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ReportersNotebook — Consumables, 2/28/11

BY Barbara White-Sax

SUPPLIER NEWS — Australian winemaker Daryl Groom and Walgreens have launched a new table wine blend in line with American Heart Month. Colby Red, which was developed in partnership with Treasury Wine Estates, is dedicated to raising awareness for heart disease. The wine is named after Groom’s son, who was born with a hole in his heart and has undergone multiple surgeries to treat the defect.


A Kellogg’s cereal that has had success in the United Kingdom is making its way across the Atlantic. Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut cereal is available in two flavors: Golden Honey Nut and Roasted Nut and Honey. The U.S. launch is being supported by the company’s latest campaign, “It’s Morning Somewhere,” which includes TV, online and in-store advertising.


Seattle’s Best Coffee is rolling out new ready-to-drink iced canned lattes, including an iced latte, iced vanilla latte and iced mocha latte, each with 130 calories. “With this move, we’re … bringing a new kind of convenience to iced coffee, which is the fastest-growing segment in premium coffee,” said Michelle Gass, Seattle’s Best Coffee president.


Ken’s Foods will use 100% recyclable all-plastic pallets with embedded radio frequency identification tags developed by Intelligent Global Pooling Systems, iGPS announced. Ken’s Foods, which produces and packages more than 400 varieties of dressings and sauces, said iGPS’ solution aids the company in its sustainability efforts.

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Walgreens, Supervalu brew biz with beer

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — The real question behind the introductions of a store-brand beer from both Walgreens and Supervalu is whether or not the new brews will be hits by year’s end. In other words, can Big Flats 1901 and Buck Range Light be to beer what Trader Joe’s Two-Buck-Chuck was to wine?


To date, there really hasn’t been a strong private-label, mass-market beer. There’s Trader Joe’s Hofbrau Bock and Costco’s Kirkland Signature handcrafted ales, but both of these retailers proffer craft beers — premium beers that cater to a niche market. 7-Eleven introduced the value-priced Game Day in April 2010, but according to published reports, that store brand has performed poorly. 


U.S. private-label penetration into the branded beer business is slim — store-brand beer grabbed only a 0.9% market share across food, drug and mass for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 25, 2010, according to Nielsen Co. data.

Of course, how you interpret that data all depends on your perspective — whether you’re a beer-half-full or a beer-half-empty kind of person. While some may see an impenetrable wall of branded 12-packs stacked to the ceiling, others see opportunity.


After all, that 0.9% private-label market share represents a 100% improvement over the prior year, when store-brand market share was tabulated at less than 0.1%.


And private-label beers in Europe enjoy a much greater share of the market — as high as 36.5% in Italy and 34.5% in Spain, according to the Private Label Manufacturers Association. Private-label beers even enjoy as much as 21.2% market share in the United Kingdom. “It gives you some idea what the potential may be if retailers make a commitment to promoting their own brands in the category,” suggested Dane Twining, PLMA spokesman.

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Pa. supermarkets beat archaic liquor laws, expand beer, wine

BY Michael Johnsen

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in December ruled in favor of Wegmans and supermarkets across the state over whether or not the grocers could sell beer on their premises — the ruling expands what many consider to be the most restrictive alcohol distribution laws in the country. 


In Pennsylvania, beer can be purchased only from a restaurant/bar or beer distributor. Beer distributors can sell only by the case or keg, while restaurants and bars cannot sell more than 16 12-oz. beers per purchase. 


Wegmans, Giant Eagle, Weis and Giant Food Stores all were securing restaurant/bar liquor licenses for “café’s” that had their own entries but were housed within the supermarket.


The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board also has expanded locations where wine can be sold. Before last year, sales of wine and spirits could be sold only at state-owned shops and wineries. But the PLCB first began testing a vending machine wine kiosk at Wegmans and Giant Food Stores last summer, and is in the process of expanding that program with a planned rollout of 100 kiosks.

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