Whole Foods one-hour window presents challenges (KR)

Whole Foods announced that it offers free pickup in a one-hour window at all of its stores for Amazon Prime members who order at least $35 of groceries online. Whole Foods said 40% of the pickup orders each month come from customers using the option for the first time, and 68% of consumers expect to use curbside pickup after the pandemic is over. Whole Foods expanded the pickup service from 80 to more than 150 in mid-April. (My local Whole Foods has converted an area that was once designated for in-store dining and children playing to a hub of shelving, bagging, and pickers congregating with their orders.)

Walmart has been offering curbside pickup for several years.  What differentiates Whole Foods’ offering is the one-hour window, which is challenging and expensive for staffing. That is why most of the other grocers utilize a third party like Postmates or have time slots to manage staffing and curbside parking spots. Free curbside pickup is increasingly offered by all grocers (Costco is an exception) and has become an added competition cost.

Ipsos surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers about their e-commerce usage and sent mystery shoppers on thousands of trips, and reported its finding in its E-Commerce Experience Report. Walmart performed the strongest in BOPIS service, followed by Target. In curbside service, Sam’s Club was rated first, followed by Kroger. In grocery delivery, HEB was first.

Frozen food remains elevated in the U.K. (NOMD)

The week ended October 10, the CPG demand index was up 7% YOY, down from 8% in the prior week. Demand for frozen food remained at +14% for the second consecutive week, as seen in the following chart. Beverage alcohol remained the strongest category, +18%, with the earlier closing time for pubs. The U.K. is Nomad Food's largest country by sales, representing 31% of overall sales. Nomad Foods is on our Best Idea Long list.

Staples Insights | WFM 1-hour window (KR), Frozen stays elevated in UK (NOMD), Mexico politics (STZ) - staples insights 102120

Heineken shows all politics are local (STZ)

Heineken announced it would invest $180M for expansion in its areas of operation in Baja, California. The minister of Sustainable Economy and Tourism in Baja California said more companies consider the area appropriate for growth, both for the security it provides to investment as well as for the development benefits. A referendum with meager voter turnout stopped constellation Brands’ plant 70% complete in nearby Mexicali. The chief concern was the plant’s water usage. In the neighboring municipality of Tecate, there have been no protests by activists in recent years in which Heineken has carried out various expansions to increase capacity. Tecate draws its water from the Mexicali aquifer. Constellation Brands is still in negotiations for what to do with the Mexicali plant and where else it could build a new plant.