week period ending in January 2024.

“Prebiotics were big in the supplement world, but they were not really in many mainstream food and beverage products before we launched,” Istier said. “We now have very strong repeat consumers, which is the most important thing.”

 Prebiotic potential

Prebiotics stand out from other gut health ingredients because they feed the good bacteria that already reside in the gut. Consumer awareness of prebiotics has grown significantly as people place a greater importance on their health. The global prebiotics market was valued at roughly $8 billion in 2023 and is poised to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 14.9% by 2030, according to a Skyquest projection.

Istier says Gutzy prioritizes keeping its consumers informed about the benefits of the ingredients through its packaging. “We have a claim on the back that talks about how acacia has been proven to increase the growth of beneficial bacteria over a period of four weeks,” Istier said. “It’s important for us to add something that is measurable, with what we know is scientifically backed up.”

Istier says Gutzy is prioritizing R&D to develop a “very unique” product containing plant protein to expand the reach of its brand—particularly with consumers looking for more sustenance from a snack.

“It will be a bit like what we have currently with refreshing fruit, but with the creaminess of yogurt,” Istier said. “The protein trend is not going away anytime soon, and we need to be in that space moving forward.”

Research contact: @FoodDive

Many retailers still will require masks—at least for now—even with new CDC guidance

May 17, 2021

Target, Home Depot, Wegmans and a number of other U.S. retailers will continue to require customers and employees to wear masks in-store while they review the new federal guidance from the CDC—which has announced that fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear face coverings in most situations, The Washington Post reports.

.However, industry groups and workers’ advocates already are pushing back–saying that they fear enforcement will become increasingly difficult and contentious. What’s more, workers unions have blasted the policy change, saying it puts store employees at increased risk of getting sick.

And in acknowledgement of such hazards, some retail chains will go with the flow—among them, Trader Joe’s, which no longer will require fully vaccinated shoppers to wear masks, although it is unclear how the retailer would determine which shoppers have been inoculated. Kenya Friend-Daniel, a spokesperson for the grocery chain, said most other COVID-related policies, including face coverings for employees, social distancing rules and frequent store cleanings, will remain in place.

“We are vigilant; reviewing federal, state, and local health advisories; meeting or exceeding government mandates; and where it makes sense, adjusting efforts,” the company said on its website.

The trade group for the industry, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, has not taken sides, saying: “We urge all retail customers and guests to follow a store’s safety protocols including wearing a mask and social distancing. Frontline workers deserve this respect. Retailers encourage customers that do not want to wear a mask to shop online or via curbside pickup offerings.”

The United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents 1.3 million food and retail workers, said the CDC’s guidance fails to consider the impact on essential workers, “who face frequent exposure to individuals who are not vaccinated and refuse to wear masks.”

More than 200 retail workers have died from the coronavirus, and thousands more have been infected, according to workers groups and media reports, although actual numbers are probably much higher.

“Vaccinations are helping us take control of this pandemic, but we must not let our guard down,” Marc Perrone, the union’s president said in a statement. “Essential workers are still forced to play mask police for shoppers who are unvaccinated and refuse to follow local COVID safety measures. Are they now supposed to become the vaccination police?”

Research contact: @washingtonpost