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Magic Bullet, Jenny McCarthy launch Rescue Bullet

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES — Magic Bullet has teamed up with celebrity mom Jenny McCarthy to introduce a limited-edition product designed for McCarthy’s charitable organization, Generation Rescue.

New Rescue Bullet is a blue, limited-edition Magic Bullet that will benefit Generation Rescue, an organization that provides guidance and support for medical treatment, which directly improves the quality of life for children living with autism spectrum disorders, as well as for all families in need.

"Our partnership with Jenny allows Magic Bullet to leverage its worldwide popularity to generate much-needed funds for an organization doing important work in the crusade to treat childhood autism," said Lenny Sands and Colin Sapire, principals of Capital Brands, the developer and marketer of the Magic Bullet. "We’re inspired by Jenny’s dedication to this cause and commitment to Generation Rescue, and we’re honored to team with her to support her efforts."

The blue, limited-edition, 20-piece Rescue Bullet blender will launch and be available for purchase on July 18 on HSN, where McCarthy will present and demonstrate the product live. The product also will be available via the Magic Bullet Facebook page, website and select retail stores.

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Kroger highlights sustainable efforts in new report

BY DSN STAFF

CINCINNATI — Kroger has released its fifth annual sustainability report.

Some of the highlights noted in the report include:

  • Kroger stores reduced overall energy consumption by 30% since 2000;

  • Company-wide, including all facilities, Kroger has saved more than 2.2 billion kilowatt hours;

  • Kroger completed its first wind energy project. Two wind turbines installed at Turkey Hill Dairy in Lancaster, Pa., will supply 25% of the dairy’s annual electricity needs;

  • Kroger’s manufacturing plants reduced the amount of waste sent to landfills by 30% since 2009 — a 22 million lb. reduction. Kroger sold and provided customers with more than 5 million reusable bags, an average of 14,000 per day, and Kroger stores, plants and distribution centers recycled more than 1.2 billion lbs. of corrugated cardboard and paper;

  • In partnership with customers, Kroger recycled 26 million lbs. of plastic, a 180% increase in plastic recycling since 2007; and

  • Kroger’s ongoing hunger relief efforts provided the equivalent of 125 million meals to local families in 2010.

"Kroger associates have worked hard to integrate sustainable practices into our everyday business operations. In 2010, Kroger stores saved enough energy to power the city of Fort Worth for a full year. We sent less waste to landfills, recycled more plastic and provided our customers with 5 million more reusable bags — all while Kroger transported and sold more products than ever before," said Rodney McMullen, president and COO of Kroger. "At Kroger, we are committed to making the world a better place. And we’re just getting started."

Read the full report and learn more about Kroger’s sustainability initiatives at the new website Kroger.com/Sustainability.

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PLMA reports jump in 2010 private-label sales

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Private-label sales across all three major retail channels reached new heights in 2010, according to the Private Label Manufacturers Association.

According to PLMA’s 2011 Private Label Yearbook, which tracks private-label sales and market share trends based on Nielsen Co. data for the year ended Dec. 25, 2010, when looking at total outlets — comprised of U.S. supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers, including Walmart — store-brand sales increased by nearly 2%, while dollar share advanced by almost half a point to a new record level. This brought total sales to $88.5 billion, according to the Nielsen data.

PLMA also said among these increases, private-label brand sales increased more than 2% and nearly 5% in supermarkets and drug store chains in 2010, respectively. Over the past decade, annual sales of private-label products have increased by 40% in supermarkets and by 96% in drug stores, PLMA said.

PLMA noted that while the numbers proved the growth of the private-label market, there is an estimated $15 billion to $20 billion in additional private-label sales that occur in channels not reported to the Nielsen databases, including warehouse clubs, limited-assortment stores, convenience stores and dollar stores. If these data were reported, the total sales likely would have produced a grand total exceeding $100 billion for 2010, PLMA said.

PLMA also noted growth was attributed to the recession, which forced consumers to alter their shopping habits, as well as "the extreme efforts by national brand marketers in 2010 to recapture some of the market share they lost to store brands over the previous years."

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