Progressive Grocer - June 2015

Page 1

Purer Produce

Industry readies for new safety, traceability regs Page 152

Hi, Protein!

Latest food trend crosses categories Page 105

Deli Dilemmas

Review finds recruitment, training big concerns Page 144

Celebrating a riCh Canvas of Creativity, DeDiCation anD Continuing Progress Page 24

The good news is spreading. Discover how Jif is driving innovative growth in the peanut butter & specialty spreads aisle.

©/TM/® The J.M. Smucker Company

June 2015 • Volume 94 Number 6 $10 •

Satisfying. Versatile. Delicious. Lunchbox | Snacking | On the Go | Baking | Entertaining

Multiple product forms and flavors offer all-day-long usage for the entire family! America's favorite1 peanut butter has a classic, creamy texture with 7g of protein per serving.

Add incremental purchases by offering convenient ways to enjoy peanut butter.

The fastest growing Jif segment1 now offers Natural Peanut Butter Spreads with a touch of honey, available in new 28 oz. and 40 oz. sizes.

Convenient tub, fluffy texture, and exciting flavors make it easy to snack with spreads.

With 85% less fat than traditional peanut butter, new Jif™ Peanut Powders expand category sales through new usage and new consumers.

Add excitement to the Hazelnut category with unique flavors for expanded usage.

INCREASE CATEGORY AWARENESS WITH TARGETED MARKETING! Ask your sales rep about shopper marketing and promo opportunities available. 1 IRI MULO, Peanut Butter Category - 52 Weeks Ending April 19, 2015

©/TM/® The J.M. Smucker Company

Purer Produce

Industry readies for new safety, traceability regs Page 152

Hi, Protein!

Latest food trend crosses categories Page 105

Deli Dilemmas

Review finds recruitment, training big concerns Page 144

Celebrating a riCh Canvas of Creativity, DeDiCation anD Continuing Progress Page 24

June 2015 • Volume 94 Number 6 $10 •

Top-shelf leaders. Congratulations to all those who set the standard. PepsiCo salutes the Top Women in Grocery and the impact they make within the industry.

Š2015 PepsiCo, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This ad contains valuable trademarks owned and used by PepsiCo, Inc. and its subsidiaries and afliates to distinguish products and services of outstanding quality.

Revitalize your category with the #1 Hand & Body Lotion manufacturer in the U.S.*

Beiersdorf is committed to innovation. We’re launching 16 new products this year, which will deliver $100 million in projected total US sales

Driving Topline Sales

Delivering Category Growth

Redefining Innovation

* Nielsen, xAOC, 52 weeks ending 3/21/15, Hand & Body Lotion Category

Want to learn more on how to grow? email us:

Volume 94, Issue 6

cover story


Progressive grocer ’s 2015 ToP Women in grocery

Portraits of Success

Our latest honorees are a diverse group who display artistry in all areas of life, not just their demanding industry jobs. 26 senior-level executives 46 rising stars 95 store managers

features 105

Progressive grocer’s ProTein rePorT

Strength in Numbers

Protein is hot, and alternative sources are challenging meat’s center-of-plate dominance.


suPPly chain

Journey to On-shelf Availability With out-of-stocks at an average 8 percent, everyone in the industry has a role to play.

beverages 114

coffee and Tea

Solo Sips

Pods and other shelf-stable solutions for one are bringing the cofee and tea segments to a boil.

frozen & refrigerated 138

naTional ice cream monTh

Cool Opportunities

Grocers can leverage National Ice Cream Month to drive frozen sales.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

June 2015

SHOPPERS PURCHASE MORE BEER IN THE SUMMER THAN ANY OTHER SEASON PREMIUM LIGHT BEER INCREASES TOTAL BASKET SIZE AND DRIVES TOTAL CATEGORY GROWTH 1 NEW COORS LIGHT DESIGN INCREASES MILLENNIAL SHOPPER INTENT TO PURCHASE BY 8% 2 Coors Light ®, always cold filtered and bottled cold, is the perfect addition to any summer occasion! Keep your shoppers refreshed all summer long with Coors Light!


fresh food 144

Progressive grocer’s retail Deli review

Operational Gains

570 Lake Cook Rd, Suite 310, Deerfield, IL 60015 224 632-8200 •

Shrink is down, profts are up, but recruitment and training continue to stymie deli execs.

vP, brand Director 201-855-7621


EDITOrIAl Editorial Director Joan Driggs 224-632-8211 Chief Content Editor meg major 724-453-3545 Editor-in-Chief James Dudlicek 224-632-8238 managing Editor bridget Goldschmidt 201-855-7603 Technology Editor John karolefski 440-582-1889 Senior Editor katie martin 224-632-8172 Senior Editor Anna Wolfe 207-773-1154 Digital Editor kyle Shamorian 224-632-8252 Art Director bill Antkowiak Contributing Editors Bob Ingram, Jenny McTaggart, Lynn Petrak, Barbara Sax and Jennifer Strailey

ProDuce safety

Safe and Sound Te produce industry prepares for changes in food safety and traceability requirements.


ProDuce category sPotlight

Any Way You Slice It

Valued for their versatility, onions are strong sellers.

nonfoods 173

health Beauty & wellness

Passing the Test

Blood pressure and glucose monitoring supplies can enhance a grocer’s wellness oferings.



Inspect Your Gadgets Housewares can be a huge proft center for grocery retailers.



shoPPing exPerience

Stepping Up Digital Engagement in Stores

Certain well-deployed strategies can boost customer interest and reshape the path to purchase.

equipment & design 194 Supermarket HVAC systems’ increased efciency and innovations are refected in store proftability.


| Progressive Grocer | June 2015

mArkETING & PrOmOTION Director of market research Debra Chanil 201-855-7605 Audience Development manager Shelly Patton 215-301-0593 list rental The Information refinery 800-529-9020 Brian Clotworthy reprints and licensing Wright’s media 877-652-5295 Subscriber Services/Single-copy Purchases 978-671-0449 or email at

UNITED STATES mArkETS Convenience • Grocery/Drug/Mass Store Brands • Specialty Gourmet Multicultural • Green

Surging Ahead


ADvErTISING SAlES & bUSINESS midwest marketing manager John huff 224-632-8174 Western regional Sales manager Elizabeth Cherry 310-546-3815 Eastern marketing manager maggie kaeppel 630-364-2150 • Mobile: 708-565-5350 Northeast marketing manager mike Shaw 201-855-7631 • Mobile: 201-281-9100 marketing manager Janet blaney (AZ, CO, ID, MD, MN, MT, NM, NV, OH, TX, UT, WY) 630-364-1601 Account Executive/ Classified Advertising Terry kanganis 201-855-7615 • Fax: 201-855-7373 Advertising/Production manager Jackie batson 224-632-8183 • Fax: 888-316-7987 Classified Production manager mary beth medley 856-809-0050

EvEnts • MEdia • REsEaRch • infoRMation

hvac systems


Jeff friedman

CANADIAN mArkETS • Convenience • Pharmacy • Foodservice

President & CEO harry Stagnito Chief Information Officer kollin Stagnito SvP, Partner Ned bardic Chief brand Officer korry Stagnito vP & CfO kyle Stagnito vP/Custom media Division Pierce hollingsworth 224-632-8229 Production manager Anngail Norris human resources manager Sandy berndt Corporate marketing Director bruce hendrickson 224-632-8214 Promotion Director robert kuwada 201-855-7616 vP/Events John failla 201-855-7634 Director of Digital media John Callanan 203-295-7058 Audience Development Director Shelly Patton

Empanadas Argentinas

Š2015 Goya Foods, Inc.

Your shoppers ďŹ nd this and other great recipes at

*Nielsen Strategic Planner, Total US (dollar sales), 52 weeks ending 12/20/14

Any company can make a bold statement about helping customers grow their business. But here’s an even bolder statement: Tyson Deli / Bakery has what it takes to back it up. Unrivaled product portfolio that allows us to take a total deli perspective. Unequalled storehouse of shopper insights and actionable strategies. Exclusive acceleration process that is a proven game changer for you. Six awards in four years recognizing excellence in category management.

We help grow deli and bakery business for our customers at the speed they need, in a direction that makes an impact. Every. Single. Time.

That’s Tyson Velocity. That’s Tyson Deli / Bakery. ©2015 Tyson Foods, Inc. Tyson is a registered trademark of Tyson Foods, Inc.

publisher’s note by Jeff Friedman

It’s Time for Top Women

P To be truly progressive, a retailer must be willing to devote significant time and resources to the nurturing of talent across all of its ranks.

rogressive Grocer continues to be a leading advocate for talent development across the food industry, and this is perhaps best exemplifed by our Top Women in Grocery awards program. Now in its ninth year, Top Women in Grocery honors outstanding female leaders within the retailer and supplier communities in three sectors: Senior-level Executives, Rising Stars and Store Managers. Te entire PG team is humbled not only by the vast pool of talent that comprises our winners, but also by the extent to which this growing awards program has been embraced by grocery retailers and their trading partners. Women continue to swell the ranks of key leadership positions, bringing to the table vast experience, impressive credentials and consistent results of success. It’s also our honor to partner with the Network of Executive Women (NEW) in presenting PG’s Trailblazer award, annually recognizing a female executive who has left a lasting impression on the industry. NEW launched the It’s Time campaign in January, urging industry leaders to advance more women leaders in the retail and consumer goods and services industry, and to a create a more fexible, collaborative, inclusive and authentic workplace for everyone. We feel Top Women in Grocery helps advance that worthy goal, for the betterment of our entire industry. It’s not as rare as it once was for women to take on posts in areas of the industry less typical of female associates in the past, such as manufacturing, logistics and technology. Our roster of winners truly refects an industry tapping the fnest talent available. In addition to being honored in this issue of PG (starting on page 24), our winners will receive their awards at our annual gala event, relocating this fall from Chicago to Florida. Tis year’s event will take place in Orlando at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, on Tursday, Nov. 12, 2015. Highlights of this year’s Top Women in Grocery event include an educational, networking and interactive peer program designed to foster and enhance the success and professional development of its honored guests. PG sets the pace as well, with some of the fnest leaders in trade journalism today, including Editorial Director Joan Driggs, Chief Content Editor Meg Major and Managing Editor Bridget Goldschmidt, as well as Katie Martin, in her frst year as editor of Progressive Grocer Independent. To be truly progressive, a retailer must be willing to devote signifcant time and resources to the nurturing of talent across all of its ranks. PG will continue to lead the charge by shining a light on the best examples of leadership and commitment to our industry. PG Jeffrey D. Friedman VP/Brand Director Stagnito Business Information


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015


©2011 Trion Industries, Inc. 297 Laird Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702-6997 Phone 570-824-1000 | Fax 570-823-4080 | Toll-Free in U.S.A. 800-444-4665 | Online Ecommerce purchasing available




■ ■ ■


Visit Booth 2733 to See the latest in Tamper Evident Technology

12, 16, 20 ounce 6.5” X 5.5” Containers RPET Dome Lid, PP Dome Lid (12 & 20oz Coming in July)

Catch The Eye - Capture Impulse Buy Ergonomically designed with smooth sides for ease of use PP and PET lids with leak-resistant closures ft all three bases Drives impulse sales with lids that won’t fog in hot or cold merchandising Clear RPET lids maximize food visibility with microwavable bases in refrigerated case PP bases & clear PP lid for hot food, heat lamps and microwave to 230°F Lower carbon footprint bases use 40% less PP resin Packages that perform and recyclable curbside

The Wave of the Future

All products are BPA-free and eligible for recycling Š2015 Anchor Packaging, Inc - St. Louis, Missouri

What’s trending on …

Edeker Becomes NACDS Chairman

A round of applause for Randy Edeker, chairman, CEO and president of West Des Moines, Iowabased Hy-Vee Inc., who was recently elected chairman of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), in Arlington, Va. Affirming that his appointment comes at a “crucial, evolutionary time” for the health care industry, Edeker further noted 10 key points that he’ll make priorities in his new role — among them Medicaid, specialty pharmacy, Millennial trends, cybersecurity, and government and political involvement — which he believes will help NACDS members succeed in the current environment. Congrats!

TJ’s, Publix, Aldi Top Market Force Rankings Trader Joe’s, Publix Super Markets and Aldi are the nation’s top three grocers by overall consumer preference, according to the latest study by Louisville, Colo.based Market Force Information, which polled more than 7,000 consumers on their satisfaction with their most recent


Shoppers who currently use mobile wallets —Interactions’ “Retail Perceptions” trend report


Sodium Confusion

A new study from researchers at the Atlantabased Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sheds light on whether consumers use sodium information on food labels and how well they understand it. More than half (57.9 percent) of American adults said they or the people who shop for them buy items labeled “low-salt” or “low-sodium,” and most (55.8 percent) said they knew how to monitor the amount of salt they eat based on the information provided on nutrition labels. However, nearly one in five (19.3 percent) respondents admitted they’re confused about how much sodium is in the foods they eat, and one in eight (13.2 percent) said they’re confused about how to use the Nutrition Facts label to figure out this information.

shopping experience and likelihood of referring that retailer to others. Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe’s took the No. 1 spot with a score of 78 percent, driven by the retailer’s diverse grocery selection and exceptionally friendly service. TJ’s was closely followed by Lakeland, Fla.-based

Publix, with 74 percent, while Batavia, Ill.-based Aldi came in third, and Hy-Vee and H-E-B rounded out the top five. Brands such as WinCo Foods, Albertsons and Sam’s Club also made this year’s list, after failing to garner enough mentions in 2014. —Market Force Information

Effects of e-Buying Given that 25 percent of grocery shopping is now done online, PG’s latest poll question asked readers the extent to which online buying is affecting their business. Here’s how the votes stacked up as we went to press: No overall loss; we offer online purchasing We’re changing our in-store assortment to purchases we’re losing to online merchants We’re losing sales to online providers

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

32% 32 35

Real cheese!

Aged cheese!

So much cheese! Really...a lot of cheese! Layer upon layer of cheese!

What keeps bringing them back? Read between the lines. Yes, it’s the cheese…real, delicious, aged cheese. We fold generous quantities of shredded cheese between layers of sourdough and bake them twice for unforgettable cheese taste and a delightful crunch that will bring your customers back again and again. Visit us at the Summer Fancy Food Show, Booth 1740, and taste all of our delicious varieties.

John Wm. Macy’s


CheeseSticks 800-643-0573

August 2015 is... National Family Meals Month National Goat Cheese Month National Peach Month National Water Quality Month









Offer a display of gold, yellow and brown to celebrate National Mustard Day.


Create a Pinterest board with your favorite frozen dessert recipes for National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.


Have plenty of freshcut flowers on hand for Friendship Day.


Host a friendly baking competition for National Chocolate Chip Day.


National Oyster Day


National Root Beer Float Day National IPA Day. Showcase your local favorites.





National Raspberries in Cream Day

National Zucchini Day

National Sisters Day


Hold a peach festival in the produce department for National Peach Month. Offer recipes and serving ideas with demos.


National S’mores Day. Arrange all of the ingredients and tools to make these treats in one display.



Knock, Knock … It’s National Tell-A-Joke Day.

National Vanilla Custard Day





National Bratwurst Day

Gather the last of the summer merchandise and set up a sale bin for end-of-season savings

National Toasted Marshmallow Day National Holistic Pet Day


Review your Q4 marketing and social media schedule.

Plan an in-store demo and sampling of waffles for National Waffle Day.


Feature catfish all week in the prepared food and seafood departments, for National Catfish Month.


Set up a panini station in prepared foods to have fun during National Panini Month.


Multicultural Retail 360 begins in Anaheim, Calif., and continues through the 14th.

National Creamsicle Day

Lemon Meringue Pie Day

National Filet Mignon Day











Stock back-toschool displays for Get Ready for Kindergarten Month with BPA-free lunch containers, and healthy snacks and drinks.

Spend time reviewing merchandise and displays for the Labor Day weekend.

National Potato Day

Women’s Equality Day, marking the passage of the 19th Amendment, allowing women the right to vote.

Enjoy the long days of summer while you can. It’s Eat Outside Day.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Lemonade Day. Set up a lemonade stand for the last days of summer vacation, with proceeds going to a local school.

National Banana Lover’s Day

National Senior Citizens Day

National Cherry Turnover Day

E-mail your calendar submissions to

National Eat a Peach Day

National Lemon Juice Day

A CEREAL COMPANY THAT JUST STANDS STILL? WE’RE A CEREAL COMPANY THAT’S DEFINITELY ON THE GO. Many of our favorite cereal brands are now available in n ”grab-n-go” single singlle serve cups cups. Further proof that MOM Brands not only has tasty, affordable and wholesome covered, but convenient too. No doubt about it, we refuse to stand still. And that’s got people sitting up and taking notice.

Find out more at

Front End

Market Intelligence By The Numbers

Shelf Stoppers


Frozen Foods Largest Sales Increases in Supermarkets by The Nielsen Co. (52 Weeks Ending March 14, 2015)

RTE Cookies/Cookie Dough Fruits Seafood-Crab-Unbreaded Seafood-Shrimp-Unbreaded Ice Entrées-Mexican-One-food Soup-Frozen/Refrigerated Entrées-Remaining-One-food Vegetables-Onions-Breaded Entrées-Meat-One-food

Total Category

Sales % Change Dollars (Millions) 2015 2014 $10.0 146.7% 0.2% 577.4 10.9 14.2 37.0 8.2 -0.6 1,004.6 6.5 0.9 521.6 5.4 -6.7 628.1 5.4 2.4 229.3 4.8 4.6 495.4 4.4 -0.3 41.2 4.0 1.0 645.9 3.9 7.5 $30,254.2


% Change 2015 181.5% 8.0 -8.0 -3.9 0.0 4.0 4.1 -0.1 5.2 1.9



Units 2014 -5.2% 12.1 -8.7 -10.6 -10.8 1.4 0.5 0.4 4.7 6.4 -1.4%

NielseN’s Spotlight Consumption Index: RTE Cookies and Cookie Dough

CROSS-MERCh Candidates

LIFESTYLE Behavior Stage

Cosmopolitan Affluent Comfortable Struggling Centers Suburban Country Urban Spreads Cores

Kids love cookies, so it’s hardly surprising that the behavior stages with youngsters, particularly older bustling families, overindex so massively in this category. empty nesters and seniors also show increased consumption, indicating a desire to indulge visiting grandchildren or recapture their own youthful enjoyment of sweet treats.

Modest Working Towns

Plain Rural Living


wITh ChILDREN: startup Families








small-scale Families








Younger Bustling Families








Older Bustling Families








Young Transitionals








independent singles








senior singles








established Couples








empty-nest Couples








senior Couples
















HHs with young children only <6 small HHs with older children 6+ large HHs with Children (6+), HOH <40 large HHs with children (6+), HOH 40+

NO ChILDREN: Any size HHs, no children, <35 1-person HHs, no children, 35-64 1-person HHs, no children, 65+ 2+-person HHs, no children, 35-54 2+-person HHs, no children, 55-64 2+-person HHs, no children, 65+

Very High Consumption (150+)


High Consumption (120-149)

Average Consumption=100

| progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

• Ice • Breakfast Food • Dough Products • Disposable Diapers and Training Pants • Pasta • Charcoal, Logs and Accessories • Baby Food • Prepared Food-Dry Mixes

More ONLINE Dig up actionable e research and additional al intelligence at






Find out more at 800.323.7587 |

© 2015 C.H. Robinson Worldwide, inc. All Rights Reserved.

Mintel Global New Products Database Category Insights For more information, visit or call 800-932-0400.

Oral Hygiene Market Overview Sales of oral hygiene products are much larger in the United States (US $7 billion) than in Canada (US $800 million). Although toothpaste tops sales and new product development in North America, mouthwash and dental ancillaries represent a strong share of new product development in this region. key issues Linked to the strong presence of mouthwash is the pervasive presence of breath-freshening and alcohol-free claims in this region. For example, 46 percent of launches are breath-freshening (compared with 38 percent globally) and 18 percent are alcohol-free (compared with 10 percent globally). North America is the region with the highest proportion of oral hygiene launches flagged as convenient: 25 percent versus 19 percent globally. The most important of these claims is whether products are easy to use (12 percent), while time/speed (10 percent) and instant/fast results are also important. Other notable convenience-related claims in this region include on-the-go (5 percent) and convenient packaging (4 percent).

What Does it Mean? Convenience in oral hygiene helps to convince consumers that products are easy to use and will not lengthen their hygiene routines. This is particularly important with dental ancillaries, which tend to have lower uptake. Companies need to continue to develop technology and packaging that help to make consumers’ lives easier. In oral hygiene, this could mean devices that help to detect cavities or other oral issues


before they become problematic, and make recommendations on how best to prevent/fix them. Alcohol-free and other “freefrom” claims are likely to remain present in the future to help reassure consumers. Many personal care categories feature these claims, as consumers aren’t keen on putting chemical-laden formulations in/on their bodies. Other free-from claims that could grow in this category include

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

sugar- and paraben-free. Manufacturers could note on packaging how their products can help consumers prevent certain conditions, as 43 percent of American oral care buyers agree that it’s most important for products to be able to prevent future oral health problems (e.g., cavities, mouth ulcers). This would be most convincing if accompanied by study results.

You may not realize it, but by using the name Kleenex® as a generic term for tissue, you risk erasing our coveted brand name that we’ve worked so hard for all these years. Kleenex® is a registered trademark and should always be followed by a ® and the words ‘Brand Tissue’. Just pretend it’s in permanent marker.

® Registered Trademark of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. ©2015 KCWW.

Retail dietitians can help online customers discover delicious, healthful meals and products; master cooking techniques; and broaden culinary prowess.

All’s Wellness By Karen Buch

Clicking With Consumers Retail dietitians must evolve to meet the needs of the online grocery shopper.


he food retailing sector is experiencing a shift due to fundamental changes in the way Americans eat, procure food and plan their meals. Although the regular, full-service grocery store still dominates as the food retail location frequented most often, loyalty to any one store is on the decline at a time when new online food delivery services are cropping up nationwide. Attitudes about wellness are driving consumer focus toward fresh food. A growing segment of the population is seeking — and willing to pay more for — fresh conveniences such as pre-cut, pre-washed ready-to-eat and recipe ingredient bundles. Competing home delivery services, including Plated, Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, promise door-to-door delivery of custom recipes, written and visually appealing pictorial or video cooking instructions, and just the right amount of high-quality, preportioned ingredients needed to prepare a weekly menu of meals at home. One such provider claims that its “seasonal ingredients” are “fresher than [in] the supermarket,” and that it can help shoppers “discover specialty products” that are “hard to fnd on your own.” Some providers pack their ingredients with individual labels to make sorting into meal groupings easy. Te average cost per meal ranges from $8 to $12, although recipes calling for specialty ingredients, such as steak, may reach $30. Some services ofer the added fexibility of ordering recipes to cook for two, four or six people. Customers can order once as a trial or sign up for an ongoing weekly or biweekly subscription service.

Help Your Retailer Compete Beyond the custom recipes themselves, there’s nothing particularly unique about these competitor models. However, they’re clearly providing a niche service not commonly ofered by today’s chain grocery retailers. If you’re a retail dietitian, you may already be thinking about ways that you can help your retailer stay competitive in this space. Currently, the vast majority of retail health-and-


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

wellness outreach is directed at customers actively shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, via product displays, signs, shelf tags, product and cooking demos, in-store messaging, print magazines, and dietitian-led classes, shopping tours or services. But online grocery shopping is growing at a rapid pace. How can retail dietitians expand current programming to infuence the health and well-being of the online customer? Here are some ideas: Develop suggestive selling tactics and help to populate shopping lists based on customer shopping patterns and product attribute preferences. Ofer vendor-sponsored, better-for-you product samples or coupons to targeted customers. Suggest appealing recipes and meal solutions with corresponding ingredient bundles. Tag recipes to match commonly sought attributes such as gluten-free, heart-healthy, vegan, allergenfree, calorie-controlled and diabetes-friendly. Make it easy to add recipe ingredients to a virtual shopping basket. Describe simple steps to recipe preparation via e-recipe cards, recipe videos or e-cookbooks. Develop virtual dietitian-led nutrition education classes, store tours and other services. Deliver free food and nutrition content electronically in short, sharable formats. Retailers that succeed in ofering the right balance of customer-centric sales tactics, helpful food and nutrition guidance, speed, convenience, and ease of navigation will attract and delight online shoppers today and, perhaps more importantly, in the future. PG Karen Buch, RDN, LDN, is a registered dietitian/ nutritionist who specializes in retail dietetics and food and nutrition communications. One of the first supermarket dietitians, she is now owner of, and principal consultant at, Pennsylvaniabased Nutrition Connections LLC. You can connect with her on Twitter @karenbuch and at

Our latest honorees are a diverse group who display artistry in all areas of life, not just their demanding industry jobs. uch like fne artists, Progressive Grocer’s latest Top Women in Grocery — who, purely by chance, number exactly 300 this year, chosen from more than 500 nominees — have created works of lasting value, for which they deserve to be celebrated. With strokes both grand and subtle, PG’s illustrious 2015 honorees crafted a better grocery industry through innovative thinking, groundbreaking initiatives, incisive problem solving and convincing tenacity. Tese Top Women haven’t been afraid to step up to take on extra duties, put in long hours and engage in plenty of multitasking. What’s more, through patient and dedicated mentoring, many have provided advancement opportunities for colleagues in their respective felds, often, but not exclusively, with a spe-


cial emphasis on their fellow females, enabling them to reach their full potential and improve the overall industry. Despite coming from various cultures and backgrounds, these women —Senior-level Executives, Rising Stars and Store Managers — are united in their commitment to excellence. Tey’ve also helped design a better world, both on the job and of, whether it’s by traveling to far-fung corners of globe or cheering on a child at a school event. As our readers probably know by now, Top Women display artistry well beyond the store or ofce, but in all areas of life. As Top Woman Donna Lonsinger, store manager at Martin’s store #6466, in Altoona, Pa., so aptly expresses it, “My vision is to embrace every day with the attitude to make a diference [and] inspire my team to be better every day.” Te profles on the following pages bear witness to another stellar lineup of the best the grocery industry has to ofer, who’ll be duly spotlighted at a gala awards and networking event set for November in sunny Orlando, Fla.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Senior-LeveL executiveS

MAry tAyLor it director, Field Services, Acme Markets

Taylor handles Acme and Shaw’s/Star Markets IT activities, working across functional areas to best represent business needs, based on feedback and input.

SeniorLevel Executives Meredith Lego

tAnyA doMier

Lego leads the sales-planning and execution process for Acosta’s grocery sales, category management and foodservice teams across the United States and Canada.

Domier oversees all of Advantage Sales and Marketing’s (ASM) sales, marketing, operations and business process outsourcing functions, as well as its finance, legal, information technology and human resources departments.

VP, integrated Planning and execution, Acosta Sales and Marketing

She played a key role in the development and rollout of Acosta’s new sales planning and execution approach, created a live and online continuing-education curriculum for Acosta University, and led the company’s entry into foodservice category management through the Acosta Foodservice sales and marketing category planning agency. Outside of work, Lego participates in such organizations as Northeast Florida United Way and the American Cancer Society.


She led the implementation of a new payment device, improving safeguards on customers’ existing information; was instrumental in the rollout of the Acme/Shaw’s Mymixx app, allowing shoppers to create lists, “clip” electronic coupons and save recipes, among other features; and worked on 40-plus store remodels, saving more than $100,000 by repurposing equipment from closed stores. Taylor is a previous co-chair of People Opening Windows Enabling Results (POWER).

Lori StiLLMAn

Ceo, Advantage Sales and Marketing

She played a lead role in the sale of Apax Partners’ interest in ASM to Leonard Green Partners LP and CVC Capital Partners, and worked with the companies to create growth plans for ASM, including continued merger and acquisition activities, increased investments in technology and talent, and the exploration of international expansion opportunities. Domier is a frequent industry speaker and panelist.

SVP, Business intelligence, Advantage Sales and Marketing

Stillman led the transformation of Advantage Sales and Marketing’s (ASM) business intelligence offerings with new shopper analytics capabilities, including a visual path-to-purchase solution to identify consumer decision points. In addition to enhancing ASM’s trade promotion, category and space analytics work by launching a tool that measures new-item effectiveness, she aggressively redesigned the team structure to increase connectivity with manufacturers and retailers, which included opening a Harrisburg, Pa., office. These efforts have deepened ASM’s ability to service its clients and retailer partners.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

dArCy Fox

VP, health and Beauty Care, Acosta Sales and Marketing Fox oversees efforts to build health and beauty care sales across all Kroger stores. Her work includes strategic planning, sales and marketing, category management, strategic account management, profit-and-loss management, and business development. She helped gain Kroger’s acceptance of more than 30 new items for HBC clients, and was pivotal in entering into the confection area, which was previously managed by another Acosta department; as a result, her team now handles four new confection clients. Recognized many times by clients for her performance, Fox is an active member of the Network of Executive Women.

AndreA young

President, experiential Marketing, in Marketing Services, Advantage Sales and Marketing One of five practice presidents in Advantage’s marketing organization, Young leads the experiential marketing practice, playing a critical executive leadership role for all of the company’s retailer marketing platforms, field marketing teams, national assisted-selling teams and premium-brand out-of-store experiential programs. Under her leadership, eight of 11 new business opportunities were converted, resulting in a potential $25 million in new revenue to the division. Young belongs to Orange County Women Entrepreneurs & Executives, Network of Executive Women, and Event Marketing Industry Professionals. among other groups.

Congratulations to this Year’s Honorees! Your hard work and dedication make it possible for us to make a difference in the lives of our customers and the communities we serve.

Arlene Putterman

Ashley Belin

Dawn Hurd

Manager, Public & Community Relations Stop & Shop Supermarket Company

Senior Manager, Talent Management Ahold USA

Specialist, Front End Giant of Maryland LLC

Director, Category Ahold USA

Donna Lonsinger

Felis Andrade

Iliana Del Valle

Store Manager Giant Food Stores LLC

Director, Marketing & External Communications Giant of Maryland LLC

Store Manager Stop & Shop Supermarket Company

Manager, District Human Resources Giant Food Stores LLC

Manager, Brand Ahold USA

Director, Portfolio Ahold USA

Nicole Stokes

Patrice O’Sullivan

Phyllis Smith

Rebecca Lupfer

Sherry Beitler

Stacey Miller

Store Manager Stop & Shop Supermarket Company

Manager, Associate Engagment Ahold USA

Specialist, Front End Giant Food Stores LLC

Director, Internal Audit & Professional Practices Ahold USA

Store Manager Giant Food Stores LLC

Manager, Learning & Professional Development Ahold USA

Joyce Golden

Debbie Hill

Dimple Patel

Manager, Public & Community Relations Ahold USA

Senior Director, Enterprise Architecture Ahold USA

Jan Ingraham

Jeanine Wolczyk

Johanna Rodriguez

Director, Finance Ahold USA

Store Manager Giant Food Stores LLC

Store Manager Stop & Shop Supermarket Company

Maribel Dichard

Mary Huffman

Mary Sullivan

Store Manager Giant of Maryland LLC

Store Manager Giant of Maryland LLC

Director, Finance Ahold USA

Tara Ponnett Vice President, Portfolio Ahold USA

Parent Company of:

Senior-LeveL executiveS

tara POnnett VP, Portfolio, ahold uSa

Ponnett is responsible for grocery sales in Ahold USA’s 750-plus stores. She led the development and implementation of a new promotional planning tool for the retailer’s nonperishables business, and oversaw the company’s merchandising strategy, which contributed to savings in 2014. Ponnett is an active participant in Ahold’s oneon-one mentoring program and co-leads a Women Adding Value business resource group. Last year, she received two company honors: Ahold USA Associate of the Year and the Ahold Leadership Award.

Jewel hunt

Group VP, Bakery albertsons Safeway Following the Albertsons-Safeway merger, Hunt was promoted to her current position, in which capacity she leads national bakery operations for the combined company. She leads strategic initiatives and direction for bakeries in 14 divisions, with more than 2,200 bakery locations. Hunt is chief strategist for bakery strategic initiative development, portfolio development, consumer insight solutions, supply chain synergies, cost savings development and retail operation integration. The Safeway Diversity and Inclusion Group recognized Hunt as a key leader for creating diversity and inclusion with the Women’s Network Group.


nanCy COta

KirSten CurtiS

VP Own Brands, Product management, albertsons Safeway Cota is responsible for the growth of own brands in all of the center store categories. Her team has driven own brands to the No. 1 or No. 2 spot in several hundred categories. Following the AlbertsonsSafeway merger, she led the product management team responsible for innovation, product and packaging for a multibillion-dollar own-brands portfolio, addressing the major challenge of integrating brands into the Albertsons banners. A PG Top Woman in Grocery every year since 2010, Cota is active in many causes, from breast cancer support and mentoring, to her role as a member of the Network of Executive Women.

VP, Supply Chain Strategic initiatives, albertsons Safeway

Curtis led a $60 billion supply chain integration in the Albertsons-Safeway merger, in which capacity she integrated procurement, distribution, warehousing, accounting, supply chain services and training across both organizations. She built a new department with more than 40 employees focused on supply chain planning, created and executed a cross-functional sales and operations-planning process across the organization, and reorganized the supply chain department to align with company goals. A member of the executive board of directors of the American Institute of Big Data Professionals, Curtis mentors Stanford and MIT students.

mOniCa mcCOmBS

SOnya hardy

SVP, Procurement, albertsons Safeway

McCombs and her team plan and purchase billions of dollars of inventory annually across 27 distribution centers for replenishment to 2,200-plus stores. She took her department to the next level by creating a statistical forecast for information fed to warehouses, vendors, manufacturing plants, and category teams 10 weeks prior to promotional events. The recipient of a Safeway President’s Award in 2014, McCombs mentors emerging industry leaders, and is a member of the Ladies Auxiliary Veterans of Foreign Wars, an executive sponsor of the Network of Executive Women’s LGBT Employee Resource Group, and an active supporter of many causes.

SVP of marketing & Strategic Brand relations, Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen

Second-in-command at Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen, Hardy is responsible for marketing the CPG business across grocer and retail channels. She launched a number of successful product merchandiser programs in grocers such as Publix and WinnDixie, and was instrumental in introducing such products as CupUP, a premium line of single-serve coffee cups; Brewsticks, a cold-brewed liquid instant coffee; and Crop Ex, a line of rare small-batch roasted coffees sourced from around the world. Hardy sits on the board of the central Florida chapter of Dress for Success, which promotes economic independence for disadvantaged women.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Cathy eaSt

VP Procurement, meat, Seafood and deli, albertsons Safeway East oversees warehouse inventories for all of the grocer’s distribution centers across the United States, focusing on the acquisition of products from vendors. Previously group director of meat, seafood and deli procurement, she collaborated with quality assurance, merchandising and the USDA-AMS to develop and implement the company’s first Retail Process Verified Program for Beef. East chairs the retail advisory committee of the National Pork Board, is a member of the National Cattleman’s Beef Association Beef foresight committee, and was part of the industry-wide Cooperative Meat Identification Standards Committee (ICMISC).

Sandy Banthem CeO, Bel-Garden Supermarket

Banthem oversees store operations, streamlines operational efficiencies and develops strategic initiatives for the company. She purchased 2 acres next to her store, the site of several abandoned buildings, which she transformed into a new 15,000-square-foot development of retail space. She created much-needed jobs in the Baltimore area and breathed new life into an underused piece of property. Banthem chairs the Maryland Food Center Authority and is a member of the Maryland Retail Association and Belair Business Association. She’s also involved with Chesapeake Search Dogs, through which she is certified to search for missing people.

Senior-LeveL executiveS

kate BROwn

Founder and President, Boulder Organic Foods llc Brown leads short- and long-term strategic planning, and has cooversight of all departments, financial planning, sourcing and execution. She led her team in designing and building a custom facility, which, upon its opening in September 2014, enabled the company to triple its production capacity. She also guided the organization in a rebranding effort that has positioned Boulder Organic as the brand to beat in the organic fresh soup category. Brown is a member of the Colorado University Women’s Council and a local business association member.


President/ceO, the Busha Group llc, dba nicole Foods (slawsa brand) As “Chief Effort Officer,” Busha essentially wears all hats in the 4-year-old business, including marketing, publicity, sales, accounting, operations and logistics. Thanks to her efforts, the Slawsa brand is now expanding internationally. Busha has helped secure placement in more than 8,000 stores in the United States and Canada, achieving the retail confidence of major retailers like Kroger and Walmart. Busha is a frequent contributor to several publications and a mentor to various food startup companies.

MaRla tHOMPsOn

sVP, U.s. strategy, catalina Marketing

Thompson accelerates the growth trajectory of the U.S business, driving innovation through new systems, tools and processes; designing and delivering Catalina’s go-tomarket strategy; governing which products will be developed and launched; and creating efficiencies. She helped create the groundbreaking systems, policies and processes that enabled delivery of the first truly omnichannel content for U.S. manufacturers and retailers. Thompson is on the national board of directors for the Network of Executive Women, serving as regional chair.

Becky estBy

VP of Human Resources and Organizational Development, coborn’s Inc. Estby designs organizational structures that align the company’s talent with its long-term strategy; designs and implements learning and development programs; and optimizes performance throughout the organization. She helped develop a new companywide compensation structure, designed a retail training and development program, and led the redefinition of the company’s vision, mission and values. Thanks to her leadership, Coburn’s received a 2014 Central Minnesota United Way Best Year Round Partnership Award.

american Grown The California Avocado label is a symbol of quality and a promise of the most preferred avocado in the U.S.A. Call 1-800-344-4333 or visit to learn more. Produce of U.S.A. © 2015 California Avocado Commission. All rights reserved. ights r

Senior-LeveL executiveS

JeSSica FiSter JOhnSOn

VP, national retail Sales central region, cocacola north america Johnson leads the national retail sales, large-store sales and customer development team for 80 retail partners in the central region. To retailers, her responsibilities include representing all bottlers, the company and its brands, and managing senior-level customer relationships. She and her team earned the Independent Grocers Association (IGA) China Supplier Award with promotional partner Mondelez. Johnson worked to align a joint strategy between CocaCola and retailers to support the Network of Executive Women, and participates on panels for national “lunch with leaders” chats.

SanDra DeiterS

VP Order-to-cash Services, crossmark Deiters handles Crossmark’s order-to-cash service offerings, leading a team of more than 150 associates who support manufacturers and retailers across the United States. She led a key strategic initiative for the organization to streamline order-to-cash service offerings, performed on clients’ behalf. Activities ranged from leading an RFP to select a best-in-class partner to contract negotiations, to transition of services and ongoing management of service offerings. She has received numerous Crossmark Service Excellence awards and is a second-time PG Top Woman in Grocery.


karla raDke

Janine Shearer

VP, category commercial Operations, coca-cola north america Radke leads the development and implementation of all business plan, program, product and package initiatives for a diverse portfolio of products. Her group also commercializes new products within venturing and emerging brands. A graduate of 2014 Leadership Summit training, she worked to develop current and future leadership within her team. Radke is involved in several community organizations and activities, including work as a board member for the C5 Georgia Youth Foundation, and as a Coca-Cola Ambassador/volunteer teacher at high schools.

VP, category advisory Services, the coca-cola co.

Gamble manages a corporate client group that maintains the relationships and business execution of Crossmark’s largest clients. Her team manages such services as headquarter responsibility, retail sales and marketing. She was instrumental in developing a new syndicated retail platform addressing specific issues at store level; rather than deploying retail coverage to all stores, it’s only deployed in stores with identified issues. The platform has generated $5 million-plus in revenue for Crossmark. Gamble is an active member of the Network of Executive Women and the executive leader of Crossmark’s Network of Women.

VP retail recruiting & Sales Support, crossmark

Shearer oversees several category advisory services departments within North America, including the Space and Assortment Center of Excellence, Walmart, Kroger, foodservice and on-premise.

Buckner collaborates with cross-functional teams to influence decisions within the Crossmark corporate team and manages the company’s recruiting and operations support services departments.

She developed a business growth model for retail tools that looks holistically at the whole store experience; launched the Space and Assortment Center of Excellence, which trains teams to ensure they’re working with the best vendors and using tools effectively; and restructured customer teams into “total beverage” teams.

She reorganized operations support services by improving processes, streamlining communication, creating efficiencies, augmenting training programs, enriching collaboration and providing visibility through scorecard and metrics. Buckner also decreased average-speed-toanswer by 50 percent and reduced the abandonment rate by 10 percent.

Shearer’s on the leadership team of the Coca-Cola chapter of the Network of Executive Women.

Sheila gaMble SVP corporate Development, crossmark

Debbie buckner

Sherene Jagla VP Managing Director, crossmark

Buckner is active in the company’s Network of Women group.

Michelle Sutter VP Operations, crossmark

Jagla leads both headquarters and retail sales and marketing strategies for her various clients, generating more than $20 billion in annual retail sales.

Sutter spearheads Crossmark’s retail operations and client services departments, driving quality processes, ensuring internal and external client satisfaction, and delivering EBITDA goals.

She achieved double-digit revenue growth for the second straight year through a combination of organic business growth and incremental business; engaged a new client, leading to a trend change of more than 8 percent for the client; and developed for a major CPG brand a regional customer growth strategy that increased sales by more than 4 percent in this segment.

She successfully drove out cost in the Canadian retail operations to ensure competitive pricing for clients and profitability to Crossmark, and tackled a quality initiative for the U.S. retail team that halved the time it took for performance risk to be identified and resolved.

Jagla is a board member of an organization that coaches and nurtures young adults on career paths.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Sutter plays an integral part in Crossmark’s relationship with the Network of Executive Women, managing the national relationship with the organization, and is a leader in the Crossmark Network of Women group.























$84 A Campbell’s household is one that purchases 10+ Campbell’s products per year. Source: IRI US Panel, 52 Weeks Ending 10/5/2014



Congratulations to our progressive Jessica Monical

Director, Hy-Vee University

Julie McMillin

Assistant Vice President, Retail Dietetics

Abbie Olson Store Director

Jody Sandy

Director, IT Projects

Tally Mertes Store Director

women in grocery. Shannon Woods

Assistant General Counsel, Assistant Secretary

Jen Kopriva Vice President, Private Brands

Kate Wolfe

Group Vice President, Human Resources

Tara Deering-Hansen Assistant Vice President, Communications

Rita Peters

Assistant Vice President, Floral Operations

Senior-LeveL executiveS

carla cooPer President and ceo, Daymon worldwide

shilPa rosenBerry

senior Director, Global consumer strategy, Daymon worldwide

Cooper drove an initiative to implement a “culture of accountability” at Daymon Worldwide, including global training for all 5,000 full-time associates.

Rosenberry developed the Consumer Strategy practice for Daymon Worldwide, helping customers innovate across three key growth areas: retail, culinary and wellness.

She increased the visibility of socioeconomic importance of private brands, consumer behavior and overall retail industry at key events and via media coverage.

She also launched the company’s WonderTour initiative, translating innovative ideas — many from outside of the food and beverage industries — into customer strategies.

Cooper supported funding, research and execution of a 2014 male shopper study, as well as a worldwide life-stage diversity white paper, to better respond to important consumers.

Rosenberry has led strategic initiatives for several major grocery retailers, delivering relevant, customized innovation and optimizing business practices in the areas of retail format, brand development, new product launches, line extensions, marketing platforms and consumer experiences.

caMBria JacoBs VP of Marketing and customer service, Door to Door organics

Jacobs drove national and local PR strategies and programs as part of efforts to secure Series B funding, achieving prestigious placement in both national and trade media. The company successfully secured the financing it sought. She spearheaded the “best in quality” company-wide initiative to exceed customer expectations in service, experience and product quality, resulting in a four-point gain in the company’s net promoter score, from 71 to 75. Jacobs conceptualized and implemented the company’s first automated customer onboarding and nurturing programs, resulting in a 48 percent increase in customer retention.


anDrea Daily

Director of customer engagement, Door to Door organics Daily led a brand-positioning campaign, Joy Delivered, with a supporting digital campaign to increase brand awareness and new customers; the results were 32 percent growth and nearly 40,000 new customers. Additionally, Joy Delivered’s social media campaign helped drive a 133 percent increase in Facebook fans. Due to Daily’s involvement in nonprofit organization B Lab, Door to Door Organics became the first Colorado grocer to meet standards for social and corporate responsibility. She also works with two Colorado food banks, Growing Gardens, and chairs the volunteer fundraising team at her alma mater, Williams College.

sarah sweiTzer

renée Barch-niles

sVP of Grocery, ecrM

Sweitzer grew grocery division sales more than 25 percent, based on new vendor hall concepts incorporated into 10 events; expanded the division’s convenience event to include college and university bookstores; and launched supplier diversity initiatives in which women-, minority- and veteran-owned suppliers were invited to meet with retailers during specific ECRM events. She developed an onboarding and training program for junior sales reps. Sweitzer devotes time to Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Operation Shoebox, Operation Interdependence and the American Association of Suicide Prevention, among other organizations.

President, north america, emilia Personal care Barch-Niles shared responsibility for the acquisition and integration of a U.S. manufacturing plant that enabled Emilia to expand its category portfolio into over-the-counter products, contract manufacturing and new customer acquisition. She provided financial analysis of the opportunity and secured key customer commitments. She’s in the process of launching a line of sun care/ skin care products that will donate a portion of the proceeds to melanoma research. Through Barch-Niles’ leadership, Emilia donates beauty products to support the mission of empowering women in transition to achieve and maintain economic selfsufficiency.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Juli Duffer

Director of user experience, Door to Door organics Duffer led the company’s mobile strategy, starting with market research, definition of strategy, and establishing and learning from user testing, and ending with software development; the results were a 10 percent increase in customers and a 2.5 percent bump in revenue. She led website development for the annual “Buy a Box, Get a Free Box” campaign in early 2015, which bested 2014 results by 25 percent, and spearheaded the company’s Business Agility initiative to drive innovations faster and with more predictability. Duffer volunteers at community food banks Food for Thought and Sister Carmen Community Center.

Janice Talerico VP, Total rewards and chief Diversity officer, Giant eagle inc.

Through 2014, Talerico was VP of independent retailing, in which capacity she served as a liaison between 47 Giant Eagle independent owners and the corporate office, overseeing the changeover of several independently owned stores to corporate ownership. Her new role involves setting compensation and benefits for more than 35,000 team members, including medical, 401(k), deferred compensation and pension, as well as all HR administration functions. Talerico was chosen to lead a comprehensive diversity strategy for the company, and she created the Diversity Council to lead organization executives.

CONGRATULATIONS Congratulations to this year’s Top Women in Grocery!

Nancy Cota

Kristen Curtis

Cathy East

Donna Hillard

Jewel Hunt

Mary Jackson

Monica McCombs

Rucha Nanavati

Rita Patel

The dedication, innovation and leadership of Albertsons Safeway honorees are key to our success.

Senior-LeveL executiveS

Jenna sChaFer

Co-owner, VP Marketing, it and hr, gordy’s Markets Schafer provides leadership and direction within the Gordy’s organization while overseeing all aspects of information technology, human resources and marketing. In tandem with the rapid growth of the company, she created and built an IT department to support both supermarkets and gas stations, and played an instrumental role in the new stores’ staffing and technology. Schafer recognition of the importance of social media has grown Gordy’s fan base on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, while increasing brand awareness and building a community. She also helped develop Gordy’s new logo and branding strategy.

Corinne shinDelar

Ceo, independent natural Foods retailer association Responsible for the day-today and long-term success of the purchasing cooperative, Shindelar develops and manages programs and services to attract and service members. Her efforts were responsible for the association’s significant growth, both in new members and income, and she signed two supply agreements with major natural food distributors that will help improve the bottom line of more than 100 natural food stores. Shindelar is a leader in organizing and developing partnerships that strengthen all stakeholders, from manufacturers to consumers. She’s also heavily involved in the Non-GMO Project.


raChel rogers VP, u.s. Category strategy & insights, the hershey Co.

Rogers leverages intellectual capital to develop thought leadership and collaborative partnerships to drive the category, and oversees the Insights Driven Performance planning model to improve the front end, center store and overall retail experience. She led the IDP Group/ Hershey sales organization to a Gold Level category adviser designation, and was a key player in Hershey’s No. 2 ranking in the Advantage Survey within the food channel. Rogers advocates for women in leadership roles, championing efforts to challenge young professionals to take on ambitious assignments, and encourages work/life balance.

Jen KoPriVa

group VP, Private Brands, hy-Vee inc. Kopriva oversees Hy-Vee’s new and growing private label department, which features nearly 7,600 private label and control brands, as well as heading the new bread program. Her leadership led to more than $945 million in private label sales and the introduction of more than 1,000 private label products last year. Additionally, she helped Zoet chocolate bar become one of Hy-Vee’s million-dollar control brands. Kopriva is a volunteer for Variety-the Children’s Charity and a member of the Ankeny, Iowa, YMCA board of directors. She also sits on the Iowa Grocery Industry Association advocacy board.

MiChelle hurD

Danielle satawa

President, iowa grocery industry association

Co-owner/CFo, JhJ Foods

Hurd leads the association’s staff, board and members in defining its mission and vision, and oversees operations, government relations, the membership board, staffers and events.

Satawa oversees the HR department and manages all legal and real estate issues for JHJ Foods; her duties include budgeting and compliance with state and federal regulations.

Her efforts led to an increase in membership of 3.5 percent and exceeded overall budget expectations by growing net income by 500 percent over budget.

Her budget planning resulted in like-store retail sales that exceeded 17 percent, and she implemented a new health care program that gave better coverage while maintaining the current cost structure.

Hurd developed the Women in Industry Coffee Group to provide education, support and leadership opportunities to advance women in Iowa’s grocery industry, as well as the IGIA Leadership Institute, which is designed to enhance and develop the leadership skills of the association’s future leaders.

She managed the purchase of a new store that was completely transitioned in 14 days, and oversaw the remodel of four stores that resulted in $6 million in additional retail sales for the company.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Kate wolFe group VP, human resources, hy-Vee inc.

Wolfe hires and onboards all employees, as well as overseeing performance management, compensation structure and employee recognition. She was instrumental in developing several new programs that move Hy-Vee’s strategic priorities forward. For instance, she led the development and implementation of a new veterans’ recruitment benefits package. Wolfe is an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Central Iowa Society for Human Resource Management; she also serves on the board of directors for the Iowa International Center.

Kathy Ferguson

VP, alternate Channel, Joh With oversight of national alternate-channel business, Ferguson scored major achievements for a variety of key clients, securing and dramatically expanding retail distribution into hundreds of new stores, as well as increasing sales by more than 30 percent at one customer alone. As a highly competent and utterly unflappable multitasker, she solidified her role as an essential part of the JOH specialty division’s leadership team. In addition to her core responsibilities, Ferguson — who also excels at building an inclusive and diverse team — gives back to the industry through active, lead-byexample support of trade organizations and the Network of Executive Women.


MARLA THOMPSON Senior Vice President of U.S. Strategy Top Women in Grocery 2015 You’re an inspirational leader and an innovator. Thank you for your dedication to excellence for our clients and your passion in guiding our team and our industry — we salute you! Compliments to all the 2015 honorees!

Senior-LeveL executiveS

KiMBerly “KiM” reed

SVP, u.S. Morning Foods Sales, The Kellogg Co. Reed leads one of Kellogg’s largest, most influential U.S. business units. In addition to delivering exceptional results with key national and regional retail partners in a challenging, competitive climate, Reed played a significant role in the creation and implementation of a new go-to-market strategy, as well as in devising a new sales structure to leverage the specific skills and expertise of team members. A co-leader of Kellogg’s African-American resource group and the highest-ranking black female executive in the company, Reed is a board member of the Executive Leadership Council, which develops and advances black executives.

MerriTT HenderSon

director, Human resources, atlanta division, The Kroger Co. Henderson oversees the human resources strategy and operations for Kroger’s Atlanta division, which consists of 187 stores and more than 27,000 associates. She served as human resources leader for Kroger’s Merchandising Organizational Effectiveness work; developed and presented a general-office mentoring concept that has been adopted by all of the company’s associate resource groups; and oversaw the 2015 Atlanta Division Human Resources Strategic plan, as well as nine district strategic plans. Henderson belongs to the Network of Executive Women of Atlanta and Toastmasters, among other organizations.

Colleen FlaHerTy

VP Sales-Kroger, Kraft Foods Group Presiding over the seamless integration of Kraft’s Harris Teeter business following its acquisition by Kroger, Flaherty drove top-line revenue growth by 5 percent by deploying shopper-based marketing resources across a broader portfolio. Engaging with category leadership organization to identify and leverage consumer behaviors and category dynamics, she created a culture of ownership, engagement, accountability, recognition and advancement within her team. As proof of her successful leadershio, one-third of the members of her team have been promoted to new roles over the past 12 months.

Frannie McGowan

VP of Pharmacy operations, axium Healthcare Pharmacy, The Kroger Co. McGowan oversees operations, along with legal, regulatory and compliance functions, for all Axium Healthcare Pharmacy entities, reporting directly to the CEO. She launched a companywide customer service initiative, reorganized IT and prioritized work based on business needs, created a training department to own and oversee the pharmacy’s training needs, and was responsible for several successful operational pilots that have increased efficiency and customer service scores. McGowan has been active on Capitol Hill, promoting the importance of community pharmacies.

VaneSSa eGle Senior director of innovation, G.o. Corporate Brands, The Kroger Co.

Egle is primarily responsible for developing Kroger’s $18 billion-plus product portfolio. She led the formation of the Kroger Corporate Brands Center of Excellence for Innovation, encouraging the Kroger corporate brands team to expand innovation of its product offerings. Additionally, she leveraged her business operations expertise to launch a project-tracking system that gives enterprise visibility into the Kroger corporate brands pipeline. A 2014 SOFI Awards judge for the Specialty Food Association, Egle supports multiple causes that benefit youth, and is a champion of local business growth in her community.

Maria eMMer-aaneS VP Marketing & Communications, litehouse inc.

Emmer-Aanes developed and executed a successful product launch in a new natural/free-from channel for Litehouse. Collaborating with R&D and the supply chain to develop and implement a revamped product and packaging innovation process and companion three-year plan, she helped improve design production efficiencies by 5 percent while adhering to rigid deadlines and staying within budget. Emmer-Aanes improved forecasting accuracy by 5 percent through collaborations with supply, sales and finance, and delivered 850 million-plus consumer impressions for the new line.

anneTTe HaTer director of Business effectiveness, Kroger Technology, The Kroger Co.

As chief of staff for Kroger’s CIO, Hater is responsible for the technology budget, communications, vendor relationship management, and more. She negotiated selfcheckout contract savings of $20,000, led strategic decision-making on Kroger’s integration of Harris Teeter, and led a team that delivered workforce management across all 2,500 stores early and under budget. Hater sits on Empower’s strategic advisory board, and supports United Way and other charities with her leadership skills.

Julie Croll

SVP, Properties, real estate and Procurement, Meijer Croll led the strategic planning to open Meijer’s first store in the city of Detroit. Her hands-on leadership drove community involvement, site selection and store design to bring to fruition a trailblazing urban store embraced by residents. She also headed up the expansion of a new distribution facility while guiding the regional retailer’s entry into a sixth state — Wisconsin — marking its first foray into a new state in 15 years. Croll played an integral role in the conversion of a 320,000-square-foot warehouse into a state-of-the-art corporate headquarters, for which all campus buildings were remodeled to include a connector pedestrian tunnel.

June 2015 | |


Senior-LeveL executiveS

Karen manKoWsKi

VP, Pharmacy retail operations, meijer Responsible for pharmacy operations at 213 locations and growing, Mankowski led Meijer’s partnership in a pilot project to drive new business through point-of-care testing services. To advance the concept, she led collaboration on a successful pilot offering free testing for influenza and strep throat at 12 stores, six of which were set up as collaborative practice sites integrated with a local physician. Mankowski is a member of National Association of Chain Drug Stores policy council, the Michigan, Pharmacy Association (MPA) and Ferris State University’s advisory board, among other organizations.

Kendra Waldbusser

Head, Food safety and Quality assurance, Pilgrim’s/Food safety Waldbusser created and implemented a successful quality assurance cost-structure initiative focused on reducing expenses without compromising food safety performance. She was invited to serve on the board of the National Chicken Council and provide her industry expertise before the CDC and USDA, as well as at industry events. Waldbusser is a critical player in key customer meetings with national players such as Walmart and Publix. She previously spent 13 years at Tyson Foods, working on quality assurance for such departments as foodservice poultry and pet products.


carla carVer

maryGrace sexTon

VP supply chain, mom brands

Carver has oversight of key supply chain functions, including demand planning, transportation and customer service. She developed and implemented plans to optimize service, quality and costs, and her keen inventory management and production forecasting skills were integral in creating processes to improve forecasting accuracy and reducing transportation costs by more than $5 million while maintaining high service levels. Carver’s efforts resulted in exceptional inventory management and demonstrably improved service levels.

ceo, natalie›s orchid island Juice co. As the founding corporate visionary, key influencer and font of inspiration for all aspects of the company, Sexton worked to place Natalie’s premium juices in 33 states and 24-plus countries. Thanks to her efforts, the company posted 13 percent gains in the past year in a category that experienced an overall decline of 8 percent, earned certification from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and transitioned to a second generation of women leaders. Under Sexton’s guidance, Natalie’s, a recipient of numerous prestigious awards and acclaim, gives back to more than 60 local and global charitable organizations and churches.

TrisH James

Holly Gerber

VP, Produce for Kids James led Produce for Kids (PFK) to raise $5 million-plus for children’s charities and forged a primary charity relationship with Feeding America for donations starting in 2015. Spearheading the rollout of the new, she drove an overall traffic increase of 145 percent and increased mobile visits to the mobile-friendly site by 235 percent. Her focus on social marketing boosted overall social following by 110 percent. James guided the launch, which engaged an active community of moms, raised awareness of the participating brands and drove incremental donations to children’s charities.

VP of operations, Pyure brands

Gerber’s leadership led to a doubled employee base, the establishment of benefit care packages for employees, the restructuring and reformatting of production schedules to meet and manage larger retail partners, and orders from mass retailers such as Walmart and Costco Japan. Her efforts have helped double annual sales through decreased cost per item, operational efficiencies, and initiatives like blanket ordering and improved warehousing capabilities. Since starting with Pyure Brands in 2008, Gerber has grown the company to a seven- figure business and is on track to double annual sales once again in 2015.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Koel THomae

co-founder, noosa Finest yoghurt Thomae oversees the overall sales strategy, key account management, new product development and marketing support team for the originally Australian yogurt company she co-founded and subsequently nurtured into a thriving U.S. brand. She presided over the rollout of the most successful variety in the brand’s history, pumpkin, which became the best-selling yogurt item at Target during fall 2014. Named Naturally Boulder’s Best Young Business in 2014 and runner-up of the Best of West in 2015, among other industry and commercial honors, Thomae is also the proud mom of 2-year-old Matilda, and provides pro-bono consulting for food entrepreneurs.

Kimberly ruiz becK

chairman, ruiz Food Products inc. Under Beck’s leadership, her company launched a new product line expansion at its Denison, Texas, manufacturing facility; acquired a plant in Florence, S.C., where it broke ground on a new distribution center; and built an R&D center at its Dinuba, Calif., corporate headquarters. During her chairmanship, the company’s last fiscal year was the most successful year in its 50-year history. Beck is president of Ruiz 4 Kids, a nonprofit organization that has awarded more than $3 million in scholarships to high school seniors and $2 million in grant support to nonprofit children-based organizations with a focus on education.

CONGRATULATIONS to our Top Women in Grocery winners!

Rondel Hartwell

Kim Jackson

Jennifer McKiney

Yolidurky Romero

Rising Star

Rising Star

Rising Star

Store Manager

Kim Smithers

Dawn Soltis

Deanna Stephens

Rising Star

Rising Star

Rising Star

We are proud to have such strong leaders and dedicated role models in our company.

Senior-LeveL executiveS

Caren fiTzGeraLd vP, associated General Counsel, Spartannash Co.

Fitzgerald provides employment advice and counseling across the entire company, helps to solve complicated personnel matters, and leads on government contract review and compliance. After the merger of Spartan Stores and Nash Finch Co., she collaborated with her new colleagues to integrate business and legal review, incorporating teaching, process development and mentoring into her working relationships. She also created a cross-functional team to develop a new code of conduct for the merged company. Fitzgerald has guided SpartanNash through various merger-related transitions.

PaTTy fiSHMan vP, GM/HBC, Supervalu

Fishman drives profitable sales to achieve financial targets in the general merchandise and health and beauty care segments across all Supervalu corporate retail stores. She, oversaw the opening of 11 kitchen shops and three vitamin shops in corporate retail stores, as well as 54 baby shops and 55 expanded pet sets across multiple corporate retail banners, and led the redesign and implementation of innovative front end checklanes featuring LED lighting in more than 1,000 corporate and independent retail stores. She and her 56-member team are currently providing transitional services to Haggen in the areas of item setup, maintenance, planograms and store resets.


TaMMy HurLey

JiLL dearinG BeCKMan

vP, finance, Spartannash Co.

Hurley oversees finance operations for SpartanNash’s Grand Rapids, Mich., service center. Following the Spartan Stores-Nash Finch Co. merger, she led the integration of the fiscal year, payroll, general and stock ledgers, and asset management; was a key leader on multidisciplinary teams for systems integration at retail, food distribution and service center operations; and built a team to provide the executive leadership team and internal finance customers with necessary financial reports. A Cub Scout den leader and t-ball coach as the mother of a young son, Hurley is also a member of Financial Executives International and the Michigan Association of CPAs.

vP, advertising and Marketing, Save-a-Lot, Supervalu Beckman oversees all marketing and advertising initiatives to drive top-line sales, customer perception of the brand, and customer traffic in both corporate and licensed markets. She engaged her team in all facets of the business, enabling them to identify business synergies, build relationships and gain a deeper understanding of the business. Beckman implemented a marketing incentive structure to build brand equity and allow for regional relevance and flexibility while leveraging the Save-A-Lot’s scalability. Her team also completed a significant private label package and case design refresh.

LiSa GonzaLez

SuSan GrafTon

vP Military Sales & affiliations, Supervalu Responsible for leading Supervalu’s military distribution business — the company’s single largest distribution customer — Gonzalez oversees the sales, business development and execution of distribution to domestic and overseas commissaries/exchanges. She developed a growth plan for military sales and gained additional business with a number of vendors; was a military advocate within the organization, and earned praise from vendors and Defense Commissaries Agency staff alike for her proactive leadership, vision, collaboration skills and customer service. Gonzalez chairs the infrastructure committee of the American Logistics Association’s commissary council.

SvP & Chief accounting officer, Supervalu

Grafton is responsible for all accounting functions, external reporting, tax, finance shared services and finance systems strategy. She spearheaded an effort to advance Supervalu’s finance strategy and drive positive change; implemented more efficient and simple ways of operating, such as simplified monthly reporting; and took lead roles in such endeavors as the oversight and management of transition services agreements with Albertsons and Haggen, and the creation of an ongoing service strategy. Grafton supported and expanded rotational associate and intern programs to attract new talent from top local universities to Supervalu.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Karen BorMan vP, finance, Supervalu

Borman heads the finance function for Supervalu’s independent business and logistics divisions, and manages the field and corporate IB financial staff. She provided financial and analytical support for largescale restructuring of the independent business division; furnished, with her team, the financial and business modeling needed to understand the financial implications of several mergers and acquisitions; and developed the corresponding business strategy to acquire new business relating to Rainbow Foods stores and Haggen. A highly respected 32-year veteran of Supervalu, Borman is a Network of Executive Women member.

Tandy Harvey

SvP of Merchandising, Supervalu Harvey handles all merchandising aspects for grocery, frozen, dairy, meat, GM/ HBC, produce, bakery, deli and consumer marketing in Supervalu’s west region. She led the formation of the new west region from the northern and Midwest region merchandising teams, requiring the creation of many new positions, training and the relocation of the company’s largest region; championed diversity by giving 50 percent of the region’s merchandising leadership to women; and guided her team through Supervalu’s first National Selling Expo for independents, resulting in a significant sales uptick. A 2012 Top Woman, Harvey is a member of the Network of Executive Women.

Senior-LeveL executiveS


eVP, Human resources and Communications, Save-a-Lot, Supervalu Murphy oversees human resources and communications across three distinct business segments: independent business, the hard-discount Save-A-Lot grocery chain and the retail food segment.

MiCHeLLe “MiCky” nye

President, Farm Fresh, Supervalu Nye plans, organizes, leads and controls the operations, marketing/ merchandising, and financial planning and results for the Farm Fresh banner.

She helped realign Supervalu’s talent to its strategic business goals and growth opportunities; guided HR consolidation in the independent business segment, which better aligned the company’s business; and was a key stakeholder in a company-wide effort to improve the shopping experience through better customer service.

She met with parent-teacher organizations to enhance a program to aid local schools, resulting in a 58 percent rise in customer contributions; orchestrated, with a food bank culinary training program, a job fair and the eventual hiring of several assistant deli managers; and provided pointof-purchase discounts and welcomed returning military service members with goodie bags and flowers.

Murphy is general counsel for the Network of Executive Women board of directors.

Nye is an active member of the Network of Executive Women.

nanCy SUPerCHi VP Shared Services, Supervalu

Superchi directs Supervalu’s human resources shared services function, including payroll, leave and benefit processing, and the associate call center, in which capacity she supervises about 100 employees across multiple locations. She developed plans to upgrade Supervalu’s payroll system to the latest version, presided over the transition of the staffs of several Rainbow Foods stores to Cub Foods employees; worked with 100 former Albertsons stores divested to Haggen, providing support to the locations in moving to Unified Grocers as their supplier, and shifting some employees to new pay and benefit platforms, among other functions. Superchi has served as a Peoplesoft consultant.


karLa roBerTSon

eVP, General Counsel, Supervalu Robertson’s purview encompasses Supervalu’s legal, risk management, asset protection, food safety and aviation functions. She oversaw complex legal analysis in the acquisition of Rainbow Foods grocery stores, pharmacies and liquor stores; played an integral part, with her team, in other strategic initiatives related to Supervalu’s transition services agreements; and focused on cost containment and organizational structure alignment to streamline work, create consistency and realize significant monetary savings. A past Top Woman, Robertson sits on the board of the Weisman Museum at the University of Minnesota.

BekaH Swan

Marion TaBard

VP Bakery & deli, Supervalu

Swan works to achieve financial targets for six Supervalu banners’ deli and bakery businesses, guiding strategic and tactical merchandising and marketing plans. She negotiated a fresh deli chicken contract, saving the company millions of dollars; helped create an online cakedecorating training program; oversaw multiple coffee kiosk installations in remodeled or converted stores, resulting in a significant increase in coffee bar sales; and teamed with a vendor to add and expand sushi sections in corporate stores, leading to a 50 percent year-over-year sales increase. Swan is a Supervalu Foundation board member.

director of Marketing Turbana Corp.

Tabard directs all marketing objectives for Turbana and all of its brands, including Turbana Bananas, Turbana Tropicals, Turbana Plantain Chips and Fyffes Pineapples. She forged programs combining unique brand partnerships, social consciousness and integrated marketing, among them “Growing Smiles, Sharing Goodness” (GSSG), a movement that aimed to inspire people to eat smart, be active and get involved in their communities, for which more than 10 campaigns were created, including at ShopRite stores and Sendik’s Food Markets. Tabard is a member of the Nutrition and Health Council at United Fresh Produce Association.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

karen SCzePanSki

VP, Human resources, Save-a-Lot, Supervalu Responsible for the HR functions for 8,000 employees at hundreds of locations, Sczepanski ensures the right operational issues are well executed through collaboration with business partners and through a highly developed HR team. Under her leadership, SaveA-Lot was able to expand its part-time workforce, develop a shift leader role and offer robust training programs, in a period during which the banner opened 23 new locations. Through the company’s talent management process, Sczepanski matched executives with top talent for mentoring. Her superiors continue to rely on her leadership and counsel.

Terry Bodwin VP/Chief Human resources officer, Unified Grocers

Bodwin oversees all aspects of human resources across Unified Grocers, with a focus on building an inclusive, high-performance culture. Under her leadership, the company pursued its Total Rewards strategy, which provides associates with a compelling package of pay, benefits and customized worklife opportunities; managed, negotiated and administered 24 collective bargaining agreements; and refocused workplace safety and injury reduction efforts, leading to a 30 percent decrease in injuries and recordable incidence rates from the prior year. A member of the Network of Executive Women, Bodwin received its Women at Work Medal of Excellence.

Smart & Final congratulates all of the amazing individuals named to

Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery 2015.

We are especially proud of our Smart & Final Honorees.

Veronica Macias Store Manager Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Stacie Sulak Senior Developer Mobile/Web Apps

Jeanne Nash District Manager District 12

Stephanie Salinas Store Manager Bakersfeld, CA

Celia Workman Director Quality Assurance Š Copyright 2015 Smart & Final Stores LLC

Rising staRs

CHeryl BlaCK

melissa englisH

Ceo, you technology llC (subsidiary of the Kroger Co.)

manager of training and Development, acme markets

Black oversees all operations, engineering, sales, finance, legal and HR functions of the company, whose systems allow digital coupons to be loaded onto frequent-shopper cards for instore redemption.

English facilitates training across all store levels and throughout the 107-unit division. She designs leadership development programs to support the business’ exempt employees, among other duties.

She managed the transition of You Technology from an independently owned company to Kroger ownership, protecting You Technology’s other retailer clients’ privacy and confidentiality, and enabling it to recruit and retain effectively.

She collaborated with Acme’s executive team to develop a new training program for field operation specialists, helped launch the Acme Continuing Education (ACE) Training program for assistant store directors, and led training for team members at the company’s new Frosted Mug beer store.

Rising Stars

Black increased year-overyear company revenues by more than 50 percent and improved bottom-line profitability 10 times over the prior year.

Kerrigan mc Kay senior real estate manager, acme markets Representing Acme in all real estate transactions, McKay identifies sites, negotiates business terms, prepares and submits proposal packages, and leads efforts related to due diligence, entitlements and legal documentations. Under her leadership, the company gained control of landlord negotiations after it separated from its former parent company, a process during which she rebuilt business relationships and renegotiated leases at lower costs and higher EBITDA. She helped Acme lower occupancy costs, mitigate losses and spur new business opportunities. McKay helped Acme acquire beer licenses in Pennsylvania that will enable it to increase market share and profits.


saraH Bell

senior Director of Client services, advantage sales and marketing Bell is accountable for the supply chain and process management of Kroger’s exclusive in-store sampling program, Delightful Discoveries, focusing on strategic planning, budget and timeline management. Her efforts improved product case support by 100 percent, in turn increasing CPG ROI for in-store sampling, and she was on a taskforce to create a program to develop Advantage’s middle managers. The winner of many company awards, Bell is involved in such local charities and organizations as the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and Save the Animals Foundation.

maureen Collins

Director of strategy and integration, in marketing services, advantage sales and marketing Collins oversees strategy development and consumer/ shopper insights for key grocery retailers, and sets instore engagement strategies for Keurig and KitchenAid across grocery stores, supercenters, specialty stores, mass merchandisers and club stores. She guided shopper and consumer insights, strategies and programs, securing two major new accounts. Her work led to Advantage/IN being named Agency of Record (AOR) for Meijer’s in-store engagement programs and in-store AOR for KitchenAid’s superpremium small appliances. Collins once received the President Award from World Kitchen’s Top 10 Innovations.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

English belongs to a local Toastmaster’s Club and the National Society for Human Resources Management.

Kelsey Hampton

account executive, advantage Beverage solutions, advantage sales and marketing

Working from Albertsons’ Southern California office, Hampton secures supplierfunded sampling events for the grocer’s adult beveragetasting program throughout California, Washington and Oregon. She increased the event count by 64 percent, grew program revenue by 37 percent and improved client relationships; as a result of her efforts, Advantage has been invited to present the program at other Albertsons LLC divisions. Hampton has been a part of IN Marketing Services’ field management execution team under Sam’s Club, the talent development team and the Supervalu sales team.

Congratulates Progressive Grocer’s 2015 Top Women in Grocery

Patricia Bednarz Rising Star

Debbie Bowers Rising Star

Diane Medlin Rising Star

Carol Miller-Herring Rising Star

Rising staRs

Katie McCants

Director of Operations, in Marketing — Kroger Delightful Discoveries team, advantage sales and Marketing McCants leads an account and field operations team responsible for the operational planning execution of the Kroger Delightful Discoveries in-store sampling program. She led her team in creating multiple operational processes and best practices that eliminated more than 20 hours a week of manual work and saved $1 million annually in assets and damaged equipment, and was a key contributor to the biggest marketing events in Kroger history, which generated more than $5.9 million in revenue for Advantage. McCants mentors up-andcoming junior colleagues.

ROBin WetHli

national Client team leader, advantage sales and Marketing Wethli spearheads the development and leadership of consultative business relationships at all levels with two national clients, and establishes metrics for performance, evaluating, scorecarding and overall improvement. She successfully brought in and integrated a new strategic client, and worked to maximize performance results, resulting in increased sales and consumption figures for that client. She also helped the company achieve growth by launching an over-the-counter item into the marketplace. Wethli serves as a food allergy volunteer with the Food Allergy & Research Education (FARE) organization.


BOnnie ReinKe

MaRilU ROBles

Director of sales, in Marketing services, advantage sales and Marketing

Marketing Manager, in Marketing services, advantage sales and Marketing

Reinke manages IN Marketing’s direct experiential marketing programs across two platforms (adult beverage and grocery), and leads a cross-functional team to support grocery retailers’ in-store sampling programs.

Robles supports the company’s strategy and integration team for experiential marketing practices. She works with cross-functional departments to align information to the organization’s overall approach and customer/client requests.

She came in under budget, with significant revenue and EBITDA increases; led a ground-up effort to structure and launch the Premier Adult Beverage Tastings Program in two Albertsons divisions; and helped launch Jewel-Osco’s demo program.

Her contributions helped generate more than $25 million of revenue in new business, including the landing of Meijer’s in-store demonstration RFP, and she worked on Keurig and KitchenAid, two other top revenue-generating new businesses of the year.

Reinke was one of six women from the company chosen to attend the Network of Executive Women 2014 Leadership Conference.

Robles is a member of Women in CE, the Consumer Electronics Association, and the Event Planning and Management Association.

Felis anDRaDe

Director, Marketing and external Communications, Giant of Maryland llC, ahold Usa Andrade leads marketing efforts that drive brand recognition for 170 stores in the Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; Delaware; and Virginia markets. She worked with Procter & Gamble to create a campaign tied to Oprah’s Life You Want Weekend, led Giant’s USO campaign fundraiser to support local military troops, led the Hunger Action Month fundraiser to support local food banks, and collaborated with vendors to support health and wellness. Andrade has been a board and committee member for the Network of Executive Women, and is involved with Ahold’s Women Adding Value business resource group.

asHley Belin

senior Manager, talent Management, ahold Usa Belin is responsible for implementing global human resource projects, overseeing all internal networks that implement these projects, and developing an adequate talent pool, among other duties. She helped to implement a new electronic performance management tool called SuccessFactors, managed nominations for internal leadership training programs, led the development of a new curriculum based on the latest retail industry trends, and successfully executed the 2014 Management Review strategy across Ahold USA. Belin is a member of several professional groups, and has completed various certification classes to keep her skills sharp.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

BetHany slentz national Client team leader, advantage sales and Marketing

Slentz partners with two of Advantage’s leading clients — Abbott Nutrition and Cacique — to direct a sales team responsible for driving nearly $1 billion in commissionable sales across the total U.S. retail channel. She helped grow Advantage’s portfolio across multiple new services in 2014, exceeding her budget goals by 10 percent and revenue by 15 percent over the previous year, and enhanced Abbott’s joint business-planning model for the grocery class of trade. Slentz is the engagement co-chair on the board of directors for Camp Kesem National, which supports children throughout a parent’s cancer diagnosis and treatment.

JOyCe GOlDen

Manager, District Human Resources, Giant Food stores llC, ahold Usa Golden works with multiple-site management in the areas of employee relations, compensation, benefits, performance management, training and development, succession planning, and staffing. A catalyst for driving employee engagement through nontraditional methods, she coordinated a full week of appreciation events in celebration of Giant Food Stores employees. She’s also project lead in the design of an innovative employee breakroom area. Golden is at the forefront of diversity strategies, and is actively involved with the company’s business resource group, Women Adding Value, serving as a foundational committee member.

Leading By Example At SpartanNash, we value innovation. It’s what guides our industry, and our interactions with customers each and every day. Along with Progressive Grocer, we proudly honor the following associates for earning their spot on the 2015 Top Women in Grocery award list. Join us in congratulating these outstanding women who exemplify innovation and what it takes to be a leader. Store Directors: Amy Berry - Store Director Nicole Eckhardt - Store Director Brandi Morehouse - Store Director Rising Stars: Ginger Blackburn - Director of Customer Service Frances Conroy - Controller, MDV East Region Carmella Cook - HR Manager Debra Cross - Exec. Admin. to the CEO, Diversity & Inclusion Manager Paula Docken - Business Analyst Specialist Mary Jennifer - Director of Finance/MDV Senior Level Executives: Caren Fitzgerald - VP, Associate General Counsel Tammy Hurley - VP, Finance


Snack growth made simple

Brands and retailers are forever on the hunt for opportunities that will deliver bottom-line growth. They know that in many categories, growth is becoming increasingly challenging. Success in the snacks category is especially no

where the greatest potential exists before they start

longer guaranteed — brands and retailers wanting

spending research or merchandising dollars. This

to expand in this area have their work cut out for

kind of forehand knowledge doesn’t just secure

them. So where should they direct their efforts to

greater ROI, it can increase speed to market and

drive growth? How can they decide which of the

enable brands to explore more high-potential

myriad of snacking sub-categories gives them the

categories simultaneously.

greatest chance of success? Health and Permissible Indulgence: the key Directing the search for growth

opportunities for snacking

Like a fsherman faced with a vast ocean, it helps to

So which snack categories show the most growth

have some idea where the fsh are most likely to be

potential? Growth Point gives us a clear picture.

before deciding on which course to set — a way to

Health (especially protein dense products) and

identify which areas to focus on before investing. This

Permissible Indulgence are the areas with the best

is exactly why TNS developed Growth Point — the

growth potential for snacking, while products like

frst-of-its-kind measure of growth potential. Growth

chips and chocolate candy fall into the group with

Point gives brands and retailers the ability to identify

the least growth potential.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015


Does this mean that brands and retailers should start pulling out of chips and chocolate, and piling their entire budget into nuts and yogurt? It doesn’t. However, it does mean that new

Top 20 growth potential snacks 1 Nuts

11 Tuna/chicken salad sandwich

2 Greek yogurt

12 Peanut butter

3 Regular yogurt

13 Gluten-free bread

4 Health-oriented cereal

14 Guacamole dip

5 Natural/organic crackers

15 Squeezable yogurt

6 Soft tortillas/wraps/pitas

16 Salsa

7 Dessert-type yogurt

17 Hot specialty coffee drinks

8 Block/wedge of cheese

18 Iced or frozen coffee drinks

9 Cottage cheese

19 Fruit smoothie drinks

initiatives seeking the best growth opportunities would be better off in the areas of nuts and yogurt than they would be in chocolate. Health and Permissible Indulgence and other highgrowth potential areas have more consumers moving into them with needs that existing offers do not already meet — it’s this combination that generates the greatest growth potential. Chips and chocolate may have high volume and they may even have some sales growth, but they are also saturated markets where new initiatives will have a far tougher time gaining traction. Where to invest for growth By alerting brands and retailers to where they

10 String cheese/cheese sticks 20 Tuna from can/pouch

should best focus their efforts and investment, Growth Point signifcantly increases their chances of success. Launching into segments with the

right strategies and initiatives are needed to take

highest growth potential won’t guarantee success

advantage of it.

for brands and retailers any more than fshing over the right spot in the ocean will guarantee landing

TNS will reveal its next set of Growth Point

a keeper. The growth potential exists but the

rankings, for the beverages category, next month.

Finding the right path to growth Growth Point generates its rankings from the TNS

limited opportunity in

Consumption Universe, which consists of more than

identifying products that

19,000 consumer interviews and covers 250 food

consumers will spend

and beverage products. The analysis combines the

more on, if it’s already

degree of unmet consumer needs with the degree

fairly certain whose

of consumer momentum that each product area

products they will buy.

has. Where you fnd both unmet needs and positive

Growth Point doesn’t tell brands and retailers what

momentum, you have better growth potential.

snack categories will grow — it tells brands and

On the other hand, there is far less opportunity

retailers what categories have the greatest potential

in meeting unmet needs in a product area that

for them to drive their own growth. To fnd out

consumers are walking away from. And there is

more, visit

June 2015 | |


Rising staRs

Debbie hill

Manager, Public and community relations, ahold uSa Hill oversees the charitable giving and donation programs for Ahold USA’s Our Family Foundation, while also helping to execute public relations messaging and activities for the retailer. She works with Ahold USA’s retailer divisions to ensure consistency and alignment of PR messaging. She spearheaded fundraising efforts that raised a record $9.35 million in 2014 for Our Family Foundation, a significant increase from the previous year; and helped organize a community playground built in an underserved neighborhood. Hill has been recognized as Ahold USA’s Associate of the Year.

Kelly Krutz

Director, Portfolio, ahold uSa Krutz has full profit-and-loss responsibility for the floral category. She drove the floral department to 17 consecutive weeks of positive identicalstore sales and unit growth during the summer, which is typically the most challenging period, and improved the department’s profitability by driving assortment segmentation, shrink mitigation, efficient department designs and labor efficiency. She has created a point of differentiation through the cut-flower program. Krutz has actively served as a founding member of the Produce Marketing Association floral council for the past five years.


Dawn hurD

Specialist, front end, giant of Maryland llc, ahold uSa Hurd is responsible for delivering consistent operational excellence and effectiveness for the front end departments of 34 stores in two districts. She created the “Best in Standards Front End Operations Guide” to be posted at all of Giant’s stores, and developed several other important initiatives, including a Western Union Phone Tree for front end specialists, a Register deepcleaning guide and the Item Per Minute Incentive Plan. In early 2015, Hurd was selected for the Dale Carnegie Course, which helps develop poise and confidence when speaking. She also volunteers at local food banks and at Lewes Presbyterian Church, where she’s a member.

Jan ingrahaM Director, finance, ahold uSa

Ingraham is responsible for the support of data, playbooks/reports, insights and meeting leadership for nonperishable department negotiations, and oversees similar areas for the Fresh COGS (cost of goods) negotiation initiative. One of her greatest achievements was getting the retailer’s playbooks (key data sources for financial metrics) automated through the IT department. She also helped create a new business report called the Tier 3, which provides key information for merchandisers. Ingraham is a member of the Network of Executive Women and the Ahold USA Women Adding Value business resource group.

rebecca luPfer

Stacey Miller

Director, internal audit and Professional Practices, ahold uSa

Manager, learning and Professional Practices, ahold uSa

Lupfer executes audits in various areas of the company and works with management to identify risks and solutions.

Miller analyzes, designs, develops and implements company-wide leadership and technical/functional skills training.

She reinvigorated an internal quality assurance program to ensure audit teams were conducting audits consistently and effectively throughout Ahold in both the United States and Europe, and led a significant audit at Ahold USA related to shrink accounting and sales recognition, which initiated significant change within the company.

She launched an initiative to standardize the retail and support office-training programs across Ahold USA, which included 30 unique programs, and led to the development of a food allergen e-learning course; and an enhanced Fuel Training Program.

Lupfer is a member of FMI, the Network of Executive Women, Ahold Developing Professionals, and Ahold’s Women Adding Value business resource group.

Miller led the development and deployment of mentoring circles within Ahold USA’s Women Adding Value business resource group. For her achievements at the company, she received the 2014 Ahold USA Divisional Support Award.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Deb KreiDer Director, category, ahold uSa

Kreider is involved in the creation and oversight of the produce department budget, which includes sales, merchandising and supply chain for 768 stores stretching from New England to Virginia. She and her team developed innovative strategies and initiatives for the new Produce Market Place, including signage, format, pricing, promotions, marketing and training. One of their specific successes was creating excitement around the cut-fruit and vegetable categories. In 2014, she and her team received two Ahold USA awards: the Ahold Leadership Award for Simplicity, and Ahold USA Associate of the Year.

Patrice O’Sullivan

Manager, associate engagement, ahold uSa O’Sullivan has oversight for the associate engagement budget, and is responsible for administering Ahold USA’s engagement survey, as well as enacting its engagement strategy. She and her team drove survey participation by 10 points in 2014, and she was project manager of an initiative that asked all Ahold USA support associates to observe strategic programs in action at designated stores. O’Sullivan is a member of the Network of Executive Women, as well as two business resource groups at Ahold USA: ALANA (a multicultural network) and Women Adding Value.

Rising staRs

DiMPle Patel

Senior Director, enterprise architecture, ahold uSa Patel provides input for Ahold USA’s marketing strategy to determine the “store of the future” customer experience. Specifically, she’s responsible for identifying and testing in-store technologies that can improve the customer experience and potentially create a competitive advantage for the retailer. She was involved in the company’s first iPad deployment; based on the initial testing, she helped make the business case for an enterprise rollout. Additionally, she led the expansion of an IT co-op program to help attract talent within the organization. Patel received Ahold USA’s Discretionary Award.

MaRy SullivaN Director, Finance, ahold uSa

Sullivan leads the development and oversight of the operating budget for all of Ahold USA’s internal and third-party distribution networks, acting as the primary financial voice of the retailer’s supply chain executive teams. She led the company’s distribution teams in identifying, evaluating and implementing cost-saving initiatives, and was an integral part of the team that developed, negotiated and implemented new partnership agreements with a third-party distributor. She volunteers at local food banks and as a youth soccer coach; she’s an active participant in Ahold’s Day of Giving program.

aRleNe PutteRMaN

Manager, Public and community Relations, Stop & Shop, ahold uSa Putterman oversees public and community relations for Stop & Shop’s New York metro market. She has responsibility for charitable corporate giving, which totaled approximately $7 million in 2014. She helped the company raise more than $200,000 for breast cancer awareness through Making Strides to benefit the American Cancer Society; recruited more than 200 volunteers to build a new play space for children, and drove Stop & Shop’s 100th-anniversary celebration with the 100 Days of Giving program. Putterman is a board member of the Connecticut Food Bank and volunteers at several food bank events.

MaRy JackSoN education Manager, tom thumb, albertsons Safeway

Jackson manages education for a division of 107 stores, where she’s tasked with the creation, implementation and measurement of all division training programs. She also creates and manages a division training budget, collaborating with operations and marketing teams to facilitate programs that affect sales, profits and customer service. She helped implement an associate orientation and cashier training program, reduced turnover by 4 percent and increased the customer satisfaction index up to 8 percent for stores in the centralized program. Jackson is a Toastmaskers communicator and leader.

kaSey SheFFeR Manager, corporate Brands, ahold uSa

Sheffer manages Ahold USA’s own-brand strategies to help build brand equity and increase customer loyalty, ultimately driving sales for the company. She contributed to Ahold USA’s brand strategy, established the Limited Time Originals brand for in-andout own-brand products, and co-authored a marketing plan to support the introduction of World Menu, a new line of authentic Italian and Asian products. She also created the brand and messaging strategy for Etos, Ahold USA’s new beauty brand. Sheffer volunteered to co-create and conduct a weeklong in-store training exercise to look into the needs and realities of store operations.

Rucha NaNavati

Director, information technology, albertsons Safeway

Nanavati leads integration of all supply chain systems between the Safeway and Albertsons organizations, managing a team of program and project managers, solution designers, developers and deployment professionals. She oversees a budget of $31 million. She led a strategic initiative in regard to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system assessment for Safeway, and helped plan for the companies’ merger and integration by moving Albertsons from a transition service agreement (TSA) with Supervalu. The three-year plan for integration is designed to save $280 million in TSA costs.

PhylliS SMith

Specialist, Front end, Giant Food Stores llc, ahold uSa

Smith is responsible for the consistent operational excellence and effectiveness of the front end sections of 30 stores in her assigned districts. She was instrumental in conducting monthly conference calls with salaried managers who have oversight of front end operations, a move that helped to ensure consistent communication; and implemented the period cash countdown, whereby every period a salaried member of management is required to complete a full cash countdown. Smith is an avid supporter of United Way, and a member of both the National Association of Professional Women and the Network of Executive Women.

Rita Patel

it Director, albertsons Safeway Patel manages functions within information technology to support Safeway employees across backstage and in retail stores, ensuring that the appropriate technology is available to service customers. She also manages application development, support and services teams both on- and offshore. Among other accomplishments, she operationalized a new information technology operating model, established the first IT information employee engagement group, and helped prepare for the Albertsons-Safeway merger and transformation. Patel is an active leader in the new employee engagement group and a member of the Network of Executive Women.

June 2015 | |


Rising staRs

raMona GiDerof

senior Director, anheuser-Busch Giderof manages AnheuserBusch’s Kroger business, which includes personnel, budgets, plans, pricing and wholesalers across all of the grocer’s divisions. After only a year in her current role, she improved dollar trends by 2 percent and managed almost an entirely new team while creating customer-first programs for Kroger. Her new item launches have been deemed “best in class” by Kroger and continue to drive Anheuser-Busch innovation sales. Already promoted five times at Anheuser-Busch, Giderof received a sales excellence award in 2012 and Share the Dream recognition in 2013.

eliZaBeTH MarTineZ

Director of Product, Bi-rite family of Businesses

Martinez is second in command at Bi-Rite, having worked her way up from produce stocker. She manages the team of buyers that creates the retailer’s specialized product set. Having chosen and implemented Instacart as a delivery partner, she conceived, built and launched a unique Holiday Marketplace with the company to fulfill special holiday orders from Thanksgiving to the end of the year. She also played a strategic role in writing and executing BiRite’s Ten-Year 2024 company vision. Martinez volunteers on the retailer network committee of the Specialty Food Association.


TaMMy MarloWe


Director of General Merchandise/Health, Beauty, Wellness, associated food stores

retail Marketing Group Manager, associated food stores A leader of the company’s Bringing Value Home share group, Hawks acts as a key liaison between member-owned independent retailers and the corporate office. She directs advertising, marketing, social media and print communications, buying, promotional execution, and general administration of the group. Thanks to her efforts, Associated Food Stores has experienced sales growth in the Bringing Value Home share group. Hawks created and helps organize Hometown Heroes events to assist local firefighters, police, teachers and veterans for more than 50 Associated Food Stores independent retailers.

Marlowe guides efforts in regard to seasonal shows, finding new products and creating price and product shelf placement programs. She implemented a GM/ HBW program with a renewed emphasis on center store and its importance in retail, and introduced an initiative allowing retailers to use iPads and tablets to place orders during Associated Food Stores’ general merchandise show. Marlowe played an instrumental role in the donation to Volunteers of America of 750 personal care kits for homeless teens in Utah. She’s also a Global Marketing Development Center board member.

laurie HeBerT

Director of Talent Management & employee relations, Big y foods inc.

Hebert’s chief role is to design, plan and implement programs for the selection, hiring and retention of employees. Taking on additional responsibilities, including unemployment processes, recruiting and proper resolution of all employment-related legal claims, she reduced the staffing needed to process unemployment claims, and built a bench of store directors, department managers and “high potentials” through better use of assessment tools. The recipient of a Big Y 25-years-of-service recognition award, Hebert is a Future Connect/Future Leader committee member and a judge for the FMI Store Director of the Year awards.

Tiffany Taylor Buyer, BJ’s Wholesale club

Taylor manages several categories, from fresh prepared foods to specialty cheese and chicken sausages, and is responsible for product mix and selecting on-trend items while maintaining budget goals. She grew her departments, especially specialty cheese, and was a key decision-maker in implementing a specialty cheese category captain to assist in product mix and store-level merchandising and signage. Continually tweaks assortment to balance true sellers and ‘treasure hunt’ items. A member of the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association, Taylor has been a buyer for specialty cheese and prepared foods since 2012.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Dana isaacson

Director of Deli, Bakery & Prepared foods, B Green co. Isaacson oversees bakery/ deli AD planning and merchandising, operations, and employee training; enhances the business’ prepared food and catering program; and leads community outreach and company event planning. She won NGA’s 2015 Creative Choice Award for Merchandising in the dairy/deli/bakery category, for her Green Valley Marketplace Cake Off solution, and created the Taste of the Season holiday promotion, resulting in a 26 percent rise in bakery sales and the deli’s bestever week. Isaacson works with local school, church and youth groups on fundraisers, and hosts creative selling events at stores.

Traci GeorGe

Pharmacy Zone Manager, Brookshire Grocery co. George supervises 23 in-store pharmacies that employ 236 employees, including pharmacists, technicians, clerks and pharmacy trainers. She oversees all functions of these pharmacies to ensure compliance with government regulations, company policies and procedures. Her zone’s year-to-date sales were up more than 8 percent over the year-ago period, and she created a CARE Class for all new pharmacy employees that focused on improving service, increasing prescriptions filled and promoting customer engagement. She’s a member of the Texas State Board of Pharmacy and Brookshire’s Women’s Leadership Forum.

Congratulations to our Daymon Worldwide honorees and to all the 2015 Top Women in Grocery! SENIOR LEVEL

Carla Cooper Chief Executive Offcer


Nicole Peranick Director, Global Consumer Strategy - Culinary

Shilpa Rosenberry Senior Director, Global Consumer Strategy


50 countries

14 channels of trade

3,000,000 consumer events

1 Daymon

Rising staRs

heather adaMs Manager, insights, crossmark

Adams oversees category management and shopper insights for seven clients, totaling more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Her efforts to identify growth opportunities for clients led to 4 percent growth for leading cosmetics brands, and her work in blending disparate point-of-sale data sources helped elevate a client’s product distribution goals by 95 percent. Adams has won Crossmark’s “This is My Mark” spotlight award, and is involved in the Network of Executive Women and Crossmark’s Network of Women. She volunteers at a local food bank and ministry, and has made humanitarian trips to a remote area of Brazil.

ashLey tussinG director of Operations, Order-to-cash services, crossmark

Tussing manages the vendor relationship of a third-party labor provider, through which she develops and grows client relationships and drives process improvement initiatives. She revamped operational analytics and insights for a Tier I client into a singular dashboard targeted at client executives and field stakeholders, allowing near-time actionable results and profitable course correction, and successfully managed the transition of more than 150 manufacturers and 400 retailers from 19 field offices to the centralized Crossmark Service Delivery Center. Tussing is a career coach at the University of Tennessee, among other activities.


Laura dickey division Manager, crossmark

Dickey is division manager of the Nestlédedicated team, managing a weekend packout team that focuses on correcting out-ofstocks and building secondary displays to support the CPG company’s retail efforts. She collaborates with client customer teams to align the teams’ retail activities with customer needs.

katherine FuLLer

division Manager of the north american Field intelligence team, crossmark Fuller manages Crossmark’s North American syndicated field intelligence team, overseeing revenue growth, performance improvement, capability expansion, efficiencies and talent development.

She increased the team’s incremental revenue by 414 percent, versus the previous year. For her efforts, she was the Nestlé Dedicated Team’s Most Valuable Team Member of the Year (MVP) for the second straight year.

Her team enjoyed the most profitable year since its inception, succeeding in both bottom-line and top-line growth. The group also enabled a large beverage manufacturer’s program expansion, resulting in incremental revenue of $4.6 million for 2015.

Dickey is pursuing her Master of Science degree in marketing from the University of Texas in Dallas.

Fuller serves on the sponsorship committee of the North Central Network of Executive Women.

nicOLe Peranick director, Global consumer strategy — culinary, daymon Worldwide

Peranick published Daymon Worldwide’s global retail and private-brand perspective in “What’s Next in Culinary,” which has resulted in better client engagement. She worked with clients around the globe to translate culinary trends, including new cuisines, flavors, ingredients and packaging, into customized product solutions. Peranick developed Daymon’s culinary innovation framework to facilitate the process for developing and scouting new products and technologies, and also created Daymon’s International Culinary WonderTour to inspire clients’ creativity and innovation efforts.

Jessica Gurny

regional Marketing Manager, door to door Organics Gurny’s second coordination of a “customer love event” broke event records, secured valuable vendor support, outgrew its venue and became the model for future event success at other Door to Door Organics locations. She organized Door to Door Organics’ first Farm to Table dinner in Detroit, raising $3,000 for the Growing Hope community and school gardens; this model will be replicated throughout the company’s regions. She also received praise for her development of The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative’s mural project and farm cleanup in Detroit. For more one-to-one interactions with customers, Gurny successfully developed a globally focused cooking class.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

sarah ParriGin north central division Manager, crossmark

Parrigin handles all aspects of Crossmark’s business in the North Central division, including people management, profit management, client management, and customer and business development. She restructured her team to increase performance and efficiency metrics on behalf of clients. The value of retail activities performed increased 20 percent from the first to the second quarter, and one client reported that on-shelf availability in a key customer account generated the highest levels seen in years. Parrigin actively mentors Crossmark management trainees and represents the company in the Network of Executive Women.

Patricia Bednarz

director of Operations, rocky Mountain/ Goldsboro, n.c., Food Lion Bednarz grows and develops store management teams; leveraged the ACE (agreeable, conscientious, extrovert) model to create great associate experiences that result in “want to” versus “have to” in customer service. She provided trickle-down targeted leadership growth and development with Planning and Business Development Mondays, during which her store managers meet one-to-one with department managers to offer empowering support to store associates. Bednarz focused on “rightsizing” store manager talent in her region, creating a sustainable workforce by celebrating accomplishments.

THE PINNACLE OF EXCELLENCE Congratulations to all of the Progressive Grocer’s 2015 Top Women in Grocery, with special thanks to our honorees and all of the women at CROSSMARK who exemplify excellence every day.

Senior-Level Executive

Debbie Buckner

Sandra Deiters

Sheila Gamble

Sherene Jagla

Michelle Sutter

Vice President Retail Recruiting & Sales Support

Vice President Financial Services

Senior Vice President Client Development

Vice President Managing Director Client Services

Vice President Operations CROSSMARvK Retail

Heather Adams

Laura Dickey

Katherine Fuller

Sarah Parrigin

Ashley Tussing

Director Analytics & Insights

Division Manager Chobani Dedicated Team

Division Manager Field Intelligence Team

Division Manager Grand Rapids

Director of Operations Order-to-Cash Services

Rising Star

Rising staRs

Debbie bowerS,

Manager of innovation, Front end operations and Service, Food Lion Bowers, a 28-year veteran of Food Lion, is responsible for all front end key performance indicators for the banner’s 1,108 stores, innovating and implementing front end operations. The new differentiating strategy that she implemented in the Greenville-Wilmington, N.C., market — the largest strategic initiative for the company in 2014 — led to impressive business growth and will serve as a template for the company in other markets. Recognized internally for her ability to recruit and develop leadership, Bowers is a member of Food Lion’s Business Women’s Resource Group.

LAurie brown

recruitment Marketing Manager, giant eagle inc. Brown led the redesign and relaunch of Giant Eagle’s careers website, which offers an improved candidate experience. She developed and implemented a comprehensive media and marketing communications plan to support the seven large-scale hiring events throughout the company’s key geographical regions. Based on her initiatives, Giant Eagle’s applicantto-ratio hire is now 12 percent above average. Brown conducted Giant Eagle’s first-ever online reputation audit and analysis, with the aim of understanding the employer brand and gaining insight into how candidates/ team members perceive the company.


DiAne MeDLin

CAroL MiLLer

Customer retail Services Manager, Food Lion Medlin, who has been with Food Lion for 37 years, is the gatekeeper of communications and a liaison between retail and all business areas that support the company’s 1,108 stores. She implemented the fully automated Voice of Retail by which all stores communicate to the customer support center. More than 160,000 inquiries were received and each was responded to in less than 24 hours. Medlin initiated the Retail Communications Scorecard to determine the success level of all communications and identify opportunities for improvement; this resulted in a 200 percent reduction in “correction” communications to retail stores.

execution and implementation Specialist, Food Lion

Miller has been with Food Lion for 30 years. In her current role, she ensures excellent customer experiences by reviewing projections for accuracy and ensuring that the company’s standard practices and policies are followed in stores. She brought Food Lion’s Count on Me strategy to life, especially in the company’s model store in Concord, N.C., resulting in increased customer counts and sales. Miller coordinated the Food Lion Feeds hunger relief program in 24 stores in her region, and she also volunteers at a number of local food banks; mentors future leaders and associates.

SuSAn CArenbAuer Director, business technologies, giant eagle inc.

Carenbauer is program manager for Giant Eagle’s Customer Connect, a key strategic program that leverages customer data to build better category plans. Customer Connect startup initiatives under her purview included schedule and timeline, vendor contract negotiation, and the organization of more than 50 resources to support an effort across all lines of business. Sales of the first category implemented are up 10 percent. She leads the IT team that handles digital commerce, supporting IT strategy, analysis, development, support and project management for all new digital commerce initiatives and existing properties.

SArA Ciotti

Director, Procurement, giant eagle inc. Appointed to her current role in September 2014, Ciotti is responsible for central procurement and supply chain efforts within the merchandising group. She has been instrumental in developing a strategic sourcing team that delivers efficiencies, cost savings and sales growth. Before her promotion, Ciotti was senior category manager for inedible grocery, in which capacity she drove doubledigit sales and profit growth, and developed an innovative own-brand platform for paper and tabletop that spurred strong growth in penetration, sales and profit. Ciotti volunteers with the Embark Mentoring Program.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

DeniSe inMon

regional Sales Director — Central region, general Mills

Inmon, who leads sales activities for multiple Midwest customers, was a key player in the turnaround of General Mills’ yogurt business, which experienced a 6 percent sales increase and a share increase of one percentage point. She designed, sold and implemented a program that doubled distribution of the company’s Greek yogurt, ensuring that it was competitively priced at shelf and drove significant trial. These efforts earned her the company’s Champions Award. Inmon is involved in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Girl Scouts, and mentors young women at General Mills through active women’s circles.

Ann-MArie DAugherty

Director of inbound Logistics and Supply Chain, giant eagle inc. Daugherty establishes and maintains collaborative partnerships across merchandising, distribution, logistics and retail operations to coordinate efficient product flow. She restructured her team to provide clearer accountability, resulting in cost savings and better customer service and load tracking, and created a company-wide reclamation project with a financial accounting component to promote consistent operating procedures, improve shrink and create supply chain transparency. Daugherty led the 2014 American Heart Association HeartWalk teams for distribution and logistics.

Rising staRs

Jan haWKins

director of retail systems and operations, Giant eagle inc. Hawkins played a key role in analyzing, developing and implementing a single-queue front end design, including queue management and a call-forward system to reduce shopper wait time and increase customer satisfaction. She led the implementation of tablets in stores to reduce paper dependency and increase mobility, resulting in increased efficiencies, and further lowered paper usage by designing and implementing consumer options for email receipts. Hawkins reorganized the company’s Eagle’s Nest in-store child development and activity centers.

sarah Peters

senior director, Giant eagle retail Business systems, Giant eagle inc. Peters is responsible for developing, leading and implementing the automated replenishing (AR) system throughout all Giant Eagle formats and banners — some 400 locations. She developed the AR tool, leading crossfunctional communication and education systems for various functions. She leverages technology and information to implement a system that automatically generates store orders that are reviewed by team members across formats. Peters led the cultural change necessary for the success of the new system.

Katie schoLL

Lisa WeLdon

director, targeted Marketing and customer Loyalty, Giant eagle inc. Scholl achieved multimillion-dollar annualized savings from the implementation of least-cost routing in PIN debit processing; her efforts earned her the Giant Eagle Chairman’s Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation Award. She launched the first newformat in-store bank location, which occupies a smaller footprint than previous formats, and is leading Giant Eagle’s Loyalty Customer Mailer, which drives incremental sales by several million dollars a month. A finance committee member and lector at her church, Scholl is also a member of the information systems advisory board at Duquesne University.

deli/Prepared Foods Merchandising specialist, Giant eagle inc. Weldon oversees multiple budgets totaling more than $70 million for stores ranging from Cleveland to Pittsburgh, and trains operations staff on cooking techniques and best practices. She opened three Market District locations from the ground up and expanded the deli/prepared food departments’ product offerings, among them an Asian graband-go product line. The winner of various company awards, Weldon earned certification through Carnegie Mellon University’s Executive Leadership Program.

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to Giant Eagle’s 2015


Recruitment Marketing Manager


Director, Business Technologies


Director, Procurement


Director, Inbound Logistics & Supply Chain


Director, Retail Systems and Operations


Executive Store Leader


Sr. Director, Giant Eagle Retail Business Systems


Director, Targeted Marketing & Customer Loyalty


Senior Store Leader


Vice President, Total Rewards & Chief Diversity Ofcer


Deli & Prepared Foods Merchandising Specialist


Sr. Manager, Corporate Talent Acquisition

On behalf of our CEO, Laura Karet, and your more than 35,000 fellow Team Members, we are very proud of your accomplishments. Your dedication, leadership and talent inspire us.

Rising staRs

niCole Zellie senior Manager, Corporate Talent acquisition, giant eagle inc.

Zellie leads the development of a five-year corporate talent acquisition strategy, and manages the corporate, college and professional pharmacy recruiting team, while overseeing multimillion-dollar recruiting budgets. She reduced the time to fill positions from 29 to 24 days, and was a core member of the team that developed and implemented an assessment system that screens out 30 percent of candidates. Zellie streamlined the online application process, which reduced the candidate drop-off rate from 61 percent to 19 percent, and developed a three-year diversity-recruiting strategy.

Melissa DoDDs Director, Category strategy & insights, Food Channel, The Hershey Co.

Dodds leverages Hershey’s intellectual capital to develop superior leadership and a collaborative partnership to drive category performance with retail partners. She added seven retailer/ category adviser relationships and five advisory board positions, along with reinventing aisles and checkstands to find custom solutions for alternative pay points. Dodds helped transform the in-store experience in the confection aisle, seasonal section and register, with major strategic projects rolled out to such retailers as Hy-Vee, Food Maxx, Jewel, Tops, Weis, Wegmans and ShopRite, in addition to the newly forged relationships noted above.

Jeri MaHer

Director of retail operations, gordy’s Markets

suMan lawrenCe

senior Director, business Development & events, Hail Merry llC

Maher oversees operations, including developing new markets and remodels, sales, and profitability for 16 Gordy’s Markets and 11 Gordy’s Express fuel centers; role includes development of grocery and fuel center budgets, business development, staffing.

Lawrence oversees the distributor business, acts as a liaison for the outsourced salesforce, drives sales in new markets, and supports the prioritization of SKU optimization for retailer differentiation and profitability.

After Maher’s promotion last year, she was instrumental in the opening of five new grocery stores and seven fuel centers. With her oversight, the stores have maintained unprecedented positive comparable-store sales.

Since joining the company last year, she has analyzed SKUs to cull the product line and led efforts for retailer-oriented case packing and labeling, which included creating a new case pack configuration to maximize shelf space.

Her leadership has been key in fostering Gordy’s culture in new stores, as well as in preparing current employees for growth opportunities and increased responsibilities.

Lawrence restructured wholesale pricing and brought on new distribution for lower prices for retailers, as well as developing regional trade show opportunities.

niCole JoHnsTon general Manager, global Value Channels, The Hershey Co.

Johnston oversees profit and loss and internal-market plans for Hershey’s brands across the entire global Costco footprint, U.S. dollar channel and BJ’s Wholesale Club. She built a brand-new global club operating model that coordinated the portfolio, brand and merchandising plans for Costco and Sam’s Club as well as restructuring the value channel team to capitalize on growth opportunities. Johnston energized the company with the potential of cross-functional interaction for the club and dollar channels, and by ensuring alignment across the globe.

MarieTTe Morelli

senior Manager, Customer Marketing & Planning, The Hershey Co.

Morelli collaborates with sales, marketing, category strategy and insights, and research to develop, communicate and use channel customer and shopper insights. She oversaw the creation of a breakthrough Easter signage package test that led to a significant increase in sales and customer satisfaction; she’s currently leading the creative development for Halloween as well as building a platform of creative materials across seasons. Morelli developed a predictive model based on shopping data that, when combined with a retailer’s shopper card database, identifies consumers so they can receive more direct and personal offers.

laura CHaMberlain

Director of Dollar Channels, The Hershey Co. Chamberlain leads Hershey’s dollar class of trade business, which includes Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree, accounting for more than $400 million in sales. The dollar channel has grown by double-digit rates by leveraging strategic partnerships among the three retailers. She delivered the largest channel growth, and exceeded financial objectives by creating customer alignment and partnership focused on the shopper and growing the category. Chamberlain achieved growth despite such obstacles as the reduction of SNAP benefits, increased competition in the category, and Family Tree’s acquisition of Family Dollar.

Tara DeeringHansen

assistant VP, Communications, Hy-Vee Deering-Hansen oversees the retailer’s communications department, and is responsible for strategic planning as well as developing and executing integrated public relations campaigns. She developed a two-year company-wide strategic communications plan that guides internal and external initiatives, and restructured the company’s internal communications system for more effective and efficient dissemination of information to Hy-Vee’s 75,000 employees across 235 stores. As corporate spokeswoman, she produced media coverage in Hy-Vee major markets in the Midwest, which racked up millions of impressions.

June 2015 | |


Rising staRs

JulIe McMIllIn assistant VP, Retail dietetics, Hy-Vee

McMillin developed Hy-Vee’s retail dietitian department, which features programs and billable services that meet the needs of customers; she oversees more than 200 dietitians and the retailer’s clinical services programs. She rolled out a companywide electronic medical record-charting system that Hy-Vee’s dietitians use when performing billable services, and created a standard policy and procedure manual for use in all retail locations.

JeSSIca MonIcal Monical oversees the retailer’s career and leadership training program, Hy-Vee University, which offers employees insight into all facets of the company’s operations and helps identify their individual career paths. While she was promoted to the executive staff just last year, Hy-Vee University has grown so much under Monical’s leadership that more employees are being hired to to implement the program.

McMillin’s efforts helped dietitian services hit $2 million in sales, and she oversaw the implementation of 11 American Association of Diabetes Educators locations within Hy-Vee stores.

Her strong work ethic, positive attitude and passion make her a role model for women within the company as she acts as an enthusiastic ambassador for Hy-Vee to businesses and organizations throughout the company’s eight-state operating region.

SHannon WoodS

nIcole leMaIRe

assistant General counsel, assistant Secretary, Hy-Vee

Woods provides legal counsel to Hy-Vee employees on a variety of issues, with a primary focus on health law compliance, health care contracting, and acquisitions. The frst woman on Hy-Vee’s legal team, she has dramatically advanced the company’s levels of health law compliance while crafting new policies and procedures; she keeps company ahead of curve in this dynamic arena. Woods has served as a board member of the Drake University Executive Roundtable, Iowa Workforce Development and the Southern Iowa Revolving Loan Fund. She also is a past chair of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.



director, Retail development, Hy-Vee

assistant VP, Floral operations, Hy-Vee

Her leadership led to 41 percent year-over-year growth in her division. The growth came from new clients and expanded service offerings in program development, franchise marketing and community events/sponsorships. LeMaire launched two major retailer event marketing programs, and helped with the development and launch of Interactions’ Field Mobile app, which tracks events occurring at retail locations in real time.

director, IT Projects, Hy-Vee

Peters oversees all of the retailer’s foral operations, including the customer education program, Get Growing. She infuences creative direction in all HyVee foral departments.

Sandy leads multimillion-dollar projects to realign warehouse management systems within Hy-Vee’s supply chain, which allows warehouses to operate more effciently.

Her involvement in the evolution of the foral department, such as her work with other departments to crossmerchandise foral in display, thereby increasing proft margins, has led to several sales records. She also acts as a mentor to up-and-coming foral managers.

She’s currently managing eight supply chain and IT projects, providing updates to team members and company executives while tracking all tasks and costs involved with each project.

Peters has made foral a centerpiece of company events like the Taste of Hy-Vee sampling series, and spearheaded company-wide foral promotions such as the Million Stem Rose Sale.

Molly MITcH

Senior director, Interactions Marketing

LeMaire oversees business development and all retail and brand clients in the United States, as well as leading the experiential agency division within Interactions, which showcases retailers, private label brands and CPGs.

Jody Sandy

director of Human Resources, Jerry’s enterprises

Her expertise was invaluable during Hy-Vee’s recently completed proposal request for a new warehouse management system; she’ll play a key role in the selection and implementation of the system throughout the company’s two distribution centers.

KaTHeRIne BenJaMIn

Manager, employee and labor Relations, Kings Super Markets Inc.

Mitch manages human capital initiatives, focusing on employee and labor relations, performance management, training and development, compensation, and talent acquisition.

As chief architect of the regional grocer’s strategic plan and people allocation, Benjamin fosters relationships and maximizes cross-functionality across the company.

She led the transition to an online application and staffng methodology, and at presstime was in the midst of installing an internal payroll and human capital system, as well as developing a strategic succession plan for Jerry’s Enterprises.

She enhanced customer service training programs by the inclusion of a concierge module to reinforce the importance of customer engagement, and developed, coordinated and co-facilitated a workplace disaster prevention training initiative.

Mitch staffed eight stores in nine weeks as Jerry’s transitioned its acquired Rainbow stores to its own banner; this meant interviewing, background-checking and training 555 employees for the 36-hour conversion.

In addition to devising associate refresher customer service training courses for seven major store remodels, Benjamin successfully negotiated three collective bargaining agreements.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Rising staRs

laura wallaCe senior Marketing Manager, Kings super Markets inc.

Playing a key role in the launch of Kings’ new private label program, Wallace helped the grocer win an award for the line’s packaging design, which is growing sales and improving margins. She established a new production process for the line that increased SKU production and speed to shelf, and collaborated on multiplatform marketing and merchandising support that yielded significant increases in unit sales, dollar sales and SKU counts. Wallace relaunched marketing collateral to expand Kings’ 24-hour local produce program, generating numerous multimedia placements and impressions, as well as extensive social media engagement.

KaTie BOGeNsChuTz software solutions Manager, Kroger Technology, The Kroger Co.

Bogenschutz manages Kroger’s loyalty technology team, including 16 applications that support customer insights and analytics, central execution, the digital customer program, and rewards and fuel discounts. She focused on talent development and process efficiencies, reducing her operating expense budget by 10 percent, and the time between testing and application deployment by 50 percent. Bogenschutz is heavily involved in community work, including her position as board member for the Starfire Council of Cincinnati.


heaTher aCKels

weNdi adaMs

software solutions Manager, Kroger Technology, The Kroger Co. Ackels manages Kroger’s instore systems and The Little Clinic team. Her responsibilities include overseeing the budget and managing the support and implementation of multiple tech applications used in stores. Identified as a rising star within Kroger, she participated in the Great People Review Day, improved The Little Clinic’s customer and vendor relationships, and built a strategic roadmap for enhancing the division’s technology. Ackels is volunteer coordinator for the 2015 TechOlympics, and a member of both the Network of Executive Women and Food Marketing Institute, as well as several resource groups at Kroger.

Meat/seafood sales Manager, Mid-atlantic division, The Kroger Co. Adams collaborates with Kroger’s corporate meat merchandising team to create successful sales plans, communicates corporate/division sales initiatives and results, and works to develop solutions that keep the Mid-Atlantic division on track. She led a multidepartment initiative to implement multiple meat/seafood sanitation solutions, and worked with the division to develop and test an e-mail alert system to help achieve food safety compliance. Adams is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Women’s EDGE steering committee at Kroger and a board member for Junior Achievement of Southwest Virginia.

ChrisTa Criswell

Operations Coordinator, Columbus division, The Kroger Co. Criswell’s sphere of influence includes 20 stores in Kroger’s District J. She works closely with store management to identify store opportunities, analyze reports, and make recommendations to improve sales, shrink rates, safety, profit and the shopping experience. She’s an excellent mentor who has worked with countless associates within the Columbus division to help them reach their desired positions. Her district’s outstanding performance includes increased customer count and a 5.5 percent increase in EBITDA. Criswell is active in her church and loves spending time with her family.

KaThy Culver

senior supply Chain Manager, G.O. logistics, The Kroger Co. Culver has direct responsibility for 250 associates, as well as the daily operations at two distribution centers in Kroger’s California network, which supports both the Ralphs and Food4Less store operations. She received a 2014 Logistics MVP Key Award for being a top logistics leader in the organization. Two of her main achievements included overseeing important process certifications and receiving double Superior rankings for the two DCs. Culver participates in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and leads industry education tours through the automated Paramount, Calif., DC for the METRANS/INUF Logistics Council.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

KareN Bird

division Meat/seafood Manager, Michigan, The Kroger Co. Bird is an administrative department head in Kroger’s Michigan marketing area office, where she’s responsible for the meat/seafood departments in 124 stores. Under her leadership, the meat/seafood department has seen positive identicalstore sales growth for three consecutive years. She has also led successful training efforts and served as a mentor to other employees. Bird was recently named the Midwest region’s representative on the Enterprise meat/ seafood steering committee. When not at Kroger, she enjoys staying involved in her two young daughters’ school and dance activities.

Melissa eads

Customer Communications Manager, Nashville division, The Kroger Co. Eads oversees the Nashville division’s customer communication and loyalty/advertising programs. Her job includes managing the communications budget. She spearheaded Kroger’s efforts to successfully pass legislation through the Tennessee legislature to allow wine sales in grocery stores — a $60 million sales opportunity — and helped establish the new Nashville division, a process that included selecting and developing new team members. Eads is a board member of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, the Oasis Center and the Nashville Sports Council.

Congratulations to all the Top Women in Grocery winners!

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Senior-LeveL executiveS

Lori enniS

Talent Development Manager, atlanta Division, The Kroger Co. Ennis guides the talent strategy within Kroger’s Atlanta division, which includes 187 stores and 27,000-plus associates. She led her team through some notable accomplishments, among them opening the division’s first small training center. She also co-developed and now leads a “talent walk” process focused on identifying and developing high-potential leaders. Ennis is a member of the Network of Executive Women and serves as social media co-chair for the group’s Atlanta chapter. At Kroger, she was part of the founding committee to develop the KnowwoMen group, a women’s development group.

Taryn Mynear Kompass Manager, Louisville Division, The Kroger Co.

Mynear’s primary responsibilities include the planning and execution of all in-store resets to ensure the timely placement of new items in stores. Her influence touches 98 stores. Her hard work and dedication helped achieve overall sales growth of 4 percent in grocery, and 27 percent in natural foods. During this time, she helped Kroger team with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to incorporate more than 100 local items in stores, and oversaw the complete revamp of the center store coffee aisle, adding nearly 200 new items to stores. Mynear is an active member of Women’s EDGE within the Louisville division.


Jeanie GooDriCH

KriSTy HoSMan

Goodrich oversees 23 Smith’s pharmacies, which employ about 150 associates. She manages her district’s sales and profitability, staffing and customer service; as well as opening and closing of various pharmacy locations.

Hosman is responsible for all financial aspects of King Soopers’ sales revenue, totaling several billion dollars and multimillion-dollar division earnings.

District Pharmacy Coordinator, Smith’s, The Kroger Co.

Under her leadership, the pharmacies exceeded their district script-count goals, as well as profit contribution and sales; exceeded district immunization goal by 29 percent. Goodrich is involved with the New Mexico Pharmacist Association, as well as with volunteer projects related to UNM Children’s Hospital, Road Runner Food Bank and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Controller, King Soopers, The Kroger Co.

She directed both a financial and a store operations audit with good results, and conducted an extensive administrative deep-dive expense review with the senior executive team, store operations and all administrative department managers. The latter analysis identified current and future cost savings opportunities through 2016. Hosman belongs to the King Soopers/City Market Women’s Associate Resource Group and the Denver chapter of the Network of Executive Women.

Sara ParKer

Division administration/ Total rewards Manager, Fred Meyer, The Kroger Co. Parker leads the overall total rewards (administration, benefits and compensation) strategy with leadership and associates at Fred Meyer. Her job affects more than 33,000 associates in four states. She refocused efforts on increasing associate participation in the WAFC Retail Management Certificate program, which resulted in a 76 percent increase over the previous year, and helped launch a new structured mentoring program and leadership behavior training. Winner of a prestigious customer service award at Kroger, Parker is currently an advisory board member for Oregon State University’s marketing department.

CLare reiLLy

Head of Financial Services, Kroger Personal Finance, The Kroger Co. Reilly’s role is enterprise-wide: Her department has responsibility for driving growth in the financial kiosk category, which includes Kroger ATMs and Coinstar. She led a cross-functional team that launched Kroger’s co-branded insurance product, which offers fuel points on customers’ average monthly premiums. This year, Kroger will test a unique ATM offer in a select market, thanks to her innovation and vision. Reilly volunteered to be the “executive sponsor” of the Kroger Personal Finance Cultural Council, which aims to grow Kroger’s associate engagement score, and recently joined the company’s Veterans Associate Resource Group.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

SHeiLa Lowrie

Division associate Communications and Public relations Manager, Dillons, The Kroger Co. Lowrie oversees internal and external communication throughout the Dillons division, comprising 82 stores in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, and is the division’s spokeswoman. She was instrumental in the initiation and communication of an associate empowerment campaign, and developed a statewide food drive with the Kansas governor, the Kansas Department of Agriculture and food bank partners. Lowrie supports Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, local food banks, United Way of the Plains, YMCA and USO, and earned six medals competing in the 2014 Wichita Corporate Challenge on behalf of Dillons.

Dina Serrano

GM/HBC Merchandiser, Food 4 Less, The Kroger Co. Serrano is primarily responsible for managing and developing grocery category managers and creating a sales plan for Food 4 Less’s 131 stores. She oversaw and drove nearly $2.9 billion in sales, representing almost 55 percent of total division sales, and was instrumental in strategically increasing corporate brand growth. A strong advocate for cancer research, Serrano is currently committee chair for City of Hope’s Southern California Food Industry Circle Fashion Show and a committee member for City of Hope’s Harvest Ball. In 2014, she completed Kroger’s Women’s EDGE Leadership class.

Rising staRs

apRil sHoRes Fuel Manager, Central Division, the Kroger Co.

Shores oversees 89 fuel centers in Kroger’s Central division. Her job includes managing the fuel department’s budgets, profits and goals, and she provides leadership for the opening of new fuel centers. She improved the division’s fuel profitability by more than 81.9 percent over the prior year, managed the opening of eight new fuel centers, revamped the fuel pricing strategy, and developed a fuel training program that had 100 percent attendance. Last year, Shores’ division had the highest average weekly sales for a fuel kiosk in the entire company.

RoRy snavely

Maggie Watts

Warehouse operations Manager, Harris teeter, the Kroger Co. Snavely oversees the perishables, floral and dry goods functions at Harris Teeter’s Indian Trail, N.C., distribution center, where she’s responsible for all warehouse operations to ensure timely, efficient receiving and shipping of product to retail stores. She guided the Indian Trail operation through 20 percent case growth, implemented a Customer Service Excellence training program for distribution, and spent time as a mentor in Harris Teeter’s diversity program. Snavely participated in the Great People Review Day at Kroger, and is active in various nonprofit groups.

grocery sales Manager, Columbus Division, the Kroger Co.

yiMin Xie ie

Controller, Kroger personal Finance, the Kroger Co.

Watts handles grocery sales and profit budgets in Kroger’s Columbus division, working with corporate teams and the division grocery merchandiser on sales planning, space and price management, and service.

Xie oversees and supports the financial results and performance of each individual business line and Kroger Personal Finance as a whole, liaising with senior management and communicating with all Kroger divisions.

During a water ban in the Columbus area, she coordinated the delivery of 90-plus truckloads of water to 23 stores. She also helped achieve great results by supporting Kroger’s Price Refresh program and participating in the corporate brands shipper challenge.

She introduced a number of processes that have improved forecasting capabilities, increased the focus and understanding of cost control, and allowed automation of various processes, and also developed her team through such methods as coaching and job rotation.

Watts delivers Meals on Wheels and is in Kroger’s Women’s EDGE resource group.

Xie and four other associates initiated Kroger’s Asian associate resource group.

Congratulations Kathy Ferguson A 2015 Top Women in Grocery Winner!

A special thanks to all the women at JOH who demonstrate passion and service excellence every day. June 2015 | |


Rising staRs

staCey MILLer

senior Brand Manager, Litehouse Inc. Miller helped contribute to overall bottomline growth of 20 percent through innovative marketing programs, consumer outreach and cost savings initiatives. In particular, she elevated the herb channel to a $16 million product line generating double-digit growth.

CrystaL aCKerMan

Manager, Merchandise Planner, Meijer Ackerman is responsible for maximizing the customer experience through on-shelf availability for 11,000-plus SKUs across all Meijer stores.

She mentored brand managers to grow other product lines and launch products, while creating and implementing a packaging innovation process through internal cross-functional departments.

She eliminated $10 million in excess inventory within two months of moving into a new position and sustained inventory levels below plan for the balance of the year. Ackerman also improved comparable direct-margin returns on inventory investment by five basis points, following three consecutive years of declines.

Miller helped create strategic initiatives for retail sales growth by region, along with training new brand managers for profit and loss, product launch execution, and marketing plans and promotions.

An active participant and key contributor in corporate initiatives for the merchandise planning and grocery teams, Ackerman has received five promotions in her eight years with Meijer.

aManda McVay

divisional Merchandise Manager-home division, Meijer

DeVoe manages all activities for 15 salaried employees and 375 hourly employees servicing 59 stores across Ohio and Michigan that yield $990 million in annual sales. She increased comparable productivity by 7.4 percent while reducing overtime by 30 percent during the first half of the year and by 17.3 percent in the second half, equating to a 26 percent reduction in direct labor dollars and leading to savings of $121,500 in five months. DeVoe was the grocery facility campaign leader for Meijer’s annual United Way team member drive, which netted $18,650 in pledges, exceeding the original goal by 71 percent.

nICoLe sunderLand

regional human resource Manager, Meijer Leading the human resource initiatives for 34 stores and about 10,000 team members in the eastern Michigan region, Rosloniec devised a formalized talent strategy to develop front-line leadership.

By delivering a strategy focused on category segmentation with the most relevant brands, she enabled the hard home division to post a comparable 70-basis-point gain in 2014 — 10 basis points higher than Meijer’s total market share gain for 2014.

She facilitated successionplanning discussions and focused on targeted development activities to equip team members for future leadership roles.


director, supply Chain unit, Meijer

angeLa rosLonIeC

Leading Meijer’s largest general merchandise sales division, McVay was integral in driving a 7 percent growth rate in the housewares and home décor division, which outpaces total company growth.

Her analysis of space productivity for 29 end caps for the hard home division led to a 40 percent sales gain and 70 percent profit growth during the 2014 holiday season.

darLa deVoe

Rosloniec led the initiative to create a new human resources organizational structure to support and sustain a new market launch, which included developing hiring teams and teaming with community leaders and community agencies to source and prepare interviewready candidates.

Manager, Merchandise Planner, Meijer

Sunderland played a key role in altering the perception of Meijer’s apparel lines by selecting compelling, on-trend assortments and improving the lines’ social media presence. Regarded as a collaborative and influential leader, she worked on Meijer’s Look Book, which went out to about 3 million shoppers, and was selected to participate in a major category management pilot in fall 2015. The recipient of a Mentor Award in 2014 as well as an active runner, Sunderland leads a working mothers’ community group that holds health and beauty events to educate women on safe food and beauty options.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Cassandra Kehoe

director, Merchandise, Meijer Kehoe played a pivotal role in building beauty care and cosmetics’ category management process while developing a suite of strategic tools providing streamlined analytics that enable the creation of tailored sets. She orchestrated training for eight buying teams to pilot processes resulting in the standardization and efficiency of execution of category reviews and clearly defined roles; these efforts won her a Director’s Award in Planning. Actively involved in the ART (Aisle Ready Tote) distribution model to optimize replenishment system tactics, Kehoe revamped delivery procedures and pricing optimization.

Judy sweetMan director, Inbound Logistics, Meijer

Leading a team responsible for inbound product flow from worldwide vendors to Meijer stores, reverse logistics, and customs/import compliance, Sweetman streamlined a network inbound appointmentscheduling system. She contributed $3.7 million to pretax profits through the reverse-logistics program, helping to generate margin savings of $9 million. Also, by improving delivery exceptions by 24 percent, she helped establish a high-bay frozen facility and a dry-grocery depot. Sweetman onboarded 65 contract carriers to service supply chain network changes, and led a team that conducted 147 freight analyses to support network changes.

Meet our new family.

Our name is new, but The W∑ nderful Company is a $4 billion business built upon a 40-year history of success. Our healthy products are purchased by nearly half of American households each year. Doing well by doing good is in our DNA. We’ve invested almost $100 million to help protect the environment. We support over 4,500 charities and education initiatives. And we know that making life better for everyone is part of what makes our company so W∑ nderful.

© 2015 The Wonderful Company LLC. All Rights Reserved. THE WO DERFUL COMPA Y, WO DERFUL, the accompanying logos, and all other intellectual property are owned by The Wonderful Company LLC or its affiliates. RL13187

Rising staRs

RoSe tillMan

Director, Retail Services, Meijer Tillman mentors, develops and manages the performance of retail specialists in a 29-store region. She’s overseen three straight years of improved safety metrics and no lost-time accidents, as well as a safety and accountability initiative. She developed content, created the deployment strategy and delivered training for an initiative to reduce product waste, and created and implemented a strategy to improve profit and decrease revenue loss while designing leadership development training. The recipient of a Store Director Safety Milestone award, Tillman is active with the Lions Club.

liSa BlooMeR

Director of Sheeted and Shredded Business units, MoM Brands Bloomer leads the strategic planning, margin management, profit and loss, new product development, and portfolio optimization for MOM Brands’ ready-to-eat cereal businesses. She was instrumental in creating new natural/organic products, including spearheading the launch of instant steelcut oats, changing pack sizes, and optimizing the brand’s portfolio to help consumers find new solutions in the highly competitive cereal category. Bloomer turned MOM Brands’ hot cereal segment from a declining, unprofitable business to a growing and profitable enterprise.

loRi BRoWn

Director Sales-West Region, MoM Brands Managing the western region sales team, Brown transformed doubledigit declines experienced by two key divisions of a large retail account into thriving positive performances. She helped rebuild relationships and restore long-term partnerships between teams at another key retail customer, resulting in vastly improved base business. Further, Brown played a major role in regaining MOM Brands’ distribution at yet another key retail account while boosting new ready-to-eat box cereals at yet another major retailer. Active in a number of trade organizations, including the Network of Executive Women, Illuminators and the California Grocers Association.

anne augeR

Senior Director of Sales, great lakes Region, PepsiCo

Congrats to our VP, Trish James! Senior Level Executive Winner #ProduceForKids #5MillionRaised #HealthyFamilies

HoPe DanielSon Health & Wellness advisor, niemann Foods inc.

Building a successful integrated health-and-wellness program image for all 100-plus formats under the Niemann Foods umbrella, Danielson shares her talents and expertise not only internally, but also with the media, health organizations, schools and community groups. She was integral in Niemann’s County Market banner being named the No. 1 supermarket in its operating markets for 2014. A Produce for Better Health Foundation Retail Role Model in 2014, Danielson is an invaluable resource to the company’s retail merchandising teams, helping to guide a full slate of events, activities and educational outreach.

Katie Collett Director of Sales (Retail), PepsiCo

Auger helped deliver an outstanding year for the largest regional grocer in PepsiCo’s Great Lakes region, as evidenced by superior overall business results that exceeded all bottom-line performance measures and delivered five out of five brand growth targets.

Taking on expanding responsibilities and leadership roles, Collett leads all aspects of PepsiCo’s DSD beverages for one of its largest and most influential retail customers, along with all of its operating divisions, after presiding over the successful East Coast rollout of a new brand.

For her work, she received recognition as 2014’s Best of the Best Great Lakes Region Sales Director and other internal awards.

She’s a trusted adviser who works tirelessly to collaboratively achieve the customer’s and PepsiCo’s joint business plan.

Auger’s charitable and industry activities include sitting on the planning committees for two major fundraising events, and being a member of Pepsi’s Great Lakes Region Diversity & Inclusion Council, and a Junior Achievement of Detroit instructor/volunteer.

A member of the Network of Executive Women, co-chair of the Northeast Region Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN) and a PepsiCo Ring of Honor winner, Collett was also recognized by her employer as one of eight national top performers in 2014.

A Taste of Sweet Excitement comes to Store Shelves!

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ZingTM Baking Blend Stevia & Cane Sugar - easy-pour canister -

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The Zing™ sweetener brand was created with the discriminating Millennial demographic in mind – the younger shopper searching for products with authentic ingredients and a pure sweet taste they can believe in. For this target of youthful, well-informed consumers seeking a delicious sugar substitute made with real ingredients, Zing™ is a victory, a true reason to get excited.

ZingTM Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener Made with only real ingredients of stevia leaf extract and dextrose. Zero Calories per serving. Delicious sweetness. 1 packet or 1/4 tsp. Zing™ Stevia Sweetener = sweetness in 2 tsp. of sugar. 40-count box of single-serve packets & 9.5 oz. easy-spoon jar. Learn more at

ZingTM Baking Blend Stevia leaf extract & pure cane sugar blend. 5 Calories per serving. Bakes and browns like sugar for delicious, golden-brown cakes and cookies. 1 canister sweetens like 2.5 lbs. of sugar. 20 oz. canister with an easy pour spout for quick measuring and a snap-closed lid.

Rising staRs

niCole FlAvin

senior Director of shopper marketing, pepsiCo

Flavin works closely with multidivisional retail marketing, merchandising and customer loyalty teams to build programs that result in a robust and sophisticated shopper marketing calendar. With a proven record of managing top-performing brand portfolios, she leverages her cross-divisional perspective and invaluable contributions to help her current shopper marketing team better connect with consumers in the grocery channel. Flavin’s foresight is helping to set a new partnership agenda with one of PepsiCo’s largest grocery channel partners, delivering a roadmap for transformational initiatives.

mereDiTh WiKToroWsKi

senior Director, pBC sales, pepsiCo

With oversight of the beverage business for a major retail customer, Wiktorowski collaboratively created and executed a robust joint business plan encompassing sales, supply chain, finance and shopper marketing for one of PepsiCo’s major business lines, with the aim of exceeding goals. A recipient of many key awards across the company, she currently serves as president of the board of directors for the Kendrick Fincher Hydration Foundation. Wiktorowski also holds a national leadership position for the Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN) and is a leader for the Pinnacle program for high-potential women at PepsiCo.


emmA smiTh

senior Director, Quaker sales planning, pepsiCo An integral part of a division generating about $3 billion in sales, Smith exceeded share objectives across all core categories and surpassed innovation revenue goals. She drove the Quaker Productivity Initiative, exceeded the plan by $2.5 million and was the executive sponsor of Quaker’s talent transformation team. Additionally, Smith led the national retail immersion “snapshot” day and was a key leader in training and onboarding new associates, as well as hosting a collaborative Quaker Sales 101 event for the marketing and supply chain teams. She’s a PepsiCo Pinnacle Women Leadership participant and Quaker Outstanding Performance Recognition winner.

JAmie sTroh

Director of sales, pepsiCo As general manager of the PepsiCo snack business for a large retail partner, Stroh launched a first-of-its-kind salty/savory/sweet program in the drug channel that achieved 12 percent net revenue growth for the fiscal year. A 2014 PepsiCo Ring of Honor award winner, she collaborated with marketing and activation teams at the same retailer on a front end solution that doubled the immediate consumption snack business. Stroh presided over an organic product launch at another major retail account that powered the brand to achieve a 50 percent gain from original projections, while lifting overall category sales to record levels.

CArole hAmpson

BArBArA WhiTmore

Key Account manager, pharmavite/ nature made Hampson manages and supports five broker divisions across a six-state region, sharing her leadership, insights and knowledge of the vitamin, mineral and supplement category with both customers and colleagues. Her communication skills and strategic approach were integral in helping her deliver and surpass objectives, as evidenced by an overall account sales increase of more than 20 percent in 2014. Hampson implemented and executed a successful off-shelf vitamin basket promotion at a major retail customer, and created new and unique SKUs for a key customer, resulting in a 17 percent comparable increase.

Director of national Accounts, pharmavite/ nature made Working cross-functionally to drive profitable volume and provide category leadership, Whitmore increased sales volume of a national retail account by more than 65 percent over a three-year period. She led the effort to bring innovation to the same retail account through product introductions, targeted promotions and merchandising enhancements, as well as by implementing a new rollershelf concept that will be in place at all of the retailer’s stores by the end of 2015. Whitmore created and executed successful causemarketing tie-ins to benefit breast cancer research and children’s hospitals.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

emiliA TAuss

Director of Category leadership, pepsiCo Tauss teamed with a key retail account’s snack team to deliver 4 percent revenue growth, generating measurable gains in both market share and household penetration in the category. She collaborated with a major retail partner to develop a multiyear category strategy for snacks to enable transformation, which has yielded impressive results, as evidenced by 6.3 percent growth in the first quarter of 2015. Working cross-functionally with innovation, shopper marketing and insights teams to develop optimal sales territories for teams to execute against to ensure sustainable success, Tauss successfully hired, trained and developed numerous key associates.

Kerry-Anne Dempsey

senior Account executive, east Food Team, procter & Gamble Recognized for her people management skills and track record of developing new employees, Dempsey developed strategic business relationships and plans with multiple food retailers, enabling them to improve their cosmetics business performance. She leveraged her 25-plus years of experience to initiate a successful test pilot with a major nongrocery retailer to sell cosmetics. Dempsey is now responsible for the corporate P&G portfolio at several major regional food retailers in New England, where she has honed strong working relationships grounded in establishing joint business plans with monthly scorecards.

Coming Nov.15 -17 • Chicago Presented by the Private Label Manufacturers Association (212) 972-3131

Rising staRs

rachel DouGherty

senior Manager, retail supply, Procter & Gamble Overseeing the end-to-end supply chain for all of P&G’s household needs brands, from all plants and distribution centers to all divisions of a major national retailer, Dougherty worked on a joint supply chain action plan to deliver more than 1 percent incremental growth. She established and implemented several best-in-class processes, including Win With Weather, quarterly reviews and event planning. Dougherty rolled out other supply chain tools and approaches that have been shared and replicated nationally within P&G, including freight attractiveness, and customer inventory targetsetting and management.

lee ann terhune

senior account executive, Procter & Gamble Terhune developed a customized training plan of more than 500 sales professionals, and developed more than 50 national and individual training plans that directly contributed more than $1 million in incremental P&G sales in the grocery channel. She deployed a salesforecasting tool enabling P&G’s sales organization to more accurately forecast sales, accelerate grocery customer market share performance and enhance joint business planning. Terhune created the North American Brand Management Infield Sales Training program, which enables brand managers to deliver highquality launch plans.


Josette FloyD associate Director, customer Business Development, Procter & Gamble

Responsible for a multimillion-dollar business at a leading national retailer as drug/GM team leader, Floyd outpaced the channel in share growth while nailing new item introductions. In addition to her outstanding business results, she earned high marks for her performance and contributions to the business. Leading the recruitment efforts for 49 interns and serving as a mentor to 11 managers, Floyd played a key role in a seamless team leadership transition. As proof of her excellent results, 43 percent of her business reached or surpassed targets.

Joy MeaD

associate Director, Brand Management-Food channel, Procter & Gamble Mead is recognized as a leader in Food Channel Shopper Marketing and has led her to team to deliver six unique scale campaigns delivering hundreds of millions of dollars of incremental NOS. Her work was a key contributor to dollar share and display growth. She worked with numerous media partners to secure co-advertising campaigns, and with vendors to customize programs for the grocery channel. Mead was one of the first category management leaders to help lead P&G expertise in this area. She helped champion shopper marketing, and was promoted to her current post in 2008.

MereDith MensinGer

Kelly MihalisMcGolricK

corporate Dietitian, redner’s Markets Mensinger created TasteStations, a storelevel sampling program that raises awareness of healthier lifestyles. She manages product distribution and supply to ensure execution of both TasteStations and Healthcents, an instore and online publication, and analyzes sales data to improve future promotions. A member of several professional organizations, Mensinger has presented at the Pennsylvania Dietician Annual State Meeting, and has won the Produce for Better Health Role Model Award, the Food Marketing Institute Gold Plate Award, and Supermarket Dietitian of the Year in 2013.

senior Director, shearer’s snacks Mihalis-McGolrick leads the company’s branded marketing, corporate marketing and category selling initiatives. She relaunched the Riceworks brand with new packaging and items, increasing velocity and reversing the negative trajectory of the brand. She also created and implemented the category selling approach, which provided value-added services to customers and led to securing new business at Safeway and WinCo. Mihalis-McGolrick has won several sales and best practices awards from Shearer’s business partner companies.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

VirGinia PalMer

associate Director, customer Business Development-Food channel, Procter & Gamble Palmer demonstrated organizational agility by reorganizing team responsibilities across customers, covering unexpected gaps while maintaining strong customer relationships and a vibrant business. She invested in new hires and was a strong advocate for the development of P&G’s young talent. Palmer dramatically improved new-initiative results across the Southeast region. Currently on track to deliver above expectations on P&G’s most important initiatives, her teams are focused on delivering stronger actionable plans that incorporate key customer planks and P&G strategic choices.

Jeanne nash District Manager, smart & Final

Nash transitioned from leading company safety programs to her role as District Manager in a realigned area; has profit-and-loss responsibility for 19 stores encompassing $240 million annually in sales. She inherited a challenging group of stores with the company’s realignment this past year, and was tasked with developing future leaders in the district as the company expands its store count. Nash developed a strong training and mentoring program within the district that enabled the company to open a new store in the market while continuing to keep surrounding stores staffed with qualified key associates.


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Delivers higher sales and profits in the category! Delivers higher dollar spend and profit from each consumer! The DivaCup Model 1 ranks #27, and Model 2 ranks #29, in $SPPD! Is growing by double digits ($ and units) in same-store sales! Unparalleled advertising support, driving consumer demand to retailers! *Source: IRI, Sanitary Pads and Tampons, Total US - FDMx, Latest 52 weeks ending March 22, 2015. Spins Data, Disposable Pads and Reusable Pads and Tampons, Total US - Natural Channel, 52 weeks ending 04/20/2014.

Rising staRs

stacie sulaK

senior Development, mobile and web, smart & Final

celia woRKman

Sulak is responsible for the design, development, testing and deployment of mobile and web applications for internal use; has deployed game-changing mobile applications that have helped transform the IT department at Smart & Final from “order takers” to “innovators.”

Workman has played an integral role in the development of the company’s new Sun Harvest Organic/ Earth Friendly brand of products and in configuring a new web-based product lifecycle management tool tailored to Smart & Final’s specific requirements.

She introduced a feature to her custom iOS mobile application that displays the schematic location and item details for every item in the store; it also notifies the user if one or more items haven’t sold in a set time period.

She actively participates in private label presentations to ensure associates are knowledgeable about the products and can provide relevant information to customers.

Sulak has received several quarterly awards from the CIO and was nominated as an IT Associate of the Year for 2014.

JenniFeR mcKiney

Regional sales manager, winn-Dixie, tampa Region, southeastern Grocers McKiney oversees the produce and floral merchandising departments for the Tampa region, helping to create and deliver their sales and earnings budget and gross margin. Through her work, the region surpassed the total net produce gross profit budget in produce and floral. She achieved results through her recognition of opportunities at the warehouse, leading to impactful changes, and also created the company’s first-ever floral training workshops. McKiney is involved with the Network after Work organization and Who’s Who in Business.


RonDel HaRtwell

Director, Quality assurance, smart & Final

Workman helped develop and implement a retail food safety audit program to provide stores with the proper training and certification.

Director of competitive Response, southeastern Grocers Hartwell leads a cross-functional team of representatives from merchandising, marketing, construction and operations to create and implement strategies. Southeastern Grocers helped channel $9 million back into its communities through her team and leadership; she integrated corporate and charitable giving processes so information flow for both can be accomplished through one system. Hartwell’s previous roles were director of public relations, community involvement and charitable giving; director of advertising and branding; senior manager, advertising and branding; and manager of supplier diversity.

Kim smitHeRs

Dawn soltis

senior manager, sales and marketing, southeastern Grocers Smithers is responsible for store marketing as a whole, promoting the reasons to shop at Southeastern Grocers’ Bi-Lo, Harveys and Winn-Dixie stores. She led a team that contributed to the messaging and strategic marketing plan for the integration of more than 130 acquired stores, and oversaw marketing support for remodeling 30-plus stores, the rebranding of a pharmacy prescription program, and the 90th anniversary of Harveys Supermarkets. Smithers volunteers at her children’s schools and authors a blog dedicated to cooking: In fact, a potato salad recipe that she developed was added to a national cooking magazine’s database.

Regional sales manager, winn-Dixie, tampa Region, southeastern Grocers Soltis oversees the deli merchandising department for the 85-store Tampa, Fla., region, assisting with the creation and delivery of sales and earnings budgets, as well as gross margin. Her region saw a companyleading 21 percent sales increase. Tampa also led the company in several deli category sales increases, including specialty cheese and chef-prepared foods. The region was the top Cheap Chicken Monday program sales producer and won a Dietz & Watson sales contest. Soltis co-organized a community walk for Turner’s syndrome, raising more than $20,000.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Kim JacKson

Director of advertising operations, southeastern Grocers Jackson’s duties include the daily operation and execution of all advertising programs. She oversees the design and implementation of advertising strategies, plans and programs for the Bi-Lo, Harveys and Winn-Dixie banners. Jackson was marketing lead on a cross-functional executive team that carried out Southeastern Grocers’ integration of 150 newly acquired stores. She has achieved success through her commitment to improvement, communication and collaboration at all levels. The Jacksonville Business Journal recognized Jackson’s skills and achievements with its Women of Influence award.

Deanna stepHens

corporate chef, southeastern Grocers Stephens drives the development of signature recipes and programs, and oversees a team of field chefs. She was the force behind the development of Cheap Chicken Monday, which spurred chicken sales growth by 10 percent over the previous year; played an integral part in last year’s planning and execution of more than 23 grand openings across multiple departments; and developed five regionally based training chefs, creating the position from the ground up. Stephens is a committee member of Children’s Miracle Network and a capital campaign committee member for Baptist Health, among other outside endeavors.

Rising staRs

GinGer BlackBurn

Director of customer Service, MDV, Spartannash co. Blackburn established a focused team of support personnel located within the MDV organization, without adding headcount. First-call resolution rates have improved 200 percent, and customers get focused answers directly from the team. She constructed a plan to improve web portal selfservice to expedite customer service; notable functions include detail order analysis and real-time access. Blackburn co-authored and implemented the expanded distributor discrepancy program, enabling trucks to deliver at, and depart from, a location with minimal administrative work.

carMella cook Hr Manager, MDV, Spartannash co.

Cook teamed with the operations, transportation and distribution teams at the company’s distribution center to build a human capital program that delivered on key results and metrics. She built a strategic recruitment plan and incorporated several key tactics that enabled all departments to exceed staffing projections in a 24/7 environment. She joined forces with the DC director and other senior leadership to build key associate-related programs. By building trust and leading with a heightened sense of dignity and respect, Cook is a champion of the culture committee, which has been recognized by executive leadership.

FranceS conroy controller, MDV east region, Spartannash co.

Conroy worked closely with senior management to provide the level of financial data and tools necessary to manage the business and constantly challenge them to consider critical financial data and develop their plan of action toward financial stability. She led account-mapping and data projects that have streamlined processes throughout her division. Conroy is leading finance efforts toward manually developing reports required for MDV operations to complete performance-metric information, and working closely with payroll and IT leads to capture the required level of detail in reporting payroll data.

DeBra croSS

executive administrator to the ceo, Diversity & inclusion Manager, Spartannash co. Cross is the primary contributor to the origination and development of SpartanNash’s Women Inclusion Network (WIN) employee resource group. Her quick action and commitment provided the necessary leadership and continuity to the WIN Voice team, as well as guidance on how to align programming with the company’s strategic initiatives. Cross was nominated to the newly formed culture committee, and has been a substantial contributor, helping facilitate an eight-month core values campaign and serving as a voice for diversity and inclusion initiatives.

W t W

Heather Ackels Software Solutions Manager Kroger Technology

Wendi Adams Meat/Seafood Sales Manager Kroger - Mid-Atlantic

Michelle Aikens Store Manager QFC

Karen Bird Meat/Seafood Merchandiser Kroger - Michigan

Cheryl Black Chief Executive OfďŹ cer You Technology

Katie Bogenschutz Software Solutions Manager Kroger Technology

Christa Criswell Operations Coordinator Kroger - Columbus

Kathy Culver Senior Supply Chain Manager General OfďŹ ce, Logistics

Michelle C Store Manager Kroger - Louisville

Dussex S King Soopers

tt Henderson Director, Human Resources Kroger - Atlanta

borah Hilt Store Ma Kroger - Southwest

Kri t osman C oller King Soopers


i n ager Ralphs


ette Hater tor of Business Effectiveness Kroger Technology


Pa nn


ee Ma ashvil

tore M

ociate Communications

Vice President of

umbus Dill

Taryn Mynear Store Manager Kroger - Louisville

Sara Grace Parker Division Administration/ Total Rewards Manager Fred Meyer

Clare Reilly Head of Financial Services Kroger Personal Finance

Dina Serrano GM/HBC Merchandiser Food 4 Less

April Shores Division Fuel Manager Kroger - Central

Rising staRs

Paula DoCken Business analyst specialist, spartannash Co.

Mary Jennifer taliCuran

Director of finance, MDV, spartannash Co.

Docken is liaison between the business and IT technical staff; successfully managed key system integration projects following the company’s merger.

Talicuran handles the financial accounting, financial planning, and analysis and reporting for SpartanNash’s military segment, totaling about $2.4 billion in sales.

She demonstrated incredible service, caring and leadership in support of the company’s NFC Foundation; as a member of its board, she was responsible for organizing and running the 2014 Helping Hands in the Community day, coordinating associates’ volunteer projects.

In the wake of the Spartan Stores-Nash Finch Co. merger, she led various systems integration projects for the military division, developed manual reports and appropriate assumptions to forecast weekly financial results, and collaborated on changes and improvements in the weekly reporting to ensure accurate and timely results.

Docken’s unwavering commitment to associates and the foundation resulted in her selection as a trustee for the SpartanNash Foundation Board.

JoDy BarriCk

Director, Bakery & Deli, supervalu Reporting to the VP of fresh merchandising, Barrick is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the bakery/deli department for Supervalu’s West region, including 24 employees. She successfully led the bakery/deli department transition of Midwest and Northern regions into the new West region while gaining new business across the region, and restructured the bakery/deli department to better align with the needs of Supervalu’s customers and the changing retail landscape. Promoted to her current role in 2014, Barrick participates in the IDDBA Show and Sell planning committee.


A certified public accountant, Talicuran completed a five-year term on Saint Gregory Catholic Church’s financial committee.

PatriCia aMy Director technical services, supervalu

Amy is responsible for the day-to-day technical operations of Supervalu’s West Region distribution network. She was key to planning and executing the movement of associates during a consolidation, handling issues of technology and physical space; spearheaded a company-wide print equipment use review that resulted in significant cost savings in equipment lease costs and actual print charges; and headed a team to bring all newly acquired stores onto the Supervalu distribution platform, without missing an order. Amy has consistently taken on additional responsibilities during her 43-year tenure with Supervalu.

Diana ColBurn

kerry CorBet

Director of Human resources, supervalu

Director of Marketing & Consumer insights, supervalu

Carol arkins

Distribution Center Manager, save-a-lot, supervalu

Arkins leads a team of 100 associates at Save-A-Lot’s Plant City, Fla., operation, which services more than 120 corporate and licensee stores. It’s the lowest-cost distribution center in the company’s 17-facility network. She led a strategic initiative to completely overhaul customer delivery schedules, resulting in reduced warehouse and transportation expense, improved customer service levels, and better store in-stock positions. Arkins was instrumental in the development and piloting of a 5-S program to improve facility standards, and led its rollout to all of Save-a-Lot’s distribution centers.

tuCona CrowDer

Director of Human resources, supervalu

As director of human resources for Supervalu’s largest retail banner, Cub Foods, Colburn oversees 77 corporate and franchise stores.

Corbet develops and implements brand standards, style guidelines and brand architecture guardrails for Supervalu’s private brands.

Crowder leads the human resources function for the West region and about half of Supervalu’s independent business.

Colburn was instrumental in the acquisition of Rainbow Foods stores that were converted to a company, franchise or LLC Cub location; helped create and implement a higher level of accountability regarding store standards and execution, leading to better conditions for customers and employees; and implemented a mandatory interactive customer service program for employees.

She led the largest organic and free-from marketing launch in company history, that of the Wild Harvest brand; coordinated efforts to present the program at Supervalu’s first-ever National Selling Expo for independents; and worked on the brand’s internal development with the company’s retail banners. The results: phenomenal incremental year-over-year sales growth.

She was a driving force in the consolidation of three regions into two, working to meet staffing needs; helped advance the new West region’s growth strategy; and, when the East region human resources lead left the company, took on all HR director duties for two regions and 22 distribution centers until a replacement was found.

According to a colleague, Colburn maintains “a strong focus on business results and understands the importance of how HR can really help drive business initiatives.”

Corbet collaborated with various teams and agencies on the development and implementation of streamlined work processes to position the company for future growth.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Crowder is currently helping to lead the HR work associated with doubling the size of the Tacoma, Wash., distribution center to supply Supervalu’s new business acquired from Haggen.

Rising staRs

SHeri dalen account Manager, Supervalu

Dalen is responsible for the budgeted independent retail sales in her territory of eastern North and South Dakota and eastern Minnesota, working with stores on events, promotions, remodels and resets. She achieved outstanding year-over-year like-store sales results in her market area; successfully opened a replacement store in Lamoure, N.D., for which she determined the location and size by analyzing market demographics; and completed a store remodel in Aberdeen, S.D. An Alexa’s Hope board member; Dalen participates in triathlons and marathons, and volunteers at the ever-growing Fargo Marathon.

JenniFer FoSter Senior director, Category Strategy, Supervalu Foster develops technical tools and strategic processes for Supervalu’s corporate, owned retail banner and independent business merchandising departments. She headed a cross-functional team to create a frozen food strategy integrated into owned retail stores’ merchandising efforts and used by wholesale regions to work with independents; led the development and rollout of Supervalu’s Enterprise Data Sharing Strategy with CPGs and brokers; and fine-tuned and streamlined a program supporting category/aisle strategy development for supply chain regions and owned retail banners. Foster sits on Nielsen’s retail advisory board.


Courtney daniel

Consumer Marketing account Manager, Supervalu Daniel is the region special event lead, which includes responsibility for budget, RFPs, layout and working with merchandising to create planners for the events. She produced all marketing materials for Supervalu’s first company-wide Selling Expo for independents, had a record 532 indies participate in Supervalu’s fall baking book; developed a successful backto-school shopper marketing event; and combined all shopper marketing programs during the creation of the company’s new West region to form a single robust initiative. Daniel sits on the board of directors for the Stages Theatre Co.

liSa eCHard

distribution Center general Manager, Supervalu Operating Supervalu’s Green Bay, Wis., distribution center, Echard guides a workforce of 225-plus that services more than 180 independent stores. Despite facility limitations, she encouraged her team to be creative, resulting in improved throughput numbers. Last September, when her facility experienced an ammonia leak, followed by an explosion and fire in one of its outside freezer facilities, Echard shifted customer orders to the Champaign, Ill., DC so that no store would miss a delivery. After the hazmat team allowed access to the facility, her team removed 18 truckloads of product, and all rescued items passed FDA inspections.

ria gray

KiM Hager

lead Merchandiser, Supervalu Gray oversees the daily operation of department functions, working with senior merchandising teams to achieve category business plan goals. She developed a process for category managers to follow, as well as a “planning workshop” training module, to get them on board; devised a Trimester Planning 101 tool covering what needs to happen before and after vendor negotiations; and worked on three out of 12 seminars at Supervalu’s first National Selling Expo for independents, creating presentations, gathering data and serving as an overall subject matter expert. Gray developed and heads the steering committee for Supervalu’s Young Professionals business resource group.

deli Sales and Merchandising Manager, Farm Fresh, Supervalu Hager handles the merchandising, planning, item assortment, vendor negotiation and promotion of all Farm Fresh deli departments. She assembled a tracking tool and process providing every deli item’s weekly performance, enabling her to forecast, invest in and understand the business at the item level; held training sessions establishing a solid foundation and knowledge base for her team; and mentored several department managers through weekly one-on-one meetings and store visits. Hager has implemented the greeting “What would you like to sample today?” for every deli customer and an aggressive companion and suggestive-selling program.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Sally Fatzinger Category director, Save-a-lot, Supervalu

Fatzinger is responsible for organizing and articulating the near- and long-term strategic vision of the merchandising category group, and communicating that vision across the organization. Her business performance exceeded her plan in cost reductions, as well as driving increased indentical-store sales in the most recent periods. She completely redesigned key categories, including paper, pet and baby, with high double-digit results. Fatzinger’s sphere of influence is wide and allows her to carve through the organization, gathering support to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.

Korine Headlee Supply Chain Manager, Supervalu

Headlee oversees the procurement of grocery, frozen foods, dairy, bakery, deli and meat at nine distribution centers. Following the absorption of the Midwest region into the west region, she added three distribution centers to her area of responsibility, more inventory and several hundred independent and corporate stores. She also dealt with the ramp-up of additional volume in the Hopkins, Minn., DC upon the acquisition of Rainbow Foods stores in Minneapolis, which led to the onboarding, training and mentoring of 19 new buyers. Maintaining a calm, positive attitude in the face of challenges, Headlee serves as a mentor to her team.

Rising staRs

Katie HelD

senior Human resources Manager, supervalu Held provides HR generalist support for about 900 technical services employees. She worked closely with the technical services leadership team on offshoring an IT helpdesk function, ensuring the smooth transition of employees and work. Held collaborated with leadership on the reduction of more than 60 positions prompted by a Salt Lake City site closure, helping to identify the right structure and positions needed in Minnesota to take on the work no longer performed at the closed site, and staffing these positions in the time frame needed to support the work.

PaM Hietalati account Manager, supervalu

Reporting to the director of sales and operations, Hietalati establishes sales plans for her territory’s accounts and conducts annual business reviews with these accounts, among other duties. She developed and coordinated a key Alaska customer’s new store opening; orchestrated the redistribution/reallocation for assigned responsibilities at the Tacoma, Wash., DC; assumed the store conversion lead for the Albertson/Safeway divestiture reassignment; and developed a checks-and-balances system to limit returns of a key customer. Hietalati worked with shelf management staffers to identify tools to improve their performance.

Top Achiever

aiJa Jantz

Carrie Jensen

Director of Consumer Marketing, supervalu Jantz has responsibility for the sales and promotions department, as well as the consumer marketing department. With no loss of business, she successfully consolidated two regions’ consumer marketing and sales and promotions departments into the newly formed West region, and also helped develop a cohesive branding message for the West and East regions, including annual vendor and retailer books to drive sales and events, along with ongoing communication and selling materials. Jantz achieved doubledigit year-to-date net income results over budget.

Corporate Director, supervalu

Jensen establishes the strategic vision for her merchandising categories over a three-year time frame, and communicates that vision to her team, banners and wholesale partners. She also develops an annual plan to ensure financial targets are met. She led several projects, most notably the on-time and on-budget installation of new best-in-class LED-lit front end merchandisers for 1,000-plus stores, with results exceeding expectations. Jensen’s many professional honors include a 2014 Outstanding Work Award from Supervalu.

You’re remarkable!

Traci George Pharmacy Zone Manager

Brookshire Grocery Company congratulates our Top Women in Grocery honoree for 2015 – a star performer whose talents and energies make her a shining example of professionalism in today’s grocery industry!

June 2015 | |


Rising staRs

crystaL Johnson corporate communications officer, supervalu

Johnson manages Supervalu’s internal communications vehicles. She created and disseminated messaging for Cub’s acquisition of Rainbow Foods stores, hosting all-employee meetings, creating executive presentations and contributing to grand-opening plans while providing milestone updates throughout the three-month project; helped organize and facilitate Cub’s community events throughout the year; and led the development and creation of new communication vehicles for Supervalu corporate offices, including monthly newsletters. Johnson is the grant manager for the Cub Cares Charitable Foundation.

Jessica London

director, store development and Market analysis, supervalu London creates, develops and leads Supervalu’s store design, store-planning, architecture, engineering, project management, construction, and market-planning and analysis strategic initiatives and activities. She completed 70 percent of the remodel portfolio by the end of the second quarter to realize financial benefits earlier in the fiscal year; added heat mapping for independent business retailers, thereby uncovering additional potential sites; and developed a short-term employee incentive program to meet customer deadlines for multiple competing projects. London won the 2012 IFMA Leading Edge first-place award for office design.


GaiL KoLLMan

riMa Kapadia

director, corporate safety and Food safety, supervalu Kapadia directs Supervalu’s food safety and sanitation efforts, working with banner, merchandising, and supply chain leadership to maintain compliance with federal, state and local health regulations. She played a leading role in the design and implementation of a food safety/defense governance team that provides robust communication, best practice sharing, and coordination among business, legal and compliance functions; worked with a vendor to design and implement an enhanced food safety audit; and led efforts to improve reporting and tracking tools. Kapadia has volunteered at Second Harvest Heartland Food Shelter.

Fresh sales consultant, supervalu Kollman leads, develops, motivates and coaches retail customers’ teams to maximize sales results. She’s directly responsible for 35 stores, and another 15 indirectly. She achieved double-digit sales growth in the Fargo, N.D., market; supervised six Hornbacher’s bakery and deli departments for eight weeks during an employee’s unplanned medical leave, while still fulfilling her regular job responsibilities; and created such extra-effort events as a holiday open house and a wine and cheese tasting. Kollman was co-chair of the North Dakota Grocers’ Cake Challenge, which attracted 45 entries.

anita Mercado senior Manager, sVuniversity and enterprise Learning, supervalu

Mercado guides Supervalu’s training programs and initiatives, as well as the individuals and programs comprising Supervalu University, which provides fee-based learning programs for some of the company’s independent customers. She introduced an innovative customer training program that is now being rolled out across Supervalu’s retail banners; supported efforts to provide negotiations training to people in key merchandising roles; started a company-wide Manager 101 program; and rolled out an e-learning strategy. In her first year overseeing SVUniversity, Mercado put together a strategy for growth and execution excellence.

roBin MorGan

district Manager, save-a-Lot, supervalu

Morgan recruits, supports, coaches and develops her store managers and teams; her stores in Indianapolis consistently score in the top 10 percent for customer satisfaction metrics, and her district experienced the largest increase in identical-store sales for the Midwest area.

Beth Kroutch distribution center General Manager, supervalu

Kroutch oversees logistics for a 1.7 million-squarefoot distribution center in Denver, Pa. She was the in-house project manager and expert consultant for DC projects throughout the enterprise; orchestrated the request for proposal for a dedicated third-party carrier agreement; negotiated to ratification a Teamsters collective bargaining agreement; and implemented the Accident Shutdown and Safety Blitz programs at her DC. Under Kroutch’s leadership, her facility was on track to finish first out of 17 DCs vying for Supervalu’s Champions Cup, awarded based on safety, expense control, productivity and customer service.

BarB parKs

director and associate General counsel, supervalu Parks heads the team providing primary legal support to Supervalu’s real estate and independent business segments.

Her thought leadership and vision led her to be selected for special projects working with key teams on developing best methods and reference guides to improve operating and merchandising standards.

She negotiated and drafted supply agreements in a complex Rainbow Foods stores acquisition; was the lead attorney working on the agreement for Supervalu to serve as a primary grocery supplier for growing West Coast grocer Haggen; and advised on and aided negotiations on the agreement for the company to be Haggen’s transition service provider.

Morgan was recognized in the second quarter of fiscal 2015 for taking on the newly acquired Indianapolis stores atop her daily responsibilities for Save-A-Lot’s Chicago locations.

The National Law Journal recognized the Supervalu in-house legal team as one of the Twin Cities’ legal departments of the year, with a specific focus on Parks’ team’s deal work.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Rising staRs

liz PhaM

corporate communications Manager, supervalu Pham manages communications for Supervalu’s largest division, independent business, along with the corporate human resources department and the Shop n’ Save banner, for which she also guides community relations efforts. She developed all communications for Supervalu’s inaugural National Selling Expo for independents, and created and executed the transition communications plan for a company consolidation of three regions into two, including strategic messaging from the new West region leadership. Pham was the driving force behind a revamped annual corporate giving campaign.

Jacki snydeR director, Payment services, supervalu

ViVian Rank

Rank is the human resources lead on talent development workstreams, including succession planning, development, organization of Supervalu’s business resource groups, and strategy for engagement. She was the primary driver in the successful overhaul of Supervalu’s talent review process, earning enthusiastic approval from the board of directors; spearheaded in just three months no-cost, builtfrom-scratch company-wide training on the performance management process; and was instrumental in the redesign of the store director and assistant director performance review form. Rank is a member of the Network of Executive Women.

human Resources Manager, supervalu Richardson delivers human resources services to Supervalu’s leadership team and employees across multiple states, serving as the first point of contact for all region office associates for any HR need.

She drove a successful full-service payment program for Supervalu-owned stores, Albertsons locations and thousands of independents; worked tirelessly to resolve the issue, faced by many indies, of expired certificates for older PIN pad model units; and helped corporate-owned stores or indies effectively execute on transactions.

She ran Supervalu’s Wisconsin State Fair booth, and Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers events, along with Sentry’s Pink event raising money for breast cancer and its community baby shower to collect funds for newborns, and brought new printing business to her region from Skogen’s, one of the company’s largest customers.

Snyder has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by working with retailers, the Secret Service and card brands in response to fraudulent events.

Soper gained recognition for Sentry stores at Supervalu’s company-wide Selling Expo for independents, where the chain received marketing and radio advertising awards.

senior Manager, Talent acquisition, supervalu Sax staffs positions across Supervalu’s corporate, retail and independent business segments, managing large-volume projects as well as ensuring her team supports business-as-usual recruitment. She not only increased by 30 percent the number of hires completed by her team, she also took the lead on several staffing projects, including a consolidation from three regions to two, for which she ran the effort to fill 125 positions within 90 days, relying on proactive planning, insight and understanding of the business.

Richardson belongs to the Society for Human Resource Management and sits on the board of nonprofit PDM Productions.

She also headed an initiative to increase the staff size at a company distribution center to accommodate a significant increase in volume.

Jessica sPenceR

consumer Marketing account Manager, supervalu Soper supports Sentry Foods and Quality Foods stores’ advertising, and is the key contact for the Skogen’s group and Green Bay, Wis., DC retailers.

Melissa sax

She oversaw the movement of up to 80 associates during region consolidation; temporarily took on the duties of the departing HR director; and led both the VIBE and Focused On You business resource groups, as well as acting as a mentor to the East region Young Professionals group.

Julie soPeR

With responsibility for all of Supervalu’s payment services, Snyder leads the team providing that function to Albertsons and 3,000 independent retail customers.


shelley RichaRdson

senior Manager, Talent development, supervalu

Produce Business support Manager, supervalu

Spencer creates produce category strategies, working closely with growers and field buyers on commodity availability and pricing. Her work supports produce and floral merchandising and procurement for about 196 corporate stores and 1,900 independent grocers.

MaRy VandeR leesT

corporate communications Manager, supervalu

Vander Leest produces and manages internal communication components for specific business divisions, as well as corporate initiatives.

She led a company-wide floral realignment; developed new, streamlined procurement and inventory processes; trained regional teams on systems and processes; and became the acknowledged “voice of floral” throughout the enterprise and vendor community.

She introduced such events as an Academy Award contest, for which employees interpreted nominated films by creating food items made with private-brand products, ensuring that community event sponsorships included private-brand donations. She also created and produced videos broadcast quarterly at all-employee meetings, and promoted retail customer programs on TV.

Her focused efforts on floral contributed to a significant increase in corporate retail sales.

Alongside her communications duties, Vander Leest is president of the Supervalu Foundation.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Congratulations to Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery Honorees!

Terry Bodwin

Patricia Larson

Barbara Miller

Jill Morris

Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer

Director, Product Development

Manager, Marketing Systems

Senior Product Manager, Retail Services

Barbara Oberhammer

Pamela Simmons

Patti Walsh-Zauzig

Manager, Grocery Purchasing

Manager, Customer Satisfaction

Director of Sales, Service Deli Bakery

“Having seven members of our Unified team recognized among the best in our industry reflects the strength of our organization and the overall quality of our people. We are very proud of our honorees’ many accomplishments and success.” – Bob Ling President and CEO, Unified Grocers

323.264.5200 |

Rising staRs

miChelle StenGel

Senior Category manager, Produce, topco associates llC

Stengel manages all freshcut floral sales and purchases for the member-owner cooperative. She successfully launched such innovative floral programs as a Cupcake of the Month Bouquet promotion that creatively tied in with retailers’ bakery departments, resulting in incremental sales increases of up to 15 percent; oversaw an aggregation-based product offering that brought in an additional $1.5 million in sales; and added a multimillion-dollar vendor by streamlining its procurement efforts and identifying operational and supply chain efficiencies. Stengel takes part in Pets in Distress’ rescue initiatives.

BarBara miller

manager, marketing Systems, Unified Grocers Miller has enterprise-wide IT responsibility for Unified Grocers’ procurement and marketing business units. She developed a new wholesale pricing technology that allows Unified to be more responsive to pricing within a highly dynamic market and gives retailers a greater competitive advantage, and was a leader and key contributor in the development of new third-party logistics programs enabling engagement in new partnerships with retailers and suppliers at the local and national levels. Miller revamped Unified’s perishable systems platform to boost operating efficiencies and better serve retail customers, thereby increasing market opportunities.


Cheryl ColBert

tamara hUrley

human resources manager, tops markets llC

With a territory encompassing the Finger Lakes, Midstate, Syracuse North and Syracuse South districts, Colbert works with the four district managers and the regional VP. Over the past year, she opened three new Tops stores, played a key role in the acquisition of another, successfully negotiated a union contract covering 10,000 associates, and recruited and trained more than 20 managers to fill crucial store-level positions, all while taking part in the Cornell University human resources certificate program. Colbert has won the Top Trainer/People Developer award four times at annual business meetings.

General manager-Grocery Warehouse, tops markets llC Hurley has authority over the day-to-day functions of a 600,000-square-foot warehouse that provides grocery product to 157 Tops stores. She led her team through the complex transitioning of warehouse ownership to Tops Markets LLC, and spearheaded a warehouse reslotting project that resulted in a 25 percent reduction in selector errors and an overall net inventory adjustment reduction of more than 30 percent, while maintaining selector productivity and reducing support labor. For her tireless work to get September designated Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in New York state, Hurley received an official proclamation from the governor.

Jill morriS

BarBara oBerhammer

Senior Product manager, Unified Grocers Morris is responsible for about $2 million of retail technology products and services for all four Unified Grocers divisions. Leading a cross-functional team, she made major improvements to the company’s Business Center retailer web portal, among them simplifying user interface and site operations. She also led in developing new back-end processes and procedures, delivering greatly improved data integrity and customer satisfaction, and overhauled Unified’s proprietary price management software application. A winner of many awards in her field, Morris is also active in her church, developing outreach programs to educate and support youths.

manager, Grocery Purchasing-Southern California, Unified Grocers Directing category managers, buyers and purchasing assistants, Oberhammer oversees $600 million in annual retail sales, generates $20 million in annual revenue, and manages 10,000 items and $27 million in inventory. She generated $7.4 million in incremental sales, surpassing her $1.5 million target; aided the execution of the Speedto-Shelf Initiative; and helped boost sales under the SUM Secondary Display Sales Initiative by 16 percent, or $600,000. She’s earned certificates from the Unified Grocers Supervisor Certification Program, the Operational Category Management Seminar and the Food Industry Management Program.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

PatriCia larSon

Director, Product Development-Gm/hBW, Unified Grocers

Larson leads Unified Grocers’ product development, procurement and marketing for general merchandise and health beauty wellness products, with an annual sales budget of $130 million. She led the launch of Unified’s GM/HBW distribution center in Stockon, Calif., and the transition of Raley’s GM/ HBW business to Unified, adding about $85 million in annual volume to the business; played a key role in onboarding 100 Haggen stores in California; and increased Unified’s volume of key import/seasonal GM programs. Larson takes part in fundraising walks and activities supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Pamela SimmonS manager, Customer Satisfaction-Pacific northwest, Unified Grocers

Simmons oversees customer service/relationships for Unified Grocers’ Pacific Northwest division. She was the main point of contact for fulfilling product shipments and transportation needs in regard to Unified’s new Haggen business, played a major part in the implementation of a new order management system for perishables into the company’s Oregon and California regions, and assisted in developing a product shipment auditor program to ensure the quality of loads sent to the company’s customers, which achieved targeted savings of about $2 million. Simmons was recognized for her efforts to provide relief to victims of the 2014 Washington and Oregon wildfires.


To our own award recipient,

Denise Inmon

your leadership is greatly appreciated.

© General Mills

Rising staRs

PATTi WAlSh-ZAuZiG Director of Sales, Service Deli/bakery, unified Grocers

Walsh-Zauzig is responsible for all service deli and bakery sales and service to Unified Grocers’ customers in all operating regions in the West. She led an inexperienced team to positive sales growth of 8.62 percent over last year’s sales; planned and guided her division’s order management system conversion from OMNI to OMS5, despite not having an executive director or director of procurement to rely on; and was key to the development of Unified’s Haggen storeonboarding project. Walsh-Zauzig serves as a board member and CFO for the Northern California Perishable Council.


buyer, natural and organic Specialty Foods, Valu merchandisers Co. Sapp is the key buyer for more than 5,000 natural, organic and specialty items, as well as the buyer and coordinator for Valu Merchandisers’ organic private label program. She helped drive 20.6 percent sales growth in her department; was the key point person in the executive team’s launch of a private-brand organic label for 3,000 member stores; and created and produced monthly web blast sales presentations to drive impulse sales, helping to generate 60 percent sales growth. The company has recognized Sapp for her quick response to product and pricing issues with retail members, and follow-ups from the senior team.

Amy Thornbury buyer, health beauty Wellness, Valu merchandisers Co.

Jason handles all aspects of floral merchandising, including procurement, sales budgets and in-store execution, in 163 Weis Markets stores.

She developed and implemented several programs with independent retailers to recapture and expand beauty categories, resulting in incremental sales for retailers; her involvement in a cosmetics category review and update of assortment resulted in doubled sales in the category for the last fiscal quarter; and she played a pivotal role in the retail launch of various natural and organic health and personal care items.

She and her team delivered strong floral sales increases through a new outdoor sales program offering full-size Christmas trees for the first time, enhancing overall floral variety, expanding the Creations by Weis in-store floral arrangement and the graband-go floral arrangement offering, and providing such value-added services as custom arrangements for special events, and deliveries.

Thornbury has been promoted twice in the past three years.

Jason increased the company’s focus on training, development and career-pathing for floral associates.

Amy GAllone

Director, Customer Service, Weis markets inc.

Store Director, Store #7747, Philadelphia, Acme markets

McGregor heads a team that plans, develops and implements customer service to grow sales, improve the shopping experience and increase customer satisfaction.

Following McGregor’s efforts, post-training customer satisfaction scores and mystery shop results increased in the fourth quarter.

Director of Floral merchandising, Weis markets inc.

Thornbury negotiates product purchase costs with suppliers and recommends product mix changes to the category manager.

Kim mcGreGor

Her team successfully launched a customer satisfaction survey and mystery shop program to provide stores with real-time customer satisfaction data and improve operations, and worked with senior leadership to identify service standards and behaviors to create an exceptional shopping experience and develop a customer service training program.

luCy JASon

Gallone oversees 125 employees in her high-volume, 72,000-square-foot store on Philadelphia’s bustling Red Lion Road. She restored the store to profitability, tripling EBITDA in the fourth quarter over the previous year.

Store Managers

Gallone’s strengths include customer service: The overall service score for her store was 85 percent in 2014, which is among the highest in the chain. She’s also demonstrated merchandising skills, winning a company contest for items sold during the back-to-school season, and was recognized for selling the most pounds of roast beef during Super Bowl weekend.

June 2015 | |


Store ManagerS

SHeRRy BeitleR

iliana del Valle

Through mentoring and leadership, Beitler drove items, sales, merchandising, and engagement on a continual basis, raising her store’s company rankings to first and second for merchandising and engagement, respectively.

Del Valle’s store ended 2014 in the top five in many areas for its region, including the No. 1 spot in overall satisfaction, meat quality, bakery quality, overall prices, deli service and store-brand share.

Store Manager, Giant food Store #6422, temple, Pa., ahold USa

She coaches associates to advance in roles of increasing importace that enables them to meet and exceed personal and professional goals. Beitler’s charitable spirt is depicted by her particiation in such efforts as MDA Lockup to raise money to help send kids with muscular dystrophy to camp, and the Salvation Army Annual Shoe Strut, which benefits the organization’s Harrisburg, Pa., chapter.

donna lonSinGeR

Store Manager, Martin’s Store #6466, altoona Pa., ahold USa Lonsinger attributes her success to a passion for associate empowerment, encouragement, coaching and training. This management style has led to record-breaking sales in her store’s bakery, deli, seafood and floral departments. She successfully implemented Ace POS register installation and training, computer-based and hand-held ordering, and efficiency savings; prepared for the rollout of a new pricing approach; and successfully transitioned to fresh packaged meat. For the fourth-quarter sales kickoff, Lonsinger’s store hosted the first Holiday Open House in the Altoona market, inviting more than 100 local businesses.


Store Manager, Stop & Shop Store # 0061, longmeadow, Mass., ahold USa

She assisted other stores to prepare for and execute the rollout of a major companywide initiative for the general merchandise and grocery departments and also helped conduct the district’s “model store” standards walk-through at her location. Del Valle held a highly successful fundraising event at her store during the holidays to help collect toys in support of Toys for Joy.

MaRiBel dicHaRd Store Manager, Giant Store #0743, arlington, Va., ahold USa

Dichard’s store ranked No. 1 in its region for organic recycling. Her store built a strong partnership with the Arlington Food Assistance Center, with the front end team recognizing associates who helped raise the most in food donations through suggestsell items located at the back of registers. These items also drove incremental sales during a crucial time as it underwent remodel. Dichard’s store provided water and snacks to the Americans Veterans Center’s annual conference and its Memorial Day ceremony, as part of an ongoing partnership that promotes Giant’s name among the military community.

JoHanna RodRiGUez

nicole StokeS

Store Manager, Stop & Shop Store #556, Hempstead, n.y., ahold USa

Store Manager, Stop & Shop Store #619, Windsor, conn., ahold USa Facing a competitive intrusion, Rodriguez challenged her team to become more creative with merchandising through such activities as a Super Bowl display contest in which the winning team received prizes. This approach led to positive identical-store sales going into 2015. Her location was a pilot store for the 5S concept, which concentrates on total operations of a department to become more effective while improving associates’ work and creating a healthier work environment. Rodriguez developed two part-time associates, who transitioning to full-time, and her store hosted many local community events.

Stokes’ store exceeded goals in customer-tracking studies scores regarding overall quality, product in-stock position, helpful employees and customer likeliness to recommend the store to others. With the rollout of a company initiative related to maintaining clean floors in the store, which aimed to decrease customer and employee accidents as well as maintain a cleaner environment, she personally trained associates on how to complete cleansweep walks. Stokes’ community activities include donating 100 turkeys to the town of Hempstead to feed needy families.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

MaRy HUffMan

Store Manager, Giant Store #357, Bethesda, Md., ahold USa Huffman’s store won a company-wide Jarlsberg cheeseselling contest, and increased its produce sales from fifth to a consistent second place while staying under budgeted payroll. Also successfully campaigned for her store’s produce department to be the first to undergo an extensive remodel. Her store experienced an increase in overall sales over the prior year, in response to her fulfillment of consumer requests for more natural and organic items, and her retraining of staff to be customer service-oriented Huffman is in touch with the community needs by attending and participating in PTA meetings, scout troops and various charity groups.

Jeanine Wolczyk Store Manager, Giant Store #6081, Hazleton, Pa., ahold USa Wolczyk’s store achieved positive identicalstore sales growth, despite the community’s economic challenges, and increased its commitment to community involvement. She taught associates to embrace the area’s multicultural aspect, expanding their knowledge of Hispanic products and lifestyles, and began merchandising toward this customer. Wolczyk and her team have formed a partnership with the Hazleton Integration Project, which enables disadvantaged children to participate in noor low-cost educational, cultural and athletic activities, through such annual events as a Back to School Carnival and Breakfast with Santa.

Advantage Sales and Marketing congratulates all of Progressive Grocer’s 2015 Top Women in Grocery. We’re very proud of our own award recipients, whose leadership, vision, and dedication are vital to our success. Senior Executives

Tanya Domier

Andrea Young

Lori Stillman

Chief Executive Officer

President Experiential Marketing

Senior Vice President Business Intelligence

Rising Stars

Sarah Bell

Kelsey Hampton

Katie McCants

Bonnie Reinke

Senior Director Account Services

Account Executive

Director Client Services

Director Sales

Marilu Robles

Bethany Slentz

Robin Wethli

Manager Marketing

Client Team Leader

Client Team Leader

Store ManagerS

DoNNa hiLLiarD Store Director, albertsons, Garland, Texas, albertsons Safeway

Hilliard oversees some 100 employees at her store, and has also served on the company’s Store Director Council. Her store’s performance hit all metrics (sales, gross, labor, shrink and profits), and the location has achieved a double bonus several times under her exceptional watch. Developed many department managers for the company, which attests to her affinity for coaching and mentoring. Among other outside activities, Hilliard is an affinity program leader in the community for the Dallas Chamber of Commerce.

micheLLe craWForD

Store Director, Big Y World class market, east Longmeadow, mass., Big Y Foods inc. Crawford and her team of 215 associates finished 10th in the company in employee engagement in 2014. During the past year, her store was at or near the top of the chain rankings in sales, gross profit, labor, waste control and bottom-line contribution. Further, her store ranks eighth in sales and fourth in net income, attributed to her ability to control expenses while driving top-line sales. Crawford has received a Store Manager of the Year award for her performance on operational disciplines.

Kim mace

Store manager, Grantsville and Glenville, W.V., Stores, Foodland Mace led the successful launch of the Foodland Fuel and Rewards Card at the Glenville Foodland, which increased market basket totals, customer count and store sales. Her stores generated greater sales than the previous year, and the Glenville store attained top-10 status in the G.O.L.D. (Grand Opening Look Daily) program multiple times. Mace tutors at local grade schools and is active in her church, in addition to her active support of her alma mater, Glenville State College.

we celebrate fresh ideas from remarkable leaders


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Tami NemeTh

executive Store Leader, market District Store #40, Shadyside, Pittsburgh, Giant eagle Nemeth succeeded in driving sales, improving evening conditions, reducing costs, celebrating her team’s collective successes by creating a team environment, improving labor efficiencies, improving customer service goals by 2 percent, and cross-training leaders to manage multiple departments. She lifted sales through the promotion of Market District’s points of difference, employing resets and an in-store visual merchandiser and graphic artist. A United Way supporter, Nemeth is also active in the local Chamber of Commerce.

Meijer congratulates all Top Women in Grocery, including our very own: Crystal Ackerman

Amanda McVay

Elizabeth Clement

Janna Oswald

Julie Croll

Angela Rosloniec

Darla DeVoe

Nicole Sunderland

Cassandra Kehoe

Judy Sweetman

Karen Mankowski

Rose Tillman

Store ManagerS

TAlly MerTes

store Director, Omaha no. 11 (nebraska), hy-Vee Under Mertes’ oversight, three-year old Omaha No. 11 has seen double-digit sales increases, with higher profits every quarter. She developed the Produce Butcher department, where staff cut vegetables at customer request. Mertes is a leader in health and wellness. Omaha No. 11 was one of Hy-Vee’s first stores to add a health concierge, and she improved pharmacy services through rapid diagnostics, as well as increasing flu immunizations by more than 50 percent over last year. She earned the distinction of Master of Retail Operations through Hy-Vee University, a company program that develops store directors.

Michelle Aikens store Manager, QFc #874, Bellevue, Wash., The kroger co.

Aikens successfully led her team through an extensive store remodel in 2014 without missing a beat. Throughout the remodel, the store maintained positive sales increases and finished the year with an 11 percent increase. She’s committed to daily communication, conducting store huddles with her associates and celebrating and rewarding successes on a regular basis. Aikens has been recognized by QFC’s top management team for her strong performance. In fact, she was invited to give a presentation to a corporate SVP during a quarterly review.

ABBie OlsOn

store Director, Pella (iowa), hy-Vee Olson recently moved to the Pella, Iowa, store, where she oversees 157 associates; she was previously

store director at Dubuque No. 1 (Iowa), where she led a team of 325 employees.

losing sales. The result was an updated store offering an enhanced shopping experience.

While in Dubuque, she oversaw a major store remodel while providing excellent customer service and not

Her efforts in Dubuque led directly to her move to the Pella location, with similarly great results expected.

Store ManagerS

MiCheLLe CuMMinS

Store Manager, Kroger #784, Louisville, Ky., The Kroger Co. Cummins successfully opened one of the most unique Kroger locations in the country in January 2015 — a tri-level store that includes two food trucks, a specialty cheese shop and a restaurant. The store exceeded its sales budget within its first week.

MaGGie duSSex

In 2014, Dussex became store manager at one of the division’s newest Marketplace stores. The store is consistently among the division’s highest-volume stores in sales per week, and also earns high marks in customer satisfaction.

She selected a dynamic leadership team and led it through teambuilding and various store visits to prepare. Two days before the opened, her team held a Family Night.

She celebrated National Popcorn Day by providing freshly popped corn to customers and associates, and led her team to wear red every Friday in February, in support of Heart Healthy Month.

Kroger selected Cummins to sit on two separate focus groups, one for high-performing store managers, and the other to discuss the impact of the coordinator staff at store level.

Dussex works hard to train, grow and develop her associates, and is a mentor to new associates. She’s also a founding member of the Women’s EDGE resource group at King Soopers/City Market.

deboRah hiLTon

Store Manager, Kroger #398, League City, Texas, The Kroger Co. Before moving to her current store in October 2014, Hilton ran an upscale metro store in downtown Houston. In 2013-14, the store’s sales increased $20,000 a week because of her leadership. Additionally, she was a store manager mentor and counseled two management trainees. She was asked to become captain of District 2’s safety team. Kroger also chose her to participate in its Women’s EDGE resource group, as well as the High Volume Store Leader program. Hilton has won the Best in Class Leadership Support Award, as well as other honors, from her various district managers.


KaRen hanSen

Store Manager, King Soopers #136, brighton, Colo., The Kroger Co.

Store Manager, Kroger #959, Carmel, ind., The Kroger Co. Hansen and her team achieved a 13.1 percent sales increase in 2014, which followed an equally impressive same-store sales increase of nearly 13 percent during the prior year. Her store was in turn chosen as the pilot for a first-of-its-kind expansion for Kroger’s central division. From 2009 to 2014, she served in a special assignment role working in facility engineering. In this unique capacity, she acted as a liaison for all store remodel projects. Hansen received the central division President’s Award in 2014, which vividly attests to her overall excellent performance and invaluable contributions.

debRa Kennedy

PaMeLa Lee

Store Manager, Kroger #722, dayton, ohio, The Kroger Co.

Kennedy assumed responsibility of a new high-volume, upscale store as her first store manager assignment. She led her store team consistently to doubledigit sales increases versus the previous year, and earnings results that exceeded company averages. She continued to explore special events that create a sense of theater for her shoppers, and successfully trained employees in other divisions. Kennedy is actively involved in Kroger’s Cultural Council and sits on the board of the Division Cultural Council. In 2013, she was selected to be a part of the Cincinnati/Dayton division’s Talent Review Day.

Store Manager, Kroger #535, bowling Green, Ky., The Kroger Co. During the summer of 2014, Lee’s store experienced major competition, yet she was able to help it continue improving sales and profitability. To prepare her team for the new challenge, she organized an out-of-town competition visit and led booster meetings. The store team finished the year with a 5.98 percent sales increase versus the prior year. She’s part of the Nashville division’s Women’s EDGE Leadership group, where she serves as a member of the new membership committee. She was also recently elected Cultural Council co-chair in District 3. Lee was named Store Manager of the Year by Kroger’s Nashville division.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

CheLSea haRRiSon

Store Manager, Ralphs #287, San Clemente, Calif. Throughout 2014, Harrison helped lead her division and was recognized for customer service scores that consistently outpaced the district. During the beginning of the year, she led her store to positive comparable sales of 1.46 percent. She was next transferred to a lower-performing store, which she helped turn around with positive comps of 4.32 percent in the last quarter. She was selected to participate in Kroger’s Women’s EDGE program. Harrison is now taking a break from her store management duties to expand her skills by participating in the Food Industry Management program at the University of South Carolina.

Robin Lind

Store Manager, Kroger #641, Port Clinton, ohio, The Kroger Co. In 2014, Lind and her team generated sales growth that was 24.6 percent better than the previous year, with each department achieving double-digit sales increases. The cumulative results subsequently led the store to its first-ever $1 million sales week. She personally mentored two associates to become successful deli/bakery managers. Lind supports United Way and Nate Washington’s Foundation Turkey Giveaway, and volunteers annually in the Making Strides walk to end breast cancer. Outside of Kroger, she loves spending time with her family and traveling.

Store ManagerS

rubby zapata

Store Manager, Food 4 less #307, bell Gardens, calif., the kroger co. Because of her successful track record at Food 4 Less, Zapata was selected to manage the Bell Gardens, Calif., store in October 2014. During Thanksgiving week, she and her team reached a new sales record of $1 million. The store has been running 3.27 percent in identical-store sales.

ElizabEth clEMENt

Store Director, woodhaven, Mich., Meijer Clement earned first place in her region for sales volume by setting standards that foster a great customer experience. She accomplished this through a program featuring a recognition component that drove team member engagement.

She’s created strong partnerships with associates, vendors and the Food 4 Less marketing department to meet the needs of a diverse customer base.

Achieving the top sales volume within her region and earning platinum status for shrink management in all four quarters of fiscal 2014, she also earned the impressive distinction of being No. 1 in sales for featured products.

A member of the Women’s EDGE leadership class at Kroger/Food 4 Less, Zapata is a role model and mentor.

Clement participates annually with local police departments on a major program benefiting local children.

JaNNa oSwalD

Store Director, cadillac, Mich., Meijer With oversight of 300-plus team members and leaders, Oswald promoted 10 associates to key positions; in fact, she’s recognized as a regional development resource. She spearheaded interactive team meetings and customer outreach for a highly positive store environment; led a store remodel while growing store results; worked with a local university on a diversity awareness program for the store team; and created a leader development program using book club methodology. A Blue Ribbon customer service award winner in 2012 and 2013, Oswald was also a Food Safety Store Manager of the Year nominee.

Juli Duckworth Store Director, county Market #223, Dixon, ill., Niemann Foods inc. Duckworth is the topperforming store director at Niemann Foods. With oversight of 100 employees, she consistently maintains a profitable, exceptionally well-run store. In addition to her professional excellence, she participates in a variety of breast cancer awareness and fundraising activities, to the extent of donning a pink Superwoman costume on occasion. Duckworth began her 25year career as a cashier and has risen through the ranks, graduating at the top of her Niemann Foods Leadership Academy class.

Congratulations to our top women in grocery

Kerrigan McKay

Mary Taylor

Senior Manager, Real Estate

Director, IT Field Service

Melissa English


Manager, evelopment

Amy Gallone

Store Director

ACME is indebted to these fabulous women for their servant leadership, extraordinary efforts, superior results and unwavering commitment to making our business better every day. Congratulations on being named a Top Woman in Grocery. Thank you from the entire ACME family.

Store ManagerS

veroniCa maCias

store manager, extra!, rancho Palos verdes, Calif., smart & Final Macias oversees 40 partand full-time associates at one of the Smart & Final’s top performing locations. Her store’s high standards and customer service scores are exceptional, as are its associate engagement levels and team work. In 2014, her leadership efforts produced annual sales of approximately $20 million. Macias was a model for others this past year with shrink control, and put programs in place to ensure results were not only achieved, but also exceeded. She won district store of the year for 2014, and at presstime was in the running for regional and company store of the year.

niCole eCkhardt

store director, metro health village Family Fare, Wyoming, mich., spartannash Co.

Eckhardt strengthened the store’s produce offering, especially in organics, resulting in a $154,000 sales increase over the previous year, and removed all shippers and displays from grocery aisles, creating a clear shopping path for customers and improving grocery sales. She restructured and restaffed the store’s pharmacy, thereby boosting sales and script counts from last year. Eckhardt has led her team to participate in such successful efforts as the Food for Families County Wide Food Drive, the Feed Your Furry Friends Food Drive and the annual Salvation Army Bell Ringers campaign.


stePhanie salinas

yolidurky romero

store manager, extra!, Bakersfield, Calif., smart & Final Salinas manages 40 associates and is responsible for training, coaching and developing associates and other managers in the district. She was hired in 2006 as a part-time associate, and was promoted to a management position within two years. Salinas is an expert at managing and nuturing challenging stores. Areas of particular strength in this regard include improved operating standards and invigorated shopping appeal. At her current location, she increased comparable-store sales by 6 percent and improved customer service levels.

store director, Winn-dixie store #247, miami, southeastern Grocers

Berry’s team’s customer satisfaction score achieved the highest marks in the district; she also led her 135 associates to the district’s highest food safety audit score.

She’s also taken on other important roles and responsibilities, including participation in the Miami region Store Director Council and managing the bilingual team for LBI conversion projects.

With the highest sales per transaction in the region, she guided her team to the most profitable year ever at the Parkview location, reducing operating expenses while increasing sales and customer satisfaction.

Romero’s leadership extends into the community through her work with the Kiwanis of Little Havana Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that assists underserved youth by providing educational and recreational programs to families in need.

elaine manoviCh

store director, d&W Fresh market, holland, mich., spartannash Co.

She worked extensively with all team members to nurture relationships and foster camaraderie, and was able to transition two associates to more senior positions. Customer and associate satisfaction scores both rose significantly. Morehouse completed SpartanNash’s Leadership Challenge as well as outside leadership advancement courses such as Inforum and Varnum Public Speaking.

store director, Parkview d&W Fresh market, kalamazoo, mich., spartannash Co.

Romero leads a staff of 90 associates, who respond positively to her leadership style and energy, resulting in positive sales and profit growth year after year.

Brandi morehouse

Morehouse grew sales at her store by $1,712,000 in fiscal year 2014 — the 6.5 percent increase over the previous year was the highest in the district and the region. This was accomplished without any major changes to the market.

amy Berry

store manager, Cub Foods, Cottage Grove, minn., supervalu

Having taken the helm of a store with poor morale and declining sales, Manovich revamped the associate culture and reversed the sales trend, despite new competition in the area. What’s more, her store was able to capture 90 percent to 95 percent of sales from a closing rival store. Sales in her store were consistently 20 percent to 22 percent higher than last year, thanks to outstanding store standards and community involvement, including an award-winning partnership with the Holiday Train that runs through Cottage Grove every Christmas. Manovich constantly develops her team to take on greater responsibility.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Berry and her team held a successful Special Olympics fundraiser, and have helped build homes for Habitat for Humanity, which underscore her inspiring leadership abilities.

Jamie Jamison

store manager, Farm Fresh, elizabeth City, n.C., supervalu Taking the helm of a store with a negative sales trend, an underdeveloped staff, a new grocery competitor and no community involvement, Jamison developed a well-trained staff of motivated, competitive associates; reduced payroll expenses; lowered total-store shrink; and improved the store’s bottom line performance by double digits over the previous year. Under Jamison’s leadership, her location was singled out for having the Best Chicken and being the Best Grocery Store in eastern North Carolina. She received the Skills Award for going above and beyond in bringing people with disabilities into the workplace.

Store ManagerS

Vicky reiling

Store manager, Shop n’ Save, Twin oaks, mo., Supervalu

neynA roSe

Peg Worden

Store director, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, Burke, Va., Supervalu

Transitioning from assistant store director to store director, Reiling challenged her team to promote products to shoppers in new, more interactive ways, including outside the store; placed particular emphasis on freshness throughout the store, as in the deli department, where she worked with high-potential associates on presentation, production of product, and customer service; and improved her store’s Voice of the Customer scores.

In addition to raising sales from last year, lowering shrink and increasing profits, Rose presided over a store remodel while maintaining excellent store conditions and was a district lead for training and developing new management. Further, her location provided valuable insights as the test store for Shoppers’ Optimal Grocery sets.

Worden became a member of the President’s Club, which honors the managers of the company’s highest-volume stores, and led her location to be a finalist for Weis Markets Store of the Year.

She’s received several awards for sales, shrink improvement and performance.

These steps have resulted in a positive sales trend versus last year.

Rose is a sponsor for West Springfield Kindergarten, and runs training classes for Fairfax County, Va., schools on special needs children, among other community activities.

Worden’s store hosted a $40,000 product donation event, featuring an appearance by NASCAR star Richard Petty, to benefit a local food bank, and regularly teams with a local high school, providing ice for its home games and snack items for its concession stand.

Reiling is a member of Shop ‘n Save business resouce group NEED (Noticing Everyone, Embracing Diversity).

Amy ZimmermAn

Store manager, mountain Top, Pa., Weis markets inc.

She expanded variety and increased sales in key ontrend categories such as natural, organic and gluten-free.

Store manager, Brodheadsville, Pa., Weis markets inc.

Zimmerman earned entry into Weis Markets’ President’s Club, which honors the managers of the company’s highest-volume units. In 2014, her store’s sales increased nearly 8 percent in a highly competitive market affected by a rival’s grand opening. She improved the morale of her store by clearly communicating store goals and leading by example. Zimmerman was also able to increaseher store’s overall customer satisfaction scores by nearly 3 percent over the previous year. Her previous location, in Honesdale, Pa., received the company’s Most Improved Store of the Year in 2014.


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Protein Report


in Numbers

Protein is hot, and alternative sources are challenging meat’s center-of-plate dominance. By Jim Dudlicek


mong the current health-andwellness food trends, protein is coming on strong. A recent Nielsen global health report found that 30 percent of North American consumers rate a “high in protein” attribute as very important in their purchasing decisions, and 23 percent are willing to pay a premium for products that are high in protein. As a result, Schaumburg, Ill.based Nielsen reports, products with protein claims grew about 3 percent in dollars over the past year. “Interest in protein will continue to drive consumption,” afrms Sherry Frey, SVP at the Nielsen Perishables Group. “More than half the U.S. population is seeking out foods high in protein, with a signifcantly higher percentage (73 percent) reportedly consuming high-protein food and beverages in the past year. Te accelerant behind protein growth is consumer understanding of the relationship between protein and its role in weight management,

muscle development, strength and energy.” Americans also demonstrate an understanding of how to manage their diets for optimal health. More than 70 percent of U.S. adults stress the importance of protein, healthy fat, whole grains, and calories when contemplating how to manage their diets and weight. Further, there’s an increased awareness of the health benefts of protein, and through exposure to global cuisines, consumers are trying alternative protein sources such as quinoa, chickpeas and even edamame. Tese types of alternative proteins are now more readily available in consumers’ local grocery stores. “Recognizing this increased consumer interest is an opportunity for retailers,” Frey says. “With products with protein claims appearing all over the store — from milk, cereal and yogurt, to snacks and even candy — retailers shouldn’t automatically assume those products will cannibalize each other.” In Nielsen’s initial research around the protein

FasT FacT

57% The percentage of consumers making an effort to consume more protein, an increase of 9 percent versus 2012 —The NPD Group, 2014 survey

June 2015 | |


Protein Report craze, Frey reveals, “we’re fnding protein-hungry consumers want all types, products with claims as well as meat. In the meat case, there are opportunities to leverage nutrition information to showcase protein content/educate consumers. Another opportunity is to pay attention to global cuisines gaining interest with consumers, to identify new and upcoming alternative proteins.”

The accelerant behind protein growth is consumer understanding of the relationship between protein and its role in weight management, muscle development, strength and energy.” —Sherry Frey, Nielsen Perishables Group


Shifting Behaviors To be sure, nutritional, environmental, animal welfare and economic issues are conspiring to topple meat from its historic center-of-plate dominance. “While fresh meat is still a vital component of retail store health, accounting for 11 percent of store sales, consumers are shifting their purchasing behaviors and attitudes about meat as they assess the thickness of their wallets in light of these challenges,” Nielsen reported on April 30 of this year in “Where’s the Beef? Why Consumers are Buying Less Fresh Meat.” “A sobering 41 percent of respondents to a recent Nielsen survey said they are purchasing fresh meat less often because of higher prices, and 37 percent are buying less-expensive cuts of meat to ofset rising costs,” the April report noted. Average retail prices of fresh beef and pork increased 15.5 percent and 14.1 percent, respectively, while corresponding volume sales for each dipped 6 percent during the 52 weeks ending Feb. 28, 2015, according to Nielsen data. Rather than switching to lessexpensive cuts of meat, consumers are simply buying less meat, or not visiting the meat department at all. To beef up meat sales, Nielsen recommends correcting everyday pricing without over-relying on promotions, managing price gaps between substitutable cuts, and cross-merchandising meat with other categories across the store to create meal solutions. Meat also faces a challenge from the USDA, whose latest proposed dietary guidelines recommend a diet higher in plant-based foods than animal-based ones, because it’s “associated with lesser environmental impact than is the current average U.S. diet.” Te draft guidelines advise reduced consumption of red and processed meats, for reasons of health as well as the carbon footprint. Meat industry trade groups are lobbying for the guidelines to retain lean meat as a recommended dietary component, urging the agency to focus on nutrition rather than the environment. Meat stalwarts among grocers also support animal proteins and defend modern agricultural practices. “We are so lucky to have the best and safest animal agricultural production system in the world,” declares Kelly Mortensen, meat director for Salt Lake City-based Associated Food Stores. “We do and should be feeding the world with our great agricultural products. Tere is very little com-

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

merce that h we as a nation are participating in that is more sustainable than agriculture at all levels. Our producers’ productivity is of the charts. Tey are producing more and better protein products with fewer natural resources than ever before, and they seem to get better each year.”

Reinforcing Meat’s Value Suppliers are stepping up to reinforce meat’s value as a primary protein source. “Consumers want and need guidance on protein, so the Beef Checkof works with suppliers and retailers to ensure they have the latest protein science and the tools to use in their sales and marketing eforts to meet this demand for information on complete high-quality protein foods,” says Cheryl Hendricks, strategic account manager and registered dietitian for the Centennial, Colo.-based National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor for the Beef Checkof. “Lean meat is key to the retailer’s basket ring and overall retail performance.” Educating shoppers about high-quality protein sources and helping them make informed purchasing decisions, along with empowering healthminded shoppers to feel more confdent in the meat department, “are key ways they can build customer loyalty and drive sales,” Hendricks says. Among the group’s initiatives is the 30-day Protein Challenge, which ofers guidance for consumers looking to boost their protein intake, and the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” campaign, which has been reinvented using digital marketing tactics to reach Millennial consumers. “Consumer interest in protein has skyrocketed,” Hendricks observes. “Retailers have a unique opportunity to be a source for knowledge and resources for these inquiring shoppers, to drive loyalty and also boost sales of protein-rich foods like beef.” She cites data indicating that 91 percent of consumers eat beef monthly, asserting, “Nothing satisfes like beef.” Mintel research would seem to support that contention. “Consumers do not perceive the current crop of meatless products as healthy; 42 percent of all consumers say they are too processed, and more than a third (36 percent) regard them as too high in sodium,” says William Roberts Jr., senior food and

FAMILIES IN NEED ARE ASKING FOR MILK Milk is one of the most requested items at Feeding America® food banks nationwide. But donations fall far short of the need. That means many of the 16 million children who struggle with hunger every day miss out on milk’s high-quality protein and other essential nutrients. It’s a big problem.

The Great American Milk Drive® is the answer.


© 2015 America’s Milk Companies.®

Invigorate your milk sales without discounting

Drive foot traffic and new customers to your stores

Strengthen your community presence

MELISSA MALCOLM, MILKPEP Let’s discuss how to put The Great American Milk Drive to work in your stores. Mention this ad during our conversation and I’ll donate a gallon in your name for your time and interest.


Protein Report

Consumer interest in protein has skyrocketed. Retailers have a unique opportunity to be a source for knowledge and resources for these inquiring shoppers.” —Cheryl Hendricks, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association


drink analyst at the Chicago-based market researcher, in the executive summary of its “Protein Report — Meat Alternatives — U.S. — January 2015.” Hendricks also points to functional benefts of animal-based proteins, including beef, pork, poultry, fsh, eggs and dairy products. “Although soy and quinoa are complete proteins, most plant-based proteins found in vegetables and grains are considered lower-quality or incomplete proteins because they are less digestible and defcient in one or more essential amino acids,” she explains. Wooster, Ohio-based Certifed Angus Beef takes an active role in sharing nutrition information with consumers. “We work hand-in-hand with retailers to bring nutritional information to shoppers, frst by connecting with nutrition and meat science experts to better understand the science of beef nutrition, and then to help retailers best communicate this information to consumers,” says Tracey Erickson, the brand’s VP of marketing. Te increased competition for protein dollars has led Tyson Fresh Meats to develop strong promotions during seasonal time periods to make sure fresh meat is top of mind for shoppers. “We’re also ofering more variety to meet the needs of busy consumers,” says Kent Harrison, VP of marketing and premium programs for the Dakota Dunes, S.D.-based company. “We are developing products that help make it easier for consumers to get favorful meals on the table by cutting cooking and preparation times, and providing packaging that is convenient and easy to clean up.” For example, Tyson’s Crafted Creations line combines high-quality cuts with favors and applications that best complement the specifc attributes of that cut. In addition, the company works with retailers to most efectively reach targeted consumers through promotions such as summer grilling initiatives for its Star Ranch Angus and Chairman’s Reserve Certifed Premium Beef brands. Te new consumer focus on nontraditional proteins also has spurred companies like Creekstone Farms Premium Beef to adopt a diferent strategy by expanding its variety, such as its ABF Duroc pork program, launched in June 2014. Further, Creekstone Farms soon will soon launch a non-GMO beef program, explains Jim Rogers, VP of sales and marketing for the Arkansas City, Kan.-based company. “Much like our pork program, we believe that consumer demand for high-quality, protein-rich beef will be a contributing factor to this program’s success and growth,” he says. “We work with our retail partners to ensure they are aware of these trends and are communicating the message to their shoppers that animal-sourced proteins meet their protein needs, and are also a great source of additional vitamins and minerals that may not be in

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

nontraditional protein sources.” With an an increase in pork supply l and d moderatd ing prices, “we hope retailers will capitalize on this opportunity by featuring pork consistently throughout the summer,” notes Patrick Fleming, director of retail marketing for the Des Moines, Iowa-based National Pork Board. “As an industry, we need to own the protein category,” Fleming says. “Consumers are looking for good sources of natural protein, and they love the taste of fresh pork. Tis is the focus of our promotional campaigns and point-of-sale materials.” Also crucial, he adds, is educating consumers on preparation to create positive experiences that “ensure repeat purchases and long-term loyalty.”

Playing Both Sides For suppliers that play in multiple protein categories, retailers face additional opportunities. “As consumers’ awareness and desire to include protein in their diets expands, Organic Valley and Organic Prairie have seen expanded interest from our retail partners to carry a broader portfolio of our dairy, egg, meat and soy products that all provide high-quality unrefned proteins,” says Tripp Hughes, director of brand management for La Farge, Wis.based farming cooperative CROPP/Organic Valley. Leveraging the combined trends of protein and organics, Organic Valley provides its retailer partners with a robust program of POS, in-store demos, staf training and shopper marketing campaigns that all highlight protein content and functionality, and are designed to drive trial. “We’re also working to understand where the consumer is shopping for protein in-store, whether it’s the dairy case, the snack aisle or the grab-and-go cooler, depending on the product, and seeking primary or secondary placements accordingly,” says Kelly Gibson, the co-op’s director of relationship marketing. Broomfeld, Colo.-based White Wave Foods, once part of dairy giant Dean Foods, sees growing demand for plant-based proteins such as its Silk brand of soy beverages and yogurts. “We also continue to see demand for dairy-based products,” notes Rebekah Lyle, White Wave’s director of marketing and innovation, who ofers as an example its Australian-style yogurt, Yulu, which

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Protein Report

With consumer interest growing for protein, especially sustainable plant-based proteins with no cholesterol, we have seen a shift in retail offerings.” —Nancy Chapman, Soyfoods Association of North America


delivers 10 grams of protein per serving “without the too-sour favor some people fnd in Greek yogurt.” To be sure, the dairy industry is climbing aboard the protein train, aiming to shore up traditionally fat milk sales by promoting its products’ protein richness. But dairy promoters have their marketing work cut out for them. “Consumer awareness of dairy as a source of protein is very low,” admits Cindy Sorensen, VP of business development for the Midwest Dairy Association, citing research indicating that just 12 percent to 16 percent of adults know that cheese, milk and yogurt are sources of protein. “Te good news,” Sorensen continues, “is that consumer awareness is increasing about the benefts of protein consumption. Tese benefts include lean muscle building, muscle recovery after exercise, satiety and weight loss, healthy aging, and benefts to joints and bones. Tese benefts target growing demographic groups such as Baby Boomers, athletes and weight-conscious consumers.” Midwest Dairy, with three ofces in the region, provides social media content, recipes and protein messages for retailers to use as communication tools, and also provides training and educational materials for retail dietitians to employ when communicating with shoppers. “Currently, intake is the lowest at breakfast,” Sorensen says. Tis presents an opportunity for both manufacturers and retailers to ofer high-protein foods in breakfast oferings. In addition, grocers may consider ofering high-dairy protein foods through increased product oferings on the shelf or through breakfast-onthe-go opportunities, perhaps utilizing the salad bar [as] a breakfast bar during the morning hours.” Sorensen suggests that oferings could include yogurt or smoothies, with whey protein to boost protein content; cottage cheese; and Coca-Cola’s new Fairlife milk, which contains 50 percent more protein than most fuid milk. On a broader scale, the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) has been pursuing its Milk Life campaign, designed to “help consumers understand that starting the day with milk’s protein can help everyone accomplish what’s important to them,” explains Victor Zaborsky, VP of the Washington, D.C.based trade organization. “Tis robust and innovative program has shown consumers that milk is an easy and afordable way to get high-quality protein.” According to Zaborsky, recent Milk Life advertising has positively shifted campaign-specifc attitudes toward protein at breakfast. With turnkey tools and resources that retailers can activate to engage shoppers on a local level to efectively remind consumers of the high-quality protein found in milk, grocers “can support the growing awareness and perceptions of milk’s nutritional benefts,” he says.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Additionally, Additi lly branded dairy products are pushing their protein power. For example, Santa Barbara, Calif.-based ProYo frozen yogurt, launched three years ago, delivers 20 grams of protein per 4-ounce serving, “the highest concentration of protein of any other frozen treat on the market,” says Nathan Carey, ProYo’s president and founder. And Boston-based Luminate Nutrition LLC has launched Zig Portable Protein Shakes, a whey-based, just-add-water product designed to make it easier for consumers to use protein powder while on the go or away from home. Designed as a snack or pre-/post-workout shake, Zig ofers 20 grams per serving of premium whey protein powder freshly sealed inside a pouch.

Cracking the Code Eggs and egg substitutes comprise considerably more than half of the protein alternative category, with $4.8 billion in sales accounting for a 61 percent share, compared with beans’ $2.3 billion worth of sales for a 30 percent share of the category, according to the executive summary of Mintel’s aforementioned January 2015 “Protein Report.” “Eggs resonate with the vast majority of consumers (92 percent report any consumption), and more than half of all consumers (53 percent) eat them at least a few times a week,” Mintel reports. “Millennials lead in terms of high-frequency consumption (61 percent), but half of Generation X and nearly as many Baby Boomers and the Swing Generation X (45 percent and 48 percent, respectively) likewise consume the products at least a few times a week.” According to Mintel, more than a quarter (28 percent) of Millennials said they’re eating less red meat, as are almost a third (32 percent) of Baby Boomers, yet they have yet to turn to meat alternatives in its place. Per capita egg consumption and egg sales have been growing steadily, afrms Kevin Burkum, SVP at the Chicago-based American Egg Board (AEB). “In fact, 2014 marked the ffth consecutive year that egg consumption has increased, reaching a 30-year high of 263 eggs per person,” he notes. “Tere’s no question in our mind that protein has been one of the primary drivers behind that growth.” Recognizing, like MilkPEP, opportunities in the morning, Burkum says many consumers are shifting beyond dinner “to spread out their protein


Psst! The (soy) secret is out. Label vegetable oil as “100% Soybean Oil” to drive higher sales.

Research demonstrated a 12% increase in store-brand vegetable oil sales when promoted as “100% Soybean Oil.” Visit to learn more. United Soybean Board’s Consumer Attitudes about Nutrition 2015 survey


The United Soybean Board does not guarantee increased vegetable oil sales resulting from retail promotions.

Protein Report consumption into diferent dayparts like breakfast. We also believe this protein megatrend has staying power and will continue to be a force behind increased egg consumption in the coming years.” To educate people about the health benefts of eggs, Burkum says, “our partnerships at retail tend to focus on the importance of starting the day right with a protein-flled breakfast and will typically showcase an on-the-go, protein-rich recipe that accommodates today’s hectic lifestyles. We’re also looking at diferent ways we can weave eggs into meals beyond breakfast to fulfll protein needs at other dayparts,” including snack opportunities with hard-boiled eggs.

Soy, Grains and Beans Other alternative proteins, such as soy and grains, continue to gain momentum as vegetarians, vegans and so-called “fexitarians” banish or reduce meat from their diets. According to Mintel, meat alternatives (frozen, refrigerated and entrées combined) account for barely more than 7 percent of the category, a portion that declined by half a percentage point over the past two years as tofu, tempeh and seitan sales grew nearly 4 percent. “With consumer interest growing for protein, especially sustainable plant-based proteins with no cholesterol, we have seen a shift in retail oferings,” says Nancy Chapman, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Soyfoods Association of North America. “Certain categories of soy-based foods and beverages have shown signifcant growth in recent years, including the consumption of cereal, nutrition and energy bars, and beverages with added soy protein.”

Grocers may consider offering highprotein dairy foods through Te association reports these statistics: increased product Sales were led by the food bar category offerings on the ($1.6 billion), which experienced rapid growth shelf or through (17 percent CAGR since 2011), as did the overall breakfast snack bar category. Increased sales of bars with soy protein refect the current national fascinaon-the-go tion with protein and meal replacements. opportunities.” —Cindy Sorensen, Midwest Dairy Association

Cereals (mostly cold) with soy protein found breakout success in 2013, with a climb of 20.5 percent CAGR between 2011 and 2013 to $201 million, and soy-containing snacks experienced similar growth (24 percent CAGR since 2011) to $85 million on the back of the same trend. Beverages including soy, such as packaged cofee drinks, smoothies and juices, are a bright spot, increasing by 12.5 percent CAGR in the two years since 2011 to a 2013 total of $210.5 million.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

According to Chapman, the association is expanding its retailer outreach eforts beyond National Soyfoods Month in April to take place year-round, encouraging product sampling, cooking classes, recipes and social media promotions. “Vegans and vegetarians are seeking protein from a variety of sources,” notes Tebbie Chuchla, director of marketing for Lake Success, N.Y.based Hain Celestial Group Inc. “Soy has traditionally been the optimal source of protein for vegans and vegetarians, as it is the only complete plant protein.” Hain’s WestSoy brand ofers traditional tofu as well as favored varieties. Wheat and pea proteins are also gaining in popularity, and in response Hain recently launched Yves Veggie Cuisine, a line that includes Garden Ground Round, Slices, Hot Dogs and Burgers. Not ignoring meat eaters, Hain also ofers antibiotic-free poultry, including Plainville Farms turkey, FreeBird chicken, and Empire and Kosher Valley chicken and turkey oferings. “Consumers are evolving and looking for more choices,” Chuchla observes. “Millennials are driving much of this change.” Lewiston, Idaho-based 13 Foods is leveraging a growing demand for simple, clean and natural food to create a new category: cooked, ready-to-use frozen beans. “Plant protein with the additional benefts of fber in an easy-to-prepare format is driving retail grocery chains to expand their frozen vegetable category to include our simple and versatile products,” says Mike Anderson, president of 13 Foods, which ofers black and red beans, chickpeas, and lentils. “We are working with our retail partners on instore advertisements, sampling and temporary price reductions. It’s important to let consumers know of the availability of ready-to-use beans outside of the canned aisle. As awareness grows, it will drive new customers to the frozen category.” PG Read more about protein product and sales trends at

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Coffee and Tea

Solo Sips

Pods and other shelf-stable solutions for one are bringing the coffee and tea segments to a boil. By Bridget Goldschmidt


ofee and tea have long been popular beverages worldwide, but new single-serve delivery systems hitting the shelves have turned the heat up on these venerable drink segments. “According to a recent report by the National Cofee Association (NCA), single‐serve machines are the second most used cofee equipment in the household, after drip cofee makers,” notes Amy Lester, spokeswoman for Emeryville, Calif.-based Peet’s Cofee & Tea Inc. “Also according to the NCA, 27 percent of U.S. households own a single-cup brewer.” “Single-cup brewing is becoming the new norm,” afrms Cynthia Hswe, VP of marketing at Portland, Ore.-based Boyd Cofee Co., who cites the same report. “Also, brewer afordability is helping to convert prior traditional-brew consumers, as well as bring in new cofee consumers into the category.” Te main reasons for this trend, according to Lester, are “convenience and variety — the singleserve format ofers consumers a way to quickly and easily brew a cup of cofee. By brewing one cup at a time, there are more opportunities to explore diferent favors, roasts and varieties.” Hswe similarly sees the “signifcant increase in sales and shelf space for

single-serve products [as] a signal of a shift in cofee and tea consumer behavior towards convenience.” Beyond that, she observes, “Single-serve products also tend to be proftable for retailers, so they’re willing to devote increasing shelf space to them.” Portsmouth, Va.-based Massimo Zanetti Beverage (MZB) USA performed its own study, which yielded additional insights. “Our research shows single-serve use is driven by personal, experiential and usage occasions — one person desires a single cup that is easy to make and ready in a moment,” explains MZB USA VP of Marketing Brian Kubicki. “Individual preferences concerning brand variety, taste intensity and diferent favoring choices are other major factors. Finally, there’s ubiquity — single-serve machines are seemingly everywhere, from a growing percentage of homes and workplaces, breakrooms and ofces, to waiting rooms and hotel rooms.” Manufacturers’ fndings are borne out at retail. “We continue to see strong sales in the single-serve and pod oferings,” says Maria Brous, director of media and community relations at Lakeland, Fla.based Publix Super Markets, which operates 1,102 stores across six Southeastern states. “Customer convenience is driving the category, as customers can each select diferent favors of cofee without having to brew an entire pot.”

Pod Cast By now, everyone’s heard of cofee pods, but tea is increasingly being ofered in the same format. “In North America, hot tea pods — which carry a much higher price per serving than individual tea bags — continue to increase their share of total retail value and provide a new avenue for value creation in the industry,” writes Anne Bruce on


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Such major tea brands as Bigelow, Lipton, Tetley and Twining already ofer their product in pod form. Tea and cofee purveyors are naturally keen to emphasize the quality of such products. “We put a great deal of efort into ensuring our Peet’s K-Cup Packs deliver a full favor that many do not expect in this format,” observes Lester. “We use the same beans and artisan approach in our Peet’s K-Cup Packs that we do in our bag beans. On average, we put 20 percent more cofee in our Peet’s K-Cup Packs than our leading competitors.” Tis July, the company is augmenting its K-Cup Packs collection with full-favored Sumatra, long a customer favorite, and medium-roast Guatemala San Marcos, a brand-new brew available exclusively in this format. Lester describes the latter as featuring “chocolate-tasting notes.” “Innovation in single-serve and pod oferings has allowed Starbucks to build its leading position on the K-Cup platform through ongoing product innovation, such as the introduction of single-origin cofees and seasonal cofees, including holiday blends,” notes a representative from Seattle-based beverage behemoth Starbucks. As well as being used to create hot brews, the pods

can deliver cold drinks — the latter particularly desirable as the weather grows warmer. With this knowledge in mind, Starbucks launched Starbucks Sweetened Iced Cofee K-Cup Packs and Tazo Sweetened Ice Tea K-Cup Packs in March. “Tese new Iced K- Cup Packs are specifcally crafted to brew over ice, ensuring the rich, bold iced-cofee and refreshing iced-tea favors reminiscent of the iced beverages available in Starbucks stores,” the rep says. Melitta, meanwhile, is adding to its existing line of Café De Europa capsules and bringing out a second line of Melitta branded capsules in four varieties — Classic, Colombian Supreme, Hazelnut Crème, and Euro Dark Roast — in the third quarter of 2015, according to Chris Hillman, VP marketing at Clearwater, Fla.-based Melitta USA. Along with their contents, the pods themselves are a focus for many consumers and manufacturers, particularly in terms of the items’ eco-friendliness. “Te negative issue associated with single-serve is clearly the waste generated by the billions of cups

June 2015 | |



Coffee and Tea

that are making their way to landflls across the marketplace,” admits Clay P. Dockery, division VP, corporate brands at MZB USA. “All cofee roasters are looking for the best alternative to solve the environmental challenge.” One major way the industry has addressed the problem is through a 100 percent compostable cofee pod developed by Torontobased Club Cofee. MZB USA plans to convert its entire portfolio of single-serve cofee pods to the PürPod100 format, which will be introduced frst through the company’s Chock full o’Nuts, Hills Bros. Cofee, Kauai Cofee and Segafredo Zanetti brands in the retail, foodservice and online channels. “Not only is the pod compostable, but the ring is also made with cofee chaf, the skin of the cofee bean, which has previously simply gone into the waste stream,” notes Dockery. “Tis product will be available in late 2015 across a variety a brands and ofered to retailers for their private brands.” Among those also adopting the PürPod100 are Boyd’s Cofee and Indi-

ana-based, family-owned Copper Moon Cofee. “An added beneft is that our new single pods will also be Organic Fair Trade as well as 100 percent compostable,” notes Copper Moon CEO Brad Gutwein. “We think these new pods will be very appealing to retailers and consumers alike.” “Innovation in single-serve with the compostable pod will play a signifcant role in the cofee category,” predicts Dockery. “Many municipalities in the United States have initiated commercial composting, and many more will join in the near future.” Other manufacturers, however, have made their own contributions to the planet’s environmental health. “Our capsules are, and always have been, recyclable,” points out Melitta’s Hillman.

Promotion and Merchandising Single-serve cofee and tea products may be on everyone’s lips — and down everyone’s throat — but they still need to be promoted and merchandised to their best advantage to keep sales brisk.

The Partner of Choice for 35 Years Scott Uguccioni, SVP of Sales at Barnie's CoffeeKitchen® talks about the value that a complete coffee portfolio brings to retailers.


arnie’s will celebrate its 35th year of cofee leadership in October. With this long heritage, we bring a wealth of experience and knowledge that most other competitors cannot claim; We are truly unique in the cofee world. The cofee category has become a crowded place. Noncofee entities such as shoe manufacturers, musicians and bakers CupUP ® are trying to be cofee roasters. Savvy shoppers now know the diference between legitimate cofee brands and “me-too” brands. Consumers want authenticity and embrace brands with values. Cofee lovers want their cup of joe from respected experts - not novices.

Barnie’s, with a track record for cofee quality, is one of the very few players who have developed innovative products from one end of the spectrum to the other. We did this to excite a range of consumer desires and so that retailers can have a trusted resource across price points and lifestyles.


Our cofee portfolio includes BREWSTICKS®, the only cold-brewed liquid instant cofee on the market; CupUP®, the gold cup standard for single serve cofee; ground cofee and proprietary cofee flavors that consumers love; and Crop•Ex™, a new

line of single origin super premium whole bean cofees. We also continue to build a successful liquid cofee flavoring business for dairy and Crop•ExTM bakery products. With our proprietary cofee flavoring, grocers make ice cream, yogurt, eggnog and other dairy products. Barnie’s brings tremendous value to the grocery arena and is the cofee partner of choice. As we approach our 35th year, we thank our retail customers and look forward to many more years of revenue-driving partnerships. •

For more information, contact Scott at or 407.854.6612


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

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Coffee and Tea

“Te majority of our stores have an 8-foot section with single-serve options to include the traditional brands such as Folgers, and we also ofer Green Mountain, Starbucks, Publix private label and everything in between,” says Brous. “We often feature/promote our single-serve options in our sales circular.” “Tese items should be merchandised by segment type — i.e., mainstream products, premium products, etc., together — and by brand,” advises Melitta VP Sales Ed Mitchell. “Te category has become as heavily promoted as cans and bags, with the majority of the volume sold on promotion. Many retailers are promoting these items with bag cofee at a common price point and with pre-packed foor displays.” “We’ve had great success driving trial with instore sampling paired with coupons or promotional pricing,” says Boyd’s Hswe. “When people have the opportunity to taste our [eco-friendly] soft-mesh

True Brew Cold-brewed products promising a superior drinking experience are now available at retail. If you want to know why cold brewing is better, ask someone who knows: Greg Steltenpohl, founder and CEO of Bakersfield, Calif.-based Califia Farms. “Where do I start?” Steltenpohl replies. “First of all, it tastes better. It’s simply smoother because the beans have never been burnt or heated up, so they haven’t released the oils released during hot brewing that lead to acidity. [That brings] me to the second big advantage: Cold-brew coffee is perceivably less acidic, leading to a more enjoyable caffeine buzz with less stomach trauma. Cold brew is also an artisanal process, and like most things, the quality of taking your time to make something right comes across in the nuances of the final product. Millennials [in particular] appreciate quality over flash; they’re looking for authenticity and craft beverages, and cold brew hits the spot.” To lay claim to that spot, Califia has brought out refrigerated Concentrated Cold Brew Coffee in a Tetra Pak container. “It’s an amazing innovation, allowing people to personalize to energize, because it can be mixed with water for black coffee, creamed with almond milk or creamer, heated up, served on the rocks, blended, shaken, poured over ice for an affogato — you name it,” enthuses Steltenpohl. “One package makes eight cups of smooth coffee at a one-to-one coffee-to-mixing-liquid


flter product,” which, she explains, enables cofee drinkers to experience the fresh-roasted cofee’s aroma, “they immediately understand its diferentiation from the competition, and promotional pricing or coupons encourage them to buy it on the spot. Te successful trial then drives repeat purchases.” “We … focus our promotions for Peet’s K-Cup Packs on the quality and favor that they deliver,” notes Lester, citing in-store POS that takes that approach to store aisles. Copper Moon’s Gutwein, meanwhile, believes that “pallet and corrugated shipper promotions containing attractive signage [are] a great way to promote single-serve items.” PG For more about coffee and tea, visit

ratio, and our bold, beautiful package stands out on shelf, giving consumers a highly customizable and accessible premium coffee experience at home.” The company is currently in the midst of a six-month event marketing campaign running from April through September in the New York metropolitan area, dubbed #RemarkablyNYC, in which the entire Cold Brew Coffee line is being sampled at various street events, concerts, and foodie and fitness gatherings, among other Big Apple happenings. “We’re raising awareness of our better brew in the city that never sleeps, to provide clean energy to the people all summer long!” notes Steltenpohl. In center store, meanwhile, Orlando, Fla.-based Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen has launched a retail merchandiser program for Brewsticks, which the company describes as “the only cold-brewed liquid instant coffee on the market that makes iced or hot coffee by blending instantly with water.” The merchandiser’s first customer was Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets, with other retailers set to join the program in the second quarter of 2015. According to the company, “The colorful and engaging floor-standing merchandiser visually illustrates the many features and benefits of Brewsticks,” an all-natural and gluten- and allergen-free item that’s 100 percent cold-brewed Arabica coffee. “The versatility of this product is demonstrated with cross-category uses with recipes that include crème brûlée coffee pancakes, coffee flan, Hawaiian hazelnut Brewsticks coffee Bundt cake, and many more,” Barnie’s adds. The merchandiser features a tear-off recipe pad, and the above and other recipes are available at

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

“Authentic Italian” driving retail sales of growing specialty foods category Putting an A.C. Milan bumper sticker on your Honda Odyssey doesn’t automatically make it a sexy Italian sports car, nor does picking up a can of “Italian Style” canned Roma tomatoes guarantee you are getting the authentic Italian experience, grown on the sun-kissed hills of Valle del Sarno. Knowing that difference—between the real thing and a pale imitation— has become increasingly important to American consumers. And savvy retailers are seeing the benefts.


etailers, knowing their customers’ desire for ‘authentic’ food, are scouring the globe for products that will diferentiate themselves from the competition,” said a spokesperson for the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), the Italian government organization responsible for promotion and internationalization of Italian companies abroad, including a large number of food and wine producers.

Ride the Italian Growth Wave Retailers can take advantage of expected inertial and incremental sales growth of Italian packaged foods in the near term by giving consumers even more choices, and by maintaining a commitment to “authentic Italian” products that can solidify sales of Americans’ favorite imported foods.


6.5% Inertial


and packaged food. “Te demand is already here,” the spokesperson explained. “Te ITA wants to leverage that consumer demand by helping retailers put ‘Authentic Italian’ products on their shelves.” For the past two years, the ITA has been working to shorten the distance between Italian food manufacturers and U.S. grocery chains, creating highly customized trips to Italy for supermarket buyers.

For many years, when Growth Growth supermarkets ofered Italian“By working in advance to Source: ITA Funded Study, “Boosting Exports in the U.S. Market” (2014) themed products, it meant determine the kinds of products creating private labels— the retailer is hoping to source, including Italian-sounding goods—to capitalize on the ITA will ‘play matchmaker’ in hopes of creating Americans’ love of Italian food. Some of those products a relationship with an Italian food maker,” said the were made in Italy, but many of them were not. spokesperson.

Strong demand for authenticity A study conducted last year funded by the ITA reinforced what ITA understood. Italian-produced goods make up 5 percent of all products imported into the United States, with the biggest chunk of that being wine ADVERTISEMENT

Part of the ITA’s pre-visit research is to determine what certifcations or quality requirements retailers demand of any product they import. Tese certifcations often include requirements that support organic and sustainable agriculture, or work to promote fair trade and fair worker treatment.

In addition to funding these visits, the ITA continues to support each retailer when the products come to this country by providing marketing assistance and dollars to underwrite advertising, events, signage and other promotional activities.

Canada isn’t one of them.” Or, “95% of San Marzano tomatoes sold in North America are 100% North American,” another stated.

Strong support for retail partners

A study by Deloitte Consulting from 2014 suggested that while the era of store brands has evolved, retailers who previously saw private label as a way to improve margins without investing in heavy marketing now use it as a point of diference. “Now it’s about competition, building customer loyalty by ofering value and diferentiating themselves from other retailers,” said Rich Nanda, a Deloitte principal and co-author of the study. “We haven’t seen any data that store brands are going to recede,” Nanda told Te Boston Globe.

While these trips can give a retailer an edge over a competitor by sourcing a new product that might resonate with shoppers, the new relationships can boost the bottom line of the supermarket, too. By choosing to deal directly with Italian manufacturers, supermarkets can achieve certain savings; for large chains, buying these products by the container creates more savings. And for businesses that are always sensitive to unit prices, this approach can help level out issues that come from European currency fuctuations. We want to do whatever we can to take some length out of that chain between the supermarket and the manufacturer, the spokesperson explained. Every extra step adds unnecessary cost. Sometimes this cost savings can represent 20 to 30 percent of a product’s cost, which can get the attention of a retailer. “Te popularity of Italian-made products continues to be number one in this country,” the spokesperson added, “so it is not unusual that retailers want to import what the shoppers want. Setting up these customized trips makes it easier for the retailer to fnd these products.” Te ITA marketing support for retailers has often been highly creative and takes a decidedly clever approach in separating “Authentic Italian” from “Italian-sounding” products. One campaign ofering suggested: “Under Italian law, Gorgonzola can only be produced in select regions.

Authentic Italian can drive store brands

Industry observers point to the heavy percentage of house brands at stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods as further proof that consumers understand the value-toquality proposition. For the ITA, the opportunity to put supermarket chains together with Italian manufacturers that can deliver products with the taste and quality consumers are demanding, seems like a win-win. “In the end, it’s also about taste and quality,” the spokesperson said. “Nothing tastes like authentic food from Italy. And people want it. “I’m not sure any country is nearly as aggressive as Italy in promoting the export of its food products. But we have a great message and great products. You have to ask yourself, ‘What is it about Authentic Italian food products that makes them taste so much better?’ We know it’s the climate and the water and lots of other environmental factors that don’t exist anywhere else in the world.”


itAliAn Driving Retail Sales ITALY - HosT CounTrY FMI ConneCT 2015


Te Authentic Italian Experience ItAly In ChICAgo In JunE, to lAunCh A MAJor “AuthEntIC ItAlIAn” AgrI-Food proMotIon In thE u.S.


the beginning of a major promotional campaign in the food and beverage sector in the context of the Special “Made in Italy” 2015 Promotional Plan, which will see in the second half of the year an intense and innovative communication campaign in the U.S. market, which represents for Italy the greatest potential for growth for Italian exports, coupled with substantial “in store” promotional activities with major U.S. retailers.

arlo Calenda, Italian Vice Minister for Economic Development, will be in Chicago to announce the launch pad of activities contained in the Italian Government’s 2015 Special Promotional “Made in Italy” Plan. Italy’s participation at FMI Connect 2015 in Chicago (June 8-11) will mark a turning point in the promotional policies of the Italian government. For the frst time, in fact, the three major food and beverage trade exhibitions organizers in Italy, will participate together in the primary trade exhibition aimed at major U.S. retailers. Tis commitment will also mark


Carlo Calenda, Vice Minister for Economic Development

Vice Minister Calenda stated, “Tese collective promotional activities have the objective of bringing our exports to the U.S. to take a further dimensional leap, in contrast to Italian-sounding products.”

TALkIng WITH RobeRTo LUongo, Ceo, ITALIAn TRAde AgenCy


t’s no secret that Italian food continues to be America’s favorite ethnic cuisine. And as U.S. diners become increasingly sophisticated thanks to TV cooking shows and celebrity chefs like Mario Batali and Giada De Laurentiis, they’re looking for the real thing when they buy Italian foods Roberto Luongo, CEO, and beverages at the supermarket. Italian Trade Agency In fact, two-thirds of American consumers who eat ethnic food at home say that authentic or traditional favor is the most important attribute in these products, according to Mintel research data. Te Italian Trade Agency’s Authentic Italian initiative is aimed at promoting the true value of made in Italy products to both consumers and retailers. ITA research has found that most shoppers already think genuine Italian foods are better than U.S.-made Italian products, and 70 percent say they would pay extra for foods and beverages from Italy. Backed by a major funding commitment from the Italian government, ITA can help retailers fnd the best Italianmade products for their markets, ofer support for efectively presenting and promoting Authentic Italian products, and facilitate sourcing and trade delegations to Italy. ITA is already working with a number of retailers on in-store Italian-themed promotions and has hosted consumer culinary events to boost awareness about the benefts of Authentic Italian ingredients and foods. Q: How is an Authentic Italian product diferent from an Italian-style product? Roberto Luongo: One of the major problems that inhibits the expansion of Italian agri-food products in the U.S. market is the presence of products (such as pasta, cured meats, canned goods, cheese, etc.) that “sound” Italian or imitate the Authentic Italian product with the label, the packaging or the presentation. Tese “Italian-sounding” products, however, do not follow the rigid protocol and know-how established by the Italian tradition of a particular area, by procedures that have matured and been honed over time, and by strict quality control that guarantees the excellence in taste and nutritional value that distinguishes the Authentic Italian product made in Italy. Q: Why are you now promoting Authentic Italian products in the United States? A: Te United States represents the largest market value for the great majority of consumer goods categories worldwide,

and it constitutes the principal market for Italian exports of these categories outside the European Union. Over the last four to fve years, in spite of a long phase of unfavorable exchange rates for the euro and the dollar, Italian exports of fnished agri-food products to the U.S. have continued to grow. With our Authentic Italian promotional activity–unique in terms of economic investment and “deployment of forces”– the Italian Trade Agency, commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies, aims to promote a signifcant improvement of the quality of Italian exports to the USA. Q: What types of support are available for U.S. supermarkets to promote Authentic Italian products? A: Our events will take place in four states in particular: New York (tri-state area), California, Texas and Illinois. We will implement a large media and promotional campaign by way of advertising together, with specifc events targeting large-scale retail channels. Our primary objective is to inform the American consumer—to enable them to recognize the authentic made in Italy product, and to distinguish that from what “seems” to be Italian. We would like to attain a signifcant quality and quantity upgrade of our Italian exports of agri-food products to the USA, and to facilitate a stable presence of these products in large-scale retail channels, department stores, independent retailers, importers, distributors and e-commerce platforms. To do so, we will make good use of the available channels: advertising, in-store promotions, public relations, tastings, web, and individual agreements with retailers. Q: Why is it an advantage to a U.S. supermarket to ofer Authentic Italian products? A: A study we conducted of American consumers confrmed there is a preponderant [consumer] sensibility with regard to the specifc origin of the Italian products they buy. Te “Italian-sounding” phenomenon seems to be well-known. It is the consumer who, in the frst place, requests to have a larger number of original Italian products on the shelf of their local supermarkets or specialty shops. And they claim that they are willing to spend extra for these products. Te original Authentic Italian product with the indication of place of origin is, therefore, critical to commercial success and a determining factor for the reason that [consumers] buy. In support of our [Authentic Italian campaign], we can inform the market of the new [Italian] products [available to them] and the products’ distinctive characteristics, while we pique consumers’ curiosity with interesting details such as Italian traditions, recipes and eating habits.










































1045 1046 1145





Italian Demo Info. Office

Gelato Bar Cucina Italiana (Chef demo)



ItalIan A.B.C. ALLEVATORI BUFALINI CASERTANI COOP. AGRICOLA ARL ...................................................................... 1045 ACETIFICIO MARCELLO DE NIGRIS SRL...................................... 741 AGRITALIA SRL.........................................................................................744 AGROMONTE .........................................................................................1441 ALINOR SPA............................................................................................1146 AZ. AGRICOLA RIVE DELLA CHIESA ............................................ 944 BALCONI SPA............................................................................................740 BISCOTTIFICIO VERONA SRL ...........................................................743 CAFFAREL SPA ....................................................................................... 640 CAMPO D’ORO DI LICATA PAOLO & C. SAS................................738 CASA VINICOLA ABBAZIA DI SAN GAUDENZIO SRL............945 CASALE SPA ..........................................................................................1144 COMPAGNIA ALIMENTARE ITALIANA .......................................1246 CONSORZIO ITALIA DEL GUSTO: AIA, BONOMELLI, CONSERVE ITALIA, MEDUSA CESARE REGNOLI & FIGLIO SRL, NOBERASCO, OROGEL, PONTI, RISO GALLO, SAN BENEDETTO, ZONIN ...........................................................................1438


CHICAGO 9-11 JUNE 2015 1146 1245 1246 1445 ALINOR SPA









Lounge Area




1544 1644








Espresso Bar Wine Bar Education Center



EXHIBITORS CORSINO CORSINI SPA ................................................................... 1545 DECO INDUSTRIE SCPA ......................................................................841 DOLFIN SPA ...............................................................................................842 FARMO SPA .............................................................................................. 644 FERRARINI FOOD INC. ......................................................................... 638 FIRMA ITALIA SPA...................................................................................739 FRATELLI BERETTA USA INC ........................................................... 540 GRAMM SRL .......................................................................................... 1445 GRANAROLO SPA.................................................................................. 538 GRISSIN BON SPA ................................................................................. 839 IGOR SRL ..................................................................................................1641 INALCA FOOD & BEVERAGE SRL .................................................. 838 LA FABBRICA DELLA PASTA DI GRAGNANO SAS..................................................................................... 742 LEVONI SPA .............................................................................................. 645

LODATO GENNARO & C. SPA ........................................................ 1645 LUZI SRL .................................................................................................. 1644 MANFREDI BARBERA & FIGLI SPA............................................. 1244 MOLINO GRASSI SPA ...........................................................................642 MOLINO NICOLI SPA ............................................................................ 544 MONINI NORTH AMERICA INC. (MUTTI E MONINI) ................................................................. 1046-1145 MONTALBANO IND. AGR. SPA...................................................... 1444 RISO DI PASTA VIAZZO SRL ...........................................................1245 ROMEO FICACCI SRL ............................................................................641 RONCADIN PIZZA INC. .........................................................................542 RUMMO USA INC ................................................................................... 844 STERILGARDA ALIMENTI SPA.......................................................1744 TOGNI SPA.............................................................................................. 1044



Product Category listings BEvErAgEs

• Alinor SpA – Booth 1146 (organic) • Bonomelli – Booth 1438 (Consorzio Italia Del Gusto) • Compagnia Alimentare Italiana – Booth 1246 (organic) • Conserve Italia Soc Coop Agricola – Booth 1438 (Consorzio Italia Del Gusto) • Corsino Corsini SpA – Booth 1545 (organic) • Inalca Food & Beverage Srl – Booth 838 • San Benedetto – Booth 1438 (Consorzio Italia Del Gusto) • Sterilgarda Alimenti SpA – Booth 1744 • Togni SpA – Booth 1044


• Az. Agricola Rive Della Chiesa – Booth 944 • Casa Vinicola Abbazia Di San Gaudenzio Srl – Booth 945 • Inalca Food & Beverage Srl – Booth 838 • Togni SpA – Booth 1044 • Zonin – Booth 1438 (Consorzio Italia Del Gusto)


• A.B.C. Allevatori Bufalini Casertani Coop. Agricola ARL – Booth 1045 • Alinor SpA – Booth 1146 (organic) • Ferrarini Food Inc. – Booth 638 • Granarolo Group – Booth 538 • Igor Srl – Booth 1641 • Sterilgarda Alimenti SpA – Booth 1744


• Balconi SpA – Booth 740 • Biscottifcio Verona Srl – Booth 743 • Cafarel SpA – Booth 640 • Campo D’Oro Di Paolo Licata Paola & C. Sas – Booth 738 • Deco Industrie scpa – Booth 841 • Dolfn SpA – Booth 842 • Farmo SpA – Booth 644 • Gramm Srl – Booth 1445 (organic) • Grissin Bon SpA – Booth 839 • Inalca Food & Beverage Srl – Booth 838 • Molino Nicoli SpA – Booth 544 (organic)


• Conserve Italia Soc Coop Agricola – Booth 1438 (Consorzio Italia Del Gusto) • Noberasco – Booth 1438 (Consorzio Italia Del Gusto) (organic)


• Farmo SpA – Booth 644 • Gramm Srl – Booth 1445 (organic) • Molino Nicoli SpA – Booth 544 (organic) • Montalbano Ind. Agr. SpA – Booth 1444 (organic) • Riso di Pasta Viazzo – Booth 1245 • Riso Gallo – Booth 1438 (Consorzio Italia Del Gusto) • Rummo USA Inc. – Booth 844 (organic)


• A.I.A. SpA–Negroni Salumi – Booth 1438 (Consorzio Italia Del Gusto) • Casale SpA – Booth 1144


• Ferrarini Food Inc. – Booth 638 • Fratelli Beretta USA Inc. – Booth 540 • Inalca Food & Beverage Srl – Booth 838 (salame) • Levoni SpA – Booth 645 • Medusa Cesare Regnoli & Figlio Srl – Booth 1438 (Consorzio Italia Del Gusto) • Orogel – Booth 1438 (Consorzio Italia Del Gusto) (frozen, organic)


• Acetifcio Marcello de Nigris Srl – Booth 741 • Agritalia Srl – Booth 744 (organic) • Campo D’Oro Di Paolo Licata Paola & C. Sas – Booth 738 • Compagnia Alimentare Italiana – Booth 1246 (organic) • Ferrarini Food Inc. – Booth 638 • Inalca Food & Beverage Srl – Booth 838 • Manfredi Barbera & Figli SpA – Booth 1244 • Monini – Booth 1145 • Montalbano Ind. Agr. SpA – Booth 1444 (organic) • Ponti – Booth 1438 (Consorzio Italia Del Gusto)


• Agritalia Srl – Booth 744 (organic) • Compagnia Alimentare Italiana – Booth 1246 (organic) • Farmo SpA – Booth 644 • Ferrarini Food Inc. – Booth 638 • Firma Italia SpA – Booth 739 • Gramm Srl – Booth 1445 (organic) • Inalca Food & Beverage Srl – Booth 838 • La Fabbrica Della Pasta di Gragnano Sas – Booth 742 • La Molisana – Booth 1544 • Luzi Srl – Booth 1644 (organic) • Riso di Pasta Viazzo – Booth 1245 • Riso Gallo – Booth 1438 (Consorzio Italia Del Gusto) • Rummo USA Inc. – Booth 844 (organic)


• Agritalia Srl – Booth 744 (organic) • Campo D’Oro Di Paolo Licata Paola & C. Sas – Booth 738 • Conserve Italia Soc Coop Agricola – Booth 1438 (Consorzio Italia Del Gusto) • Inalca Food & Beverage Srl – Booth 838 • Lodato Gennaro & C. SpA – Booth 1645 • Medusa Cesare Regnoli & Figlio Srl – Booth 1438 (Consorzio Italia Del Gusto) • Montalbano Ind. Agr. SpA – Booth 1444 (organic) • Mutti – Booth 1046 • Orogel – Booth 1438 (Consorzio Italia Del Gusto) (frozen, organic) • Romeo Ficacci Srl – Booth 641 • Soc. Agricola Monterosso Coop. SARL – Booth 1441


• Alinor SpA – Booth 1146 (organic) • Dolfn SpA – Booth 842 (granitas, sorbets, ice lollies) • Inalca Food & Beverage Srl – Booth 838 (frozen) • La Molisana – Booth 1544 (fours) • Molino Grassi – Booth 642 (fours, ancient grains, organic) • Riso Gallo – Booth 1438 (rice) (Consorzio Italia Del Gusto) • Roncadin Pizza Inc. – Booth 542 (organic, pizzas)

Italian Pavilion Co-Organizers

Federalimentare—The Italian Food & Drink Industry Federation was created in 1983 to represent, promote, protect and strengthen the Italian food and beverage industry at home and abroad. Food and beverage products are the second-highest-ranked Italian manufacturing sector after engineering, with an export quota of 20 percent of its turnover. The Federation strives to make the industry more competitive on the world stage by promoting the quality and safety of its products, reliability of the supply chain, transparency in the production process, technological advancements and respect for tradition. The Federation has 16 association branches and is a member of Confindustria and FoodDrink Europe. Federalimentare is taking part in Expo 2015 in Milan with its own corporate pavilion CIBUSéITALIA.

The third-largest food and beverage trade exhibition in Europe, TUTTOFOOD has grown every year since its inception. The trade exhibition’s ffth edition, held May 3-6, 2015, in Milan to coincide with Expo 2015’s opening, featured 2,800 exhibitors, 7,000 brands and 70,000 visitors. TUTTOFOOD provides a platform to discuss and debate key industry topics and showcase new ideas and experiences. The exhibition layout is divided into sectors that allow exhibitors and professional operators to exchange ideas, dialogue and explore business opportunities. Growth was especially strong this year in meats, cured meats, desserts and confectionary. New this year was a pavilion dedicated to vending and a “green food” sector with three times the volume of TUTTOFOOD with the opening of Expo 2015.

The CIBUS International Food Exhibition is designed to draw buyers from around the world in order to increase and strengthen Italian companies’ footholds in foreign markets. This international agri-food sector showcase, scheduled for May 9-12, 2016, in Parma, will feature conferences and panel discussions on current food and retail issues. CIBUS 2016 is organized in partnership with Federalimentare— The Italian Food & Drink Industry Federation and Fiere di Parma. The exhibition’s most distinctive feature is the eyecapturing PALACASSA, a flexible multifunctional structure suitable for accommodating congresses, conferences and meetings. The last CIBUS, in 2014, attracted more than 67,000 visitors, with 12,000 of those from 50 different countries.

Vinitaly International is the strategic arm abroad of Vinitaly, the largest wine and spirits trade exhibition in the world, acting as a bridge between Italian wine producers and the key players of international wine markets such as China, Russia, USA and Hong Kong. In its continuous commitment to finding new ways of communicating wine, Vinitaly International integrates traditional formats such as trade exhibitions, B2B matching, off-site showcases and grand tastings with new means of communication signified by a strong educational and social resonance. In 2014 Vinitaly International launched the Vinitaly International Academy, its new educational project aimed at educating, divulging and broadcasting the characteristics of Italian wine and creating new Ambassadors of Italian wine in the world.


certiFicAtions, And export-relAted experience to eFFectively Address the needs oF the u.s. retAil MArket.

booth 1144 cAsAle spA

booth 644 FArMo spA

This century-old company, run by the Sassi Emilio family, produces and supplies Italian salumeria and traditional Italian hams such as Parma and San Daniele. Its products are exported worldwide, and Casale offers a team of specialists to assist customers with specifc needs.

FARMO is a leading manufacturer of gluten-free food products located in Italy. We operate three full-dedicated gluten-free production facilities in Milano and Ravenna. The company sells Farmo branded products and has expanded into private label, partnering with major international retailers. All Farmo products are certifed BRC, IFS, GFCO and GMO-free.

Italian salumeria, Parma ham, San Daniele ham

Gluten-free pasta with different blends (brown rice, white rice, corn, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat), gluten-free baking mixes (bread, pizza, cakes, muffns, pancake, fresh pasta), gluten-free bakery products: sweet bakery and salty snacks (taralli) Annalisa sassi Andrea F. giai,

booth 1246

booth 638 FerrArini Food inc.

coMpAgniA AliMentAre itAliAnA Fratelli Mantova’s history stretches back to 1905 in Broccostella, where the Mantova family began producing and trading various agricultural food products and fostering a specialization in olive oil production. Today it is one of Italy’s leading producers of high-quality olive oils.

One of the largest European food companies, Ferrarini Food Inc. leads market segments in prosciutto cotto and cured ham production. Ferrarini has offces in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Madrid, Budapest and Lugano, Switzerland.

Oils, vinegar, pasta, sauces, organic foods

Prosciutto cotto, cured ham, Parma ham, salami, mortadella, Parmigiano Reggiano, butter, balsamic vinegar from Reggio Emilia, balsamic vinegar of Modena Marco nocella, pier paolo ghelf,

booth 1545 corsino corsini spA

booth 739 FirMA itAliA spA

A leading coffee roaster since 1950, Corsini originated in Arezzo and exports its products to over 60 countries. It roasts more than 4,500 tons of coffee a year and maintains direct commercial relationships with small local coffee growers. Coffee beans, ground coffee, coffee pads, compatible capsules, American coffee, barley coffee, coffees from biological plantations, single origins and single plantations coffee, fair trade coffee, coffee with ginseng and tea Maria Marques, Anette Mattsson,

A family-owned company founded in 1995 near the port of Genoa, Firma Italia blends and packs savory dry mixes and shelf-stable, dehydrated, ready-to-cook meals. Products are non-GMO and Grade A GSFS (BRC) certifed. Shelf-stable, dehydrated, ready-to-cook pasta with sauce, risotto, dry sauces, dry soups, tortellini with sauce, gnocchi with sauce, lasagna, favored mashed potatoes, favored polenta, favored couscous, seasoned rice, seasoning for baking, gluten-free meals Marcantonio varinelli,

booth 841

booth 540

deco industrie scpA FrAtelli berettA usA inc. Deco Industrie produces, distributes and sells bakery products and household cleaners. Founded in 1951, it holds ISO, BRC and IFS accreditations. The company’s Ravenna plant has fve full automatic lines. Cookies/biscuits (cacao, milk, chocolate chip, sugar, butter) in several sizes, panettone, pandoro, subsitute bread piadina (similar to tortillas and wraps)

Napoleon Bonaparte was reigning over Europe when Fratelli Beretta frst opened its doors as a small local meat processing business in 1812. By the 1970s, Fratelli had become one of Italy’s leading companies and is the longest existing familyowned business in the Italian charcuterie tradition. Air-dried and cured salami and specialty meats egle torre simone bocchini,

booth 842 dolFin spA In 1914, Dolfn was an artisanal confetti maker. Durng the past 20 years, the company has become a leading industrial manufacturer of ready-to-freeze ice lollies, chocolate Easter eggs and Christmas confectionary. Polaretti Fruit ice lollies (lemon, orange, strawberry, blueberry), granitas (lemon, orange, mint), sorbets (green apple, lemon, orange), ready-to-freeze ice cream (strawberry, banana, chocolate), Bio ice lollies, Easter eggs, Christmas products (socks, mini socks, letters), Polaretti Jelly enza Maugeri,

booth 1445 grAMM srl

Artisan pasta and bakery product makers Nicola Milo, his son Giuseppe and his brothers craft their products from traditional family recipes. Pasta and bakery products are made with natural and in most cases local ingredients, including extra virgin olive oil from the company’s own plants. Dry pasta, fresh pasta, gnocchi, bakery products nadir Argentiero,




BOOTH 1644



Granarolo Group is the number one Italian milk and dairy group, and the largest Italian milk supply chain directly owned by producers operating as a co-operative. With 12 production plants in Italy, two in France and one in Chile, Granarolo Group has presence in more than 100 countries with a great variety of products. Milk (fresh and UHT), Italian fresh cheese (mozzarella, mascarpone, ricotta), PDO hard cheese (Grana Padano DOP, Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, Pecorino Romano DOP), specialty Italian cheese, lactose-free products, dairy-free products, baby food, kids products, yogurts, frozen cheese for overseas markets, Italian gelato Claire Nero,

La Molisana is now Italy’s ffth-largest pasta brand, a dynamic and innovative company that introduces new or “renewed” pasta cuts. In January they launched the EXTRA DI LUSSO line: 13 short and long cuts, made with a special selection of grains. Durum wheat semolina pasta, potatoes gnocchi, egg pasta, whole-wheat pasta; in 2015 adding complete range of semolina and four Giuseppe Sacco,



GRISSIN BON SPA Founded in the 1950s, Grissin Bon has been expanding ever since. In the 1960s, the company began manufacturing toast rusks in addition to its bread and breadstick production. In the mid-1980s, a popular new breadstick called Fagolosi was launched, and in the 1990s came Fornarello bread substitute. Breadsticks, toast rusks, bread, bread substitutes Callisto Scanarini,

The Levoni name is synonymous with absolute freshness and consistency, combined with the authenticity and refnement of Italian taste that have become legendary in Italy and the world over. The Levoni range offers more than 300 products. Through ownership of its own pig farms, slaughterhouse, aging and production facilities the company maximizes its objective of reaching its uncompromising standards of excellence. Prosciutto di Parma PDO and San Daniele PDO, Italian cooked hams with herbs, Italian cooked ham smoked with woods from the Alps, mortadella, Cotechino Modena PGI, Speck Alto Adige PGI, roasted pork coppa, cooked pancetta and porchett. Luca Bertozzi,

BOOTH 1641

BOOTH 1645

IGOR SRL In the small village of Mezzomerico, Natale Leonardi started making Gorgonzola cheese by hand in 1935. Customers snapped up Grandpa Natale’s creamy, spicy, blue-veined cheese, and the Leonardi family business was born. PDO Gorgonzola (dolce and piccante)

LODATO GENNARO & C. SPA Established by the Lodato and Senesi families in 1935, Annalisa exports non-genetically modified canned vegetables to more than 60 countries. The company’s sterilization and pasteurization processes enable it to preserve its products’ organoleptic qualities without additives. Canned tomatoes, pulses, soups with beans and cereals, pasta sauces Fabio Leonardi Francesco Senesi,



IF&B, a subsidiary of Inalca SpA (Gruppo Cremonini), gives its clients broad access to Italian agri-food producers. It has a portfolio of over 2,000 Italian products, including those of small and medium-sized producers. Its newest division is IF&B North America.

Brothers Gianluigi and Andrea Luzi carry out generations of family traditions cultivating and processing organic whole grains and legumes in central Italy. Their practices have earned their products CCPB Srl organic certification.

Oils, vinegar, frozen pizza, Italian charcuterie, pasta, rice, sauces, spreads, spices, tomatoes, olives, legumes, vegetables, salty snacks, appetizers, sweets, pastries, cookies, biscuits, salt, condiments, toppings, cheese

Whole-grain four, pearled farro, hulled farro, dry pasta, long-maintenance ready meals, puffed cereals Gianluigi Luzi, Roberta Ferri,


BOOTH 1244

LA FABBRICA DELLA PASTA DI GRAGNANO SAS Thirty-two pasta-making secrets passed from father to son for four generations of the Moccia family, founders of the biggest Artisan Gragnano’s Pasta Production. PGI Artisan Gragnano Pasta made of durum wheat four and local natural spring water is available in 130 shapes Ciro Moccia


MANFREDI BARBERA & FIGLI SPA The Barbera family has been in the olive oil business in Palermo since the 18th century. From founder Lorenzo Barbera to his son Manfredi Sr., to his son Lorenzo, to current CEO Manfredi Barbera, four generations have steered the company. Olive oil Antonio Giglio,




MOLINO GRASSI SPA Molino Grassi is a Parma-based milling company established in 1934. Molino Grassi has produced organic wheat since the 1990s. Certifcations include organic, ISO 9000, BRC, IFS, GMP+, Kosher and Halal.

Family-owned for three generations since 1964, this olive company has one of the industry’s most advanced new production plants. Ficacci is certifed according to the HACCP model, the ISO 9000 quality system standard, the BRC and the IFS food safety international standards.

Organic soft wheat and durum semolina fours, ancient grains

Fresh table olives Federica Grassi, Giuseppe Ficacci,





One of the oldest milling companies in Italy, has been run by the Nicoli family since 1869. It has enlarged production dedicated to gluten-free products (certifed GFCP) and focused increasingly on organic and healthy options for Private label programs.

Vesuvio was a small family pizzeria that began in the late 70s with a wood oven and a recipe from Edoardo Roncadin’s grandfather. By 1992, the Roncadin family started producing their pizza for retail, and is now the leading Italian manufacturer of wood-fred oven pizza for the private label market.

Corn fours, breakfast cereals and granola, cereal bars (chewy and crunchy), healthy snacks (organic, gluten-free, baby-food compliant), oats biscuits (gluten-free)

Naturally leavened, hand-topped, lavic-stone baked, wood-fred oven pizzas with a base containing less than 1 percent yeast Alessio Lucchese, Davide Venturi,

BOOTH 1145




Three generations ago the Monini family started in Umbria, the “green heart of Italy,” its journey to become one of the leading olive oil companies in Italy and the world. Exports began in the 1970s, and subsidiaries in Europe and America were created in the early 2000s. Extra virgin olive oils in a variety of tasting profles, including organic and regional DOP’s Marco Petrini,

The company’s history goes back to 1846 in the city of Benevento, when Antonio Rummo practiced the art of durum wheat pasta production. Today, guided by CEO Cosimo Rummo and his son Antonio, the companies of Rummo Group manufactures more than 140 shapes of pasta. Pastas (durum wheat semolina, organic, organic whole wheat, dry egg, baby food, enriched, favored, gluten-free) Jorge Meighorner,

BOOTH 1444

BOOTH 1441



Montalbano combines old Tuscan traditions with modern production, R&D and marketing to create its line of products exported in more than 25 countries. Vegetable antipasto preserved in oil, pesto sauces, bruschetta topping sauces, organic products, vegan products, gluten-free products

A leading producer and processor of semi-dried cherry tomatoes, Agromonte was established in Chiaramonte Gulf, Ragusa, a traditional south Sicilian agricultural area. Production facilities are equipped with the latest processing technology. Semi-dried cherry tomatoes Stefano Borchi, Giorgio Arestia,

BOOTH 1744


MUTTI Based in Parma in the heart of “Food Valley,” Mutti has put its tomatoes on Italian tables for more than 100 years. The company doubled and tripled in the past few years, and today sells to more than 50 countries.

Founded in 1969, Sterilgarda has become a leader in Italian UHT and microfltered milk and cream production and has recently developed and launched UHT mascarpone that can be shipped internationally.

Canned tomato products (whole peeled, fnely chopped, pureed, paste, cherry tomatoes, baby Roma tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes), tomato vinegar

Milk, whipping cream, cooking cream, béchamel sauce, merendix, mascarpone, ricotta, strakì, yogurt, UHT mascarpone, pudding, panna cotta, cremacacao, UHT yogurt, 100 percent fruit juices, nectars, tomato juice, tea, tomato passata, smoothies, squeezed fruit juices Marco Petrini, Silvia Sarzi,

BOOTH 1044



Riso Viazzo is introducing Riso di Pasta, a unique, gourmet, gluten-free pasta made exclusively from non-GMO parboiled rice. The 100 y/o company sources from local farmers in the Vercelli region, and plants are BRC and IFS certifed.

A family company founded in 1950, Togni is a leading Italian producer of sparkling wines. Its winery, Casalfarneto, produces Verdicchio DOC and DOCg, Rosso Conero DOC, Montepulciano DOC and Lacrima di Morro d’Alba.

Fusilli, penne, tortiglioni, sedanini, ditalini, pipe, caserecce, elbow macaroni

Sparkling wines, wines, craft beer, mineral water, egg pasta Gianluca Manzo, Ilaria Ippoliti,





A.I.A. SPA—NEGRONI SALUMI With 100 years of experience, the Star of Negroni, the charcuterie brand of A.I.A. SpA, is recognized worldwide as one of Italy’s most prestigious producers of traditional Italian delicatessen meats. Cured and cooked hams, mortadella, salamis Tiziano Rossi

Founded in 1969, Orogel has become a frozen food retail market leader with a consortium of over 2,000 farmers. Orogel plants and collection centers are located in agricultural areas so that products can be processed, stored and packaged immediately after harvesting. Plain vegetables, semi-dried vegetables, aromatic herbs, battered vegetables, half-moon filled pastry, grilled vegetables, stir fries, ready meals, organic vegetables, fruit drops, jams, ice cream Andrea Bagnolini,



Bonomelli dates back to 1908, when 20-year-old Luigi Amedeo Bonomelli started producing liqueurs and syrups in Milan. Since then, Bonomelli has promoted herbalist culture, developing successful products such as chamomile infusion made using all parts of the fower, which lends it a distinctive aroma.

Since 1867 and for five generations, the Ponti family has passed down the art of vinegar making from father to son. A leading Italian vinegar producer with a 50 percent market share in the balsamic vinegar of Modena, wine vinegar, apple vinegar and glaze categories, Ponti exports to over 70 countries.

Chamomile tea, herbal tea, green tea, fruit infusions

Classic vinegars, aged and aromatized vinegars, glazes (balsamic vinegar of Modena, soy and balsamic, lemon, Moscato, apple), antipasti, pasta sauces, pestos Lorenzo Neri Paolo Mazzini,

CONSERVE ITALIA SOC COOP AGRICOLA Conserve Italia adds value to products sourced from farmer associates by processing them into fnished goods marketed and sold under the group’s brands. Founded in 1976 as a sales organization to distribute co-operative products under the Valfrutta brand, Conserve Italia now controls eight produce and sales companies. Fruit juices, nectars, fruit-based drinks, preserved fruits, fruit cocktail (peaches, nectarines, apricots, apples, pears and plums), tomatoes (peeled, sieved, chopped, pureed, sauce), peas, borlotti beans, string beans, sweet corn, chickpeas, lentils, pineapple, grapefruit Diego Pariotti,

RISO GALLO Riso Bello is the brand name used in the United States and Canada since 1996 by Riso Gallo, the leading rice producer in Italy. The Italian family business spans six generations and specializes in producing risotto rice. Traditional risotto rices (carnaroli, Arborio, vialone nano), specialties (venere, gluten-free pasta), convenience products (ready risotto, risottino, risotto box) Daniela Uga



Fish has been Cesare Regnoli’s mission since 1861. Featuring an exclusive stabilizing and preservation technology, Regnoli’s specialties under the Medusa trademark include fsh and seasoned, grilled vegetable products.

San Benedetto was the first Italian company to launch 1.5-liter capacity PET containers in 1980 and built a fully aseptic bottling plant in 1993. It is currently introducing its own line of flavored iced teas.

Marinated eel, fried whitebait, mackerel, seafood salad in oil or water, anchovy fllets, sardine fllets, tuna, carpaccio, pre-prepared fsh courses, pre-prepared vegetable products

All plastic formats (PET), non-carbonated soft drinks in cans, glass bottled water (sparkling, non-carbonated), non-carbonated fruit-based drinks, isotonic drinks, iced tea bottled in the aseptic lines Carlo Aquilano Massimo Resaz



Since 1908, the Noberasco family has been building its company into an Italian leader in the dry fruit sector with innovations such as single-serve healthy snacks and preservative-free products. The company’s production is state-of-the-art.

Zonin is Italy’s largest family-owned wine company, connected to the world of wine since 1821 with roots in Gambellara, in the heart of the Veneto region. Zonin brothers Domenico, Francesco and Michele have been in the family business for the past decade.

Dried soft fruits (prunes, apricots, figs, dates, apples), organic chestnuts, tomatoes, apples

Zonin label wines Fabrizio Molinari

12 Emanuele Siena

Italian Pavilion Lounge Program - Booth 1038 For the first time, Italy takes center stage as the “Host Country” of FMI Connect 2015. Throughout the show, which will showcase over 50 Italian exhibitors, attendees can peruse and taste from a variety of Italian foods and products on display, including: an Italian Espresso Bar with samples of real espresso, crisp and refreshing mineral waters, as well as delectable cookies, various dry fruits and other delicious Italian sweets from Italian exhibitors. Carpigiani will also host a Gelato Bar where Gelato Maestro and Food Scientist Patty Reas will be sampling some of Italy’s favorites. Executive Wine Seminars by Vinitaly International Academy are presented by Dr. Ian D’Agata, widely recognized as one of the leading authorities on Italian wine. Seats limited, for registration: Culinary Events are coordinated by “Iron Chef America” judge and Italian Culinary Expert Mario Rizzotti. Seats limited: frst come, frst served. Tuesday, June 9, 2015 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm 1:00 pm – 1:45 pm

Vinitaly International Academy Executive Wine Seminar: “The somewhereness of Barolo: differences and similarities in these great wines” - Focus Level. (Learning Center) Italiano Made Easy: Executive Chef Chris Pandel of Chicago’s acclaimed restaurants Formento’s, The Bristol, and Balena and more, will showcase his creative dishes that incorporate natural ingredients and rich flavors. (Italian Cucina)

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Vinitaly International Academy Executive Wine Seminar: “Italy’s Answer to Champagne: Franciacorta” - Advanced Level. (Learning Center)

2:45 pm – 3:30 pm

Italiano Classico: Andrew Deuel, Executive Chef of Chicago’s hottest new restaurant, Dolce Italian, will present attendees with a fresh take on Italian classics. (Italian Cucina)

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Vinitaly International Academy Executive Wine Seminar: “Montepulciano d’Abruzzo: new, improved and exciting, one of Italy’s greatest red wines!” – Focus Level. (Learning Center)

From 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Vinitaly International Wine Bar presents “Barbera: Taste the Differences”

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 11:00 am – 11:30 am

Are You an Olive Oil Expert? Learn how to taste EVOO like a pro, no bread allowed. Learn how to distinguish the difference between the many bottles on the shelves. (Learning Center)

12:15 pm – 1:00 pm

The Modern Italian: James Beard Foundation Award nominee Andrew Zimmerman, Executive Chef at the inventive Sepia in Chicago, will offer attendees his signature “rustic” yet contemporary style of Italian dishes. (Italian Cucina)

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Meet the Meat Master: Embark on an educational experience at this session specializing in all cured-meat delicacies, including Italian prosciutto, mortadella and pancetta. (Learning Center)

2:15 pm – 3:00 pm

Dolci Italiani: Winner of the 4th season of “MasterChef USA,” Luca Manfé will showcase his expertise and provide guests with his interpretation of famous regional Italian desserts. (Italian Cucina)

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm

To Cheese or Not to Cheese: Learn about one of Italy’s most well-known delicacies, including differences in flavor, aroma, and structure of fine, luxurious cheeses. (Learning Center)

From 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Vinitaly International Wine Bar presents “Dolcetto: Taste the Differences”

Thursday, June 11, 2015 11:00 am – 11:30 am

The Art of “Primi Piatti”: Learn from the experts how to master classic pasta and riso. (Learning Center)

11:45 am – 12:15 pm

The Real Tradition of Balsamic Vinegar: Discover more on the origin of balsamic vinegar, highly valued by modern culinary artists and gourmet foodies. (Learning Center)

12:00 pm – 12:45 pm

Tutto Italiano: Executive Chef at the elegant Baffo Ristorante (Eataly Chicago), Sam De Los Santos will ignite the senses as he prepares a risotto dish that is deceptively delicious. (Italian Cucina)

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm

Gusto Italiano: Learn how to spice up dishes with Italian sauces, pesto, tomatoes and preserved vegetables. (Learning Center)

From 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Vinitaly International Wine Bar presents “Italian Wines: Taste the Differences”

FMI Connect Educational Session: “Authentic Italian Products as Retail Traffic & Value Builders” Introduction by: Antonio Cellie, CEO, Fiere di Parma

Wednesday, June 10 11:15 am - 12:00 pm Learning Lounge, Exhibit Floor

Moderator: Doug Baker Vice President, Private Brands, Food Marketing Institute

Domenico Brisigotti CEO, Coop Italian Food, Bologna, Italy

Jean-Pierre Comte

Nicola Farinetti

Fabio Leonardi

CEO, Barilla, Chicago, Il

CEO, Eataly USA, Turin, Italy

CEO, IGOR Srl, Cameri, Italy



U.S. supermarkets celebrate Authentic Italian From coast to coast, American grocery retailers are reaping the benefts of ofering an array of Authentic Italian products to their customers.


upport from the Italian Trade Agency for such initiatives as in-store Italian-themed events and culinary presentations can help U.S. supermarkets highlight ingredients and products imported from Italy in fun, consumerpleasing ways. Here’s how two major grocery chains showcase their Authentic Italian products to increase sales and enhance their image. H-E-B’s Central Market stores in Texas hosted


a lively two-week Passaporto Italia celebration in spring 2014, introducing traditional Italian foods and ingredients discovered by the chain’s buyers during trade missions to diferent regions of Italy. Authentic Italian brands of balsamic vinegars, pastas and pasta sauces were added to store shelves for the event, in addition to capers, pates, honey and preserves. Central Market also served up more than 30 favorite Authentic Italian cheeses for Passaporto Italia, including classic

Parmigiano-Reggiano made on select farms in the historic Reggio Emilia province. Customers learned what to do with their newfound Italian purchases at cooking classes conducted by celebrity chefs such as Fabio Viviani, Lidia Bastianich and Italian home-cooking author Domenica Marchetti, in addition to in-store tastings and visits from cheesemakers, winemakers and other Italian food experts throughout the two weeks. Central Market capped of Passaporto Italia with a sweepstakes that awarded a Fiat 500 as the grand prize, along with a Vespa motor scooter, two roundtrip tickets to Italy and nine Italy-themed gif baskets. Milwaukee-based Roundy’s Mariano’s stores,

meanwhile, are partnering with the Italian Trade Agency to import products from southern Italy to the company’s supermarkets in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas. Mariano’s executives have traveled to Italy, and the chain also has hosted Italian companies in Chicago as part of its efort to add more Authentic Italian products in-store. Agromonte tomato sauce from Sicily and Lauretana water are two of the new imported Italian oferings, along with the favoring for Mariano’s own gelato. To celebrate its partnership with ITA, in December 2014 Mariano’s surprised shoppers at one Chicago neighborhood store with an opera fash mob event in the produce department. A local opera company, da Corneto, did the honors as shoppers stopped in their tracks and then clapped enthusiastically at the conclusion of the performance.


Te Italian Trade Agency is the government organization that promotes the internationalization of the Italian companies, in line with the strategies of the Ministry for Economic Development. Te Italian Trade Agency provides information, support and advice to Italian and foreign companies. In addition to its Rome headquarters, ITA operates worldwide from a large network of ofces linked to Italian embassies and consulates. Te Agency has fve ofces in the US. Among other sectors, the Chicago Ofce promotes Private Label food and non-food products, and “Authentic Italian” food and wines in large-scale chains. Te ofce is always available for inquiries and support.








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Frozen & Refrigerated

National Ice Cream Month



Grocers can leverage National Ice Cream Month to drive frozen sales. By Jim Dudlicek


emand for ice cream usually ramps up with the onset of summer’s warmer weather, and grocers can further leverage the opportunities created by National Ice Cream Month in July. But ice cream truly is an anytime treat, and ice cream makers — among them supermarket retailers with their own dairy-manufacturing operations — launch new and limited-edition favors all year round. Case in point: Publix Super Markets, which ofered shoppers its Premium Limited Edition Caramel Turtle Cheesecake Ice Cream during the frst four months of 2015. Publix, based in Lakeland, Fla., where the climate is almost always ice cream-friendly, last month released Caramel Coast Getaway Ice Cream through August, and plans to ofer Mountain Tracks Ice Cream from September through December. “In February, we introduced Publix GreenWise Organic Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream, and it is doing well,” says Publix Director of Media and Community Relations Maria Brous. “While vanilla still tops the best-selling category, caramel — and especially sea salt caramel — continues to be a hot trend this year.” In its year-round oferings, Publix ofers a dulce de leche favor in both its premium ice cream and frozen yogurt lines. Te grocer doesn’t take a casual approach to ice cream, and its eforts attract attention beyond its stores’ aisles. For instance, its Black Swamp Raspberry Cheesecake, a blend of slightly tart raspberries and rich cheesecake, earned third place among the nominees in the International Dairy Foods Association’s Innovative Ice Cream Flavor Competition at the trade group’s recent annual Ice Cream Technology Conference, in St. Petersburg, Fla. “Publix has a cross-functional team, composed of category management, manufacturing, marketing and corporate quality assurance, who evaluate trends and taste-test more than 50 favor concepts,” Brous explains. “Category management takes into consideration the feedback from these sessions, as well as sales performance of the ice cream category, as they develop the ice cream plan for the following year.” Moving into July, Publix will have a banner product, Chocolate Fudgy Brownie Frozen Yogurt, that will receive in-store signage, clings, radio and


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

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Frozen & Refrigerated

National Ice Cream Month

Summertime Sales The Harrisburg, Pa.-based National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) advises ice cream sales tie-ins with these occasions in July, which is National Ice Cream Month, as well as August, which is National Peach Month: July 4: Independence Day July 7: National Strawberry Sundae Day July 17: National Peach Ice Cream Day June 20: National Ice Cream Soda Day July 23: National Vanilla Ice Cream Day July 30: National Cheesecake Day Aug. 2: National Ice Cream Sandwich Day Aug. 6: National Root Beer Float Day Aug. 8: National Frozen Custard Day Aug. 24: National Waffle Day Aug. 25: National Banana Split Day Aug. 26: National Cherry Popsicle Day

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We work hand in hand with each of our retailers, having established strong relationships with the appropriate customer development managers, who collaborate with and help us to achieve our goals while managing the retailer’s needs.” —George Denman, Graeter’s

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TV spots, as well as product sampling in-store; the new Organic Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream will also receive in-store support.

On Display Other ice cream makers will take advantage of retail promotion programs ofered by industry groups. As a member of the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA), in Harrisburg, Pa., Cincinnati-based Graeter’s Ice Cream will participate in the annual 2015 Summer Favorites Promotion. In partnership with major U.S. grocers, the program encourages retailers to fll up their freezer cases and enlist the help of public relations, marketing and enticing in-store displays to boost sales of frozen treats during the months of June and July. “We work with major retailers as they stock their freezers and execute in-store campaigns in an efort to win the prestigious Golden Penguin Award offered by the NFRA,” says George Denman, Graeter’s VP of sales and marketing. “Tis year, we plan on increasing our eforts and have campaigns lined up with Kroger, Costco, Harris Teeter and Giant Eagle. “We work hand in hand with each of our retailers, having established strong relationships with the appropriate customer development managers, who collaborate with and help us to achieve our goals while managing the retailer’s needs,” he adds. Retailers, sales agents, manufacturers and local associations can enter their creative in-store displays in NFRA’s Retail Display Contest. Te nine-week promotion must feature multiple ice cream and novelty products from sponsoring brands. Gold and Silver Penguins will be awarded in six regions — Northeast, Southeast, East Central, West Central, Southwest and Pacifc/Western — with winners recognized in October during the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention, in Dallas. Among NFRA programs, a Summer Favorites VIP Coupon and Freezer Giveaway ofer consumers special prizes designed to pique interest and drive increased trafc to grocers’ ice cream and novelty aisles. Springing Into July Los Angeles-based Halo Top Creamery — which bills itself as the frst 100 percent natural light ice cream — will ofer a number of BOGOs and other price reductions at retailers across the nation during




















100 Source: IRI US PANEL, 52 Weeks Ending 10/5/2014 SM

©2015 CSC Brands LP

Frozen & Refrigerated

National Ice Cream Month

National Ice Cream Month. With three new favors joining the lineup (Mint Chip, Chocolate Mocha Chip and Birthday Cake), Halo Top is non-GMO, low in calories and sugar, high in protein and fber, and free of gluten, trans fat, gelatin, corn syrup, artifcial sweeteners and synthetic growth hormones. Te brand’s labeling boldly proclaims the calorie count for the full pint (containing four servings), which tops out at 280 for the new releases. Meanwhile, the makers of ProYo High Protein Frozen Yogurt are using July “as a springboard to kick of a massive sampling campaign and mobile tour,” says Nathan Carey, president and founder of the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based brand. “Te purpose of the tour is to redefne what a healthy dessert looks like in the marketplace.” ProYo positions itself as having the same creamy texture and taste of ice cream, but with 20 grams of protein, and less fat and sugar. Protein is pushing its way into other frozen desserts as well. One example is Greens Farms, Conn.-based Figo Brands, marketer of Forte, an authentic creamy gelato that also claims to be the frst high-

protein, low-fat product of its type. Each 4-fuidounce single-serve portioned cup delivers 15 grams of protein and 2.5 grams of fat, at 160 calories. Te protein boost comes from added milk proteins. Now joining the chocolate and vanilla varieties, which debuted about three years ago, are espresso and ginger. Forte uses pure organic Madagascar bourbon vanilla, brewed espresso, organic ginger, and its own select blend of rich cocoa from Holland. At its base, Forte is made with skim milk and cream from cows not treated with synthetic growth hormones, cage-free egg yolks and organic agave nectar. PG What trends are most important to ice cream? Read more from Graeter’s at

Fall in love with our new flavors! Try our new gluten-free Pumpkin Cranberry & Chocolate Chip Scones, available now. Visit us at booth #4115 at the Fancy Food Show.


Our All Natural Gelato and All Natural Ice Cream are made with a few simple ingredients: fresh cream, pure sugar, rich cocoa, fresh fruit, and real vanilla. It may sound simple, but at Turkey Hill, we know that real ingredients get real results. N E W ! A L L NAT U R A L G E L ATO


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Contact Colin Wright at Turkey Hill Dairy, 800.873.2479 | Email: | | 2601 River Road, Conestoga, PA 17516

2015 Retail Deli Review


Gains Shrink is down, profits are up, but recruitment and training continue to stymie deli execs. Analysis by Joan Driggs / Research by Debra Chanil


hile deli sales are far from achieving their full potential, sales gains were much lighter in 2014 — 4 percent — than 2013’s nearly 6 percent gains. A closer look reveals similarity to 2012’s 3.8 percent gain. Even as sales growth slows, it remains true that deli growth outpaces that of the total store. Further, nearly 73 percent of respondents to Progressive Grocer’s 2015 Retail Deli Review report that deli sales increased in 2014, ahead of the 69.2 percent reporting the same for 2013. Better yet, just 6.8 percent report a decrease in sales, compared with the 7.7 percent of respondents who indicated they lost out in 2013. Te optimism operators are demonstrating is supported by the growth they’re experiencing and anticipating, as 77.5 percent of respondents indicate growth will continue in 2015, well ahead of the 72.6 percent who anticipated increases last year.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Deli SaleS Change 2013-14

2015 Retail Deli Review While deli sales growth slowed, margins are decidedly improving, with nearly 60 percent of retailer respondents indicating profts were ahead in 2014, up nearly seven points from last year’s report; slightly fewer reported decreases in profts last year. Drilling down to prepared foods’ performance, 73 percent of respondents indicate an increase in dollar sales, and two-thirds report an increase in unit sales. Tere was an uptick of about fve percentage points, to 7.2 percent, of respondents reporting a decrease in profts, however. While this could point to higher prices on fat unit sales, additional data from the survey indicate higher margins due to reduced shrink. Specifc to the 2015 Retail Deli Review, PG surveyed a crosssection of national, regional and independent retail deli executives to learn about same-store sales, initiatives they’re focusing on, program performance, challenges, and more. Overall, retailers report gross margin of 46.3 percent, up from 44.7 percent a year ago. Traditionally, gains have been less than one percentage point, so the 1.6 percentage point change is considered healthy growth. Further, the number of employees has remained consistent, as has deli department square footage, which indicates that growth is coming from greater operational efciency. According to respondents, shrink’s percentage of sales has dipped nearly a full percentage point, from 6.3 percent in 2013 to 5.6 percent in 2014. With more consumers looking to grocery retailers for prepared foods, it’s curious that retailers indicate they’ll be



20.4% 6.8%

Stayed the Same


4.0% net Change

expeCteD Deli Same-Store SaleS Change 2015 22.5%


4.2% net Change

Source: Progressive Grocer Market Research, 2015


Retailer Combo Meals are Key for Families and Sales Growth

“By enhancing their merchandising, operators can capture a greater share in the fresh-prepared foods department,” says Sarah Tabb, brand manager at Coca-Cola North America. “Make the idea of a bundled meal obvious and the purchase of the meal convenient.”

Balancing work and family responsibilities means that cooking from scratch must frequently be supplemented with easy prepared meal solutions. A combination meal purchased from a supermarket ofers an opportunity for a family to spend less time in the kitchen and more time connecting at the dinner table. It is also a big sales growth opportunity for a retailer - driven through smart merchandising and marketing. According to Food Marketing Institute (FMI), children who regularly share family mealtime are likely to do better in school and be more resistant to negative peer pressure. Te importance of shared meals at home is the impetus behind the FMI’s National Meals Month in September to encourage families to add one family meal occasion per week. Te Coca-Cola Company is supporting the initiative with new POS that illustrates a wider range of food choices, merchandising options and ideas for programming. According to research, one hour before mealtime, nearly 60 percent of shoppers do not know what they will have for dinner on any given evening.1


Creating a go-to destination within the store begins with the overall appearance of the area — having a department that is kept clean and conveys an aura of freshness and high quality is paramount, even more important than the price of the ofer. “Tat’s a huge opportunity that retailers should capitalize on – to become a reliable everyday destination for easy prepared meal solutions,” Tabb says. For more insights and helpful information, please visit 1

Te NPD Group’s National Eating Trends 2012.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

time to connect ÂŽ

Bundled meals make your freshly prepared foods section a destination for customers. Connect Coca-Cola with prepared meals to offer a full shopper solution. Our innovative deli options have the potential to increase your basket size and traffc. For more ways to drive traffc and grow your retail business, visit

Š 2015 The Coca-Cola Company

2015 Retail Deli Review focusing on sandwiches as a key initiative in 2015, with nearly two-thirds of respondents identifying them as the No. 1 area of concentration this year. Nielsen’s Perishables Group reports that prepared chicken sales for the 52 weeks ending March 28, 2015, averaged more than $4,000 per store per week, with healthy increases in both dollars and volume. Sandwiches, the major food program focus for retailers this year, tally just more than $1,500 per store per week; average sandwich costs of $5 outpace those of chicken at $4.40. Perishable

Deli Department performance current Year

retail meal solutions/ prepareD fooD program performance (compared with year ago)



Stayed the Same

current Dollar sales 73.0% 19.8% 7.2%

Year ago

gross margin

46.3% 44.7%

labor as a percent of sales



shrink as a percent of sales



full-time equivalent emploYees per store



Deli Department square footage




current unit sales


Source: Progressive Grocer Market Research, 2015


Deli Department profits

Source: Progressive Grocer Market Research, 2015




Stayed the Same

current Year



18.8% 29.0%

Year ago


20.1% Source: Progressive Grocer Market Research, 2015


What operational issue Do You consiDer to be the single most challenging With regarD to Your rms program?

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

labor pricing shrink proDuct qualitY levels training inventorY management equipment proDuctivitY/ maintenance

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Source: Progressive Grocer Market Research, 2015

respondents (46.1 percent), and hot/cold bars Group’s data indicate that the biggest gainers in deli and dinners are further down on the list, cited as are in the sandwich arena, including specialty deli important by just about a third of respondents. meat and pre-sliced cheese, but that bulk meat’s 6 Just half of respondents will focus on staf trainpercent growth shows that shoppers are focused on ing this year, which is consistent with last year’s other meal occasions as well. fgure. Yet engaging, efcient staf is key to a sucCertainly, there has been a tremendous amount of cessful deli operation. Consistently, retailers report excitement in the sandwich arena in foodservice. Data that engaged associates are the “most infuential in provider Food Genius notes in its 2014 “Te State of the Sandwich” report, that sandwiches are a menu mainstay, available at 81 percent of foodservice locations, and are predominant in the foodservice segments competing most aggressively with grocery retail, including fast casual, quick casual and family dining. While sandwiches are everywhere, they defy “standardization,” making them ideal vehicles for any operator — including grocery retailers — to tout as signature menu items, with twists coming in the forms of spreads, condiments or bread. Further, with the national average price of a sandwich at foodservice ringing in at $6.26, grocery retail is positioned as a better value. Rotisserie programs — a perennial top seller in the deli program — continue to rank No. 2 among areas of focus for the coming year, but the percentage of retailers citing them has dipped considerably, to 52 percent, indicating that many retailers believe they’re already at the top of their game in this regard. Not likely, according to Tyson Foods’ “Consequences of Failure” research, which indicates that some 41 percent of more than 3,000 shoppers surveyed had a problem at the in-store deli. In three categories of problems, product, stafng and general deli issues, 46.7 percent had a problem with products. Te most signifcant product issues indicated that chicken wasn’t prepared properly, with 30 percent reporting product was A wide gusset for easy loading is just one of the many overcooked or too dry. benefts a Robbie Hot N Handy® pouch ofers over traditional PG research (separate from this rigid packaging. So, get used to faster and easier loading. report) found that retailers give themselves relatively high marks for customer service, but that operational But don’t just take our word for it... efciency training is lacking (please visit Progressive Grocer’s three-part Deli Insights series in the February, March and April 2015 issues, available at Meal deals are reported as a major Call 1-800-4-Robbie or focus by fewer than 50 percent of


2015 Retail Deli Review securing everyday deli department sales.” While it’s well argued that you can train an engaged employee to do many tasks well, you can’t train someone to be well engaged. Engaged employees are cited by nearly 87 percent of respondents as the most inf luential sales driver, more than double the next most inf luential drivers, product samples or signature items. Supporting the notion of engaged employees and the importance of consistent training is the No. 1 operational issue of the deli: labor. Retailers also report recruitment as the top-ranked problem they face in the deli department, ranking 7.8 on a scale of one to 10. Just trailing recruitment is training, coming in at 7.3. Recruitment and training were also the top issues in last year’s survey, indicating that solutions remain elusive. Meanwhile, shrink, which ranked No. 3 in problems facing the deli department the 2014 survey, fell to No. 10 on the list, with retailers giving it a six on the overall pain scale. This mirrors the dip in shrink as a percentage of sales mentioned earlier in this report. PG

WhiCh of the folloWing Do you ConsiDer to be most influential to seCuring strong everyDay Deli Department sales? engageD assoCiates proDuCt samples signature items aCtive sampling/events in-store speCials premium branDs aDvertising/promotions Cross-promotions soCial meDia speCial offers pos Coupons/DisCounts inCentive-baseD DisCounts inCreaseD on-aD speCials extenDeD hours of operation


year ago

86.7% 47.9 45.9 37.8 28.4 27.5 24.4 21.8 13.0 10.5 4.6 4.1 0.0

86.6% 42.4 38.5 35.6 16.9 21.6 15.4 10.4 6.0 14.2 9.1 8.2 0.0

Source: Progressive Grocer Market Research, 2015

Deli Department Category performanCe Total U.S., 52 weeks ending March 28, 2015


Prepared Foods Prepared Chicken Salads Entrées Sandwiches Dips/Spreads/Toppings Pizza Sushi Snacks Platters Sides Soups Condiments Appetizers Desserts Breakfast Foods Deli Meat Bulk Meat Pre-sliced Meat Specialty Deli Meat Deli Cheese Specialty Cheese Service Cheese Pre-sliced Cheese Deli Beverages Coffee Other Tea

Dollars per Store/Week

Dollars per Store/Week Percent Change vs. Year Ago

Volume Percent Change vs. Year Ago

Volume Percent on Promotion

Volume Percent on Promotion Change vs. Year Ago

Average Retail

Average Retail Percent Change vs. Year Ago

$4,033 2,288 1,610 1,547 1,221 763 726 557 459 342 308 179 153 114 83

5.9% 6.6 8.0 7.9 12.0 7.5 11.6 8.6 2.5 15.0 8.4 1.3 4.2 3.2 7.3

5.3% 3.9 5.2 5.1 11.8 6.3 10.6 8.4 -1.6 9.0 4.3 -1.8 5.4 2.2 2.5

8.1% 11.0 10.1 10.0 24.6 8.5 2.6 27.3 15.7 12.0 12.6 10.0 8.4 8.4 9.4

-1.1% -1.5 -0.7 -1.0 0.7 -0.3 -0.4 1.5 0.1 -0.8 -1.8 -0.1 0.1 -0.3 -2.8

$4.40 4.19 4.66 5.01 3.39 4.40 7.23 3.08 12.93 3.41 4.32 5.98 2.74 2.28 2.78

0.6% 2.6 2.7 2.6 0.2 1.1 0.9 0.1 4.1 5.5 3.9 3.2 -1.1 1.1 4.7

$4,349 658 209

5.8% 7.4 10.6

-0.2% 1.8 -1.8

25.0% 10.0 14.8

-2.9% -0.9 -1.5

$7.38 8.79 8.23

6.0% 5.5 12.6

$2,930 1,220 321

7.5% 6.5 9.9

4.8% 0.9 0.0

16.3% 22.2 13.1

-1.0% -4.3 -2.5

$7.92 6.73 7.34

2.6% 5.5 9.9

$618 197 196

6.0% 1.8 46.8

1.9% 4.1 49.7

4.8% 5.7 11.7

0.0% -0.4 -4.8

$2.90 1.24 2.40

4.0% -2.2 -2.0

Source: Nielsen Perishables Group FreshFacts®


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

what areas of Your deli operations will You concentrate on enhancing during 2014? sandwiches rotisserie programs staff training meal deals (bundled meals) dailY specials catering premium brands hot/cold bars dinner lunch side dishes soup stations private label categorY management breakfast sushi concept food stations (i.e., AsiAn kitchens, pAstA, cArving stAtions) antipasto bars beverage bars


Year ago

62.2% 52.0 51.7 46.1 40.5 37.6 34.6 33.9 32.9 27.2 25.3 19.2 19.0 19.0 17.5 16.9

59.6% 56.8 50.4 45.0 51.6 45.7 39.8 26.6 24.5 30.8 27.2 20.7 14.5 20.4 23.1 27.9

14.2 13.7 3.3

16.5 9.7 6.7

problems facing the deli deparment

Rated on a scale of 1-10, where 10=extremely serious

current Year

Year ago

recruiting effective emploYees



emploYee training



labor costs



local/national economic conditions



attracting more shoppers to deli



product and/or ingredient costs






other supermarket competition



food safetY






equipment costs



non-supermarket competition



customer satisfaction






product qualitY level



Source: Progressive Grocer Market Research, 2015

Source: Progressive Grocer Market Research, 2015


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Fresh Food

Produce Safety

Safe and Sound The produce industry prepares for changes in food safety and traceability requirements. By Jennifer Strailey


weeping.” “Comprehensive.” “Transformative.” Tose are the words used to describe the changes in food safety and traceability practices now facing the produce industry. Te much-anticipated Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law in 2011 by President Barack Obama, “is the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years,” notes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “It aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.”


Industry organizations, including United Fresh Produce Association, in Washington, D.C., and the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association (PMA), have been working closely with the FDA on the produce piece of FSMA. It will be “transformative in how the U.S. food safety regulatory network functions and will touch every segment of the produce business supply chain, from farm to fork,” notes PMA. Both organizations, along with the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and GS1 US, have been equally involved in the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), a voluntary program ofering a roadmap to the implementation of case-level electronic traceability in the produce industry.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Fresh Food

Produce doesn’t follow a straight path. It can go through five to 10 stops before reaching the consumer.” —Ed Treacy, Produce Marketing Association

Produce Safety

While the specifc requirements, implementation deadlines and enforcement of FSMA are as yet unknown, traceability is sure to be a critical component. As such, it’s expected that companies already PTI-compliant will have a leg-up. “With PTI, we have the ground level covered,” says Ed Treacy, PMA’s VP of supply chain efciencies, who believes FSMA regulations will support PTI practices. Treacy, along with GS1 US reps and United Fresh VP of Supply Chain Management Dan Vaché, serve as liaisons between PTI and the FDA, and have worked on pilot programs required by FSMA. “PTI got started in 2007 because we recognized that we needed to do a better job of tracking the product between the store and the source,” he recalls. “Produce doesn’t follow a straight path. It can go through fve to 10 stops before reaching the consumer.” Trough PTI, the industry collaborated on the development of standards focused on case labeling. A number of major supermarket chains, including Publix Super Markets Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Whole Foods Market, now request that their suppliers use a standard case label including GTIN, lot/batch#, voice pick code, and pack or sell-by date. “We have 6 billion cases of produce moving in

our supply chain in the U.S.,” notes Treacy. “Trying to get all of it labeled is no small feat. But we’re now [at] well over 50 percent of cases labeled.” While implementing a traceability program may be daunting to some, early adopters have experienced additional and unexpected benefts, as in the case of Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods. “Tey took a unique approach, and have used the PTI label to communicate with consumers at point of sale,” explains Treacy. Whole Foods has linked its barcodes to a supplier rating system that tells team members whether a particular case of produce has a “good,” “better,” “best” or “unrated” designation. A third-party company houses the data, which factor suppliers’ sustainability eforts and fair-work practices into the rating. Team members can scan the barcode and then communicate the ratings to customers via in-store signage. “It’s a great approach,” adds Treacy. “Whole Foods really leveraged traceability.” Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart has also derived ancillary benefts from case-level traceability. “Tey have seen a measurable lift in product quality, because the label has a human-readable pack date, which allows them to rotate on pack date rather




























• • •


Fresh-cut Confidence than receive date,” notes Treacy. Meanwhile, Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix reports greater supply chain efciency and getting produce to sale faster. While a number of supermarket chains have adopted PTI, so far suppliers have embraced the initiative in greater numbers. Giumarra Cos., in Los Angeles, is one such PTI-compliant supplier that has made the investment in traceability. “Traceability is an important step and a valuable tool for all companies to have in place, and I believe it will be mandatory moving forward, so the sooner companies implement, the better,” says Jim Heil, Giumarra’s director of quality assurance and project manager for traceability. Five years ago, Giumarra took a discerning look at traceability. “We decided to get out in front of it,” says Heil, who is a PTI Committee member. “We saw value in it, and built systems to support traceability company-wide.” Te industry needs a common language for tracing products, asserts Heil. “Moving information is really going to be the key down the road, and electronic data will be a signifcant piece,” he adds. California Giant Berry Farms, in Watsonville, Calif., is also PTIcompliant, and while VP of Marketing Cindy Jewell sees the value of traceability, she also notes the lack of critical mass adoption of PTI. “We are in compliance with PTI, but I don’t know that it is still an industry-wide initiative,” she says. “We have not had any conversations with our trading partners about PTI for quite some time.” Industry consolidation has hindered PTI adoption on the retail side, admits Vaché, of United Fresh. ”When one retail chain buys another, their systems are often diferent. It’s a big expense to upgrade to one unifed system, and that slowed the retail response to PTI.” While Jewell says that California Giant Berry Farms’ investment in traceability has yielded multiple benefts, including confdence in its ability to pinpoint any potential problems, as well as connecting consumers to the farm where their specifc purchase was harvested, she also notes that traceability is just one component of the company’s food safety program.

“Retailers who offer value-added fresh-cut produce in the store, or in front of customers, face a greater challenge from a food safety standpoint,” says Elis Owens, senior chemist/microbiologist for Birko, a Henderson, Colo.-based provider of environmentally safe chemical formulations and equipment solutions. Owens advises retailers to begin by analyzing all potential risks in their fresh-cut operations. “How does the product come in from my supplier? How am I storing it? What risks am I exposing myself to when I do freshcut, and what steps can I take to mitigate them? How will I clean the area I’m using for fresh-cut, and how often will I clean it? These are the questions that need to be asked,” he says. His tips for creating a food safety program in fresh-cut are: 1. Designate a specific area for fresh-cut and create a controlled environment. All tables, equipment and tools should be cleanable and dedicated just for use in the fresh-cut operation. 2. Adopt a proper cleaning and sanitation program and schedule for the tools, equipment and surfaces used. 3. Control and record the temperature of the product throughout the process. 4. Be proactive, and remember that you’re not alone. There are many industry organizations, such as United Fresh Produce Association and the Produce Marketing Association, that offer guidance.

“We take food safety very seriously here and place most of our eforts on prevention that involves ongoing training and implementation of good agricultural practices,” explains Jewell. “We have our own food safety staf that conducts on-site training and in-house audits to reinforce the need for good practices and our third-party auditor.”

Awaiting FSMA FDA is expected to release its FSMA fnal rule between August and October 2015, at which time supermarket retailers and suppliers alike will face new requirements and implementation deadlines. “Tere’s a lot of nervousness,” observes Vaché, taking the industry’s pulse. “But because it’s been such an ongoing process, we’re confdent that even when they release the rule, companies will have time to implement changes.” Vaché and other industry experts have been working to provide the FDA with a comprehensive view of the produce industry landscape as it writes FSMA. “Te most onerous aspect will be the

Produce has been late to the table with technology, compared to center store, but we’re getting there.” —Dan Vaché, United Fresh Produce Association

June 2015 | |


Fresh Food

Traceability is an important step and a valuable tool for all companies to have in place, and I believe it will be mandatory moving forward, so the sooner companies implement, the better.” —Jim Heil, Giumarra Cos.


Produce Safety

recordkeeping,” Vaché predicts of the changes ahead. “It’s going to take an investment, and if you’re doing business the way you did 20 years ago, it’s going to be more of an investment. Don’t wait until your trading partners ask you to be PTI-compliant, because it doesn’t happen overnight,” he cautions.

Technology Age Traceability, technology and food safety are spurring signifcant change in the produce industry, but at the same time, it remains an industry with players of all sizes, with some better equipped to embrace change than others. “Innovative programs such as the Produce Traceability Initiative are implementing positive changes that ensure food moves safely and efciently through the supply chain with clear traceability,” says Todd Bernitt, director of foodservice at Eden

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Prairie, Minn.-based C.H. Robinson, a global third-party logistics provider. “Te challenge lies in determining an industry-wide standard that is fair and manageable for companies and organizations of all sizes and scales in the fresh produce industry.” While the produce business has obviously evolved from handshake deals made on the farm, Bernitt believes that traceability and the need for food safety best practices management have now created an unprecedented demand for technology in the industry. “Produce has been late to the table with technology, compared to center store,” asserts Vaché, “but we’re getting there.” Walter Ram, VP of food safety for Giumarra, agrees. “Te industry has really evolved in the last 15 years, like no other time in history,” he says, pointing to traceability initiatives, scientifc advancements and enhancements in communication as signs of progress. “With FSMA coming up, most of us have already gotten the heavy lifting done,” adds Ram. From agriculture drones to traceability tattoos on individual products, Vaché sees food safety causing a wave of technology in the produce industry. “One of the most exciting developments is real-time monitoring (RTM),” he says. “Historically, produce was picked and put on a truck that travelled four days to get to the other end, and if something went wrong with the refrigeration unit, it all had to be thrown away.” Now, with RTM devices, if

the temperature in the truck goes out of range, everyone in the supply chain gets an alert. “When people embrace that type of technology, you see a reduction in claims, and quality is improved across the system,” he observes.

Safe Supply According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, approximately 48 million Americans are victims of foodborne illnesses annually, and costs associated with their medical care and lost income total more than $15 billion each year. Well-publicized fatalities associated with fresh spinach in 2006 and cantaloupes in 2011 have further fueled concern among consumers regarding the safety of the food supply. “I believe that our food supply is safe and gets safer every day,” asserts Treacy, who notes that several factors are driving the spate of reports of fresh produce linked to listeria and other food safety concerns. “No. 1, we put ourselves in front of the press by killing fve people with spinach and 33 with cantaloupe. Prior to 2006, many of these recent reports would have been back-page stories,” he says. “No. 2, our detection capabilities have gotten better and, in

many cases, have been initiated by growers who are now conducting more stringent food safety testing. “Tey’re testing to 0 percent tolerance,” adds Treacy. “Ten years ago, not many companies were even testing for listeria.” Because of their direct dealings with consumers, produce managers play a crucial role in communicating the safety of their stores’ products and practices. “It’s critical that retail produce managers are educated and prepared to answer questions intelligently about every product in their department,” stresses Vaché. “Tey need to know who they buy from and how the produce got to the store, and they need to have that information at their fngertips so they can encourage the customer to shop with confdence.” PG

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Fresh Food

Produce Category Spotlight

Any Way

You Slice It

Valued for their versatility, onions are strong sellers year-round. By Jennifer Strailey


mong the world’s most versatile vegetables, onions are used to season dishes around the globe. But it’s more than culinary tradition that keeps consumers slicing and dicing; onions add favor and nutrition to a host of dishes, without fat, sodium or signifcant calories. In the United States, onion consumption has increased more than 70 percent over the past two decades, from 12.2 pounds per person in 1982 to 20 pounds per person today, according to the National Onion Association. “Onions are certainly important in our diet,” afrms Kim Reddin, director of public and industry relations for the Greeley, Colo.-based association. “Tey are one of the most widely traded vegetables in the world.


“In the U.S., we’ve got such a melting pot of cultures,” she continues. “Tere’s not a cuisine in the world that doesn’t use onions in some fashion, which is part of what makes usage here so strong. Tink of pickled onions, caramelized, raw, slow-roasted, soft and savory onions — there are so many diferent favors and textures, depending on how you use this extremely versatile vegetable.” Some of today’s hottest food trends are further driving onion sales. Reddin sees pickled onions dressing up everything from street tacos to Asian-inspired banh mi sandwiches to fne dining. “Pickled onion is defnitely trending. It adds a splash of color and favor,” she notes. In her work with registered dietitians in supermarkets around the country, Reddin emphasizes not only the myriad uses of onions, but their health benefts as well.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

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Fresh Food

Produce Category Spotlight

Onions are high in vitamin C and a good source of fber, as well as providing a nutritional boost, all at just 45 calories per serving. To promote the nutritional and culinary benefts of onions to a national audience, the organization is sponsoring a new PBS television cooking show featuring Robin Shea that’s devoted to the concept of 80/20 — 80 percent healthy and 20 percent indulgent. Te program is slated to begin taping this month. Shea will also appear in cooking videos to be featured on the National Onion Association’s website.

There’s not a cuisine in the world that doesn’t use onions in some fashion, which is part of what makes usage here so strong.” —Kim Reddin, National Onion Association


Sweet Success “Growing steadily over the last decade, sweet onion sales have either been tied with or have overtaken yellow cooking-onion sales during the last three years,” says John Shuman, president and director of sales for Shuman Produce, who adds that sweet onions account for nearly a third of total onion category sales. As summer barbecue season heats up, grocers have the opportunity to further leverage sales of this increasingly popular onion variety. Cross-merchandising them with other grill-friendly foods can spur sales in numerous categories. With this strategy in mind, Reidsville, Ga.-based Shuman Produce has designed a display unit for cross-merchandising its RealSweet Vidalia Onions in multiple locations, both in and out of the produce department. “Research we’ve conducted with Nielsen Perishables Group

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

indicates that sweet onions drive sales of a variety of items,” notes Shuman. “Consumers with sweet onions in their carts are more likely to purchase produce such as peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and bagged salad, as well as fresh meats such as beef and chicken. “Tie-ins with popular cookout items, such as peppers, tomatoes, burgers, sausage and even center store items such as mustard, work well to build a meal solution consumers can easily utilize and purchase as a complete package,” he adds. Along with the ability to be used as secondary displays, Shuman’s new smaller display units ofer a colorful merchandising tool for smaller-format stores lacking the foor space for a full-sized bin. Tis Vidalia season, Shuman Produce is teaching consumers “How to Speak Southern” with a new promotion designed to share the story behind the onions and the families who grow and ship RealSweet Vidalias. As part of the promotion, the company has launched a tie-in website; additional promotional eforts include social media, video content, an interactive contest and information on the history of Shuman Produce. More sweet-onion season cross-promotional opportunities abound, thanks to Bland Farms, which recently launched a cross-merchandising campaign featuring its Vidalia Sweet Onions and chips. Te Glenville, Ga.-based company has expanded its Vidalia Brands products with a Zesty Ranch version of its Sweet Onion Petals chips. “It has a bit of sriracha favoring and kick to it,” says Greg Smith, marketing communications manager. To promote sales of both the chips and onions, Bland Farms is placing a coupon tearpad on all of its Vidalia Brands display shippers to ofer shoppers $1 of a bag of Bland Farms Vidalia Sweet Onions with the purchase of a bag of Vidalia Brands chips. “We believe this is another great produce-specifc crosspromotional opportunity for our customers,” asserts Smith.

Sweet Signage When it comes to merchandising onions, clear signage indicating the type of onion and its origin is critical. “Drawing attention to the fact that certain onions are sweet onions and not conventional storage onions is important,

Vidalia Onion Committee

because they can appear very similar to consumers,” explains Smith. “Sweet onions command a premium price compared to conventional onions, due to their versatility, superior favor profle and overall quality. As such, we need to make sure consumers are being informed of those favorable characteristics.” Educating consumers about the diferent uses of sweet versus storage onions through signage or in-store cooking demos can also be a valuable tool to spark sales. “Te milder and sweet onion varieties lend themselves to the lighter cooking preparations this time of year — salads and grilling. Tis cooking works really well with sweet onions, which are higher in water content,” notes Reddin, of the National Onion Association. Meanwhile, storage onions, which have a lower water content and more concentrated favor, are ideal for the soups and stews of fall and winter. Due to the higher water content in sweet onions, Smith recommends rotating them frequently, as they are more prone to bruising than storage onions. “To keep sweet onions unblemished and in the best shape possible, they should be rotated frequently, handled with care and never stacked too high,” he advises.

The Vidalia onion season officially kicked off on April 27, and with it, the reprise of the Vidalia Onion Committee’s (VOC) V is for Vidalia marketing campaign. This year’s campaign is focused on promoting the versatility and benefits of Vidalia onions to a younger audience. The promotion features increased digital and social media activities, with outreach to food bloggers, a coupon and weekly giveaways on Facebook, along with advertising and public relations activities. “We had a tremendous response to the V is for Vidalia campaign last year, which is why we have decided to make this a long-term promotional effort,” explains Susan Waters, executive director of the VOC, based, naturally enough, in Vidalia, Ga. “We were able to reach the targeted Millennial consumers, and are beginning to establish their long-term loyalty for the Vidalia onion brand.” A newly expanded retailer section of the Vidalia Onion Committee’s website provides grocers with a range of marketing and merchandising resources at Retailers can also request POS materials from their Vidalia onion supplier.

Growth in Organics According to a new report released by the Organic Trade Association, in Washington, D.C., exports of U.S. organic foods, as well as imports of organics in the United States, have risen signifcantly in the past few years. A notable 27

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Fresh Food

Growing steadily over the last decade, sweet onion sales have either been tied with or have overtaken yellow cookingonion sales during the last three years.” —John Shuman, Shuman Produce


Produce Category Spotlight

percent of U.S. onion exports are now organic. “Te onion category itself continues to be one of the top-10 volume items in the produce department,” notes Tony Campise, of Utah Onion Inc., in Syracuse, Utah. “Organic and sweet onions continue to be the items that are the most increased.” A grower-shipper of yellow, red, white, sweet and organic onions, Utah Onion has growing locations in Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington n state. “At Utah Onion — Hartley’s Best,, we continue to evolve as a company,” says Campise, e, who reveals that a new marketing campaign is in development and scheduled to debut soon. “We are working towards bringing our multiple growing regions under one strategic plan, an, while consolidating our sales eforts,” he explains. “We are also looking at cross-promotions with our retailers to help drive volume for the onion category, as well as avocados, tomatoes and potentially mushrooms.” rooms.” Utah Onion’s organic line will be part art of the campaign. “I see organics as a growing portion of the business,” says Campise. “Te consumer push for moree and more organics will only continue too increase.” PG

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

A Palate for Shallots As consumers continue to experiment with different cuisines and cooking onions at home, many have become increasingly aware of the intriguing nuances of shallots. Part of the allium family, shallots are related to garlic, onions and leeks. Like garlic, they’re harvested once a year in the summer. “The great thing about shallots is the delicious flavor, often described as a cross between garlic and onions, but milder and more aromatic,” a o at c, notes otes Patsy atsy Ross, o of C Christopher stop e Ranch, in Gilroy, Calif. “Shallots have a natural sweetness and are great in cooked sauces, as they have a natural thickening property.”

NO. 18

NO. 18

Idaho® potatoes and Hispanic shoppers: A winning combination for retailers Hispanic consumers shop where they know they’ll fnd quality. For roduce, the ultimate quality test for Hispanic shoppers is freshess. But brand loyalty is also an important characteristic of Hispanic consumers, and they consider branded produce a higheruality product that is worth a higher price. ’s not surprising, then, that when these big consumers of potatoes hop for food, they already know, buy and specifcally look for the daho brand name and logo on the bag. Hispanic consumers tradionally have shopped at supermarkets in urban centers, but today re increasingly hitting the aisles of suburban grocery stores too. y carrying Idaho® potatoes, retailers can capture these sales and inforce Hispanic shoppers’ perceptions of their stores’ quality roduce offerings.

BEHIND THE RESEARCH cept where noted, all data in this issue of Potato Retailing Today are from proprietary search conducted by the Idaho Potato Commission, including dozens of in-depth nversations with Hispanic primary shopping females and a nationwide survey of 1,000 spanic females ages 18-plus.



NO. 18

Leveraging the ‘fresh’ advantage with Hispanic shoppers

Brand loyalty rules

Quality is the most important consideration for Hispanics when they shop for produce, and they defne quality as “fresh.” Hispanic consumers choose supermarkets where they feel the produce is freshest, less expensive and longer-lasting.

U.S. Hispanics in all consumer segments are strongly brand loyal, and they are more likely to buy branded products than Asian and African American consumers. This brand loyalty among Hispanics extends to branded produce, which they see as being of higher quality and worth paying more for because it helps minimize the risk of wasting money. And in the potato category, Idaho is the only branded ofering.

Flavorful Size • Larger

Smell • Just-picked aroma

Hispanic shoppers’ definition of “fresh”

Appearance • Color • Cleanliness

Feel • Firmness • Texture

“Branded produce is only slightly more expensive, but worth paying more to obtain the best.” P O TAT O R E TA I L I N G T O D AY


NO. 18

Hispanics take their potatoes seriously Potatoes are key in Hispanic food culture, where they are considered a “healthful vegetable” and are used in a variety of dishes and meal occasions an average of four times per week. Consumption is driven by Hispanic consumers’ enjoyment of potato dishes, along with the ease of preparation and potatoes’ versatility. Hispanic shoppers base their potato type preferences on texture, speed of cooking, size and price, with firmness/texture especially strong considerations. But they predominantly prefer russet potatoes.



Opting for Idaho® potatoes Hispanic shoppers already know, buy and specifically look for the Idaho brand name and logo on the bag. In fact, the majority of Hispanics say they have seen/heard of and used Idaho® potatoes.

Among Hispanic consumers:


know the Idaho brand


have purchased Idaho® potatoes


look specifically for Idaho® potatoes “every or most of the time” when buying russets (an additional 31% say “sometimes”)

NO. 18

Why Idaho on-package branding is important Among Hispanic shoppers, Idaho branding on the package identifes the brand and drives selection and purchase.

What do you look for to confirm you are actually buying Idaho brand russet potatoes? Says Idaho on the bag Has Idaho brand on the bag


Who’s most likely to look for what when looking for Idaho brand russet potatoes




Says Idaho on bag

Idaho brand on bag

of Spanishspeaking Hispanics

of Midwestern of Northwestern Hispanics Hispanics


Picture of Idaho state on the bag

7% Other


Idaho state picture on bag


Purchase frequency for Hispanics who choose IdahoÂŽ potatoes Eight in 10 Hispanics specifcally select Idaho branded potatoes at least some of the time when they buy russets, and foreign-born Hispanics are the most likely to choose Idaho.

How ofen Hispanic shoppers make a conscious choice to buy Idaho brand russet potatoes vs. non-branded potatoes

31% 31% Most of the time

18% Every time

Foreign-born Hispanics are 39% more likely to choose Idaho every time they buy russets



All Latinas 18+

12% Seldom

8% Never


Foreign-born Latinas 18+ P O TAT O R E TA I L I N G T O D AY


NO. 18

Keep Idaho® potatoes in stock at supermarkets Hispanics who buy Idaho shop both chain supermarkets and Hispanic/neighborhood supermarkets. Not finding Idaho® potatoes where they shop for groceries is a deterrent for more than one-fifh of Hispanic consumers who would like to put Idaho spuds on their dinner table.

What, if anything, deters you from choosing Idaho brand russet potatoes when grocery shopping?

“I don’t find them where I shop.”

21% 6


Awareness/usage of Idaho® potatoes by purchase channel when buying russet potatoes

Have seen or heard of Idaho® potatoes Have seen or heard of Idaho® potatoes and have purchased them Have seen or heard of Idaho potatoes but have not purchased them Have not seen or heard of Idaho brand

Hispanic supermarkets/ neighborhood stores

Chain supermarkets









NO. 18

Although Hispanic consumers hit the supermarket for 2 in 3 shopping trips, they also shop multiple types of stores: Supermarkets 67%

3% Supercenters 3% Club stores 5% Drug stores 5% Mass merch 4% Specialty stores* 3% C-stores

Number of trips per average 4 weeks:


4% Dollar stores 2% Healthy grocery

* Includes Hispanic independents Source: Winning the Hispanic Shopping Trip, Unilever Hispanic Diary Data

% U.S. non-Hispanic white population

Idaho in the potato set helps grow share of wallet everywhere Only 12 percent of Hispanic russet buyers say they don’t buy Idaho® potatoes because they’re more expensive. In fact, according to Nielsen Homescan data, Hispanics spend more per trip and are no more likely to buy on deal than are nonHispanics. Hispanic consumers are also heading to supermarkets for two in three shopping trips, and these supermarkets are in America’s Top 100 large metro areas where white consumers are becoming the minority. In 2010, for example, half of the foreign-born population lived in suburbs. With 80 percent of Hispanics looking for Idaho® potatoes in suburban supermarkets and urban stores, having the brands that Hispanics prefer chainwide is critical to winning a larger share of wallet.

% Dollars on deal

Large Metros

71% 63% 57%

Small Metros

Non-Metro Areas

82% 77% 73% 86% 82% 80%



$52 $50



Basket ring $ per trip



Source: State of Metropolitan America-Brookings


Hispanic— Spanish preferred

Hispanic— English preferred

White nonHispanic



NO. 18

WHYIDAHO? The “Grown In Idaho” seal is the guarantee Hispanics look for to assure top-quality potatoes. Idaho® potatoes are perceived to be premium, and command a price premium at retail. Idaho® potatoes derive their unique texture, taste and dependable performance from Idaho’s growing conditions: warm days, cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation, rich volcanic soil.

Idaho® potato retailers are supported by the nation’s most powerful promotion program, which includes national TV advertising, extensive public relations, the Great Big Idaho® Potato Truck, the Potato Lovers Retail Display Contest, promotional support funds, bilingual point-ofsale materials, and tie-in promotions.

All Idaho® potatoes come with—and only Idaho® potatoes have—the clearly marked “Grown In Idaho” seal. Idaho has strict rules for what can go into a consumer bag to insure consistent size and quality. Other states do not have such rules. All Idaho sheds have USDA inspectors to ensure quality at all times.

Carrying Idaho® potatoes benefits retailers because: Idaho is the only brand in potatoes. When you carry Idaho, you tell your customers that you carry only the best. Because Hispanics are willing to pay more for quality, carrying Idaho® potatoes can enhance total category profitability. 8



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Health Beauty & Wellness


Passing the Test Blood pressure and glucose monitoring supplies can enhance a grocer’s wellness offerings. By Barbara Sax


ith data-driven health care becoming a reality, sales of OTC monitors that can store and share information with patients’ health care professionals are driving the at-home testing market. For instance, blood glucose and blood pressure meters are ofering patients increased storage for readings and interconnectivity to other electronic devices. According to the Alexandria, Va.-based American Diabetes Association, the average diabetes patient spends $103 per year on testing supplies. With testing strips averaging $1 apiece and patients on an intensive insulin regimen testing six to eight times a day, many patients are spending much more on testing supplies. Blood glucose meter sales across all outlets totaled $292 million for the 52-week period ending April 19, 2015, according to data from Chicago-based IRI. Lancet sales came to $27 million for the 52-week period, an increase of 14 percent, while testing accessories sales were fat at nearly $47 million. In the blood glucose monitor segment, sales of private label monitors outpaced branded products. Private label monitors had sales of $138 million, up 4.6 percent compared with last year, with private label products accounting for 47 percent of glucose monitor sales during the 52-week period. Reimbursement requirements have shifted the business to private label devices, since insurance companies steer patients to more afordable products. Branded meters from Lifestyle, Bayer, Roche and Abbott all had dollar sales declines, largely as a result of lower prices for their private label counterparts. Meters have become more technologically advanced, with many allowing users to store and track results and to connect the device to other electronics so that patients can better track their own data, as

well as share them with physicians or pharmacists. “A lot of the progress in the category has already been made. Tings have improved dramatically, with good results requiring very little blood,” affrms Matt Petersen, managing director of medical information at the American Diabetes Association. “Competition now is concentrating on secondary features such as interconnectivity with other devices, and diferent colors.” “Consumers, as well as retailers and insurers, are looking for a quality value solution, and that’s where store brands, or own brands, can win in the marketplace,” says Mike Schlanger, senior marketing manager for channel marketing at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Nipro Diagnostics, which manufactures co-branded private label blood glucose meters, test strips, lancets and other diabetes supplies. “Te innovation behind our new True Metrix Air blood glucose meters delivers on [our] commitment to elevate store-brand product oferings that solve patient needs.”

Branded lancets, tablets/ sprays/gels, and syringes all gained High Tech, Higher Accuracy promotional True Metrix Air, introduced in April, share … can deliver data wirelessly to a user’s smartphone, Supermarkets and True Metrix test strips can detect, analyze are using these and correct for environmental and physiological products as variability (including hematocrit and temperatraffic drivers. ture) with proven precision and accuracy. Coupled with inAlameda, Calif.-based Abbott Diabetes Care store pharmacy launched FreeStyle Precision Neo Blood Glucose services, these Monitoring System, a high-accuracy blood glucose ads could drive meter that retails for $22 to $28, and test strips that retail for $14 to $17, a lower cost than other branded sales.” meters and test strips. Te new product is the frst in Abbott’s FreeStyle family of products, which is available over the counter with preferred co-pay pricing that gives patients the option to pay out of pocket to obtain their monitors and test strips, instead of dealing with the insurance paperwork and co-pays often

—Danal Harvey, ECRM

June 2015 | |



Consumers, as well as retailer and insurers, are looking for a quality value solution, and that’s where store brands, or own brands, can win in the marketplace.” —Mike Schlanger, Nipro Diagnostics


Health Beauty & Wellness

needed to purchase branded diabetes supplies. Earlier this year, LifeScan, a Johnson & Johnson company based in Milpitas, Calif., introduced the OneTouch Verio Blood Glucose Monitoring System, which helps people with diabetes better understand their results. Te system features a color-coded range indicator that shows whether a test result is within, below or above the range limits set in the meter, without the need to scroll or push buttons. It also looks for signs of improvement and provides positive reinforcement via Progress Notes, which inform patients on the progress they’re making in managing their diabetes and how often their blood glucose results are in range. ECRM data show that circular promotions that combined ofers for glucose monitors with lancet promotions increased 44 percent for the 52 weeks ending May 9, 2015. “Tis is a good indicator that supermarkets are utilizing promo space and supportive product promotions to ofer one-stop [shopping] on promo opportunities,” says Danal Harvey, an analyst at Solon, Ohio-based ECRM. “Branded lancets, tablets/sprays/gels, and syringes all gained promotional share for that period,” adds Harvey. “Supermarkets are using these products as trafc drivers. Coupled with in-store pharmacy services, these ads could drive sales.” Price-only ofers dominated the promotional landscape for the past two years, according to ECRM. Within incentive ofer promotions, blood glucose meters were promoted as a free item in 73 percent of supermarket glucose meter promotions for the past 52 weeks. Tese promotions ofered the monitor free with the purchase of test strips, rather than ofering the strips free with the purchase of the monitor. “It’s important to take the time to create a diabetes display with meters, strips and foot care,” says Kelly Rawlings, editorial director of the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Forecast magazine. “A big part of taking care of diabetes takes place in other parts of the store, when you are making decisions about what to eat. Using tests strips before you eat something, and again two hours after, can be a real eye-opening education on how certain foods afect you.” Nipro’s Schlanger says that supermarket retailers are doing a good job of integrating their nutritional and pharmacy expertise to help educate patients on managing their condition. “Many of our retail partners are doing diabetic screening events and nutritionist events that help educated consumers, but I’d like to see them doing more to actively seek that consumer with the kind of displays and programs that Publix and H-E-B are doing,” he notes. For one drug retail partner, Nipro created a display that included blood glucose meters, test strips and lancets, fast-acting glucose tablets, Ketone test strips, skin care products, and magazines. “Te dis-

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

play educates the consumer and builds awareness of all of the own-brand products available to meet the needs of the consumer with diabetes,” he explains.

Blood Pressure Meters Since those patients with diabetes often also sufer from a number of other conditions and complications, including high blood pressure, other tools and devices can appeal to them. Recent Mintel research found that 84 percent of patients with diabetes said they used a blood glucose meter in the past 30 days, while 44 percent of patients with diabetes said they used a blood pressure monitor during that same time period. Blood pressure monitoring kit sales totaled $205 million across all outlets, up nearly 2 percent for the 52-week period ending April 19, 2015, according to IRI data. Private label monitors accounted for 56 percent of glucose monitor sales, but saw dollar sales dip 1 percent to $115 million. Kyoto, Japan-based Omron, which has its U.S. headquarters in Lake Forest, Ill., dominated the branded market, with 41 percent of the market, seeing a nearly 16 percent dollar share increase at the same time that all other brands experienced dollar sales declines.

Omron recently implemented new algorithm technology in its upperarm blood pressure monitors to help ensure more consistent and precise readings. “Our newest line features Bluetooth Smart technology, which allows consumers to take accurate blood pressure readings and wirelessly transfer their readings to their smartphone through our new Omron Wellness App,” says Rob Schneider, the company’s executive marketing director. “Tis feature also allows consumers to easily show their doctor their blood pressure tracked over a specifc period of time, when they go into the ofce for a checkup.” Like other manufacturers, Omron is making its devices smaller, and plans to introduce the Ultra Silent wrist model, which can monitor anywhere, anytime, in late 2015. PG

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Inspect Your


Housewares can be a huge profit center for grocery retailers. By Barbara Sax

C Every other retail channel is experimenting with food, so why shouldn’t supermarkets embrace other categories?” —Perry Reynolds, International Housewares Association


onsumers have long purchased housewares in the supermarket channel. In fact, the channel ranks fourth in total housewares category sales, according to data from the International Housewares Association (IHA). “Every other retail channel is experimenting with food, so why shouldn’t supermarkets embrace other categories?” asks Perry Reynolds, VP of global trade development at Rosemont, Ill.-based IHA. “Tere’s tremendous opportunity in housewares, not only from a sales, but [also] from a gross margin, point of view. Tese products are exactly the kind of products a consumer would be willing to purchase at their grocery store.” Supermarkets accounted for 9.3 percent of total housewares sales in 2013 (the most recent IHA data), up from 8.5 percent in 2012. Total housewares sales at the supermarket channel came to $6.1 billion in 2013, according to IHA, with Kroger, Safeway, Publix, Ahold and H-E-B seeing the highest sales in the channel, and all chains showing increases in category sales over the previous year. Tis trend is expected to continue. According to Reynolds, gross margin on housewares ranges up to 60 percent, a signifcant increase over traditional grocery items. “Te gross margin on these products so far outpaces the rest of the store that it makes attention to the category mandatory for supermarket retailers,” he asserts. “Te big chains have the resources to manage the category themselves, but even smaller chains who use a distributor to manage the category should be giving it more of their attention, because it can be a huge proft center with a variety of price points.” Some chains are depending on manufacturers to provide them with an assortment that can meet a wide array of consumer needs. “We support retailers’ core categories, like

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015



bakeware, cookware and gadgets, with foorstands, counter units and end cap racks to maximize their sales potential,” says Bert Tanimoto, a spokesman for Barrington, Ill.-based housewares distributor Bradshaw International. “We are constantly ofering special promotions and cross-merchandising. Bradshaw also has the ability to regionalize our fans and drive them to specifc store locations with special promotions.”

Retailers are being smarter about what products they merchandise, and catering to the interests and wants of their entire customer base.” —John White, Robinson Home Products


Gadgets Galore Safeway carries Bradshaw’s Good Cook branded products across its kitchen tool, bakeware and cookware categories. Te chain also stocks Bradshaw’s Bonny line of bar tools in its wine/bar tool section, including a cocktail shaker, bottle opener and double jigger measure at some stores. Wine tools is one of the fastest-growing segments in the housewares category, with aerators, wine preservation tools and bottle openers proving to be fast-turning, high-proft additions to any wine department. “Te price of aerators has dropped, so supermarkets can ofer their customers a great product beginning at about $15,” notes Reynolds. “Afordable tools are fooding the market, and the gross margin on these products is better than the gross margins on wine.” At one location in Washington, D.C., Safeway includes wine gift bags and wine tools from Metrokane’s Houdini and Rabbit brands. Gadgets with portion-control features continue to be popular with consumers. “Portion control is a feature that has gained a lot of traction with consumers in the past fve years,” afrms Jef Logan, director of marketing for Coppell, Texas-based Dexas International. “Consumers are looking for easy, practical ways to help them manage their diets. Consumers also want fewer products that can serve more than one function, so when you can merchandise a colorful portion-control scoop near the cereal or pasta aisle, it’s a great way for supermarket retailers to generate add-on sales.” Two of Dexas’ most successful portion-control products are the Collapsible Kitchen Klip Scoop, which retails for $6.99 and can be used as a portion-control measuring scoop as well as a clip to reseal bags, and the new Spoon & Strain Tongs, retailing for $9.99 and able to be used as a 2-tablespoon measure or as tongs. Key items from New York-based Robinson Home Products, meanwhile, are Oneida baking tools and gadgets, and the new Oneida Mandolin Slicers. “Several new product introductions from Zing

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

and Chip Clip ofer a pop of color and add fun to the kitchen at a price point ideal for impulse purchases,” says John White, Robinson’s business director of housewares. “Color continues to top the trend charts, since consumers wish to add splashes of color and brightness to their kitchen palettes.” White adds that while he hasn’t seen retailers adding more space to housewares, more clip strip programs and adjacencies are boosting category sales, and stores are fne-tuning their oferings to appeal to shoppers. “Retailers are being smarter about what products they merchandise,” he observes, “and catering to the interests and wants of their entire customer base.”

Bigger-ticket Items In some cases, that means experimenting with higher price points. Logan notes that Dexas’ Turbo Fan Salad Spinner, which retails for $30, has experienced strong sales at supermarkets despite its higher price point. “Chains like Wegmans have been increasing the space they give to housewares, and we’re seeing price points inching up from an average of $4.99 to around $7.99 to $8.99,” he says. “Consumers are willing to spend more on products that help them save time with food prep and make it easier to serve healthier options.” In some of its larger-format stores, Landover, Md.-based Giant devotes an 8-foot section in the housewares aisle to kitchen appliances with higher retail prices. Te section includes a Keurig K-cup cofeemaker retailing for $119.99 and a Cuisinart Mini-Prep that costs nearly $40. Culinary stars continue to have a big impact on the cookware and bakeware categories, two of the largest segments for the supermarket channel, according to IHA. “Celebrity chefs have heightened the profle of cookware and bakeware, and licensed housewares have been a big success,” says Reynolds. “A name like Mario Batali will sell anything.” Bradshaw’s Tanimoto notes that his company has seen signifcant interest in products that carry food to a party, an outing or some other social event. “Baking tools for Saturday cookies, or produce helpers for summer picnics, for example, help our retailers to go beyond a sale, since the products are part of creating actual events,” he explains. According to Reynolds, “As Seen on TV” household items are also an accelerated trend in the housewares category. “Te products are a great addition for supermarkets, since they are pre-sold,” he says. “Tere’s tremendous awareness of the products in this category,” agrees Angelo Bianco, sales manager at Fairfeld, N.J.-based Telebrands, which specializes in such items. “In the past three years, supermarkets have doubled their business in the category. Chains like H-E-B, Kroger and Weis are doing a great job with the category.” Adjacencies and clip-strip programs are huge factors

in the category. “Counter and fexible display units are an increasing trend. Tis could play out well for supermarkets in that they have the ability to merchandise the specifc product near the food it is intended for,” asserts Bob Ludeman, EVP of global sales at Chef ‘n. Te Seattle-based company’s fruit and vegetable prep products have been particularly successful in the supermarket channel. “Fruit preparation tools, such our StemGem strawberry huller, have had strong sales at supermarkets,” observes Ludeman. Chef ‘n’s recent introductions include a mini juicer, a jalapeño/pepper corer set and a greens stripper.

Seasonal Items Heat Up Warmer weather means more opportunities in the housewares category for supermarket retailers. From outdoor furniture and tableware to tiki torches and coolers, outdoor living is a big trend in the housewares market, and supermarket retailers should be on board. “Outdoor cooking continues to be a positive growth category,” says IHA’s Reynolds. “Even supermarkets like Aldi that have a pretty basic selection are featuring outdoor fre pits and garden hoses in their seasonal sections.” Giant’s seasonal outdoor oferings include bar-

becue tools and outdoor torches. Te Ahold USA chain merchandises the products on foorstands near checkouts for maximum exposure. Impulse sales can come from products as varied as unbreakable stemless wine glasses and gardening gloves, the latter of which “are an easy add-on purchase,” says Tim Stapleton, president of U.S. sales for Rome, Ga.-based Big Time Products. “After batteries, gloves generate the highest percent of impulse sales in housewares, and they ofer 50-point margins.” He notes that Big Time gardening gloves, which retail for between $9.99 and $12.99, have quick sell-through on power wings and foorstands in the seasonal department. Gardening tools are a key component of seasonal sales. Telebrands recently introduced the Pocket Hose Top Brass, an improved version of the company’s popular Pocket Hose. Tree times stronger than the original product, the new hose features tightly sealed connectors and an accordion design to automatically expand when water is turned on. Te lightweight, easy-to-store, kink- and tangle-resistant item comes in 50-, 75- and 100-foot models, with a starting retail price of $29.99. PG

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Shopping Experience

Stepping Up Digital Engagement in Stores Certain well-deployed strategies can boost customer interest and reshape the path to purchase. By John Karolefski


t’s not your mother’s shopping trip anymore. Today’s moms are increasingly using digital technology before they go to the grocery store, during their visits and after they get home, to save time and money. Much of this activity takes place within the four walls of the supermarket, where digital technologies and related tactics can create a more engaging shopping experience. More shoppers are using smartphones in store for convenience (checking a prepared shopping list), discounts (coupons) and for information (nutrition). Meanwhile, beacons are poised to engage shoppers as they roam the aisles of the supermarket. “In general, grocery retailers are tapping into digital technologies in an efort to attract more customers and reshape the path to purchase. Some of these digital tactics — mobile marketing and social media — are particularly widespread among grocery stores for their efcacy,” says Ben DiSanti, managing partner at DiSantiHicks + Partners, a Chicago-based marketing agency. Other tactics can be added to the list: One is the retailer’s website, which can ofer a digital form of the shopping circular and webto-print coupons; another is a retailer’s grocery shopping app, which most major chains, including Kroger, Safeway, Stop & Shop, and Meijer, now ofer. App features usually include wayfnding, discounts and list making, often connected with recipes. Of course, not every grocer has the scale and resources of a Kroger or a Safeway. So how pervasive are these engagement tactics? Are most small to midsized grocery retailers taking advantage of various digital technologies to engage with shoppers? “Retailers have taken some tentative frst steps with digital technologies and are continuing to feel their way forward. While a retailer’s re digital platforms or services do provide some benefts to the shopper, they have not progressed to


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

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Technology Shopping Experience

the fullest extent possible,” says Graeme McVie, VP and general manager of business development for Precima, the data analytics division of Toronto-based LoyaltyOne. McVie gives several examples: Retailer e-mails tend to deliver massmarketing messages in direct-marketing mediums, frequently referencing nothing more than the standard weekly ad. Grocery retailers’ websites could be strengthened with recommendations based on past shopping history or other “like-minded” customers. Smartphone apps have generally focused on basic functionality, but they tend to fall short in terms of personalized, relevant communications.

There is a disconnect between what is happening online and what is happening in store. While grocers get an incredible amount of foot traffic every day and every week, they are not leveraging their store as a media vehicle.” —Liz Crawford, Match ShopLab

Getting Grocer Buy-in While grocers are ofering apps and most primary shoppers have smartphones, only about 22 percent are actually using grocery apps, according to a shopper survey by Norwalk, Conn.-based Match ShopLab. When asked why they didn’t download or use an app, 78 percent of respondents said they didn’t know it existed. “Tat’s amazing,” declares Liz Crawford, SVP of insights and strategy at Match ShopLab. “What it tells us is that there is a disconnect between what is happening online and what is happening in store. While grocers get an incredible amount of foot trafc every day and every week, they are not leveraging their store as a media vehicle. Tey are not alerting shoppers to the app and its features. Tis is a huge miss on the part of retailers.” Carwford’s not alone in her thinking. Many other analysts believe that, while there are solid examples of digital deployments, too many grocery retailers aren’t taking full advantage of various new technologies to engage with shoppers. But why? According to Ken Madden, SVP and head of engagement at Plano, Texas-based shopper marketing agency Shoptology, the biggest obstacle is likely fnancial; that is, it takes investment in infrastructure to do anything truly meaningful to change or enhance the shopping experience. Making it Personal LoyaltyOne’s McVie believes that the reason retailers are falling short on digital is because they’ve focused predominantly on putting the technologies into place without understanding customer needs to a sufcient degree to deliver a positive, tailored and personalized customer experience. He adds that a personalized customer experience has to include customer analytics at its core, or else retailers won’t meet shopper expectations and consequently won’t realize the full


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

value of their digital technology investments. But personalization can be broadly defned, points out Matt DePratter, VP of digital shopper marketing at Catapult, a Minneapolis-based consultancy. It could range from the simple, like throwing a shopper’s name in an e-mail, or the complex, like learning a shopper’s behavior and delivering relevant and timely communications. “At some level, almost all retailers are making some efort in delivering personalized communications,” he says. “Te key to success is what datasets they possess. For example, the more you know about a shopper, the better you can tailor a communication to their needs, such as ofering appropriate solutions or ofers. Many retailers are setting up their own methodology for determining how to best reach their shoppers.” He gives as an example the Walmart Exchange, which uses its own data sources to fgure out how best to reach shoppers and, in many cases, how best to speak to them. Grocery retailers with loyalty cards often have an advantage because they already know a great deal about the shopper and can use this information to tailor messages based on past purchases. “Te real challenge with personalization is fguring out the best message, with the best tactical execution, and at the right time,” explains DePratter. “For example, which is the more powerful and useful tool to reach a shopper? Is it an e-mail? A display ad? A direct mail piece? Each retailer is having to evaluate each tactic to determine what best fts their shopper base.”

The Buzz Around Beacons Beacon technology has created a buzz in the grocery industry because of its potential to engage shoppers. Beacons are small, round devices that use shortrange, low-energy Bluetooth transmitters to send alerts to mobile devices within 100 feet of them. Beacons enable smartphone apps to wake up at precise moments and help shoppers based on where they are. For example, a shopper might be reminded to check her shopping list app upon entering a store, or to view ingredients for a recipe she favorited last week. But DePratter calls beacons a real challenge for grocers and lists several questions that need to be answered: How does the shopper engage with beacons?

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Technology Shopping Experience

What does a shopper need to do to receive the engagements?

Beacon technology has offered the shopper the ability to browse product information, learn details about similar products, configure and ultimately pay for the item — all without having to interact with any staff.”

Who pays for and maintains the service? How does a manufacturer take advantage of this service?

“One idea that may prove to be the killer use of beacons is a personalized concierge service to guide the shopper through the shopping experience,” he suggests. “In some specialty retail environments, beacon technology has ofered the shopper the ability to browse product information, learn details about similar products, confgure and ultimately pay for the item — all without having to interact with any staf.” A few grocers have already taken the plunge into beacons. Earlier this year, Indianapolis-based Marsh Supermarkets revealed plans to deploy a closed-loop iBeacon platform from Los Angelesbased InMarket to engage with shoppers carrying smartphones and even wearing Apple Watches. —Matt DePratter, Marsh aims to increase sales via personalized shopCatapult per engagements and drive incremental store visits. “iBeacons have created new ways to connect with mobile shoppers in the store,” asserts Amit Bhard-



waj, Marsh’s senior director of customer loyalty. County Market, in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri, will roll out beacons to all 45 of its stores by the third quarter of this year. Results from some pilot stores showed that 50 percent of shoppers who received an ofer of a 10 percent discount on a total purchase opened it, and 20 percent of them redeemed it. “As an example, a shopper in the beauty aisle might receive an ofer of makeup remover on her smartphone via the retailer’s mobile app, assuming that she was looking for a makeup item,” explains DiSanti, of DiSanti-Hicks.

Enhanced Apps Shoptology’s Madden is starting to see the emergence of an “in-store mode” embedded in retailers’ mobile apps. Retailers that have enabled this feature, he notes, recognize that shoppers have diferent needs from the app experience, depending on where they are. “If you enable the tools that enhance the shopping experience, shoppers will use the app in the store. Te opportunity is that in-store app usage is linked to all of their historical data, coupled with their movements through the store, the items on their list, their browse data from eComm, etc., that opens a world of personalization,” he says, adding that Roanoke, Texas-based Tom Tumb, a banner of Albertsons Safeway, recently embedded on- and ofine shopping history data into its app. “Tey sort your shopping list by aisle, which is really interesting. Tat can become a way to afect shopper navigation across the store, to put them in front of other opportunities. At the least, they can start to enhance the physical store experience and how marketing connects across the store the way shoppers shop.” In the Minneapolis-St. Paul marketplace, Lund Food Holdings, operator of 13 Lunds and 13 Byerly’s upscale grocery stores, has enhanced its mobile app with several customer engagement and personalization features, which are part of a mobile platform from New York- and Chicago-based GPShopper. Tese enhancements include:



800-837-2881 184

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

In-Store Skin: Tis brings in-store features such as circulars, store hours and events to the forefront of the mobile app when a shopper enters the store. My Favorite Store: Shoppers can set a favorite store location, which allows them to receive






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Technology Shopping Experience

If we look way down the path, we will see a grocery shopping experience that is truly seamless between home, mobile and store environments.” —Ken Madden, Shoptology


store-specifc content quickly. Tis includes coupons, circulars, directions, events and other location-based information. Personalized Push Notifications: Consumers who’ve opted into receiving push notifcations will start seeing messaging tailored to their preferred interests and prior in-app actions. “Because a large number of our shoppers engage with our mobile app inside our stores, adding these features was the next logical step toward customer satisfaction,” afrms Dan O’Rourke, marketing manager at Lund Food Holdings.

Extreme Couponing By last spring, nearly three out of four shoppers with a yes Rewards loyalty card from Grand Rapids, Mich.-based SpartanNash had signed up to receive digital coupons. Te company calculates that the “lifetime value” of these coupon users is 2.75 times that of a nondigital-coupon user, and that they shop twice as often and spend 51 percent more per basket. On a quarterly basis, SpartanNash sends out a personalized mailer to its best customers. Each

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

mailer includes 12 to 16 specifc digital-coupon offers for brands that partner with SpartanNash. “No two are alike,” says Linh Peters, the company’s VP of marketing, of the mailers. “Tey’re based on each customer’s purchase history, what they purchase most frequently, and so on. And they provide us a great opportunity to partner heavily with CPG brands.” For example, she adds, “If you buy Tide detergent [by Procter & Gamble] from us, but we don’t see that you’re buying dryer sheets, we might give you an ofer to buy [P&G] dryer sheets.” SpartanNash is now testing branded content by rolling out a program to its Family Fare and D&W Fresh Market retail customers. Te material includes articles, recipes and how-to videos to help inform and educate, as well as to make consumers aware of the latest promotions.

Future Experience Such examples of small to midsized grocers dabbling in digital are increasing, and portend a solid future. So what’s the forecast for digital engagement in supermarkets, in terms of retailer involvement, shopper interest and new technologies? “If we look way down the path, we will see a grocery shopping experience that is truly seamless between home, mobile and store environments,” predicts Madden. “Te store environment will not be defned by location or constrained by four walls. People will still want a physical experience, but the retail environment will have to shift to engage with shoppers in physical space in ways that you cannot in digital space, and the other way around. Te shopping experience will be completely personalized, based on shopping history and then enhanced through social networks and a host of other external data sources.” McVie, of LoyaltyOne, says digital engagement will continue to grow, but it’s ultimately up to the retailer to combine the best of the digital and physical worlds to ofer an impactful customer experience that’s relevant to shoppers’ needs. “Tere’s no doubt we’ll see hurdles to both shopper adoption and integration of data as digital technologies continue to advance,” he says, “but the fact remains that data gathered and implemented through digital channels holds enormous potential to enrich a grocer’s understanding of their customers, helping to better satisfy their customers while driving increased sales and profts.” PG

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Supply Chain


Journey to On-shelf Availability With out-of-stocks at an average 8 percent, everyone in the industry has a role to play. By Jenny McTaggart


re out-of-stocks out of mind in U.S. supermarkets? It would certainly appear that way at some stores, where the new item that went on promotion at the beginning of the week is now nowhere to be found — or across town, where Mom always goes to get 100 percent juice in her daughter’s favorite favor, but hasn’t been able to fnd for two weeks now. Te harsh reality is that the out-of-stock rate


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

in supermarkets remains at a stubborn 8 percent on average, with out-of-stocks for promoted items often exceeding 10 percent, according to an eye-opening report, “Solving the Out-of-Stock Problem,” released earlier this year by the Food Marketing Institute/Grocery Manufacturers Association Trading Partner Alliance. “Tat out-of-stock rate represents potential revenue loss of 8 percent to 10 percent — or more — in an industry already challenged with rising costs to the consumer,” explains Daniel Triot, senior director Photo courtesy of GS1 US

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Supply Chain


of the Trading Partner Alliance. “And while other retail channels are still trying to drive more trips, the grocery channel has them. Hence, it’s critical to close the sale while the shopper is in our stores.” Perhaps more troubling than lost revenue is that shoppers consider product availability a topthree reason for where they shop. In fact, data from the Trading Partner Alliance show that shoppers will eventually go to another store if they keep encountering out-of-stocks. Te good news is that the picture isn’t quite as grim as it seems. Tat’s in part because the alliance has been busy working behind the scenes with retailers and manufacturers to delve deeper into the issue, and is now crafting solutions and “Full visibility not achievable goals to help remedy only speaks to OSA, the problem. but also allows the In fact, the alliance is curindustry to address rently designing the framework consumer concerns of its third phase, as well as such as food safety “prioritizing both the biggest and and sustainability.” fastest wins,” to formulate and execute a fve-year plan to bring —Angela Fernandez, on-shelf availability (OSA) to a GS1 US covetable 98 percent, according to Triot. Te fve-year plan will include case studies from proofof-concept pilots, as well as a communication plan to the industry to maximize adoption. Tere’s more good news: FMI and GMA aren’t the F only industry players that recognize the need to grab the out-of-stocks issue by the horns. Technology b providers, for their part, are p eagerly looking for retailer partners to test new solutions and work with systems that are already in place, to improve forecasting and ultimately achieve a higher level of supply chain visibility (see the sidebar on page 192 for more information). Meanwhile, GS1 US, the Lawrenceville, N.J.-based group that manages the GS1 system of standards for product codes in the United States, is working with the grocery industry to address how standards can better support OSA goals. Te organization has formed the GS1 US Retail Grocery Initiative, whose members include FMI, GMA, the Produce Marketing Association, numerous manufacturers, and retailers/wholesalers such as Brookshire Grocery Co., H.E. Butt Grocery Co., Costco Wholesale, Te Kroger Co., Publix Super Markets, Supervalu Inc., Wakefern Food Corp. and Wegmans Food Markets.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Speaking the Same Language In GS1 US’ view, standards provide a common language of business, leading to better supply chain visibility. “Te industry is saying that in order to tackle on-shelf availability, we need supply chain visibility,” says Angela Fernandez, VP of grocery retail and foodservice at GS1 US. “Full visibility not only speaks to OSA, but also allows the industry to address consumer concerns such as food safety and sustainability.” Yet the process of achieving higher OSA isn’t a race, and these changes surely won’t happen in just one year, Fernandez and others advise. “Tis is a journey, not a race,” notes Fernandez. “Getting to full supply chain visibility requires a lot of working parts — for instance, tying the distribution center to the store, looking at what’s happening with enterprise resource planning, and working with manufacturers who do direct-store delivery.” GS1 US is focusing on collaborating with the many parties involved in the grocery industry to make changes that beneft everyone. “Te only way we can reach full supply chain visibility for the industry is to have all stakeholders engaged,” she says. “Tere are diferent levels of response and recognition that supply chain visibility is essential. While this may take a number of years, the hope is that eventually it will become the way we do business.” For now, the Trading Partner Alliance has zeroed in on several areas that companies can focus on in their respective OSA journeys. Its report highlights such areas as metrics/data, processes/practice, organizational issues and technology integration — all of which contain gaps between current practices and desired performance. In terms of metrics, the industry is currently lacking a standard defnition of OSA. “Moving the industry toward a ‘zero on hand’ baseline defnition of on-shelf availability could facilitate a minimum common defnition to enable better communication and standardization for data exchange, and would certainly be a great start in the ‘one supply chain’ journey,” says Triot. Zero on hand essentially calculates the number of instances when an authorized item’s perpetual inventory falls to zero or below, divided by totalstore item combinations. Looking at processes and practices, one area of concern is the poor synchronization between retailers and manufacturers on event planning. Te Trading Partner Alliance report fnds that while 58 percent of retailers say they lock down event plans four weeks or less before the event, 73 percent of manufacturers would like at least fve weeks to adjust their production to accommodate these plans. “While we realize it can sometimes be challenging for a retailer to communicate these plans



save. What if you could reduce shrink, labor costs and packaging waste in your supply chain by making one simple but crucial change? Welcome to the reusable revolution. Tosca’s reusable plastic containers (RPC) were created to service the entire perimeter of the store — from produce and protein to eggs and dairy. The fact is, yesterday’s one-way packaging solutions simply can’t stack up to the superior protection, cost savings and fexibility of Tosca’s innovative RPCs. It’s tomorrow’s packaging, today.

Contact us for a risk-free trial. |


early enough, or even accurately enough, to meet a manufacturer’s needs, only close collaboration between trading partners will enhance consumer satisfaction,” says Triot, adding that his team will be addressing the concept of joint high- and low-side contingency planning in its third phase. In regard to organizational issues, as it stands, there’s no clear owner of inventory among retailers, the alliance’s report notes. An equal number of retail respondents named supply chain planning departments, category managers, buyers and even merchandising as the owners.

Striving to be ‘Best’ Te Trading Partner Alliance frst began researching the out-of-stock problem in 2013 and presented a “good-better-best” maturity model for improving OSA at the 2014 FMI/GMA Supply Chain Conference. Its new report includes an updated good-better-best model for how trading partners can transition to a collaborative OSA approach.

Supply Chain

Pat Walsh, chief business development ofcer and VP of supply chain at Arlington, Va.-based FMI, notes that while performance levels can vary greatly from company to company, “the willingness to address the issue has certainly become a higher priority for most trading partners in this discerning consumer world. “We wanted to provide a framework where everyone can continue to improve,” he adds by way of explanation. Tere are a few supermarket companies that are already miles ahead on their OSA journeys, moving toward the “best” level in the Trading Partner Alliance’s good-better-best approach. Cincinnati-based Kroger, for instance, is further along than many in its supply chain visibility capabilities, with dynamic information about products now readily available to cashiers at the point of sale. Yet all players, no matter how small or large, have an important role to play in helping the industry solve the out-of-stock issue once and for all. PG

Suite Solutions Scores of technology providers are looking into how they can help retailers and manufacturers improve on-shelf availability (OSA) and tighten their supply chains in the process. Progressive Grocer talked to a few to get the latest on their products and solutions. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Symphony EYC has worked with such retailers as Heinen’s Fine Foods and Smart & Final to improve supply chain efficiencies. The Symphony EYC G.O.L.D. Category Management modules, for instance, help ensure that grocers have the right product with the right depth to the shelf. Tim Millen, SVP of solutions consulting, Americas, at Symphony EYC, stresses the importance of having a forecasting and replenishment system that examines all of the variables that could cause out-of-stocks. “A forecasting system must look at more than just estimating the projected need based on selling history,” he says. “It must take into account the historical conditions, and separate them from the base-need calculation — conditions such as promotional events, seasonability, and special events such as store outages.” Salt Lake City-based Park City Group, whose grocery clients include Homeland Grocery Stores, based in Oklahoma City, and Hispanic operator Cardeñas Markets, in Southern California, provides solutions that enable forecast optimization, improved ordering at the store and/or

the warehouse, and a modified product mix or planogram at the store shelf, according to CEO Randy Fields. By analyzing data starting with consumer demand at the point of sale, Park City Group’s clients have been able to “sell more, stock less and see everything,” he says, estimating that his clients are able to reduce out-of-stocks and increase sales by up to 6 percent. With an eye toward the future, Park City Group is currently working with one of its “key customers” on a pilot to address out-of-stock alerts at the shelf, notes Fields. “We’re working with hourly sales data and using artificial intelligence to learn daily patterns of sell-through,” he explains. Scottsdale, Ariz.-based JDA Software has a representative on the FMI/GMA Trading Partner Alliance OSA subcommittee. “There are several ways that our company is working to help supermarket retailers address the issue of out-of-stocks,” says Fabrizio Brasca, JDA’s VP of industry strategy. “The first is through its rich heritage of combining store-level forecasting with advanced, time-phased replenishment, creating a fluid replenishment cycle based on store-based consumer data. The second is through the propagation of JDA’s Flowcasting platform, where retailers and key manufacturers move beyond traditional collaboration to truly forecasting and planning in a single domain, and consequently to a single version of the truth.”

June 2015 | |



HVAC Systems

Surging Ahead Supermarket HVAC systems’ increased efficiency and innovations are reflected in store profitability. By Bob Ingram

T vErsAtIlE sErIEs reznor’s Platform 125 series offers different benefits for a wide variety of applications.


oday’s food retailers are seeking a variety of attributes from their heating-ventilation-air conditioning (HVAC) systems. “Tey are looking for equipment and solutions that will help them meet energy-efciency goals,” says Greg DuChane, retail-restaurant vertical market leader at Trane, in Davidson, N.C. “Replacing units that are 10 years older or more, with new units that provide variable-speed technology in motors, fans and compressors, can ofer greater efciency gains.” Grocers are looking for highly efcient packaged rooftop units, according to DuChane, and often want units with hot-gas reheat, which helps with dehumidifcation, and is essential to prevent condensation on display cases and to keep the store comfortable at a lower dew point. “We have customers who are combining their refrigeration with their HVAC,” he notes, “using heat rejected from the store’s display case refrigeration as the source of heat for the store’s conditioned air. Tis is a more efcient strategy that helps greatly

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

reduce operating costs on a square-foot basis.” Another growing HVAC area that DuChane sees is greater integrated control of equipment. “Whether you have 100 stores or 1,000 stores,” he says, “it’s all about solutions that help achieve greater efciency and reliability in managing those stores and equipment.” Among Trane’s products that meet these demands are those in the Horizon Outdoor Air Units line, which dehumidifes outdoor air, and single-zone variable-air volume (VAV) technology in rooftop products. Trane eFlex variable-speed compressors and fans precisely match output to the cooling demands of the space, DuChane explains, noting that they operate at higher speeds when demand is high and modulate to lower speeds when demand is less. “Another popular energy-saving Trane feature is eDrive direct-drive plenum fan technology, which is up to 20 percent more efcient than traditional forward-curved fans,” he adds.

Fresh Foods, Fresh Air Supermarket managers also face challenges with fresh air ventilation for indoor air quality (IAQ ). “In cooling mode, Reznor equipment reduces energy usage through the use of efcient digital scroll compressors and electronically commutated motors (ECM) to power the fans,” says David Street, VP of product marketing at O’Fallon, Mo.-based Nortek Global HVAC. “Tese motors use less electricity than conventional motors, reducing the energy bill.” Reznor heating equipment is rated up to 92 percent efcient, he notes, compared with conventional equipment that provides only about 80 percent efciency. Street views dehumidifcation and energy recovery as the most signifcant innovations in supermarket HVAC. “Dehumidifcation reduces the amount of humidity


AIr PEArs Airius’ three fan models have throw distances of 10 to 25 feet, using only 35 watts.

Addressing how to make stores more comfortable while reducing energy usage requires looking at the store as a whole, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach.” —Taylor Horowitz, Airius LLC


HVAC Systems

introduced to the building from the outside ventilation air,” he explains, “and energy recovery captures the energy already inside the building to temper the fresh air heated or cooled from the outside.” Te Reznor model YDMA packaged makeup air system is a top choice for supermarkets because it’s 92 percent efcient in heating, he continues, and in the dehumidifcation mode reaches 12.5 EER (energy-efcient ratio) at design conditions. “Our YDMA model brings in large amounts of outside air, and that can create positive building pressure,” Street says. “Tis helps mitigate infltration of dust and insects into the building.”

Trouble-free Operation According to Lee Churchill, sales VP at Seasons-4 Inc., in Douglasville, Ga., the No.1 attribute supermarkets are looking for in HVAC is reliability. “Supermarkets do not want to spend money on maintenance, and there is less and less talent out there to fx broken systems,” he asserts. “As long as the equipment complies with local codes, supermarkets will be satisfed. Spending extra dollars for LEED and green initiatives are rare. Capital expenditures must be kept in check.” However, he adds, “Our customers do listen to the latest technological improvements on energy use of HVAC equipment.” Churchill notes that each Seasons-4 supermarket HVAC system leaves the factory fully run-tested, and upon delivery, a trained technician is on-site for the startup, for a two-step quality check that eliminates factory defects. Te company’s premier ofering for energy reduction, he adds, is the Dual Path system, which saves supermarkets 5 percent to 15 percent on annual air conditioning electrical utility costs, depending on their location in the United States. “Variable-capacity compressors,” Churchill emphasizes, “are a killer app for air conditioning equipment. Tese compressors have become reliable and economical, and help reduce energy to meet energy compliance.” He further notes that using waste heat from the refrigeration system to heat the store is a “huge” HVAC innovation. Down the HVAC road, Churchill envisions continued improvement in computer system control strategies to take advantage of variable-capacity compressors, variable-frequency drives, ventilation control, set point resets and electronic expansion valves, as well as radio frequency temperature and humidity sensors, expanded sizes of variable-capacity compressors, and higher-efciency furnaces. Bryan Beitler, engineering VP at in Anaheim, Calif.-based Source Refrigeration and HVAC, says

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

that most major changes concern package equipment, minimal ducting, high efciency and dehumidifcation capabilities. Beitler sees the most signifcant trends in supermarket HVAC as lowcharge, high-efciency-style units with built-in dehumidifcation capabilities using compressor reheat. He adds that customers want to lower costs, keep ducting to a minimum and undergo minimal roof structural changes. “Some market projects are oversized for initial pulldown,” Beitler observes. “Once the store is pulled down to temperature after construction, possibly not all of the tonnage is needed, due to the fywheel efect of lots of products in the store. Managing OSA [outside air] treatment is key; keeping store air balance is essential and often overlooked.”

Innovating for Comfort At Airius LLC, in Longmont, Colo., Reseller Manager Taylor Horowitz sees as the most innovative steps in supermarket HVAC the approach to store design for both new construction and remodels. “Addressing how to make stores more comfortable, while reducing energy usage, requires looking at the store as a whole, as opposed to a one-size-fts-all approach,” he says. Airius works alongside existing or new heating or air conditioning systems. Typically, Horowitz notes, the company’s fans are used to convey warm air to areas of the store that are traditionally quite cold. “Te most important aspects of our fans is the unique air pattern they create, which is narrow and concise so the air can get from the ceiling to the middle of the aisle without disrupting any other processes,” he explains. According to Horowitz, Airius’ most popular products are the Air Pear models 10, 15, and 25, which have efective throw distances between 10 and 25 feet, using only 35 watts. Tey’re available in freehanging or suspended ceiling options. “By mixing the air throughout a grocery store,” he says, “we can provide a number of benefts, including increased comfort, reduced runtime on HVAC systems and door heaters, and mitigated fogging on freezer case doors.” In the future, Horowitz envisions systems that can more efectively monitor and manage the diferent climates within a store. “While a lot of this is already happening with increased control and monitoring systems, I do not believe these systems are being used to their full potential yet,” he asserts. “But the more granular view provided by these control systems will lead to more efcient and comfortable stores.” PG


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Food, Beverage & Nonfood Products

Pizza Résistance

Yogurt Cuts the Sugar

The Freschetta brand has launched a single-serve gluten-free pizza, available in two varieties, that’s certified by the Celiac Support Association. The 4 Cheese Medley delivers a blend of 100 percent cheese, consisting of mozzarella, fontina, Parmesan and Asiago, while the Signature Pepperoni Pizza offers pepperoni layered on a delicate, flaky crust. Freschetta Gluten Free Pizza is found in freezer aisles at an SRP of $5.99 for the 5.5-ounce single-serve item.

As part of General Mills’ effort to provide consumers with better-for-you products, the brand has launched the Yoplait Original line of single-serve yogurts with 25 percent less sugar. Boasting 150 calories, 6 grams of protein and 2 grams of fat per serving, the offering is made with no artificial flavors or sweeteners, or high-fructose corn syrup, and is available in all 25 original flavors, including Strawberry, Harvest Peach and Raspberry. “Our consumers are our top priority, and when they voiced concerns over the amount of sugar in our products, we were determined to find a solution,” says Susan Pitt, marketing manager for Yoplait. The SRP is 75 cents per single-serve cup.

Skinny Dressing

“We are always looking for new ways to provide women with sensible solutions that don’t sacrifice flavor,” Bethenny Frankel, CEO of Skinnygirl, says of the brand’s latest salad dressings. The fat- and sugar-free Balsamic Vinaigrette, Honey Dijon, Poppyseed and Raspberry Vinaigrette varieties top out at a mere 10 calories per serving. Skinnygirl Salad Dressings have an SRP of $1.99 per 8-fluidounce bottle.

Tableware with a ‘Re’-purpose

As environmental sustainability remains top of mind for manufacturers and consumers alike, the Repurpose brand has introduced a line of eco-friendly tableware, which, unlike its more traditional counterparts, is 100 percent compostable. The brand’s single-use cups, bowls, plates, forks, spoons and knives are made from corn, sugar and bamboo — all of which are annually renewable resources — and are BPA-, chlorine- and petroleum-free. Repurpose cutlery can withstand temperatures of up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, while the brand’s heavy-duty plates and bowls are cut- and leak-resistant. The tableware line has an SRP range of $1.99-$4.99.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

Purity Promise

Dean Foods, the nation’s largest milk producer, aims to “reinvigorate the dairy case” with the launch of DairyPure, its national brand for fresh white milk. Delivering on consumers’ desire for clean-label, locally sourced products packed with protein and nutrients, DairyPure — cobranded with Dean’s regional milk brands — comes with a Five Point Purity Promise, which indicates that it’s made without artificial growth hormones and tested for antibiotics.

Go Nuts

Green Grass Foods Inc.’s nutpods, a dairy-free creamer made from a combination of almonds and coconuts, has launched in Original and French Vanilla flavors, with a Hazelnut variety planned for the future. The unsweetened, NonGMO Project Verified product aims to stand apart from its competitors with quality ingredients and a rich taste enabling consumers to “create their perfect cup” of coffee. The product, which comes in 300-milliliter aseptic packaging, is currently being tested in Seattle-area PCC Natural Markets, with plans for a wider rollout. The SRP for an 11.2-fluid-ounce carton is $3.49.

Convenient Veggie Consumption

Combining an on-trend vegetable with convenient, time-saving preparation, Cauliflower Crumbles by Green Giant Fresh aim to make vegetable consumption “easy, delicious and healthy,” according to Jennifer Fancher, the brand’s director of marketing. Cauliflower Crumbles can be steamed right in the package and used in a variety of dishes and applications, including roasting, baking, sautéing and mashing. Designed to extend shelf life and prevent discoloration while maintaining a delicious, healthful taste, Cauliflower Crumbles have an SRP range of $3.49-$3.99 per 16-ounce bag.

Herbs and Spices

Made with a unique blend of herbs, spices, vegetables and legumes, Flamous Brands’ Falafel Chips are designed to accompany hummus dip. The Original variety delivers a crunchy, thinner texture, while the Spicy option offers an extra kick. Boasting 10 times the antioxidant value of green tea or vegetable juice, Flamous Falafel Chips are non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free and kosher. Both varieties are available in a 5.5-ounce bag.

Shelf Score™ — april 2015 Purchase INteNt score

New Product

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 7 9 10

Cheez-it Grooves: Original Cheddar Goldfish Grahams Honey Clif Bar Nuts & Seeds Sweet & Spicy Chipotle Wheat Thins Lunchables with 100% Juice: Turkey & Cheddar Sub Sandwich Doritos Salsa Verde Oscar Mayer Southwest Style Chipotle Dogs Canada Dry Blackberry Ginger Ale Cotton Candy Oreos Pringles: Wasabi and Soy Sauce

75% 70 61 57 55 54 51 51 49 41

source: Instantly Shelf Score

June 2015 | |


Del Monte Expands Global Sustainability Programs Coral Gables, Fla.-based Del Monte Fresh Produce’s banana operations in Costa Rica (33 farms and 41 packing houses, totaling 10.653 hectares, or 26,324 acres) have achieved Carbon Neutrality certification by Emeryville, Calif.-based SCS Global Services. This certification covers the entire custody chain, from Del Monte banana farms up to the loading port in Costa Rica. “With these satisfying results, we are now looking into replicating this experience in other operations,” says Hans Sauter, VP of corporate R&D and agricultural services. “This comes on the heels of our recent Sustainably Grown certification by SCS of our banana and pineapple operations both in Costa Rica and Guatemala.” Del Monte continues to invest significant resources in maintaining nature reserves as well as in planting trees at its operations worldwide. /sustainability/

Taylor Introduces MagnaBlend Frozen Beverage Blending Station Rockton, Ill.-based Taylor Co. has introduced the MagnaBlend Frozen Beverage Blending Station to meet operators’ high-volume demands for frozen beverages while increasing proftability. MagnaBlend integrates a blender, shaved-ice dispenser and rinse station into one machine, eliminating the need for multiple prep areas. With a nine-second blend time, the machine increases efciency and service speed, and can store programmed drink recipes, resulting in fexibility and efciency for operator training. A programmable menu allows distribution of custom recipes to the operator’s network through a built-in USB port. “Frozen beverages present a signifcant proft opportunity for foodservice operators,” notes Patricia Bennett, senior global marketing director for Taylor, a division of Farmington, Conn.-based Carrier Commercial Refrigeration Inc. “Te MagnaBlend station is the perfect product for operators to keep up with consumer demand and increase production without having to increase resources. Te operator has the ability to add fruit, probiotics and other product mix-ins to favors and drink specials.”

Goya Opens New Corporate HQ in New Jersey Jersey City, N.J.-based Goya Foods has opened a new state-of-the-art, sustainable corporate headquarters as part of a $500 million global expansion over the past 10 years. To mark the April 29 ribbon-cutting, Goya donated 20,000 pounds of food to fve local food pantries, and funds to Te Golden Door Charter School, in Jersey City, to help construct a playground, as well as instituting an annual $20,000 scholarship to Te Hudson County Schools of Technology-County Prep High School Culinary Program. Goya has invested $250 million and additional resources in its facilities in Jersey City, Secaucus and Pedricktown, N.J. Te company has built a 600,000-square-foot warehouse for distribution and 42,000-square-foot corporate ofce space in Jersey City, as well as a renovated 240,000-square-foot production facility in Secaucus, totaling nearly 900,000 square feet on 58 acres of land. “Tis marks the largest expansion in Goya’s history,” observes Bob Unanue, Goya’s president. Constructed to provide a net-zero carbon footprint, the Jersey City facility will be 100 percent powered by a solar energy system using 12,000 panels over 11 acres of rooftop, which will fulfll the entire facility’s electrical needs without drawing any energy from the public grid.

Back to Nature Retools Snackwell’s Brand Soquel, Calif.-based strategic marketing frm McDill Associates has completed a national rebranding project for the SnackWell’s brand of cookies and snacks. SnackWell’s, which peaked in the 1990s and is perhaps best known for its Fat Free Devil’s Food Cookie Cakes, was purchased in 2013 from Deerfeld, Ill.-based Mondelez International and is now distributed by Back to Nature Foods, in Naples, Fla.


McDill’s directive was to create a fresh look that evoked the brand consumers fell in love with in the ’90s and to reignite emotional relationships with loyalists, while drawing in new, family-focused shoppers. “Reception from both customers and consumers has been great, and we are confdent that this relaunch is going to elevate the SnackWell’s brand in the retail segments that we are focused on,” says Mark Eisenacher, marketing director for Back to Nature.,

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

advertiser index Ace Hardware Corp. Acme Markets Acosta Sales & Marketing, Inc Advantage Sales & Marketing AHOLD American Greeting Ind. Anchor Packaging Anthony International Avocado’s From Mexico Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen Beiersdorf, Inc Blount Fine Foods Brookshire Grocery Inc. Califia Farms California Avocado Commission Campbell Soup Company Carrs Foods International Catalina CH Robinson Chep USA Coburn’s Coca Cola NA Cott Beverage Cranberra Corporation Crossmark Daymon Associates Diva International Inc Domino Foods Door to Door Organics ECR Software Elkay Plastics Emilia Personal Care Food Lion, LLC General Mills Inc Giant Eagle Goya Foods Inc Green Giant Fresh House-Autry Mills, Inc. HY-VEE, INC. Idaho Potato Commission Italian Trade Commission Jelly Belly John Wm Macy’s Cheesesticks, Inc Johnson O’hare Company, Inc. Kimberly-Clark Co Kolenmesse GMBH/Ahuga Kroger Litehouse Loving Pets Maple Leaf Farms Mason Ways Indestructible PL McGladrey Meijer Milk Pep Milk Pep

MillerCoors LLC MOM Brands Old Orchard Juice Co. Organic Valley Paramount Farms Paramount Farms Pepsico Peri & Sons Farms Pompeian Olive Oil Premier Nutrition Private Label Manufacturer’s Association Produce for Kids Robbies Flexibles Robot Coupe USA, Inc Safeway Inc Sanders & Morley Candy Sandridge Food Corporation Sealed Air Smart & Final Stores LLC Southeastern Grocers SpartanNash Stemilt Growers, Inc. Sticky Fingers Bakeries Supervalu Inc. The J.M. Smucker Company The Procter & Gamble Company The Wine Group TNS / Kantar Tosca Ltd. Trimino Trion Industries Inc. Turkey Hill Dairy Tyson Foods Unified Grocers United Soybean Board Valu Merchandisers Co. Wholesum Family Farms Zoo Fans

177 101 43 97 27 67 12, 13 185 159 116, 117 3 203 87 139 29 31, 141 140 37 19 38 87 Back Cover, 146, 147 171 179 59 57 79 75 89 181 145 99 47 93 62 7 157 81 32, 33 163-170 119-136 187 15 69 21 103 82, 83 65 195 113 184 94 98 107 189 5 17 23 109 71 72, 73 Inside Front 2 162 137 175 77 74 149 161 35 115 151 104 45 41 49 156 142 54 Cover Tip 53 153 50, 51 191 61 11 143 8, 9 91 111 85 154 186 www.califia events/MilkPEP-webcast

Progressive Grocer (ISSN 0033-0787, USPS 920-600) is published monthly by Stagnito Business Information, 570 Lake Cook Rd. Deerfield IL 60015. Single copy price $10, except selected special issues. Subscription: $135 a year; Canada $164 (Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40031729. Foreign $270 (call for air mail rates). Periodicals postage paid at Deerfield, IL 60015 and additional mailing offices. Printed in USA. POSTMASTER: Send all address changes to Progressive Grocer, P.O. Box 1842 Lowell, MA 01853. Copyright ©2015 Stagnito Business Information All rights reserved, including the rights to reproduce in whole or in part. All letters to the editors of this magazine will be treated as having been submitted for publication. The magazine reserves the right to edit and abridge them. The publication is available in microform from University Microfilms International, 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the consent of the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for product claims and representations.

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June 2015 | |


the last word

Magnum Opus


t would be totally understandable to think that after nine years, our Top Women in Grocery awards program might have lost its luster or faded into obscurity. Looking back on it now, I’ll candidly admit that some of us were initially inclined to agree. As it turns out, of course, nothing could be further from the reality which portrays another magnum opus — Latin for “great work” — from this year’s gallery of grocery masterpieces, fttingly entwined with an impressive pool of achievers from all facets of the industry, whom we’ve steadfastly urged to keep on keepin’ on. Long before formal movements were established to encourage and empower women to lean in and step up, Top Women in Grocery served as a tenacious catalyst trumpeting the fact that in an increasingly competitive marketplace, female decision-makers are an inherent, advantageous asset that progressive organizations are astutely aware can’t be ignored. All the same, despite what the contents of our annual June issue endeavor to illustrate — namely, that gender diversity isn’t merely a nice thing to have, but instead a strategic advantage on all fronts — the male-dominated retail food business, while undeniably in the process of transforming, remains especially evident in chief executive- and corporate board-level positions. Accordingly, two salient points resonate profoundly when contemplating the critical contributions of the women profled within the pages of this issue: 1) Companies that lack at least one infuential woman in a principal, top-executive position — let alone on multiple upper rungs of the corporate ladder — do so at their own peril, 2) Ditto for companies that neglect to celebrate and publicly recognize their exceptional women leaders as part of their employer-of-choice bragging rights. To be sure, the mission we commenced upon a decade ago to applaud Top Women champions as the focal point f the nation’s most renowned trade media brand has categorically stood the test of time. And this year’s exceptional

contingent of inductees is proof positive of their “works of lasting value, which deserve to be celebrated,” as Bridget Goldschmidt, our indispensible managing editor, writes in the feature’s preface found on page 24. Indeed, from Renaissance masters and executive restorers, to emerging achievers and up-and-coming architects, the individual brushstrokes painted by each of this year’s honorees collectively create a luminous oeuvre mirroring the critical skill sets women bring to the table in the areas of strong emotional intelligence (EQ ), astute self-awareness, empathy, humility and steadfastness. While supply chain intricacies increasingly become more complex, these same innate attributes will be all the more critical, as repeatedly afrmed by top business experts from around the globe. On a personal note, Top Women in Grocery is a genuine labor of love and an abiding source of pride for the entire Progressive Grocer/Stagnito Business Media family — encompassing editorial, sales and marketing, senior management, events, and creative/production — all of whom give their all to bring this benefcial program to life each year. For that reason, we’re sincerely gratifed by the shared enthusiasm revealed in the uplifting, imaginative messages found within this issue from some of the industry’s most infuential players, which earn extra applause from our valiant creative director, Bill Antkowiak. “All of the congratulatory ads demonstrate the heartfelt appreciation their employers have for these talented women,” says Antkowiak, who ofers “a special call-out to Hy-Vee, which once again delivered another exceptionally creative efort in saluting their Top Women (page 32), and Door to Door Organics (page 89), whose inventive ad also caught my eye.” It’s a privledge to congratulate each and every one of our 2015 Top Women exemplars, whose achievements are not only extraordinary, but also highly inspirational. PG Meg Major Twitter @Meg_Major/@pgrocer

Long before formal movements were established to encourage and empower women to lean in and step up, Top Women in Grocery served as a tenacious catalyst trumpeting the fact that in an increasingly competitive marketplace, female decision-makers are advantageous assets.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | June 2015

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The Coca-Cola Company congratulates Jessica Fister Johnson, VP, National Retail Sales Central Region; Karla Radtke, VP, Category Commercial Operations; and Janine Shearer, VP, Category Advisory Services, on being named to the Top Women in Grocery by Progressive Grocer!

Š 2015 The Coca-Cola Company

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