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PLMA: Private-label products cut grocery bill by more than 30%

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Switching to private-label brands could help consumers save one-third of their typical spend on products, a new study conducted by the Private Label Manufacturers of America found.

In its study, PLMA tracked the pricing for 40 typical grocery items — many of them dubbed "cold weather staples," such as hot chocolate, soup and personal care necessities — at a conventional supermarket over a six-week period. By selecting the store-brand version of the products on the list rather than the national brand, consumers could save an average of $43.92 (a savings of 33.6%). When buying the national brands, the 40-item purchase came to $130.78 on average over six separate trips, while the same purchases for the retailer’s brands cost $86.85 on average, PLMA noted.

In August, the group released a report that private-label purchases and loyalty would forge ahead, noting that more than 60% of consumers purchased private-label products because of the current economic conditions.

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Calif.-based Albertsons stores achieve ‘zero waste’ classification

BY DSN STAFF

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Albertsons, which is owned by Supervalu, recently announced that two of its stores located in California reached “zero waste” classification in their daily operations.

Through a combination of innovative recycling programs, a food donation program and a joint organic composting program with the city of Santa Barbara, the two stores now divert all noncontaminated waste from landfills and incinerators, the company reported. In total, more than 95% of all waste products from both stores are recycled, reused or composted — exceeding the 90% threshold commonly recognized as zero waste.

“Albertsons, and Supervalu as a whole, is committed to leading the way on environmental sustainability and diverting all possible waste from our Santa Barbara stores is a major accomplishment in this effort,” said Rick Crandall, director of sustainability at Albertsons. “In addition to keeping waste out of our landfills, we are charting a course for the future of our stores — one that will not only help our environment and the communities we serve, but also the overall success of our business.”

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GreatCall focuses on health, wellness through handset apps

BY Allison Cerra

SAN DIEGO — As retail distribution for GreatCall’s Jitterbug J cell phones expands, the company has placed a stronger emphasis on its health-and-wellness apps for the Jitterbug handsets.

GreatCall’s GreatHealth apps currently offer a range of services, including the award-winning LiveNurse, which offers unlimited 24/7 access to a live registered nurse, and the Medication Reminder service, which enables users to easily follow their medication schedule as prescribed by their doctor, track adherence and receive prescription refill reminders. Also available are Wellness Calls with Dr. Brian Alman, which offer a series of thoughtful questions and information for relaxing, motivating and overall well-being.

The health-and-wellness apps range in price from $0 to $10.

“As we continue to expand GreatCall’s retail presence, we’re excited to reach a new group of users who want simple handsets, including the Jitterbug J, as well as easy-to-use and helpful services and applications,” said Ryan Jones, VP sales for GreatCall.

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