March 22, 2013

 IGA Red Oval Partner Perspective

TrendSource: Helping You Manage Your Store's Customer Experience!

A message to IGA retailers from...
Ryan Kelly
Associate Account Manager

As an active member of the Red Oval family and your partner for store assessment, customer experience observations and shopper feedback, TrendSource is proud to do our part to help you bridge the gaps between your expectation of performance, the actual service you deliver, and your customers' perception of that service.

Today I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you the ways that TrendSource has begun to evolve its partnership with IGA to provide you with ever-more effective business tools.

  • Updates to the IGA Assessment Program. With the guidance of the National Retailer Advisory Board, TrendSource is working to make accessing your online reports faster, easier, and more effective. Please visit the Assessment section of your Alliance site in the next few weeks to view the streamlined reporting changes, and feel free to explore some of the trending, dashboard, and demographic reports that are now available under the Advanced Reporting module.

  • Participation in the IGA Retail Satisfaction Survey. IGA's inaugural Retailer Satisfaction Survey—launched in summer of 2012—was designed to give you a voice in the development and execution of IGA programs. TrendSource and IGA have worked together to review, analyze, and create action plans based on the results of this survey. Responses have helped focus resources into areas that will have the greatest impact on your experience as an IGA retailer. Please keep an eye out for the 2013 Retailer Satisfaction Survey, coming in Q3 2013.

  • Shopper perceptions. Working with your IGA team, TrendSource is spearheading a research study aimed at capturing actual shopper perceptions related to important elements of the brand. We are excited to dive into the results!

  • Introducing competitor price check. New for 2013, TrendSource is pleased to offer IGA retailers one of our premier services: competitor price checks. Using TrendSource's database of over 100,000 active Field Agents, we are able to visit your competitor stores and report real-time pricing data that can help you strengthen your price position.

Want to know more about these or any other TrendSource's services? Please feel free to email me, or look me up at the IGA Global Rally next month!

In today's competitive environment, it's increasingly important to be cognizant of your customer's perception of your stores, and TrendSource is here to support you.

Ryan Kelly


Retail News

Symphony Investors became Supervalu's largest shareholder with 21.2% of total outstanding common shares as a result of Supervalu's finalized sale of five supermarket banners to AB Acquisition. Symphony Investors, a Cerberus Capital Management-led investor consortium, purchased approximately 11.7 million shares of Supervalu's outstanding common stock for $4/share in cash, and about 42.5 million shares of newly issued shares of Supervalu common stock for the same price as part of the $3.3 billion deal. Full Story

Giant Eagle is expanding its low-price lock program to a 15% cut in about 3,000 items. It is an extension of a program that Giant Eagle began last year and renewed after the first of the year through March. Most of the price cuts are effective now although others will be done by April 11, reported Pittsburgh Business Times. Full Story

Matzo, the unleavened bread that Jews have eaten on Passover for generations, is getting more expensive along with other Passover foods. According to Menachem Lubinsky, a Kosher food marketing consultant who edits Kosher Today, prices for Passover foods are up 5% to 10% this year. Sales of Kosher for Passover goods, which also includes non-religious goods that are permitted on the holiday such as Coca-Cola along with traditional fare including macaroons, were about $2.5 billion in 2012. He expects spending to be "at least that if not more" for this year. Passover starts March 25 and ends April 2, reported MSN Money. Full Story

7-Eleven plans to lease 19 convenience stores in the Cleveland area from Lehigh Gas Partners by March 31. The company will rebrand the stores and manage operations, but Lehigh Gas will retain ownership, reported Convenience Store News. Full Story

Yummly, a digital kitchen and recipe search platform, launched Yummly API. The Yummly API provides access to more than 1 million recipes to display relevant results that can be tailored according to individual ingredient, diet, allergy, nutrition, taste and technique parameters, allowing developers to build world-class applications that are powered by user preferences. Yummly's mission is to create the ultimate digital kitchen platform. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Yummly is backed by Physic Ventures, Unilever Corporate Ventures, First Round Capital, Harrison Metal Capital, Intel Capital, and The Harvard Common Press. Full Story 

New Store News: 99¢ Only Stores will open a new store in Hesperia, CA. More than half its sales come from food and beverages, including produce, dairy, deli and frozen foods. Full Story

Manufacturer News

Pepsi is bottling its 20-oz. soda in a new shape for the first time in about 17 years. The new bottle has a contoured bottom made for easier gripping, and the wraparound label is shorter to expose more of the beverage. The new 20-oz. bottle is part of the company's update of marketing and packaging materials, will begin rolling out in April and will replace all current bottles in a year or two, according to a PepsiCo spokeswoman, reported IBNLive. Full Story

Made in Nature purchased a building in Boulder, CO where it will relocate its corporate headquarters from Wellington, FL. The company's products are 100% certified organic and are available nationwide at Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Costco and natural, specialty and regional grocers. Made In Nature also offers organic fresh produce and organic artisan frozen pizzas, reported Boulder County Business Report. Full Story

Nantucket Butter Company signed a co-packer agreement with food manufacturer Blount Fine Foods. Blount co-packs for Panera Bread and Legal Sea Foods among others from its facility in Fall River, MA. Full Story

New Product News: Dr Pepper Snapple Group introduced Hawaiian Punch Aloha Morning in three citrus flavors, Orange Citrus, Mixed Berry Citrus, and Strawberry Citrus. Full Story... Polska Foods' Savory Beef & Pork Pierogi is ready for sale at Whole Foods Markets and select grocery stores on the West Coast. Full Story... Firehouse Subs will open its first restaurant in Idaho this spring, with plans to open a total of 12 in the southern region of the state over the course of 12 years, reported Jacksonville Business Journal. Full Story

Executives on The Move: The heads of H.J. Heinz businesses on either side of the Atlantic will swap jobs, with David Moran moving to the U.S. to head Heinz's North American business while David Woodward will lead Europe, reported The Wall Street Journal. Full Story (WSJ Subscription Required)

Foodservice News

There were 96 announced chain restaurant mergers and acquisitions in 2012, including IPOs, according to the J.H. Chapman Group 2012 Chain Restaurant Merger & Acquisition Census. Total M&A activity declined from the 100 reported in 2011 as "Chain restaurant M&A transactions have leveled off over the past three years as IPO and other growth financing methods increase in frequency," stated Chapman Principal David L. Epstein. Equity funds accounted for 27% of all announced transactions, while franchisee acquisitions of franchised units comprised 36% of the total. Full Story

The 500 largest U.S. restaurant chains registered a 4.9% annual sales increase in 2012, a marked improvement over 3.5% the prior year. According to data released by Technomic in its annual reporting on the top U.S. restaurant organizations, the foodservice consultancy found that U.S. systemwide sales for the Top 500 chains grew to an estimated $254 billion in 2012, up more than $12 billion over 2011. Full Story

Pizza is America's No. 1 one late night snack choice, according to the online and mobile food ordering service. And the top five markets for late night eating are Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. Full Story

Restaurant Roundup: SkinnyPizza signed an exclusive deal with Mogull Realty for multiunit expansion into Manhattan. Full Story...  Pollo Tropical opened its 93rd company-owned location in Fort Myers, FL. Full Story

Health News

Those convenient, prepackaged meals and snacks for toddlers may contain worrisome levels of salt, U.S. researchers report. More than three quarters of 90 toddler meals evaluated by the CDC were high in sodium, according to a new study. Ready-to-eat foods for babies were less alarming, found the experts, who reported on the sodium content of 1,115 products for babies and toddlers using per-serving data from major and private-label brands. Eating too much sodium, the main component of salt, can lead to high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, reported HealthDay. Full Story

Energy drinks boost blood pressure and may make the heart more susceptible to electrical short circuits, new research suggests. But it's not clear how much of this effect on blood pressure has to do with caffeine, which also is found in coffee, or whether the effect significantly raises the risk of heart problems. At issue are the caffeine-laden drinks that have become popular among people looking to stay alert, stay awake or get a jolt. Sixteen-ounce cans of drinks like Monster Energy Assault and Rockstar pack in about 160 milligrams of caffeine, compared with roughly 100 milligrams in a 6-oz. cup of coffee. Energy drinks also come with other ingredients like sugar and herbs, and medical experts have warned that they can spell trouble, reported HealthDay. Full Story

Washington News

The House passed the Senate's changes to the fiscal 2013 funding bill, clearing the measure for President Obama to sign it into law, according to Bloomberg BNA. The House voted 318 to 109 to approve the Senate proposal, which includes full fiscal 2013 appropriations bills for USDA and other federal agencies. Full Story According to Food Institute counsel OFW Law, the measure offsets the impact of sequestration to prevent the furlough of meat inspectors, increases funds to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children to offset sequestration and provides an additional $12.8 million not included in the House bill for the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

A lawsuit filed against the EPA claims regulators are not protecting honey bees and toxic insecticides should be immediately suspended. With bee numbers and vitality on the decline over the past several years, studies have linked the prevalence of some new insecticides with the conditions, reported Reuters. Full Story

APHIS submitted an information collection requirement to OMB for VS form 17-129, Application for Import or in Transit Permit, concerning the origin and history of the items destined for importation into the U.S. APHIS will collect information to ensure that swine, pork and pork products, and other material pose a negligible risk of introducing exotic swine diseases into the U.S. Comments on the collection of information will be accepted until April 22. Full Notice

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published its annual adjustments to the Income Eligibility Guidelines for use in determining eligibility for free and reduced price meals and free milk in schools. The guidelines cover the period of July 1 through June 30, 2014, and are used by schools, institutions, and facilities participating in the National School Lunch Program (and Commodity School Program), School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program for Children, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program. Full Notice

FNS also published the adjusted income eligibility guidelines to be used by state agencies in determining the income eligibility of persons applying to participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children Program. Full Notice

Global News

Indonesia aims to link traders' imports of soybeans to the volume of the oilseed they buy at home, an industry ministry official stated, as the country moves to protect domestic farmers and promote their interests. Indonesia is struggling to meet ambitious self-sufficiency targets in many staple foods, while trying to balance the interests of farmers and consumers, in a country where about half the population lives on less than $2 per day, reported Reuters. Full Story

IKEA's trademark meatballs are returning to its European menu after last month's horsemeat scare, with new supply chain controls "from farm to fork." Meatballs from Familjen Dafgard, which supplies nearly all IKEA stores in Europe, would be back in all stores by mid-April. The company made Familjen Dafgard drop eight of its 15 suppliers, including the importer of the meat that contained horse, and would cut the number of purchasing countries, reported Reuters. Full Story

In 2012, U.S. food and beverage exports to the Philippines surpassed 2011 sales by 13% to a record $859 million. In the past 10 years, U.S. food and beverage sales more than quintupled. The top U.S. exports were dairy products, meat & poultry, snack foods, and processed fruits & vegetables. USDA Report

Market News

The U.S. and Mexico officially implemented the pricing agreement on imported tomatoes from Mexico. The principles to the pact were agreed to in early February and set higher minimum prices prices for most tomatoes. The deal is now in effect after being submitted for public comment, reported Fresh Plaza. Full Story

The Hershey Company is expanding its initiatives with its family cocoa farmers and communities to modernize farming practices and increase incomes, as well as attract new farmers and improve growing conditions. The initiatives put out by Hershey have helped the farmers develop more productive agricultural practices, build educational and community resources and improve labor practices for the past half-century. The expansion of the initiatives will help global cocoa communities grow sustainable cocoa for the future. Full Story

York County, PA potato farmers are working to create new varieties of the crop to help it resist diseases and solve storage issues. One variety, the Dark Red Norland potato, works well in various soil conditions, matures early and stores well. Trials are also under way to develop a blue potato that is high in antioxidants, and another variety that has an orange flesh and is high in vitamins, reported Full Story

USDA is seeking nominations for the Mushroom Council. The Mushroom Council includes eight U.S. producers and an importer. The U.S. members represent three production territories: Region 1, which covers the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and all states except Pennsylvania, which is Region 2 and California, which is Region 3. Full Story


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