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Pleasant Kids to create flavored water enhancers

BY Ryan Chavis

BURBANK, Calif. — Pleasant Kids announced on Thursday that it will enter into the water enhancer industry and is working with a national lab to create a new line of liquid, flavored water enhancers.

"The company envisions parents carrying this product to sports events, schools and playgrounds and making children enjoy drinking water by personalizing flavor on demand," said Calvin Lewis, VP and company chemist. "Our No. 1 priority is the health of the children when developing our flavors. There will be no artificial flavors, sweeteners, sugars, sodium and gluten."

Pleasant Kids will distribute the enhancers in the beverage mix section of grocery stores. The 1.25-oz. product will have a MSRP of $3.99 each.

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H-E-B helping customers make carb-aware food choices with new labeling system

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN ANTONIO — As part of an initiative started in time for American Diabetes Month, H-E-B is helping customers make carb-aware food choices by labeling food with 0 g to 15 g of carbohydrates per serving with their new Carb Aware Nutritional Icon, according to a Nov. 6 Facebook post on the Texas grocer’s site. 

In one week, the post generated 40 "shares" and more than 320 "likes."

"Diabetes month comes right after Halloween-candy binging. Perfect timing," posted one customer. Another wrote, "This is a great idea. This should be all the time. Thank u."

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Kroger named 2013 Retailer of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Wednesday announced today it was named the 2013 Retailer of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Wine Enthusiast selected Kroger Retailer of the Year because of the company’s "dynamic growth, dedication to wine, ability to foresee trends and customer service," the editors stated. According to a profile of the grocer, Kroger surpassed $1 billion in wine sales in 2012 and is expected to post double-digit growth in 2013. 

"We are honored to receive recognition from the experts at Wine Enthusiast," Michael Donnelly, Kroger SVP merchandising said. "Kroger is focused on providing our customers with spectacular wine experiences – from our exclusive offerings such as Acronym to showcasing their favorite varieties from local wineries."

Kroger sources wines from local vineyards, employs 450 wine stewards across its store base to enhance the shopping experience, and advocates for customers where laws prevent access to wine in grocery stores. In Tennessee, for example, the company is advocating for expanded customer options through the Red, White and Food initiative, a grassroots effort to support legislation that would eventually allow customers the convenience of purchasing wine at their local grocery store.

This is the first time Kroger has been honored by the magazine.

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