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5 things: inflation food policy | Walmart increases its ‘influence’

5 things: inflation food policy |  Walmart increases its ‘influence’
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The politics of food inflation: Leaning left or right on the political scales will likely affect how you view the level of supermarket price inflation. according to Purdue University’s Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability. Purdue’s monthly Consumer Food Insights Report, which surveyed 1,200 U.S. consumers, finds that liberals estimate food inflation rises about three to four percentage points below conservatives’ estimates. “The divergent perceptions of food inflation between liberals and conservatives are interesting to observe,” noted center leader Jayson Lusk, the principal and Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue. “Not only are liberals seriously underestimating last year’s food price hike, but conservatives’ inflation expectations are likely exaggerating next year’s rate — at least compared to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s forecasts.” —Russell Redman

Walmart increases its ‘influence’: Walmart recently registered trademarks for both “Walmart Creator” and “Walmart Creator Collective” — movements that would provide social media consulting for “the promotion of others’ goods and services through influencers.” It’s stepping even more firmly into the waters largely occupied by Amazon, which has a social media influencer program powerful enough to incentivize Walmart to expand their influencer efforts. They have an eye on the price. By 2022, data predicts that influencer marketing will grow to become a $16.4 billion industry. —Chloe Riley

Wegmans pulls plug from mobile cash register SCAN: Despite a positive response from customers, Wegmans Food Markets is putting the Wegmans Scan mobile checkout app on the shelf, Syracuse.com reported:. The free app, rolled out to stores in 2019, allows customers to scan groceries as they shop, put them in their cart or bag, and then pay quickly at a self-checkout station. While shoppers liked the convenience — especially as a contactless solution during the pandemic — the program didn’t work well, even after adjustments, according to Wegmans. “Unfortunately, the losses we are experiencing from this program prevent us from continuing to make it available in its current state,” Wegmans said. According to plans, the SCAN app is to be discontinued as of September 18. —RR

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Discount Grocers Shake Up Long Island Market: High food prices have prompted an increasing number of shoppers to buy out grocers like Aldi and Lidl in Long Island’s lucrative New York metro market, sparking a grocery war, according to an analysis in Newsday. The recent expansion of the area’s two German chains has wiped out the market share of traditional supermarkets, as well as store visits to lower-cost mass merchants such as Walmart, Target, Costco Wholesale, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Dollar General. Leading conventional supermarket chains in the LI market include Stop & Shop, ShopRite and King Kullen. —RR

An Instagram revolution? Because pouring milk is just tiresome, Kellogg has launched Instabowls – portable, disposable bowls containing some of the company’s most popular breakfast cereals, along with an instant milk powder. Just add water and voila! Cereals all the way. The product is fully aimed at those returning to school and work. And it’s also a smart move by Kellogg as the company gears up to launch its specialty grain business. Kellogg calls the product “revolutionary.” Is the kind of revolution you would put on your shelves? —CR

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