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Food News Roundup: Kroger, Instacart Announce Updates, Subway Doubles As Grocery Store

Jayson Derrick

Grocery giant Kroger Co (NYSE: KR) and third-party delivery platform Instacart each announced updates this week on how they're navigating the coronavirus pandemic. 

Kroger Leverages Tech System

Kroger announced that as of Tuesday it will use technology to limit the number of customers allowed in its stores at a time. The company already makes use of its QueVision technology to track the number of customers who enter and exit a store.

Kroger said it will leverage infrared sensors and predictive analytics to make sure the total number of customers allowed in a store at once is 50% of the building code's normal capacity.

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Instacart Expands Data Sharing

Instacart said in a Tuesday press release that it will offer its data and insights to food companies and consumer packaged goods companies in the coming weeks and months.

Instacart said it has access to understand what food items are in high demand and what items may be out of stock at a given time.

"With the recent surge in customer demand for online grocery, these insights have become particularly important as brands work to understand, in real-time, what items are surging and where there may be out of stock issues, so they can help get customers the items they need," a spokesperson for Instacart told Food Business News.

Subway Doubles As Grocery Store

More than 100 Subway sandwich restaurants in California are doubling as a pop-up grocery store by selling to the public some of the items featured on its menu, like deli meats, sandwich buns, bagged lettuce and frozen soup. 

The chain is calling its new initiative Subway Grocery, and it is unclear if the initiative will expand elsewhere in the U.S. or in other countries.

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Photo courtesy of Instacart.

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