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Kroger emphasizes sustainability efforts with newly created position

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — Kroger announced that it has named Suzanne Lindsay as its director of sustainability.

In the newly created position, Lindsay — who previously created and led sustainability initiatives at PetSmart — will lead Kroger’s internal sustainability initiatives and will lead the company’s sustainability leadership team.

"We have made substantial progress in sustainability in the past five years through energy savings, waste reduction, transportation efficiency and by reducing the use of plastic bags," Kroger group VP corporate affairs Lynn Marmer said. "Suzanne will help us accelerate our progress and identify new opportunities to improve our environmental stewardship. We are pleased that she is joining the Kroger family."

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Meow Mix Tender Centers cat food makes debut

BY Allison Cerra

SAN FRANCISCO — Meow Mix has introduced a new line of cat food that combines the flavors of meat and fish.

Meow Mix Tender Centers are dual-textured kibbles that have a crunchy outside and a meaty center, and are available in tuna and white fish flavors, and salmon and white meat chicken flavors. The launch of the product also marks the return of the Meow Mix jingle, which stopped airing 16 years ago.

"The Meow Mix Jingle brings back a sense of nostalgia and is a classic advertising spot that many people can even recite by memory," Del Monte Foods director of cat food marketing Sue Resnicoff said. "In launching Meow Mix Tender Centers, we are thrilled to bring back the jingle after so many years, reminding our consumers of that wistful feeling once again."

According to Kelton Research, the Meow Mix jingle is the No. 2 most memorable American jingle, just behind the Oscar Mayer song. The research also found that 39% respondents know the Meow Mix Jingle better than all of their online passwords, including Facebook, their email account and more, while 32% of all respondents admitted that the Meow Mix jingle was easier to recite than the Pledge of Allegiance.

Meow Mix Tender Centers is available at stores nationwide.

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Country’s image could influence product purchases, study finds

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO — Consumers are willing to pay more for a product that comes from a country with a favorable image, according to a new study.

In an article appearing this month in the American Marketing Association’s Journal of International Marketing, study authors said they asked participants — college students from Germany — in four different experiments about their willingness to purchase a brand from a different countries. For example, the authors found that participants were willing to purchase Evian water and Nike products from France and the United States, respectively, and were willing to pay more for them, compared with such nations and Turkey and South Korea. The authors also noted, however, the price differential became less substantial the more familiar consumers are with the brand in question, regardless of where the brand originates.

These findings, the AMA said, could help marketers with their pricing decisions and highlight attributes that could boost profit, while at the same time consider the impact on price and consumers’ willingness if products are made in a a country with a less favorable image.

"Our findings show that consumers not only prefer and assign a higher value to branded products from a country of origin with a favorable country image but also are willing to spend more money to obtain them," study authors Nicole Koschate-Fischer, Katharina Oldenkotte and Adamantios Diamantopoulos said.

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