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Kraft appoints EVP strategy

BY Allison Cerra

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — Kraft Foods on Wednesday named a former Bain & Co. executive to the position of EVP strategy, effective Jan. 29.

Sam Rovit succeeds Michael Osanloo, who was named president of Kraft Foods’ North American grocery business. Rovit, a 20-year business veteran with global growth and cost leadership strategy experience, will report to chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld and be a member of the company’s executive team.

"Sam has impressive strategic and operational experience in the consumer packaged goods industry as CEO of Swift and as a senior partner in a blue-chip consulting firm," Rosenfeld said. "His deep understanding of corporate, customer, category and channel strategies will be instrumental in Kraft’s delivery of top-tier financial results."

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Organic product purchases increase at traditional grocers

BY Allison Cerra

SHELTON, Conn. — Organic product purchases among consumers have been fairly consistent over the past three years, but more shoppers are looking to mass retailers to purchase such items.

According to the TABS Group, a marketing research and consulting company, more than one-quarter (27%) of 1,000 consumers purchased organic fresh fruits, the highest penetration category. Additionally, the firm noted that while skin care and hair care were the only two categories that experienced consecutive years of annual gains of 7% and 5%, respectively, milk (16%) and ice cream (4%) experienced declines in consecutive years.

In terms of places to buy organic purchases, the big winners over the year were traditional grocers, which rose from 41% to 44.1%, and Target, which increased from 1.8% to 4.1%. Total natural foods outlets fell from being the most preferred by 26.8% in 2009 to 24.4% in January 2011, a 9% drop, according to Kurt Jetta, TABS Group founder and president. Jetta added that increased organic SKUs boosted traditional grocers as a go-to for consumers to buy the organic products.

"Any growth in organics from one outlet must … necessarily come at the expense of another channel," Jetta said.

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Supermarket wine kiosks return to Pennsylvania retailers

BY Michael Johnsen

BEAVER, Pa. — Supermarket wine kiosks are being reintroduced into the Pennsylvania market in the coming week after being taken offline in the days before Christmas, according to a report published Monday in the Beaver County Times, a newspaper based in Beaver County and northwest of Pittsburgh.

Currently, wine only can be sold through a state store or winery in Pennsylvania, though some wineries have shops set up within grocers. All other retailers were prohibited from selling wine, beer or other liquors until the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board introduced the wine kiosks. The PLCB took the grocery-store wine kiosks out of service on Dec. 21, 2010, because of technical glitches. Approximately 6-of-the-30 kiosks will be returned to service, a PLCB representative told the paper.

Pennsylvania first began testing the kiosks in Harrisburg, Pa., in June 2010 and announced a planned rollout of 100 kiosks four months later. Developed by Simple Brands of Conshohocken, Pa., the kiosks feature technology to assure full compliance with the PLCB’s strict measures to prevent sales to underaged or intoxicated persons. The buyer’s photo identification is inserted into the kiosk, where age information on the bar code is processed. The photograph on the ID is matched with a video image of the buyer at the kiosk. A Liquor Control Board employee monitors each transaction from a remote location and confirms that the video of the purchaser matches the person’s driver’s license ID.

The kiosks have a built-in breath test that requires no contact with the device and provides an instant reading to ensure the buyer is not under the influence. If a breath alcohol level of .02 or higher is detected, the consumer will not be able to make a purchase.

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