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Bi-Lo, Coca-Cola partner on Operation Phone Home

BY Michael Johnsen

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Bi-Lo and Coca-Cola on Tuesday announced their partnership with the USO to support its Operation Phone Home program, which connects troops deployed overseas with their families back home through, among other things, a private phone network. For every rotisserie meal bundle sold at all Bi-Lo stores, Coca-Cola will donate $1 to OPH, which buys troops about 20 minutes of talk time.

“When a service member is deployed overseas, separated from their friends and family, sometimes for long periods of time, nothing means more to them than to be able to hear the voice of a loved one,” USO VP corporate alliances Cathy Martens said. “The USO is grateful to have Coca-Cola and Bi-Lo partner with us to support a program that gives our troops that connection they want and need. And it’s only fitting that Americans can help our service men and women spend some quality time with their family, just by purchasing a meal to enjoy with their own family.”

The meal bundle includes: a rotisserie chicken, one 16-oz. signature deli salad and one 1.25-L bottle of any product of Coca-Cola. The program, which is being extended across all Bi-Lo locations, kicks off April 11 and runs through May 8 (or up to $35,000 donation or while supplies of specialty-marked carriers last).

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Rickland Orchards launches Greek yogurt bars

BY Allison Cerra

FAIRFIELD, N.J. — Rickland Orchards is encouraging consumers to eat Greek yogurt in a new way.

The company has launched a line of Greek yogurt bars, which feature honey-roasted granola and real fruit dipped in authentic strained Greek yogurt imported from Europe. All of the shelf-stable bars contain all-natural ingredients, 5 g of fiber, 7 g of protein and probiotics, the company said.

"We are thrilled with the overwhelming positive response we have received on our Greek yogurt bars," Rickland Orchards co-founder and CEO Jason Cohen said. "We have developed the perfect combination of great taste, strong nutritional values and on trend, quality ingredients."

Rickland Orchards Greek yogurt bars are available in blueberry acai, cherry almond, toasted coconut, cranberry almond, apple and honey and orchard peach varieties and are sold nationwide.

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BJ’s grows local produce program

BY Gail Hoffer

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — BJ’s Wholesale Club is capitalizing on the growing demand for locally grown produce by launching its "Farm to Club" program in each of its 195 clubs in 15 states. Rolling out this spring and summer, the Farm to Club program includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that will be clearly marked with a special "Farm to Club, Locally Grown" seal.

BJ’s defines "local" as grown in the state, so naturally availability of certain produce depends upon the weather and growing season for each item in each state. The company touted the benefits of buying local produce, claiming that doing so ensures it is at its peak flavor and nutritional value and that the local economy is being supported.

"As a buyer at BJ’s, I strive to provide the very best produce for members," said Rob Johnson, produce buyer for BJ’s Wholesale Club. "The Farm to Club program is very good for both the members who buy the local fruits and veggies and the farmers who are growing our food."

Currently, Farm to Club produce is available in all Florida clubs. For more information on the program, visit Facebook.com/bjswholesaleclub.

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