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Hillshire plans aggressive frozen breakfast expansion

BY Jason Owen

CHICAGO — Hillshire Brands will introduce new products in the frozen breakfast category over the next few years in an effort for the company to become the most innovative meat-centric food company throughout North America.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Hillshire, backed by an enhanced marketing and advertising campaign, will offer new easy-to-heat breakfast bowls, quesadillas, burritos and egg sandwiches.

"Historically, a lot of our energy in [the] R&D team and the supply chain team was focused on taking costs out of our products," said Hillshire Brand’s CEO, Sean Connolly. "Now we’ve got a healthy balance between innovation and growth as well as the need to always be efficient in our operations."

The company set a goal of its new products to comprise 13% to 15% of sales by 2015. Their current marketing, advertising and promotions budget will leap from the current 3.5% to 5% within that same timeframe.

Hillshire Brands, formerly Sara Lee, offers a wide variety of goods through their many brands: Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, Aidells, Gallo Salame and State Fair, and is a U.S.-based company.

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7-Eleven experimenting with a healthier version of ‘fresh’ than is typically found in c-stores

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Convenience retailer 7-Eleven has jumped on the "fresh" bandwagon, according to a report published last week in the New York Times. And while 7-Eleven has been serving up fresh for more than a decade with its variety of hot dogs and breakfast fare, now the focus is on fresh food items that will fit within a consumer’s diet plan, too. 

According to the report, 7-Eleven hopes to generate 20% of its sales from wholesome foods by 2015. “We’re aspiring to be more of a food and beverage company, and that aligns with what the consumer now wants, which is more tasty, healthy, fresh food choices,” Joseph DePinto, 7-Eleven CEO, was quoted in the report. 

The first to hit 7-Eleven shelves is a Bistro Snack Protein Pack, similar to one carried by Starbucks with items at under 400 calories. 

For the full report, click here

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Giant-Carlisle now operates 100 gas stations

BY Alaric DeArment

CARLISLE, Pa. — Giant-Carlisle has opened its 100th gas station, the supermarket chain said.

Giant-Carlisle, officially known as Giant Food Stores and owned by Ahold, said the gas station opened at a store in Souderton, Pa. The chain offers a loyalty program, Gas Extra Rewards, that provides discounts on gas when people shop at the supermarket’s front end and pharmacy.

In other news, the chain also announced several donations to charity organizations, including $102,350 donated by Giant division Martin’s Food Markets through this year’s Share a Holiday Meal program; the donation supports campaigns in various parts of Virginia.

Giant and Martin’s also donated $751,029 during the annual Candles for Kids campaign to support Children’s Miracle Network hospitals; the campaign raised $586,628 last year.

 

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