Wegmans stores to host event to feature Food You Feel Good About products on April 22nd, 2017

Wegmans stores to host event to feature Food You Feel Good About products on April 22nd, 2017

 

ROCHESTER, NY, 2017-Apr-18 — /EPR Retail News/ —

WHAT: At this event our employees will share information about our Food You Feel Good About products, another way we can help our customers lead healthier, better lives through food. Customers will also have the opportunity to learn about sustainability at Wegmans and in celebration of Earth Day, we’ll be hosting our popular plastic bag exchange.

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday April 22nd, 2017

WHERE: All Wegmans Food Markets stores

Are you looking for foods with cleaner ingredients? Come to Wegmans on Saturday, April 22nd to learn about our Food You Feel Good About products. The bright yellow Food You Feel Good About banner on our packages is our shortcut to let you know that these products have no artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

Visit stations throughout the store to taste some of our favorite Food Your Feel Good About products and learn more about what this banner means. Enter a drawing to win a gift bag with more than $25 worth of Food Your Feel Good About products. As the event is on Earth Day, we will also share information about sustainability at Wegmans, and offer our popular plastic bag exchange where customers can receive a reusable bag in exchange for a collection of plastic bags! Last year we reduced landfill and recycled over 4 million pounds of plastic wrap and bags.

Samples will be offered in a variety of departments, some of the highlights include:

Produce Department: Veggie Spaghetti with Food You Feel Good About Spicy Thai Red Curry Simmer Sauce

Meat Department: Organic Lemon & Garlic Marinated Chicken Breasts with Food You Feel Good About BBQ Memphis Sauce

Nature’s Department: Food You Feel Good About Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt and Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Wholesum Bars

Market Café: Food You Feel Good About Beef & Bean Chili and Turkey & Bean Chili

Frozen Department: A customer favorite – Food You Feel Good About Potatoes Gratin Mushroom and Cream

Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is a 92-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, recognized as an industry leader and innovator, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 20 consecutive years, ranking #2 in 2017.

Press Contact:

Jo Natale
Vice President of Media Relations
585-429-3627

Source: Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.

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Wegmans stores in the Buffalo area to host 40th anniversary celebrations on Jan. 28, 2017

BUFFALO, NY, 2017-Jan-23 — /EPR Retail News/ —

WHAT: Blizzard-themed 40th anniversary celebration at Buffalo-area Wegmans Food Markets

WHEN: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017. Cake served at 11 a.m. and a $100 gift card raffled off each hour of the event.

WHERE: Ten Wegmans stores in the Buffalo area: Dick Road in Depew; Alberta Drive in Amherst; Amherst Street in Buffalo; Losson Road in Depew; McKinley in Buffalo; Military Road in Niagara Falls; Niagara Falls Blvd. in Amherst; Sheridan Drive in Amherst; Transit Road in Williamsville; and West Seneca in Buffalo.

Buffalo residents do know snow. Sidewalks and driveways hidden by giant snowdrifts? Car tires whirring on icy roads? No big deal. But 40 years ago, the Blizzard of ’77 struck, and paralyzed the region, closing roads, airports, schools and businesses for days. It also forced Wegmans Food Markets to postpone the grand opening of its first store in the Buffalo area, the Dick Road store in Depew.

“The Blizzard of ’77 was truly a massive storm that tested all Buffalo residents,” says Michele Mehaffy, Buffalo consumer affairs manager for Wegmans. “But Buffalo residents are resilient, resourceful, and caring. We owe a special debt of gratitude to all the people who’ve made the past 40 years such good ones for Wegmans – especially the customers who trust us to help them feed the people they love, and the employees who’ve worked in our stores. We’re glad to have this occasion to thank them.”

Representatives from companies in the Buffalo area that make products sold at Wegmans will be on hand at stores throughout the region, including those from Landies Candies, Perry’s Ice Cream, Louretta’s Chocolate Popcorn, Wardynski’s sausages, Costanzo’s rolls, Mayer Brothers’ cider, Yancey’s Fancy cheese and First Light Creamery goat cheese. Local brewers and apple growers will also attend, with Sun Orchards presenting a New York State apple called Pazazz for the first time.

All 10 participating stores will have live music, cake, and an hourly raffle for a $100 gift card from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

How bad WAS the Blizzard of ’77?

  • The storm began January 28, adding to heavy snow pack already on the ground, and lasted through February 1. Winds gusted over 75 mph at Niagara Falls and wind chills reached 50 to 60 degrees below zero.
  • The federal government, at President Jimmy Carter’s direction, issued the first state of emergency EVER for a snow event. Five-hundred National Guardsmen and 300 Army Airborne Engineers were dispatched to help Buffalo get back on its feet.
  • Transportation came to a halt – flights were cancelled, roads were closed.
  • Hundreds of people spent days at airport and bus terminals; thousands were stranded away from home.
  • Factories, businesses, and schools were closed for more than a week.
  • Mail delivery was suspended for a week or more.
  • Ambulances could not navigate snow-covered streets; emergency medical technicians had to carry patients through drifts, in many cases.
  • Nearly a dozen babies were born at home, when their mothers could not reach the hospital in time.
  • And yes, some lives were lost: 29 people and 20 animals at the Buffalo Zoo

But there were also acts of kindness and support:

  • The Salvation Army fed over 100,000 people and provided emergency housing to 2,430.
  • The Red Cross served 50,000 meals and gave stranded people money for food, clothing and shelter.
  • Many residents made sandwiches and meals for first responders and plow drivers, and even housed stranded motorists for a few days.

And what happened with that Grand Opening of Wegmans’ Dick Road store?

It had to wait until the storm subsided and emergency workers had done their job. That’s not all: A group of employees who’d been working hard to get the store ready were stranded there when the blizzard struck. For a few days, they grabbed naps when they could and made meals from food off the shelves.

Opening day came at last on February 8, 1977. The new Wegmans “appears to have everything but a swimming pool and restaurant to make it a complete day-long shopping holiday,” exclaimed a story in the Buffalo Courier Express. The 65,000 square-foot store was roughly twice the size of most other supermarkets. The cheese shop offered hundreds of different kinds of cheese. There was a bakery, a fresh seafood department, a clothing department, a cookware shop, a fabric department, a plant and flower shop, a linens department with towels and sheets, and more.

The biggest novelty was Wegmans’ futuristic checkout system that used scanners to read the Universal Product Code (bar code) on each item and enter its price on the register receipt for faster, more accurate checkouts. Today, scanners are used throughout the retail industry, but Wegmans was one of the first supermarkets in the country to install scanners in checkout lanes.

It was a very big day for the new Wegmans store. One 40-year Wegmans employee remembers the crowds and long lines as customers waited for a look at things they hadn’t seen before, like the live lobsters for sale in the seafood department. Also, partly because of the extra spending power some customers had thanks to emergency food vouchers given out during the blizzard, the first Wegmans store in Buffalo set a new store grand opening record!

Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is a 92-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, recognized as an industry leader and innovator, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 19 consecutive years, ranking #4 in 2016.

Press Contact:

Michele Mehaffy
Buffalo Consumer Affairs Manager
716-343-3916

Source: Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.

Record $1.69 million raised by 49 Wegmans stores during the fall 2014 Check Out Hunger campaign

ROCHESTER, NY, 2015-1-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — A record $1.69 million was raised by 49 Wegmans stores during the fall 2014 Check Out Hunger campaign, a 7% increase over the fall 2013 campaign.

In 2014 alone, Wegmans stores raised a total of $2.7 million for hunger relief through scanning campaigns. Since these programs began in 1993, Wegmans has raised nearly $25 million for hunger relief.

“We’re grateful to our customers and employees for their continued generosity and caring spirit,” said Linda Lovejoy, Wegmans community relations manager. “As we continue to grow and open new stores, a point of pride is the partnerships we build to support food banks and make a difference in every community we serve.”

Check Out Hunger and Care About Hunger programs allow customers to donate $1, $2 $3, $5 or any other amount at checkout with 100% of the proceeds going to each store’s local food bank.
The food banks that will receive donations are listed below with the amount raised, and in parentheses, the Wegmans stores that raised money for them:

Maryland
Anne Arundel County Food Bank – $12,946 (Crofton)
Frederick Community Action Agency – $9,774 (Frederick)
Harford Community Action Agency – $16,493 (Bel Air)
Howard County Community Action Council – $30,882 (Columbia)
Manna Food Center – $8,083 (Germantown)
Maryland Food Bank – $14,165 (Hunt Valley)

New Jersey
Community Food Bank of New Jersey – $117,078 (Bridgewater and Woodbridge)
Food Bank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties – $113,114 (Ocean and Manalapan)
Food Bank of South Jersey – $78,315 (Cherry Hill and Mt. Laurel)
Mercer Street Friends – $66,440 (Princeton)

New York
Food Link – $694,776 (21 stores in the Greater Rochester area)

Pennsylvania
Bucks County Opportunity Council – $22,444 (Warrington)
Chester County Food Bank – $92,040 (Downingtown and Malvern)
Cluster Outreach Center – $49,806 (Collegeville)
Manna on Main Street – $19,303 (Montgomeryville)
Philabundance – $53,902 (King of Prussia)
Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley & SE PA – $78,213 (Allentown, Bethlehem, and Nazareth)

Virginia
ACTS – $50,710 (Potomac Mills)
Food for Others – $60,863 (Fairfax)
Fredericksburg Area Food Bank – $26,183 (Fredericksburg)
Loudoun Interfaith Relief – $48,045 (Sterling and Leesburg)
SERVE – $30,938 (Lake Manassas)

The fall campaigns ran at various times from September through December. Timing of the annual checkout scanning campaigns varies by region. The remaining Wegmans stores in Buffalo, Syracuse, the Southern Tier, Massachusetts, and parts of Pennsylvania run annual checkout campaigns during the winter months.

In addition to money raised for emergency food services in 2014, Wegmans also donated approximately 15 million pounds of food to local food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens across all of its market areas.

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Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 85-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, founded in 1916, is recognized as an industry leader and innovator. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 17 consecutive years. In 2014, Wegmans ranked #12 on the list.

Contact Information: Jo Natale, vice president of media relations, 585-429-3627

Wegmans Food Markets comes up with the assortment of gluten-free treats now in the bakery departments of all Wegmans stores

ROCHESTER, NY, 2014-12-9 — /EPR Retail News/ — Mmmm…fresh brownies, cookies, and cupcakes! Who doesn’t love them? But for those living gluten-free, they’re off limits — unless made without gluten ingredients like wheat flour. As those who’ve tried baking with gluten-free ingredients quickly discover, getting outstanding results isn’t exactly a piece of cake! Chefs at Wegmans Food Markets tweaked lots of recipes to come up with the assortment of gluten-free treats now in the bakery departments of all Wegmans stores.

“We’re very proud of the work that has gone into these new bakery items,” says Mike Gross, category merchant for bakery at Wegmans. “Customers have been telling us for some time how much it would mean to be able to pick up a delicious, gluten-free dessert when there’s no time to bake at home, and we believe these will get a big thumbs up for taste!”

All of the treats are baked and packaged in a dedicated, gluten-free facility to prevent any cross contact with gluten-containing foods or ingredients.

Here’s the lineup:

  • Decadently Rich Chocolate Brownies: Loaded with chocolate chunks and topped with a luscious chocolate buttercreme frosting.  They’re packaged in a shrink-wrapped box. (For an even more decadent taste, warm gently in the microwave).
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies: Just like the ones you remember, only gluten-free. Made with semi-sweet chocolate chips, brown sugar, a touch of honey, white rice flour, sweet rice flour and cornstarch. Each cookie is individually wrapped in cellophane.
  • Snickerdoodles: Same delicious vanilla flavor as Wegmans Gluten-Free Sugar Cookie baking mix. These are rolled in cinnamon-sugar for that wonderful old-fashioned Snickerdoodle taste, and each cookie is individually wrapped in cellophane.
  • Cupcakes: Moist, light, and indulgent! The four-pack contains two vanilla cupcakes topped with premium vanilla buttercreme frosting and two chocolate cupcakes, frosted with rich chocolate frosting – inspired by and very similar to Wegmans’ Ultimate Cupcakes. The package is shrink-wrapped.

“We’re working hard to expand our selection to include gluten-free breads and cakes, but we think all Wegmans brand products should be as good as or better than national brands. Until the breads and cakes meet all of our goals for quality, taste, nutrition, and affordability, we’ll keep tweaking them,” Gross says.

Meanwhile, Gross expects the new introductions to be an instant hit with customers – especially the ultra-chocolatey brownies. “All of the recipes are great, but brownies are simply amazing. Tasting is believing!”

How it all began
The first chapter in the story of Wegmans gluten-free baked items started a few years ago. “Customers looking for gluten-free versions of desserts like cookies, brownies and cakes told us how hard it was to find great-tasting, affordable treats for birthdays, family parties, and other celebrations. We wanted to help and got started by building a dedicated, gluten-free test kitchen near our corporate headquarters in Rochester,” Gross says.

One of Wegmans’ artisan bakers, Patty Fowler, and Wegmans Chef Christine Hellman, who oversees new product development for the grocery section of stores, worked for a year together to create Wegmans gluten-free baking mixes for cakes, brownies, and cookies. Customers gobbled them up, using the mixes to whip up oven-fresh, gluten-free goodies at home.

Next, Wegmans baked ready-to-eat versions of these treats for a pilot program at the Pittsford and East Avenue stores, just across town from the gluten-free test kitchen. “We used the same recipes for the ready-to-eat cookies and cupcakes that we used in the packaged baking mixes, so customers who’d fallen in love with the mixes could get the same great flavor and texture in the fresh-baked version.”

Wegmans gluten-free test kitchen couldn’t make enough goodies to supply all 85 stores, however, so the company looked for a baking partner. It chose Get Fresh Bakehouse in Fairfield, NJ, launched by a father of a daughter with Celiac disease, who needed to live gluten-free to stay healthy. “He wanted better products for his own daughter and others like her, and starting this company helped him achieve that goal,” says Gross. At Get Fresh Bakehouse, a pastry chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America oversees the production of the gourmet breads and sweets coming from the dedicated, gluten-free facility.

Eating gluten, a protein in wheat, barley and rye, can cause digestive disturbances for those with gluten sensitivity (about five percent of the population) and can trigger serious health complications in those with the autoimmune condition called Celiac disease (about one percent of the population). The only way to treat either condition is to avoid gluten. Interest in gluten-free versions of foods has risen dramatically over the last decade, as awareness of these two health conditions has grown.

Wegmans Nutritionist Trish Kazacos, RD, who has gluten sensitivity herself and who writes a blog on wegmans.com about living gluten-free, speaks about the place of sweets in a healthy diet. “An occasional treat can definitely be part of a balanced, healthy diet that includes plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, beans and lentils, low-fat dairy, and fish.”

Treats should be enjoyed on occasion, she says. “But there are two good reasons to like these new, gluten-free sweets: First, they’re so good that everybody can enjoy them – it saves prep time when everyone eats the same meal, and it creates a better shared experience. The other reason is that you won’t feel deprived when you enjoy one of these treats. You’ll feel like you’ve tasted something special.”

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Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 85-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, founded in 1916, is recognized as an industry leader and innovator. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 17 consecutive years. In 2014, Wegmans ranked #12 on the list.

Contact Information:  Jo Natale, director of media relations, 585-429-3627

Wegmans hosts “Love Kale” tasting event on November 1, 2014 at all Wegmans stores

ROCHESTER, NY, 2014-10-28— /EPR Retail News/ — Remember when kale got no respect, when it’s pretty ruffled leaves appeared on a plate only as a garnish? Well today kale is a superstar, a hip and healthy veggie with a growing fan club. Chefs love it in salads, snacks, soups and sides. With all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it packs in every bite, it might also be the healthiest food on the planet. Whether you’re already a fan, or just wondering if you’d like kale, you owe it to yourself to taste all the ways that chefs at Wegmans Food Markets have discovered to make this veggie one of your favorites.

WHAT:                 “Love Kale,” a tasting event
WHERE:               All Wegmans stores
WHEN:                 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 1, 2014

“Kale tastes great in so many different ways that I think every customer who comes to the store for the ‘Love Kale’ event will be in for some nice surprises,” says Executive Chef John Steinhoff. “Every dish we’ll be sampling features kale as an ingredient, so customers will get a sense of its versatility. There’ll be a salad and side dishes, a vegetarian sushi roll, a pasta dish, a smoothie, and even sweets and snacks. We’ll have recipe cards for those who want to recreate some of these dishes at home.”

The details:

  • Sautéed Kale and Kale Chips in the Produce department
  • Hail Kale Caesar Salad in the self-serve bar in Prepared Foods area
  • ‘Kale-elujah’ Rolls at the Sushi Bar
  • Tuscan Roasted Squash and Kale, paired with Roasted Honey-Brined Rib End of Pork in the Meat department
  • Kale and Cannelini Cappellacci, a ravioli dish in the Dairy department
  • Kandy Kale and Rhythm Chips in Nature’s Marketplace
  • Fruit and Kale Smoothies in the Frozen Foods area

Though kale’s popularity as a superfood is a recent phenomenon, this vegetable has been appreciated for centuries. Romans loved their kale, as did peasants in the Middle Ages. English settlers brought kale to the United States in the 17th century. Kale belongs to the Brassica family of vegetables, a group that includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collards, and Brussels sprouts.

Kale grows best in cool temperatures, and its leaves grow sweeter with a touch of light frost, so its peak growing season, from fall to spring, is just beginning. Curly kale is the most popular and common variety. Tuscan kale (also known as Lacinato or dinosaur kale) has a slightly sweeter, more delicate flavor.

Ornamental kales in shades of white, pink and purple are grown for their beauty in the garden and in floral arrangements – though edible, they have a somewhat bitter flavor.

“Kale is really popping in my garden right now, and my kids love it,” Steinhoff says. “They’ll ask if I can make some kale chips for them, and then go pick some leaves for the chips. One day, after my son and I came home from a sporting event, I made ‘Hail Kale’ Caesar Salad. He ate it and liked it so much he asked for more.”

In fact, Steinhoff says, a good way to introduce kale to kids is to have it in foods with a familiar flavor – such as Caesar salad or a minestrone soup.

A nutritional powerhouse
“Kale’s reputation as a superfood is understandable since it’s so rich in a number of important nutrients,” says Wegmans Nutrition and Product Labeling Manager Jane Andrews, MS RD. “But no one fruit or vegetable – even kale – offers all the nutrients our bodies need from this food group. So as our Eat Well, Live Well guidelines suggest, enjoy five cups a day of fruits and vegetables in many varieties, tastes, and colors.”

So pretty with its deep green ruffled leaves, kale is a nutritional heavyweight. Just one cup of cooked kale provides:

  • Nearly 3 grams of protein
  • 2.5 grams of fiber (which helps manage blood sugar and makes you feel full).
  • A day’s worth or more of Vitamins A, C, and K.
  • Folate, a B vitamin that’s key for brain development.
  • Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. (While kale has far less omega-3 than fish, it is another way to get some of this healthy fat into your diet.)
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that give kale its deep green color and protect against macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Minerals including phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and zinc.

[nutritional data from http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/kale-nutrition-and-cooking]

Kale’s nutrients and fiber can protect your health by:

  • Reducing your risk of several types of cancer
  • Lowering your cholesterol and boosting heart health
  • Maintaining strong bones
  • Promoting regularity
  • Cutting your risk for cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and retinal detachment

[health claims come from multiple websites, including eatright.org and nutrition source, Harvard School of Public Health]

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Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is an 85-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts.  The family-owned company, founded in 1916, is recognized as an industry leader and innovator. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 16 consecutive years. In 2014, Wegmans ranked #12 on the list.

Contact Information:

Jo Natale, Wegmans’ director of media relations, 585-429-3627