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Quick meal needs: From meat to sauce

BY Barbara White-Sax

Americans may be eating more meals at home, but they are still as pressed as ever for time. That means that food-prep time-savers are crucial for consumers. Consumers want to make healthful, fresh meals at home, but they depend on some prepared elements.


By stocking more convenience components on shelves, drug store retailers are occupying a sweet spot for satisfying consumers’ quick-prep meal needs. In their pantry sections, stores are stocking more pasta and a wider selection or sauces. Meal kits and packaged flavorings also are making their way into the mix. In freezer sections, frozen pizzas and entrees now share space with frozen chicken and fish and frozen vegetables in steam bags.

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Gluten-free niche gains momentum

BY Barbara White-Sax

Gluten-free foods have exploded into the mainstream as more people see the foods as a healthier option. The Celiac Disease Foundation estimated that 17 million Americans may be gluten-intolerant. Millions more claim that avoiding gluten helps them control everything from arthritis to asthma.


New products, from niche and major players, give consumers more choices and further fuel the segment’s momentum. While growth won’t be as explosive over the next five years, Packaged Facts projected that U.S. sales of gluten-free foods and beverages will exceed $5 billion by 2015, moving the products beyond fad to trend status. 


Retailers have responding by creating gluten-free sections to help consumers find a wide range of products — from breads to snacks to beverages. Flagged with shelf signage that helps consumers find just what they are looking for, the sections are a natural fit for drug stores looking to expand their better-for-you food selections.

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Reports: Kraft Foods pulls plug on Athenos

BY Allison Cerra

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — After a nearly two-year presence on store shelves, Kraft Foods is pulling its Greek yogurt brand, according to published reports.

The company announced its plans to pull Athenos Greek yogurt, despite the substantial growth experienced by the category. Kraft Foods generated buzz around the brand last year with the launch of an advertising campaign that featured yiayias, or Greek grandmothers, and their no-nonsense, unsolicited opinions of the world.

Athenos’ portfolio also included feta cheese, hummus and pita chips.

According to Reuters, said a Kraft spokesman told the news outlet that the company planned "to refocus [our] efforts on innovating new products for the Athenos brand. We know that this is very disappointing to consumers, and it was an extremely difficult decision for us to make."

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