March 20, 2013

 IGA Global Rally Perspective

Navigating Trends that are Here to Stay

A message to IGA retailers from...
Phil Lempert
The Supermarket Guru®

The IGA Global Rally in Chicago is just around the corner; look to The Independent View in the coming weeks to learn more about the speakers in the Global Rally lineup. Today, consumer behavior expert Phil Lempert elaborates on his session, which focuses on two of the biggest trends in the food industry right now: health and wellness and sustainable initiatives.

On Monday April 15th there are two things to look forward to—having filed your taxes (I hope!) and joining me and my four panelists at the IGA Global Rally as we discuss how the trends of health and wellness and going green are impacting customer behavior and the way retailers go to market.

This dynamic panel includes IGA retailers Mike Trask and Tom Honer—who have proven that healthier, greener offerings can lead to healthier profits—as well as Julia Sabin of Red Oval Partner The J.M. Smucker Company and registered dietician Allison Borgmeyer of Ketchum—both of whom deal with these trends on a daily basis.

Why are green, healthier food options and marketing platforms deserving of your attention? Because these trends are here to stay. Take a look around and you'll quickly see that over two-thirds of the American population is overweight or obese.

According to data from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (American Diabetes Association), 25.8 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes (8.3 percent of the total population) with an estimated annual cost of $18 billion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that a staggering 79 million Americans over the age of 20 have prediabetes, which can double the risk for cardiovascular disease.

And don't forget those Baby Boomers: 76 million of them started turning 65 two years ago, and as study after study has told us, that's about the time they also started reading labels. These customers will control just over half the dollars spent on grocery foods in 2015 ($706 million each year), and they expect you to take new approaches to serving their food needs. Studies by NPD Group in both the U.S. and Canada show that nutrition and healthy, greener eating habits are top priorities for the Boomers.

Join me as we explore real case studies in IGA stores and hear how your IGA can help those in your community live a longer healthier life.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Phil Lempert


Retail News

Trader Joe's, Aldi, Whole Foods and other food retailers committed to not offer genetically engineered seafood, according to the Campaign for Genetically Engineered (GE)-Free Seafood. If approved in the U.S. the national retailers, along with regional chains such as Marsh Supermarkets, PCC Natural Markets, as well as co-ops in Minnesota, New York, California, and Kansas, will not offer GE seafood. The majority of Americans indicated they will not eat genetically engineered seafood, and 91% of Americans think FDA should not allow it onto the market, according to a Lake Research poll. Full Story, Poll

Meijer is expanding its Made in Michigan program with 55 new grocery products grown or produced in-state by small businesses. The grocery products will be more visible in all of the 102 Meijer stores in Michigan, reported Michigan Live. The new products include Brownwood Farms barbecue sauces, Food for Thought salsas, and Great Lakes Potato Chips. Full Story

Researchers at DePaul University's Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development cataloged Chicago's ethnic grocery stores for location, number, types of offerings and how they are viewed by the population. What they found was many of the European stores were on the city's Northwest Side, while Asian groceries tended to operate in the north and northeast. Middle Eastern grocery stores clustered in Austin, Albany Park and Chicago Lawn, while Mexican groceries have sprouted up all over. Meanwhile, a relatively new store category (for researchers) was dubbed the "hybrid," which includes large produce-heavy markets such as Fresh Farms, Andy's Fruit Ranch and Harvest Time, reported Chicago Tribune. Full Story (Free Registration Required)

New Store News: ShopRite plans to open a 75,000-sq.-ft. store in Camden, NJ's food desert, reported The Philadelphia Inquirer. Full Story ... Sprouts Farmers Market will open a 25,000-sq.-ft. store in Katy, TX, its 24th in the state and the first of four stores slated for the Houston area, reported Houston Chronicle. Full Story

Manufacturer News

Hillshire Brands modernized the lunch meat brand by producing transparent, shallow plastic packaging, informed by research that found consumers want to be able to see the meat clearly. Hillshire Farm spoke with hundreds of consumers in several cities, focusing on women older than 25 with families, the biggest buyers of lunch meat. The new packaging also displays the "Fresh Pack" icon, dropped the term "deli select" in favor of "thin sliced" to connote sliced deli meat, and added more seasoning to make turkey appear a little bit grainier, reported The Wall Street Journal. Full Story (WSJ Subscription Required)

General Mills reported net sales grew 8%, to $4.43 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2013. Products making the strongest contributions to U.S. retail net sales growth included new items such as Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch cereal, Fiber One Protein bars, Yoplait Greek 100 yogurt and Green Giant Seasoned Steamers vegetables. New acquisitions Yoki Alimentos and Yoplait Canada contributed six points of net sales growth. Segment operating profit also increased 11%, to $749 million. Full Story

New Product News: Tessemae's All Natural introduced a new salad dressing – Lemon Chesapeake. This new flavor blends organic ingredients with the flavor of the Chesapeake's crab spice to make a healthy, vegan-friendly dressing. Full Story

Foodservice News

Taco Bell outperformed the fast-food industry by employing a two-track strategy of offering cheap Doritos tacos for young men and the pricier and higher-quality Cantina Bell menu for more mature audiences. Maintaining that momentum could be a challenge for the chain, as it has "been awhile since they've been able to lap a good year with another good year," according to Sanford C. Bernstein Research Analyst Sara Senatore. Sales at established U.S. Taco Bell restaurants rose 8% last year, more than the 7.1% rise at Chipotle, one of the restaurant industry's best performers, reported Reuters. Full Story

Noble Roman's signed 12 franchise/license agreements between Jan. 1 and March 12 of this year, bringing the company to more than 1,400 locations. The company signed franchise/license agreements for 39 new nontraditional locations other than grocery stores in 2012, including 12 locations with Huck's, reported Convenience Store News. Full Story

Restaurant Roundup: Ignite Restaurant Group opened a Joe's Seafood Shack in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Full Story... Stacked: Food Well Built will open its fourth location March 20 at The Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks, CA. Full Story... The Republic of Texas Brands plans to open four new barbecue restaurants in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Full Story... An American barbecue chain opened a location in downtown Missoula, the second site for it in Montana. Full Story... The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel will open a restaurant next month in Winter Park, FL April 10, reported Orlando Sentinel. Full Story

Health News

Sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to more than 180,000 obesity-related deaths worldwide each year, according to new research presented this week at an American Heart Association conference. Among the world's 35 largest countries, Mexico had the highest death rates from sugary drinks, and Bangladesh had the lowest, according to the study. The U.S. ranked third, reported CNN. Full Story

Washington News

7-Eleven filed two federal lawsuits claiming 7-SEVEN stores in Bibb County, GA are infringing on and diluting the company's trademark. The company alleges the 7-SEVEN stores chose their logo to "trade upon the fame and goodwill" of 7-Eleven, according to the lawsuits, filed March 11 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, reported The Telegraph. Full Story

A new law in Mississippi states cities and counties can't ban the Big Gulp or put other local regulations on food and drink. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed Senate Bill 2687 March 18, and it became law immediately. The Mississippi law states local governments can't require restaurants to list calorie counts on menus or ban plastic toys in kids' meals. It was pushed by the state restaurant association and chicken growers, among others, reported The Washington Post. Full Story (Free Subscription Required)

The federal government is teaming up with Virginia and Maryland to crack down on food stamp fraud. Under the partnership, Maryland and Virginia entered into a data-sharing agreement with the USDA to develop improved monitoring tools to detect fraud. The USDA states it has a great deal of experience identifying fraud through so-called data mining, reported The Washington Post. Full Story (Free Subscription Required)

A group of doctors are urging the FDA to take action against energy drinks to protect teens and children. In their letter to the FDA, the group stated energy drink makers have failed to prove that the ingredients used in their products are safe. Because of this, the group wants the FDA to limit caffeine content in the beverages and force makers to include caffeine content on product labels, reported HealthDay. Full Story

Some animal-rights activists think a state senator is laying tracks to repeal the state's foie gras ban - a suspicion she's doing little to dispel. State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis introduced a bill that, in its current form, would require the state Department of Food and Agriculture to retool animal-welfare standards, reported San Francisco Chronicle. Full Story

Global News

French retailer Carrefour denied a report the company may consider a possible sale of its Italian business. The Italian daily Il Messaggero claimed local supermarket group Conad could be considering buying Carrefour's business in the country, reported The Wall Street Journal. Full Story (WSJ Subscription Required)

The Wendy's Company signed an agreement with The Eljuri Group to develop 20 Wendy's restaurants in Ecuador. As the largest business group in Ecuador, Eljuri expects to open its first two Wendy's locations in 2013 in Guayaquil, a coastal city with a population of 2.3 million people.   Full Story

Sales at China's high-end restaurants slumped in the first two months of the year, reflecting the sluggish state of the catering industry since the start of the nationwide crackdown on waste and extravagance in December. The Ministry of Commerce stated the catering industry's revenue growth declined 4.9 percentage points, to 8.4% between January and February, the lowest level since 2003. Medium and high-end restaurants are bearing the brunt of the slump, with their revenue falling 3.3 percent in the first two months of this year, reported China Daily. Full Story

Market News

UCLA researchers genetically engineered tomatoes to produce a peptide that mimics the actions of good cholesterol when consumed, according to a study published in Journal of Lipid Research. An early study found that mice that were fed these tomatoes in freeze-dried, ground form had less inflammation and plaque build-up in their arteries, reported Science Daily. Full Story

Buyers should expect light volume of Florida spring sweet corn until much later in the deal. An early March freeze harmed nearly half of early spring volume and is increasing demand and prices. Growers lost up to 45% of the deal's early production, according to the president of Florida Sweet Corn Exchange and vice president and co-owner of R.C. Hatton Farms, reported The Packer Online. Full Story

Cattle ranchers in Northern California claim grasses are slow to grow this year, leading to challenges finding enough forage for their herds. While last year saw a dry fall and wet spring, this year has included the opposite pattern - a wet fall and dry spring, reported California Farm Bureau Federation. Full Story


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