Progressive Grocer - September 2015

Page 1

Inside Story

Ever-innovative Mariano’s excels at specialty sections Page 22

Humane Beings

Why 3rd-party animal welfare certifications make sense Page 92

Fall for Deli and Bakery

Merchandising strategies spotlight the season Page 120

heir ability t r o f e r o c s od t a s t e winners This year’s ns for function and go olutio to deliver s Page 36

September 2015 • Volume 94 Number 9 $10 •






of snacks are eaten away from home 2


of consumers cite snack portability as important


Sources: 1Kantar Retail Dollar Sales Projections from 2012 through 2020, 2NPD SnackTrack 2013, 3Technomic Snacking Trends 2014 © Mondelēz International group

September 2015


Volume 94, Issue 9

cover story

fresh food



Profiles in Progress

fall deli/Bakery merChandising

Inside Tracks Store-within-a-store concepts take hold at Mariano’s.

Selling Celebrations How to maximize sales and trafc during the long holiday stretch.


Third-ParTy CerTifiCaTion Programs

Trust and Verify Animal welfare certifcation programs gain traction.




Progressive groCer ’s ediTors’ PiCks

Easy Peasy Tis year’s winners score on function and good taste.

Super South America Imports meet the demand for superfoods.

refrigerated & frozen 128 food laBeling

Natural Selection GMO and natural-labeling claims loom large with a pending federal law.


nfra ConvenTion Preview

Cooler Than Ever Te 2015 National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention returns in October.

grocery 102

CommerCial Bread and Baked goods

Beyond Bread Consumers are embracing ethnic baked goods.


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


ProduCe CaTegory sPoTlighT

Flavor Phenomenon Tracing the tomato industry’s tasty transformation.


indusTry evenTs

Blount Summit 2015 Conscientious giving and eating are shaping the future of the industry.


nonfoods 148

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

HealtH, Beauty & Wellness

Coming Clean for Kids Products turn toward natural and organic.

vP, brand Director 201-855-7621

Jeff friedman

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, Lynn Petrak, Barbara Sax and Jennifer Strailey

technology 156

Price OPtimizatiOn

Deploying a Data-driven Pricing Strategy Focus on customers is key.

equipment & design


stOre infrastructure

Operation Green Sustainable practices in refrigeration, store lighting and HVAC are on the increase.

operations 169

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 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

WareHOuse management

Right Place, Right Time Today’s systems are seeing signifcant advances.

EvEnts • MEdia • REsEaRch • infoRMation uNiTED STATES mARKETS Convenience • Grocery/Drug/Mass Store Brands • Specialty Gourmet Multicultural • Green



| Progressive Grocer | September 2015

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 Director of Events Ken Romeo 224-632-8181 Director of Digital Strategy matt mcGuire 224-632-8180 Audience Development Director Cindy Cardinal

Š2015 Goya Foods, Inc. *Nielsen Strategic Planner, Total US (unit sales), 52 weeks ending 7/4/15 The ChefsBestŽ Excellence Award is awarded to brands that surpass quality standards established by independent professional chefs.

DRIVES TRAFFIC •250 Brands •42 Categories


ACROSS THE STORE •80,000 participating K–8 schools

editor’s note by Jim Dudlicek

Jumping Aboard the Protein Train


hen it comes to new products, protein is king. While traditional centerof-the-plate options are beset by pricing challenges and other concerns, meat snacks are growing, and scores of other products, from yogurt to snack bars, trumpet their enhanced protein content. But while consumers are scaling back their consumption of protein of the four-legged variety, some are showing an increased willingness to try the kind with six. According to a new report from Te Hartman Group, in Bellevue, Wash., sustainability concerns about the production of animal proteins, a rise in vegetarianism among Millennial consumers, and greater interest shown by the general population in consuming less meat could make insects a viable protein source in the United States. “Protein, sustainability and health concerns about antibiotics are all hot topics, and insect consumption addresses all of these issues,” says June Jo Lee, Hartman’s VP of strategic insights. “As a protein source, insects don’t have a lot of health baggage.” Rather than turning to vegetarianism or veganism, Hartman reports, more consumers are adopting a “fexitarian” lifestyle by limiting the amount of meat they consume, for a variety of reasons, among them animal welfare, sustainability, and health and wellness. For many, this means more plant-based proteins. Younger folks like Millennials have an adventurous streak when it comes to eating, however. Could insects be the “next big thing” for this all-important demographic? “Millennials are already aware that their world will be diferent, and they are open-minded about actual solutions,” Patrick Crowley, founder of Salt Lake City-based Chapul, a brand of energy bars made with cricket powder, tells Hartman. Sprouts Farmers Markets, the rapidly growing Phoenixbased supermarket chain, added three favors of Chapul bars to its stores in June. “Te core energy-bar consumer market is the most open to our product, since insects are not only a higher-quality protein source, [they’re] also more easily digestible. A large percentage of our consumers are also vegetarian,” notes Crowley, suggesting the alternative protein source could fnd early acceptance among sports and ftness enthusiasts already using energy bars and protein powders to enhance


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

Our staff might have to down a few crickets in the name of progress. their performance. Crickets and other insects are rich in protein and good fats, as well as being high in calcium, iron and zinc. Meanwhile, Cambridge, Mass.-based Six Foods, which manufactures Chirps chips made with cricket four, is betting on an increase in insect eating, already practiced by at least 2 billion people worldwide. “A Swiss study showed that people are more likely to try insects when they are incorporated into other foods, but that can change,” Rose Wang, Six Foods’ co-founder, tells Hartman. “Sushi was strange to our grandparents.” Te market certainly looks promising to promoters of insect protein. Personally, I don’t see insects making it into most mainstream supermarket retailers any time soon. I expect that even the most diehard devotees of grocery store sampling events would likely pass on anything beyond “ants on a log” made with raisins and celery. Admittedly, though, you might get a few daring shoppers if the samples were presented in a venue like the Mariano’s Curation Center, which we visit this month, starting on page 22. And there weren’t any insect-based products entered in PG’s Editors’ Picks contest this year, out of some 400 individual product entries. However, the contest — which annually draws some great innovations — did include many products containing alternative proteins: ancient and sprouted grains, greens, and vegetable blends designed for functional nutrition. But who knows — next year, our staf might have to down a few crickets in the name of progress. Meanwhile, hop over to page 36 to check out this year’s winning products. PG Jim Dudlicek Editor-in-Chief Twitter @jimdudlicek


©2014 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




■ ■ ■


What’s trending on …

Wegmans Supporting Sustainable Seafood

PG applauds Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets for enhancing its involvement in Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) — collaborations of fishery stakeholders that develop and implement plans to improve aspects of the seafood industry — by upholding standards to have FIPs provide six-month updates. “We rely on scientists and data to help us decide how and where to responsibly source our seafood,” said Wegmans VP of Seafood Sustainability Carl Salamone. “We think FIPs are part of the solution — a way to preserve and even improve a challenging situation while working with our valued suppliers.”

Sandwiches Still Stack Up Strong

Sandwiches continue to reign supreme in the U.S. culinary world, with restaurateurs, food retailers and foodie masterminds becoming more excited about their versatility and customer appeal. Three-quarters (74%) of quick-service restaurants now feature sandwiches on their menus, and an impressive 62 percent of fine-dining establishments now showcase sandwiches. In each case, sandwiches are more prevalently featured than their hand-held counterparts, which include burgers, hot dogs and pizza. —Packaged Facts’ “Sandwiches: Culinary Trend Tracking Series”

Increase in Solo Snackers

The growth of single-person households in the United States — currently estimated at 38 million — is driving an increase in snacking behavior at mealtime, according to The NPD Group. In fact, in 2014, annual eatings per capita of snack foods consumed at mealtimes among solo diners reached 191, compared with 167 in 2011. “Smaller household sizes and eating alone are

among the growing factors with snacking,” says Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst at Port Washington, N.Y.based NPD. “Food manufacturers and retailers should think about the unique needs of the solo consumer when developing products and packaging, and marketing messages should be crafted to be relevant to tthem and their snacking behaviors.” —The NPD Group’s “Snacking in America” report —

Specialty Surge

Estimated U.S. consumers who fail to meet seafood consumption recommendations —U.S. Department of Agriculture/ Agricultural Research Service’s What We Eat in America/NHANES survey


When asked which brick-and-mortar retail food format has the best prospects over the next three to five years, respondents to PG ’s latest poll question believe that specialty will likely find the most Specialty 40% success, followed by Conventional 19 conventional-format Discount 14 food stores. Check 13 out the complete tally Warehouse/club of responses tabbed Supercenter/hypermarket 13 as we went to press: Other (airports, outlets, malls) 2

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

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November 2015 is... American Diabetes Month National Pomegranate Month National Roasting Month Vegan Awareness Month



Daylight Savings Time ends at 2 a.m. Post signs to remind staff to reset their clocks.



National Deviled Egg Day



National Sandwich Day. Feature a whimsical menu of sandwiches today.



National Candy Day. Time to deepdiscount that leftover Halloween candy.



National Doughnut Appreciation Day. Display your best-sellers near the entrance.



National Nachos Day. What do you like on yours?



National Tongue Twister Day: So where’s that peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

National Men Make Dinner Day


Celebrate Cook Something Bold Day in style with several in-store demos. Flambé, anyone?


PLMA’s Private Label Trade Show begins and continues through the 17th. National Bundt Day


Make sure that all holiday cooking supplies are on the floor and well stocked.


Marine Corps Birthday (1775). Offer treats today to any card-carrying Marines.


Veterans Day. Welcome the troops with discounts and special treats.


PG’s 2015 Top Women in Grocery Gala Celebration, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando, Fla.











National Vanilla Cupcake Day


For Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month, hold a cooking class to showcase the versatility of one of America’s favorite foods.


Homemade Bread Day. Teach a class on yeast breads.

Feature hot and cold potato soups for National Vichyssoise Day.

International Men’s Day. Offer sale prices on men’s grooming products.

National Baklava Day





Urge associates to bike to work for Go for a Ride Day.

Advent begins.

World Kindness Day. Give away healthy beverages to all shoppers.

Eat a Cranberry Day. In how many prepared foods can you use this superfruit?


Only 31 shopping days left until Christmas. Hold onto your hats!

National Parfait Day

Kick off Cyber Monday by sharing one holiday gift idea a day on Facebook through Dec. 24.

Thanksgiving Day. Also, as the perfect way to finish off a feast, it’s National Cake Day.

On the occasion of the Great American Smokeout, encourage the smokers among your associates to quit, with gift cards as an incentive.

Black Friday. Buy your staff lunch today in anticipation of the hard work to come in the next four weeks.

E-mail your calendar submissions to

World Diabetes Day. Set up an informational kiosk about the health condition and display your sugar-free confections, mixes, and so on.

Review Christmas supplies — decorations and merchandise.

For Vegan Awareness Month, create a Pinterest board with your favorite veganfriendly recipes and products.


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

Back to Basics: Hershey Delivers on Simple, Familiar Ingredients ADVERTORIAL Jim St. John, Senior Director of Global Chocolate Product Development, shares a behind-the-scenes look at how The Hershey Company is listening to consumers and transitioning Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars and Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates to simpler ingredients. Q: Why is Hershey moving to simpler ingredients? A: Our consumers are front and center in everything we do. Working with our retail partners, we want to meet and deliver on their expectations. People want to see ingredients that they know and recognize in their foods. When looking at the ingredient list for our chocolate, they expect to see pure, simple ingredients. We are listening, and our commitment to simple ingredients starts with our best known brands, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars and Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates. Q: What are the core ingredients in Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars and Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates? What’s changing? A: We are committed to making our products with fresh milk, cane sugar and cocoa. In both products we are switching from vanillin, an artifcial favoring, to real vanilla. In Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, we are removing polyglycerol polyricinoleate, or PGPR. It’s an emulsifer derived from castor bean oil. Q: Will removing vanillin pose any challenges? How are you addressing this? A: Many bakers and confectioners use vanillin because it is consistent. Real vanilla comes from hand-pollinated orchids, so there is more variability in favors. At Hershey, we only add about .0005 percent of vanillin to our chocolate, but we still need to make sure the vanilla we replace this with is completely consistent. We are working with our suppliers and favor houses, which own their own vanilla plantations, to source consistent, pure vanilla. Q: What about removing PGPR? How are you addressing this? A: Without PGPR, it can be difcult to get the chocolate to mold correctly and without air bubbles. Te best way to counter this is to add more cocoa butter, but that can change the way the chocolate melts in your mouth and increases the calories. Cocoa butter also varies based on where the bean comes from and time of year it was harvested. We are using cocoa butter as a replacement for PGPR, and to ensure consistency, we test diferent formulations with our panel of professional tasters until we reach the perfect balance, and then do even more testing with consumers, to deliver the same great taste. Q: Will these changes impact taste or appearance? A: Our consumers have high expectations and will be unforgiving if we can’t deliver the same great-tasting products they know and love. Tey want a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar to be a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates to be Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates. Taste, texture and appearance are all important factors that we are ensuring stay intact. When people unwrap the product, you’re making an impression on them. It needs to look, feel and taste the same or it loses its magic, and we are ensuring taste and appearance will not change. It has defnitely not been easy, but we were up to the task. Q: When will the new formulations be available? A: We’ve landed on winning reformulations and expect them to hit shelves by December with recognizable ingredients that deliver the same great taste.


Front End

Market Intelligence By The Numbers

Shelf Stoppers


Office and School Supplies Largest Sales Increases in Supermarkets by The Nielsen Co. (52 Weeks Ending July 4, 2015)

Sales % Change Dollars (Millions) 2015 2014 Markers $44.1 11.8% 6.6% Artist and Hobby Paints and Supplies 43.7 8.7 -3.1 Inkjet and Toner Cartridges 41.1 6.3 -2.5 Household Scissors 14.8 4.7 0.9 Personal Planners, Binders and Folders 36.3 4.2 0.4 School and Office Basics 13.3 3.6 -7.9 Pens and Pencils 77.0 2.6 2.1 Glue 43.4 2.5 1.4 Crayons 11.5 1.8 -5.8 Tape-Miscellaneous 67.5 1.1 2.4 Total Category



% Change 2015 10.3% 10.2 1.2 8.0 4.4 0.7 -0.8 0.0 2.3 0.6



Units 2014 10.2% -2.8 0.2 -3.8 -7.7 -8.9 -2.2 -0.6 -16.1 0.4 -2.5%

NielseN’s Spotlight

Despite isolated pockets of higher-than-average consumption scattered among other demographics, inkjet and toner cartridges are far and away purchased most often by empty nesters and especially senior couples of every lifestyle. This shows how dependent these groups, despite that they weren’t raised in an era when every home had at least one PC, have grown on their computer printers for hard copies of coupons, recipes and other items found online.

CrOSS-MErCH Candidates

Consumption Index: Inkjet and Toner Cartridges LIFESTYLE Behavior Stage

Cosmopolitan Affluent Comfortable Struggling Centers Suburban Country Urban Spreads Cores

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 | September 2015

• Floral and Gardening Supplies • Wine • Nuts • Vitamins • Medications,

Remedies and Health Aids • Light Bulbs and Electric Goods • Liquor • Books and Magazines More ONLINE Dig up actionable e research and additional al intelligence at




24 oz. Single Serve

+ 415.7%

+ 20.8% + 7.9%

+ 9.9%

+ 24.9%


+ 78.4% + 14.9%


19.7 %


+ +

15 %


21.2 %



22.7 %



1 2

Serve responsibly.™ Modelo Especial® Beer. Imported by Crown Imports, Chicago, IL

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

Fruits and Vegetables Market OVerView Sales of fruits and vegetables continue to grow in the United States. Retail sales increased to $105 billion in 2014 and are predicted to reach a total of $126 billion in 2019. key issues Many consumers believe that food must promote health and well-being. Nearly four in 10 U.S. consumers say that they eat fruits and vegetables for their specific vitamins and nutrients, while demand for high-protein foods continues to gain traction as consumers recognize the muscle-building and satiety benefits of higher-protein diets. “Superfood” labeling continues to tap into the desire for health, with this nomenclature often used to promote the benefits of nutritionally dense foods. Although some fruits and berries have long been recognized as superfruits, superfoods have now expanded to include a diverse mix of products such as kale, sprouted lentils and ancient grains. As a result of this trend toward wellness, manufacturers have begun listing products’ inherent benefits more prominently on packaging, and are launching more nutrientdense innovations.

What Does it Mean?


Fruit and vegetable brands should draw more attention to the health benefits of their products, given consumer demand for healthier foods.

crispiness, flavor and mouth feel are likely to be well accepted among consumers who are looking for healthier alternatives.

Vegetable-based fries that mimic standard fries in terms of

Superfoods are likely to be in high demand in North America,

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

as health and wellness is an established concept in the region. Combining kale with other superfood vegetables can serve to increase the variety in consumers’ diets, while also enhancing overall nutritional value.

RDs know how to give shoppers positive and practical guidance so they feel good about their food choices — whatever food attributes they favor.

All’s Wellness By Diane Quagliani

The New Nutrition Vocabulary Retail dietitians know how to speak shoppers’ language.


hen it comes to food and nutrition, there’s a whole new language out there. Not long ago, consumers favored food attributes such as “fat-free” and “low cholesterol.” It was pretty straightforward for dietitians to answer shoppers’ questions about these terms, because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defnes and regulates their use on food packages. Today, however, many nutrition-aware consumers clamor for attributes that aren’t well defned, or that enjoy a sometimes undeserved “healthy halo” suggesting that a food is a better or more nutritious choice. One example is the popular term “natural,” which gives the aura of wholesomeness, but doesn’t have a standard defnition across regulatory agencies. Te U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which regulates meat and poultry, defnes natural as “a product containing no artifcial ingredient or added color and [that] is only minimally processed.” Te FDA, which regulates packaged foods, doesn’t defne “natural,” but doesn’t object to use of the term if the food doesn’t contain added color, artifcial favors or synthetic substances. Tis isn’t too clear for the average shopper puzzling over a food label. Sustainability attributes are prevalent, too. Tese include “local,” “grass-fed,” “cage-free,” “no hormones” and “no antibiotics,” to name just a few. Again, these terms don’t always have consistent defnitions or signal a product that’s more healthful. Sometimes the role of a food component is misunderstood by consumers. “Gluten-free” is a great example. A gluten-free diet is a proven clinical must for those diagnosed with celiac disease. But for healthy people, does science support its use for purported benefts such as losing weight and boosting energy? Not so much. Of course, food companies and retailers want to


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

give shoppers products with their desired attributes. Who can bridge the gap between proftable promotions and responsible, science-based information? Retail dietitians (RDs) can.

Education, Reputation RDs know trends, marketing and the types of products shoppers are looking for. Tey also can explain the state of the nutrition science behind various product claims, and what terms such as “organic,” “grass-fed” and “hormone-free” mean. For instance, many RDs spend time clarifying that organic foods aren’t necessarily more nutritious than their conventional counterparts — a common misconception among some consumers. In reality, the USDA Organic designation refers to a unique set of food production methods, not nutritional value. RDs can help protect your reputation, too. Te industry is well aware that several major food companies and retailers have been targeted with lawsuits involving the use of the term “natural.” RDs will help you steer clear of troublesome packaging claims and promotions, or know the right regulatory consultants to advise you. RDs are translation experts. Teir training in nutrition education means they can customize information for shoppers with diferent educational backgrounds, income levels and food preferences, and distill complicated or confusing information into clear advice. Tey also can educate your employees who frequently feld shopper questions. Perhaps most important, RDs know how to give shoppers positive and practical guidance so they feel good about their food choices — whatever food attributes they favor. PG Registered dietitian Diane Quagliani, MBA, RDN, LDN, specializes in nutrition communications for consumer and health professional audiences. She has assisted national retailers and CPGs with nutrition strategy, web content development, trade show exhibiting, and the creation and implementation of shelf tag programs.

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Profiles in Progress

Mariano’s Fresh Market

Inside Tracks Store-within-a-store concepts take hold as Mariano’s continues its Chicago-area expansion. By Jim Dudlicek


n the fve years since Roundy’s Inc. launched its Mariano’s Fresh Market banner in Chicago and its suburbs, the Milwaukee-based chain has transformed the shopper experience for consumers throughout the region. In fact, most Chicago-area mainstream supermarket shoppers arguably were experiencing a signifcant drought when it came to grocery merchandising innovation until Mariano’s, the brainchild of Roundy’s chief Bob Mariano, opened its frst store in the northwest suburb of Arlington Heights in July 2010. Now, half a decade and more than 30 stores


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

later, Mariano’s — whose ranks have swelled through the acquisition of about a dozen former Dominick’s locations from Safeway — has become a favorite of shoppers who embrace its extensive fresh selections, prepared foods, competitive pricing and overall “foodieness.” Tose shoppers have been further rewarded with unique destination concepts whose development has paralleled the banner’s evolution, some of which are unique to their respective locations. “Each time we join a new community, we commit ourselves to getting to know the tastes and preferences of our customers so that we can truly

make it a neighborhood store,” says Amanda Puck, director of strategic brand development for Mariano’s, one of four banners operated by Roundy’s. Te newest store-within-astore concepts at Mariano’s are expertly executed and address both neighborhood needs and overall market desire for specialty oferings. Mariano’s debuted its frst dedicated kosher market at its store in Skokie, Ill., which opened this past April 21. Additionally, on June 30, the banner cut the ribbon on its newest (as of this writing) and largest (90,000-plus square feet) location in Northbrook, which includes Mariano’s Signature Curation Center, designed to showcase artisanal products from around the world. Tis store, known as Glenview West, also includes three other features unique to the location: a cheese and charcuterie cave, a fresh guacamole counter, and on-site cofee roasting.

aisles to isles the olive and soup bars are among the first features encountered in the Kosher Market at Mariano’s skokie.

“Te mission of both the Kosher Market and the Curation Center ties into Mariano’s larger commitment to be an integral part of every community we join,” Puck says, explaining how the concepts are true to the banner’s tagline. “Both concepts work to meet the individual needs of our customers. By ofering a quality selection of products that cater to individual lifestyles, we are able to ensure that all of our customers can ‘Shop Well. Eat Well. Live Well.’”

above and beyond Mariano’s skokie takes the banner’s specialized offerings to new heights with a dedicated Kosher Market.

Photos by Vito Palmisano

September 2015 | |


Profiles in Progress

shelf aPPeal The Mariano’s Kosher Market has its own “center store” with grocery items and supermarket staples.


Kosher Market “Te Skokie location marks a milestone for our customers, as it is our frst store to ofer a specialty kosher area,” Mariano said on the occasion of the store’s grand opening. “We looked at the community’s needs and made the decision to go above and beyond what our customers have come to know and love — fresh, unique and local grocery oferings — by creating spaces in the store that allow us to be a true extension of the neighborhood.” Working in partnership with the Chicago Rabbinical Council, Mariano’s designed a separate 5,275-square-foot section within the store that is kosher certifed. Within the Kosher Market, shoppers will fnd a separate kosher Sweet Shoppe, cheese shop, deli, meat counter and grill, seafood counter and grill, and soup and olive bars, as well

as additional oferings. Te kosher section will respect the Sabbath each week (from sundown Friday through Saturday after sunset), reopening on Sunday morning. “Given that many of our Skokie neighbors keep kosher, it only made sense to ensure that the Mariano’s in their community ft their lifestyle,” Puck explains. “We worked closely with the Chicago Rabbinical Council to help us develop our kosher offerings that include separate meat and seafood counters, each with a dedicated grill; freshly rolled sushi; hot prepared foods; hot soups; and baked breads.” Mariano’s designed the store to be accessible to all shoppers, including individuals who are looking for only kosher oferings. Te market ofers a wide selection of staples, as well as unique items such as kosher sushi, prepared foods and specialty baked goods. Te Kosher Market fts seamlessly into the overall store foor plan, which may come as something of a surprise to shoppers used to navigating other Mariano’s locations. In most of the banner’s other stores, shoppers passing through the prepared food, deli and bakery area will hang a left turn between the specialty cheese shop and butcher counters to fnd the wine and spirits section with an adjoining beer cave. At the Skokie store, that same left turn takes you right into the Kosher Market, a wide area trimmed in blue and special signage to defne this store within a store. Along its perimeter are the kosher bakery and deli, and dedicated sushi counter, along with the kosher meat and seafood departments, which will Continued on page 30 loaves and layers The dedicated kosher bake shop offers items ranging from cakes and cupcakes to breads and rolls.


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

72% of shoppers have no plan for dinner at least once a week

and yet the deli garners only 20% of prepared food sales. Tyson Deli/Bakery will help you capture a bigger share of those meals. Get to the Right Place. At the Right Pace.

Source: Tyson On The Go Dinner Research 2015

Š2015 Tyson Foods, Inc. Tyson is a registered trademark of Tyson Foods, Inc.

— NEW FOR 2015 —

s Red Mill founder Bob Moore Visit with Bob at Natural Products Expo East booth #1823 as he signs your free copy.

Profiles in Progress


Mariano’s Skokie

3358 W. Touhy Ave., Skokie, IL 60076

Kosher Market Grand opening: April 21, 2015 Square footage: 5,275, within the 71,310-square-foot store Features: Sweet Shoppe, cheese shop, deli, meat counter and grill, seafood counter and grill, sushi, soup bar, olive bar Market operates under the guidance of the Chicago Rabbinical Council


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

Mariano’s Glenview West

2323 Capital Drive, Northbrook, IL 60062

Signature Curation Center Grand opening: June 30, 2015 Square footage: 90,602 (total store) Features: Curated selections of specialty products including local and imported pastas, sauces, olive oils, whiskey and granola Other new store destinations: Cheese and charcuterie shop, on-site coffee roasting, fresh guacamole bar

September 2015 | |


Profiles in Progress


Continued from page 24

amPle samPles shoppers can taste products from throughout the region and around the world in the Curation Center.

bIGGesT lINK Glenview West is the chain’s largest store, at more than 90,000 square feet.


prepare selections to order. Te kosher soup and olive bar islands separate the perimeter from rows dedicated to commercial baked goods and candy, followed by aisles of kosher packaged meat, seafood and deli items; a dairy and frozen aisle; and three more aisles of grocery items. Customer response has been outstanding, Puck says. “What we hear time and time again is that the Kosher Market is unlike anything else available at other stores,” she relates. “Where else can you fnd kosher meats, seafood, bakery and grocery items all in one spot? We are thrilled that those who keep kosher have been able to fnd a spot that ofers them both quality and variety.” Beyond the Kosher Market, the Skokie store features Mariano’s mainstays like fresh-squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, caramel apples dipped on-site, specialty seafood and soup, a foral department, and a wine bar. Other signature features of the store include Vero premium cofees and gelato; Todds BBQ , ofering daily smoked brisket and ribs; Te Oyster Bar, with fresh shucked oysters and specialty seafood dishes; and the Squeez’d smoothie bar, showcasing a variety of made-toorder fruit and vegetable smoothies.

Curation Center Te largest of the banner’s 32 locations, Mariano’s Glenview West store encompasses more than 90,000 square feet, providing shoppers with the brand’s signature destinations, some new concepts

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

and a wealth of elbow room. “We have designed a store unlike any other, offering something for everyone,” Mariano said at the grand opening this past June. “If you’re hosting a


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Profiles in Progress

Plan for all seasoninGs from soothing to seething, the Curation Center offers flavors for diverse palates.

GuaC this way Mariano’s premiered its guacamole bar at the Glenview west store.



party and looking for something unique to serve, meeting friends for a cup of cofee or a homemade gelato, or need to shop for your family dinner, you’re going to fnd what you need here.” Anchoring the innovations at Glenview West is Mariano’s Signature Curation Center, designed to showcase artisanal products from across the globe. Each item is selected to educate shoppers and share the unique story of each supplier. Located in a broad boulevard within center store, the Curation Center’s products include specialty olive oil, granola and whiskey. Te center also features a demo station that allows purveyors to engage with shoppers, prepare special recipes, and hold seminars and tastings. “We are always looking for the best products. Whether it comes from local purveyors in Chicago or is imported directly from Italy, our goal is to provide our customers with unique oferings so that they can experience incredible favors from around the world,” Puck says. “Te Curation Center brings our mission to life. Each item featured in the Curation Center is hand-selected to educate shoppers and share the story of each purveyor, all [of which] share Mariano’s passion for unforgettable food.” Te Glenview West store was selected as the Curation Center launch site because of its size and regional appeal. “With its location right of Interstate 294, we felt the location was ideal for the

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

Curation Center, attracting both local shoppers and those who navigate the interstate on a regular basis,” Puck explains. Glenview West is also home to three other unique concepts. A cheese and charcuterie shop expands the specialty cheese department found at other stores into its own dedicated “cave,” featuring dozens of cheeses and cured meats from around the world. Te room is stafed by associates ready to ofer samples and advice about the many products, and features crossmerchandised complementary oferings to provide shoppers with dining and entertaining solutions. Additionally, the store houses the banner’s frst Vero cofee bar, with on-site roasted cofee beans. Finally, Mariano’s introduced a made-to-order guacamole bar at the site, giving shoppers a chance to create their own custom recipes based on staf

The most popular deli item isn’t’s twisted! While your customers might think about what cold cuts and cheeses to buy, there’s no question that they’ll grab a box or two of John Wm. Macy’s CheeseSticks to go with them. The crunchy, cheesy, unique flavor in every bite of a CheeseStick is perfect alongside antipastos, deli platters, or right out of the box. The reason they are found in most deli sections and sell so well is simple...they’re a cut above the rest.

John Wm. Macy’s


CheeseSticks 800-643-0573

Profiles in Progress

FormaGGi Follows Function sampling opportunities abound for shoppers in Glenview west’s cheese cave.


suggestions, with a variety of add-ins to tailor guac to individual specifcations. Tese features join favorites like Oki Sushi; Todds BBQ ; the Oyster Bar, with fresh-shucked oysters; and the Squeez’D smoothie bar, along with Veg’D, ofering fresh-prepared vegetarian and vegan items. “Te Curation Center has drawn a lot of [customers’] eyes,” Puck notes. “Te selected products and demos showcased ofer them an opportunity to try a new food item they maybe didn’t know existed, as well as learn how they can use the item at home. Te Curation Center is not only a chance to educate our eager customers, but also support artisanal products from around the globe.”

Keeping it Fresh Tese new concepts join the many other destination features that Mariano’s shoppers in the Chicago area have come to know and love, including hot prepared foods, soup and salad bars, fresh-squeezed juices, full-service pharmacies, and cafés with free WiFi and live piano music. With each Mariano’s store ofering its own unique features to set it apart from other locations in the city and suburbs, how does the banner determine which of these unique features to install in a given location? “Innovation at Mariano’s is a constant,” Puck explains. “We don’t simply create an idea for a new store per se — our ideas and creativity are always

evolving. We look at the diversity of the customer profle for each individual store and determine what makes sense for that particular location. Upon reviewing these factors, we design the stores with features that meet those needs. No matter the location, our goal is to always to make sure the store is a true extension of the community and ofers customers a memorable shopping experience.” Te challenges faced in adapting these concepts to the Mariano’s store footprint are par for the course. “Whenever you introduce a new concept in a store, there will be certain challenges such as product sourcing, operations and labor,” Puck acknowledges. “However, we have a signifcant amount of experience in delivering new concepts to our customers, which allows us to plan for and meet these challenges as they arise.” With evolving concepts like on-site smoked barbecue items and the Oyster Bar catching on at multiple locations, how soon might folks who shop at other Chicago-area Mariano’s stores see their own Kosher Market or Curation Center? “At this time, we have not publicly announced plans to open or replicate the Kosher Market or the Curation Center at other Mariano’s locations,” Puck says. “We will keep our customers posted as updates are made to new and existing stores. As we get closer to opening a new store, we will be able to share what exciting features are to come.” PG learninG exPerience amanda Puck, mariano’s strategic brand director, explains to PG editor-in-chief Jim Dudlicek how the curation center aims to educate shoppers and tell the stories behind the products.


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

Easy Peasy This year’s Editors’ ditors’ P Picks score for delivering solutions for function and good taste.


Introduction by Jim Dudlicek / Product reviews by PG Staff

t happens every year around this time: Te Progressive Grocer staf is overcome by an overwhelming sensation that has built up over the past several months. We’re full. After reviewing some 400 individual product entries for our annual Editors’ Picks contest, our staf is truly nourished, not only by the food itself, but also by the creativity and innovation that went into developing these many fne products. After loosening our belts, we present 97 food and 16 nonfood entries as this year’s winners, some honored as product lines or related items, and others for individual varieties. Products came in from nearly every category, with snack foods most prevalent. Our favorites among the winners delivered on the idea of providing solutions — making life easier for consumers through simpler preparation, value-added function or other


qualities designed to take the hassle out of daily eating occasions or home routines. Naturally, good taste was also a must. Examples of solution-oriented products included Batter World’s pancake batters, Certifed Angus/Old Neighborhood shaved steak, Daisy’s squeezable sour cream, Gallo’s Vin Vault wines, Hormel meat products, House Foods’ stir-fry kits, Truly Good’s salad toppings and Tyson’s seasoned beef strips. Some combined functional qualities and turnkey nutrition, such as veggie blends from Apio, Fresh Express, Mann Packing and JR Simplot, and ancient grains in Better4U pizzas and Que Pasa tortilla chips. Others addressed specifc dietary needs, like Dr. Praeger’s Sunwiches, Enjoy Life’s pizza crust mix, Good2Grow’s Juicy Waters, Pacifc Sustainable frozen fsh and Paleo Scavenger’s granola. We invite you to digest our comments about these fne products, which we feel your shoppers will enjoy. Mangia!

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

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Apio Eat Smart Plant Powered Protein Salad Kits

$4.99 This product line, from Apio Inc., is a handsdown winner at the corner of taste and health. Shoppers may be startled by the fat content — 46 percent of daily value (DV), at 20 percent saturated fat — but with some communication about the healthier sources of the fat, including seeds, some of the sting might be alleviated. These vegetarian salads pack a lot of protein: 40 percent recommended DV for dietary fiber and 28 percent for protein. The label does a great job of conveying all that the salad kit has going for it: good source of protein and fiber, rich in vitamins A and C, glutenand preservative-free. Varieties include BBQ Ranch, Super Caesar and Yogurt Curry. The Super Caesar salad includes some nontraditional ingredients, including collard greens, Italian kale, red chard, broccoli stalk, savoy cabbage, dry-roasted edamame, roasted sunflower seeds and chia seeds. Parmesan cheese and classic Caesar dressing provide the traditional Caesar taste, and it’s large enough to share.

B&G Foods Ortega Street Taco Kit

$2.49 Food trucks are all the rage, and these taco kits from B&G Foods aim to bring that flavor to consumers’ kitchens with this cool new meal solution. The taco kits — in Carne Asada Steak and Pork Carnita varieties — include 10 flour tortillas and packets of seasoning and sauce. Cook your desired protein with the seasoning and assemble, adding your own cheese and veggies as you see fit. It’s a quick, easy and flavorful dinnertime solution.

vative-free and made with all-natural ingredients. Our only quibble: We’d like better on-pack guidance on how much to dispense per pancake for a full yield.

Beanitos Real Cheesy Puffs

$3.49 Bean-based snacks are coming into their own and defining a new generation of snacks. While some have textural issues, Beanitos Real Cheesy Puffs are a great format for a better-for-you snack. This Non-GMO Verified vegetarian nosh is made with whole navy beans, long-grain rice, sunflower oil, tapioca and a cheddar cheese blend. It’s similar in taste and texture to other puffed snacks, but delivers more fiber (4 grams) and protein (6 grams) per 1-ounce serving than traditional corn-based puffs.

Better4U Gluten Free Sprouted Ancient Grains Pizza

$7.99 We’ve been enjoying Better4U’s frozen pizzas for a while now, both in wheatbased and gluten-free varieties. The brand has taken things a step further by adding oh-so-trendy sprouted ancient grains — quinoa, millet, brown rice and chia — to the recipe, for a crust that’s finely textured and hearty, with a lower glycemic index than traditional pizzas. The clean label also features non-GMO ingredients, including hormone-free cheese. The Uncured Pepperoni was our favorite, but we also enjoyed the Four Cheese and Mediterranean varieties, the latter with roasted red peppers, artichokes and olives.

Batter World Pancake Batters

$5.99 original, multigrain; $6.99 gluten-free These fresh-frozen pancake batters in Original, Multigrain and Gluten-Free varieties make breakfast a little easier. Just defrost the squeezable and resealable pouch, shake and pour in a hot pan for great-tasting pancakes with a unique flavor (we think it’s the cinnamon). Batter World is preser-


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

The Judges Have Gone Wild...

For Morey’s Wild Salmon Topped with Corn and Black Bean Salsa. After reviewing some 500 products from multiple categories, the elite tasters at Progressive Grocer have chosen Morey’s Wild Salmon Topped with Corn and Black Bean Salsa as one of the tastiest, most innovative and highest-value product lines on grocery shelves today. We’ve said it all along, and now Progressive Grocer’s editors agree: This delicious gluten-free product has all the ingredients to be wildly successful with your customers for years to come. Contact Morey’s today to learn how Morey’s Wild Salmon Topped with Corn and Black Bean Salsa can drive more traffc to your frozen food aisle.

1-800-327-9592 ©2015 Morey’s Seafood International LLC

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Brookside Crunchy Clusters Berry Medley Flavors

$4.19 Hershey acquired the British Columbiabased confectionery gem a few years ago and is taking advantage of Brookside’s patented chocolate-covered fruit piece expertise. Rice, graham and oats combine to create a crunchy granola, while chewy fruit-flavored centers provide a complementary textural contrast. Dark chocolate enrobes the morsels for a delectable treat that comes with a bit of a health halo for a taste-good, feel-good treat.

Celestial Teahouse Mountain Chai

$3.99 Celestial Seasonings believes its new Teahouse Chai offerings appeal to younger consumers who prefer “coffeehouse-style” beverages, and has picked up the vertical packaging favored by other national tea brands. But Millennials aren’t the only tea lovers who think that these teas — the classic Mountain Chai in particular — successfully deliver a full, authentic taste. Where other chais taste watered down, Celestial Teahouse Mountain Chai is a rich blend of black tea in the masala tradition that unites fragrant spices, including cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper and Chinese star anise. Even non-tea drinkers in the home or office will enjoy the aroma.

or fillers, the item offers a foundation for sandwiches, stir-fries, quesadillas or salads. We used it for some great Philly cheesesteaks and steak tacos. So many different options will allow retailers to leverage the shaved steak to the hilt for cross-merchandising solutions throughout the store.

$3.29 Many of the alternative-format fruit products out there are designed for kids, but Charles & Alice changes things up for consumers of all ages. Their latest release, 100 percent all-natural fruit in a cup, aims to create a whole new produce category through a new way to experience eating fruit, in or out of season. We particularly like the Cherry variety, with nice chunks of fruit amid the purée. Available in 4-packs of refrigerated singleserve cups, Fruit for All also comes in Mango, Blueberry, Raspberry, Banana Vanilla and Apricot flavors.

Certified Angus Beef/ Old Neighborhood Foods Shaved Steak

$5.99/pound bulk; $6.99 (case-ready); High-quality Certified Angus Beef is the basis of this shaved steak from Old Neighborhood Foods, which provides the inspiration for numerous recipes that can be ready to eat in about 10 minutes. With no MSG, soy, binders


Charles & Alice 100% Fruit for All

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

Chips Ahoy! Coconut Chunky

$3.79 This is a nice twist on an old favorite from Mondelez International’s Nabisco brand. Our tasters really enjoyed how adding coconut enhanced the flavor and texture of this mainstay chocolate chip cookie. It was nice to relax and savor a simple pleasure — a guilty one for some, but for many, an old friend. We hope strategic promotion will keep it from getting lost on the shelf amid the brand’s many iterations.

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Coca-Cola Life

$4.99 (6-pack) Traditional carbonated soft drinks are under fire, and their sales have reflected that state of affairs. Newcomers have stepped up with alternatives, but this legacy brand impressed us with its take on a betterfor-you beverage. It’s Coke’s first reduced-calorie cola sweetened with a blend of cane sugar and stevia leaf extract, offering 35 percent fewer calories than leading colas: 60 per 8-ounce glass bottle. We admire the clean label, the innovation with natural sweeteners and the crisp taste that’s true to the brand. It comes in 6-packs of 8-ounce glass contour bottles, 20-ounce bottles and 6-packs of 12-ounce cans.

Cosmos Caramel Apple and Spicy Sriracha Snacks

$3.99 Some of our tasters liked one and not the other, and some liked both, indicating that Cosmos Creations has something for everyone in these trendy new snacks. Sriracha is all the rage these days, and these corn snacks deliver with an appealing combination of crunch and sizzle. Meanwhile, the sweet option features real tart apple chunks and sweet yet not too sticky caramel. Cosmos’ puffed-corn snacks are free of gluten, trans fats and GMOs, and with no kernels or hulls, they’re friendly to our younger tasters with braces.

Crunch Pak DipperZ

99 cents-$1.29 Making fruit and vegetables more fun and easier to eat is a good thing, and Crunch


Pak is great at it. The company’s latest grab-and-go DipperZ snacks, each topping out at 150 calories, feature packages of fresh sliced apples or carrots paired with dips such as caramel sauce, Greek yogurt, peanut butter and ranch dressing. One pack features Olaf, a character from the kid-favorite Disney movie “Frozen,” part of Crunch Pak’s partnership with the entertainment conglomerate, the first such alliance in the produce department and fresh-cut fruit snack category. Additionally, innovative packaging design elements provide up to a 30-day shelf life.

Daisy Brand Squeeze Sour Cream

$2.49 Daisy employs a new patented tube-shaped pouch that’s more flexible than traditional squeeze bottles, resembling an oversized tube of toothpaste, but with a paper outer layer. No additives or preservatives are added to the 14-ounce tubes of sour cream, which are perfect for topping foods like potatoes or tacos. The pouches are not only more functional than a tub, but the inverted package also protects against the watery buildup common with tubs and squeeze bottles, because no air is allowed back into the pouch. The “deformable” pouch also means that users have a good idea of how much sour cream is left in it.

Dietz & Watson Sriracha Chicken Breast

$10.99/pound Dietz & Watson (D&W) continues its prowess with bold flavors in the deli case with its new sriracha chicken breast, seasoned with a proprietary recipe made with real red chilies and garlic. The item is part of the purveyor’s Healthier Lifestyle line, which meets or exceeds the USDA and FDA standards for healthy foods. This deli chicken is 97 percent fat-free, as well as being free of gluten, nitrates, MSG and trans fat. It definitely delivers on flavor; one taster sampling it at the IDDBA show kicked it up further with D&W’s sriracha mustard — zing!

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

2015 Editors’ Picks

Dr. Praeger’s Sunwiches

$5.99 Parents in search of nut-free options for their allergic kids will appreciate these Sunwiches, a generational take on the PB&J that uses the brand’s trademarked Sunbutter, made from sunflower seeds. Paired with strawberry or grape jellies, which are made from juice concentrates, in a bread pocket featuring organic wheat flour, these are a tasty option for anyone avoiding peanuts. Plus they passed the kid test among our staffers’ offspring.

E&J Gallo Vin Vault Wines

$19.99 Boxed wine is shedding its punchline image, thanks to E&J Gallo Winery. Vin Vault offers six flavorful varietals in an innovative bag-in-box package that holds the equivalent of four 750-milliliter bottles. These premium wines will stay fresh for up to four weeks after opening. Good taste is married with convenience in six styles: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Red Blend.

September 2015 | |


SEE SNACKING IN A WHOLE NEW BITE Fisher® saw opportunity for growth in the snack nut category. So we mixed things up a little and created Fisher Nut Exactly®. A delicious mix of the best ingredients. The frst of its kind. And a category game-changer. We continue to drive awareness and trial by working side-by-side with our retail partners. Fisher Nut Exactly, winner of the 2015 “Editors’ Pick” Award for innovation and proof that success comes when you look at your products a little diferently.

To learn more about partnering with Fisher, call (847) 214-4318.


2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Enjoy Life Foods’ Pizza Crust Baking Mix

$8.49 The price is steep, but for those who are intolerant of the eight common allergens (wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish), Enjoy Life Pizza Crust mix is a positive game changer. Now consumers can have pizza their way, hot from the oven. The 14.5-ounce mix — enough for two good-sized pizzas — is made with ancient grains, including teff, flaxseed meal, and konjac flour that delivers 5 grams of protein, as well as probiotics for gut health. The dough is a little stickier than traditional wheat flour mixes — perhaps because of the rice starch and brown rice protein — but the crusts roll out nicely and have excellent, crispy texture when baked.

Fisher Nut Exactly Snack Bites

$3.49 Claiming to be the first snack of its kind, Fisher Nut Exactly Snack Bites are a combination of roasted nuts and whole grain popcorn, rolled into a bite-size snack that’s dipped into milk chocolate, dark chocolate, peanut butter or salted caramel. With no artificial preservatives and only 15 to 16 calories per snack bite, they provide a great example of portion-controlled indulgence. The resealable packages come in four varieties: almond dipped in milk or dark chocolate, pecan in salted caramel, and almond in dark chocolate.

©2015 Mizkan Americas, Inc.

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food FIT Popcorn ChipsWhite Cheddar

$3.49 Popcorn, Indiana, which is actually based in Englewood, N.J. (go figure!), has taken the healthy profile of popcorn and extended it to FIT Popcorn Chips. Naturally glutenfree, the chips are shaped into triangles, but with the puffed corn visible. The result is a satisfyingly crunchy, cheesy snack. One-ounce servings weigh in at 130 calories — about 18 chips; bags are 4.5 ounces. Other varieties include Sea Salt, Spinach Feta and Sweet Potato Cinnamon.

bold flavors, inspired by Asian, Caribbean and other world cuisines. The packages are resealable, but with their high protein and reasonable calorie counts, eating the whole bag is relatively guilt-free. Made without MSG, nitrites or preservatives (and, except for one flavor, gluten-free), the line consists of Chili Basil Turkey Jerky, Basil Citrus Chicken Jerky, Lemon Pepper Chicken Jerky, Island Teriyaki Pork Jerky and Chipotle Lime Beef Jerky.

G’s Apple Dreams Applesauce Muffins

$3.69-$4.29 Portion-controlled, sensible indulgence is in, and these mini muffins deliver. All-natural; egg-free; low in sugar, carbs and sodium; and containing zero trans fat, they are a healthier option for breakfast, a great snack for kids’ lunchboxes and a quick dessert. G’s suggests using them as a base for bread pudding or strawberry shortcake, or as a milkshake mix-in. The line is currently available in original, chocolate chip and double chocolate chip varieties, with a glutenfree version on the way.

Giovanni Rana Italian Sausage Ravioli Fresh Express Healthy Plus Salad Kits

$4.29 Fresh Express places the benefits front and center on packages of its new Healthy Plus Salad Kits, including Heart Health, Digestive Health and Antioxidant. The Heart Health Kit, for example, includes spinach, baby kale, beet tops, shredded broccoli, shredded carrots, dried cranberries, sliced almonds and basil balsamic vinaigrette. The package reads: “Good for your heart. While many factors affect heart disease, diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of this disease.” While the strong messaging will appeal to consumers addressing specific issues, these salads will draw consumers who appreciate that someone did the chopping for them.

$4.50 Rana keeps on delivering great-tasting, authentic pastas that make at-home meals easier. Our latest favorite is the brand’s Italian sausage ravioli, a fresh filled pasta that allows home cooks to bring a homemade-quality meal to the table in just three minutes. We really enjoyed the blend of mildly seasoned, Midwestsourced sausage and creamy ricotta cheese, wrapped in thin pasta. The mezzaluna shape — a first in Rana’s product line — allows for a generous amount of filling.

Fusion Jerky

$6.99 These meat snacks from Fusion Jerky are among the finest examples of flavor innovation we’ve seen in the category. We enjoyed all five for their tenderness and


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

ers th quality products consum wi on ati ov inn in y wa e th Litehouse is leading TM dips continue to TM dressings and Opadipity se ou teh Li by PA love! Our O s. By loyal consumer following eir th nd pa ex d an th ow gr experience phenomenal th fewer le to provide big flavors wi ab are we se, ba rt gu yo k using our Gree s and dips. protein than other dressing e or m d an fat s les , ies lor ca tehouseTM JalapeĂąo Li by PA O t ou ab ive tat ouse represen Be sure to ask your Liteh New Product! itor's Pick Award for Best Ed e th of t en ipi rec t en Ranch, rec ÂŽ

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food RW Garcia 3-Seed Harvest Crackers

$5.49 The folks at RW Garcia continue to excel in better-for-you snacks. Their latest win: this deliciously crunchy combination of sweet pumpkin and stone-ground blue corn. We really enjoyed the flavor and texture of these gluten-free 3-Seed Harvest Crackers, which boast a simple, clean ingredient label and Non-GMO Project verification. The sesame, chia and flaxseed may linger in the teeth for a while, but so does the enjoyment of a great snack.

Golden West/American BBQ Co. Pork Ribs $8.99 Most folks don’t have time for the “low and slow” that good barbecue demands. Lucky for them that there are


these succulent ribs from Golden West, which has done the hard work for them. Released under the American BBQ Co. label, the ribs are spicerubbed, hardwoodsmoked, and sauced with sweet apple cider and brown sugar. A short stay in the oven is all that’s needed to have great ’cue on cue anytime. It was a challenge not to eat the whole rack at one sitting!

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

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Good2Grow Juicy Waters

$2.99 Good2Grow is serious about making hydration healthy and fun for kids. Its latest score is Juicy Waters, a USDA Certified Organic beverage with no artificial colors, sweeteners or flavors, and no added sugar. With 25 percent juice and just 30 calories per bottle, Juicy Waters comes in Fruit Punch and Grape flavors sporting collectable bottle toppers depicting characters kids love (our samples came with Hello Kitty and SpongeBob SquarePants). Parents should appreciate Juicy Waters for helping get their kids to drink their daily recommended six to seven glasses of water.

Narrow It Down Straight and narrow. A new aisle-warming solution for nagging cold aisle complaints.

New fo 201 r 5

Grillman’s Franks

$5.99 A little surprised that the folks at Beaver Street Fisheries were behind these new hot dogs, we had to read the side panel a couple of times to convince ourselves that these weren’t actually seafood franks! Seriously, these all-beef wieners under the Grillman’s brand are quite plump and juicy. With all varieties gluten- and soy-free, the Angus variety makes for an upscale frank, while the nitrate-free dog answers the growing call for cleaner labels. Nicely done!

Specifically designed for narrow aisle applications in grocery stores, Airius’ Narrow Aisle fan provides an elongated airflow pattern to maximize spread down the length of an aisle while minimizing interference with open cases. Features energy-efficient electronically commutated (EC) motor.

Call 303.772.2633 or visit

The World Standard For Destratification

September 2015 | |


2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Hail Merry Meyer Lemon Mini Miracle Tart

$5.99 We first sampled these tarts at Natural Products Expo West and were pleased to see them arrive at our door. These 100-calorie ganache mini tarts satisfy several dietary trends: non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleofriendly and kosher. They’re made using organic virgin coconut oil (instead of heavy cream), organic blue agave and Meyer lemon juice; the crust combines sweet almond flour, lemon zest and a hint of sea salt. These ingredients result in great treats that deliver a pucker worthy of their name.

USA’s Tecate brand has launched Diablo, which leverages the authenticity of this popular Mexican beer label. The bold taste is sure to appeal to aficionados of these tomato-based beverages as part of the growing category of so-called “spirited” beers aimed in part at Millennials who tend to prefer cocktails over 6-packs.

Heineken Tecate Diablo

$2.69 Addressing the growing popularity of micheladas — beer, tomato juice, lime and spices — Heineken


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

Hormel Bacon Sprinkles

$2.79-$2.99 Lovers of bacon should really appreciate Hormel’s help in making it easier to add bacon to other dishes. This 100 percent real bacon comes in easy-to-use shaker packaging, allowing its use as a topping or condiment. We think these sprinkles are great on everything, from deviled eggs and waffle mixes to macaroni and cheese (we tried the latter), as well as in soups and salads.





















Nielsen, FDCM+, YTD ending 5/23/15 Nielsen panel data, all outlets, 52 weeks ending 12/27/14


2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Hormel Chili 100% Natural

Hormel Better-for-you Pepperoni Products $3.49-$3.99 Hormel pepperoni has been a longtime consumer favorite, and now it’s cleaning up its image a bit. The company took its top-selling pepperoni brand and created two new varieties — one with 25 percent less fat, and the other with half the sodium of regular pepperoni. In our opinion, the flavor is on the money, with little difference between these “better-for-you” versions and the “real thing.” It’s great on pizza (naturally) and sandwiches, or even for snacking right from the pouch. Hey, don’t judge …

Hormel Black Label Bacon Premium Flavors

$5.99 We could write “bacon” 100 times in this space and just leave it at that. Being the responsible journalists that we are, however, we’ll provide a bit more detail: Hormel’s Black Label bacon has been a favorite of ours for years, and the brand has rewarded its fans handsomely with these new flavors that bring excitement not only to breakfast, but also to burgers, salads and other recipes. The robust seasonings truly come forth in this thick-cut format. Pressed to name a favorite, we would choose the Zesty Jalapeño, but they’re all excellent, including the Cherrywood, Brown Sugar, Maple Black Pepper and Pecanwood varieties.

$2.49-$2.69 Canned chili — really? Listen, canned and processed food has a perception problem as fresh categories dominate the scene. “Taking an old favorite and making it more healthy” is exactly how Hormel describes its new 100% Natural Chili, which ditches the preservatives, artificial ingredients and MSG. One of our tasters, a Millennial and connoisseur of canned chili, pronounced it a hit. The chili comes in Beef and White Chicken varieties.

Hormel Jennie-O Turkey Breast Sticks

$3.99 (6-pack); 69 cents (individual) Take the protein richness of meat and combine it with the convenience of string cheese, and you get a terrific new snacking concept. These turkey breast sticks are portable and individually wrapped, with 5 grams of protein and 25 calories each. They’re all natural and have no artificial preservatives, nitrites or nitrates. We admire the innovation and the expansion of the meat snack category. The sticks come in four varieties: Oven Roasted, Sweet Barbeque, Smoke House and Cracked Pepper.

Hormel Lucille’s Bacon and Cheddar Sausage

$4.99 Hormel’s West Coast-based Farmer John brand does some cool things, and our latest favorites are these sausages, co-branded with the Lucille’s Smokehouse restaurant chain in California. Our tasters loved these bacon-and-cheddar links, which were flavorful enough to eat without condiments, after a few minutes on the grill. They come in 12-ounce packs of four links each.


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

©2015 B&G Foods, Inc.





Inspired by Taco trucks across the nation, and awarded the Progressive Grocer 2015 Editors’ Pick, these new Street Taco Kits are available in two authentic varieties: Carne Asada Steak and Pork Carnitas. Just add steak or pork for tangy and savory Tacos that rock. /Ortega or

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Hormel/Lloyd’s Sauceless Competitive Barbecue Products

WokMe Up from House Foods is a great building block toward that solution. Billed as “a quick savory meal in one convenient package, this stir-fry kit offers cubed tofu and a garlic sauce, ready for the consumer to provide vegetables and five minutes of cooking time. With the line’s other flavors, Sweet Teriyaki and Spicy Orange, Wok Me Up can be easily merchandised with cut veggies in the produce section and positioned as an easy weeknight family meal.

$7.99-$17.99 These interesting barbecue meats from Hormel’s Lloyd’s brand bridge the gap between doing ’cue yourself totally from scratch and going to Austin, Kansas City or Memphis. Inspired by the idea that people like to make barbecue their own way, these sauceless products give them the starting point: Lloyd’s does the smoking; you do the rest. The ribs, sliced beef brisket and pulled pork come in packaging that conveys a handcrafted appearance. We like products that provoke creativity in home cooks, particularly the pork, followed closely by the brisket.

Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Chews

Hormel Taco Meats

$4.99 (shredded pork, shredded chicken and beef crumbles) and $6.99 (shredded beef) Taco night just got a whole lot easier. Hormel has introduced incredibly tasty seasoned, fully cooked meats perfect for tacos, burritos, salads and more. Varieties include shredded beef, shredded chicken, shredded pork and ground beef; each are packaged in 12-ounce pouches. There are no filler ingredients used with the products, and the seasoning ingredients are familiar to home cooks. Large groups can easily be satisfied by heating up a few varieties.

$2.09 We were waiting for this product to finally hit shelves after experiencing a trade show sample more than a year ago. Anyone who enjoys a blast of mint will like these innovative chews from Hershey. Ice Breakers are a cross between gum and mints, delivering a quick-dissolving chew for times when you need a little fast mouth freshness but can’t commit to a longer-lasting confection. The slide-open pack is neat, too. Available in Peppermint and Spearmint flavors, Ice Breakers will add excitement to the candy aisle and front end.

House Foods Wok Me Up Garlic Stir Fry

$3.49 Cross-merchandising is what retailing is all about — selling the whole meal.


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

Jack Link’s Original Chicken Jerky

$7.99 Beef is the standard, turkey has become ubiquitous, and now chicken is making significant inroads into the jerky arena. To our taste, meat snack giant Jack Link’s has set the standard with its Original Chicken Jerky. This white-meat chicken snack is perfectly seasoned with a hint of sweetness, and delivers a dose of lean protein. We look forward to the other flavors that will inevitably follow.

Small bottle. Big nutrition.



The protein, vitamins and minerals you need in an easy-to-drink 4 fl oz size.

Protein-packed nutrition in a 100 calorie 4 fl oz snack size.

Sold in 4-count packs of convenient, ready-to-drink 4 fl oz bottles. Now available in two flavors: Rich Chocolate and Very Vanilla.

Contact your Nestlé Nutrition Sales Representative for more information or visit *4 fl oz vs. 8 fl oz in BOOST® Original Drink. All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland. © 2015 Nestlé.

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Jel Sert Nature’s Hand Organic Freezer Bars

$3.99 These things are organic now? Really? Props to Jel Sert for cleaning up the label on this childhood summertime favorite. Nature’s Hand freezer bars have banished the artificial colors and flavors, as well as the high-fructose corn syrup, to create a 100 percent USDA-certified organic treat. Also gluten-free and without preservatives, these freezer bars come in four flavors: Mixed Berry, Grape, Strawberry and Punch. You can tell them apart by the wrapper, since the ice is colorless; we’re certain parents will appreciate stain-free kids as well.

Stripe cookies. Our tasters enjoyed the flavor of red velvet in a crunchy format, combined with chocolately fudge. Additionally, it’s a sensible option for those who enjoy red velvet but are looking for something lighter than cake. Kudos to Keebler for keeping this mainstay relevant.

Kellogg’s Pringles Cheeseburger

$1.69 These chips really do taste like cheeseburgers. Now, not all of our tasters appreciated the flavor; at least one didn’t like what he detected as the taste of mustard and pickles, two condiments he doesn’t use on his burgers. But those who enjoy those toppings thought the flavor was spot-on (one thought they reminded him of the mini burgers from a wellknown chain). Part of the brand’s new Food Truck-theme flavor line, Pringles Cheesburger boasts “a blend of cheese, tomato and delicious smoke flavor.” Clearly, taste is in the palate of the beholder, and we behold these a winner.

Kellogg’s Special K Cracker Chips Sea Salt

JR Simplot UpSides Grain & Vegetable Side Dishes

$3.99 Simplot wins points for variety and convenience for its line of UpSides microwaveable grain-and-vegetable side dishes. These better-for-you sides are all natural, made with blends of ancient grains, rice, pastas, and colorful, fresh vegetables. Their microwaveable pouches cook in five to six minutes. While great as sides, they’re actually hearty enough to be meals by themselves. Our favorite is the Orzo, Grains & Vegetable Blend; the line also comes in 9 Grain Orzo & Spinach, Exotic Grains & Fire-Roasted Vegetables, Hearty Grains & Wild Mushrooms, and Pearl Couscous & Red Grains.

$3.89 These puffed potato chips are reminiscent of Pringles, but without the uniform shape, and featuring rice flour for a slightly different crunchy experience. Special K Sea Salt Cracker Chips are a simple, tasty alternative to traditional potato chips. Further, at 120 calories per 28 chips, they deliver a guilt-free snacking option. Other varieties include Cheddar, Sour Cream and Onion, Barbecue, and Salt and Vinegar.

Kellogg’s Keebler Fudge Stripes Red Velvet

$3.69 Here’s another winner among new twists on old favorites. Red velvet as a trend seems to be lingering, and it lends itself well to Keebler’s Fudge


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





# free-from Baking Chocolate

43 driving

(with is

sales*) % growth the

Categoy again!

888-50-ENJOY #tothefullest

Free-From: wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish, & shellfish

Enjoy Life, the fastest growing company in Gluten-Free Baking Supplies, unveils the latest innovation in plant-based, Free-From Baking Mixes — driving incremental sales in a category ripe for innovation. *Source: SPINSscan Conventional (powered by IRI) Brand Ranking Report; 52 weeks ending 4/19/2015. Dollar Growth based on Dollar volume for current period versus year ago and is on items currently coded as CERTIFIED and LABELED GLUTEN FREE. Fastest Growing Company in Baking Supplies claim based on TDP Chg vs year ago.

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Lily’s Sweets Extra Dark Blood Orange Chocolate Bar

$3.99-$4.99 Stevia brings out the richness of 70 percent dark chocolate, while a back note of orange smooths bitterness in Lily’s Blood Orange 70% Dark Chocolate Bar. Copy on the 2.8-ounce long bar package calls attention to “No Sugar Added, Stevia Sweetened, Vegan, Certified Gluten Free and Fairtrade.” Consumers can dig a little deeper to learn about the brand’s inspiration, a teenage cancer survivor committed to raising money for other kids with the disease; a percentage of profits supports services for children with cancer.

Litehouse Foods OPA Jalapeño Ranch Dressing

$3.99-$4.49 Litehouse Foods is expanding its wildly popular and yet relatively new (2013 launch) line of OPA Greek Yogurt spoon-

able dressings, with Jalapeño Ranch, Roasted Pepper and Kalamata Feta joining Blue Cheese, Ranch, Caesar and Feta Dill. The Jalapeño Ranch variety delivers a nice kick — in both taste and health. The predominance of Greek yogurt — compared with canola oil and buttermilk as the lead ingredients of the company’s traditional Jalapeño Ranch — also lends a cleaner aftertaste, not to mention half the fat and calories of the traditional variety. Two tablespoons contain 50 calories. We found it great not only for salads, but also as a dip for vegetables.

North Pr irie Gold Extr i Farmer-Owned & Farmer-Direct

Canadian Prairie Farmers located within 150 miles from their own local cold-pressing plant in Saskatoon.

Non-GMO Project Verified

Non-GMO seed, rigorously tested and monitored throughout the growing season for purity.

Cold-Pressed, Minimally Processed

Cold-pressed by European standards, never exceeds 50°C to preserve the color and nutrients. No solvent extraction is used.

Naturally Nutrient Rich

A good source of Vitamin E, an Antioxidant with 1.5 g of Omega-3. No matter what the oil, North Prairie Gold is lowest in saturated fat.

Rich golden color

Nutty flavor is perfect for any salads, seafood, pasta, vegetable dishes and baking.

Kosher Certified For sales inquiries contact David Tourville 908-879-8660

Product of Canada


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

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food LiveGfree Gluten Free Pretzel Twists

$1.89 aldi-brands/livegfree Pretzel twists join value retailer Aldi’s LiveGfree line of gluten-free products, which also includes pizza, frozen entrées, baking mixes, breads and pastas, crackers, cookies, and granola. Made with corn starch, potato starch, long-grain rice flour and soluble corn fiber, the pretzel twists have a standard look and distinctive crunch. While the taste and texture don’t completely match traditional flour-based pretzels, consumers are giving LiveGfree pretzels a big thumbs-up for flavor and savings.

brand’s latest offerings, we liked this braised beef-and-polenta entrée, weighing in at 250 calories, 17 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. Perfectly prepared with Luvo’s microwaveable steam-in-bag process, the tender beef in wine sauce was complemented well by the creamy polenta, roasted Brussels sprouts, squash and cranberries. We look forward to Luvo’s next round of chef- and nutritionist-inspired frozen entrées.

Luvo Red Wine Braised Beef & Polenta

$4.99 Luvo’s mission is to “shake things up in the freezer aisle,” with frozen meals that deliver good nutrition and great taste. Of the

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September 2015 | |


2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Mann’s Power Blend

$2.49-$2.79 Functional food is an important component of grocery’s wellness message, and we think Power Blend from Mann Packing Co. can help deliver it. The first superfood offering in the slaw category, it contains six power-packed vegetables — Brussels sprouts, napa cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots and kale — in a blend that’s rich in vitamins A and C. A versatile product, Power Blend may be tossed in a cold salad, blended in a smoothie or sautéed as a nutritious side dish.

Maple Leaf Farms Duck Leg Confit

$11.99 A gourmet treat has been made easier for home cooks with this entry from Maple Leaf Farms. A pair of duck legs, seasoned and cooked slowly in their own fat, come fully cooked, requiring just a short stay in the oven (plus a few minutes under the broiler to crisp up the skin) before serving. The tender, flavorful meat can be enjoyed as is or shredded for sandwiches, salads, pizzas or pasta. Maple Leaf’s free-roaming ducks are fed an all-natural diet of corn, soy and wheat.

Marie’s Sesame Ginger Coleslaw Dressing

$3.99 With grocers needing to be solution providers instead of merely merchants, we appreciate products that can “multitask,” so to speak. That’s why we like the direction Ventura Foods is taking with its Marie’s line of coleslaw dressings. Beyond its traditional use, Marie’s dressings can be used as a dip, marinade or ingredient in a host of recipes in need of a little zing. Of the line’s latest flavors, we thought Sesame Ginger was most on trend, with its medley of spices, ginger and garlic.

Mars Goodness Knows Snack Squares $1.59-$1.99

Mariani Sea Salt Caramel Raisins

$3.29 It’s tough to say what we’ve seen more of, sriracha or sea salt caramel. Well, sriracha raisins would just be weird, but Mariani Packing Co. has a winner with these sea salt caramelcoated raisins. They bring a touch of indulgence to a better-for-you snack, add value to the raisin category and bring some excitement to dried fruit with a trendy flavor profile. Additionally, the recloseable standup pouch is convenient and shows off the product’s freshness.


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

Mars Chocolate is redefining snacking with Goodness Knows, which is finally in broad national release after testing in limited markets over the past several years. These snack squares combine nuts, fruit and oats over a bed of dark chocolate, with no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners; no highfructose corn syrup, and 100 milligrams of naturally occurring cocoa flavanols. Each bar is divided into four squares totaling 150 calories. Goodness Knows straddles the line between candy and snacks, bringing a touch of decadence to wellness, and vice versa. It’s available in three flavors: Cranberry Almond Dark Chocolate, Apple Almond & Peanut Dark Chocolate, and Peach & Cherry Almond Dark Chocolate.

It’s a new morning in the cereal aisle. Talk about a wake-up call. Post Foods and MOM Brands have combined to create Post Consumer Brands. Together we have never been more committed to the cereal category. In fact, cereal is all we do. As the only major cereal company with a portfolio that now spans the entire cereal category (private label, value, mainstream, natural/organic, hot and oatmeal), we have the capabilities to keep cereal relevant for your shoppers and profitable for you. Combining the strength of Post’s iconic brands with MOM Brands’ challenger spirit makes us one fierce competitor. And one that now has more top 50 best-selling brands* than any other cereal company. Grab on to your apron strings, it’s going to be a heckuva ride.

*Nielsen, XAOC Total US Food, lb share, 52 weeks ending 4/4/15

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Mars Real Fruit Dipped in Dove Dark Chocolate

$3.59-$4.79 Three varieties of real fruit — dried whole cranberries, blueberries and cherries — are dipped in Dove dark chocolate, and the name says it all: Real Fruit Dipped in Dove Dark Chocolate. These are delightful, decadent, feel-good confectionery items, available in multiple sizes for sharing — or not; 2.83-ounce bags and 6- and 17-ounce standup pouches of all three varieties will be joined in October 2015 by Cranberry and Cherry standup pouches.

Morey’s Wild Salmon with Corn and Black Bean Salsa

$7.99 Robust, complex flavors are on trend, and among its latest releases, Morey’s has a winner with this wild salmon with corn and black bean salsa. This entrée is easy to cook either thawed or frozen. Our tasters enjoyed the smoky blend of sweet corn, black beans, and poblano peppers with a hint of cocoa. Each package contains two 5-ounce portions that are gluten-free and ready in minutes.

Musco Pearls Specialties Martini with Vermouth Greek Queen Olives

Marzetti Sriracha Ranch Dip

$3.89 It must be the Year of Sriracha, and this new ranch dip from Marzetti is an excellent way to celebrate the occasion. A few of our tasters thought it was too spicy, but most felt that it delivered the heat expected from this flavor profile. According to Marzetti, the dip was “specifically made for veggies,” but we thought it was just as good as a chip dip and even as a sandwich spread. Versatility and on-trend flavor make this one a winner.

$4.49 For those seeking the ultimate dry martini, toss in one of these vermouth-cured olives, or pour in some brine for a dirty martini. These large Greek queen olives are stuffed with sweet red peppers. Musco has a great line of olives, encompassing many varieties as well as stuffers like blue cheese, but these vermouth olives are tops — they’re a cocktail solution.

Mediterranean BeanStalks

$2.99 Most of the innovation seems to be going on in the snack category, and it’s all about wellness and cleaner labels. These bite-size gluten-free snacks are made from protein-rich beans, and are free of GMOs and trans fats. Delivering a nice taste and crunch, they come in three flavors: Sea Salt, Cheddar and BBQ.


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

Mustard Girl Sweet n’ Fancy Yellow Mustard

$3.29 Simple pleasures can be real winners, and Mustard Girl has one with its Sweet n’ Fancy Yellow Mustard. Described as “a new twist on traditional yellow mustard,” the product combines a blend of spices with a hint of sweetness to create a balanced taste that’s less vinegary than other yellow mustards. We agree — sweet and tangy, and very balanced.

love. s d i k Things

. S E D I R E N A PL . S E L D D U P N I RA . S E I G G E UM...V

Especially with our yummy blend of flavors that really lets fresh, crisp veggies shine. Life’s an awesome ride. Enjoy the scenery.

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Matlaw’s Southern Country Fried Shrimp

$7.99 These delicious shrimp were launched at this year’s Seafood Expo North America as part of Matlaw’s ongoing brand revamp. The restaurant-quality shellfish are plump and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside; spices in the breading deliver bold flavor without heat. Easy oven prep yields a versatile meal with great taste and texture. They’re a great option for anyone still wary about preparing seafood at home.

Nature’s Path Love Crunch Bars

$1.99 Nature’s Path is all about better-for-you foods, and we could almost taste the love in the company’s Love Crunch Bars. Each variety delivers a delicious combination of crunchy nuts, hemp, chia and flax, with sweets like peanut butter and Fair Trade dark chocolate. Each bar has up to 6 grams of protein and no more than 7 grams of sugar, along with a good dose of fiber. They’re also gluten-free and certified organic. Flavors include Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt with Hemp, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter with Quinoa, and Mixed Nuts with Flax.

NatureSweet Jubilees

$2.99 Described as a sandwich tomato “sweet for the slicing,” because each Jubilee can be sliced for one sandwich, these little gems stand out for their unique packaging and, frankly, their uniformity. Five small tomatoes, all sized to fit in the palm of the hand, are nestled in their own pod — a 100 percent recyclable firm plastic container — to protect them from damage and ensure freshness.

Nestlé Boost 100 Calorie and Compact

$6.99 The adult nutrition category has grown significantly, and Nestlé continues to bring innovation to market with its Boost brand. To meet the demand from weightconscious Baby Boomers, Boost developed a 4-ounce snack size that delivers 100 calories, 10 grams of protein, 25 vitamins and minerals, and 2 grams of sugar in Rich Chocolate and Very Vanilla varieties. Additionally, consumers who are ill or still recovering their health, or have poor appetites, often find it challenging to consume a typical 8-ounce supplement. Addressing this is the 4-ounce Compact, which delivers the same nutritional benefit in half the size. A member of PG’s extended family in the latter category enjoyed these products quite a bit.

Noosa Pumpkin Yogurt

Nature’s Path Qi’a Superfood Snack Bar

$1.79 Nature’s Path strikes gold again with its Qi’a Superfood bars, which harness the power of chia, hemp and coconut. Certified organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free and vegan, they provide up to 6 grams each of protein and fiber per bar, and boast lower sugar than most energy bars. They left us picking chia seeds out of our teeth, but we didn’t mind. Flavors include Dark Chocolate Cranberry Almond; Nuts & Seeds & Sea Salt; Blueberry Cashew Pumpkin Seed; Roasted Peanut Dark Chocolate; and Mocha Cocoa Hazelnut.


$2.49 Noosa Finest Yoghurt has expanded its 2014 seasonal launch of Australian-style pumpkin yogurt, making it available nationwide and year-round. Pumpkin purée, honey and other ingredients evocative of pumpkin pie — cane sugar, cream cheese and spices — are added to Noosa’s plain yogurt for not only a healthy dessert, but also a satisfying breakfast or anytime treat. Does Noosa hold the key that will broaden pumpkin’s appeal beyond the fall season? In addition to the brand’s traditional 8-ounce tub, the new variety will be available in 4-ounce 4-packs for $4.99.

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

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food North Prairie Gold Extra Virgin Canola Oil

$8.99 This product could potentially open a whole new category. Approaching territory currently occupied by olive oil, a cooperative of Canadian farmers has entered the market with this extra-virgin canola oil, a non-GMO certified, minimally processed and unrefined artisan product. Cold-press technology yields oil with a light, nutty flavor and natural amber color, along with maximum nutrient retention. It’s rich in vitamin E, contains 1.5 grams of omega-3s per serving and is low in saturated fat. With the right marketing and consumer education, extra-virgin canola could be the next big thing in gourmet oils.

Old Orchard Watermelon Cucumber Lemonade

$1.99 This is one of the most refreshing beverages we’ve had in a long time: A blend of real sugar and stevia sweetens a lemonade enhanced with watermelon and cucumber. It’s light, crisp and truly thirst-quenching, and contains a third less sugar than traditional lemonade. We’re keeping our glasses full of this one.

Pacific Sustainable Seafood GlutenFree Crispy Battered Cod

$7.99 No gluten? We couldn’t tell. This fish cooks up crispy and delicious, tender and flaky. The label is about as clean as you can get: sustainably sourced, traceable, no artificial ingredients. And, of course, gluten-free. Bravo to Pacific Sustainable Seafood for delivering on taste, trends and wellness in a product that should attract more consumers to the category.


Paleo Granola

$7.99 Devotees of the Paleo diet — which, in a nutshell, includes anything that cavemen would have eaten (i.e, unprocessed) — should really enjoy this granola from Paleo Scavenger. It’s slightly sweet, with a soft, chewy texture. Sweetened only with honey, the granola is low in sugar and free from grains, dairy and soy. Our testers were mixed on this, but overall, we appreciated the rustic flavors and texture of this granola. It doesn’t take a caveman to declare this a winner.

Perky Jerky Jamaican Style Turkey Jerky

$5.49 Getting protein got more irie with this Jamaican-style turkey jerky. We enjoyed this authentic flavor profile, which comes from a blend of zesty peppers and flavorful jerk spices. Perky Jerky is all natural and gluten-free, with no added preservatives, nitrites or MSG. And like the brand’s other varieties, it contains guarana, a natural energy booster that should make you want to climb right up Dunn’s River Falls.

Pompeian Avocado and Coconut Oil Cooking Sprays

$4.99 Cooking will be more on trend, flavorful and healthy with these new oil sprays from Pompeian. Coconut oil is currently popular, and one variety of this nonstick cooking spray offers a mild coconut taste and is suitable for highheat cooking, as is the avocado oil, with its high smoke point. The sprayers are convenient and easy to use, and each spray is essentially calorie- and fat-free.

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

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Popchips Crazy Hot

$1.49/1 ounce; $2.99/3.5 ounces Heat is on trend, and Popchips bring some intense heat to its line of better-for-you snack chips made from potatoes that are pressure-cooked, or “popped,” instead of fried in oil. The brand’s spiciest product to date may or may not rival habaneros in intensity, but it does make the lips tingle while balancing the sizzle with a delicious cheesy note.

Que Pasa Ancient Grains Tortilla Chips

$3.49 Hand-cut volcanic lava millstones are credited with ensuring Que Pasa Ancient Grains organic chips deliver the full taste of an intriguing blend of grains and seeds, along with a satisfying crunch. The texture is like that of traditional stoneground corn chips, so there’s no big leap into the unknown for consumers looking for a more interesting tortilla chip experience. Ingredients include stone-ground corn, pumpkin seeds, buckwheat flour, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, amaranth seeds and quinoa. Other Non-GMO Project Verified varieties include Purple Corn (purple corn and chia) and Chipotle Black Bean (black bean, kale, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth and chia).

Reed’s Stronger Ginger Brew

$4.99/4-pack Anyone who enjoys strong ginger flavor like we do should love this Stronger Ginger Brew from Reed’s, which we first experienced at a trade show, welcoming the quench after a long afternoon of product tasting. This soda has 50 percent more ginger than the brand’s flagship ginger beer. The beverage is made with fresh ginger root, cane sugar and honey, with no preservatives, caffeine or GMOs. Reed’s says it made this specifically for mixing in trending retro cocktails like Moscow Mules, but we like it as is, right from the chilled bottle.

Reese’s Spreads Snacksters Graham Dippers $1.49 Hershey scores with this on-the-go treat that leverages its popular Reese’s brand for a fun snack that all ages should enjoy. Peel back the dual-chambered package to reveal yummy chocolate-and-peanut-butter dip and graham cracker dipping sticks. Our kid tasters really liked these, and we expect adults will, too, even as a guilty pleasure.

Safe Catch Elite Canned Tuna

$3.50 While pricier than traditional tuna, Safe Catch has purity limits 10 times stricter than the FDA mercury limit, is sourced using “free-school” FAD free-catch methods, and is dolphin safe. Five-ounce cans are packed — no pre-cook processing — in BPA-free cans with easy-open lids. The product contains no fillers or preservatives, and the can is chock full of tuna. The lid claims “no need to drain,” because there’s very little liquid in the can.

Saffron Road Chicken Enchiladas Poblano

$5.49 Saffron Road earns points for digging a little deeper into product development to provide mesquite-flavored, nicely textured black beans and fluffy, perfectly cooked garlic rice. The product description on the box is thorough: chicken enchiladas poblano with mesquite black beans and garlic rice; Yucatecan nixtamal tortillas — you can smell the corn in the tortillas — roasted dark-meat chicken; spinach; Oaxaca cheese; and a creamy poblano chile sauce. The product is certified halal and features antibiotic-free chicken raised on a vegetarian diet. There’s just enough kick to make your mouth remember the dish — not too spicy, but interesting heat. At just 360 calories per hearty serving, this frozen entrée will appeal to consumers watching their calories. September 2015 | |


2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Schmacon

$5.49-$6.49 This is a cool product, not only because it’s tasty, but also because it extends traditional bacon’s halo of popularity into beef, which is good for the whole meat department. Schmaltz Retail Products’ Schmacon looks, smells, cooks and crisps much like traditional pork bacon, but it offers fewer calories (45 versus 70 in a typical slice) and less fat (1 gram versus 5) and sodium (170 versus 250 milligrams); we definitely found it to be less salty. It’s also all natural and nitrate-free. We enjoyed the smoky-sweet taste on its own as well as in a recipe (on a whim, we crumbled cooked Schmacon into pasta sauce — delicious). Meat eaters avoiding pork should enjoy Schmacon, as should everyday bacon lovers looking for a change of pace.

SeaPak Shrimp Potstickers

$9.99 SeaPak continues to move beyond its traditional breaded or battered world to offer products that align nicely with the growing popularity of healthier, authentic ethnic fare. The company’s Potstickers deliver an easy-to-prepare appetizer, side dish or even a meal in themselves. The wrappers are the perfect texture: tender, but able to contain the traditional filling of shrimp with cabbage, water chestnuts and spring onions. Each 18-ounce package contains 20 potstickers and a packet of soy ginger dipping sauce. Also new is a Light Shrimp Scampi.

as the base for Chicken Sausage, with roasted red peppers; Tuscan Inspired Two Meat, with salami, pepperoni and pepperoncini; and Sundried Tomato and Escarole. The proprietary flour blend containing sorghum, amaranth and teff gives the pizza crust a great taste and texture while adding to a healthy nutritional profile (the cheese is made with milk from cows not treated with synthetic hormones, and the meats are free of antibiotics, nitrites and nitrates).

Stemilt Fresh Blenders Apples

$3.99-$5.99 Stemilt wins points for its efforts to broaden the reach of fresh produce with Fresh Blenders. These 5-pound value bags of sweet or tart apples speak to the growing trend of juicing. The highgraphic standup pouches are a great grab-and-go option for consumers and offer an opportunity for retailers to create juicing destinations within their stores. The tagline “the natural start to any juice or smoothie” and a large illustrated blender filled with apples and other popular blending items will attract shoppers; each package includes a recipe fit for the flavor of the sweet or tart apple inside. Varieties include sweet flavors like Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji and Golden Delicious, as well as the tart flavors of Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Braeburn.

Smart Flour Foods Pizza $6.99-$7.99 We’ve enjoyed Smart Flour’s gluten-free frozen pizzas in the past, and its new varieties are winners for broadening the brand and cleaning up the label in this category. Ancient grains now serve


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

Stonefire Mini Naan

$2.99 Flatbreads are trendy, and Stonefire’s mini-size naan makes it easier to jump on the bandwagon. Available in 5-packs, these flatbreads are made to the same recipe as the brand’s original naan, but are just a little more than one-third the size. This toaster size is perfect for appetizers or portioncontrolled personal meals. Additionally, the minis are made without artificial preservatives, additives, artificial colors, trans fat or hydrogenated oil.

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Sugar Bowl Bakery Organic Brownie Bites

$5.99-$7.99 A fast favorite among our testers, these delicious morsels feature a clean label and come in a size that keeps portion control in check. Sugar Bowl Bakery’s Organic Brownie Bites are individually wrapped minidesserts clocking in at 90 calories each. They have no cholesterol, trans fat or preservatives, and carry the Non-GMO Project Verified seal of approval.

SweetLeaf Water Drops-Peach Mango and Raspberry Lemonade $4.99 Water enhancers are growing in popularity for their versatility and convenience, and for those who want an all-natural quench, SweetLeaf

delivers. These stevia-sweetened Water Drops, which fit easily in pocket or purse, allow users to add a quick shot of flavor to water, with zero calories or carbs, and no artificial ingredients such as aspartame and sucralose. Our favorites were the Peach Mango and Raspberry Lemonade varieties.

Tastykake Salted Caramel Mini Donuts

$2.99 Flowers Foods’ Tastykake brand brings a little excitement to the commercial bakery aisle with on-trend flavor and bite-size indulgence. These Salted Caramel Mini Donuts feature a traditional cake doughnut covered in a caramel-andsalt-flavored crumble, making them great for breakfast time or anytime. The 11.5-ounce bags boast Tastykake’s newly redesigned package style — a great new flavor for a beloved regional brand making new inroads in a broader market.

BUILT FOR MAXIMUM GROWTH Top retailers list Six Star Pro Nutrition®, just like top sports pros and everyday athletes use Six Star® to reach their goals and build better bodies. The complete Six Star® lineup of proteins & sports nutrition supplements is designed to deliver category growth: Innovative packaging, proven to improve shopability and outperform the competition–ranked #1 FDM package in a consumer survey* Globally recognized, top-tier athlete endorsements on packaging, marketing materials and promotions Scientifically studied key ingredients and best-in-class formulas *Affinova (A Nielsen Company), Optimizer for Design Report, April 2014

For distribution call 1.888.334.4448




Facebook logo is owned by Facebook Inc. Read the entire label and follow directions. © 2015



• Closed Tank Technology • Bigger Batteries • Faster Charging Contact Your ITG Brands Representative. NOT FOR SALE TO MINORS. ©2015 Fontem US, Inc. WARNING: This product contains nicotine derived from tobacco. Nicotine is an addictive chemical. blu®, blu eCigs®, the blu logo™, the blu eCigs Plus+™ logo, the Plus+™ logo and blu tanks™are trademarks of Fontem Holdings 4 B.V.

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Thanasi Foods Bigs Jumbo Sunflower Kernels

$1.89 What we really liked about these was, at long last, not having to bust sunflower seeds out of their shells. Thanasi’s Bigs brand offers these 100 percent U.S.-grown, non-GMO sunflower kernels roasted to a tasty crunch and delivering 7 grams of protein per serving. We enjoyed the kick of the Savory Wasabi flavor best; the line also comes in Simply Sea Salt.

Three Bridges Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

$7.99 We’ve seen it with ravioli, but Valley Fine Foods’ Three Bridges is the first we’ve seen to offer a savory-and-sweet blend of sweet potatoes, butternut squash, Parmesan cheese and pasta shells. This artisanal twist on mac and

cheese brings together not only premium ingredients, but also the simplicity of butternut squash and sweet potatoes for a delicious, refrigerated familysized entrée. While “chef-inspired,” the ingredient list is also inspiring, with whole, clean ingredients: pasta shells, milk, butternut squash, sweet potato, Parmesan cheese, sautéed onion, butter, wheat flour, bread crumbs, onion, cream, canola oil and spices.

Traina Sriracha Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup

$3.99 For those not ready for the fire of fullblown sriracha, this spicy ketchup from Traina Foods might be just the ticket. This sriracha-spiked ketchup, made with sun-dried tomatoes, is packed with intense tomato flavor and a spicy, tangy finish that we really enjoyed. Beyond traditional condiment uses, it would make a great base for sauces or marinades, or perhaps even a Bloody Mary. The ketchup comes in a 16-ounce squeeze bottle as well as an 11.5-ounce glass bottle.



INGREDIENTS: 3 ripe Avocados From Mexico, pitted, peeled, mashed 1 can (10 oz each) Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained ½ cup chopped onion 1 tablespoon lime juice ½ teaspoon salt Ground black pepper Tortilla chips, optional

DIRECTIONS: Mix Avocados From Mexico, drained tomatoes, onion, lime juice and salt in medium bowl until blended. Season with pepper to taste. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.

Watch your category sales score a touchdown with the Tastiest Tailgate promotion! Our national partnership with Ro*Tel® is capitalizing on football season and encouraging the consumption of guacamole by promoting the Rockin’ Guac recipe. Retailers can score too by creating winning displays. Contact your Regional Director today to learn how!

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food binations: Original contains walnuts, cranberries, sesame sticks and sunflower seeds; Indian contains spiced rice flour noodles, crispy fried lentils, fried split chickpeas and whole lentils with lentil twigs. Other combos are sesame bits, mini fruit mix, blackened pumpkin seeds and soybeans, and cashews, golden raisins, pumpkin seeds and black bean sticks.

Tyson Crafted Creations Seasoned Beef Strips for Fajitas

Truly Good My Salad Bar

$4.99 We thought this was a cool concept for customizing salads at home. Truly Good Foods’ My Salad Bar is a combo pack of four salad toppings in a resealable compartmented tray, offering variety without the need to purchase all of the complementary components separately. The four options include diverse com-

$5.56/pound Tyson is proving itself adept at making home cooking easier, exciting and fun. The latest addition to its Crafted Creations line, Seasoned Beef Strips for Fajitas, offers boneless beef strips, marinated in a unique blend of dried onion and garlic, lime, lemon and turmeric. This quick-prep product can help move a meal from skillet to table within 30 minutes. These were delicious on tortillas with fresh salsa. Growing demand for ethnic flavors is sure to make this a meat case winner, while its packaging delivers an impressive 25-day shelf life.

Winner! NEW! Gluten Free Sprouted Ancient Grains Pizzas


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

2015 Editors’ Picks — Food Vintage Cucumber Melon Sparkling Water

$3.99 This clean, refreshing, calorieand sugar-free sparkling water would be at home in a high-end spa. The clean, subtle flavors of cucumber and melon are refreshing and even relaxing. Traditional 12-ounce cans join other Vintage varieties, including Original (plain), Coconut, Lemon, Lime and Pink Grapefruit. The Vintage brand is owned by Canadian company Cott Beverages Inc.

Wolfgang Classic Fountain Soda-Root Beer Pretzels

$4.99 This sweet treat provides a nice dessert for our banquet of champions. Once again, the idea of simple pleasures ruled the day here: We enjoyed the authentic root beer flavor in the coating on these mini pretzels — sweet, clean and refreshing. Wolfgang Candy also offers these in orange cream, which were good as well, but the root beer gets our thumbs-up, hands down.

Wholesome Organic Pancake Syrup

Yulu Yogurt

$5.99 We appreciated seeing a clean label for regular table syrup (as opposed to pricier “real” maple varieties). New from Wholesome Sweeteners Inc., this pancake syrup uses organic sugar rather than highfructose corn syrup and is free of preservatives. It’s also USDA Certified Organic, non-GMO certified, vegan and kosher. Most importantly, though, it tastes great — we really enjoyed this over pancakes and waffles.

Wild Thymes Onion Jalapeño Chutney

$5.99 Wild Thymes Farm sells a wide variety of gourmet-centric sauces, jams and such. Our favorite from among its latest releases is this onion jalapeño chutney. We appreciated the heat of the peppers that enhanced the sweet, savory caramelized onions. From meat glaze to hors d’oeuvres spread to sandwich topper, this chutney is flavorful and versatile. It’s also 100 percent natural; free of fat, gluten, sulfites and cholesterol; and low in salt.


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

$1.69 While Greek yogurt continues to demonstrate its staying power, Australian-style yogurt (which at least one of our tasters prefers) is coming on strong. Joining its ranks is this fine example from WhiteWave Foods’ Yulu brand. Said to be inspired by an authentic Aussie recipe, Yulu is “double smoothed,” or blended twice, creating what its makers call a creamier alternative to Greek yogurt. It certainly delivers on taste, as well as nutrition, with 9 grams of protein per serving. Varieties are Honey, Vanilla Bean, Blueberry, Strawberry and Raspberry.

2015 Editors’ Picks — Nonfood

Most Wanted

2015’s winners included some interconnected products, along with a raft of on-trend items.


hen judging this year’s haul of nonfood Editor’s Picks entries for our own annual “most wanted” list, Progressive Grocer editors were struck by the way certain products were designed to work together, making them co-winners in a sense: Eucerin Diabetics’ Dry Skin Relief Body Crème and Foot Crème are obvious examples of this, as are Nivea Men Sensitive Cooling Shaving Gel and Post-Shave Balm. Other trends of note, many carrying over from years past, include convenience (CN Smokeless Co. LLC Klondike Premium Moist Tobacco 6-Pack Tub), foodmaking at home (Roaring Brook Dairy Ricotta and Cottage Cheese DIY Kit), eco-friendliness (Canberra Corp. JAWS Just Add Water System Glass and Hardwood Floor Cleaners and Oasis Brands


Fiora Ultra Soft Bath Tissue), multifunctionality (Energizer Personal Care Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle Razor), pet pampering (Freshpet Select Fresh from the Kitchen Home Cooked Chicken Recipe and Nestlé Purina PetCare Purina Beyond Natural Pet Food), and superior aesthetics wedded to high performance (Prepara Evak Food Storage). Price points for certain items are admittedly on the high side, but our editors felt that in those cases, the products’ originality and usefulness made them worth the extra expense. Once more, nonfood products made up just a fraction of total Editors’ Picks submissions, so please, CPG companies, keep sending them in for our consideration. We want to make sure items in these underrepresented categories receive their due recognition. —Bridget Goldschmidt

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

Introducing a Sweet New Addition to the Domino and C&H Families… Honey Granules. ®


RtoealdoWay Sweet!

Free-Flowing Pure Cane Sugar and Honey

to easily add a sweet honey flavor to teas, cereals, or to measure for recipes. Sprinkle a taste of Honey!

Honey Granules joins our other innovative flip-top canisters: Pourable Brown Sugar

A delicious brown sugar that pours neatly and doesn’t harden – perfect when needing a small amount as a topping or in a recipe.

Quick-Dissolve Superfine Sugar

Pours neatly and dissolves completely into hot or cold drinks for fast and even sweetness.


2015 Editors’ Picks — Nonfood Beiersdorf AG Eucerin Diabetics’ Dry Skin Relief Body Creme and Dry Skin Relief Foot Crème

$8.59 (body crème); $5.99 (foot crème) These two products can be used in tandem to ease diabetics’ often extremely dry skin. Gentle enough to use every day, both cremes are clinically proven to provide 24-hour moisture to dry, rough skin, leaving skin healthier looking. The foot creme is specially formulated to smooth dry, scaly heels and feet. Free of fragrance, dyes and parabens, the nongreasy cremes are enriched with alpha hydroxy to gently exfoliate, urea to moisturize intensively, and dimethicone to soften rough skin.

Beiersdorf AG Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion

$7.99 Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion enables users to moisturize right in the shower. Formulated with a higher level of lipids than a regular body lotion, the product creates a lattice-like layer that traps moisture when applied to wet skin. The moisturizing and skin-conditioning agents are absorbed by the skin, and remain after rinsing and drying off, so users will experience soft skin for 24-plus hours, with no sticky feel.


UpSides – the side dish that belongs at the front of the aisle. Our popular, all-natural side dishes, made with unique, seasoned blends of ancient grains, rice, pastas and colorful vegetables, come in a convenient microwaveable pouch and cook in five to six minutes. They’re delicious, nutritious, easy to prepare - and just what your customers are hungry for!

Learn more: (208) 780-8315

Your customers want to clean their homes without dirtying the planet. Give them Four MonksTM Cleaning Vinegar. Environmentally- and family-friendly All-purpose cleaner Aroma Controlled or Citrus Mint scent Available in three convenient sizes: 128 oz., 64 oz., and 24 oz. spray!

Call 800-323-4358 to order! Š2015 Mizkan Americas, Inc.

2015 Editors’ Picks — Nonfood Beiersdorf AG Nivea Men Sensitive Cooling Shaving Gel and Post-Shave Balm $3.49 (shaving gel); $6.49 (post-shave balm) Developed in response to research revealing that 70 percent of men admit to having sensitive skin, these two products can be used in concert. The shaving gel provides a close, extracomfortable shave, while the post-shave balm immediately calms and soothes any irritations and leaves skin feeling cool. Both products contain chamomile and seaweed extracts, without the addition of drying alcohol.

Blu PLUS+ e-Cig Rechargeable Kit and Xpress Kit

$42.99 (Rechargeable Kit); $14.99 (Xpress Kit) Employing cutting-edge technology, the Rechargeable Kit features a prefilled Blu PLUS+ Tank, which holds more e-liquid and delivers more consistency from drag to drag, along with a new flavor formulation combining taste and nicotine strength. The battery is larger, lasts twice as long and rapidly recharges, and the pack sports a rubberized smooth matte-black finish that not only looks good, but also fits well in a user’s hand. Including the redesigned PLUS+ Tank, new flavor formula and extended battery life, but omitting the recharging pack to provide consumers with a lower-priced option, the Xpress Kit offers two tanks in the Classic Tobacco flavor, one PLUS+ battery and one USB charger.

Call our sales team for more information Jessica Peri Cindy Elrod Mindy VanVleck 775-463-6326 775-463-6318 775-463-6313


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

Monique Blajos 775-463-6325



Make sure your case is stocked with the franks that are sweeping the country. Whether they’re flame-grilled, broiled, or pan seared, frank-lovers are flocking to them, saying they’re the best they’ve ever tasted. Make sure your case has these stand-up sellers, that are easy to spot and even easier to take to the register.

For more information, contact a Grillman’s expert at

(800) 920-2003 •

2015 Editors’ Picks — Nonfood Butler Home Products Gain Scented 90 Layer Lint Roller

$4.99 Now consumers can keep their clothes lint-free longer while infusing them with the popular scent of Gain, thanks to the Butler Home Products Gain Scented 90 Layer Lint Roller, available at a value price.

Canberra Corp. JAWS Just Add Water System Glass Cleaner and Hardwood Floor Cleaner

$4.99 (each variety) jaws-just-add-water-system This product line features a pod refill system to deliver ultra-concentrated cleaning solutions for use with refillable, reusable bottles and sprayers. The refill pods contain nontoxic, biodegradable formulas. The bottle is sold full of cleaner with a refill pod attached. After the bottle is used up, a consumer simply fills it with tap water, places the refill pod in the neck and twists the sprayer back on to release the concentrate, with no measur-

ing or pouring necessary. JAWS bottles are reusable up to 26 times, reducing the amount of plastic bottles tossed into landfills, and the refill pods, sold two per pack, take up much less shelf space than a full bottle of cleaner. The streak-free glass cleaner, formulated without ammonia or alcohol, can be used on most home surfaces, including granite, stainless steel, and smartphone and tablet screens, as well as HDTVs. Featuring a subtle lemonlime scent, the hardwood floor cleaner quickly cleans sealed hardwood, ceramic, linoleum and natural stone floors without leaving behind a hazy residue or streaks. Both varieties come in a recently redesigned spray bottle.

Purina trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A. Any other marks are property of their respective owners. Printed in USA.

Beyond Grain-Free Tuna & Egg Recipe Dry Dog Food

“She loves it! And I love the ingredient list.” – Jimippa

See what others are saying about Beyond at

2015 Editors’ Picks — Nonfood CN Smokeless Co. LLC Klondike Premium Moist Tobacco 6-Pack Tub

$4.99 These six pre-packed cans of fresh, high-quality smokeless tobacco in one value-priced tub eliminate the time-consuming, messy process of filling cans with loose tobacco. The item is available in Long Cut Wintergreen flavor.

Energizer Personal Care Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle Razor

$15.79 The Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle razor combines the brand’s hydrating Hydro Silk razor with a bikini trimmer, for two-in-

one convenience. Featuring five Curve Sensing blades to provide a close shave while reducing skin irritation, the razor, with a mere flip of the handle, turns into a waterproof bikini trimmer that can be used in or out of the shower.

Freshpet Select Fresh from the Kitchen Home Cooked Chicken Recipe

$7.99 Prepared with fresh, locally sourced shredded chicken; garden-fresh carrots and spinach; and antioxidant-rich cranberries, Freshpet Select Fresh from the Kitchen Cooked Chicken Recipe offers a uniquely textured, all-natural, highprotein meal that’s reminiscent of home cooking. Like all of Freshpet’s refrigerated ready-to-serve meals, this latest item contains no artificial preservatives, fillers, byproducts or rendered meals. The item comes in a 1.75-pound package.

Nestlé Purina PetCare Purina Beyond Natural Pet Food

Price varies depending on size Beyond delivers all of the natural nutrition pets need, with real meat or fish as the No. 1 ingredient, and no corn, wheat, soy, poultry, byproduct meals, or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, in a variety of superfood and grain-free recipes. Nestlé Purina PetCare developed the affordably priced pet food line for the ultra-natural segment, which currently makes up more than 20 percent of total pet food sales and is projected to represent more than 25 percent of the category’s dollar share by 2017, or almost $6 billion. To promote the new product line, Nestlé Purina PetCare created a full 360-degree national support plan encompassing national TV ads, awareness, targeted trial, merchandising vehicles, a separate in-aisle “natural set,” engagement with third-party voices in a digital/social program, paid search and onpack IRCs.


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

2015 Editors’ Picks — Nonfood Oasis Brands Fiora Ultra Soft and Strong Bath Tissue

$4 fiora/ Ultra Soft Bath Tissue, from Fiora, the fastest-growing tissue brand in the United States, uses a premiumbase paper with softer hand feel, and provides a whopping 250 sheets per roll, giving shoppers greater value with more sheets than even the ”double rolls” of leading premium-tissue brands. The product also offers more cotton-acacia fibers in every sheet, making it, according to manufacturer Oasis Brands, “the softest, strongest, most absorbent bath tissue ever.” Ultra Soft additionally bears on-pack certification from the Geneva, Switzerland-based Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) as an assurance of responsible sourcing.

Pharmavite LLC Nature Made Advanced Dual Support Probiotics

$24.99 Nature Made Advanced Dual Support provides two highquality, scientifically studied probiotics to help support regularity and digestive balance. The dairyand preservative-free product, which also features no synthetic dyes or artificial flavors, contains Lactobacillus plantarum 299V and Bifidobacterium lactis SD-5674, both of which can withstand the stomach’s harsh environment to survive in the intestinal tract, where they’re needed. The recommended daily amount is one pair of capsules.


2015 Editors’ Picks — Nonfood Prepara Evak Food Storage

$24.99 Since prolonged exposure to air compromises foods’ freshness, Evak Food Storage simply removes the air. The product’s twin-valve system automatically forces air out when the lid is pushed down; then, to access the food within, the lid can be easily pulled up and removed without bothersome buttons or levers. Ideal for such items as coffee, tea, dried fruits, granola and herbs, the containers are made from high-quality borosilicate glass and stainless steel — the parts that come in contact with food — while the handle is fashioned from durable ABS with LFGB European-grade silicone gaskets inside. All that, and the items are attractive enough to adorn any kitchen counter.


Procter & Gamble CoverGirl UltraSmooth Foundation + Applicator

$12.99 The CoverGirl UltraSmooth Foundation + Applicator imparts a smooth tone and texture to skin, covering imperfections from redness, uneven skin tones and blemishes. Available in 12 medium-coverage shades in easyopen, scissor-free packaging, the innovative foundation contains optical concealers and Olay skin-smoothing serum, while the flexible silicone applicator enables the user to create a natural look. The foundation and applicator come in a clear thermoformed blister pack that provides easy at-a-glance verification of the foundation’s color, while silver hot-foil stamping applied to both the foundation tube and labels provides an upscale appearance and high shelf impact.

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



CELEBRATING 85 YEARS. Thank you! Through your partnership, we have been serving customers within our communities for 85 years. Our success would not have been possible without you.

2015 Editors’ Picks — Nonfood Procter & Gamble Downy Fresh Protect

$4.49-$11.99 Downy Fresh Protect brings a truly innovative consumer benefit to the brand’s product lineup: wearable odor neutralization. The company’s new Voyager PMC technology is activated as consumers move, neutralizing and protecting against odors for 24 hours. Parent company Procter & Gamble is supporting the launch with more than $10 million in marketing spending for the first year.

Roaring Brook Dairy Ricotta and Cottage Cheese DIY Kit

$19 With do-it-yourself gourmet foodmaking on the rise, the Ricotta

and Cottage Cheese DIY Kit includes everything consumers need to make soft, simple cheeses at home in about an hour, with the exception of easily obtainable fresh milk and cream. Including supplies to make four batches of ricotta and four batches of cottage cheese one batch at a time, the shelf-stable kit contains a thermometer, cheesecloth, vegetable rennet, citric acid, and illustrated instruction manuals with a glossary, a troubleshooting guide, recipes and tips. Following the kit’s simple instructions, a PG editor was able to whip up two tasty batches of ricotta, and highly recommends the item as the perfect family project for a rainy day, followed by an evening of lasagna making with the results. PG

CL50E ULTRA… Perfect for Supermarkets Quick, Easy, Consistent Processing of Fruits/Vegetables • Process all produce, get quality cuts in record time— slice, ripple cut, julienne, dice and French fry • 52 different stainless steel discs available for unmatched versatility • Equipped with two hoppers Large hopper for processing bulky vegetables, will accommodate up to 10 tomatoes. Cylindrical feed tube provides flawless cutting of long, thin vegetables • Mashed potato attachment available

Robot Coupe U.S.A., Inc., 800/824-1646 • Set up a free demonstration:


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

watch the video


OCTOBER 2325, 2015




Third-party Certification Programs

Trust and Verify

Animal welfare certification programs gain traction with retailers, manufacturers and consumers. By Bridget Goldschmidt

I The treatment of animals used as sources of proteins and animal products is a concern for many of our members.” —Scott Williams, BJ’s Wholesale Club


n common with many grocers, among them upscale supernaturals such as Whole Foods Market and conventional powerhouses like Kroger, Seattle-based PCC Natural Markets has certain standards in place regarding the treatment of the animals that provide many of the products sold in its stores. According to Trudy Bialic, PCC’s director of public afairs, “Te foundation of these standards incorporates three beliefs: that the way humans treat farm animals is integral to our own general well-being and the health of our planet; that we have a responsibility to see that livestock are raised humanely, free of pain and fear and psychological stress, and that they are able to express their natural behaviors; and that animals are capable of experiencing happiness and enjoyment of life.” To live up to these core beliefs, the cooperative grocer, which operates 10 stores in Washington state (an 11th is slated to open next year) “work[s] directly with suppliers to ensure our standards are being met,” notes Bialic. “PCC merchandisers maintain personal relationships with their suppliers, visiting and inspecting farms in person.” On the other end of the food retail spectrum, BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc., with more than 200 locations in 15 states, is also mindful of animal welfare. “As a large-volume buyer of proteins and animal products, it is BJ’s responsibility to

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

ensure animals are treated humanely and without cruelty,” says Scott Williams, the Westborough, Mass.-based company’s assistant VP quality assurance and environmental stewardship. To that end, the chain’s practices include submitting its own-brand dairy products to the Validus Dairy Animal Welfare Review. “Under this program, an audit of the farmer’s animal welfare practices is conducted,” observes Williams, who notes that such “certifcations are … important [because] the treatment of animals used as sources of proteins and animal products is a concern for many of our members.” Meanwhile, despite its own strict standards, which cover farm and ranch animals and address such issues as outdoor access and humane slaughter, PCC doesn’t require third-party certifcations of its suppliers, although some have acquired them through various programs. Bialic explains the chain’s stance: “Organic certifcation is perceived as the gold standard and, generally, organic rules ensure the fundamentals for animal welfare are addressed. But additional certifcations, such as

Registration is now open for PLMA’s 2015 Private Label Trade Show. More than 2,700 exhibit booths of food, snacks, beverages, health and beauty, kitchen, household and DIY for today’s store brands. More than 5,000 buyers and visitors make this event the biggest private label show in the U.S. To exhibit or attend, contact PLMA today. Telephone (212) 972-3131, email or visit

Coming Nov. 15-17 • Chicago Presented by the Private Label Manufacturers Association


Third-party Certification Programs

Certifed Humane, are viewed as a signifcant plus. Tey’re not a substitute, however, for seeing a farm and how it operates frsthand. We have evaluated third-party animal welfare certifcations — and welcome them — but they can be costly to ranchers hit hard by drought and rising fuel and feed costs. We believe our process of direct verifcation serves PCC and our customers well.”

When it comes to animal welfare, however, Kathi Brock, senior advisor to American Humane Association’s Humane Heartland program, observes that retailers “are more apt to require a third-party farm animal welfare audit of companies in the food supply chain, rather than write or implement their own standards,” making it all the more important that such programs hold participating companies to the highest certifcation requirements. For its part, in 2000, the Washington, D.C.-based association created the United States’ frst independent, third-party farm animal welfare program, American Humane Certifed, which currently monitors the welfare of more than 1.25 billion animals, or around one in eight animals in U.S. agriculture. Other program providers are of the opinion that retailers’ own standards don’t register nearly as strongly with shoppers. When asked about such an approach, Adele Douglass, executive director of Herndon, Va.based Humane Farm Animal Care, replies, “I don’t think the public will buy it,” instead recommending “that retailers require their suppliers meet the standards of programs such as ours, since they were written by a scientifc committee of international animal welfare scientists with great knowledge in this feld, and [we] have a legitimate program to implement the inspections to ensure these standards are met.”

Everybody Wins For many retailers and suppliers, their own or others’ certifcation programs can ofer reassurance to consumers that companies’ products are just what they say they are with regard to animal welfare, while at the same time enabling these companies “to diferentiate their products in the marketplace,” as Douglass puts it. “Te certifcations provide our members with third-party validation that the high-quality protein and animal products found in-club are from animals raised under strict welfare guidelines,” afrms BJ’s Williams. As PCC does with its comprehensive standards, BJ’s touts its commitment to providing organic products through such vehicles as in-store signage and the company’s website. One supplier, Alameda, Calif.-based


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









EDITORS’ CHOICE Best New Product

Maple Leaf Farms All Natural Duck Leg Conft is made from duck legs that have been seasoned and cooked slowly in duck fat. Tis yields tender, favorful meat that may be served as a main dish or shredded to create delicious sandwiches, salads, pizzas or pasta. Enjoy the classic taste of conft in just minutes with Maple Leaf Farms fully cooked Duck Leg Conft! |

800-348-2812, press 2 for a Service Specialist


Third-party Certification Programs

Niman Ranch, described by Chief Marketing Offcer/EVP Sales Jef “Trip” Tripician as being “built on [animal welfare] standards” created by celebrated livestock-handling expert Temple Grandin, provides specifc protocols that leave no “wiggle room,” ensuring humane, all-natural pasture-raised beef, lamb and pork, as well as all-natural cage-free eggs. According to Tripician, certifcation “builds conf-


dence and trust in consumers and the trade.” In line with PCC’s concerns about the expense incurred by smaller producers, Niman Ranch covers the costs of the certifcation process for the 726 family farms and ranchers with which it works. Te company’s stringent standards, Tripician asserts, result in a better-tasting product, a perception echoed by American Humane Association’s Brock, who points out that many consumers “look for humanely raised foods because of their … strong belief that … a properly raised animal is healthier and less stressed, and therefore more delicious and nutritious.” Citing a 2014 survey conducted by the association, Brock says: “Clearly, Americans who already enjoy a safe, afordable and abundant food supply are now rightly demanding that it also be a humane one. Increasing numbers of enlightened farmers, producers and retailers realize that raising animals humanely is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do as informed consumers seek out ethical choices that are in line with their values. “For consumers, choosing a humane certifcation label from a trusted organization with a strong program, independent third-party verifcation, transparent standards available for all to see, and a long track record assures them that the animals in that program were provided with good welfare throughout their lives,” she adds. “For producers, humane certifcation is verifcation of their good raising of animals and provides a marketing differentiation and a predisposed market for their products. For grocers and retailers, ofering humanely certifed foods demonstrates their willingness to meet their customers’ demands, as well as their corporate responsibility and dedication to ethical principles.” After all, as Brock points out, grocers “want to appeal to their customers, who have strong ethical opinions about how animals and all food products are raised. Some retailers focus on ethical and sustainably raised foods, but almost all retailers are now ofering at least one such choice to appeal to [a] younger segment of buyers. Shoppers, particularly younger buyers, are keenly interested in where food comes from and how it was raised.”

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

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Increasing numbers of enlightened farmers, producers and retailers realize that raising animals humanely is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do as informed consumers seek out ethical choices that are in line with their values.” —Kathi Brock, American Humane Association

Third-party Certification Programs

‘Grass-fed’ Taking Root

“Customers want our certifcation because they want … to know that animals are treated humanely throughout their lives, and go to their ends swiftly and peacefully,” observes Humane Farm Animal Care’s Douglass. “Tey want to be sure that unnecessary antibiotics are not given to farm animals, and when they are raised to our standards, for example, they are not. Tey also understand that when there are [fewer] animals raised in more space, it improves the quality of the environment.” Not coincidentally, interest in more humane food production methods grew alongside the rise of the World Wide Web. “With the development of the internet, social media and smartphones, the world has become very educated,” asserts George Hazard, lead auditor-animal welfare, supply chain food safety at Ann Arbor, Mich.-based NSF International, which ofers several food quality certifcation programs. “Tis started in the mid-1990s. Shortly after that, retailers started to hear concerns from their shoppers about all sorts of priorities, including humane handling guidelines. Te internet also allowed producers to research and communicate better, which exposed them to better methods of production.”

Many retailers and suppliers seek third-party animal welfare certification to demonstrate to consumers their commitment to this issue, but what other types of certifications will soon become the norm in the food industry? “I think the next wave of certification will be for ‘grass-fed’ and ‘pastured’ claims,” says Trudy Bialic, director of public affairs at Seattlebased PCC Natural Markets, which has instituted its own specific animal welfare standards. “Consumers want products from animals raised in a way as natural to their species as possible, and for cows and sheep at least, that means ‘grass-fed’ and ‘pastured.’” According to Bialic, consumer demand for these attributes in regard to milk and meat products “continues to grow steadily. The trouble is, we’re seeing some dairy products labeled ‘grassfed’ when they’re not — at least not to USDA’s definition for meat.” The reason for this, she explains, is that “FDA regulates dairy, not USDA, and because FDA has not officially recognized USDA’s definition of ‘grass-fed,’ some dairy vendors are claiming whatever they want it to mean, and consumers are being misled. In other words, ‘grass-fed’ claims on a yogurt or kefir may not mean the same thing as it does on meat. We’re asking FDA to recognize USDA’s definition of ‘grass-fed,’ because the marketplace needs one definition.” —Bridget Goldschmidt

Engaging Consumers How is this heightened awareness of the humane treatment of animals playing out in grocery store aisles? “Safeway demanded their cage-free and organic egg producers become Certifed Humane,” notes Douglass. “Sobeys supermarkets in Canada require their proteins be Certifed Humane for their Eating Well program. Tat includes beef,

All CooPEd uP The Humane Sociey of the united States and other animal welfare groups are fighting to free chickens from confining battery cages.


chicken, turkey [and] pork.” “More than 60 major food companies [currently] have aggressive animal welfare policies,” points out Matthew Prescott, senior food policy director at the Washington-based Humane Society of the United States, which doesn’t have its own certifcation program, but supports initiatives such as the one run by Global Animal Partnership (GAP), whose partners include Whole Foods and Niman Ranch. “Tey’re eliminating gestation crates for pigs and shifting to cage-free eggs, for example. Te issue now has a prominent place in corporate responsibility reports and annual shareholder meetings.” Such pronouncements must be backed

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

up by action, however. “In today’s economy, consumers want meaningful standards with teeth,” afrms Prescott. “Costco, for example, has been in the national spotlight recently for continuing to sell eggs from caged hens despite it having indicated almost a decade ago that it would switch to cage-free eggs. Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling have written widely publicized letters to the company. [Comedian] Bill Maher published an article in Te New York Times on the topic, titled ‘Free the Hens, Costco!’ And toprated television shows, like ‘Te Tonight Show’ and ABC’s ‘Nightline,’ have covered the issue. Retailers can avoid situations like this by setting timelines for eliminating cruel practices like chicken cages, and being transparent with their customers about what those timelines look like.” Further, grocers “need to continue to educate their shoppers on all aspects of farming, animal production and food processing,” advises NSF’s Hazard. “Tis will assist with their name recognition and marketing. Less than 2 percent of the total U.S. population is involved with farming and agriculture. Tis industry has made huge advancements in animal production and animal welfare. However, like many things, only the challenges get the attention of the press. Retailers need to educate the public themselves through their industry partners and organizations.” “We feel the best way to engage with consumers is to ofer them a variety of ways to engage — social media, websites, in-store demos and pictures are great ways to talk to consumers about how farm animals are raised,” recommends Anne Malleau, director of standards and certifcation at Alexandria, Va.-based GAP, whose multitiered 5-Step program requires that the requirements of each phase of the initiative — Steps 1 through 5+ — be met before a farm can be certifed. “It’s equally as important to train the team members in the stores, as they are the people who interact every day with consumers.” According to Malleau,

BJ’s Sustainable Gains BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. is a champion of sustainable seafood. “We … designed a Seafood Sustainability Program in collaboration with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and the Marine Stewardship Council,” notes Scott Williams, assistant VP quality assurance and environmental stewardship at the Westborough, Mass.-based warehouse club chain. “To represent this program, products are being labeled with our

GAP’s “animal-centered” program “ofers grocers a way to engage both the customer and their supply chain in a positive, transparent way.” For her part, Brock advises food retailers, “Make it easy for those who are seeking ethically produced food to know you are a champion of these products through select media, and use in-store displays featuring humane choices with information and videos about the products, producers and the certifer.”

Certification Evolution As consumer, retailer and manufacturer awareness of animal welfare continues to evolve, so do third-party certifcation requirements, both here and abroad. “Right now … I see many programs expanding into more livestock industries,” says Hazard. “NSF is working on an Animal Welfare ‘Readiness’ Audit to assist manufacturers and producers who are starting to develop their humane-handling policies and procedures. Tis would be the frst step in achieving a more in-depth certifcation. I see the dairy industry pushing humane-handling guidelines to the next level. Te pork industry is moving to do an on-farm audit that I think will be very benefcial. I [also] see expansions of many existing certifcations into South America and other areas of the

paSturEd piGS Niman ranch farmers adhere to strict animal welfare standards in producing allnatural pasturedraised pork and other meats.

Responsibly Sourced Seafood icon.” The work of this program is ongoing, according to Williams, as the retailer “continue[s] to partner with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership to evaluate and improve fisheries and fish farms, and also with the Marine Stewardship Council, the world’s leading certification and ecolabeling program for sustainable seafood. With their help, we’re able to use their standards when assessing current and potential suppliers of wild-captured seafood.” —Bridget Goldschmidt

September 2015 | |



Social media, websites, instore demos and pictures are great ways to talk to consumers about how farm animals are raised.” —Anne Malleau, Global Animal Partnership

Third-party Certification Programs

world, which is very exciting.” While acknowledging that “[m]ost of the emerging certifcation labels have to do with consumer perceptions of health and/or quality issues, such as antibiotic-free, non-GMO, organic, gluten-free, grass-fed, Fair Trade, etc.,” Brock asserts that animal welfare is still a big concern for consumers, as illustrated by 2013 and 2014 surveys conducted by American Humane Association, which found that “the humane label was still ranked as highest in importance, over ‘antibiotic-free,’ ‘organic’ or ‘natural.’” Accordingly, Brock believes that the Enriched Colony Housing designation, which she says the association was the frst to endorse, “will be a new label for eggs as smaller, conventional cage layer hen

housing is phased out — battery cages are outlawed in several states now.” Further, she notes, “Producers that raise pigs in open pens may choose to create labels to diferentiate from pork that uses gestation crates.” Given the many certifcations now available and still to come, Brock suggests, “It might be useful for retailers/grocery chains to ofer paper and electronic lists showing every ‘ethical’ label in the store, what the label verifes to consumers and how to contact the certifying organizations.” Notes BJ’s Williams: “We want to use the knowledge and technology of all our partners to make sure that we procure items that have been treated with the highest standards, and continue to raise those standards as science and technology ofer new insights and solutions.” PG

Assuring Authentic Seafood With Digital Certificates Enhanced traceability can show how, when, and who produced seafood. By Phil Werdal The seafood supply chain is long and complicated, generating massive amounts of data. It also includes many stakeholders, including harvesters, processors, retailers, governmental agencies, and consumers hungry for more information about where and how their food is produced. Tracking the vast amounts of data using enhanced traceability tools can help ensure food products are authentic and sustainably produced. Enhanced traceability is already well established and delivering many business benefits. It can: Avoid species substitution: Consumers can feel confident that the wild grouper they ordered isn’t actually a macadamia nut-encrusted generic whitefish. Ensure freshness and reduce spoilage and waste: Retailers can automatically reject fresh fillets that exceed the stated four-to-six-day out-of-water limit. This will save them on spoilage costs and save consumers from a “too fishy” experience. Connect directly with consumers: Retailers and producers can tell the story behind their products. With just a couple of clicks on a smartphone, a consumer standing at the seafood counter can learn that “this fresh Keta salmon was harvested three days ago by the Yup’ik Eskimo using dip nets at the mouth of the Yukon River …”

Combating Seafood Fraud

Unlike traditional food traceability tools that look “backward” in time and are used primarily for recordkeeping and product recalls, enhanced traceability systems offer retailers near real-time monitoring of their supply chain.


Among the latest technology developments are digital certificates, which can help combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and seafood fraud. Digital certificates can verify data at each step of the supply chain to ensure that a food product meets certain required rules. For instance, the certificates can be used to ensure that fish came from a legal vessel, that the harvest date is accurate and that the species is correct. If an item meets the stated rules, the certificate remains with the product. However, if the weight or species or harvester — or any other criteria — aren’t met, according to the requirements, the certificate is removed. In addition to helping food retailers increase profitability, enhanced traceability ensures that vendors meet environmental goals and puts key product information directly into consumers’ handheld devices. Enhanced traceability tools can and should be used to automatically monitor the supply chain and alert retailers and consumers to incidents of noncompliance. PG Phil Werdal, CEO of Seattle-based Trace Register, is a food traceability expert with 40 years’ experience in the U.S. and Japanese seafood industries. During that time, he served as a U.S. government fisheries observer aboard Japanese surimi-producing vessels in the Bering Sea and a Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctic Ocean. He also co-founded and was president of Jubilee Fisheries, a fully integrated fishing company catching and freezing bottom fish in Alaska. For 20 years, he was a representative agent in Japan for the U.S. Surimi Commission.

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


Commercial Bread and Baked Goods

Beyond Bread

Consumers’ embrace of various ethnic baked goods means that retailers should step up their commercial assortments and selling strategies. By Bridget Goldschmidt


or America’s Food Basket (AFB), based in Lake Success, N.Y., providing ethnic baked goods is a matter of giving shoppers at its various banners what they want. “We serve the communities we are in when it comes to carrying the ethnic breads and baked goods our customers are looking for,” explains Director of Grocery Daniel Suriel. “Because our stores are in three diferent states — New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts — we have customers who come from many diferent countries. We carry most of the ethnic buns, rolls, pitas, tortillas and snack cakes our customers look for.” Asked about sales in the segment, Suriel replies, “We have performed well over the past year with our ethnic baked goods, because our customers know they can ... fnd the baked goods they are looking for.” Suppliers report similar consumer interest in their ethnic oferings. “We saw double-digit growth in the last year as ethnic products, in particular Greek and Mediterranean, continue to surge in popularity,” afrms Steve Kontos, VP of Paterson, N.J.-based Kontos Foods, which makes more than 50 varieties of fatbreads, including the

popular Pocket-Less Pita. “U.S. consumers are increasingly discovering the enjoyment and health benefts of the Mediterranean diet. As a result, they are embracing quality, niche ethnic items that appeal to their desire for authentic and healthful foods.” Alexa LaVere, sales and marketing supervisor at Mi Rancho, a San Leandro, Calif.-based manufacturer of premium traditional and artisan corn and four tortillas, notes that the company’s “tortilla sales have continued to grow over the last several years. Te tortilla category is growing signifcantly in both foodservice and retail sectors as more restaurants and grocery stores are ofering their customers options on menus and options to meet the growing popularity.”

Part of the Mainstream A key reason for this surge in demand is that such products are no longer eaten only by people who hail from the same places as their baked goods of choice. While AFB’s Suriel

We find that more and more customers are shopping for healthier ethnic baked goods, as there is greater awareness and more educational resources now than before.” —Daniel Suriel, America’s Food Basket


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


Commercial Bread and Baked Goods

fatbread pizzas, wraps and paninis,” adds Caulkins. “People aren’t just purchasing tortillas to make burritos, tacos and enchiladas,” similarly asserts Mi Rancho’s LaVere. “Te menu has expanded as many people are making wraps, baking their own chips and trying new recipes that ft their particular dietary restrictions.”

road food Stonefire promoted its line of flatbreads with a coast-tocoast truck tour this past spring and summer, offering samples and coupons.

notes, “Many of our frst-generation customers shop for ethnic baked goods as opposed to mainstream baked goods,” others, like Kontos, point out that ethnic items “have already gone mainstream — you can now order fatbread sandwiches at fast-food restaurants such as Subway, McDonald’s and Taco Bell.” Tis shift in consumer preference is equally true in the supermarket channel, Kontos adds: “At retail stores, we are seeing precisely the same trend in both the deli section and retail aisle as consumers look for foods that are a bit adventurous, but safe.” Cara Caulkins, spokeswoman for Toronto-based Stonefre, whose Original Naan (a type of bread from India) is the No. 1 fatbread SKU in the United States, according to IRI, says that the segment’s “products are unique and diferent from the usual bakery oferings.” Expanding on Kontos’ observation, she continues that consumers “are also seeing variations of fatbreads on menus when they go to restaurants, and want to recreate those when they’re cooking at home.” Home cooks’ use of ethnic baked goods doesn’t stop with traditional dishes, however. “Naan is [not only] an excellent accompaniment to traditional stews and curries, but is also a fantastic base for

Media Matters

Driving consumers’ rising demand for ethnic baked goods is the large amount of media coverage that cuisines of various cultures are receiving through a range of media outlets. “Media have had a huge impact on this trend,” affirms Warren Stoll, marketing director for Paterson, N.J.-based flatbread maker Kontos Foods. “For example, shows on the Food Network have empowered home cooks and encouraged them to be creative. When consumers see recipes on TV, or on social media sites such as Pinterest, Facebook and recipe blogs, trying something new doesn’t seem out of reach. Thanks to all this encouragement, more and more consumers are now considering


Healthy Variations Indeed, many manufacturers are capitalizing on consumers’ health concerns by creating new products that combine ethnic appeal with a better-foryou nutritional profle. “We’ve been fortunate to see both trade and consumer receptivity to … our traditional ethnic breads as well as our gluten-free lines,” notes Karen Toufayan, VP marketing and sales at Ridgefeld, N.J.-based Toufayan Bakeries, whose oferings include Smart Pockets, pitas featuring a unique rectangular shape that make them easier to fll and eat, as well as providing portion control. “Our sensitivity to the growth of gluten-free items that really deliver the taste and texture qualities consumers are looking for have made our GF wraps one of our fastest-growing items.” Over the past year, Toufayan Bakeries has focused new product eforts on “healthier” versions of its basic items, resulting in the four-SKU gluten-free wrap line. “Tere has been a steadily growing trend in organic oferings in the tortilla category, focused on not just functionality, but [also] the ingredients, processes and health benefts associated with each product,” says LaVere, adding that Mi Rancho specializes in such products, with eight organic and all-natural tortilla SKUs, as well as a premium traditional line. Suriel, of AFB, has observed the same trend from his vantage point at retail: “We fnd that more and more customers are shopping for healthier ethnic baked goods, as there is greater awareness and more educational resources now than before.”

themselves foodies who actively seek out food with flair.” The huge amount of buzz has particularly sparked the curiosity of a demographic that most retailers covet. Notes Karen Toufayan, VP marketing and sales at Ridgefield, N.J.-based Toufayan Bakeries, which offers a broad line of ethnic breads: “Consumers, especially Millennials, are looking to enjoy a broad array of tastes and textures. The growth of both social and digital media has exposed consumers to [a] breadth of products, including breads, that are easy to use and enjoy. Combining ethnic products with mainstream recipes also helps. Thus, [dishes like] personal lavash [a type of Armenian flatbread] pizzas are growing in popularity, since they offer an interesting twist to familiar mainstream food.”

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


The retail tortilla category is crowded and often disorderly on the shelves, so you have a short amount of time to allow your product to stand out.” —Alexa LaVere, Mi Rancho

Commercial Bread and Baked Goods

Generating Excitement Placement is an important consideration in selling ethnic baked goods. “When it comes to merchandising, we incorporate the ethnic baked goods and mainstream baked goods within the same section, because we want to ofer as much variety as possible to our customers,” notes Suriel. Many manufacturers concentrate on making their products pop on the shelf — wherever that shelf may happen to be in the store. “We have had signifcant success with in-store displays that highlight our products and the Kontos Foods brand,” says Warren Stoll, the company’s marketing director. “When space for a foor display isn’t available, we favor spring-loaded shelf racks.” “Te retail tortilla category is crowded and often disorderly on the shelves, so you have a short amount of time to allow your product to stand out,” says LaVere. “We stand our tortillas up in plastic trays so that the consumer can see the face of the product, rather than a small shelf-talker with the name of the product. Tis has proven benefcial and helped Mi

Rancho tortillas stand out of the shelf. We also utilize small display racks to feature our best-selling items in prevalent areas throughout the store.” “Since most of our products are distributed in the deli section in our own racks, or in the ethnic bread section, we adapt our signage to this environment,” asserts Toufayan. “We also seek to highlight our newest items to gain awareness and greater visibility.” Packaging is another major concern. “For our packaging, a successful strategy has been printing recipe suggestions,” observes Stoll. “We’ve also tried peel-of recipe stickers, which consumers seem to really appreciate.” “With our packaging, we try to communicate the benefts of the product as clearly and as simply as possible, while making sure that the tortilla is visible and the main focus,” notes LaVere. “Consumers want to know what is in the foods that they’re eating, so further emphasis on education and communication has become key.” Tat’s why, using both up-to-the-minute and

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tried-and-true marketing methods, companies are making sure their products are known to consumers, in or out of the store. “We are frm believers that social media and public relations are an excellent way to generate excitement about our brand,” says Stoll. “We’ve held recipe contests and regularly post recipes for consumers to try out. We also share recipes with bloggers and other food writers on a regular basis.” In a more old-school move, Kontos Foods has also “worked with retailers to ofer in-store discounts — another great way to get consumers to try our products.” Meanwhile, another supplier has actually taken to the road in support of its products. While noting that the brand also has “various marketing and merchandising strategies executed at the store level,” Caulkins relates: “Tis spring and summer, our Stonefre Food Truck toured across the country, stopping in retail partner locations from coast to coast. Te food truck stops give consumers an opportunity to sample recipes using our fatbreads and receive coupon incentives to purchase that day. We’ve seen tremendous success in specifc store sales during each event.”

Exploring Through Food Te general consensus is that the ethnic baked goods segment is on the rise. Karen Toufayan, for one, expects the emphasis on health to continue. “A variety of ancient grains, products with chia, sprouted grains, and multigrain and whole wheat varieties will continue to see particular growth as consumers become better educated about the importance of these grains that are high in fber and protein content, as well as omega-3, and ofer nutritional benefts not found in many traditional breads,” she says. Top of mind for many consumers, though, is the ability to explore their own or other cultures through food. “We expect demand to grow for ethnic breads and baked goods as consumers continue to try out fun new dishes for family meals, parties and even school lunches,” predicts Kontos Foods’ Stoll. “Remember when Mexican food was exotic? Now it’s an essential part of American cuisine. Tat’s how we see Mediterranean and other ethnic breads evolving.” PG

We expect demand to grow for ethnic breads and baked goods as consumers continue to try out fun new dishes for family meals, parties and even school lunches.” —Warren Stoll, Kontos Foods

Frozen & Refrigerated

NFRA Convention Preview


Than Ever

The 2015 National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention returns in October. By Lynn Petrak

M HavinG HeR say Dana Perrino, former White House press secretary and co-host of “The Five” on the Fox news Channel, engaged attendees of last year’s nFRa Convention with a unique perspective on politics and current events.


eteorologists may be predicting a record El Niño weather pattern this year, but the forecast is cold and frozen for many parts of the nation, thanks to innovations and improvements in refrigerated and frozen foods. Te center of this cold snap will be the Lone Star State during the annual National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention, running Oct. 11-14 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. While temperatures in the Dallas area are often in the 80s during October, the convention will be all about the big chill, with events and opportunities ranging from one-to-one business appointments to general-session presentations to the industry’s prestigious awards night. Tese networking and educational opportunities come at a pivotal time for the refrigerated and frozen food industries. After years of fat to declining sales

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


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NFRA Convention Preview

in the frozen sector, certain categories are gaining steam. Among the bright spots: natural frozen foods, frozen snacks and frozen hand-held breakfasts. According to a study released earlier this year


from Chicago-based market research frm Mintel, there are other dynamics driving trends in frozen foods, including consumers who are using frozen snacks as meal replacements. Meanwhile, Rockville, Md.-based Packaged Facts recently released a study showing that consumers “are slowly warming up again to frozen foods, due to both the well-known convenience of the products and the recent introduction of more natural and organic frozen oferings that are lending the segment a much needed health halo.� In a further testament to the future of frozen foods, research from Mintel has found that Millennials are more likely to buy and consume frozen foods, including snacks and authentic ethnic meals. Overall, sales of collective frozen food categories will rise to $23 billion in 2019, up from $22

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

Frozen & Refrigerated

NFRA Convention Preview

SeRvice SecTOR The convention features speakers such as Dennis Snow, former top Walt Disney World executive and customer service trainer with Snow & Associates, who took part in the 2014 event.

billion last year, Packaged Facts predicts. On the fresh side, refrigerated foods — especially those that are deemed healthy, natural, organic and clean-label — are faring well in the marketplace. In its list of top food trends for 2015, the Chicago-based Institute of Food Technologists ranked fresh and refrigerated food frst, pointing out that nine in 10 adults believe that fresh foods are healthier and that 78 percent of consumers are making an efort to buy more fresh and refrigerated foods. As with frozen foods, there are segments of note within the refrigerated arena, such as the consumer embrace of specialty foods; according to the New York-based Specialty Food Association, sales of specialty foods have reached $100 billion, with hot refrigerated categories spanning cheese, yogurt, refrigerated pasta sauce, pizza sauce, fresh pasta and eggs, among others. Tere has also been a furry of activity on the R&D front, evident across all subcategories and dayparts in supermarket refrigerated and frozen food sections. New launches, product line extensions and rebranding eforts have contributed to this increase in interest and consumption (For examples, see the New Product Spotlight on page 114). Given the furry of activity, this year’s convention provides a forum for learning and discussion, which will ultimately lead to additional innovation and growth, according to Julie Henderson, VP communications at the Harrisburg, Pa.-based National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA). “From beginning to end, the National Frozen &


Refrigerated Foods Convention is structured to help attendees make valuable connections with the people and companies that can make a real impact on their business,” Henderson asserts. “Nowhere else can attendees meet with as many diverse companies individually and face-to-face in such a short period of time.”

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

Still Time to Register To register for the 2015 National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention online, visit Forms can also be faxed to Sarah Thompson at the NFRA office at 717-657-9862. You can e-mail Thompson at or call her at 717-657-8601. For any other inquires about the organization or the convention, e-mail or call 717-657-8601.

There’s an App for That A mobile app is available to help convention guests keep track of their appointments and stay on schedule. The NFRA 2015 app can be downloaded at the Apple Store or Google Play. Additionally, a newly created special show website offers full details about the event:

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Frozen & Refrigerated

NFRA Convention Preview

2015 Convention


The NFRA gathering evolves for changing times and trends.


lthough the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention is held every year, the show evolves with the industry and markets it serves. Tis year’s event includes some new and revamped features and attractions. Te Convention Awards Gala, for example, has been moved to Monday night, a shift from previous

years. “We changed it so more attendees are able to take part in recognizing leaders in the industry,” explains Julie Henderson, VP communications at the Harrisburg, Pa.-based National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA). Tat evening’s events include inductions into the Frozen Food Hall of Fame and the presentation of the Golden Penguin Awards. Established in 1990 to honor individuals who have helped shape

2015 NFRA Convention at a Glance Schedule of Events Sunday, Oct. 11

7 a.m.-5 p.m.: Convention registration 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Customer business meetings These meetings provide opportunities for face-to-face business appointments. Attendees must be registered and wear a badge to participate. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Café NFRA open This central break location serves as an informal meeting area where attendees can network and enjoy complimentary snacks and beverages. 5 p.m.-5:30 p.m.: Taste of Excellence Retailer Preview Retailers will get a private preview of the Taste of Excellence Reception set for later that evening. 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.: Taste of Excellence This unique event offers attendees the opportunity to sample the frozen and refrigerated food industry’s newest and/or finest products as they catch up with colleagues and meet new contacts.

Monday, Oct. 12

7 a.m.-5 p.m.: Convention registration; Dan Rather photo opportunities 7:30 a.m.-8:45 a.m.: Breakfast speaker Dan Rather, former CBS News anchor and “60 Minutes” correspondent 9 a.m.-10 a.m.: General session Todd Hale, Nielsen’s former SVP of consumer and shopper


insights, will present key findings from a 2015 update of the NFRA/Nielsen “State of the Industry Report.” 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Customer business meetings; Café NFRA open Noon-1:30 p.m.: NFRA Annual Membership Luncheon This official business meeting features a State of the Association address given by Chairman David Welch, from Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers, and an introduction of the newly elected officers and directors. 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m.: Convention Awards Gala featuring the Frozen Food Hall of Fame and Golden Penguin Awards This special gala (formerly the Grand Awards Reception & Banquet) will honor some of the industry’s greatest contributors as they’re inducted into the prestigious Frozen Food Hall of Fame. The gala will also recognize the winners of the Golden Penguin Awards.

Tuesday, Oct. 13

7 a.m-3 p.m.: Convention registration; Daryl Johnston photo opportunity 7:30 a.m.-8:45 a.m.: Breakfast speaker Daryl “Moose” Johnston, former Dallas Cowboys fullback 9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Café NFRA open 9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Customer business meetings Noon-1:30 p.m.: Industry luncheon with the Retail Patriot Awards This luncheon includes the presentation of the Retail Patriot Awards, given to retailers that have gone “beyond the call of duty” in support of the country’s men and women in uniform.

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

the industry through their hard work and dedication, the Frozen Food Hall of Fame welcomes two inductees in 2015: William P. Boone, founder of Austin, Texas-based Foodservice Management Systems, and Timothy A. Carper, retired president and managing partner of Nashville, N.C.-based Atlantic Natural Food Resources LLC. Te Golden Penguin Awards recognize the best merchandising eforts in support of NFRA’s annual promotions for March Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month, and Summer Favorites Ice Cream and Novelties. Another change to the lineup is the addition of a new industry luncheon on Tuesday, Oct. 13, hosted by NFRA’s new chairman, Scott Rouse, of Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods. Te luncheon will include the presentation of the Retail Patriot Awards, which recognize companies that have gone above and beyond in support of the nation’s troops and veterans. An annual highlight of the convention is the opportunity to meet one-to-one with industry contacts. NFRA provides retailer members with complimentary meeting rooms to hold appointments throughout the event. According to Henderson, such prearranged appointments set this convention apart. “Retailers will typically hold 45-minute, one-on-one appointments with manufacturers,” she explains. “Tese longer, closed-door meetings allow retailers to share their business priorities, while manufacturers can discuss how they can meet those needs. Te structure of these meetings allows for a more collaborative approach than can be had on an exhibit hall foor.” More than 80 rooms have been reserved for this purpose in 2015. Collaboration also occurs on a wider scale at the convention. Attendees will gather for a general session on Monday, Oct. 12, in which the NFRA will release and discuss its “2015 State of the Industry Report.” Todd Hale, former SVP of consumer and shopper insights at Te Nielsen Co., in Schaumburg, Ill., will present key fndings of the nearly 200-page report, covering topics such as economic factors,

consumer buying trends and category sales to show how frozen and refrigerated foods can be positioned for sustained growth. Convention-goers will also get the chance to put their money where their mouths are, so to speak. Te Taste of Excellence reception kicks of the convention on Sunday, Oct. 11, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., during which nearly 50 manufacturers from A-Z (in this case, Advance Pierre Foods to Zatarain’s) will provide samples of their newest products to retailers before meeting with them later in the convention. NFRA ofers an exclusive retailer preview of the Taste of Excellence, from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., so participants can more easily connect with their customers. “Te Taste of Excellence is a sell-out every year,” Henderson notes.

About NFRA Based in Harrisburg, Pa., the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) is an all-industry trade association representing the interests of every segment of the industry, including distributors, local associations, logistics providers, manufacturers, retailers/wholesalers, sales agents and suppliers. In addition to hosting an annual convention, NFRA sponsors March National Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month, and June/July Ice Cream and Novelties promotions, as well as the October Cool Food for Kids educational outreach program.

September 2015 | |


Frozen & Refrigerated

NFRA Convention Preview

New Product Showcase


xemplifying the trend toward products aimed at busy, discerning consumers driven by their desire for taste, convenience, well-being and health, manufacturers from all over the country have introduced a variety of frozen and refrigerated products. Here are just a few examples:

Ready-to-Eat Ribs and Pulled Pork From Tony Roma’s Consumers can indulge both their increasing appetite for barbecue and interest in natural products — while receiving a bonus of convenience — with these entrées, designed to be prepared in 20 minutes or less. Tony Roma’s new clean-label products include Kansas Style Sweet Hickory BBQ , Kansas City Style Kickin’ Sweet & Spicy BBQ , and Blue Ridge Sweet & Smoky BBQ.

Clean & Simple Soups, Sides and Meals From Blount Fine Foods Responding to shoppers’ interest in cleaner labels, Blount Fine Foods has debuted a line of microwaveable soups, sides and meals under the Clean & Simple brand, all made with easy-to-pronounce ingredients. Varieties include ABF Chicken Noodle Soup and Gluten Free New England Clam Chowder. Soups are packaged in 12- and 16-ounce cups; sides/ meals are sold in 12-ounce bowls.


Lean Cuisine Marketplace Entrées and Stouffer’s Fit Kitchen Entrées From Nestlé USA Te venerable Lean Cuisine brand from Nestlé USA has undergone an extensive and bold makeover this year, with a reintroduction centered on women’s wellness rather than merely a weight-loss diet aim. Te brand revamp includes a variety of new entrées, including gluten-free, high-protein Pomegranate Chicken and Sweet Sriracha Braised Beef, 1-cup Sesame Stir Fry with Chicken and Roasted Chicken and Garden Vegetables, and organic and non-GMO Mushroom & Spring Pea Risotto and Cheese & Bean Enchilada Verde. New packaging features high-impact colors and photos, while diferent sublines have been created to distinguish between the products,

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

which range from classics to comfort food to craveables. Te SRP is $2.99. Nestlé has also unveiled a line of Stoufer’s Fit Kitchen entrées featuring high protein content and contemporary favors. Each meal has 25 or more grams of protein from vegetables and complex carbohydrates. Varieties include Steak Fajita, Cilantro Lime Chicken, Rotisserie Seasoned Turkey, Monterey Chicken, Bourbon Steak and Oven Roasted Chicken. Te SRP is $3.99.

Hand-Tossed Style Crust Pizza by California Pizza Kitchen, From Nestlé USA California Pizza Kitchen, or CPK, as it’s widely known, has added to its retail line of frozen pizzas made by Nestlé USA with new oven-ready Hand-Tossed Style crusts made without artifcial favors or preservatives. Recipes include Te Works, BBQ Chicken with Bacon, and California-style White pizzas. CPK has also complemented its “regular” thin-crust crispy-pizza portfolio with new gluten-free Margherita and BBQ Chicken varieties. Te SRP ranges are $6.19-$7.99 for Hand-Tossed Style and $7.29-$9.49 for Gluten-Free. Sea Best Signature Singles From Beaver Street Fisheries Inc. Eating for one doesn’t mean sacrifcing gourmet favor. Tat’s one reason that Beaver Street Fisheries Inc. has expanded its Sea Best line to include Signature Singles. Among the chefinspired single-serve entrées are citrus scallops and linguini, stufed clams, black bean-and-shrimp tacos, tilapia



Knowing she has a taste for adventure. That’s Dawn. Love. It’s knowing what matters. And that’s exactly what goes into our new Vortex™ cakes, which bring together cake and brownie in one thrilling combination. Made with the fnest ingredients and freshest consumer insights, they’ll have shoppers falling in love with your bakery. Learn more at

Frozen & Refrigerated

NFRA Convention Preview

Florentine and spinach-and-artichoke founder, all of which can be prepared in as little as four minutes in a microwavable tray. Te SRP is $5.99.

Lean & Fit From Evol Te Evol line of natural frozen foods has widened to include two sub-brands: Lean & Fit and Multi-Serve. Te Multi-Serve line features an array of meals for two, including options like Trufe Parmesan & Portabella Risotto, Shanghai Noodles & Grilled Chicken, and Butternut Squash & Sage Ravioli.

Te Lean & Fit subline ofers meals for those watching their wellness and diet, with choices like Coconut Lemongrass Chicken and Fire Grilled Chicken Poblano. Multi-Serve meals retail for a suggested $6.99-$8.49, while Lean & Fit Meals go for a suggested $3.99-$4.99.

All Natural Sliced Turkey Lunchmeat From Foster Farms Te march toward natural continues with All Natural Turkey deli meat from Foster Farms, which includes Slow Oven Roasted Turkey Breast and Honey Roasted & Smoked Turkey Breast. Te 100 percent turkey breast doesn’t contain any nitrates, nitrites, chemicals, preservatives, artifcial ingredients or artifcial colors, and is 98 percent fat free. Available in convenient 8-ounce resealable packages, the product retails for a suggested $5.99. Flip Yogurt From Chobani On the heels of other product exten-

sions and introductions, Chobani has developed a new Flip line that combines the company’s Greek yogurt with indulgent ingredients for a crunchy experience. Flip favors include Peanut Butter Dream, Cofee Break Bliss, Chocolate Craze Haze and Salted Caramel Crunch. Te SRP is $1.49 for a 3.5-ounce container.

Single-Serve Pizza Hummus From Sabra Dipping Co. Combining one longtime favorite with an emerging favorite, Sabra has fused hummus and pizza to create a new hummus dip made with traditional pizza ingredients like fresh basil and oregano. Te product is sold in 2-ounce single-serve packs with an SRP of $4.99. PG See more new products in PG’s monthly What’s Next section and at


Barber Foods Reinvigorates Frozen Food Aisle and Breathes New Life into Family Mealtime Favorite Progressive Grocer sat down with Bob Howard, vice president of retail marketing for AdvancePierre Foods, to learn more about the brand’s transformational 60th anniversary and its plans for growth. Progressive Grocer: Barber commands nearly 70 percent of the frozen stuffed chicken breast market. Why mess with a good thing? Bob Howard: Barber was in a comfortable position – a great product with high brand recognition in a distinctive product category – and continuing to grow. Yet, as we looked back at 60 years of innovation and bold thinking, we wanted to do more than just embrace our 60-year history, we aimed to make history and create new brand milestones. We saw this anniversary celebration as an opportunity to redefne the product category, thank our loyal customers and drive new trial with a younger generation of consumers.

and processing and cooking assessments. We can honestly say that we’ve successfully made America’s best stufed chicken breasts even better. Our Consumer Insights division worked alongside our R&D team to deliver industry-leading favor profles. We invested in major capital improvements in our processing facility to achieve a juicier chicken breast, crispier home-style breading and a thicker, saucier flling. PG: How has the packaging changed? BH: Our new logo honors our heritage and brand roots in Portland, Maine. Te renovated products are featured prominently on each box, and consumers also will notice changes to the cooking and preparation icons both on the box and on the product flm. Consumers are the fnal link in the food safety chain, so emphasizing the proper cooking and handling instructions is key. PG: When will these new Barber Foods products be hitting store shelves?

PG: Let’s talk product enhancements. What’s changed? BH: All 12 recipes – from the classic Cordon Bleu to our Scallop & Lobster stufed chicken breast – underwent an ingredient review


BH: Te new Barber Foods premium stufed chicken breasts are rolling out now in retail grocery stores across the United States and Canada.

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

W ith New Recipes and a New Look,

The Best in the CaTegory is even BeTter!

WHY BARBER FOODS®? • Barber Foods founded the frozen, stuffed chicken breast category — and leads the category. • The best just got better with great new recipes and a new look honoring our hometown of Portland, Maine. • We’re launching our biggest marketing plan in fve years to create awareness among our loyal customers and introduce Barber Foods to a new generation of customers; it includes FSI, in-store signage and a digital marketing strategy.

To learn more, visit, stop by our Facebook page or email © 2015 AdvancePierre Foods, Inc.

Fresh Food



Celebrations How to maximize sales and traffic in the deli and bakery during the long holiday stretch.


By Lynn Petrak

here’s no place like home for the holidays, unless it’s the local supermarket. Where, after all, do most people head when preparing to entertain for the season that extends roughly from Halloween through New Year’s Day? Te grocery store is the hub of many people’s lives during the fall and early-winter holiday season, as shoppers make their grocery lists and check them twice. Given today’s increasingly busy lifestyles, in which purchases are driven by convenience, value, quality and variety, the grocery deli and bakery have proved particularly appealing to consumers looking to make meal occasions both special and easy. Various studies have confrmed consumers’ dual interest in homespun, homemade foods and in making meals as fast and easy as possible. For example, a survey from National Public Radio’s food page, Te Salt, found that more than half (55 percent) of people said that holiday cooking is “equal parts fun and stressful,” compared with the 36 percent who said that cooking for the holidays is fun, and the 9 percent who lamented that it’s just stressful. According to Jay Cipra, president of the Beloit, Wis.-based Broaster Co., which ofers pressure fryers, foodservice equipment and branded food programs, retailers can step in to provide homemade


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




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Fresh Food

We find that families and groups still desire to maintain that connection to entertaining, but don’t have the time to spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals.” —Jay Cipra, The Broaster Co.


tastes so people can savor the holidays. “With time for family and friends an ever-shrinking resource, preservation of that time during the fall season and the holidays it brings has become of great importance. We fnd that families and groups still desire to maintain that connection to entertaining, but don’t have the time to spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals,” says Cipra, adding that the company’s most popular items in the fourth quarter are its Broasterie Turkey and Genuine Broaster Chicken. What’s more, fall and holiday oferings in the deli and bakery departments appeal to a soughtafter, hard-to-pin-down demographic: Millennials. According to original research from the Madison, Wis.-based International-Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA), Millennials are more likely to shop the deli than other generational groups, although members of Generation Y are also discerning in their tastes, including what they eat for special occasions like holiday meals. As Chris Zagorski, analyst for Schaumburg, Ill.-based Nielsen Perishables Group, noted at a recent IDDBA event: “Select retailers are making it worth the time and money to splurge in the deli, as consumers are willing to wait and pay to indulge on a variety of meal options from the deli. It is not unusual to see gourmet options such as prime rib, pork tenderloin and stufed salmon taking up space behind the glass.”

Meals to Go It’s one thing to ofer full holiday meals or to create special-order desserts for fall holidays like Halloween (which falls on a weekend this year), Tanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It’s another thing entirely to merchandise efectively everything a store has to ofer in its deli department, prepared food area and in-store bakery. One way to reach shoppers is to give them what they want in terms of products. To that end,


Tanksgiving is a great example of how many grocery stores are providing both side dishes and entire meals for those who can’t or don’t want to slave away in their own kitchens. Many retailers ofer the whole gamut for Turkey Day, from soup to nuts — or, as the case may be, from butternut squash soup to pecan pumpkin pie. Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets Inc. and Wegmans Food Markets, in Rochester, N.Y., for example, ofer full holiday dinners, in which customers can place orders in advance and pick up fully cooked Tanksgiving feasts. Te meals include traditional fare like roast turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stufng, green bean casserole and cranberry orange chutney. Other retailers that ofer turkey dinners include Albertsons, Bi-Lo, Copps, Harris Teeter, H-E-B, Hy-Vee, Kroger, Price Chopper, Raley’s, Safeway, ShopRite and Winn-Dixie. Specialty grocers that focus on natural or fresh foods also tout their readyto-go Tanksgiving meals with a gourmet or specialty twist, like Whole Foods Market and Sprouts; Whole Foods, for its part, ofers gluten-free, organic and vegan menu choices for Tanksgiving and Christmas, albeit at higher price points than those of meals at conventional supermarkets.

Clicking With Customers In today’s click-and-it-will-come world, ordering online for easy pickup and even delivery is also catching on with shoppers. According to research from Nielsen and Booz & Co., online grocers are projected to account for 11 percent of food purchases by 2025. Retailers with click-and-collect programs can promote the ease of ordering groceries, including deli and bakery items. For example, Lowe’s Foods, in Winston-Salem, N.C., recently updated its clickand-collect program with Toronto-based technology provider Unata, through which users can order through a personalized homepage, browse products by attribute and check out in-store discounts. To make entertaining even more efortless, home delivery businesses like San Francisco-based Instacart are teaming up with retailers (including Whole Foods in some areas) to bring meals to families, even on Tanksgiving Day.

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

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Fresh Food

You can reset cases to allow more room for larger pack items. This could be for grab-andgo appetizers or party trays to go.” —Mike Merritt, Buehler’s Fresh Foods

Season’s Eatings: Fall Holidays Fill Up Last Quarter


More in Store In addition to providing an array of meal solutions for fall and winter holidays, retailers generally ramp up their promotional and educational eforts during the season, which can mean the diference between black and red ink for the calendar year. Getting the word out on how the deli, prepared food department and bakery can make entertaining and even weeknight dining easier during that busierthan-usual stretch of time from late October through early January is pivotal to maximizing sales in the store, especially when consumers have so many choices when it comes to heat-and-eat, take-home and ready-to-eat foods. Traditional merchandising tools like in-store signage — such as signs in the deli that list what’s in a full Tanksgiving or Christmas dinner — are a way to directly reach shoppers at the point of sale. Increasingly, though, many grocers are taking advantage of social media and various digital tools to reach shoppers at the point of planning; such tools

Once upon a time, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas were holidays that defined the merchandising months of October, November and December. These days, when Halloween candies debut on shelves in late August and Christmas merchandise appears in September, the last quarter of the year has become a flurry of activity in terms of seasonal products and promotions. Jay Cipra, president of the Beloit, Wis.-based Broaster Co., has witnessed this growing occasion overlap. “Yes, there has become a ‘downhill run’ of holiday activity in the last 45 days of the year, which tends to sweep Halloween into the mix,” he affirms. “Retailers continually strive to be first to the market with promotions to capture consumers’ interest, and this keeps pushing back promotional activity.”

can be as simple as a Facebook page or Twitter feed. Mobile apps are another way to reach out to customers via smartphone and tablet as they’re making decisions about seasonal needs.




As the most versatile resealable solution from Sealed Air’s Food Care Division, ® ® Cryovac Multi-Seal FlexLOK™ speaks to consumer and retailer demands. Cryovac Multi-Seal FlexLOK enables retailers to offer consumers appealing, convenient options that better showcase their products. The packaging is easy to use and ensures everything from deli meats and sliced cheeses to baked goods and snacks stay fresher longer. Multi-Seal FlexLOK features an easyopen-and-close adhesive design that eliminates the need for a knife or scissors and relieves consumers of frustrating packaging that does not reclose, and contributes to user safety. In production, the easy-open tab can be located as a corner- or center-peel, and the label can be placed in any 360-degree combination.

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

Cryovac Multi-Seal FlexLOK can be used with vacuum or modified-atmosphere packaging systems and provides several printing and label orientation options to better assist with merchandising and product visibility. For more information on Sealed Air’s retail food packaging solutions, please visit

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Fresh Food


Ofering cooking classes with holiday dishes is another way to connect with shoppers who switch up their cooking preferences and habits during this time of year. H-E-B’s Central Market stores in Texas, for instance, ofer a variety of in-store cooking classes, as do Ahold USA’s Giant Food Stores and many others around the country, including both chain and regional stores.

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One of the fundamental merchandising tools is getting shoppers to try a product. Whether it’s ofering a taste of a holiday-style ham or setting out portions of just-baked pumpkin bread, sampling is a direct merchandising tactic at the point of sale. Cross-merchandising is another traditional tool that can be efective for spurring product sales for a variety of occasions. Tis time of year, when CPG companies ofer more seasonal products, provides a great opportunity to pair up those items to encourage shopping across both the center store and the perimeter. At Wooster, Ohio-based Buehler’s Fresh Foods, cross-merchandising is part of the holiday plan. “We help the guest by making entertaining easy, like cross-merchandising the proper wine or cracker with the cheese,” says Mike Merritt, chef and director of food production. Changing displays to meet consumers’ needs at this hectic time of year is another way to merchandise for seasonal success, according to Merritt. “You can reset cases to allow more room for larger pack items,” he suggests. “Tis could be for grab-and-go appetizers or party trays to go.” Another idea he puts forward is to enhance displays by incorporating items that work as well for gifts as they do for entertaining. “Tink of foodie gift ideas: What would we like to get as a gift? Put a colored bow on it,” he notes. In regard to CPGs, retailers can feature and promote seasonal items to boost enthusiasm for the holidays, whether it’s Halloween-hued packaged goods like refrigerated ready-to-bake cookies or seasonally seasoned items in the deli, such as spiced cranberry relish. In addition to using materials and ideas that CPGs provide for their seasonal items and products that peak around the holidays, retailers can deploy their own in-store merchandising tools to maximize shopper interest and strike while the iron is hot. Finally, as helpful as technology is, the personal interaction is pivotal this time of year. Merritt, for instance, cites stafng the specialty cheese area with an in-store expert. “Start conversations of with ‘What are you planning on making?’” he says. “Tis opens the foodgates to upgrade their cheese selections.” PG

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





Four years in a row –

the best keeps getting better. Total Pages Page Share

Progressive Grocer

Supermarket News

2015 808 46.66%

2015 245 14.13%

2014 689 38.77%

Grocery Headquarters

2014 375 21.10%

2015 2014 679 714 39.21% 40.13%

Source: 2015 Inquiry Management Systems

There’s a reason Progressive Grocer outperforms the competition – the best content, backed up by integrated information and marketing resources that let you: 1. Reach the right retailers 2. with the right message 3. in all the right ways. Suppliers face challenges like never before. Progressive Grocer, its allied brands, and powerful resources like integrated research and database solutions from Stagnito Business Information, help suppliers target all the retail executives who can lead to the success of a brand. Call Jeff Friedman at 201-855-7621 to learn how Progressive Grocer can increase the impact of your b-to-b marketing program.

Food Labeling

Government Affairs

Natural Selection

GMO and natural-labeling claims — and resulting big industry changes — loom large with a new federal food-labeling law that’s making its way through channels.


By Meg Major

he indisputable impact that natural, organic and free-from food products are having on presentday buying preferences needs no introduction to this publication’s readers, the vast majority of whom likely know more about its collective consumer clout than just about anyone on the planet. Unquestionably, food retailers of all stripes are capitalizing on these three integrated high-growth categories, which continue to gain appeal with today’s more informed and engaged shoppers, increasing numbers of whom are prioritizing “values” over “value” by choosing brands based on key product and ingredient factors over cost and other drivers. Among the growing ranks of “conscious consumers” — loosely defned as shoppers who base their purchase decisions on the environment, health and wellness — choices are increasingly driven by taste and ingredient attributes, including non-GMO, which this year ranked ahead of organic in purchase priority, according to fndings in the 2015 Market LOHAS MamboTrack Research Survey. For the conscious-


consumer segment, non-GMO products are key to brand-buying decisions (57 percent), edging ahead of organic (53 percent) for the second year running in the MamboTrack survey, which also found one in two consumers citing “brand that I trust” (48 percent, up from 44 percent in 2014) ahead of “all-natural,” which was less of a factor in 2015 (36 percent, down from 42 percent in 2014) — the latter perhaps as a result of the nebulous meaning of products bearing the “natural” moniker.

Natural Changes Afoot After years without a federally mandated defnition, however, products boasting the “natural” claim are set for a regulatory overhaul if the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (SAFLA) — which the U.S. House of Representatives passed 275-150 in late July — is enacted. If afrmed by the U.S. Senate in identical form, SAFLA — one of the most important pieces of bipartisan legislation drafted in recent years — will move to President Barack Obama for fnal passage.

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

Food Labeling

Government Affairs

Tere are two notable points addressed in SAFLA: State and local governments are prohibited from passing laws requiring food products containing GMOs to be labeled as such; any requirement regarding the use of genetically engineered plants for food products that’s not identical to the requirements established under SAFLA will also be prohibited. Te Food and Drug Administration will be directed to formally address “natural” claims on food product labels, as opposed to the present informal policy that foods labeled as natural can’t contain any added colors, artifcial colors, artifcial favors or synthetic ingredients. Under SAFLA, a food will be deemed misbranded if its label contains an expressed or implied claim that it’s “natural,” unless the product meets the new requirements and allowable marketing terms established in FDA’s promulgated regulations. States will also be prohibited from making it unlawful for companies to label products containing GMOs as “natural.” Another signifcant provision of SAFLA would permit companies to voluntarily label foods that do or don’t contain GMO ingredients, but they wouldn’t be required to do so. Te legislation directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish a voluntary, nongenetically engineered food certifcation program — modeled after its certifed-organics program in place since 2002 — to administer labeling of non-GMO food product standards. Companies voluntarily labeling products as GMO-free would need to follow a standard established under the legislation, which would direct the creation and implementation of a process to certify GMO-free food under a USDAaccredited certifcation process.

SAFLA: Trade Groups Cheer, Opponents Jeer Te food industry’s leading trade groups are pushing for full passage of SAFLA, which Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), calls “the only way to ensure that Americans everywhere can access accurate information about the food they purchase.” GMA, a lead proponent of such legislation in its prominent role in the Coalition for Safe and Afordable Food, previewed at its recent Leadership Forum a new transparency initiative it’s readying to launch early next year. Echoing Bailey’s sentiments, Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute, calls SAFLA “essential if we hope to avoid adding to consumer confusion about


GMOs, and if we wish to elude unnecessary impediments to interstate commerce, both of which would result from a state-by-state patchwork of muddled, difering and conficting GMO labeling laws,” such as that of Vermont, which became the frst state to mandate GMO labeling (the law is currently being challenged in the courts). Similar eforts to label GMOs have also sprouted in Maine and Connecticut, among other states, while ballot-box measures in California and Washington state came up short. Te Snack Food Association (SFA) is also hopeful that SAFLA moves forward, particularly as it pertains to improved clarity and uniform rules for a national non-GMO certifcation program and a standardized use of the “natural” term. Without a federal GMO solution, Tom Dempsey, CEO of Arlington-based SFA, warns that “manufacturers will essentially have three options in order to comply with state labeling laws: redesign packaging, reformulate products or halt [intrastate] sales. Small, familyowned companies with just one plant or a single line of production would be hit the hardest.” Not everyone is cheering the legislation, however, which is referred to by its opponents as the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act. Following House passage of SAFLA, Scott Faber, SVP of government afairs for the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group — and who is also executive director for the Just Label It project in favor of mandatory GMO labeling — vowed that “the fght for a more transparent food industry is only just beginning.” Te Washington, D.C.-based Center for Food Safety also registered deep disappointment with SAFLA, blaming “agribusiness cronies [for crushing] the democratic decision-making of tens of millions of Americans.” All told, more than 300 farmer, consumer and environmental groups, including the nation’s second-largest farming group, the National Farmers Union, oppose the bill, instead supporting another bipartisan measure, the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, which would require food manufacturers to label foods that contain GMOs. While the focus now turns to the U.S. Senate — where there are early indications of bipartisan support — it remains to be seen whether SAFLA will become the law of the land, or will instead undergo further amendments. PG

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

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Fresh Food



South America Imports increasingly help meet the demand for sensational superfoods. By Jennifer Strailey



outh America is a diverse continent, rich in microclimates and soil that are ideal for the cultivation of favorful fresh fruits and vegetables. With growing seasons that complement gaps in U.S. production, demand for fresh produce from South American countries continues to swell. Among the leading suppliers of fruits and vegetables to the United States, six South American countries — Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia — are in the top 15, according to the congressional report “Te U.S. Trade Situation for Fruit and Vegetable Products,” by Renee Johnson, a specialist in agricultural policy. Chile, our most signifcant South American supplier, is tied for third with China, accounting for an 8 percent share of total import value of fruits and vegetables to the United States. Only Mexico and Canada provide our country with more produce. While the nation’s appetite for fresh fruits and vegetables year-round is driving imports, advancements and increased efciencies in the global supply chain are creating more opportunities to meet demand.

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

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Fresh Food

Shoppers are eager to infuse exotic flavors into their dishes.” —Marion Tabard, Turbana

GrowinG ThrouGh hooPS wish Farms’ Argentinean blueberry crop is safe from bad weather under hoops.


Colombia and Ecuador As a leading importer of bananas, plantains and pineapples, Coral Gables, Fla.-based Turbana attributes 82 percent of its business to South American imports, specifcally from Colombia and Ecuador. “Since our inception in 1970, Turbana has invested in social and economic projects within our growing regions,” says Marion Tabard, director of marketing. “Over the years, we have continued to adapt our operational efciencies to ft the growing demand of our business, which has led to an increase in imports from these regions.” Tabard further notes that an increase in more consistent weekly sailings of South American shipping lines has also allowed for an increase in imports from these countries. Te largest importer of plantains and one of the largest importers of bananas to North America, Turbana notes that its best-sellers from South America are bananas, pineapples and plantains. “Tese tropical fruits ft into the larger, more recent culinary trends — fusion cuisine and healthy eating habits,” observes Tabard. “Shoppers are eager to infuse exotic favors into their dishes. For instance, by incorporating our plantains into a Hispanic-inspired dish, customers are able to experience a unique, favorful twist, while also receiving their daily dose of vitamin A and potassium.” Tis October, Turbana will participate in the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM), located in the Washington, D.C., area, as the event’s ofcial banana sponsor and composting partner. “Since 2012, we’ve fueled MCM runners with 30,000 bananas yearly through our Powered by the Peel initiative,” notes Tabard.

Argentina Te second-largest country in South America, Argentina is well known for its fertile soil and diverse growing conditions that permit the cultivation of a wide variety of agricultural products. According to the U.S. Trade Ofce, U.S. imports of agricultural products from Argentina totaled $1.8 billion in 2013, with wine, beer, and fruit and vegetable juices representing the lion’s share. Argentina is also becoming an increasingly important supplier of blueberries to the United States. While Chile is responsible for the majority of our fresh blueberries from the Southern Hemisphere, Argentina is No. 2, notes the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, in Folsom, Calif. Wish Farms, a Plant City, Fla.-based grower, shipper and year-round supplier of strawberries and blueberries, recently revealed that its upcoming Argentina blueberry program is projected to double in volume over last season. Te company expects to see the frst signifcant volume of blueberries out of Argentina during the frst week of October, with supplies continuing through November. Te timing will segue perfectly into what Wish Farms anticipates will be another strong season for Chilean blueberries. “Our blueberry team continues to focus on steady, controlled growth,” notes Wish Farms Director of Blueberry Operations Teddy Koukoulis. “Tis season, our new partnership with a signifcant grower helps solidify our Argentina program and stabilize volume for our customers.” Wish Farms estimates it will market nearly 1.5 million pounds of Argentinean blueberries this year. To protect the crops from rain, which can negatively afect the Argentine blueberry harvest, many of the blueberries will be grown under hoops or tunnels that provide protection from inclement weather. Brazil Ask Robert Schueller, director of public relations for Los Angeles-based specialty supplier Melissa’s Produce, what’s hot and trending in South American produce, and “Brazil,” is the frst thing he says. From Tommy Atkins Mangoes (from August to November) to Strawberry Papayas (year-round), Brazil is an increasing


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

Fresh Food


source of tropical fruit imports for Melissa’s. When it comes to papayas in particular, our nations are well matched, as Brazil is one of the world’s leading exporters of papayas, while the United States is the world’s No. 1 importer of them. Te Produce Marketing Association (PMA) has its fnger on the pulse of Brazilian produce. Last month, the Newark, Del.-based organization held its second annual Brazil Fresh Connections event in Sao Paulo. “Te full spectrum of the fresh produce industry attends — suppliers, growers, wholesalers and supermarkets,” asserts Nancy Tucker, PMA’s VP of global business development. “For now, we focus primarily on fresh fruits and vegetables,” she continues, noting that PMA hopes to expand the event to include foral. Brazil is currently the No. 3 global producer of fresh fruit, according to PMA. In addition to the fruits mentioned earlier, the country is a signifcant producer of oranges, bananas, apples, grapes and pineapples. While Brazilian orange and apple production are forecasting declines, tropical fruit production is increasing. However, in the frst 10-year

Supply Chain Management At Flagler Global Logistics, an integrated provider of supply chain management services, new technology in tandem with a new Miami-based facility is shortening travel time from farm to table, and extending the shelf life of South American produce, including blueberries, grapes and asparagus. “If you think about a global supply chain, we can feed the world — all commodities are grown year-round — but the supply chain has been ineffective,” says Chris Scott, Flagler’s CEO. “I think we’re about to see a change in the whole global supply chain, so that we can take anything grown in the world at any time and get it where it needs to go.” Coral Gables, Fla.-based Flagler’s patented, USDA-approved fumigation process for perishables, which uses a lower controlled temperature than traditional methods, is now available at the new treatment facility in Miami, allowing Chilean grapes to come through south Florida for the first time.

Previously, these grapes, along with other South American produce, including blueberries, ginger and asparagus, were required to go through a treatment facility in Philadelphia. After treatment, the produce would then go through Miami. The USDA requires that any imported produce with po-


forecast for the country’s fruit production, Brazilian authorities predicted a signifcant increase in production for six fruit crops: melons (39.3 percent), apples (31.2 percent), grapes (21.1 percent), papayas (12.6 percent), mangoes (25.9 percent) and bananas (9.1 percent). According to International Trade Centre (ITC) data, the value of fresh fruit imports from Brazil into the United States is $55 million. While this number represents a decline in recent years, U.S. mango supplies from Brazil have increased 30 percent in volume as U.S. mango consumption has continued to rise.

tential pest problems be treated to mitigate the risk. Currently, three principal treatment methods are I think we’re used on fruit and vegetable imports: cold treatment, irradiation and about to see a fumigation. change in the Flagler’s patented fumigation prowhole global cess reduces temperature fluctuasupply chain, so tions and condensation on the fruit. that we can take It also offers enhanced airflow during anything grown fumigation, cooling and storage. in the world at To quantify the benefits of its any time and new, patented technology, Flaget it where it gler hired The Illuminate Group to needs to go.” conduct a quality study of perishables that tracked product from the —Chris Scott, Flagler farm to the distribution center and Global Logistics measured numerous data points throughout the cold chain. The Illuminate Group found that perishables fumigated by Flagler have an additional seven to 10 days of retail quality shelf life compared with traditional fumigation. “They found that the product actually decays at a slower rate than it does normally,” notes Scott. The south Florida facility will further save time and money for produce going to the Southeast and as far west as Texas, he adds. Currently, most of Flagler’s volume is from Argentina and Peru, but this may expand as the company grows. “We’re looking at creating more facilities,” says Scott. “I anticipate a huge push forward in the next five years.”

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


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Fresh Food

Peru is really evolving as a player, with quality and volume in both U.S. and European markets.” —Xavier Equihua, Peruvian Avocado Commission


Peru “Peru is really evolving as a player, with quality and volume in both U.S. and European markets,” asserts Xavier Equihua, president and CEO of the Peruvian Avocado Commission (PAC), in Washington, D.C. “In the last 10 years, we’ve seen the transformation of Peru from a small exporter of fruits and vegetables to one of the largest exporters of superfoods to the world.” Avocados, blueberries, pomegranates and more are cultivated in Peru’s ideal growing conditions. “Peru is often called a natural greenhouse,” notes Equihua. “It’s blessed with incredible growing conditions, and water sourced from the Andes Mountains is a key ingredient.” Tis year marked the third season of the Monumental Avocados from Peru campaign. In the past three years, avocado exports from Peru to the United States have tripled, from 50 million to 150 million pounds. What’s more, Peruvian avocados are only available Stateside for three months of the year. “It’s amazing how well the fruit is doing,” says Equihua. “Tere were weeks [this summer] that Peruvian avocados commanded a higher price than any other imported fruit. It was a frst for the category.”

As part of the Monumental campaign, PAC worked with 2,600 Walmart stores during the month of July to conduct demos of Peruvian avocados. Additional promotions were held at Ahold USA and Wakefern Food Corp. stores. Additionally, radio spots were aired in more than 50 markets. “Te radio spots were very unique in that the 30-second spots incorporated the name of the retailer from the start,” observes Equihua. “It worked very well.” PAC is currently ofering a 145-page online cookbook for grocers. “We’re ofering it to retailers who want to link to the cookbook on their websites or through Facebook,” notes Equihua. Beyond avocados, Peru exports blueberries and grapes to the United States, and Equihua hopes to add pomegranates to the list next year. “Peru will have a wonderful window in the fall for blueberries at their peak,” he explains, adding that the country is in the process of planting more hectares of the fruit. “Peru is also an emerging giant on grapes, and doesn’t compete with U.S. production,” says Equihua. “When people think of grapes, they think of California and Chile, but Peru has been substantially increasing production.”

Chile As the southernmost country in the world, Chile boasts long harvests that contribute to favorful fruit. According to the Ofce of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. imports of fresh fruit from Chile total $1.6 billion. Grapes account for nearly half of the import volume, while apples, avocados, berries and stone fruit round out the majority of the remaining volume. Tis year marked the frst year that Chilean clementines were imported into the United States. Te clementines were available May through August, and were followed by late-season mandarins (W. Murcotts), which became available last month. Supplies are expected to continue through October. PG


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

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Fresh Food

Produce Category Spotlight


Phenomenon Tracing the tomato industry’s tasty transformation. By Jennifer Strailey

T Today, people want tomatoes that taste like they came from the backyard.” —Frank Paone, Procacci Brothers


omatoes are tops in fresh produce. Second only to potatoes as the most frequently purchased fresh vegetables, the fruit is a versatile, nutrient-packed staple in the vast majority of U.S. households. According to the Nielsen Perishables Group FreshFacts Q1 2015, 81 percent of U.S. households purchased tomatoes for the 13 weeks ending March 28, 2015. Tis percentage is consistent with tomato purchases for all of 2014. Per capita consumption of tomatoes has been on the rise for the past few decades. A number of factors have contributed to this increase, including heightened awareness regarding their health benefts. For instance, tomatoes contain all four carotenoids, including lycopene, which is thought to be one of the most powerful antioxidants. While new varieties and product introductions, from grape tomatoes to heirlooms, have also sparked consumption, many in the tomato busi-

ness believe that favor has had the most signifcant impact on sales. “Tere was a time when the taste of tomatoes wasn’t really a factor; price, appearance and shelf life were the only relevant factors. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true,” says Paul Lightfoot, CEO of New York-based greenhouse farm operator BrightFarms. “Fortunately, that has changed in recent years.” Frank Paone, director of marketing for the full-service produce and foral supplier Procacci Brothers, in Philadelphia, agrees. “Today, people want tomatoes that taste like they came from the backyard,” he asserts. “If a tomato isn’t really great, then it’s really awful to the consumer. Tomato lovers are a fanatic breed.” Te key to favorful tomatoes, according to Paone, is vine ripening, which Procacci does, including with its proprietary Uglyripe Heirloom Tomato and Santa Sweets grape tomatoes. Te company is responsible for around 20 percent of the nation’s fresh tomato supply.

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

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Fresh Food

We only do projects where there’s a long supply chain. We’re replacing several thousand miles with dozens of miles.” —Paul Lightfoot, BrightFarms

Produce Category Spotlight

As favor fourishes in this category, value-added products and innovative packaging are further spurring tomato sales. “Packaging in the produce aisle is less of a formality and more of an opportunity than it ever has been,” afrms Paone. “You can sell more produce with packaging that pops of the shelf and helps retailers with merchandising. We’re also seeing a lot more value-added packaging that tells a story.” Procacci is looking to roll out new packaging later this year, which Paone says will tie into marketing, as well as an improved digital and social media presence. Diferent colors, shapes and sizes are also trending in tomatoes, observes Paone, who adds that while Procacci continuously works with R&D to discover diferent seeds, no matter what’s in fashion, favor comes frst. “Flavor is always the primary area of discussion,” he says. With more varieties on the market, Procacci has worked to identify creative culinary uses for diferent tomatoes, and share those ideas with home chefs.

“Consumers increasingly are identifying certain tomatoes with certain uses,” notes Paone. “We’re continually trying to become a resource for new and innovative ways to use tomatoes.” With that in mind, Procacci has joined forces with a local chef to produce tomato-inspired culinary videos that live on the Santa Sweets website.

Greenhouse Grown Hand in hand with favor, “greenhouse grown” is changing the tomato landscape. According to the Food & Agribusiness Research Advisory (FAR), from the Dutch multinational Rabobank, limited resources of land, water and labor have encouraged growth in the U.S. greenhouse industry over the past decade. Sales of greenhousegrown produce in this country are estimated to reach more than $4 billion by 2020. Te report, “Te Growing U.S. Greenhouse Produce Niche — Capitalizing on High Tech Quality and Consistency,” authored by FAR Senior Analyst, Produce Karen Halliburton Barber, notes

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Fresh Food

Flavor, freshness and ease of use are key factors driving the small-tomato trend.” —Michael Joergensen, NatureSweet


Produce Category Spotlight

that while greenhouse produce represents approximately 1 percent to 2 percent of U.S. fresh fruit and vegetable production, greenhouse tomatoes account for as much as 70 percent of sales. BrightFarms, which fnances, designs, builds and runs greenhouse farms at or near supermarkets through long-term, fxedprice partnerships, is on a quest to bring commercial-scale local agriculture to market. Among the company’s latest projects was breaking ground on a 160,000-square-foot greenhouse farm in Rochelle, Ill., for Milwaukee, Wis.-based Roundy’s Supermarkets. Slated for completion in early 2016, the farm is expected to produce more than 1 million pounds of fresh produce annually. In addition, a 120,000-square-foot greenhouse farm for the Giant Food banner of Ahold USA is under construction for the Washington, D.C., market, and will open this fall. Both greenhouse farms will grow tomatoes on the vine, grape tomatoes and Beefsteak tomatoes. For the most favorful tomatoes possible, BrightFarms will harvest them only when red and ripe. “It’s the biggest factor in tomato favor,” asserts Lightfoot. “Te tomatoes will be on store shelves within 24 hours. We don’t design our facilities with storage. We deliver better, more nutritious produce, faster and with less shrink.” Transporting tomatoes over shorter distances to its supermarket partners also means a reduction in fuel consumption and carbon emissions. “We only do projects where there’s a long supply chain,” adds Lightfoot of the BrightFarms’ greenhouses, which are located just outside heavily populated metro areas. “We’re replacing several thousand miles with dozens of miles.” In both the Roundy’s/Mariano’s stores and Giant Food stores, BrightFarms expects to be merchandised in a local section of the produce department. “We’re looking to provide a unique sensory experience,” notes Lightfoot, who adds that the company will reveal more greenhouse projects before the end of the year. Regarding the favor revolution in tomatoes, Lightfoot credits San Antonio, Texas-based NatureSweet, with starting the trend when the company introduced its greenhouse-grown Cherubs, now the No. 1-selling grape tomato in America. Today, the company is once again changing the way consumers enjoy greenhouse-grown tomatoes with NatureSweet Jubilees, which “deliver something consumers have wanted forever — a sandwich tomato with great favor and no waste,” says VP of Marketing Michael Joergensen.

Te company also recently launched the NatureSweet Constellation, a medley pack ofering tomatoes for every culinary occasion. In terms of trends, Joergensen sees small tomatoes continuing to rise in popularity. “Flavor, freshness and ease of use are key factors driving the small-tomato trend,” he observes. “Both the grape and cherry tomato varieties are experiencing more aggressive sales growth, with grape leading the way.”

Northern Exposure Te Canadian province of Ontario is leading the way in greenhouse-grown vegetables, including tomatoes. According to the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, the province boasts 2,067 acres devoted to tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Each of those acres can produce 10 times the amount of vegetables than that of conventionally grown commodities. Last April, NatureFresh Farms, of Leamington, Ontario, brought its greenhouse-farming expertise to the United States, breaking ground on a 180-acre project in Delta, Ohio. “We expect to be picking our frst tomato crop in late January 2016 to ship fresh, locally grown Ohio tomatoes to our customers throughout the Midwest,” says Chris Veillon, NatureFresh director of marketing. Tis summer, NatureFresh was immersed in consumer education through its Greenhouse Education Center (GEC) and #GreenInTeCity tour, which took place on both sides of the border and included sampling fresh product. “Te GEC gives the consumer a frsthand, up-close and personal experience with greenhouse vegetables,” explains Veillon. “Tey get to not only see real vegetables growing, but also learn how we grow with a non-soil-based growing medium, how we use a pressurized irrigation system to feed the plants, and ... why we use energy screens to protect the plants and their environment.” Sunset/Mastronardi, of Kingsville, Ontario, is also leading greenhouse-grown tomato trends with its most recent packaging innovation, Top seal. “Tis packaging option reduces materials by at least 20 percent while providing an attractive and efcient packaging solution for families of any size,” says Sunset’s Daniela Ferro. “Tis allows for increased product visibility, and it allows us to ft more clamshells per pallet and per truck, which helps contribute to our green initiatives.” Sunset sees organic tomatoes and snack-size tomatoes continuing to rise in popularity. In the snack size, the company ofers such items as Angel Sweet, Zima, Wild Wonders and One Sweet. PG

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

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Fresh Food

Industry Events

Blount Summit 2015 Conscientious giving and eating are shaping the future of the industry.


ewport, R.I., is home to many historical “frsts”: As the capital of colonial Rhode Island, it was the frst to declare independence from England, paving the way for the creation of the United States. As such, Newport proved an apt setting for the second Blount Culinary Summit, held July 22-23, which highlighted a number of initiatives giving shape to the food industry of tomorrow. From charitable giving to sustainable and “authentic” food, the second Blount Summit provided food for thought and thoughtful food to about 100 grocery retail and foodservice thought leaders.

Todd Blount (top left), president of Blount Fine Foods, welcomes guests to the company’s Fall River, Mass., headquarters, currently undergoing an expansion. Attendees sampled soups and toured the manufacturing facility. Blount EVP of Sales & Marketing Bob Sewall (above) serves up new soup offerings at the opening reception (above and at left) of the Blount Summit.


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

Progressive Grocer Editorial Director Joan Driggs spoke about charitable giving at the Blount Summit. She and Sewall (right) don Bob’s Big Give shirts, proceeds of which support Sewall’s initiatives that provide food for needy families, support for a women’s resource center and local schools.

Christopher Warsow, corporate executive chef at Bell Flavors, in Northbrook, Ill., presented flavor trends sweeping the industry. Asian flavors sporting lots of heat; sambal oelek (a chili-based paste) and gochujang (a Korean fermented red-pepper condiment) will be the next sriacha, he says.

Guests enjoy an evening at Castle Hill, a Newport, R.I., treasure.

September 2015 | |



Health, Beauty & Wellness

Coming Clean for Kids Children’s toiletries take a turn toward the natural and organic. By Barbara Sax

T Women are postponing having children until they are earning more, so we’re seeing growth in organic baby foods, and that trend is spilling into the personal care aisle.” —Virginia Lee, Euromonitor


he landscape has changed in the baby and children’s toiletry category. Once it was dominated by licensed products, but now the emphasis has shifted away from Disney and toward natural and organic products that are more about health and less about play value. “Even in the private label segment of the category, which accounts for nearly 18 percent of category sales, added benefts have become a signifcant part of the category,” afrms Margie Nanninga, home and personal care analyst at Chicago-based Mintel. “Benefts such as sensitive skin and calming formulas and natural and organic claims are broadening the oferings in the category beyond licensed products.” Specialty products with higher retail prices have given the category a boost. “We’ve seen higher unit prices buoying a category that has been fat or declining,” says Virginia Lee, senior market analyst at London-based Euromonitor. “Private label dollar share has been declining in baby shampoo, for example, and we’re seeing natural products outperforming licensed products.”

Natural Preference Natural and organic products are having a big impact on the toiletry category in general, but in the children’s segment, natural formulations are even more important. Research from London-based Datamonitor reveals that parents are generally educated, informed and health-oriented when it comes to baby and toddler care products. According to a recent report from the market research company, “rising concerns about harsh chemicals in personal care products [are] resulting in an intense movement toward natural, organic, ‘free-from’ baby product formulas,” and when asked about which benefts were important to them in a skin care product, consumers ranked natural/organic ingredients among the top three highest priorities. Tat concern increased among shoppers with children younger than 4 years old. Further, parents are willing to pay more for products they believe are safer for their children. “Women are postponing having children until they are earning more, so we’re seeing growth in organic baby foods, and that trend is spilling into the

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

Continued on page 152


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Kyle Stenzel Vice President Sales, Beiersdorf, Inc.

Established over 100 years ago, Eucerin is one of the most respected brands within the skincare category. Even with the constantly evolving landscape, Eucerin continues to innovate and provide the effective skincare solutions that consumers have come to expect.

PG: What’s next for Eucerin? KS: Eucerin will continue to deliver the innovations that consumers in the therapeutic skincare space are looking for. Our strong product pipeline, which is developed in consultation with our network of dermatologists and pediatricians, helps Eucerin continue to grow the brand and bring new consumers into the category by delivering on the skincare issues most impacting consumers. We look forward to continuing to provide consumers with proven solutions that keep them feeling confident in their skin.

Progressive Grocer: Recently, Eucerin launched a new line of lotions and cremes, Eucerin Diabetics' Dry Skin Relief. How did this innovation come about?

Kyle Stenzel: Eucerin works hand-in-hand with dermatologists when developing new products. Dermatologists have reported an increase in patients with very dry, rough skin. Eucerin aims to provide consumers with hardworking products that effectively moisturize to soften even intensely dry skin.

PG: Eucerin products are used and trusted by many with dry, itchy or sensitive skin. How does the Eucerin Diabetics’ Dry Skin Relief line of products meet the needs of those with intensely dry skin? KS: Through extensive research and testing, we know that, the best way to address most dry skin conditions is the routine use of effective, long-lasting moisturizer. Eucerin Diabetics' Dry Skin Relief formulas gently exfoliate and intensely moisturize leaving skin smoother and softer. People with diabetes saw noticeably moisturized skin in just one use. Eucerin’s Diabetics’ Dry Skin Relief line offers three complementary products specifically designed for the body — in a creme or lotion formulation—and the feet, which are particularly prone to drying and cracking. These products’ gentle, non-greasy and fast absorbing formulas are gentle enough for everyday use and help build multi-item baskets.


This product is intended to moisturize dry skin and not cure, treat, or mitigate symptoms of diabetes.

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

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Health Beauty & Wellness

Continued from page 148

Education is key, especially for new parents, including sharing information on common conditions, and how parents can use products meaningfully and effectively.” —Richelieu Dennis, Sundial Brands

personal care aisle,” notes Lee. As a result, sales of premium-priced natural/organic baby care products are growing, and not just at Whole Foods Market. “Key retailers report substantial growth due to a number of factors, specifcally increased sales of higher-priced brands, and more shoppers, especially new moms, who are looking for healthier options,” observes Wendy Liebmann, CEO of New York-based WSL Strategic Retail. “Walmart has reported double-digit growth in the area in the last year, and brands such as Babyganics, Honest Co. and SheaMoisture have grown signifcantly in the last two to three years.” “We’ve seen more adult brands, like Tom’s, entering the children’s market,” says Mintel’s Nanninga. “CeraVe, an adult brand, has launched some baby items, and we’re seeing more mother and baby items from companies.” She notes that the top three manufacturers, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever and Merck, generate two-thirds of sales in the children’s personal care segment, which Mintel defnes as soap, ointment, powder, lotion, oil and petroleum jelly.

Recently Launched Products Tis past March, Tom’s of Maine introduced a line of hypoallergenic, pediatrician-tested natural baby care products. Te Kennebunk, Maine-based company, a partially owned subsidiary of Colgate-


Palmolive, took three years to develop a line that’s free of parabens, phthalates or phenoxyenthanol, and conventional preservatives. Te line includes a Baby Shampoo & Wash that’s tear-free and gentle enough for everyday use, in lightly scented and fragrance-free options. Tom’s also launched nongreasy Baby Moisturizing Lotion, also available in lightly scented and fragrance-free formulas. Suggested retail prices are $9.99 for the 10-ounce shampoo and wash and $10.99 for the 6-ounce lotion. While the retail prices are higher than those of traditional products, Tom’s research shows that parents want natural and efective products with only necessary ingredients. Tom’s also recently debuted Toddler Training toothpaste for children ages 3 months to 24 months. Te product is a natural option with no artifcial ingredients, no fuoride or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) — especially important because children often ingest toothpaste while learning to brush their teeth. Te company competes with Clorox-owned Burt’s Bees, a Durham, N.C.-based brand that has become synonymous with natural/organic products. Burt’s Bees Baby line of personal care and soft goods, launched in 2012, has been growing steadily in mass-market outlets. CVS recently featured the brand’s gift and toiletry sets on an end cap in stores. New Brunswick, N.J.-based HBC giant Johnson & Johnson, which has been reducing the number of chemicals in its personal care products, launched Johnson’s Natural baby products in 2010. Products in the line are made from naturally derived ingredients from coconut, palm, palm cottonseed, soybean and sugarcane, but they don’t have third-party certifcation. Priced from $4.59 for 9 ounces to $6.49 for 18 ounces, the products also don’t carry a premium price tag. J&J’s Aveeno Baby has a natural/organic positioning and carries a higher price point, however. A number of smaller brands have also been making inroads in the category, with products that have a natural/organic positioning. “Te Honest Co., which was founded by actress Jessica Alba, has been gaining shelf space,” says Euromonitor’s Lee. “Te brand’s health position has boosted sales.” Weleda, SheaMoisture, California Baby and Babyganics have all likewise gained shelf space in the drug store channel. Some supermarkets have brought in sun care

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Supermarkets do need to carry a selection of the natural/ organic brands, because that’s what many new moms — and grandparents — are interested in today, especially in higherincome and more ethnically diverse markets.” —Wendy Liebmann, WSL Strategic Retail


Health Beauty & Wellness

products from Babyganics and Goddess Garden. Sun care products and insect repellents, which traditionally contain more chemicals than other toiletries, are an especially sensitive area. Smile Baby’s Momin line of organic herbal personal care products has seen sales of its Outdoor Shield product line, including Organic Herbal Outdoor Repellent, Organic Herbal Insect Bite Relief and Organic Herbal Soothing Ointment, grow signifcantly during spring and summer. “Our POS display for our outdoor products has really worked well,” notes Frank Wilson, managing director of Baldwin Park, Calif.-based Smile Baby Corp.

Reaching Out While supermarkets are bringing more natural and organic products into their stores, few chains as yet are calling attention to the products on shelf with signage, shelf talkers or other merchandising vehicles. “Education is key, especially for new parents, including sharing information on common conditions such as eczema, cradle cap, dermatitis and sensitivity, and how parents can use products meaningfully and efectively,” observes Richelieu Dennis, founder and CEO of Amityville, N.Y.based Sundial Brands, maker of the SheaMoisture brand. Dennis adds that tools for reaching consumers include educational shelf talkers, end caps and website articles, all of which can help parents learn about natural products offered at supermarkets. “We are just starting to test push notifcations promoting special ofers, as well as mobile savings ofers in grocery,” he says of his product line. Baby toiletries and medications make up 12.3 percent of baby promotions in circulars, according to data from Solon, Ohio-based ECRM, while price-point ofer ads account for more than 50 percent of

baby toiletry and medication promotions. SheaMoisture’s Raw Shea, Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Head-to-Toe Wash & Shampoo, Lotion and Oil Rub have been performing well in the supermarket channel, and the brand recently launched two new products formulated with natural and certifed-organic ingredients (Fragrance-Free, Gluten-Free Baby Extra-Mild Wash & Shampoo and Fragrance-Free, Gluten-Free Baby Healing Lotion) made especially for babies and children with allergies and skin sensitivities, including gluten and fragrance intolerance. According to Dennis, research indicates that one-third of moms believe that their children have sensitive skin. SheaMoisture also offers a pre-natal collection that includes Stretch Mark Butter Cream, Stretch Mark Intensive Repair Oil, Mommy Soothing Nursing Balm, Firming Massage Lotion and Mommy All Over Body Scrub.

Skin in the Game While the drug and mass channels can ofer a broader selection of natural baby care items, supermarkets are also entering the game, albeit more carefully. “Grocery stores do best with our basic Body and Hair Wash, Baby Lotion, Tushy Cream, and Nighttime Wash,” observes Gregory Rubin, CEO of Calabasas, Calif.-based Garcoa Laboratories, maker of Just Hatched natural baby products. “Stretch mark products for moms are also important.” Te company recently launched two Just Hatched for Mama products: a Stretch Mark & Scar Gel and a Nursing Balm. “Supermarkets do need to carry a selection of the natural/organic brands, because that’s what many new moms — and grandparents — are interested in today, especially in higher-income and more ethnically diverse markets,” advises WSL’s Liebmann. “Tey also need to ofer a range of price points: Good, better, best matters here. It’s not all about premium, but they shouldn’t get buried in too many diferent brands. With all the new entries, it’s easy to have an overproliferation and forget that the biggest sellers in units are still the traditional baby brands. So editing the mix is key.” And while natural and organic products may be category drivers, retailers can’t rule out licensed products entirely. Never underestimate the power of a character, like Elsa of “Frozen” fame, on kids’ toiletry sales. As Liebmann points out, “Supermarkets need to be quick to pick up on a licensed trend, since this is an area where ‘you snooze, you lose.’” PG

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


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Price Optimization

Deploying a Data-driven

Pricing Strategy Focus on customers is key. By John Karolefski


rocery retailers are under pressure to improve proftability and gain a greater percentage of the customer spend, so it’s not surprising that more companies are realizing the value of price optimization to increase same-store sales and improve their competitive position.


But how can retailers optimize pricing most effectively? Experts advise grocers to move away from a “gut-feel” approach to a data-driven pricing strategy. Tat should lead to the right ofer, at the right location, at the right price, with the right range of products to gain a greater share of shoppers’ wallets. “To remain competitive, it is important for grocers to embrace data and analytics to establish

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

a localized price and promotional strategy, then execute against it,” says Alan Lipson, global retail and CPG marketing manager for SAS, a Cary, N.C.-based provider of business analytics software and service. “Best practices start with data-driven customer insights. Grocers who take their data seriously and exploit it with analytics are in a strong position to identify trends, focus activities and seize opportunities to improve performance.” Karen Dutch, of Revionics, agrees. “Pricing needs to be strategically driven and technology-enabled. Demand-based optimization provides a granular view of shopper and competitor behavior, blended with business and fnancial strategy and rules, enabling grocers to surgically execute competitive positions while maximizing proft opportunities,” says the SVP of marketing for the Austin, Texas-based provider of price optimization solutions. Jim Sills, president and CEO of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Clear Demand, stresses that getting pricing right — and avoiding the “gut feel” — requires advanced demand science that analyzes sales data and produces “fact-based” insights so that retailers can operate practically and proftably. “Emerging best practices in pricing technology leverage rigorous rules engines that achieve the goals for price image and competitive position without losing margin,” he says. Not to be overlooked in this focus on technology-enabled solutions are consumers who shop in diferent ways and in diferent places. Some scour weekly circulars and plan their stock-up trips to the grocery store accordingly. For these shoppers, ad placement becomes key. Others have made the digital leap to shopping online and having their groceries delivered or ready for curbside pickup. Regardless of shopping preferences, Todd Michaud, of Chicago-based NCR, says consumers expect supermarkets to have the right prices and the right promotions in place, regardless of whether those consumers shop online, on a mobile device or in the store. “Price and promotion execution at the point of sale must be consistent and logical,” adds the global VP and general manager of NCR global enterprise, merchandising and supply chain solutions.

Lessons in Optimization One grocery retailer that has validated its approach to price optimization is Milwaukee-based Roundy’s Supermarkets, the $4 billion operator of 150 stores in Wisconsin and Illinois under four banners: Mariano’s, Metro Market, Copps and Pick ‘n Save. “At Roundy’s, we’re looking to increase sales and margins, while improv-


Price Optimization

“Roundy’s efectively uses the solution with a custtomer-focused approach,” notes consultant Mark Kelso, of St. Louis-based K Price Revolution, who spoke P with Roehl at FMI Connect. “Teir process has resulted not only in improvements in unit movement, sales and gross margin, but has also reduced the amount of time spent on developing price recommendations.” SAS’ Lipson lists several other retailers that have benefted from deploying a price optimization strategy: A midsize North American grocer integrates regular price and promotional price activity into a comprehensive approach, allowing the company to take into consideration promotional activity across a timeline to achieve overall pricing goals. A European grocer uses price optimization as part of its category review process. It was able to identify a combination of price increases and price decreases to meet category fnancial objectives. iing price perception,” Laura Roehl, Roundy’s VP of pricing, said in a R presentation at the recent annual FMI Connect conference and trade show in Chicago. “As you know, tthose objectives can be at odds with each other, particularly in the short term. So this is where we saw the need ffor a data-driven tool. We also wanted to improve price integrity and consistency.” Roehl presented fve lessons learned from Roundy’s price optimization work with Revionics, which enabled the grocer’s stores “to thrive in hypercompetitive markets”: For a smooth transition, pre-work and setup are crucial prior to implementation.

Price and promotion execution at the point of sale must be consistent and logical.” —Todd Michaud, NCR


Review suggested details using tribal knowledge (promotional plans, etc.) to complement pricing strategy. Fine-tune the tool after initial installation for better results. Document and measure results for management review. Using a price optimization solution provides visibility to elasticity in a way that was previously unavailable.

A North American regional grocer used localized customer segmentation and promotion optimization to develop new circulars customized to local neighborhood markets, resulting in an increase in market basket revenue of 3 percent to 5 percent. Howard Langer, of U.K.-based Dunnhumby, advocates a customer-centric pricing strategy because consumers respond to prices diferently. Consequently, he notes that retailers need to understand which customers buy which products, and then set pricing strategies from there. “Instead, most retailers evaluate what their competitors are doing with pricing and product costs, and that’s how they’re setting their prices,” reveals Langer, the frm’s global managing director for price and promotions. “Tis compare-andcontrast strategy will no longer work, as it no longer resonates with the consumer. Oftentimes, retailers and software providers talk a big game about treating customers diferently, but in reality they don’t set prices in that way at all. Consumers expect personalized experiences. Until grocery retailers customize pricing based on their customers’ behavior and shopping habits, they’ll continue to fail to meet the consumer’s needs.” Sills, of Clear Demand, agrees, saying it’s a mistake to watch competitors to evaluate pricing decisions without examining whether those competitors are “the right ones.” He also lists two other errors: a lack of pricing consistency across product lines, and not knowing which products are price-sensitive.

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



PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS to Generate Big Wins with Trading Partners Tuesday, September 29, 2015 •

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PANELIST: Paul Ford,

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EVP of Business Development, T-Pro Solutions

Trade Promotion Manager, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition

Director of Trade Finance, Perfetti Van Melle

Editor-in-Chief, Progressive Grocer


Most retailers evaluate what their competitors are doing with pricing and product costs, and that’s how they’re setting their prices. This compareand-contrast strategy will no longer work, as it no longer resonates with the consumer.” —Howard Langer, Dunnhumby

Price Optimization

Learning from Mistakes Such a pricing misstep is only one way grocery retailers can fail. According to NCR’s Michaud, the biggest mistake a grocer can make in pricing is adopting price management and optimization systems without a price strategy known, understood and thought through before, during and after implementation. He asserts that pricing systems are typically underused by grocers, with most using only a fraction of available technology, due to a “complete lack of comprehensive pricing strategies.” Tis can include competitive and loyalty-pricing strategies, private label positioning, cannibalization policies, zone nuances, ending-numbers price thresholds for changes, and category-specifc strategies. “I think the biggest mistake made by retailers is failing to use customer-based techniques as the cornerstone in creating value oferings,” says Kelso, of Price Revolution. “Tese retailers generally use rules-based techniques such as margin target and competitive shop/index. Te problem with rulebased techniques is that they fail to focus on the retailer’s customer. Margin techniques only focus on the retailer’s needs, while competitive shop/ index techniques focus on competition, neither of which consider the customer. With only a few exceptions, rules-based techniques should play a limited role in a retailer’s overall price management strategies, and not be used as a cornerstone strategy.” According to Lipson, of SAS, to have an efective pricing and promotion strategy, it’s necessary to adopt a comprehensive approach based on an understanding of targeted customer segments, and products that appeal to those segments.

“Grocers are often taking the recommendations of CPG companies and modifying prices and promotions in ways that may not be right for customers,” notes Channie Mize, general manager for the retail sector at New York-based Periscope, a McKinsey solution. “Instead, they need to stay in line with their own overall pricing strategy and adapt suggested prices as needed to maximize their competitiveness, pricing optimization and assortment planning, changing the mix of these within store clusters as necessary.” Despite such errors, success is still possible. To illustrate that point, Revionics’ Dutch ofers one of her favorite grocery client quotes: “Customer-driven pricing is now a way of life and is embedded in our business philosophy. I would equate pricing without optimization to how someone would respond if you took away their cell phone. It would be like wandering around lost in the dark. I don’t know how anyone can compete in today’s complex environment without optimization science and analytics.” PG

Such a strategy includes: Which customers/customer segments are to be targeted Which products index highly with the targeted segments Which segments demonstrate higher levels of price sensitivity, and on which products Te degree to which customer segments respond to marketing stimulus through vehicles such as weekly circulars, displays, in-store promotions, direct-to-consumer marketing, etc.


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

Equipment & Design

Store Infrastructure



Sustainable practices in refrigeration, store lighting and HVAC are on the increase. By Bob Ingram

G The future challenge for retailers, manufacturers and service providers will be to make netzero energy locations economically feasible for an entire enterprise.” —Mitch Knapke, Emerson Climate Technologies


reen concerns are becoming the new normal in supermarket operations equipment, judging by what suppliers are observing. “Consumer awareness and government regulations and pressure are two key drivers pushing for more green considerations,” says Mitch Knapke, director of food retail marketing at St. Louis-based Emerson Climate Technologies. According to Knapke, sustainable supermarket refrigeration has made signifcant strides related to carbon emissions, both from direct refrigerant leakage and energy usage. “Lower refrigerant charge systems have become the standard,” he notes, “and refrigerants with high global warning potential, like R-404A, are now the minority in new systems.” Knapke adds that several trials have been completed with natural refrigerants like carbon dioxide, propane and ammonia, but higher equipment costs, safety concerns and a lack of service knowledge have prevented the industry from pushing for them to become mainstream. Additionally, he says, “A large number of high ozone-depleting systems, or R-22 systems, have been retroftted to zero ozone-depleting systems.” With the refrigeration systems of existing supermarkets degrading over time, Emerson’s ProAct Service Center provides remote monitoring that actively watches key parameters and notifes store

personnel when an issue arises. “Te future challenge for retailers, manufacturers and service providers will be to make net-zero energy locations economically feasible for an entire enterprise,” Knapke says.

Starting the Conversation At Hussmann Corp., in Bridgeton, Mo., Refrigeration Product Manager Quentin Crowe says, “When it comes to sustainable supermarket refrigeration, there are several conversation starters with food retailers, such as refrigerant loss potential from a system, refrigerant choices — HFCs [hydrofuorocarbons] versus natural refrigerants — and legislative actions around global warning.” Crowe further points out that, according to a 2014 “Shopper Trends Report,” 49 percent of shoppers indicated that a store’s sustainability eforts are very or somewhat important in their selection of a primary supermarket. Still, as HFCs are being phased out, Crowe says that manufacturers haven’t developed a sustainable alternative, thus opening the door to multiple natural refrigerant alternatives. “But they will also require huge investments by food retailers to change over or manage multiple refrigerant types across their business,” he cautions. He sees the current issues around green refrigeration as “fxed pressures” like cost, energy use, toxicity, GWP (global-warming potential), fammability

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

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Equipment & Design

It’s CurtAIns nortek’s air curtains over loading docks stop heat loss.

MAkInG uP this reznor makeup air unit from nortek replaces the air from exhaust vent hoods.


Store Infrastructure

and compressor discharge temperature, as well as “variable pressures” like technical support, availability, perceived safety, climate and region, state of the economy, and DOE/EPA regulations that infuence the right decision for each retailer. “We believe there are four important areas that can have an impact on sustainable refrigeration systems: sustainability, fexibility, total cost and energy efciency, and the importance of any of these areas changes depending on the retailer, their location and business goals. Our expectations are that as much as 15 percent to 20 percent of the industry will utilize natural refrigeration options in the next 10 years,” Crowe notes. According to Dustan Atkinson, sales manager, supermarket systems at Stone Mountain, Ga.-based Heatcraft/Kysor Warren: “Much of the work currently going into improving operations is focused directly on refrigeration. Tis is true because refrigeration systems represent a large portion of both energy use and direct emissions.” His company is investing heavily in advanced, HFC-free systems, Atkinson says, but one major issue that has arisen with the introduction of new technologies is the need to provide education on all-new system designs. “Kysor Warren is creating a comprehensive education program that will ensure that all pertinent parties are educated on these new systems,” he observes. With most refrigeration systems still based on HFC refrigerants, Kysor Warren is developing next-generation indoor racks through extensive testing, computer modeling and quality processes. “During this initiative,” Atkinson says, “we also aggressively eliminated leak opportunities through the use of pre-bent tubing, improved components, and improved system design and accessibility.” He anticipates the industry moving toward HFCfree system designs that will eliminate future regulatory risk while providing signifcant improvements in energy, emissions and general sustainability.

HVAC Advances “Being green — low energy cost, sustainable and reduced carbon footprint — with respect to supermarket HVAC has received some attention,” says Jim Vannan, Southeast regional engineering manager at Anaheim, Calif.-based Source Refrigeration & HVAC, a provider of energy and sustainability makeovers focused on improving underperforming systems that may have had design faws, or are experiencing end-of-life replacement decisions. “In Southern California, for example, incentives exist for commercial customers to mitigate cost of earlyretirement of systems, and to provide preventive maintenance over a three-year period.” Vannan explains that the aim of these incentives is to emphasize the connection between proper maintenance and energy use, and to encourage the retirement of older, less efcient equipment. He adds this caveat, however: “From our vantage point, there don’t appear to be many green considerations in many supermarket remodel capital expenditure programs.” Te reason for this, he notes, is that there’s no “sales lift” with green HVAC, and with limited capital set aside for each remodel, green HVAC is most likely not on the list. Te green strides he sees in HVAC have been centered on fresh-air intake and humidity control with “dual-path” or “dessicant” systems, in which fresh air is conditioned — dehumidifed, in most instances — before entering the AC cooling coils. Another advance Vannan points to is the incorporation of motorized dampers where fresh-air intake is eliminated or reduced at times when it isn’t needed, like at night or during “normal” carbon dioxide levels. Among the remaining HVAC issues he’s observed are adoption of high-efciency package HVAC systems, HVAC and exhaust/makeup air

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

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Store Infrastructure

system-focused preventive maintenance programs, and proper treatment of outside air for bakery and cooking exhaust systems. “Cold stores are the No. 1 complaint that I’ve received over the years, regarding supermarket HVAC systems,” Vannan relates, adding that in most cases, this complaint can be linked to refrigerated cases without doors. In the future, with doors on the cases, the refrigerated air will remain within the case for most of the day. He also sees upcoming automated fault detection of HVAC components in which computers pull and crunch data from many controllers at once, as well as the adoption of lower-GWP (global warming potential) refrigerants for HVAC use. John McKissack, engineered product manager at O’Fallon, Mo.-based Nortek Global HVAC, lists ventilation air among the top HVAC needs for supermarkets, which by code must have at least 15 cubic feet of outside air every minute for each person in the building. Additionally, this air must be conditioned — cooled or heated. “Demand base ventilation air systems can adjust,” he says. Tis means increasing or decreasing outside air, depending on the number of people in the store.

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Another supermarket HVAC need is makeup air, meaning that in-store delis and bakeries require exhaust vent hoods to remove smoke and cooking odors, and outside air is needed to “make up” the exhaust air. Dehumidifcation is also a need. McKissack notes that during a humid week in St. Louis, for example, a single Nortek Reznor dehumidifcation unit can remove more than 3,000 gallons of water from the outside, air-conditioned air. Spot heating for loading docks is more efcient than heating the entire area, according to McKissack, who observes that Reznor gas-fred radiant heaters provide spot heating to certain zones. Since the air isn’t heated, there’s no heat loss with open doors. Further, air curtains over loading dock doors save energy by providing an invisible wall of heated air in the winter and impeding dust and insects in the summer, he adds. Sustainable supermarket HVAC has been advanced, McKissack says, by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which has set standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which assigns points for applicants to qualify at Silver, Gold or Platinum levels. “Another sign of sustainable buildings to come,” he continues, “is the Net Zero Building Certifcation, [under which] the building is certifed to harness energy from the sun, wind or earth. “Our engineers are working to soon provide a geothermal system for heating,” he divulges. “Tis system will use the warmth of the earth to heat buildings.”

More Light on the Subject Store lighting is yet another area of growing sustainability. David Etzler, CEO of Charleston, S.C.based SIB Lighting, notes that most cooler/freezer lights are on 24/7 and use a considerable amount of energy. “By replacing older, inefcient lights with LED,” he says, “not only will you save money, but you will enhance the look of the products in the cooler, and the ability to control LED lights is much easier, giving you the ability to put in motion sensors and other controls to reduce energy use.” Etzler says that any store lighting fxture can be controlled wirelessly and schedules set up to dim lights upon closing, and further dim or shut of other fxtures later in the night. “We can highlight certain areas by providing more light levels in those spots,” he adds. “Te possibilities are endless.” “Efcacy” is the term for the amount of lumens

— a measure of light — per watt, and Etzler says that in the past year there have been great strides in the efcacy of light fxtures. “Tat means we can use much less energy to produce the same amount of light, compared to a couple of years ago,” he explains. In terms of longevity, he says that while there are more than 500,000 LED products on the market, there’s a growing minority of highly engineered, quality products showing tremendous longevity results. “If the correct products are installed,” he notes, “we can expect life spans of 10 to 20 years with no maintenance.” To defray the high upfront costs of LED solutions, SIB has created a model called Lighting as a Service (LAS), in which there are zero upfront costs and the customer pays through a percentage of savings. “We see the future as a fully controlled store that has the ability to automatically adjust the lighting environment based on the current conditions,” Etzler concludes. Pat Treadway, director of product management-controls and new technology at West Caldwell, N.J.-based MaxLite, asserts that lighting accounts for 20 percent of a store’s electricity use, and that advances in LED technology are making it possible to provide better illumination at lower wattages, along with the ability to adapt to smart controls. Treadway says that hardwired infrastructures must give way to modular wireless systems, to enable retroftting as technology advances, as well as more fexibility. “Adding intelligence and connecting devices that were previously stand-alone is making it possible to tailor lighting for tasks, comfort and energy savings, and even engage shoppers with special ofers on their handheld devices,” Treadway observes. Replacing freezer lighting with LED solutions featuring occupancy sensors, says Keith Pierce, vertical sales manager at Danvers, Mass.-based Osram Sylvania, was a frst step for many grocers, which are now looking at other ways to incorporate green LED lighting, like highlighting displays in the produce or bakery section, as well as for general illumination. According to Pierce, the new long-life Sylvania Ultra Glass PAR (parabolic aluminized refector) LED Lamps feature a glass-body full optic that retains the look and feel of a traditional halogen PAR, while achieving the energy-saving advantages of LED. “Tis makes them ideal for retroft projects involving transition to more efcient LED technology, while still maintaining a consistent look throughout the installation,” he explains. Completely replacing lighting with LED products results in more materials for landflls, Pierce notes, but retroftting can both save energy and reduce waste. “The future of sustainable supermarket lighting is adding a layer of controls whereby grocers can save an additional 50 percent in energy savings by incorporating occupancy sensors and daylighting strategies,” Pierce believes. Indeed, throughout the store, green is now the color of supermarket operations — and savings. PG




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Warehouse Management


Right Time,

Right Place

Today’s warehouse management systems are seeing significant advances.


By Bob Ingram

here’s an evolution underway from the existing physical and technical warehouse management infrastructure to capabilities that ofer multiple methods to store, pick and process orders. Dan Grimm, VP, solution strategies at Scottsdale, Ariz.-based JDA, sees progress in a number of areas of warehouse management systems (WMS), including value-added services (VAS), food safety, the use of voice, and mobile technology.

A VAS — and food safety — example Grimm provides is the ability to capture the temperature in the nose, middle and tail of an inbound trailer to make sure it’s within the proper range for a refrigerated or frozen load, and whether the product can go on to the store, requires further testing or even be rejected outright. Tis process ensures that standard operating procedures, rather than operator decisions, are followed. According to Grimm, one major warehouse trend is the use of voice as a replacement for paper- and RFSeptember 2015 | |



Warehouse Management

SPeCIAL RequIRemeNtS HighJump’s traditional WmS platform now supports the retail store as a distribution center.

In the search for a lowercost model and more rapid fulfillment levels, retailers are trending towards utilizing smaller, less expensive cross-dock solutions that are closer to major networks of stores in medium-density areas.” —Bob Arndt, Ryder System Inc.


(radio frequency) based technology, giving grocers an increase in productivity of 10 percent to 20 percent in aspects of the operation that require two hands free. Mobility, Grimm points out, has at last given warehouse supervisors the simultaneous abilities to do their job and be on the foor. “Te new mobile technology fnally allows them to have complete real-time visibility, be able to make changes from a tablet device and be on the foor with their employees, all at the same time,” he notes. Future trends he anticipates are omni-channel fulfllment and the ability to confgure capabilities to ofer multiple methods to store, pick and process orders; warehouse optimization by having better visibility of the demand within the network; and in-store logistics in which retailers are adapting WMS to be used in stores.

No Longer Secret Eric Lamphier, senior director, product management at Atlanta-based Manhattan Associates, says that labor management (LM) issues — long a “best-kept secret” — have been addressed by his company by embedding the LM module inside the WMS solution and making the LM module part of every conversation, including sales, implementation, customer support and upgrades. He adds that food retailers’ “pioneering eforts in this area have paid of.”

“One of our primary focal points,” he says, “has been a set of tablet capabilities delivered via a hybrid mobile app that provides DC [distribution center] managers with unprecedented amounts of information about the operation in real time.” Reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) is an ongoing challenge, according to Lamphier, who points out that Manhattan Associates is continuing to advance its Management Center module, which handles installation, cloning, monitoring, patching and synchronization for all platform solutions. “Tese capabilities have [been] proven to reduce implementation times and costs so that our customers can realize benefts more rapidly,” he observes. Lamphier notes that e-commerce order fulfllment expectations, approaches and SOPs (standard operating procedures) have evolved rapidly over the past decade and require sophisticated, nonstop integration between the WMS solution and the Enterprise Order Management suite. “We expect the next decade to be full of these types of projects as investments go mainstream, and upgrade and replacement cycles transpire,” he adds.

Store Into DC At Minneapolis-based HighJump, Territory Manager Roger Falkenstein says that online grocers are meeting the e-commerce challenge by turning the

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


Warehouse Management

retail store environment into a DC, resulting in such new requirements as supporting consumergrade devices, displaying product images that help locate mixed-SKU item locations, enabling new workfows for item substitutions, handling variable-weight and -temperature items, and facilitating the interaction between store associates and customers to manage special needs, exceptions and various customer delivery methods. “As a result,” he notes, “we’ve taken the foundation of our traditional WMS platform and built “We believe applications that support the unique that the future requirements of a retail store, as of WMS is not well as the need to drive efciency, just within the control and visibility throughout the in-store fulfllment process.” four walls of the A remaining WMS challenge warehouse. The for grocers, as Falkenstein sees it, is retail store will the training of high-turnover staf. be treated much Driving efciency is a priority, he like any other adds, and grocers are looking for distribution user-friendly tools to onboard and center.” train employees quickly. “HighJump’s philosophy has —Roger Falkenstein, HighJump been to provide simple instructions,” Falkenstein explains, “directing users step by step with optimized workfows and minimized walk times. Tis helps keep the learning curve llow and labor costs at a proftable llevel for the retailer.” In addition, seamless iintegration is required among all of the systems that power the retail operation, from ee-commerce websites to order management, ERP (enterprise m rresource planning), planograms and POS systems. “HighJump’s iin-store fulfllment solution ofers pre-built interfaces to many of the common solutions on the market,” he observes. “We believe that the future of WMS is not just within the four walls of the warehouse,” Falkenstein continues. “Te retail store will be treated much like any other distribution center. Tis trend is being dictated by the demands of highly dynamic consumers whose expectations continue to evolve, requiring more high-touch customer service, realtime order status and timely communication.”

Cloud on the Horizon According to Kirk Anderson, VP channel and alliance sales at Snapfulfl SaaS WMS North America, with ofces in Charleston, S.C., and Chicago, “Te most signifcant change in the warehouse management system in recent years has been the adoption


of cloud technology where the WMS solution is hosted for clients via an internet deployment model. It’s a real game-changer in the way software is deployed and consumed, giving the user fexibility and scalability as their business expands or contracts.” In the Software as a Service (SaaS) Cloud WMS model, the WMS is architected from the ground up to operate efciently over the internet, Anderson explains, and the single-instant/single-tenant SaaS model is geared toward a fully inclusive model that includes software, hardware, implementation services, host integration support, training, upgrades and ongoing support for a monthly subscription, removing the need for a big upfront investment. A principal beneft of Snapfulfl’s WMS, Anderson notes, is that it bundles the software license, essential RF hardware, and access infrastructure and services, along with the implementation services and training, into a solution with no cap ex required. “Our latest innovation,” he adds, “is the inclusion of new Business Intelligence (BI) and Dashboard tools within our WMS, giving customers actionable data in real time.” Anderson believes that legacy, on-premise WMS solutions must evolve or risk becoming extinct. “Te only evolution we can see is for them to move to the cloud; however, the challenges of architecting these systems to ft the fast-changing cloud technology model are signifcant,” he cautions.

The Cross-dock Advantage At Miami-based Ryder System Inc., VP of Lean Supply Chain Solutions Bob Arndt says that omnichannel, e-commerce and subscription-based services all have the efect of creating smaller shipment sizes, and that a cross dock can facilitate this paradigm by consolidating these orders into larger orders that can be shipped efciently, or deconsolidated from a large summary shipment to smaller shipments. “In the search for a lower-cost model and more rapid fulfllment levels, retailers are trending towards utilizing smaller, less expensive cross-dock solutions that are closer to major networks of stores in medium-density areas, particularly in the Northwest, Southwest and Southeast,” he notes. Arndt lists the benefts of a cross-dock solution: more frequent replenishment to meet customer demand, more efcient and minimal use of store back rooms, more efcient transportation use like backhaul, and fulfllment of omnichannel or forward stocking on fast-moving items. As warehouse operations evolve from pure distribution management to more complex, value-added services within the building, retailers must look for ways to lower costs while providing supply chain solutions with added customer requirements and complexities. PG

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


A Gala Event Celebrating the 2015 Top Women in Grocery Agenda

Workshops Reception and Dinner

Food, Beverage & Nonfood Products

Celebrating With Seasonings

To mark its 60th anniversary, Barber Foods has introduced new recipes for its line of frozen stuffed chicken breasts, along with revamped packaging inspired by its hometown of Portland, Maine. Boasting home-style breading and new seasonings, the product line consists of 12 varieties, including the popular Cordon Bleu, Broccoli & Cheese, and Kiev. A 2-pack retails for $5.49; 6-packs are also available.

Organic Fruit

Bringing the Bold

Velveeta is spicing up its Shells & Cheese line with the introduction of Bold Jalapeño and Bold Chipotle varieties. Made with real pieces of jalapeño pepper and chipotle seasonings, these new flavors aim to add a zesty kick to the brand’s traditional cheesy shells. Velveeta Shells & Cheese Bold is available at supermarkets nationwide for a suggested retail price of $2.99.

Go Organically Fruit Snacks by Farmer’s Choice Food delivers a new USDA Certified Organic bite-size snack with real fruit purées and fruit juices. Rich in vitamins C, A and E, and just 70 calories per package, the offering is made with only natural flavors and colors, and is GMO-, gluten- and preservative-free. Go Organically Fruit Snacks are available in 8-count boxes for a suggested retail price of $3.99, and come in Fruit Medley, Mixed Berry and Tropical varieties.

Selectable Seafood

Using responsibly sourced seafood from around the world, Sea Cuisine’s Ready Selects line features ontrend flavor profiles that are prepped and ready for consumers to finish at home. Available in six varieties — Potato Crusted Cod, Roasted Cajun Salmon, Honey Chipotle Salmon, Mango Habanero Tilapia, Garlic Pepper Tilapia and Roasted Lemon Pepper Scallops — these refrigerated entrées aim to provide a nutritious alternative to traditional frozen seafood options. Ready Selects have an SRP of $5.99-$13.99.


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

Skin Protection

All Good Sunscreen Butter SPF 50+ and All Good Lips SPF 15 Lip Balms are the latest additions to Elemental Herbs’ line of organic skin care and healing products. Designed with a “less is more” minimalist and nonchemical approach, Sunscreen Butter provides ultimate facial protection in extreme environments, while going on smoothly and rubbing in without visible residue. The brand’s Lip Balms — available in Original, Spearmint, Tangerine and Chai varieties — are made from an infusion of whole herbs, all of which are said to have medicinal healing properties.

Super Shake

The Rumble all-natural protein supershake is expanding to the United States in an effort to provide consumers with a nourishing beverage combining the benefits of health and convenience. Available in Vanilla Maple and Dutch Cocoa flavors — with a Coffee Bean variety set to launch this fall — Rumble contains antioxidant-rich ingredients such as kale, spinach, pumpkin seed oil, pomegranate and beet juice, and boasts 3,000 milligrams of omega-3s, 20 grams of protein and 7-8 grams of fiber per bottle. SRP is $4.29-$4.49.

The ‘Perfect’ Cake

“Current cake mixes on the market serve about a dozen people. As a result, people don’t bake cakes as much for everyday occasions,” says Mark Schiller, EVP and president, North American retail for Pinnacle Foods, whose Duncan Hines brand recently launched its Perfect Size platform — a complete baking kit designed to serve just two to four people. Including cake mix, frosting and a disposable pan, Duncan Hines Perfect Size is available in Chocolate Lover’s, Red Velvet Dream, Lemon Bliss, Strawberries and Crème, and Golden Fudge varieties, each retailing for $2.99.

Single-serve Salad

Earthbound Farm has added a Kale Caesar variety to its line of PowerMeal Bowls. Joining the brand’s three existing flavors — Asian Noodle, Southwest and Spinach Quinoa — this ready-to-eat single-serve salad includes tender baby kale, crunchy red and green cabbage, and sweet shredded carrots, along with roasted sunflower seeds, tangy aged Parmesan cheese, crunchy multigrain croutons and a spicy light Caesar dressing. Available in a 5.5-ounce clamshell package, Kale Caesar PowerMeal Bowl retails for a suggested $4.99.

Shelf Score™ — July 2015 Purchase INteNt score

New Product

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Reese’s Snack Mix Jif Peanut Butter Chocolate Flavored Bars Clif Bar: Berry Pomegranate Chia Energy Bar Popsicle Tootsie Pops Chobani Flip Limited Batch Strawberry Summer Crisp Greek Yogurt Doritos Dinamita Mojo Criollo Flavored Rolled Tortilla Chips Campbell’s Organic Chicken Tortilla Soup Post Rainbow Sherbet Ice Cream Pebbles Cereal Nabisco Limited Edition Lemon Twist Chocolate Oreo Cookies Kellogg’s Origins Fruit & Seed Muesli

79% 68 63 62 59 57 55 52 51 47

source: Instantly Shelf Score

September 2015 | |


Mars Expanding its Manufacturing Capacity With Kansas Plant Investment Hackettstown, N.J.-based Mars Chocolate North America will invest an additional $100 million at its Topeka, Kan., site with a new state-of-the-art 90,000-squarefoot facility, expected to create 70 new full-time manufacturing jobs. As the company launches innovative confections, it’s reinforcing its commitment to manufacturing products in its home country: More than 95 percent of Mars Chocolate products sold in the United States are made at its nine domestic sites. “Our consumers and retailers are demanding even greater choice, seeking more product variety across a range of format, calorie and price options,” says Tracey Massey, president of Mars Chocolate North America. “By further growing our footprint in the U.S., we will better be able to introduce new treats to satisfy the most diverse consumer appetites.” When the LEED Gold-certified Topeka facility opened in 2014, it was Mars’ first new plant built in the past 35 years.

Robbie’s Tear N’ Serve Pouch Designed for On-the-go Snacking Lenexa, Kan.-based Robbie Flexibles unveiled its Tear N’ Serve pouch designed for on-the-go snacking at the recent 2015 International Dairy-Deli-Bake, in Atlanta. Robbie’s new pouch is a portable packaging solution designed for a car cup holder, and features a value-added perforated tear-of top for easy snacking of consumers’ favorite fried-food products. “We believe retailers will embrace the diferentiation this new pouch ofers from other rigid and paper options currently in the market,” says Keri Olson, Robbie’s marketing director. “Te new Tear N’ Serve will transform any deli or prepared foods section into a snacking destination.” Tis pouch joins Robbie’s Hot N Handy line of deli food packaging.

Electrolux Grows North American Team Celebrating its 10th anniversary in North America, Charlotte, N.C.-based Electrolux Professional Inc. has added 10 new employees in 2015 to provide better service in a growing market: Dave Hinton, VP global chain accounts; Shane Dans, director global chain accounts; Cynthia Alicia, manager of customer service and sales support; Tatiana Monsalve, customer service and sales support–laundry; Sam Lopresti, feld service manager for laundry; Craig Westwater, feld coordinator for laundry; Brian Golden, feld service manager for foodservice; Charles Lentz, service support technician; Doug Halsted, accounts receivable lead; and Pedro Martins, country sales director for Canada. “We view our expansion as a sign of our commitment to being a leading company in our industry,” says John Evans, head of Electrolux Professional, part of the Stockholm-based Electrolux Group, which ofers foodservice and laundry solutions.

Anchor Offers Alternative to Foam Clamshell Packaging St. Louis-based Anchor Packaging Inc. has released the latest addition to its line of Culinary Squares bases and lids, ofering increased value to the prepared food operator looking for ways to improve its image while controlling costs. With the same inside food space as a 9-by-9-inch foam clamshell, Culinary Squares provide an afordable upgrade from foam. Te durable, cutresistant material of the bases and the food visibility permitted by the clear lids ofer an upscale presentation at a value price. A new, deeper dome joins the existing single and three-compartment vented lids made with crystal-clear


polypropylene (PP) featuring integral Clear Guard antifog technology. Te matching 8.5-inch-square black PP bases, available in single and three-compartment designs, accept all three lids designed with secure, leak-resistant closures to preserve food and avoid spills. Te packaging withstands temperatures up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit in warming units, under heat lamps or in the microwave. Containers are made with a natural mineral additive, reducing the use of petroleum-based resin by 40 percent. Bases and lids are dishwasher-safe, providing consumer-convenient reusability, and are recyclable curbside.

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

advertiser index Advance/Pierre Foods Inc. Airius Alto-Shaam Inc. Anheuser-Busch Inc. Apio Avocados from Mexico B & G Foods, Inc. Beaver Street Fisheries Beiersdorf, Inc. Better4ufoods Blount Fine Foods Blu eCigs Bob’S Red Mill Campbell Soup Company Canberra Corporation Candle Lite Charles & Alice Chiquita Brands Coca Cola NA Creekstone Farms Crown Imports LLC Dawn Food Products Inc. Delizza Inc. Diva International Inc. Domino Foods Duke Energy E&J Gallo ECR Software Elkay Plastics Enjoy Life Foods Forte Product Solutions Four Monks Cleaning Vinegar General Mills Goya Foods Inc. Green Giant Fresh Greenfield Corporation Heatcraft Refrigeration Products Inc. Heineken USA Inc. Home Market Foods Hormel Foods Corporation Idaho Potato Commission Iovate Health Sciences Jack Links Beef Jerky John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc. John Wm Macy’s Cheesesticks, Inc. JTM Foods Kelloggs Litehouse Loving Pets LUVO Mann Packing Co Inc. Maple Leaf Farms Mariani Packing Company Mars Chocolate NA Mars Ice Cream Mason Vitamins Inc. Mason Ways Indestructible PL MillerCoors LLC MIWE Mizkan MOM Brands Mondelez Morey’s Seafood International Nature Sweet Nestle Purina Pet Care Nestlé Nutrition North Prarie Gold Novelis Oceanmist Old Orchard Juice Co. Organic Valley Peri & Sons Farms Pfizer Consumer Health POI - Promotion Optimization Institute PMA Private Label Manufacturers Assoc. Prosperity Organic Foods, Inc. Publix Super Markets Inc. Robbies Flexibles Robot Coupe USA, Inc. Sandridge Food Corporation Save-A-Lot Scotch Corporation Sealed Air Simplot Custom Foods Smart Flour Foods Stemilt Growers, Inc. Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads Sunlight International T. Marzetti, Co. Tabletops Unlimited Tasty Baking Company Thanasi Foods LLC The Happy Egg Company The Hershey Company The Wonderful Company Trion Industries Inc. Truly Good Foods Turkey Hill Dairy Tyson - Open Prairie Tyson Foods USA Pears

118 - 119 49 121 Back Cover 43 73 53 83 150 - 151 74 Inside Back Cover 71 26-27 129 48 161 65 87 41 123 17 117 109 155 79 165 Inside Front 13 35 57 167 81 8-9 7 145 86 163 31, 51, (Regional) 137 131 72 Insert 99 70 105 44 33 142 Insert 67 47 171 74 143 95 94 69 111 75 166 5 106 45 61 3 39 141 85 55 58 59 84 153 19, 77 82 149 159 91, 137 93 110 (Regional) 89 126 90 107 Insert 115 157 124 -125 80 78 138 103 135 63 101 88 37 96 15 21, 133 11 50 113 97 25 139

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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September 2015 | |


the last word

Innovation Domination


t’s long been said that new products are the lifeblood of retailing, by infusing verve into existing lines, creating completely new categories, and, most importantly, flling unmet needs not previously on consumers’ — or retailers’ — radar. As we mark the 11th iteration of our Editors’ Picks awards, the progressive changes we’ve witnessed in new product development tell a remarkable story of innovation rooted in a compelling value proposition. However, given the harsh reality that thousands of product launches collapse within the frst year for any number of reasons, nailing innovation at just the right moment remains the trickiest, and arguably the most essential, of all ingredients. To be sure, there’s no denying the importance innovation plays in piquing consumers’ interest and getting them excited to buy, regardless of the shopping channel or medium. Afrming the same are recent insights from Lab42’s Innovation Survey, which took a detailed look at what innovation means to consumers, what sectors and brands are considered innovative, and what role innovation serves as a purchase motivator. Among the highlights: Te perception of innovation is hugely important in purchase decisions. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for innovative goods and services. Half of consumers said they’ve bought a new product without fully understanding what it did or how it worked, solely because of the perception it was “cool.” While I’ll readily confess to parting with countless Benjamins through the years for “cool” products — perceived or legitimate — I’m evidently in great company, per Lab42’s survey, which fnd many consumers deeply interested in being early adopters of products promising to make life easier and/or better. However, while many of the survey’s panelists — whose synthesized feedback was based on 1,000 online interviews conducted last April — are keen to buy new products, they don’t necessarily want to be guinea pigs. To that end, 63 percent favor delaying a purchase until after a product’s been on the market for a while.

percent were on board with paying more for innovation in electronics, with the remaining 15 percent willing to pay over 40 percent more. Innovation also rules when it comes to new grocery products, with 67 percent of Lab42 panelists willing to paying a premium for products they deem to be groundbreaking. Interestingly, beyond products themselves, key qualities of companies that are viewed as innovative are either low- or cost-free for their stakeholders: listening to customer feedback, excellent customer service, honesty, treatment of employees, and philanthropy/community outreach. With this in mind, Lab42’s insights demonstrate that new products and services, in and of themselves, aren’t the most important characteristics of innovative brands among today’s more educated, economizing shoppers, many of whom prioritize companies that listen, understand and respond to their needs while striving for continuous improvement in their current oferings. Food retailing innovation, of course, is hardly limited to consumer products. Indeed, as noted in Bob Ingram’s equipment feature that begins on page 162, the demand for sustainable operations and equipment solutions continues to dominate conversations across the whole store. But if history is any indication, some of today’s cutting-edge operational innovations might someday seem pedestrian when compared with one of the most of controversial developments in the early years of the supermarket business: the humble shopping cart. As the story goes, Oklahoma City grocer Sylvan Goldman sat in his ofce one evening wondering how to make grocery shopping easier for customers. Staring idly at a wooden folding chair, Goldman initially toyed with the idea of rigging a basket on the seat and wheels on the legs. He eventually sought the assistance of a mechanic to help develop a better concept, the end result of which — a metal frame that held two wire baskets and was dubbed the “double basket” — debuted in 1937. Te new carts, however, initially didn’t fy. Men felt they would make them look weak, women thought they were unfashionable, and older people didn’t want to appear helpless. Undaunted, Goldman hired models of both sexes and all ages to use the carts, which three years later earned their place in the sun on the cover of Te Saturday Evening Post. PG

The Price of Innovation In terms of how much more they’d be willing to pay for products from companies they deem innovative, nearly 85

Meg Major Twitter @Meg_Major/@pgrocer

While I’ll readily confess to parting with countless Benjamins through the years for “cool” products — perceived or legitimate — I’m evidently in great company.


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



Marketing to the Morning Foods 21st Century Multicultural Family T See you at breakfast.

he modern American family is multidimensional, multifaceted–and increasingly, multicultural. Today, the U.S. population is 66 percent white, 16 percent Hispanic, 13 percent African American and 5 percent Asian American, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. But census projections foretell an increasingly diverse population, with non-Hispanic whites no longer the majority by 20501 and non-white groups greater in size, wealth and clout than ever before.



Multicultural consumers are also fueling the lion’s share of growth across numerous CPG sectors. By 2018, a full 85 percent of cross-category growth will be attributable to multicultural consumers, including 83 percent of growth in ready-to-eat cereal and 99 percent of growth in the wholesome snacks category.2 It’s clear that winning with multicultural consumers will be crucial in the coming decades, which means retailers must commit to understanding who these consumers are and how they shop, their triggers and barriers to outlet choice, and the categories and brands they look for in-store. Retailers who want to serve these changing shopper groups will be re-inventing their marketing plans to best recognize opportunities, anticipating needs and engaging with a new kaleidoscope of family dynamics.

What the new multicultural family looks like Te United States is becoming more ethnically diverse by the day. Some 120 million Americans now identify as multicultural, and their numbers grow by 2.3 million every year.3 Teir buying power is increasing too, up 415 percent since 1990 to reach $3.4 tril-

lion in 2011. By comparison, the general population’s buying power climbed by just 204 percent during that same time period.4 Not all segments are growing at the same rate or taking on the same age or income skew, however. Let’s look at the three major multicultural family consumer groups in terms of size, growth trajectory and key demographic traits.

Hispanics: Reshaping U.S. demographics In perhaps the biggest demographic shif in the past two decades, the rise of the U.S. Hispanic population has truly reshaped the country’s social, cultural and demographic composition. Te Hispanic population currently stands at 57 million, or about 16 percent of the total U.S. population, and is projected to double by the middle of the century.5 Moreover, Hispanics skew much younger than average: Teir median age is 28, compared with 42 among white Americans,6 and like other younger consumers they are more likely to be active online than their older counterparts.



Immigration has played and will continue to play a big role in this group’s growth, and in the nation’s growth as a whole. By 2050, 82 percent of total U.S. population growth will be attributable to immigrants (the majority of Hispanic origin) and their U.S.-born descendants.7

cent younger than the U.S. population as a whole–with 54 percent of these consumers under age 35.11

African Americans: Increasing economic clout

Immigration has also helped drive an increase in the Asian American population–China and India recently overtook Mexico as the largest source of recent immigrants12–allowing this group’s growth to outpace any other. Tough they make up just 5 percent of the country’s population, their numbers have increased by 51 percent since 2000.13 And that growth should continue: Te Asian American population is expected to reach 41 million by 2050, nearly triple its current size.14

With a population of 42 million, African Americans represent roughly 13 percent of the U.S. population.8 Teir numbers are growing, albeit at a slower rate than other minority groups, and by 2060, 14.7 percent of Americans will be African American, a 16 percent increase compared with current numbers.9 Teir economic clout is growing too. In 2013, African American consumers had a buying power of $1 trillion; by 2018 they’ll command $1.3 trillion.10 And like Hispanics, this demographic skews young. African Americans have a median age of 32–which is 14 per-

Asian Americans: Fastest-growing group

Tis demographic skews afuent and educated. Asian Americans have a 28 percent higher median household income than the general population,15 and are nearly twice as likely to have a bachelor’s degree.16

Metro areas with minority white populations, 2010 White percentage of population shown after metro name Cities are tagged with the most populous minority group: Hispanic Asian Black

San Francisco 42%

New York 49%

Stockton 36%

San Jose 35% Bakersfield 39%

Modesto 47% Washington, D.C. 49%

Fresno 33%

Oxnard 49% Los Angeles 32%

Las Vegas 48% Riverside 37%

Albuquerque 42%

Memphis 46%

San Diego 48%

Jackson 48%

El Paso 13%

Honolulu 36%

San Antonio 36%

Houston 40%

McAllen 8%

Miami 35%



Emerging U.S. family trends American households are not only growing more ethnically diverse. They’re changing in size, structure, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status too. Here are some key segments that will also be reshaping grocery retail in the years ahead. LGBT A growing number of American families consist of husband and husband or wife and wife. Some 16 million U.S. consumers identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender),47 and while only 17 percent are married, another 60 percent say they plan to wed soon thanks to the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality. Additionally, 92 percent of married LGBT Americans plan to have one or more children in the next three years.48 Currently, LGBT households tend to be smaller, older49 and, with a spending potential of $790 billion,50 more affluent than average. They favor grocery, drug and mass channels (excluding Walmart) but spend less at club.51 LGBT households also tend to buy smaller package sizes (reflecting their smaller household size) and healthy, wholesome brands.52

Millennials Millennials, typically defined as the generation born between 1981 and 1997, are redefining adulthood by subverting (or avoiding) many traditional life milestones. A significant proportion are putting the baby carriage before marriage–in 2008, 58 percent of all millennial women who gave birth were unwed53–or skipping the wedding vows entirely: Only 22 percent of millennials are currently married.54 Compared with other generations, millennial shoppers are more likely to make their grocery lists right before going to the store, and to plan their lists around specific meals.55 Millennials also use social media to find discounts and to show support for favorite brands.56

Male primary grocery shoppers With more women working outside the home, men are taking on a greater share of child care, chores and shopping. Today 47 percent of men say they do the majority of their family’s shopping and meal preparation,57 and though only a small percentage (3.4 percent) of fathers provide full-time child care, their numbers more than doubled between 2001 and 2011.58 Men are less likely than women to make lists or clip coupons before hitting the store, and more likely to make impromptu purchases.59 Accordingly, men spend more than women at grocery, with an average $36.26 per grocery store trip.60

How multicultural families grocery shop A new American demographic landscape is translating to new shopper behaviors across the board. Here’s a look at pre-trip planning, in-store activities and preferred product attributes among the three key multicultural groups. Hispanics: Family-friendly preferences For many Hispanic shoppers, the path to purchase begins on a screen. Hispanic shoppers are more likely than average to report buying products they saw advertised on social media, and to say they use social media to spread the word about well-liked products and brands.17 Tat makes having a strong presence on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest (all of which are more popular among Hispanics than any other ethnic group18) key to a Hispanic marketing campaign. Retailers may also want to invest a greater share of marketing dollars on Latinas. Hispanic women tend to be either the primary or joint decision maker for household purchases, including grocery.19 Tis segment over-indexes in a number of categories, including dry grains, beans, yogurt and cereal.20 And since Hispanic households tend to be larger and more multigenerational than average, Latinas look for high-value family-sized options that appeal to young and old alike.21 In fact, Hispanics tend to treat grocery shopping as a family afair, with the entire household hitting the store and shopping every aisle.22 Nutrition matters too. Hispanic women are growing increasingly health-conscious, seeking out products that promote well-being for the whole family.23 Indeed, there is a growing awareness around the importance of healthy eating across the entire Hispanic community. Tese shoppers are more likely than average to express concerns about unhealthy



eating habits, and to worry about eating too much fast food.24

smaller channels like drug and dollar stores than at large stores such as grocery retailers or Walmart.31

Brands aligned with an issue also score points with Hispanic shoppers. Tey’re more likely than any other demographic to expect companies to support social causes.25 And since heritage is a big part of their identity,26 these shoppers may be especially keen on causes that support or celebrate Hispanic culture.

Tough African American shoppers tend to buy based on immediate needs, they still pay close attention to key product attributes. As with Hispanics, this group is more likely than average to express concerns about their eating habits,32 in part because they’re more likely to struggle with diet-related health concerns. For example, African Americans are 1.7 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.33 Tese shoppers may respond to simple, straightforward solutions ranging from packaging cues to nutrition-friendly displays–anything that makes the healthy choice the quick and easy choice.

African Americans: Personal appeal Delivering personally relevant messaging is a critical frst step in connecting with African American shoppers, who tend to favor brands that advertise on African American media and feature African Americans.27 In fact, more than half say they will purchase products if the advertising portrays African Americans positively.28 Tis presents a huge opportunity for marketers to develop African American-oriented multimedia campaigns, especially given this segment’s heavy smartphone, television and Internet use.29 When it comes to where and how they shop, these shoppers take a fast and frequent approach. African Americans shop more ofen than the general population but spend less per trip, opting for small baskets built around short-term needs rather than deals.30 Accordingly, they are more likely to buy groceries at

Additionally, African Americans are more likely than any other demographic to consider their ethnic heritage important to their identity.34 Just as they want to see their culture refected in advertising, they also want to see it refected on store shelves. Tese shoppers will gravitate toward brands that honor and celebrate African American traditions and heritage.

Asian Americans: Wide-ranging tastes Getting on the Asian American shopper’s list can be tricky, in part because Asian Americans are less likely than most shoppers to even write one.35 And because the majority of Asian American adults



are immigrants, targeting this demographic may require marketing eforts tailored to a range of Asian subgroups, languages and acculturation levels.36

and shelf-stable fare. But they’ll steer clear of unhealthy items; Asian American parents are more likely than average to say they don’t allow junk food in the home.44

Still, there are plenty of ways to engage this demographic by aligning with their unique shopping style. Like African American shoppers, Asian Americans tend to shop more frequently than average but spend less per trip.37 Additionally, they are less likely than average to clip coupons,38 opting instead to buy sale items. Nearly one-third of Asian American grocery dollars are spent on deals, compared with roughly one-quarter of non-Hispanic white dollars.39 Tese shoppers also rely on rewards programs to earn discounts,40 so retail loyalty programs that favor frequent shoppers will fare well with this group.

Clearly, the demographic landscape is changing fast. Retailers that cling to outdated assumptions about what households look like, shop like, or eat like will soon fnd themselves out of step with the modern American family. To remain relevant, retailers must understand and adapt to the unique wants, needs and expectations of multicultural shoppers. Read on for a look at how retailers can meet the key challenges they will face as they readjust their marketing strategies and in-store experiences to better align with these new demographic realities.

Asian Americans tend to gravitate toward certain aisles and product attributes. Tey spend signifcantly more than average on fresh produce and healthy foods,41 and are more likely to buy organic and eco-friendly items as well.42 Many Asian American shoppers seek products geared to growing families43–think bulk items, multi-packs

5 ways to drive higher sales with multicultural family shoppers As U.S. households grow more diverse, so too does the range of retail channels. Large box retailers still lead the way but smaller formats are growing more rapidly.45 Online shopping is also on the rise, in part because multicultural consumers skew so young.



Te proliferation of options, as well as the tendency for shoppers to divide their spending across retailers, has spurred a decline in the notion of a “primary store.” Today, 9 percent of shoppers say they have no one primary store–three times higher than in 201146– which means establishing customer loyalty can be challenging. Let’s look at some best practices for engaging and delighting multicultural family shoppers.


Since several multicultural generations may be living under one roof, highlight family-sized options at an attractive price point to win with Asian American and Hispanic shoppers, whose households tend to be larger than average. Drive increased loyalty and conversion by educating shoppers about value per serving.


Many African American households are shopping for their immediate daily needs, so they may have more frequent but smaller basket rings. To appeal to African Americans, tailor oferings to meet your shoppers’ distinctive needs such as convenient pack sizes that tie into their purchase behavior, and easy in-and-out shopping to compete with the smaller channels like drug and dollar stores where African Americans are more likely to buy groceries.


Showcase ethnic diversity in ads and other lifestyle marketing imagery by depicting multicultural families using brands in everyday life, to create a connection with your store. Multicultural shoppers are more likely to associate themselves with retailers that refect their own reality and meet their specifc product needs.


Because many African American and Hispanic shoppers are highly active online–especially on mobile and social media–develop a tailored digital strategy to connect with them. Execute a seamless pre-trip and in-store online and mobile experience specifcally targeted to your diverse shopper, to make sure you’re on the list during pre-trip planning as the retailer of choice. Ten, integrate marketing eforts to win with these channel-hopping, digital-savvy multicultural shoppers.


Don’t forget that multiculturalism is just one aspect of the modern American family. Other demographic changes are also reshaping the shopping landscape for families, so it’s important to stay on top of emerging family trends in all of their many facets. To keep your employees up to date, try tapping into the resources of your suppliers who invest in research on these important consumer and shopper insights.

Emerging U.S. family trends In addition to the rise in multicultural families, other non-traditional segments are redefining how modern families look, live and shop. Changing household income levels and a wider range of family sizes–including more single-person households–are important trends that will impact grocery retail. Low-income households Wages have stagnated or even fallen during the past decade. In 2000 the average income for the middle 60 percent of U.S. households was $58,009. In 2011 it was just $53,042.61 Meanwhile, consumer debt has soared. In 1992 the average middle-class American carried $32,200 of debt; by 2010 that had risen to $84,000.62 So if the U.S. income distribution once fell along a bell curve, today it looks more like a barbell: The high-income and, to an even greater extent, the low-income populations are growing while the middle class thins out. Families at the low end of the income spectrum tend to be even more brand-oriented, however, with 46 percent of households whose annual income is less than $20,000 agreeing that the brands they buy say a lot about them, 10 points higher than the total public.63 In fact, these shoppers may sometimes perceive buying a non-branded food product as risky because if their family won’t eat it, they’ve wasted part of their tight food budget. Low-income families also stretch their money by shopping at dollar stores,64 where they look for off-label brands and deeply discounted national brands as well as sizing and format options that allow them to buy only as much as needed.65 Smaller households/ multigenerational households Households are getting smaller–but they’re also getting bigger. On one hand, the United States has more single-person households than ever before. In the 2000s, 27.5 percent of households consisted of just one person, nearly three times the percentage in the 1950s.66 Families are also shrinking as married couples have fewer kids and younger couples postpone marriage and parenthood altogether. Today, the average household consists of 2.6 members, down from 3.1 in 1970.67 But changing demographics–including the rise in immigrants and an aging population–have fueled the opposite phenomenon too: an increase in multigenerational homes. Today, 4.3 million Americans share a roof with more than two generations.68 Shopping habits correspond with the needs of these new household sizes. Single-person households seek out smaller-sized items, shelf-stable options and re-sealable packaging69–anything that helps reduce waste. In contrast, shoppers in multigenerational homes look for bulk and family-sized options, especially for products that appeal to young and old alike.



It’s clear that the 1950s nuclear family is a thing of the past. Today, American families come in a range of colors, sizes and structures and bring a unique set of wants, needs and shopping behaviors to the grocery store. Only retailers that adapt to the changing demands of these American households can survive– and thrive–in this fast-evolving, highly diverse demographic landscape. 1




Pew Research Center, “U.S. Population Projections: 2005–2050,” 2008 Nielsen Homescan Panel, TTUS & Channels, CY2014—Kellogg penetration, volume, and buy rate trend 3 Nielsen, “The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers,” 2015 4 Nielsen, “The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers,” 2015 5 The Economist, “Special Report: America’s Hispanics,” March, 2015 6 The Economist, “Special Report: America’s Hispanics,” March, 2015 7 Pew Research Center, “U.S. Population Projections: 2005–2050,” 2008 8 Nielsen data, 2015 9 Nielsen, “The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers,” 2015/Nielsen, “Demystifying Multicultural Consumers,” April, 2014 10 Nielsen, “Demystifying Multicultural Consumers,” April, 2014 11 Nielsen, “The State of the African-American Consumer,” 2011 12 Nielsen, “State of the Asian American Consumer,” 2012 13 Nielsen, “State of the Asian American Consumer,” 2012 14 Pew Research Center, “U.S. Population Projections: 2005–2050,” 2008 15 Nielsen, “State of the Asian American Consumer,” 2012 16 Nielsen, “State of the Asian American Consumer,” 2012 17 Advertising Age, “Hispanic Fact Pack 2014” 18 Nielsen EMM and Nielsen Homescan CPG for 5/14 19 Nielsen, April, 2013/UGA Selig Center Multicultural Economy Study 2012 20 Nielsen Homescan, 1/1/12–12/29/12 21 Nielsen, “Latina Power Shif,” 2013 22 Kellogg’s Custom Research, 2011 23 Nielsen, “Latina Power Shif,” 2013 24 U.S. Department of Agriculture study, 2009 25 Nielsen, “The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers,” 2015 26 Nielsen, “The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers,” 2015 27 Nielsen, “The State of the African-American Consumer,” 2011 28 Nielsen, “African-American Consumers: Still Vital, Still Growing,” 2012 29 Nielsen, “African-American Consumers: Still Vital, Still Growing,” 2012 30 Nielsen, “African-American Consumers: Still Vital, Still Growing,” 2012 31 Nielsen Homescan all outlets, total cross category for 52 weeks ending 1/24/15 32 U.S. Department of Agriculture study, 2009 33 high-risk-populations/treatment-African Americans.html#sthash.vVKhhVtN. dpuf 34 Nielsen, “The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers,” 2015

Nielsen, “State of the Asian American Consumer,” 2012 Nielsen, “State of the Asian American Consumer,” 2012 37 Nielsen, “State of the Asian American Consumer,” 2012 38 Nielsen, “State of the Asian American Consumer,” 2012 39 Nielsen, “State of the Asian American Consumer,” 2012 40 Nielsen, “State of the Asian American Consumer,” 2012 41 Nielsen, “State of the Asian American Consumer,” 2012 42 Nielsen, “The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers,” 2015 43 Nielsen, “State of the Asian American Consumer,” 2012 44 Nielsen, “State of the Asian American Consumer,” 2012 45 Food Marketing Institute, U.S. Grocery Shopping Trends 2014 46 Food Marketing Institute, U.S. Grocery Shopping Trends 2014 47 Experian/Simmons, LGBT report, 2012 48 Experian/Simmons, LGBT report, 2012 49 Kellogg’s Custom Research, 2015 50 U.S. Census Bureau, Williams Institute, Witeck Communications, Here Media 2013 Culture survey, Experian/Simmons 51 Kellogg’s Custom Research, 2015 52 Kellogg’s Custom Research, 2015 53 Pew Research survey, 2010 54 Pew Research survey, 2010 55 Food Marketing Institute, U.S. Grocery Shopping Trends 2014 56 Kellogg’s Custom Research, 2014 57 Midan Marketing, “Today’s Man Goes Grocery Shopping,” 2013 58 JWTIntelligence, “The State of Men,” 2013 59 NPD, “The New Grocery Shopper,” 2014 60 JWTIntelligence, “The State of Men,” 2013 61 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 62 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 63 GfK Roper, “Fear of Falling: Understanding the New Have-Nots Economy,” 2011 64 Hartman Group, Shopping Topography report, 2012 65 Hartman Group, Shopping Topography report, 2012 66 Acosta, “The Evolution of Eating,” 2015 67 U.S. Census Bureau 68 Pew Research Center analysis of census data 69 Acosta, “The Evolution of Eating,” 2015

About Kellogg Company

At Kellogg Company, we are driven to enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter. With 2014 sales of approximately $14.6 billion, Kellogg is the world’s leading cereal company; second-largest producer of cookies and crackers; a leading producer of savory snacks; and a leading North American frozen foods company. Every day, our well-loved brands nourish families so they can fourish and thrive.

Contact: Kellogg’s media hotline: 269-961-3799

Morning Foods

See you at breakfast.

NO. 19

Cross-merchandising to boost holiday potato sales

NO. 19

The perfect pair Idaho® potatoes and Country Crock® partner for a holiday promotion with appeal Idaho® potatoes—the only branded spud in the market—and Country Crock®, the brand that has been bringing delicious, buttery spreads to American tables for more than 30 years, have teamed up for the irresistible new “Buy, Get, Give” coupon promotion* running from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30: BUY: any two Country Crock® 45-ounce spreads GET: a free bag of Idaho® potatoes up to $2 GIVE: Idaho Potato Commission will give a bag of potatoes to Feeding America for each coupon redeemed, up to 40,000 5-pound bags total, and Country Crock® is donating $15,000 to the nationwide hunger-relief organization.



NO. 19

In test programs at six retail chains last year with limited marketing, a joint Idaho® potato and Country Crock® promotion drove growth in both volume and sales for potatoes, the most cooked dish with Country Crock® (after spreading on toast). This year, the new “Buy, Get, Give” promotion will receive national marketing support that includes in-store signage, FSIs, and a new Country Crock® television commercial featuring a mashed potatoes dish. “Last year’s test program was very successful, and we’re anticipating an even bigger and better promotion this year with the wider visibility from the marketing support we’ll be adding,” says Seth Pemsler, vice president, Retail/International, Idaho Potato Commission. “The ‘Buy, Get, Give’ promotion puts the price of premium Idaho® potatoes well under the price of non-Idaho potatoes or retail competitors’ potatoes. In addition, the shopper and retailer can feel good about helping to give to a family in need during the holidays, thanks to the new charity tie-in with Feeding America.” Positioning Country Crock® Original buttery spread near Idaho® potatoes in the produce department also makes it a snap for shoppers to grab both products and the promotional coupon. Unopened Country Crock® Original 45-ounce buttery spread can be comfortably placed outside of refrigerated retail space for 14 days. To participate in the “Buy, Get, Give” 2015 promotion, please contact: Your Idaho Potato Commission representative or call (208) 334-2350 Your Unilever sales group representative

*Coupon redemption value will vary by channel.

Feeding America Feeding America is a 35-year-old nationwide network of food banks and the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. It provides food to more than 46 million people—including 12 million children and 7 million seniors—through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. In 2013, Feeding America served 3.2 billion meals and maintained a four-star rating from Charity Navigator. For more information about Feeding America, go to



NO. 19

Potatoes on parade: In-store merchandising supports ‘Buy, Get, Give’ The Country Crock® brand and Idaho® potatoes are providing strong retailer support nationally for their 2015 holiday promotion, “Buy, Get, Give.” Signage, pallet corner risers, shippers, shelf blades with coupon tearpads, and special plastic bag closures on some branded Idaho® potato bags are all components of the in-store merchandising campaign designed to draw shopper attention.

Shelf blades



NO. 19

Spreading the news about Country Crock®

Pallet corner riser

Displaying Country Crock® products in the produce section Country Crock® Original 45-ounce buttery spread can be comfortably placed outside of refrigerated retail space for 14 days.

Just in time for the 2015 holiday promotion with Idaho® potatoes, Country Crock® has introduced new simpler oferings with a country fresh taste, made with real ingredients including delicious oils, purified water and a pinch of salt. The new, improved Country Crock® Original, Churn Style, Calcium, and Light buttery spread varieties are available nationwide in rectangular, space-saving packaging that is reusable and recyclable where facilities exist. For more information and delicious recipes, go to



NO. 19

Communicating with consumers: National marketing plans highlight Idaho® potato, Country Crock® promotion October 2015 15-second ad featuring Country Crock®’s new simple ingredients and family enjoying mashed potatoes topped with Country Crock®, airing on cable and prime television channels Idaho® potato blogger promotions November 2015 15-second ad featuring Country Crock®’s new simple ingredients and family enjoying mashed potatoes topped with Country Crock®, airing on cable and prime television channels FSI in Sunday newspapers with total circulation of 40 million – Nov. 15 FSI on select e-tailer websites Idaho® potato blogger promotions December 2015 Idaho® potato blogger promotions *FSI coupon redemption value will vary by market.



NO. 19



es! l a S y a d i l Ho s u o g n o 1: e m d o u H epis “Buy-Get-Give” Promotion!



free Idaho® Potatoes!

Country Crock® spread!


potatoes to families in need!

Ask about our blockbuster Holiday Tie-In Promotion! and stay tuned for our next episode!


Like Father, Like Son Bill Lingle (right) and his son, Matt, partnered with Save-A-Lot to build their Pennsylvania grocery store lineup.




A Pennsylvania duo partners with Save-A-Lot for ongoing growth.

Save-A-Lot Store Snapshot OPERATOR: The Lingle Corp. NUMBER OF STORES: 9 LOCATIONS: Pennsylvania FIRST STORE OPENING: 2011

Bill Lingle and his son, Matt, know a lot about supermarkets after decades of experience in the grocery business. Combining that industry knowledge with the benefits of Save-A-Lot's hard discount, carefully selected-assortment model, they say, has proved to be a winning formula. Peckville

South Williamsport Lock Haven Tyrone Johnstown


WilkesBarre Hazleton




"Save-A-Lot allows us to compete with everyone on price and to offer the kind of value I believe everyone is looking for," says Bill Lingle, president of The Lingle Corp., their Pennsylvania-based company that operates nine Save-A-Lot locations throughout the state. > 2


And the endeavor has always been a true family affair, they add, emphasizing that their wives, Marie and Christine, have played key roles in the company’s success. “We would not be where we are without them,” says Bill Lingle.

The physical setup and the level of service Save-A-Lot provides are additional perks, they say. “Speaking as someone who comes from a conventional supermarket, I can tell you that Save-A-Lot stores are set up to be real plug-and-go concepts,” says Matt Lingle. “You can turn [a store] from an empty shell to a grand opening in 10 weeks!”

From baggers to business owners Bill Lingle made his initial foray into grocery retailing in 1972, when he began bagging groceries at Riverside, a local supermarket in State College, Pa. He has been in the business ever since.

Save-A-Lot also has a national advertising program in place, which owners can regionalize to suit their needs. “They offer great support in ways that let us market specifcally to our clientele,” says Matt Lingle. “We get direct results very quickly, and people are readily accessible and hands-on, even at the management level.”

“I was a stock clerk, cashier, night manager, manager and then district manager for the Penn Traffc Co.,” he says. Matt Lingle, now the company’s vice president, followed in his father’s footsteps. In 1993, he launched his career at a Penn Traffc Bi-Lo grocery store in DuBois, Pa., where he bagged groceries, stocked shelves, ran the cash registers and worked in produce. In 1995, he jumped at the chance to help his dad open Lingle’s Neighborhood Markets in Jersey Shore and Renovo, Pa.—conventional stores that carried the Penn Traffc banner. After the family debuted a third Lingle’s Neighborhood Market in 2003, this one in Watsontown, Pa., a change in wholesalers ultimately led them to Save-A-Lot. “When our contract with Penn Traffc expired, we took our three conventional supermarkets to SuperValu, the parent company of Save-A-Lot,” says Bill Lingle, noting that his family still operates those stores under the SuperValu banner today. On the move For 15 years, the three conventional SuperValu stores kept the Lingles busy. But they were always on the lookout for chances to grow.

Expansion possibilities

“SuperValu had talked to us about the opportunity to open a Save-A-Lot at some point in the future,” Matt Lingle recalls. “We fnally joined Save-A-Lot in 2010, and opened our frst location in 2011 in Lock Haven (Pa.).”

For now, the Lingles are satisfed with the nine Save-ALots they’ve opened since 2011, including stores in South Williamsport and Hazleton, Pa., that debuted in 2015. But that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped considering expansion.

Just what made the Lingles explore the Save-A-Lot format?

“We will continue to look at and strategize with Save-ALot—they have a terrifc real estate department and are always looking for places to grow,” says Bill Lingle, who notes that the size of a community isn’t a deciding factor for him. “If a site becomes available, Save-A-Lot does a nice job of doing studies and getting background about it.”

“After we got into Lock Haven, we were looking for a format to compete with the supercenters and the local [conventional] markets,” says Bill Lingle. “It is all right to be a low-cost operation, but Save-A-Lot creates value. We can give our customers a high-quality product for their food dollars—that’s what Save-A-Lot brings to the table.”

The economic conditions within a community, and whether the area can support a store with a hard discount format, are also important, says Matt Lingle.

“Save-A-Lot offers a low cost of goods, delivered to our store,” adds Matt Lingle. “Those things allow us to compete with national players like Walmart and regional players like Weis Markets. We can operate competitively because of the structure.” ISSUE 2, VOL. 4

“I work with Save-A-Lot on a weekly basis to discuss opportunities,” he adds. “We turn over a lot of stones and are always looking—if the opportunity is there, we will take advantage of the situation.” GE 3



With a proven hard discount, carefully selected-assortment business model, Save-A-Lot offers entrepreneurs the ability to compete effectively in today’s ever-changing grocery industry. And there’s never been a better time to be a Save-A-Lot licensee: Save-A-Lot is now offering a Licensed Store Incentive Program for all new and converted licensed stores. The amount of the incentive for each store will depend on the specific terms and financial considerations of each project, but will be a minimum of $200,000 per new store. If you have a proven track record of successful experience in grocery or other retail management, Save-A-Lot would like to talk to you about becoming a store owner. Here’s how you can take the next step toward a rewarding entrepreneurial opportunity as a Save-A-Lot licensee: ✱ Contact Eric Hunn, Save-A-Lot License Development, at or at (314) 592-9446. ✱ Visit the Save-A-Lot website at for more detailed information about becoming a Save-A-Lot owner.

The Save-A-Lot support advantage

Save-A-Lot by the numbers

✱ More than 1,300 stores nationwide ✱ 70% of locations owned and operated by independent licensed retailers ✱ Target neighborhoods with annual household income under $45,000 ✱ Average store size: 15,000 square feet ✱ Fewer than 2,500 SKUs per store ✱ 17 distribution centers across the country ✱ Prices up to 40% lower than conventional supermarkets



✱ Market and consumer research ✱ Site selection and development assistance ✱ Owner, manager and associate training programs ✱ Advertising, public relations and information technology support programs ✱ Store opening assistance and ongoing operations support ✱ Integrated distribution center system



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