Content about Food

April 14, 2014

U.S. retail sales increased 1.1% in March, the biggest month-over-month gain since September 2012 and a long-awaited sign of an economic thaw after an especially challenging winter.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, advance estimates of retail and food services sales for March, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences (but not for price changes) were $433.9 billion. This is a 3.8% improvement above March 2013.

Retail trade sales themselves were up 1.1% from February and 3.7% from last year.

April 2, 2014

Seattle-based Global Harvest Foods, a manufacturer of wild and caged bird food and small critter feed and the producer of the Audubon Park brand, agreed to acquire the U.S. wild bird food business from subsidiaries of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

April 2, 2014

Tractor Supply Company is spreading the backyard hen gospel nationwide through a series of local Chick Days and other educational initiatives.

“Chickens naturally recycle food waste and they provide invaluable fertilizer for gardens,” said VP merchandise Marc Johnson. “What’s more, there’s not a better organic source of pest control than a backyard chicken. They naturally eat bugs, ticks, beetles and other backyard pests.”

March 20, 2014

Jenn-Air has released three new refrigerators -- which go by the name of Obsidian -- featuring an unusual black interior

"Black lends a very flattering and sophisticated look to this collection and gives everything within the refrigerator more prominence and visual pop," notes Juliet Johnson, manager of brand experience for Jenn-Air. "The dramatic interior shade extends the elegant design of our products from outside to inside the appliance, and puts food on display in an impressive, pristine way."

March 13, 2014

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales came in at $427.2 billion for the month of February, up 0.3% since January and 1.5% since February 2013.

The progress of retail trade sales matched those of the overall figure at 0.3%, with nonstore retailers up 6.3% year-over-year and health and personal care stores up 5.5% since last year.

Building materials and garden equipment and supplies dealers posted the next-strongest year-over-year recovery, with sales improving 3.2% since February 2013 and 0.3% since last month.

March 7, 2014

The U.S. economy generated 175,000 jobs in February, which was well above the 149,000 rate economists expected but still below last year's average of 190,000. Also, the national unemployment rate ticked back up a notch to 6.7%, having reached a five-year low of 6.6% in January.

The long-term unemployment population -- or those jobless for 27 weeks or more -- increased in February to 3.8 million, now accounting for 37.0% of the total unemployed. This number is roughly 901,000 below year-ago levels.

February 13, 2014

The U.S. Census Bureau released its monthly retail and food services sales report Thursday, which pointed to a slight setback of 0.4% for the month but a 2.6% gain over January of last year.

Weather was partly to blame for the dip, according to the National Retail Federation.

At $427.8 billion, total sales for the month fell below December's, which also received a downward revision from 0.2% above November sales to 0.1% below month-ago figures.

February 3, 2014

Bad weather and a reduction in food stamps led to weaker-than-expected sales at Walmart and Sam’s Club, which combined with greater-than-expected international expense, prompted an uncharacteristic pre-announcement from the company that fourth-quarter profits would be worse than expected. 

January 28, 2014

Springfield, Mass.-based Rocky’s Ace Hardware collected more than 4 tons of pet food, along with beds, leashes, treats, toys and cleaning supplies and delivered them to local animal shelters. The final weight of pet food amassed totaled an amazing 8,776 pounds.

January 27, 2014

Cranbury, N.J.-based HBC Home & Hardware Products, the home products distributor formerly known as Howard Berger Co., has acquired the assets of Faucet Queen.

Faucet Queen’s Helping Hand brand of convenience-oriented home hardware is the market leader in serving the food and drug retail trade, the company said. The Faucet Queen business will continue to operate out of the current Vernon Hills, Ill., facility. 

January 14, 2014

December retail and food service sales rose by 0.2% above the previous month and 4.1% above December 2012, according to advance estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Clocking in at a total figure of $431.9 billion for the month, December's year-over-year sales performance mirrored that of the larger 12-month period of 2013, which marked a 4.2% improvement over the year of 2012.

Similarly, retail trade sales were up 0.2% from November and 4.0% year-over-year.

December 10, 2013

The stakes are high for the nation’s independent retailers. And the competition is fierce. Stores around the country are fighting for their share of the housingmarket recovery in a highly promotional shopping environment.

December 9, 2013

Affordability problems for renters have skyrocketed over the past decade both in number and the share of renters facing them, according to a new report on rental housing from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. The inability of so many to find housing they can afford dramatically impacts the health and well-being of U.S. renters, as lower-income households cut back on food, healthcare and savings, just to keep up.

November 22, 2013

Launching its third annual Holiday Pet Food Drive, Springfield, Mass.-based Rocky’s Ace Hardware teamed with Nutro Pet Foods to help homeless and abandoned pets. The drive runs now through Dec. 23. 

Each of the 32 Rocky’s Ace Hardware stores have partnered with an area Humane Society or Shelter to collect food this Holiday Season for the much forgotten and unfortunate animals in our own community.

November 20, 2013

Advance estimates for retail and food service sales came in at $428.1 billion for the month of October, a larger-than-expected increase of 0.4%, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. September sales also enjoyed an upwardly revised boost from -0.1% to an increase of 0.5%.

Retail trade sales largely mirrored that of total retail and food service sales, both of which were up 3.9% over last year.

November 8, 2013

In what was the first such increase since last May, national unemployment figures crept back up by a hair to 7.3% in October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

In terms of job gains, leisure and hospitality, retail, professional and technical services, manufacturing and healthcare experienced the most significant progress.

October 21, 2013

A group of private investors in New York has gone in on a majority interest in Fort Myers-based agribusiness Alico Inc., one of the largest private landowners in Florida.

The all-cash $138 million deal involves 50.5% of Alico's outstanding voting stock, purchased by 734 Agriculture, a private investment company owned by Remy Trafelet and George Brokaw, in partnership with Arlon Group, a global food and agriculture investment firm.

The majority stake will be valued at $37 per share and is due to close in the next 30 to 45 days.

October 2, 2013

At Bloomberg News’ offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., well-stocked food stations are a staple: Cereals, granola bars, hot chocolate, cookies, candy, soups, nuts, juices, vegetables and fruit are just some of the free offerings for the company’s many thousands of employees.

During orientation new hires are told that the stations are designed to encourage camaraderie and idea swapping. That’s the upside.

September 23, 2013

Chicago -- Here is a statistic that is raising optimism within the True Value pet department: 72% of pet owners consider their pet a member of their family. And what's more, 70% of dog owners think their dog understands how they are feeling better than most people do.

It's no secret that home owners love their pets, but the category is attractive to independent hardware stores for more retail-centric reasons, according to panelists on a True Value seminar here at the co-op's 2013 Fall Reunion.

September 20, 2013

Tractor Supply Co. opened a store in Morrisville, Vt., marking the company's seventh store in the state of Vermont. 

The store measures a little more than 19,000 sq. ft. and employs about 15 full- and part-time employees, according to a report in

The store will host an "Out Here with the Animals Day" on Sept. 29, offering advice and information regarding pet food, foraging, flock management and other areas.

September 13, 2013

Advance adjusted estimates of August retail and food service sales came in at $426.6 billion, up 0.2% from July and 4.7% above Aug. 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.

Specifically, retail trade sales matched overall figures with a 0.2% increase over July and a 4.8% gain year-over-year.

August 29, 2013

True Value’s Kevin Rewerts, divisional VP of merchandising for automotive-pet-farm & ranch, said the co-op’s five-year plan to grow the farm-and-ranch-and-pet business by $100 million is on track. 

In an interview with HCN, Rewerts added that the pet division is taking on a retailer’s-best-friend role at the co-op, and has emerged as the fastest growing category at True Value. 

August 29, 2013

Kittitas County Hardware, located in Downtown Kittitas, Wash., is launching a first-time harvest swap for local gardeners, the Daily Record reports. 

The "leave some, take some" food exchange will run through the end of September and provide gardeners with an opportunity to make the most of their excess harvest.

June 14, 2013

Former Williams-Sonoma Brand president Richard Harvey joined Corte Madera, Calif.-based Restoration Hardware as chief merchandising officer for RH Kitchen and Tableware, expected to launch in late 2014. 

In his new role, Harvey is charged to develop a curated collection of kitchen furniture, appliances, lighting, cookware, tools and food. 

June 13, 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau announced Thursday that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for May, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $421.1 billion, an increase of 0.6% from the previous month, and 4.3% above May 2012.

Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers -- NAICS code 444 companies -- were up 10.1% from last year. The sector’s adjusted sales were $26.387 billion, up from $26.158 billion in April.