August 04, 2011

 IGALink Best Practices Perspective

Promotion Proves Positive for Clinton IGA

A message to the Alliance from...
Haley Bevans
Marketing Director
Clinton IGA
Clinton, IL
- Champaign Division

Last month IGA announced the launch of IGALink, the new digital marketing program that provides unique full-featured grocery websites and mobile web apps to all IGA USA retailers. Today Haley Bevans of Clinton IGA shares how she successfully promoted IGALink to both her store-owner father and Clinton IGA shoppers.

When we first heard about IGALink, Dad was a little skeptical because he doesn't spend a lot of time online and didn't really see the need. I reminded him that his generation was the last to grow up without computers, and that today's shoppers—especially the younger ones—really expect that digital technology be a part of their shopping experience. I added in that he could eventually save some money by having an online circular instead of printing, and suddenly it wasn't such a hard sell.

Once I had Dad onboard, it was time to work on the rest of the team. We met with everyone to talk about the program, and then since our checkout staff spend the most time with our customers, I sat down with each of them individually to walk them through the website and mobile web app. I wanted them to engage shoppers and talk with them about the site, so when we were finished, I gave each one a cheat sheet outlining the features.

Next I started thinking about takeaways for customers, and I decided that we really needed a brochure. I created one by outlining the registration process step-by-step, making sure to demonstrate that registration gives you access to shopper tools like the shopping lists, recipes and the interactive circular. Then I had some refrigerator magnets printed up with our web address, and finally, I made some business cards with website info.

When our website went live I gave the business cards to the checkers to hand to shoppers, and then I set up a table with my laptop, the brochures and the magnets. For the rest of the day I showed customers our new website and mobile web app. The more technology-savvy shoppers were really excited and I could just tell that they were going to go straight home and register. And when I found someone who seemed interested but not too familiar with technology, I would just register them right there on the spot.

It all worked out great, and so now I set up shop whenever I get the chance. More and more we're realizing that our shoppers are getting hooked, and here's the best part—it's not just the younger shoppers. Shoppers from my father's generation love it too!


Haley Bevans


Retail News

Visits to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s U.S. locations open at least a year dropped 2.6% from February through June, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg. Those Wal-Mart stores had 82.8 million fewer visits through the first five months of the company's fiscal year than a year earlier, reported Full Story Wal-Mart Stores "needs to better address the demands of its shopper today in order to regain relevance," stated the CEO of WSL/Strategic Retail, which published the How America Shops report. About 86% of Walmart shoppers surveyed no longer believe that Walmart has the lowest prices, and are finding better shopping at dollar stores, supermarkets and other mass merchants. Full Story

Average retail seafood prices increased 3.5% in the 52 weeks ending Mar. 26 compared to the previous year, driving down dollars 2% and volume down 5.3%. Trends in the scallop subcategory followed the overall department trends. Nationally, pricing on scallops increased 10.8% from the previous year, the largest increase in average retail price in the mollusk category, according to Perishables Group, reported Seafood Business Magazine. Full Story

Weis Markets will purchase more than 24 million-lbs. of local produce this year from approximately 150 farmers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and New York. The company launched a local produce campaign, Your Neighbors, Our Farmers, which highlights the long-term contributions of 13 farmers and their families who supply Weis Markets' stores. Full Story

Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. completed a remodeled store in Florida that includes a farmer's market at the store's entrance and expanded produce department. The store also contains an expanded deli department with wood-burning rotisserie, hot food selections and an expanded selection of specialty desserts, pastries and made-to-order cakes in the bakery. Physical changes in the store include hardwood flooring throughout the produce, deli and bakery departments, more colorful decor and a dedicated area offering free Wi-Fi access and complimentary coffee. Full Story

Sam's Club will host a free vision screening event on Aug. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event includes a vision acuity screening as well as a take-home test called an Amsler Grid that tests for blurred or missing areas of vision. The screenings will take place in Sam's Clubs that have pharmacy and/or optical centers and are available to both adults and children. Full Story

Retail Roundup: Marsh Supermarkets is partnering with MyWebGrocer to offer customers an integrated digital platform across web, mobile and social media channels. Full Story ... Casey's General Stores Inc. expanded its pizza delivery service to include convenience stores in Waverly, Adel, Carroll, Eldridge and Nevada, IA, reported The Des Moines Register. Further expansion is planned. Full Story

Manufacturer News

Kraft Foods Inc. intends to create two independent public companies: a global snacks business with estimated revenue of approximately $32 billion and a North American grocery business with estimated revenue of approximately $16 billion. The company expects to create these companies through a tax-free spin-off of the North American grocery business to Kraft Foods shareholders. The current target is to launch the new companies before year-end 2012. Full Story

Smart Balance, Inc. acquired 100% of the equity interest of Importations DE-RO-MA, which owns Glutino Food Group, for $66.3 million, from investment firm Claridge. Glutino is a manufacturer and marketer of premium-priced, gluten-free foods sold under the Glutino and Gluten Free Pantry brands. Full Story

Americans are much more aware of the health benefits of specific "functional" foods than they were a decade ago, according to the 2011 IFIC Functional Foods/Foods for Health Survey from the International Food Information Council. The foods and food components Americans look to the most to help improve or maintain their health are fruits and vegetables, fish/fish oil, dairy, whole grains and herbs & spices. Full Story

New Product News: popchips inc. introduced jalapeno popchips. Full Story ... Meals to Live introduced a grocery store line of frozen meals created specifically for diabetics. Full Story ... Unilever North America launched Knorr Homestyle Stock. Full Story ... Navitas Naturals launched Navitas Power Snacks in two varieties. Full Story ... Vita Coco launched Vita Coco Tropical Fruit. Full Story

The Krystal Company is looking for a buyer for its Krystal burger brand, reported ABC News. Full Story

Dried food products wholesaler Woodland Foods launched a Culinary Services Department, led by corporate executive chef Jeffrey Troiola. Chef Troiola will work with Woodland Foods' customers to introduce new products and reinforce staple products. Full Story

Companies including Kraft Foods increasingly are running online ads that focus less on pitching their products than promoting their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. The ads, which have menu tabs and increasingly resemble mini-websites themselves, allow users to click within the ad to see a brand's Twitter messages or Facebook wall posts in real time, or to watch a brand's video content from YouTube - all without leaving the web page where the ad appears, reported The New York Times on the Web. Full Story (NYT Subscription Required)

Anheuser-Busch rolled out a new can design and secondary packaging for Budweiser. The new design, which incorporates a quick response code, will roll out in the U.S. this summer and around the world next year. Full Story

Norwegian bottled water company VOSS raised $18 million in strategic funding led by new investors, Juggernaut Capital Partners, L.P. and Centra Capital AS. The additional funding will go towards the company's continued growth within the U.S. and Norway, along with further expansion in international markets. Full Story

Procter & Gamble opened a new packaging customization facility at its plant in Auburn, ME. In partnership with the Maine Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and the Department of Health & Human Services, the FlexiCenter facility will offer local employment opportunities for individuals with physical and developmental challenges, as well as disabled veterans. These new hires will account for at least 30% of the facility's workforce. Full Story

The General Mills Foundation awarded up to $100,000 in support to the American Refugee Committee (ARC) to speed famine relief efforts in Somalia, and made an initial $50,000 donation to ARC. The General Mills Foundation also offered to match contributions from other Twin Cities companies, up to $50,000, that support ARC's relief work in Somalia. Full Story

Coca-Cola awarded a $10,000 grant to Iowa's Lake Macbride State Park and hosted a family fitness fair with Gov. Terry Branstad and 100 children from the Cedar Rapids Boys & Girls Club as part of the company's America Is Your Park campaign. The campaign was developed in collaboration with the National Park Foundation, America's State Parks and the National Recreation and Park Association and is designed to maintain and rebuild parks across the nation and encourage active outdoor activities Full Story

Tom's of Maine asked the public to help determine which of the finalists in its "50 States for Good" program will receive $20,000 each as well as a single $50,000 award. Voting runs through Sept. 13. Full Story

Foodservice News

PepsiCo is testing its summer school food program in Chicago and Dallas, aiming to develop a model it can take nationwide. Dubbed "Food for Good," the program began in Dallas in 2009, offering breakfast. Breakfast is Quaker Life cereal or a granola bar, milk and Tropicana apple or orange juice. Lunch includes a sandwich such as turkey and cheese, Tropicana juice, milk and carrot sticks or an orange, reported Chicago Tribune. Full Story (Free Registration Required)

Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. plans to rejuvenate the Baskin-Robbins brand, introducing new technology to franchisees' operations and cutting the fields of operations managers to 50 stores each instead of 120. Executives also expect to take another price increase at Baskin-Robbins by the end of September with ice cream production costs rising more than 17%. Dunkin' Brands also plans to expand the Dunkin' Donuts brand beyond the company's current focus in Asia into Europe, beyond the company's base of Germany, Russia and Spain, reported Full Story

Restaurant Roundup: Firehouse Subs launched Coca-Cola Freestyle fountains in all of its 437 restaurants. Full Story ... Daphne's California Greek introduced four new salads. Full Story ... The HoneyBaked Ham Company is expanding its franchise operations into the Des Moines, IA and Evansville, IN markets.

Health News

Implementing the "My Plate" recommended nutritional guidelines will cost Americans at least $7.28 a week extra in grocery spending, according to a study published in Health Affairs. To reach the recommended amount of potassium a day, an adult would have to spend an extra $1.04 a day, or $380 a year. To boost levels of dietary fiber and vitamin D, adults have to spend about 35 cents extra a day for each of the two nutrients, reported Full Story

Washington News

Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation issued a voluntary recall of approximately 36 million-lbs. of ground turkey products because the products have the potential to be contaminated with a multi-drug resistant strain of Salmonella Heidelberg. Full Story Cargill suspended production of ground turkey products at its Springdale, AR facility until it is able to determine the source of the Salmonella Heidelberg and take corrective actions. Full Story

Now Available! The Food Institute and Willard Bishop presented a one-hour webinar, The Future of Food Retailing 2011, which provided unique and unparalleled insights into retailer strategies, identified specific actions that Walmart and others are taking and detailed intended and unintended consequences of retailers' actions. To learn more and purchase, click here.

The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine granted approval to Diamond Foods, Inc.
for its pending acquisition of the Pringles business from The Procter & Gamble Company. Diamond has now received all antitrust clearances required for the transaction. Full Story

A federal judge backed New York's kosher food-labeling law. The revised law attempted to overcome problems with an earlier kosher-labeling law, which was thrown out when a judge found it created "excessive" entanglements between synagogue and state, reported Reuters. Full Story

Notices of filing of petitions for food additives and color additives that are published in accordance with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act will now be published in the "Proposed Rules" section of the Federal Register. Notices of filing historically were published in the "Notices" section. Full Notice

The National Restaurant Association's multi-industry Depreciation Fairness Coalition is pressing Congress to enact a permanent 15-year schedule for depreciating the cost of new restaurant construction and improvements. Full Story

USDA issued a $25 million grant to North Carolina State University to study human noroviruses in an effort to design effective control measures across the food supply chain and reduce the number of food-borne illnesses caused by viruses. Full Story

Global News

Barry Callebaut plans to upgrade grinding capacity at its Ivory Coast cocoa processing plant to 175,000 metric tons a year from 105,000 metric tons, reported Reuters. Full Story

Numerous fast food companies are targeting Russia as residents tend to have a large portion of their money for discretionary spending. McDonald's now operates 279 restaurants in the country. Burger King opened 22 restaurants, mostly in mall food courts, in two years. Carl's Jr. has 17 restaurants in St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk. Wendy's opened two restaurants and plans for 180 by 2020. Subway opened about 200 shops, working through several franchisees. Yum! Brands has about 350 restaurants, reported The New York Times on the Web. Full Story (NYT Subscription Required)

Russian hypermarkets are gaining back their positions in terms of brand equity, shopper loyalty and basket size. Consumers did not perceive discounters as providing their key communicated value best prices for all goods, according to Nielsen's ShopperTrends 2011 study. About 43% of survey respondents in Moscow and 54% of respondents in St-Petersburg seldom change stores based on promotions, but actively look for promotions in stores where they usually shop. Full Story

American Dairy Queen Corp.'s Dairy Queen is expanding into Guatemala, signing an agreement with franchisee Grupo Buen Rollo to open 15 locations throughout the country by 2015. The first kiosk Dairy Queen store is scheduled to open in Guatemala City in October and a second in-line store is slated to open by the end of the year. Full Story

KFC halted operations in Fiji, amid a dispute over imports of the ingredients to make its flavored crumb coating. The company has three restaurants in Fiji, reported BBC News. Full Story

Market News

Birko acquired Chad Co., a manufacturer of automated washing cabinets and pasteurizing systems for meat processing operations. Chad will become Chad Equipment LLC, a Birko company. Birko is a provider in food-safety solutions to the protein processing, food and beverage industries, reported Meat & Poultry. Full Story (Free Registration Required)

The Department of Commerce is partially rescinding an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain frozen fish fillets from Vietnam with respect to the following companies: Agifish; Nam Viet; Nam Viet Corporation and SAMEFICO. The department is also rescinding this review with respect to Cadovimex II. Full Notice


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