Fresh Take: Grocery Mega Merger Faces Pushback As Food Industry Heats Up

Food & Drink

The impacts from the Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit to block Kroger’s $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons will ripple throughout the food industry for a long time.

The lawsuit, which eight states joined, in addition to similar suits previously filed by attorney generals in Colorado and Washington, alleges that halting the merger of two of the nation’s largest supermarkets would be best for consumers and workers at the stores. As well as for the founders of food businesses—many of whom have been struggling to break into store shelves and stay afloat amid tough macroeconomic conditions. Stopping the merger is still pending judicial review, but the announcement’s timing hit just as the most competitive time of year in food is kicking off.

The industry is officially in prep mode for the big trade show Expo West—starting in just 10 days in Anaheim, California—where buyers look for the next big thing, and some dreams get made. More than ever, this year’s floor will be a proving ground for many food entrepreneurs. Many exhibiting brands from last year will not be returning, while many new faces enter the fray.

I’ll see you there. Before traveling to Southern California, listen to this essential prep: my interview on The Natural List podcast from Jessica Rubino and Adrienne Smith at New Hope. We recorded this conversation [Apple Podcasts | Spotify |] at the Boulder Book Store during the West Coast leg of my Raw Deal book tour. There are gems a-plenty.

— Chloe Sorvino, Staff Writer

Order my book, Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed and the Fight for the Future of Meat, out now from Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books.

This is Forbes’ Fresh Take newsletter, which every Friday brings you the latest on the big ideas changing the future of food. Want to get it in your inbox every week? Sign up here.

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Field Notes

An Ayurvedic breakfast of cassava mash, salad and squash and pumpkin seeds with a creamy roasted red pepper sauce.

Thanks for reading the 104th edition of Forbes Fresh Take! Let me know what you think. Subscribe to Forbes Fresh Take here.

Chloe Sorvino leads coverage of food and agriculture as a staff writer on the enterprise team at Forbes. Her book, Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed and the Fight for the Future of Meat, published on December 6, 2022, with Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books. Her nearly nine years of reporting at Forbes has brought her to In-N-Out Burger’s secret test kitchen, drought-ridden farms in California’s Central Valley, burnt-out national forests logged by a timber billionaire, a century-old slaughterhouse in Omaha and even a chocolate croissant factory designed like a medieval castle in northern France.

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