Kroger Is the Latest Entrant in the Rapidly Growing Ghost Kitchen Segment

Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the U.S. and second largest food retailer, is expanding into the ghost kitchen category, going up against a field of startups and delivery service providers including DoorDash.

The company today announced the launch of two on-premises kitchens at locations in Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio, in partnership with ClusterTruck, a tech startup that operates delivery and in-store pickup restaurants.

“Kroger remains focused on providing our customers with fresh food and experiences enabled by industry-leading insights and transformative technology,” said Dan De La Rosa, Kroger’s vp of fresh merchandising, in a statement.

Here’s how it works: Kroger is carving out about 1,000 square feet at each of the stores for ClusterTruck staff to prepare meals. The ghost kitchen, a term used to describe professional cooking facilities built for delivery-only meals, will provide a variety of on-demand menu items with no delivery or service fees. Customers can order from a menu offering more than 80 meals.

De la Rosa calls the kitchen “an innovation that streamlines ordering, preparation and delivery, supporting Kroger as we meet the sustained customer demand for quick, fresh restaurant-quality meals, especially as we navigate an unprecedented health crisis that has affected every aspect of our lives, including mealtime.”

This is in line with grocery chains’ ecommerce evolution, which has helped deliver 127% digital sales growth in the second quarter.

As for its partner, ClusterTruck is building a software system that creates custom algorithms to optimize kitchen and delivery operations while removing the “pain points” of third-party delivery to ensure all meals are delivered to customers within seven minutes of their preparation and, on average, less than 30 minutes of ordering.

“ClusterTruck combines leading software, high-quality ingredients, and delicious variety to elevate the prepared food delivery experience,” said Chris Baggott, ClusterTruck co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “As the prepared food delivery category continues to explode, we’re thrilled to play such a pivotal role in Kroger’s fresh and forward-thinking meal delivery strategy.”

The insights Kroger gains from the first two kitchens will inform its future expansion plans, according to a company spokesperson.

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The Growing Importance Of The Home For Young Consumers

A new report by youth marketing experts YPulse titled “No Place Like Home” provides significant new insights on how the Covid pandemic has changed how Gen Z and Millennials view the homes. The following statement summarizes key findings: “As young people look to their spaces as mental health retreats, at-home items and services that comfort, declutter, or foster a feeling of escape that from the outside world will resonate.”  The opportunities for marketers are clear and will be elaborated on below.

YPulse previously observed that millennials have homebody tendencies, with a majority preferring to go to a  café or watch Netfix at home as opposed to going to a party on a Saturday night. A recent survey confirms that this sentiment was present even prior to the pandemic, with, “…67% of 19-37 year olds telling YPulse in January this year that they would rather stay in on the weekends than go out.”

Both millennials and GenZ (widely regarded as the most stressed out generation in history) are seeing the home as a refuge from the outside world, as many have felt stressed by issues such as climate change, the 2008 recession, student debt, and now Covid-19. 

YPulse and it’s Vice President for Content, MaryLeigh Bliss predict three major trends pertaining to young people and attitudes toward home going forward that are worth looking at and considering into how they affect marketers. They are:

1)     Shifts in How Young People Use Their Homes Will Create Opportunity For Marketers

With a strong majority of Millennials and GenZ having the goal of owning a home, how they use that home will be of interest to markets in many product categories. YPulse points out several Covid-related shifts in emphasis among the younger consumers in terms of how they will use space, including heightened demand for:

  • Fully equipped home offices (seating, lighting, desks, temperature control), with many indicating a preference to work at home even after the pandemic.
  • Home fitness space and equipment, with 63% indicating that when the pandemic ends they would prefer to exercise at him.
  •  Private outdoor space, with many preferring having their own private space even after Covid passes as opposed to using public parks for this purpose
  • Cooking supplies and well-equipped kitchens. While the demand for eating out does not appear to have done away, there has been an uptick in the number reporting that cooking is a hobby.
  • Play space for children; this has been spurred by many dealing with home schooling while trying to keep them busy via fun and productive entertainment.

Clearly, each of these trends creates opportunities for brands in these categories.

2)     Renewed Emphasis on Comfort, Simpler Design, and Home Improvement

YPulse reports that Covid has led to 80% of young people self-quarantining and, 83% reporting that their home has provided them with comfort during the pandemic. 

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Gardening expert reveals his top tips on growing veg at home

Gardening is an easy and enjoyable pastime that you can do alone or with members of your household, and growing your own fruits and vegetables also lets you avoid those busy supermarkets at the same time. 

Instead of sitting in front of the TV, why not get out in the fresh air, learn a new skill and improve your mental and physical health, all while growing food for your friends or family!

YouTuber Tony Smith recently shared some of his green fingered wisdom with Yahoo UK, telling us everything we need to know on how to get started in the garden.  

Tony Smith’s YouTube channel teaches you all the gardening hacks you need to get growing.

Tony covered a range of topics including how to plant potatoes in a no-dig garden, grow black tomatoes, and why something as simple as a piece of copper can keep those pesky slugs from devouring your cabbages. 

Tony says: “We are living in really strange times, this pandemic has affected us all in so many different ways and gardening has seen a resurgence.”

“There are a lot of people who can’t go to work but can get in their gardens, they can put food on the table when it’s scarce because of COVID.” 

“Planting food from seeds to put on your plate, there’s nothing better than that.”

Tony shows us around his breathtaking allotment in the North East of England by the coast, and explains how following a few simple steps can help you get the garden of your dreams. 

He explains how five years ago he started making videos to show his mother how things were getting along in the allotment. 

His mother is too old to work in the garden so he wanted to make sure she was up to date on its progress, and turns out so did his viewers, thus his YouTube channel was born. 

Each episode focuses on a different kind of growing in the allotment, using no-dig raised beds, a polytunnel and protecting your plants from weeds and insects. 

Tony says: “It makes you feel a lot better than when you came. You leave feeling like you’ve achieved something. All the pressures, the worries of the day are just lifted.”

As if Tony wasn’t giving us enough garden envy, he gives us a guided tour of his three bee hives.

Bees are a massively important part of a garden’s ecosystem, they naturally pollinate your flowers and vegetable plants, and best of all they produce delicious honey – another reason not to go to crowded supermarkets. 

Tony explains how to grow potatoes in a no-dig garden using plastic tubs of compost topped with a bit of straw to prevent weeds getting in. 

He says: “There’s nothing better than coming up to a greenhouse or polytunnel or a garden and cutting vegetables that you can take home and say you grew that. It’s just a fantastic feeling.”

Tony built raised beds in his allotment himself.

Tony gives us

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Growing Together Nebraska Garden feeds local food pantries

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) – Growing Together Nebraska Food Pantry Garden has grown and delivered over 1,400 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables to three local pantries. This garden at the West Central Research and Extension Center came to be thanks to a USDA grant of $1,300 dollars. Their goal is to educate volunteers on the gardening process and to make fresh produce accessible to people who are on limited incomes and budgets.

a little boy that is standing in the grass: Growing Together Nebraska Garden feeds local food pantries

© Provided by North Platte KNOP-CD
Growing Together Nebraska Garden feeds local food pantries

“Individuals who don’t have the money to buy produce or produce is fairly expensive as part of their food budget. This helps them stretch their food budget so they can feed everyone at home. Also they have access to the fresh and know how to eat fresh fruits and vegetables that they may not have access to otherwise,” said County Extension Educator, David Lott.

Master Gardener volunteers are part of the Master Garden Program where they receive training through the university and help in service projects. Some fruits and vegetables they’ve grown are tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, watermelon and more.

“Looking out for your own community, supporting one another, understanding that hey we’ve all been on bad times, we’ve all lost a job. Sometimes you just need a little help to get your feet underneath you again and that’s something that we can do providing people with healthy nutritious food,” said Master Gardener Volunteer, Derek Enderle.

They may have had limitations this year due to COVID but they still had a bountiful harvest and are excited for whats to come.

Copyright 2020 KNOP. All rights reserved.

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Michelle Obama Never Wanted Malia And Sasha To ‘Resent The Presidency’ While Growing Up In The White House

Malia Obama, Sasha Obama, Michelle Obama are posing for a picture: Michelle Obama opens up about what it was like raising her two daughters while living in the White House.

© Chip Somodevilla – Getty Images
Michelle Obama opens up about what it was like raising her two daughters while living in the White House.

Raising children in any atmosphere is no easy feat. Living in the White House and facing global pressure only increased the challenges, Michelle Obama confirms. The former First Lady opened up about raising daughters Malia, 22 and Sasha, 19 in the spotlight for the season finale of The Michelle Obama Podcast. During the episode, Obama spoke with her mother, Marian Robinson, and older brother, Craig, about what parenting lessons they learned while growing up in Chicago.

Any guidance grasped was naturally modified when the Obama family moved into the White House in 2009.

‘One of the things that I had to learn how to negotiate was creating these boundaries with my kids in the White House,’ Michelle remembered. ‘I mean, you talk about being raised in a totally different world than I ever knew? It’s like, pluckin’ these little girls out of our normal life on the South Side of Chicago with Craig, and mom, and our way of doing things, and our community, and then, putting them in a historic mansion with butlers and maids, and florists, and gardeners, and Secret service, and then trying to make sure that they understood boundaries, understood responsibility.’

Ensuring that Malia and Sasha led a semi-typical adolescence often required string-pulling from Marian, who lived with the family in the White House. ‘You had to basically upend the system of the White House to get them to make sure these girls had some semblance of normalcy, right?’ Obama said, revealing she’d often sneak her granddaughters ‘a little extra candy’.

Obama also recalled maintaining balance in Barack’s schedule, so that their daughters could appreciate their time at the White House, not begrudge it. “I always tried to make sure that I wasn’t pouting in front of the kids when Barack wasn’t there,” she explained, adding, ‘If I had made a big deal out of it and said, “Oh my god, your dad’s not here again! Oh, he’s missing this” or “I just wish…” then that’s the signal to them, “Well this isn’t normal”.’ She continued, ‘Even as Barack being the president of the United States, he worked his schedule around their schedule. They weren’t waiting until 9 o’clock at night to eat because dad was running late. They never couldn’t not go somewhere or do something because of dad. I never wanted them to resent the presidency, or resent what their dad did.’

a person standing in front of Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Malia Obama posing for the camera: President Obama Holds Election Night Event In Chicago

© Win McNamee – Getty Images
President Obama Holds Election Night Event In Chicago

One milestone almost every family has to endure—dropping their child off at college. Obama reflected on the trip she and Barack took to Harvard for Malia’s freshman year. ‘Barack and I have two different ways of dealing with that anxiety. I just had a list of things to do. I was unpacking the room, we’re making the bed, we’re cleaning, we’re getting the

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COVID-19: Smart Kitchen Appliance Market 2020-2024| The Growing Demand for Premium, Innovative Appliances to Boost the Market Growth | Technavio

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Technavio has been monitoring the smart kitchen appliance market and it is poised to grow by $ 6.16 bn during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of over 9% during the forecast period. The report offers an up-to-date analysis regarding the current market scenario, latest trends and drivers, and the overall market environment.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to transform the growth of various industries, the immediate impact of the outbreak is varied. While a few industries will register a drop in demand, numerous others will continue to remain unscathed and show promising growth opportunities. Technavio’s in-depth research has all your needs covered as our research reports include all foreseeable market scenarios, including pre- & post-COVID-19 analysis. We offer $1000 worth of FREE customization

The market is fragmented, and the degree of fragmentation will accelerate during the forecast period. AB Electrolux, Glen Dimplex Group, Gourmia Inc., Haier Smart Home Co. Ltd., Koninklijke Philips NV, LG Electronics Inc., Newell Brands Inc., Robert Bosch GmbH, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., and Whirlpool Corp. are some of the major market participants. To make the most of the opportunities, market vendors should focus more on the growth prospects in the fast-growing segments, while maintaining their positions in the slow-growing segments.

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The growing demand for premium, innovative appliances has been instrumental in driving the growth of the market. However, the high cost of installation might hamper market growth.

Technavio’s custom research reports offer detailed insights on the impact of COVID-19 at an industry level, a regional level, and subsequent supply chain operations. This customized report will also help clients keep up with new product launches in direct & indirect COVID-19 related markets, upcoming vaccines and pipeline analysis, and significant developments in vendor operations and government regulations. Download a Free Sample Report on COVID-19 Impacts

Smart Kitchen Appliance Market 2020-2024: Segmentation

Smart Kitchen Appliance Market is segmented as below:

  • Product
    • Smart Large Cooking Appliance
    • Smart Refrigerator
    • Smart Small Cooking Appliance
    • Smart Dishwasher
  • Geography
    • North America
    • Europe
    • APAC
    • South America
    • MEA

Smart Kitchen Appliance Market 2020-2024: Scope

Technavio presents a detailed picture of the market by the way of study, synthesis, and summation of data from multiple sources. The smart kitchen appliance market report covers the following areas:

  • Smart Kitchen Appliance Market Size
  • Smart Kitchen Appliance Market Trends
  • Smart Kitchen Appliance Market Industry Analysis

This study identifies the advent of multi-cooking functionalities in smart cooking appliances as one of the prime reasons driving the smart kitchen appliance market growth during the next few years.

Technavio suggests three forecast scenarios (optimistic, probable, and pessimistic) considering the impact of COVID-19. Technavio’s in-depth research has direct and indirect COVID-19 impacted market research reports.

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Smart Kitchen Appliance Market 2020-2024: Key Highlights

  • CAGR of the market during
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Growing Herbs in Your Square Foot Garden – Basil

Growing herbs, especially basil, in your square foot garden is an excellent way to have a kitchen garden right outside your back door. Herbs mixed with fresh vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, leeks, and beets is easy to do with Mel Bartholomew's method of square foot gardening.

If you haven't picked-up a copy of Mel's book entitled All New Square Foot Gardening, you really shouldn't delay. In it, you will find a wealth of information about growing basil. Along with learning to grow basil, you will find helpful information on growing other herbs like cilantro, mint, and oregano. There are many varieties to choose from.

Basil, particularly 'Sweet Genovese', is the best for Italian pesto. But, be sure and experiment with basil flavors like cinnamon, licorice, and lemon which are also good in many dishes. Six plants of "Sweet Genovese 'will yield enough leaves to make pesto all summer long without you being overwhelmed. Of course, it's easy to freeze any variety of this wonderful herb if the need arises.

Another variety to try, especially if you are fond of Asian cuisine, is 'Siam Queen'. A spicy Thai basil, with an intense flavor and fragrance all its own, makes it a great choice. Another great choice is 'Holy Basil' which was introduced to Europe in the sixteenth century as a culinary and medicinal herb. You will want to experiment and have fun growing all the different varieties of basil in your garden.

Many varieties of basil seeds are available at garden centers starting in February. Even more varieties, like the ones mentioned above, may be found online from seed companies. Some companies, like Pinetree Seeds, cater to square foot gardeners by offering smaller number of seeds per packet.

Growing and Caring for Basil

There are two ways to grow basil. The first way is to start seeds inside 4 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost date, or choose to start seeds outside well after all danger of frost has passed and the soil is warm.

The second way to grow basil is by purchasing transplants (plants ready to set out) from your local garden center. These are usually sold in 4 inch pots.

One good rule of thumb for when to plant is that if you need a sweater outside, it's too cold for basil. To give your plants the best chance to flourish, plant them outside after all chances of frost are gone and it's nice and warm.

One of the benefits of square foot gardening is that you can put plastic over your raised bed to warm the soil up. If you get surprised by a cold snap after the frost-free date, as we did a few years ago, simply pace a glass cloche or greenhouse hoop over your bed for protection.

When planting basil in your square foot garden, it is a good idea to plant it next to your tomatoes in order to help them grow stronger and more flavorful. Plant basil one …

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