April 13, 2012

 IGA Red Oval Perspective

Nielsen...Helping You Understand Shoppers & the Marketplace

A message to the Alliance from...
Kathy Tyburowski
The Nielsen Company
Nielsen Client Service Manager for IGA

At Nielsen, we're always innovating to keep pace with emerging market trends and the increasingly diverse, demanding and connected consumer. With a presence in over 100 countries, Nielsen provides clients the most complete understanding of what consumers watch and buy. We arm our clients with the necessary information to ensure they have the most accurate view of the consumer and the marketplace to improve bottom-line profits and maximize return on investment.

We are proud to have been an IGA Red Oval partner for nearly 15 years now, providing the latest market research information to support the IGA global brand. We value our long standing relationship with IGA and its extended family including retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and other Red Oval partners, many of which are also Nielsen clients.

Our measurement and information capabilities touch various business aspects for IGA ranging from private label, volume, pricing, promotion, digital marketing, social media, and mobile and online insights. Sharing this wealth of integrated information with IGA and its extended family helps everyone better understand the shopping and purchasing habits of today's consumers and what it takes to compete in this highly competitive marketplace.

We thank the readers of The Independent View for embracing Nielsen thought leadership and allowing us to share our knowledge. We look forward to sharing more actionable intelligence for your business, and ask that you please continue visiting the Alliance site to view the latest Nielsen information. As always, don't hesitate to reach out to me with your questions and needs.


Kathy Tyburowski


Retail News

Retail food prices in the U.S. increased just a tenth of a percent in March, bringing prices 3.6% above a year earlier, according to exclusive Food Institute analysis of just-released Consumer Price Index data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The annualized inflation, however, dropped again to 4.4% for the first quarter. Full Story (FI Membership Required)

More than four in 10 (44%) "always" or "usually" consult the Nutrition Facts Panel and/or ingredient list to assess sodium levels when considering a food purchase, according to research from Mintel. Some 51% "always" or "usually" look at fat content, while 47% look at sugar levels and 49% examine calorie counts "always" or "usually" when shopping. Full Story

The CEO of Brown's Super Stores Inc. is looking to add 15 convenient-care clinics into supermarkets in the Philadelphia region. The chain operates 10 ShopRite supermarkets in and around Philadelphia, reported Philadelphia Business Journal. Full Story (Paid Subscription Required)

Aving Rice LLC will sell 35 Jumpin Jimmy's convenience stores in central Illinois. Aving Rice is offering the stores in a sealed-bid auction; the auction's deadline is June 5, reported CSP Daily News. Full Story

Retailer Patagonia is entering the packaged food industry with the introduction of Patagonia Provisions, a line of sustainable foods. The line, which will launch with three flavors of Wild Salmon Jerky, will be available in all of its 30 U.S. stores over the next few months, reported Bloomberg Businessweek. Full Story

New Store News: Whole Foods Market plans to open a 20,000-sq. ft. supermarket in Detroit next year, reported ABCNews. Full Story ... Sam's Club will open a relocated 136,000-sq. ft. store in Lubbock, TX on Apr. 19, about one-third larger than the previous location. Full Story

A Central Market store in Dallas added a bulk food section with specially crafted granola, salty snacks and chocolate covered items, reported Supermarket News. Full Story

Manufacturer News

Kraft Foods Inc. is discontinuing its Athenos line of Greek yogurt, exiting the U.S. Greek yogurt market. Athenos, which also makes feta cheese, hummus and pita chips, discontinued the yogurt in March, reported Reuters. Full Story

Always Bagels plans to expand its 71,000-sq. ft. bakery in Lebanon, PA to meet growing demand for its pre-packaged bagels. The expansion, which is still in the planning stages, would add between 40,000 and 50,000-sq. ft. to the bakery; construction would start in about a year. The company's products are sold throughout the U.S. and Canada, reported Keystone Edge. Full Story

The internet is becoming a critical venue for marketing efforts by the U.S. tree nut industries, including the Almond Board of California and the American Pistachio Growers, who spend about 70% of their annual budgets on marketing and promotions, reported Western Farm Press. Full Story

Kreider Farms was accused by the Humane Society of the U.S. of overcrowding and inhumane treatment of animals at its Manheim, PA-based egg factory. The company supplies eggs to regional supermarkets including ShopRite, reported The Philadelphia Inquirer. Full Story (Free Registration Required), Humane Society Release

Foodservice News

Cosi Inc. plans to raise up to $15 million to aid its turnaround through an offering to investors for the purchase of additional shares of stock for every share they own at an unspecified price, reported Crain's Chicago Business. Full Story (Free Registration Required)

Health News

A hypervirulent salmonella strain could help potentially prevent food poisoning outbreaks, claimed a study published in the Public Library of Science Pathogens journal. Now that researchers know how to find the strain, they are developing methods to rapidly detect and discriminate the more harmful strains from their less-virulent cousins, reported New York Daily News. Full Story

Washington News

The Tennessee House of Representatives voted to cut the state's tax on food by a quarter of a percentage point. House Bill 3761 reduces the food tax to 5.25%, reported The Tennessean. Full Story

Part of a class-action lawsuit against Brinker International Inc. can proceed, the California Supreme Court ruled. The court ruled that employers only have to provide meal periods to workers, not make sure employees actually take them. Clear guidelines were also set for the number and timing of rest breaks, upholding a lower court's decision to authorize a class action on those claims, reported Reuters. Full Story, Brinker Release

A plan to speed up processing lines at U.S. chicken and turkey plants while cutting government inspectors is prompting a backlash from consumer groups and food safety advocates. Several groups demanded that USDA revamp the program, and one launched an online petition to overturn the plan, reported Reuters. Full Story

A false advertising lawsuit against Cytosport, Inc. can proceed, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled. Full Story

Mediterra S.A. initiated a voluntary recall of various pie, fruit and spread because they may contain undeclared allergens. Full Story

John B. Sanfilippo and Son, Inc. initiated a voluntary recall of Fisher Vanilla Bean Almonds and Fisher Cocoa Mocha Almonds because these items contain undeclared soy ingredients. Full Story

John B. Sanfilippo and Son, Inc. initiated a voluntary recall of Full Circle Concierge Snack Nut Blend because it contains undeclared soy and milk ingredients. Full Story

H.C. Foods Co., Ltd. initiated a voluntary recall of frozen dried mackerel and dried round scad because the products were not properly eviscerated prior to processing due to the presence of gills. Full Story

Global News

Wal-Mart Canada Corp. almost doubled its share of the fresh-food market in the past two years. Food and consumer products such as toothpaste make up 41.7% of its estimated $20 billion of annual sales, compared with 30.6% in fiscal 2008, according to Wal-Mart's figures, reported The Globe and Mail. Full Story (Free Registration Required)

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s growth in China will not be affected by the country's recent economic slowdown, according to the CEO of the company's Asia division, reported The Wall Street Journal. Full Story (WSJ Subscription Required)

Market News

Florida potato grower-shippers reported strong demand in early April, but an early start to the northern Florida deal could yield sluggish red potato markets in May. White production was starting to gap in early April as shippers began running out, and yellow potatoes also were becoming more scarce in the central and southern regions, though gaps should not be as big, reported The Packer Online. Full Story

The U.S. has not been this dry in almost five years, as a mostly dry, mild winter has put nearly 61% of the lower 48 states in "abnormally dry" or drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Only two states, Ohio and Alaska, are entirely free of abnormally dry or drought conditions. Georgia is one area that will be under scrutiny, with more than 63% of the state in the worst two levels of drought, the highest percentage of any state, reported USA Today. Full Story

The 2012 Sonora grape crop from Mexico could be both early and large after two unusually light and late years. Producers and distributors involved in the Sonora grape deal see the anticipated prospects for the 2012 crop more as a return to normal. Timing is expected to be normal, with an average crop size being estimated at 18 million boxes. Some 80% of the grape deal could run in to the end of May through July, reported The Produce News. Full Story

Blue Diamond Growers launched the first phase of its manufacturing plant in Turlock, CA, which is scheduled to be completed in May 2013. The 200,000-sq. ft. building will provide space for manufacturing and delivering almond products. The three-phased project will eventually yield a total of about 500,000-sq. ft. of building space over the next 15 years. Full Story

Damage from a hailstorm in California's San Joaquin Valley was more severe than expected, and financial losses could reach into the millions. Some 500 to 800 acres of tree fruit received some sort of damage ranging from 20% to 80% of the fruit, according to the Tulare County Agriculture Commissioner's office, reported The Fresno Bee. Full Story (Free Registration Required)

An abundance of spinach from multiple growing regions should keep prices low well into the summer. In addition to the good growing weather in Oxnard, the Salinas and Santa Maria growing areas of California also experienced near-ideal growing conditions, with all three California regions producing in early April, creating the largest spinach volumes for that time of year, reported The Packer Online. Full Story

Seafood distribution company Bar Harbor Lobster Co. Inc. will start work on a $2.2 million, 18,000-sq. ft. expansion in Orlando, FL. The expansion will include a 10,000-sq. ft. freezer with a live lobster holding facility and a receiving dock, reported Orlando Business Journal. Full Story (Paid Subscription Required)

The price of U.S. breeding bulls rose by as much as 70% from a year ago, one of the first signs that ranchers are investing in expanding their herds. The average price of Angus bulls sold at auction in the six months through March rose 21% from a year earlier to an average of $4,627 per head, according to the American Angus Association, reported Reuters. Full Story

Wisconsin farmers may experience seed shortages if they have to replant their crop because of a late frost and spring floods this season. The farmers are planting corn this week, the earliest ever for many of them, and must deal with at least a 25% decline in U.S. production of corn seed because of a drought last summer in the Upper Midwest/Great Plains and drought conditions in South America. A widespread seed shortage could lower the forecast 4.2 million acres of state corn plantings and increase prices of the grain later this year and in 2013, reported Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Full Story

The dairy products price series in the Dairy Products Sales report released by AMS is equivalent to the price series previously released by NASS in the Dairy Products Prices report, according to the Deputy Administrator of Dairy Programs. The dairy product price series is used in the price discovery mechanism for raw milk component values used in determining Federal milk market order minimum classified milk prices. Full Notice

The International Trade Commission determined that revocation of the antidumping duty order on certain orange juice from Brazil would likely not lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the U.S. within a reasonably foreseeable time. Full Notice


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