business news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Cincinnati Business Courier reports that Kroger “is expanding its standalone restaurant concept to a second location,” and “plans to open its second Kitchen 1883 in Anderson Township (Ohio) this fall. It opened the first Kitchen 1883 – its first full-service restaurant – next to its supermarket in Union, Ky., in November.”

The story notes that “Kitchen 1883 – it’s named after the year Barney Kroger founded his namesake grocery company in downtown Cincinnati – features a made-from-scratch menu and hand-crafted cocktails. The Union location has wraps, a burger, craft beer-battered cod using locally made Braxton Brewing beer, pork tenderloin, crab remoulade salad and an appetizer called roasted cauli-sprouts on the menu, among others.”

• Raley’s announced that it is launching what it calls “a new multidimensional advertising campaign to support the company’s vision to infuse life with health and happiness. The campaign, entitled ‘However You Eat,’ invites customers to shop with Raley’s for their nutrition and wellness needs regardless of the way they eat and where they are on their individual health journey.”

The company says that the campaign “was developed to inspire a real conversation about how we eat. The advertising assets tell a story about the different reasons customers buy groceries. The campaign places an emphasis on being inclusive whether you are shopping for a family, as a vegan, for a book club meeting or as a pescatarian.”

I haven’t even seen this, and I already like it … because Raley’s seems to understand that creating enduring connections with customers means being able to tell compelling and relevant stories. That’s always been a core tenet around here. (I even co-wrote a book about it … have I ever mentioned it?)

CNBC reports that J. M. Smucker will “acquire pet food and pet snacks maker Ainsworth Pet Nutrition in an all-cash transaction for about $1.7 billion to strengthen its pet food portfolio in an fast-growing pet food market.” Smucker also said that “it plans to explore options for its U.S. baking business, including a sale.”

CNBC reports that Bed Bath & Beyond is telling consumers holding a Toys R Us gift card - of limited use now that the toy retailer is going out of business - can redeem it for partial value at its stores. The offer ends at midnight tonight.

According to the story, “A shopper will receive a Bed Bath & Beyond e-gift card instantly, but the exchange value won't be exact. The retailer notes that prices can vary. Shoppers can check how much they will receive on the website before agreeing to a swap. A Toys R Us card worth $100, for example, would be worth $64.20 in store credit at Bed Bath & Beyond.”
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