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Stop & Shop launches free produce sweepstakes

BY Alaric DeArment

PURCHASE, N.Y. — Stop & Shop is offering free produce for a year to winners of a healthy eating contest it is sponsoring, the Ahold banner said.

Through the end of this month, customers who purchase any 10 products designated as "Healthy Ideas" at one time using their Stop & Shop card will be automatically entered into the chain’s Healthy New Year Free Produce for a Year sweepstakes.

"At Stop & Shop, we strive to make shopping for healthy foods easy," Stop & Shop New England Division in-store nutritionist Julie Menounos said. "With our Healthy Ideas shelf and product labeling system, customers can find truly healthy foods. With a little planning ,families can create shopping lists together and gather recipes, coupons and inspiration from our quarterly Healthy Ideas Magazine and weekly circular."

Customers can also pick up Kid Healthy Ideas, a free health-and-wellness magazine aimed at children aged 8 to 12 with health-related articles, games and recipes.

In other news, another Ahold banner, Giant Food Stores of Carlisle, Pa., announced the completion of eight store remodels in Pennsylvania and Virginia. The remodels include new decor, expanded product selections, beer gardens, sushi bars and more new features.

 

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Sweets and Snacks Expo bucks trade show trend

BY Mike Troy

CHICAGO — Retailer and supplier consolidation has led to the demise of some conventional trade shows, but that’s not the case with the Sweets & Snacks Expo.

Record attendance is expected at the event scheduled for May 21 through May 23 in Chicago due in part to format changes by event organizer the National Confectioners Association and the strength of merchandise categories represented at the mega event.

Sponsored by the National Confectioners Association, the 2013 Expo is now in its 17th year and event organizers recently announced that exhibit space at Chicago’s McCormick Place is nearly sold out. The increased popularity is due in part to a format change seven years ago that added snacks to the mix of categories represented. As a result, a number of big-name items, including Frito-Lay’s Cracker Jack and Unilever’s single-serve frozen novelties will be on hand this year.

"Seven years ago, when the NCA board decided to incorporate snacks into the Expo, the thought was to increase the opportunities and efficiencies of those already attending," says Larry Graham, NCA president. "By adding respected brands like Cracker Jack, as well as new categories like ice cream, the Expo has become now, more than ever, a retailers’ one-stop-shop for candy and snack needs in a growing variety of product categories." According to Tim Quinn, Expo chairman and vp of trade development at Mars Chocolate North America, "candy and snack category sales continue to outpace total store sales, and in a challenging economy, retailers increasingly rely on those categories that are proven sales performers. The Expo was designed to not only provide retailers access to more new and exciting products, but also to offer merchandising solutions and keynote topics designed to turn insights into actions," Quinn said.

Event organizers also said this year’s Expo will feature an unprecedented number of international exhibitors, with a new Ecuadorian pavilion joining Brazilian, Chinese, German and Mexican pavilions.

"It has become increasingly important that our industry continue to expand our markets to include other countries and regions," Quinn said. "The global marketplace provides an area of growth opportunity going forward, and our Expo is the place to connect with manufacturers from around the world to discover international products that can set retailers apart from the rest."

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Popcorn, Indiana debuts new FIT snack line

BY Jason Owen

ENGLEWOOD, N.J. — Popcorn, Indiana — maker of all-natural popcorn snacks — announced the debut of FIT, a new line of better-for-you popcorn that will be available in stores nationwide this month.

Boasting amazing taste, crispy crunch, 40 calories or less and just 2 g of fat per cup, FIT is ideal for those who are looking to snack smarter, not just skinnier, and don’t want to sacrifice on flavor.

"As people who eat, sleep and breathe popcorn, we pride ourselves in continuing to push the boundaries when it comes to the kernel. Our popcorn chefs worked hard to perfect the pop when developing each of our delicious FIT flavors that are perfect for any occasion," said Hitesh Hajarnavis, president and CEO of Popcorn, Indiana. "With this new line, snackers can have it all. With every delectable bite, FIT features a fresh and savory taste that puts the fun back into guilt-free snacking. There is no need to make any compromises."

Popcorn, Indiana’s chefs, masters in the art of creating delicious high-quality snacks, crafted FIT in four flavors: Sea Salt, Parmesan & Herb, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Onion Dijon. Two of the flavors, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Sea Salt, will carry the Non-GMO Project Verified seal. As with all Popcorn, Indiana products, FIT contains whole grains, is certified Gluten-Free by the GFCO and is free of artificial flavoring and preservatives.


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