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Reports: Legislation would allow Tenn. supermarkets to sell wine

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A state Senate committee in Tennessee is looking into the possibility of allowing supermarkets to sell wine, according to published reports.

The Memphis, Tenn., Commercial Appeal reported that the proposed law would be subject to approval in local referendums.

Supporters of the bill cited convenience, while opponents — including liquor store owners — said it would be detrimental to public health, safety and the economy, criticizing the legislation as driven by "big national chains" and harmful to locally owned businesses.

 

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Summertime in February: Meijer sells Michigan-grown tomatoes in winter

BY Alaric DeArment

GRAND RAPIDS. Mich. — Meijer is sourcing tomatoes from a greenhouse that can grow them year-round, including during the famously frigid winters of the Midwest, the mass merchandise retailer said Monday.

The Coldwater, Mich., greenhouse, owned by Canada-based Mastronardi Produce, uses hydroponic technology to produce tomatoes regardless of outdoor conditions. In Michigan, tomatoes typically grow between late July and October. The greenhouse is part of a 30-acre complex of greenhouses completed in December 2011, and Mastronardi plans to double the acreage over the next two years.

"We’re proud to give Meijer customers what they’d been missing: fresh, vine-ripened, Michigan-grown tomatoes in the winter," Mastronardi Produce president Paul Mastronardi said. "Meijer is one of our oldest customers in the USA and has been a great partner for over 40 years. We have collaborated on many new items and projects like this. We talked a few years back about our idea of the Coldwater greenhouse project, and Meijer was on board before we built."

A recent in-house survey by the retailer found that 51% considered supporting local farmers the biggest benefit of buying local produce, while nationally, 48% of shoppers report looking for locally sourced products when shopping, according to the Food Marketing Institute’s "U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends Report."

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Budweiser with body

BY Barbara White-Sax

ST. LOUIS — Anheuser-Busch’s new golden amber lager Budweiser Black Crown debuted on the market in late January. The new beer, a blend of two-row caramel malt and four types of domestic hops, maintains the clean taste and high drinkability of the Budweiser label, but has more body, color and hop character than the flagship lager. It also has a slightly higher alcohol content. The beer will be sold nationwide in 12-oz. glass bottles available in 6- and 12-packs and in 22-oz. single bottles.

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