business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Albertsons has introduced "its new, premium Vinaforé Collection, a private label wine selection that "features five distinctively crafted varietals originating from some of the best wine regions in the world and is now available at Albertsons Cos. banner stores including Albertsons, Safeway, Shaw’s, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Tom Thumb and United Supermarkets … The Vinaforé Collection was curated by Curtis Mann, Master of Wine at Albertsons Cos., in partnership with DC Flynt MW Selections and is already receiving acclaim. Wine Enthusiast recently announced that the 2021 Vinaforé Napa Valley Chardonnay received 90 points while the 2020 Côtes du Rhône Villages scored 90 points from James Suckling. Using a 100-point scale, a wine rated 90 points is deemed to be outstanding or excellent. The collection also includes the 2020 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2021 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and 2021 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc. All five varietals retail between $14.99 and $21.99 each."

•  Subway said this week that after positive feedback from a test at the University of California San Diego, it will begin rolling out "Grab & Go" smart fridges - vending machines with premade Subway sandwiches.

The goal, the company says, is to position the fridges in airports, truck stops, convenience stores, gas stations, hospitals and other college campuses.  At present, some 400 locations have been identified for the machines.

"As more of our guests search for dining experiences to meet their 'in-the-moment' needs, the brand's non-traditional locations and platforms can serve them wherever and whenever they are craving Subway," said Taylor Bennett, vice president of non-traditional development at Subway, in a prepared statement. "As Subway focuses on strategic and profitable growth, there is a significant opportunity to expand our footprint in non-traditional locations and for franchisees to generate incremental revenue for their business."

Forgive me, but I cannot help but wonder about the quality of a premade Subway sandwich made with fake tuna fish.  The made-to-order versions aren't exactly paragons of excellence … premade versions are likely to challenge the palate, though not in good ways.