Grocer says 6M pounds of food saved through app partnership

The Giant Co. said it has reached a major milestone in its sustainablility and food waste reduction effort. 

In honor of “Stop Food Waste Day” the Carlisle-based grocer said it has diverted 6 million pounds of food from landfills since partnering Flashfood in May 2020. 

 Flashfood is a digital marketplace that connects consumers to heavily discounted food nearing its best-by date. 

The Flashfood can be used by shoppers to save up to 50% off items nearing their best-by date, such as meats, dairy, seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables and other grocery items.  

Shoppers can then purchase the discounted food items directly through the app and then pick up their order from the Flashfood zone located inside a participating store. 

 “At The Giant Co, we’re constantly seeking out ways to deliver on our purpose and do our part to heal the planet, and teaming up with Flashfood has helped us do both,” said John Ruane, interim president of Giant. “Our team members and customers have really embraced Flashfood. This milestone demonstrates the power of partnership and how together, we can have a real impact on reducing food waste, one of the most pressing issues facing our industry and society, while providing another way for our customers to save when shopping with us.” 

The Flashfood program started as a four-store pilot in 2020 and has since been integrated across 190 locations across Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. 

The company said efforts to reduce food waste by everyone in the fresh food supply chain are important considering that today it is estimated that the food system accounts for nearly one-third of global emissions 

As a direct result of diverting six million pounds of food from landfills, The GIANT Company and Flashfood have together saved more than 10 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere which they said is the equivalent of taking 1,186 cars off the road for a year.  

The food saved also equates to more than two million meals that fed families instead of ending up in landfills. 

EPA recognizes Giant for refrigerant emissions reduction

The Giant Co. has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for reaching its annual refrigerant emissions reduction goal in the EPA’s GreenChill Program in 2021. 

The EPA presented the Superior Goal Achievement honor to the company during the recent FMI Energy & Store Development Conference. 

 “We know every effort counts when it comes to healing our planet which is why we take actions every day throughout our stores to do our part as a responsible retailer and green innovator,” said Joe LaCagnina, director of store format for The GIANT Company. “Since joining EPA’s GreenChill Program in 2020 our team has been able to implement best practices from across our industry, including preventative maintenance programs, leak detection equipment and quick repairs, to further reduce our refrigerant emissions, which impact the ozone layer and climate change.” 

For the past several years, The GIANT Company said it has been performing refrigerant conversions, installing leak detectors, and replacing older refrigeration units, when possible, within its more than 190 stores. The company is also in direct communication with its vendors to repair any refrigerant leaks as quickly as possible. 

 “The GIANT Company’s Superior Goal Achievement is well deserved,” said Kersey Manliclic, GreenChill program manager for the EPA. “Despite just recently joining the GreenChill Partnership, they have already proved to be an example for other supermarket industry stakeholders.” 

 EPA’s GreenChill is a voluntary partnership with food retailers, system manufacturers, and chemical producers to reduce refrigerant emissions.  

GreenChill provides food retailers and other industry stakeholders with information and assistance to transition to environmentally friendlier refrigerants, reduce the amount of refrigerant they use, eliminate refrigerant leaks, implement environmental best practices, and adopt green refrigeration technologies.  

The EPA said there are 13,515 GreenChill Partner stores throughout the country. 


The Giant Co. enters into agreement to power Pa. Stores with renewable energy

The Giant Co. Grocery store chain has entered into an agreement with a renewable energy supplier to power all of its Pennsylvania operations with renewable energy. 

Under the long-term agreement with Constellation, Carlisle-based Giant will procure a total of 80 megawatts of renewable energy. 

The power will come from two solar projects that will be developed by Pine Gate Renewables that are expected to be in commercial operation between June 2022 and January 2024. 

The power from the renewable energy sources will be used at select stores, fuel stations, and its perishable distribution center. 

The agreement will help the company avoid more than 100,000 metric tons of Scope 2 carbon emissions associated with its energy use annually. 

That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 24,000 cars off the road, according to U.S. EPA estimates. 

The Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from these projects are not included in this agreement and will be transacted separately, the company said.  

Giant will receive approximately 155 million kilowatt hours of energy per year from the long-term power purchase agreement, with that energy matched by Green-e Energy Certified RECs sourced from renewable facilities located throughout the U.S. 

 “Supporting renewable energy projects like solar is one of the many ways The Giant Co. is working to heal the planet for the families we serve today and, in the future,” said Nicholas Bertram, president of The Giant Co. “This project is a significant step in further reducing our Scope 2 carbon emissions and achieving our overall sustainability goals. It reaffirms our commitment to being a sustainable grocer and responsible steward of the communities we serve, all while bringing jobs and economic benefit to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” 

This isn’t the company’s first foray into renewable energy. 

In June 2020, The Giant Co. completed a two-phase solar project at its Carlisle corporate headquarters, which includes a 625kw rooftop solar array and seven-acre pollinator-friendly solar field, enough to generate renewable power for the entire campus.   

Council for Retail and Sales honoring program sponsors

A recent networking event hosted by the Council for Retail Sales at DeSales University. PHOTO/SUBMITTED –

The Council for Retail and Sales at DeSales University in Center Valley is getting a financial boost from some of its retail supporters. 

On Sept. 16 the council, which serves as an authority on issues and solutions that face the retailing and sales industries, will be accepting two ceremonial checks to honor that support. 

Over the past two years the national retailer, Walmart has donated $20,750 to support the council’s genral programming 

The Carlisle-based The Giant Company, has donated $3,000 specifically earmarked to support the Fall 2021 CRS Collegiate Case Challenge. 

“We at the Council have been blessed with incredibly loyal sponsors and a wonderful board,” said Doc Ogden, Chair, Board of Directors for CRS. “The organization relies on donations to run and we value the partnerships we’ve made since CRS’ inception in 2009.” 

Programs produced by CRS include a bi-annual student competition; Meet the Experts, a speaker series featuring a panel of experts from specific industries; a bi-annual video essay competition alternately sponsored by Sherwin-Williams and Walmart; industry symposiums and more.  

This fall’s collegiate competition, sponsored by Giant, will be held on the DeSales campus on Oct. 29. 

 The top team will receive $1,200 to be divided by team members and a trophy. The second-place team will be awarded $400 to be divided by the team. 

Giant remodeling Trexlertown store as part of $114M company-wide update

An example of a store that has already had the renovations that are being made at the Trexlertown Giant. PHOTO/SUBMITTED –

The Giant Co. is renovating its Trexlertown store as part of a $114 million investment in company updates announced last year.

The company is creating a Giant Direct ecommerce fulfillment center, opening two new stores and remodeling 35 existing Giant stores in Pennsylvania by the end of this year.

Part of the renovation is bringing a newer, more modern look to the store, but Giant is also making changes to accommodate the different ways people are now shopping and eating. When complete, the Trexlertown store will have more options for meal solutions with enhanced prepared food offerings including soups and salads from Saladworks.

“This remodel is really focused on simplifying the shopping experience for our customers by providing fresh ideas and solutions to help today’s families spend more time connecting together over a meal,” said Steven Bowlby, GIANT store manager. “From an updated look and feel to increased product variety, our store team is excited to re-introduce the Trexlertown GIANT to our customers.”

Fresh offerings will be completely updated from an expanded farm fresh produce department and all new meat, seafood, and bakery departments. Other renovations include the store’s Starbucks as well as refreshing the store’s floral and pet area.

The company is also adding a healthy, natural and organic department and a designated plant-based product area.

Work is expected to be complete early next year.

Giant makes $1.2 million donation to promote organic farming

Rodale Institute farmer interns, beneficiaries of The Giant Co. donation, pose with company representatives to celebrate $1.2 million raised by the Healing Our Planet campaign. PHOTO/SUBMITTED

Fulfilling a pledge it made earlier this year, The Giant Co. has made a $1.2 million donation to the Rodale Institute in Kutztown.

The funds were raised through the grocery store chain’s “Healing our Planet” campaign, which ran between March and May. It encouraged customers to round up their checkout purchases to the nearest dollar to support various organic and sustainability programs, including Rodale.

The funds will go towards Rodale’s Farmer Training Program as well as farmer consulting services and research projects to help farmers transition to organic agriculture.

“It’s incredibly exciting to see the outpouring of support not only from The GIANT Company but from their customers for regenerative organic agriculture,” said Jeff Moyer, Rodale Institute CEO. “We’ve always felt that the consumer is the heart and soul of the regenerative organic movement. Now, customers have not only taken home beautiful organic food to feed their families but have helped support our work to build a regenerative organic future.”

The Rodale Institute has been conducting research into regenerative organic agriculture, as well as farmer training and education opportunities, since 1947, and currently operates eight campuses in four states.

GIANT rebrands as The Giant Co.

The Giant Co.’s new logo. PHOTO/SUBMITTED

GIANT Food Stores has taken the step to do a major rebranding effort, changing its name to The GIANT Co. and using a new logo.

The new name and logo was unveiled Wednesday at the company’s annual business meeting held in Hershey. The new GIANT logo can be seen on the exterior of The GIANT Center in Hershey and at its headquarters in Middlesex Township.

Over the course of the year, the logo will be integrated into its 186 stores and operations across four states.

“For nearly a century, we’ve been a trusted part of the communities we serve, helping families come together to share a meal and create special memories,” said Nicholas Bertram, president of GIANT. “For us, food and families go hand in hand and as we look to our future, we wanted to make sure our name reflects all we aspire to be as an omni-channel retailer.

“We are proud of the role our brand has played in connecting millions of families, and as The GIANT Co., we will continue to passionately serve our customers and communities for a better future,” he said.

The logo for each banner in the company’s brands of stores, including GIANT, MARTIN’S, GIANT Heirloom Market, GIANT DIRECT and MARTIN’S DIRECT, has been redesigned. The most notable characteristic of the new logo is a leaf added to part of the “A” in each banner’s name. Company officials said the leaf signifies The GIANT Co.’s “commitment to growth and freshness.”

A “contemporary color and design scheme” has also been added to the logos.

“Even though our name and logo are changing, our commitment to the families we serve isn’t; in fact, it’s only getting stronger,” Bertram said. “Starting with the heart and soul of our company – our more than 33,000 team members – The GIANT Co. will live its purpose, providing a simplified experience and inspiring fresh ideas, while creating healthier communities for today, tomorrow and beyond.”