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Lean Cuisine introduces new 100% all-natural Honestly Good meals

BY Jason Owen

SOLON, Ohio — Lean Cuisine announced today a new line of entrées made with 100% all-natural ingredients and containing no preservatives.

New Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals feature six varities containing lean proteins like whole white meat chicken breasts and North Pacific fish filets, whole grains and farm-selected vegetables. Each variety comes with a sauce that can be added in separately.

"We’re shaking up the frozen category," said Mike Niethammer, Lean Cuisine director of marketing. "We recognize that today’s frozen consumer wants more. She’s seeking great tasting whole ingredients that she can feel good about, like wild caught salmon from sustainable sources and whole grain pilaf. By offering these innovative products in the natural section, we’re giving our Lean Cuisine consumers six new, delicious options to choose from, attracting new users and helping grow the category."

The new Honestly Good varieties feature new packaging with a 100% recyclable outer sleeve and a translucent tray, allowing the consumer to see the product.

The farm-selected vegetables are part of a partnership with select farmers where Lean Cuisine will donate a portion of the vegetables grown to local communities to serve those in need. Through the Honestly Good Giving campaign, Lean Cuisine hopes to donate one million servings of vegetables.

Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals are available in six varieties — pomegranate chicken, lemongrass salmon, roasted red pepper chicken, plum ginger grain-crusted fish, pineapple black pepper beef and honey citrus chicken — in the natural meals section of the freezer aisle at supermarkets nationwide.

The new line made its debut in March at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California, and will be sampled at the 9th annual BlogHer Conference in Chicago, Illinois this week.


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CVS Caremark aims to help customers as survey spotlights ACA knowledge gap

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As states prepare their health insurance exchanges for open enrollment beginning Oct. 1, a new survey from CVS Caremark shows that while there has been an overall increase in awareness of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, many of those eligible to enroll in health exchanges are asking for help. To assist customers, CVS Caremark will roll out a company wide information and outreach program.

"We have a tremendous opportunity to help Americans understand the new healthcare law and how it affects them so consumers receive the coverage that best fits their families," stated Helena Foulkes, EVP and chief healthcare strategy and marketing officer of CVS Caremark.

The survey results, based on a sample of over 1,000 respondents, found general awareness of the ACA has increased to 74%, up from 57% as seen in a similar 2011 CVS Caremark survey. But the new survey found that 36% of respondents who are likely to enroll in health exchanges need more information and help in evaluating the insurance exchange process. What’s more, perceptions about cost remain the biggest barrier to the likelihood of enrolling — and lack of knowledge could prove costly: Only 48% of those who are eligible for a subsidy believe that they are.

The CVS Caremark survey also found that pharmacies will be a primary resource to meet the needs of uninsured Americans, with 68% of those surveyed expecting retail pharmacies to offer health insurance information in-store and/or online. Among those asking for help, Hispanics newer to the country and the youngest group surveyed (aged 18 to 35) were significantly more likely to say they need help understanding the exchanges.

In an effort to fill the information gap, CVS Caremark will roll out a company wide information and outreach program to help customers gain access to critical health insurance marketplace information, including retail events and brochure displays at its more than 7,400 retail stores and 650 MinuteClinic locations. Information will also be available online at cvs.com/insurance.

"Even among the 50 million Americans who were uninsured in the last year, most filled at least one prescription," stated Foulkes. "Pharmacies hold the key to educating the public about their healthcare options and helping them on their path to better health."


 


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Forbes: Publix may have cracked the code in competing against Walmart

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Publix is successfully competing against a retail behemoth like Walmart, in part, because of the company’s ownership structure — 80% of the company is employee-owned — argues an article that will appear in the Aug. 12 issue of Forbes. And pharmacy is the company’s fastest-growing department. 

Complementing that employee ownership, Publix has both a system of cross-training and promoting from within and a compensation package that provides all employees bonuses tied to a store’s performance.  

The ensuing culture is one hyper-focused on customer service. “We believe that there are three ways to differentiate: service, quality and price,” Publix president Todd Jones told Forbes. “You’ve got to be good at two of them, and the best at one. We make service our No. 1, then quality and then price.”

More than 34,000 Publix employees have been with the company more than 10 years.  

According to the article, Publix is trading on that customer focus against Walmart’s EDLP strategy, suggesting to the customer that there is still value in the Publix basket and the accompanying service is worth paying a little more.

"It’s a fine distinction to rest an advertising campaign on, but also a unique value proposition: In an age when Amazon’s fast shipping counts as great customer service, Publix wants you to pay for a personal touch in your supermarket," writes Forbes reporter Brian Solomon. "In return it’ll do its best to keep prices competitive and funnel your spending back to the employees who do all the work."

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