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SKIPPY brings a bit more fun into the snacking aisle

BY Gina Acosta

AUSTIN, Minn. — The makers of the popular SKIPPY brand of peanut butter have taken the taste of SKIPPY and put it into bite-size snacks.

The SKIPPY brand's new P.B. Bites are designed to be portable and poppable. Featuring a crunchy center with a soft, non-sticky peanut butter coating, the product is the first in its category of peanut butter snacks and offers moms an easy, quick and nutritious snack option to satisfy kids' after-school hunger.

"We know consumers are looking for protein-rich snack options that are also quick and convenient to meet an on-the-go lifestyle," said Luis G. Marconi, vice president of grocery products marketing at Hormel Foods. "Continuing our commitment to innovation and taking peanut butter beyond the jar, we are excited about SKIPPY P.B. Bites – an easy, satisfying peanut buttery snack with no preparation or refrigeration required." 

SKIPPY P.B. Bites come in two varieties – pretzel and double peanut butter – meeting both creamy and crunchy snacking preferences. In line with snacking trends, SKIPPY P.B. Bites offer five grams of protein per serving, packing this portable snack with the boost of energy kids need in between meals.

"We recognize the growing demand for single-portion, portable snacks and the role that peanut butter plays in the snacking world," said Michael J. Guanella, senior brand manager at Hormel Foods. "As a convenient, fun and nutritious snack option, SKIPPY® P.B. Bites were created to meet this demand and satisfy the snacking needs of peanut butter-loving consumers, anywhere, anytime."

SKIPPY P.B. Bites are available in supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide in the peanut butter aisle, with a suggested retail price of $2.89 – $3.19.

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Finn Futures survey looks at gaps in patient knowledge, healthcare system

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK — Finn Partners on Tuesday released the results of a 1,000-person national survey that sheds light on how much of the health care system patients have to navigate on their own, the role of pharmacists and gaps  patients navigate the health care system and the role of pharmacists within it. 
 
Among the survey’s findings is the fact that when it comes to prescriptions, many respondents trust their pharmacist’s advice. Forty-three percent of those surveyed said their pharmacist always or frequently recommend an alternative to the medication they were prescribed by their provider and nearly half always or mostly accept the recommendation. Additionally, 75% of those surveyed said they would consult a physician or pharmacist with questions about their prescriptions, and 46% only see their primary care physician once a year when reminded to make an appointment, or when they are ill. 
 
The data, according to Finn Partners managing partner Gil Bashe, shows gaps in the health care system that means patients have to do a lot of legwork. 
 
“Despite the talk, the concept of consumer — in this case, the patient — as king has yet to be realized within the health community,” Bashe said. “Providing a clearer path for patients to navigate the system may improve outcomes and reduce costs — it’s still a missing magic ingredient. … While U.S. health sectors — payer, provider, pharma and policymakers — have varied objectives, they all intersect around the patient. Health leaders who see patients as customers are the most likely to win relationship loyalty.”
 
For more insights from the survey, see the infographic below. 

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Retail: Staying in sync without sinking

BY Michael De Fazio

Transition versus transformation. Evolution versus revolution. These strategies inherently plague the retail sector as companies decide what to do next to stay ahead of the curve.

As a retail professional for more than 35 years, too often I see companies forget to examine the current business model and understand whether or not it operates effectively. Basic concepts of product relevancy, store conditions, customer service and employee engagement and retention are essential in all successful retail businesses. Yet, increasingly these concepts are left at the doorstep as retailers try to outthink themselves in reinvention. Most times retailers leave their core consumer behind by forgetting the formula that brought them success in the first place.

For example, neglect of these basic concepts for a prolonged period of time ultimately led to RadioShack’s demise. Store conditions had deteriorated, products had become irrelevant — the move to a national brand selling strategy versus a proprietary, private-label selling assortment — employees had become apathetic and its biggest asset, customer service — remember, “You have questions, we have answers”? — became nonexistent. All of these factors left the customer saying, “What is RadioShack?”

The formula for success in retail has never and will never change. Aesthetics and technology most certainly have; however, the true testament to a strong retail brand always follows the same footprint.

Ultimately, the right locations, the optimal product mix, having those products in-stock and a passionate and knowledgeable customer service team will foster the ideal employee and customer experience — one that inspires all parties to have a vested interest in the retail brand's success.


Michael S. De Fazio is an independent retail consultant with more than 35 years in retailing, and experience in multiple leadership roles in store operations and store design, including DVP store concepts for Walgreens.

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