Albertsons names Geoff White own brands president
BOISE, Idaho — Albertsons has tapped Geoff White as president of the company’s own brands organization. In this newly created role, White will lead the own brands team, including the culinary kitchen and technical center. He will be charged with furthering the growth, development and innovation of the company’s own brand products, including O Organics, Lucerne, Open Nature and the extensive line of Signature products.
“Geoff is a visionary merchant who understands the evolution of our company’s own brands and the significant role they play in our overall strategy,” said Shane Sampson, EVP and chief marketing and merchandising officer. “Our own brand items are integral to how we earn customer loyalty. We’ve developed a nimble process that responds quickly to consumer trends with popular products in the last two years, and I’m excited to see how our team and brands further their development under Geoff’s leadership.”
White started as a general clerk in Burnaby, British Columbia, in 1981 and held positions of increasing responsibility throughout the following 17 years, culminating in being named director of Canadian produce operations, where he was responsible for all produce sales, marketing and merchandising, spanning western Canada with 210 stores. In December 2004, White was named to a group director position at the Safeway corporate office and was eventually promoted to VP of produce. In 2010, he was named SVP, and throughout the following five years led several functions, including dairy, frozen, deli/food service, branded concepts, produce and floral. In 2015, he was named the SVP of marketing and merchandising for the Northern California division.
White will be located at the company’s Pleasanton, Calif., campus.
Unilever to acquire condiment company Sir Kensington’s
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Unilever on Wednesday announced that it had struck an agreement to acquire New York-based condiment company Sir Kensington’s. The brand is a leader in condiments sold in the natural and organic space, Unilever said.
The Sir Kensington’s product line has grown since its launch in 2010 to include mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise and a vegan mayonnaise made from aquafaba called Fabanaise.
“We are excited to bring Sir Kensington’s into the Unilever family,” Unilever North America president Kees Kruythoff said. “Their mission to bring ‘integrity and charm to ordinary and overlooked food’ is very much in line with our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan. Sir Kensington’s is an innovative business with outstanding products and a leader in the organic and natural marketplace. We look forward to leveraging our joint understanding of food trends and consumer preferences to significantly grow the business.”
Unilever said that Sir Kensington’s company mission aligns with its work to grow sustainable living.
“Working with Unilever will allow us to more rapidly expand distribution while holding true to our values as we help define the next generation of good food,” Sir Kensington’s co-founder Scott Norton said.
Norton and co-founder Mark Ramadan will retain their roles at Sir Kensington’s. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it is expected to close in the next few weeks.
Shoppers Drug Mart unveils first Enhanced Convenience Food section
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Shoppers Drug Mart will be unveiling its first Enhanced Convenience Food section here on April 22, the company announced Wednesday. Aiming to provide customers with an experience that combines convenience with quality foods, the improved offering includes approximately 750 new fresh items.
"With the close connection between food and wellness, the introduction of convenience fresh food items in Shoppers Drug Mart is a great fit," stated Chong Bang, SVP merchandising, Shoppers Drug Mart. "We first introduced a limited selection of convenience food in Shoppers Drug Mart when we launched the large format store in 2002. Now as a division of Loblaw, we have been able to leverage food expertise to develop an enhanced convenience food offering, providing our customers with the ability to quickly pick up fresh and healthy items."
In support of the expanded food offering, pharmacists in enhanced fresh food stores have been provided with additional nutrition training and health information, so they can better help customers and patients to shop well.
Following the opening of the Hastings Street location, enhanced convenience food offerings will roll out in select Shoppers Drug Mart stores across Vancouver and Richmond. There are two formats for enhanced convenience food: Fully Enhanced or Grab and Go. While both models focus on convenience, Fully Enhanced locations will offer a larger assortment of fresh offerings, while Grab and Go locations will emphasize quick and convenient offerings for the urban customer.