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Keynote breakfast a highlight of NEPC expo

NEWPORT, RI — The keynote breakfast Thursday morning, Sept. 11, was just one of the many highlights at the New England Produce Council’s 2014 Produce & Floral Expo.

NEPC President Bob McGowan of Northeast Produce Sales welcomed everyone to the breakfast, beginning with a moment of silence in remembrance of the terrorist attacks on the United States back on Sept. 11, 2001.

He noted that 2014 represents “our 15th annual NEPC expo,” adding,nepc1535Krista Neher “We really appreciate the support of all our sponsors.”

Krista Neher, author, social media pioneer and chief executive officer of Boot Camp Digital, delivered the keynote address, focusing on the role of social media and how businesses can utilize this expanding phenomenon.

Social media “is about the people you want to connect with,” she said, and retailers “can use social media as well.” There is an “inherent trust in brands [that] people have heard of,” so “get in front of them,” she said. “We like people and products the more we see them.”

nepc1547CeCe Krumrine was honored at the NEPC 2014 Produce & Floral Expo as the New England Person of the Year. Shown with her were her husband, Mike (right); her daughter and son-in-law, Nicci and Chris Rheault; and her granddaughter, Chase. (Photo by Gordon M. Hochberg)She said that a key to success is getting out a message that is really useful and creative, not simply a static one.

Following the keynote address, CeCe Krumrine was announced as the New England Person of the Year. Krumrine has been a merchandiser for a number of commodity boards during her career, and she co-founded the New England Produce Council back in 1995.

“I love this industry,” said Krumrine, who was moved to tears by the award, especially as members of her family gathered around her. “You have all been mentors to me. Wow.”

The trade show, set up outside under tents, followed the keynote breakfast.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Keynote breakfast a highlight of NEPC expo

NEWPORT, RI — The keynote breakfast Thursday morning, Sept. 11, was just one of the many highlights at the New England Produce Council’s 2014 Produce & Floral Expo.

NEPC President Bob McGowan of Northeast Produce Sales welcomed everyone to the breakfast, beginning with a moment of silence in remembrance of the terrorist attacks on the United States back on Sept. 11, 2001.

He noted that 2014 represents “our 15th annual NEPC expo,” adding,nepc1535Krista Neher “We really appreciate the support of all our sponsors.”

Krista Neher, author, social media pioneer and chief executive officer of Boot Camp Digital, delivered the keynote address, focusing on the role of social media and how businesses can utilize this expanding phenomenon.

Social media “is about the people you want to connect with,” she said, and retailers “can use social media as well.” There is an “inherent trust in brands [that] people have heard of,” so “get in front of them,” she said. “We like people and products the more we see them.”

nepc1547CeCe Krumrine was honored at the NEPC 2014 Produce & Floral Expo as the New England Person of the Year. Shown with her were her husband, Mike (right); her daughter and son-in-law, Nicci and Chris Rheault; and her granddaughter, Chase. (Photo by Gordon M. Hochberg)She said that a key to success is getting out a message that is really useful and creative, not simply a static one.

Following the keynote address, CeCe Krumrine was announced as the New England Person of the Year. Krumrine has been a merchandiser for a number of commodity boards during her career, and she co-founded the New England Produce Council back in 1995.

“I love this industry,” said Krumrine, who was moved to tears by the award, especially as members of her family gathered around her. “You have all been mentors to me. Wow.”

The trade show, set up outside under tents, followed the keynote breakfast.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Keynote breakfast a highlight of NEPC expo

NEWPORT, RI — The keynote breakfast Thursday morning, Sept. 11, was just one of the many highlights at the New England Produce Council’s 2014 Produce & Floral Expo.

NEPC President Bob McGowan of Northeast Produce Sales welcomed everyone to the breakfast, beginning with a moment of silence in remembrance of the terrorist attacks on the United States back on Sept. 11, 2001.

He noted that 2014 represents “our 15th annual NEPC expo,” adding,nepc1535Krista Neher “We really appreciate the support of all our sponsors.”

Krista Neher, author, social media pioneer and chief executive officer of Boot Camp Digital, delivered the keynote address, focusing on the role of social media and how businesses can utilize this expanding phenomenon.

Social media “is about the people you want to connect with,” she said, and retailers “can use social media as well.” There is an “inherent trust in brands [that] people have heard of,” so “get in front of them,” she said. “We like people and products the more we see them.”

nepc1547CeCe Krumrine was honored at the NEPC 2014 Produce & Floral Expo as the New England Person of the Year. Shown with her were her husband, Mike (right); her daughter and son-in-law, Nicci and Chris Rheault; and her granddaughter, Chase. (Photo by Gordon M. Hochberg)She said that a key to success is getting out a message that is really useful and creative, not simply a static one.

Following the keynote address, CeCe Krumrine was announced as the New England Person of the Year. Krumrine has been a merchandiser for a number of commodity boards during her career, and she co-founded the New England Produce Council back in 1995.

“I love this industry,” said Krumrine, who was moved to tears by the award, especially as members of her family gathered around her. “You have all been mentors to me. Wow.”

The trade show, set up outside under tents, followed the keynote breakfast.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

2014 Expo East: ShopRite to highlight SN event

Representatives of Wakefern Food Corp. and its ShopRite retailers will be on hand in Baltimore this month to receive the 2014 SN Whole Health Enterprise Award as part of an educational track hosted by SN at Natural Products Expo East.

SN’s executive director David Orgel will present Wakefern with the Enterprise Award as part of the event, titled “Driving Health and Wellness at Supermarkets,” scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 17, from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Baltimore Convention Center.

A dietitian at the Morristown ShopRite coordinates community outreach efforts and helps to influence sales with monthly selections of better-for-you items.Following the presentation, Natalie Menza, manager of health and wellness for Wakefern, and Perry Blatt, director of ShopRite retailer Village Super Markets, will discuss how an emphasis on health and wellness at the corporate and store levels has transformed the company. In other sessions scheduled for the event, representatives of broker Acosta Sales and Marketing and distributor KeHe will discuss their perspectives on the potential for natural and organics in supermarkets, and what brands need to know to partner with retailers and succeed.

“Supermarket Guru” Phil Lempert will discuss the results of an exclusive survey detailing consumer attitudes about health and wellness at supermarkets. Lempert, a contributing editor to SN, will outline survey results and address how shoppers feel about the selection, service and prices of natural and better-for-you items at their local supermarkets, as well as speak to what retailers are doing right and which areas need improvement.

Executives of Food Essentials and New Hope Natural Media will review hot-selling items in health and wellness and provide a forecast for emerging trends, drawing on unique insight tools.

Additional details of the event are available at the Expo East website. Those interested need to complete Expo East registration and can attend SN‘s event with their Expo badge. Seating is limited so early arrival is encouraged.

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Supermarket News

2014 Expo East: ShopRite to highlight SN event

Representatives of Wakefern Food Corp. and its ShopRite retailers will be on hand in Baltimore this month to receive the 2014 SN Whole Health Enterprise Award as part of an educational track hosted by SN at Natural Products Expo East.

SN’s executive director David Orgel will present Wakefern with the Enterprise Award as part of the event, titled “Driving Health and Wellness at Supermarkets,” scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 17, from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Baltimore Convention Center.

A dietitian at the Morristown ShopRite coordinates community outreach efforts and helps to influence sales with monthly selections of better-for-you items.Following the presentation, Natalie Menza, manager of health and wellness for Wakefern, and Perry Blatt, director of ShopRite retailer Village Super Markets, will discuss how an emphasis on health and wellness at the corporate and store levels has transformed the company. In other sessions scheduled for the event, representatives of broker Acosta Sales and Marketing and distributor KeHe will discuss their perspectives on the potential for natural and organics in supermarkets, and what brands need to know to partner with retailers and succeed.

“Supermarket Guru” Phil Lempert will discuss the results of an exclusive survey detailing consumer attitudes about health and wellness at supermarkets. Lempert, a contributing editor to SN, will outline survey results and address how shoppers feel about the selection, service and prices of natural and better-for-you items at their local supermarkets, as well as speak to what retailers are doing right and which areas need improvement.

Executives of Food Essentials and New Hope Natural Media will review hot-selling items in health and wellness and provide a forecast for emerging trends, drawing on unique insight tools.

Additional details of the event are available at the Expo East website. Those interested need to complete Expo East registration and can attend SN‘s event with their Expo badge. Seating is limited so early arrival is encouraged.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews

Supermarket News

2014 Expo East: ShopRite to highlight SN event

Representatives of Wakefern Food Corp. and its ShopRite retailers will be on hand in Baltimore this month to receive the 2014 SN Whole Health Enterprise Award as part of an educational track hosted by SN at Natural Products Expo East.

SN’s executive director David Orgel will present Wakefern with the Enterprise Award as part of the event, titled “Driving Health and Wellness at Supermarkets,” scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 17, from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Baltimore Convention Center.

A dietitian at the Morristown ShopRite coordinates community outreach efforts and helps to influence sales with monthly selections of better-for-you items.Following the presentation, Natalie Menza, manager of health and wellness for Wakefern, and Perry Blatt, director of ShopRite retailer Village Super Markets, will discuss how an emphasis on health and wellness at the corporate and store levels has transformed the company. In other sessions scheduled for the event, representatives of broker Acosta Sales and Marketing and distributor KeHe will discuss their perspectives on the potential for natural and organics in supermarkets, and what brands need to know to partner with retailers and succeed.

“Supermarket Guru” Phil Lempert will discuss the results of an exclusive survey detailing consumer attitudes about health and wellness at supermarkets. Lempert, a contributing editor to SN, will outline survey results and address how shoppers feel about the selection, service and prices of natural and better-for-you items at their local supermarkets, as well as speak to what retailers are doing right and which areas need improvement.

Executives of Food Essentials and New Hope Natural Media will review hot-selling items in health and wellness and provide a forecast for emerging trends, drawing on unique insight tools.

Additional details of the event are available at the Expo East website. Those interested need to complete Expo East registration and can attend SN‘s event with their Expo badge. Seating is limited so early arrival is encouraged.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews

Supermarket News

2014 Expo East: ShopRite to highlight SN event

Representatives of Wakefern Food Corp. and its ShopRite retailers will be on hand in Baltimore this month to receive the 2014 SN Whole Health Enterprise Award as part of an educational track hosted by SN at Natural Products Expo East.

SN’s executive director David Orgel will present Wakefern with the Enterprise Award as part of the event, titled “Driving Health and Wellness at Supermarkets,” scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 17, from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Baltimore Convention Center.

A dietitian at the Morristown ShopRite coordinates community outreach efforts and helps to influence sales with monthly selections of better-for-you items.Following the presentation, Natalie Menza, manager of health and wellness for Wakefern, and Perry Blatt, director of ShopRite retailer Village Super Markets, will discuss how an emphasis on health and wellness at the corporate and store levels has transformed the company. In other sessions scheduled for the event, representatives of broker Acosta Sales and Marketing and distributor KeHe will discuss their perspectives on the potential for natural and organics in supermarkets, and what brands need to know to partner with retailers and succeed.

“Supermarket Guru” Phil Lempert will discuss the results of an exclusive survey detailing consumer attitudes about health and wellness at supermarkets. Lempert, a contributing editor to SN, will outline survey results and address how shoppers feel about the selection, service and prices of natural and better-for-you items at their local supermarkets, as well as speak to what retailers are doing right and which areas need improvement.

Executives of Food Essentials and New Hope Natural Media will review hot-selling items in health and wellness and provide a forecast for emerging trends, drawing on unique insight tools.

Additional details of the event are available at the Expo East website. Those interested need to complete Expo East registration and can attend SN‘s event with their Expo badge. Seating is limited so early arrival is encouraged.

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Supermarket News

Video: FMI Connect ‘Retail Experience of the Future’ to highlight interactivity

In this Total Access video interview, Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee chairman, president and CEO, describes the Retail Experience at the Future special exhibit at FMI Connect in June. 

“I think the Retail Experience of the Future really is important to all of us because it gives us a chance to really look at how lifestyles are already changing the industry. And really this is just a great way to showcase the lifestyle changes that we’re all going to see,” said Edeker. 

Supermarket News

Neighborhood Markets highlight slow Q1 performance at Walmart

While severe winter weather impacted overall sales and profits, Wal-Mart Stores on Thursday boasted that comparable-store sales at its Neighborhood Market division increased by around 5% in the fiscal first quarter, “validating our strategy to accelerate unit growth,” officials said.

Bill Simon, CEO of Walmart U.S., said a 4% increase in traffic drove the comps at Neighborhood Markets, the company’s grocery-drug combination stores. The division through April has shown 46 consecutive months of positive comps, a streak that would date to July of 2010. Walmart did not provide a sales figure for the division and typically has not specified its performance with figures.

Walmart is set to open between 180 and 200 new Neighborhood Markets stores this year. The company operated 359 units through the end of April.


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Overall, Walmart’s U.S. sales increased 2% to $ 67.9 billion in the quarter, which ended May 2. Comparable-store sales decreased by 0.1% and operating income of $ 5 billion declined by 4.3%.

Simon reiterated remarks in the fourth quarter that about 10% of Walmart’s 3,300 U.S. supercenters were underperforming. He said the company has developed “store-specific action plans” to address sales at those units, and that those efforts — including additional staffing — resulted in comp improvements of 2% during the quarter. “While we’re encouraged with the early results, we anticipate this will be a ongoing work in progress.”

U.S. comps in grocery were “relatively flat” in the quarter, impacted by around 90 basis points by a reduction in SNAP benefits, Simon said, although food comps improved slightly. “We’re seeing the strongest results in areas such as meat, produce and dairy, where we’re investing to keep prices low for customers despite pressure from cost inflation.”

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Cup o’ Cherries to highlight Chelan Fresh PMA rollout

Cup o’ Cherries, innovative new packaging exclusive to Chelan Fresh Marketing of Chelan, WA, will be featured at Booth No. 4157 during October’s PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans.

Chelan Fresh Marketing Director Mac Riggan said the 16-ounce cup with a reservoired POS-Cherry-Cuplid designed to hold cherry pits was rolled out during cherry season and met with good reception.

“It’s a great design,” Riggan said. “The cup holds 25 or 26 cherries, about eight ounces, and is ready to go. It’s car-friendly and fits into the cup holder perfectly, just like a take-out coffee cup. Also, the cherries have no stems, making it even more convenient.”

A giant Cup o’ Cherries cutout will greet booth visitors in New Orleans, he said.

In addition to the exclusive cherry packaging, Chelan Fresh is introducing a new apple variety currently being brought in from New Zealand. The Rockit, which Riggan said is purposely grown miniaturized, is a bicolored, thin-skinned, crispy and sweet piece of fruit that is packaged in a plastic tube similar to a tennis ball tube.

“Right now it’s only coming from New Zealand, and Chelan Fresh hopes to bring some in next spring,” he said. “We plan to have product grown in Washington in three years, but in the meantime we want to prime the pump for demand by bringing in the New Zealand fruit.”

Not only is the “grab-n-go” container unique for apples, but the apple itself is also unusual.

“It’s unlike any apple I’ve ever eaten,” Riggan said. “The flavor is so good, so sweet, and the apple is very crisp but still quite small and has a very small core as well. Once you’ve eaten one, you want to eat three or four.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Speakers at Idaho potato convention highlight successful year, look for another

SUN VALLEY, ID — The Idaho potato industry enjoyed success in 2012-13 and finished on strong markets in spite of a large crop characterized by a preponderance of large-sized potatoes.

That success was achieved largely due to tactical promotional activities of the Idaho Potato Commission, most notably a jumbo promotion launched earlier in the season than ever before to restore balance to the size mix in the market, according to Frank Muir, president of the IPC, IGSA-Frank-MuirIdaho Potato Commission President Frank Muir speaking at the Idaho Grower Shippers Association Convention Aug. 29.and other speakers at the 85th Annual Convention of the Idaho Grower Shippers Association, held here Aug. 28-30.

Muir, speaking at the industry breakfast on Thursday, Aug. 29, reviewed the achievements of the commission’s promotional and marketing activities in the consumer, retail, foodservice and international market development sectors during the 2012-13 marketing year and outlined plans for the coming season, which will be largely a continuation of the past year’s successful programs.

Although prices for Idaho potatoes dropped shortly after harvest on news that the crop was expected to be large — due to a 25,000-acre increase in plantings combined with favorable growing weather — prices began improving immediately after the announcement of the bin promotion, Muir said.

Bin promotions are not something the commission does every year but are reserved for special situations when they are needed to give a boost in movement to a particular potato size, whether large or small, that is out of balance with normal market demand, he explained.

One of the major successes of the past year was the Potato Lovers Month, a retail display contest the commission has been running in February for many years. Some 4,000 retail stores participated in 2013, more than double any previous year.

The commission’s giant potato truck, a flatbed big-rig on which is mounted a massive replica of an Idaho potato, drew enormous media attention during a national tour in 2012 and was currently in the midst of a second national tour.

A television advertising campaign, aired on national cable television and at various sports events sponsored by the IPC such as the famous Idaho Potato Bowl, features an actual Idaho potato farmer in the field, holding a poster of the “missing” truck and crew, and asking viewers, “If you see them, please tell them to come home,” as fast cuts show the truck at recognizable landmarks around the country and the crew having a grand time.

Muir said that the ad has received much favorable attention. He read several unsolicited letters the commission has received from people who thought the ad was great, fun, humorous and refreshingly clean and decent.

For the coming marketing season, a new ad has been taped, scheduled to debut at a Boise State football game broadcast Saturday, Aug. 31, Muir said. It features the same grower setting off in his pickup truck, with his dog, across the country in search of the still-missing potato truck and crew.

Educational workshops at the convention, held on Wednesday, Aug. 28, dealt with a number of critical industry issues. Topics included automation in the sorting and packing of potatoes, packaging material, markets and innovations, a review of motor carrier issues and a discussion of what new federal health insurance laws will require of employers.

An industry luncheon Wednesday featured a presentation by representatives from Union Pacific, who gave a historical overview of the relationship the Idaho potato industry has had with the railroad and also talked about the close ties Union Pacific has always had with Sun Valley from its inception.

Always a major part of the IGSA convention is the annual golf tournament, which was scheduled this year for Friday, Aug. 30, followed that evening by a banquet and presentation of awards.

Mark Klompien, president of IGSA, told The Produce News Aug. 29 that attendance at the convention, with walk-in registrations, had already topped 310, more than the previous year, in spite of concerns that major wildfires in the vicinity during the past several weeks might keep some people away. Fortunately, before the event opened, the fires were mostly contained, and with prevailing winds carrying smoke away from the Sun Valley area, the air was clear and conditions at the resort beautiful.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Vilsack, Sebelius Highlight Food Safety in Colorado

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius joined Colorado governor John Hickenlooper in highlighting food safety during a visit to a Leprino Foods cheese plant in Greeley, Colorado late last week, according to a local press report.

The Greeley Tribune reported that the visit recognized the facility as a “shining example of food safety and innovation that the rest of the industry should be following.” The paper said Sebelius’ remarks focused on how the entire plant  was designed with the intent of producing safer food.

Vilsack joined in on the praise, saying: “Sometimes the affordable, safe food supply we have gets taken for granted. But we really should not take for granted facilities like these.”

Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar and representatives from the offices of Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) were all part of the tour, according to the report, but the Tribune noted that reporters were not allowed inside the plant.

The paper noted that “Vilsack and Sebelius are part of Obama’s Cabinet that pushed through the Food Safety Modernization Act, the most sweeping reform of food safety laws in more than 70 years, which was signed into law Jan. 4, 2011.”

Food Safety News