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Sam’s Club partners with author Heidi Murkoff’s brand to market baby products

BY Alaric DeArment

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Mass merchandiser Sam’s Club has made a deal with the pregnancy and parenting brand of an author who has signed on to write articles in its in-store magazine.

The retailer announced Tuesday a partnership with What To Expect‘s online component, WhatToExpect.com, to offer baby products on the site. The brand, a division of Everyday Health, is an offshoot of Heidi Murkoff’s New York Times bestseller, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Murkoff has signed on to write for every issue of Healthy Living Made Simple, the bimonthly magazine recently launched by the retailer.

"When you add up all those nursery needs and baby care necessities, little ones can come with a big bottom line, and for many parents, it’s a super-sized stretch for their budgets," Murkoff said. "By collaborating on this exclusive retail program with Sam’s Club, we’ll be able to help moms and dads provide the best for their babies without breaking the bank."

Starting at noon on Wednesday, Sam’s Club shoppers can participate in a What To Expect parenting Twitter chat, which Murkoff will host, and five participants who tweet with #HealthyMoms and follow @WhatToExpect and @SamsClub will receive packs of baby products worth nearly $1,500, including a copy of Murkoff’s books and products from Gerber and Huggies.

"Sam’s Club is very excited to work with WhatToExpect.com to offer our new parents and expectant moms with expert advice form Heidi Murkoff, along with the important resources parents need, as well as high-quality and affordable products, such as diapers, car seats and feeding essentials," Sam’s Club SVP health and wellness Jill Turner-Mitchael said.

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MillerCoors’ 64-calorie beer gets name change

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO — MillerCoors has rebranded its low-calorie beer.

MGD64 now will be called Miller64, but will continue to tout 64 calories and 2.4 g of carbohydrates per 12 oz. The change, which will roll out nationwide this spring, is being supported by a marketing campaign that will include new television, radio, digital and out-of-home advertising.

"Whether it’s the man who gets a little exercise playing recreational softball or the woman who takes the stairs instead of the elevator, we are confident consumers will appreciate that Miller64 won’t undo all their efforts to maintain a balanced lifestyle," said Rita Patel, Miller64 marketing manager. "Miller64 is the perfect light-beer choice for today’s consumers who are always on-the-go but strive to balance their responsibilities and social life."

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Stop & Shop makes Fast Company magazine’s top 10 list of food companies

BY Alaric DeArment

QUINCY, Mass. — A Northeastern supermarket chain has made a business magazine’s list of the top 10 most innovative companies in the food industry.

Stop & Shop, one of the U.S. banners owned by Dutch supermarket operator Royal Ahold, said it had made Fast Company magazine’s list, thanks to such services as its Scan It! Mobile application, which the company bills as the first grocery app that allows customers to use their mobile device to scan, tally and receive personalized savings while they shop. The app was introduced in Stop & Shop stores in June 2011.

"Being recognized as an innovator by Fast Company for Scan It! Mobile is a tremendous honor," Stop & Shop New England division president Mark McGowan said. "Our goal is to make shopping easier for customers, and we are pleased by their positive response to the app. We’re proud to be held in such high regard with other pioneering companies."

Fast Company bases its list on research into what is creating a buzz in the marketplace and being covered in the media, Stop & Shop said. Other companies that appeared on the list included Starbucks and Chipotle.

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