SNAP decisions
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The debate over SNAP in the 2023 Farm Bill.
February 23, 2023

Retail Brew


Happy Thursday, everyone. For all those who observe, we at Retail Brew wish you a fruitful Lenten season. Fun fact: Some of the most common things people give up for Lent include Twitter, alcohol, chocolate, and coffee. We hope you don’t give up Retail Brew, but if you must, at least recommend us to a friend?

In today’s edition:

—Erin Cabrey, Maeve Allsup


SNAP judgment

SNAP sign on the door of a store Jetcityimage/Getty Images

A new Farm Bill is upon us, and ICYMI, it has major implications for the retail industry. About 80% of the bill’s funds will go toward nutrition programs, particularly the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), determining who can receive government assistance to buy groceries and how much $$ they can spend. It’s historically been a much-debated topic, so you can bet there won’t be any snap decisions about SNAP.

SNAP is expected to reach 43.5 million participants per month this year, up from 42.3 million in 2022, who receive $230 per month on average.

Since nutrition accounts for so much $$, it’s often a section of the Farm Bill evaluated for possible cuts—and typically a partisan issue, Gina Plata-Nino, deputy director of SNAP at nonprofit Food Research & Advocacy Center (FRAC), told Retail Brew. This year is particularly tricky, because a lot has changed since the 2018 Farm Bill.

  • The pandemic led to emergency allotments, but those extra benefits expire after this month, cutting $82 a month on average.
  • In 2021, the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), the baseline for deciding SNAP benefits’ value, was re-evaluated for the first time since 1975, resulting in benefits being bumped up 21% to $1.19 per person per day (or $0.40 per person per meal).

“2018: It’s not like 2023. Our economy’s a little bit different. Inflation has gone up, expenses have gone up,” Plata-Nino noted. “These are opportunities to see how best [to] strengthen the SNAP program, because it does directly impact the local economy.”

With SNAP benefits accounting for 12.3% of total at-home US grocery retail sales last year, program changes could have a direct effect on grocery stores’ business.

Keep reading here.—EC



This is your year


Believe it or not, D2C brands may be perfectly positioned to reach new revenue heights this year. How? By doing more with less.

Join Bloomreach’s Commerce Experience Summit. This one-of-a-kind, 2-day digital event will bring together D2C industry experts and thought leaders to discuss maximizing profit in 2023—no matter what the economy’s got up its sleeve.

From beating the CAC crunch to personalization, you’ll learn about real revenue-boosting tactics from Bloomreach, Google Cloud, Antavo, and Gorilla Group (to name a few!).

Understanding this year’s changing landscape is crucial. The expert panel will dive into the latest shifts in consumer behavior and purchase patterns in digital commerce.

Give the revenue battles a rest and register today.


Token gestures

A pair of hands taps a phone screen with gold coins. Antoniosolano/Getty Images

Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify is often lauded for lowering the barrier to entry for small businesses looking to succeed in the challenging world of online sales. With more than 2 million individual merchants in 175 countries, and an estimated $650 billion in total sales, it would be hard to overstate Shopify’s relevance in today’s retail landscape.

Shopify’s thousands of available applications allow merchants to customize shops, implement chatbots, and manage their Instagram feeds. But they also help retailers explore blockchain-enabled commerce, including minting and selling their own NFTs.

In January, Shopify announced an integration with New York-based Ava Labs, maker of the Avalanche blockchain, and Shopify app Venly, which expanded the platform’s NFT offerings.

The new partnership means merchants can design, mint, and sell Avalanche NFTs through the Shopify platform, easily uploading images to create digital tokens which can then be displayed and sold in their Shopify stores, just like physical products. Purchases are processed automatically, and buyers then get an email to access their new NFT (no existing crypto wallet necessary!)

  • Avalanche is one of the largest blockchains out there, according to Ava Labs CEO John Wu, and is growing quickly, reporting 1,500% transaction growth in 2022.
  • In early 2023, Avalanche also teamed up with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the first blockchain to do so, offering blockchain as a service to AWS users.
  • The speed, low cost, and small environmental footprint of Avalanche made it an obvious pick, Tim Dierckxsens, CEO and co-founder of Venly, said in a statement.

The integration with Venly demonstrates a focus on usability and easy access to Web3 technology for retail, Wu told Retail Brew.

Keep reading here.—MA




Bon APPétit, retailers. In this mobile-first economy, consumers are hungry for convenience. Mobile shopping apps are no longer “nice to haves”—they’re game changers. If your retail brand is still on the fence, NewStore’s ebook covers 7 compelling reasons why consumer apps are the MVPs of DTC. Read ’em here.


Today’s top retail reads.

Checks over stripes: Retailers across the board are seeking out Nike alums to fill senior roles, particularly those with knowledge and experience with omnichannel retail, brand-building, and tech. (Modern Retail)

Chat it up: Companies like Meta, Canva, and Shopify are using ChatGPT-like technology as customer service chatbots, but experts warn that they should be wary of the technology’s creativity. (Forbes)

Set to deliver: Dominos is one of the largest pizza and fast-food chains in the country due to delivery innovations made in the 1980s, but a shortage of drivers now threatens the chain’s model. (the Wall Street Journal)

Keep ’em comin’ back: Yeah, yeah, easier said than done. But this report from Recharge should help, since it details how subscriptions performed in 2022 and offers tactics on how to get ahead. Download it here.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.


Together with Insider Intelligence

Together with Insider Intelligence

Join us March 3 for our virtual summit and find out the steps you can take from brand leaders and our analysts. We’ll deep-dive into the top areas converging with the retail media space along with the experts who know it best. Prepare yourself for what’s next in digital advertising, marketing, and commerce.

Join us for the half-day event.


  • Alibaba’s Q3 earnings greatly beat expectations as the stock climbed 6%.
  • Adidas and Major League Soccer extended their branding partnership.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods will acquire outdoor retailer Moosejaw from Walmart.
  • EBay’s stock declined after missing revenue and earnings targets.
  • REI wants to remove “forever chemicals” from the products it sells.
  • Morning Brew Daily is now on your preferred podcast platform or watch the show on YouTube.


The numbers you need to know.

When people think of GoFundMe, it’s typically associated with individuals and nonprofits, but new data shows that businesses are leaning more on the service.

In 2023, fundraising for businesses is up more than 25% as more people are using GoFundMe to start their businesses.

  • Fundraising is up for bakeries and bake shops (75%), bookstores (nearly 60%), and arts and artists (20%).
  • Fundraising towards education is on the rise, with tuition fundraisers up more than 50%, scholarship fundraising up 40%, and both college and trade school fundraising up 30%.

Last year, GoFundMe donations for baby formula were up 110% amid the nationwide shortage. And in an effort to fight the effects of inflation, fundraisers for groceries rose about 30%, as Retail Brew reported.


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Written by Erin Cabrey and Maeve Allsup

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