May 19, 2021
CAST is Calling By Tim Hodson

Are you planning on attending the California Summer Trials (CAST) next month?

After a COVID-canceled 2020, the former California Spring Trials is moving to the summer and will take place June 23-27 at nine different locations throughout the Golden State.

More than 25 companies will be displaying their latest introductions for 2022 along with marketing and merchandising concepts to inspire growers and retailers.

The horticulture industry is eager to get back together safely so anyone attending CAST this year is required to make an appointment with each location. No walk-ins will be allowed.

If you would like to learn more about CAST and to register to attend, be sure to check Jasmina Dolce’s article, “Back with a Bang, in the May issue of GPN. You can also get Jasmina’s sneak peek of some of the new varieties that will be debuting in California.

If you can’t make it to California in June, then be sure to sign up for GPN’s New Varieties Week taking place the week after CAST (June 29-July 1).

GPN’s New Varieties Week will feature seven 60-minute webcasts by companies presenting their new varieties for 2022.

The webcasts are free, all you need to do is sign up by clicking here.

— Tim


Meijer Adds Three Supercenters in Ohio, Indiana

Earlier this month, Meijer opened new supercenters in Seven Hills and Boardman, Ohio, and Westfield, Indiana. The 155,000-square-foot stores offer a state-of-the-art shopping experience, providing customers multiple ways to shop. The stores offer various digital shopping solutions including Shop & Scan, where shoppers can scan barcodes via a mobile app and bag their items as they shop, as well as Meijer Home Delivery and Pickup services that have helped encourage social distancing. “We look forward to providing a customer-focused store that offers fresh options and innovation to help reshape how customers shop … while keeping their families safe,” said Rick Keyes, president and CEO.

Walmart Partners with Netflix Series to Cook Up Interactive Food Adventure

Walmart has created a new interactive experience to show kids that healthy food can be fun. The retailer, along with Partnership for a Healthier America and Higher Ground Productions, has launched The Hidden World of Waffles + Mochi, an interactive culinary adventure, to inspire families to cook fresh, healthy foods just like Waffles and Mochi do on their Netflix show.  Families can interact with any one of 20 different activities centered around 10 ingredients from the series to help parents and kids expand their palette and put a twist on things they regularly eat. Visit for more information.

Wegmans Makes Best Companies to Work for List … Again

For the 24th year in a row, East Coast grocer Wegmans has been named one of the 2021 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, according to global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work and Fortune magazine. This year Wegmans ranks #4 on the list. The list is based on survey responses from more than half a million employees rating their workplace culture on various elements. These include trust, caring, and fairness in times of crises as well as employees’ physical, emotional and financial health; and the company’s broader community impact. Click here to see the entire list.


Tim Hodson

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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.
Erica Hernandez
Emma Lookabaugh
Melissa Maguire
Cole Mangum
Oz Marshall
Meagan Nace
Tiffany Nohl
Chris Plane
Mike Prol

May 2022 GPN
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